About Yuma And Me...


Honored Member
I'd like to try a shed-monster someday!

Btw, Sarah, IAMS is one of the alltime WORST crappy dog foods available, and it is not cheap, either.

sorry to tell you, but it is. I wished someone had told me back when i fed similar dog foods, unaware of what IS in that bag.:( I mean, who the heck knew what these words on the ingredient list even meant, right?? PLus, even vets smile and say, "Iams is fine" or whatever crappy brand you ask them about.--Purina, Science Diet, Eukanuba, all these popular brands, are lousy dog foods.

I was once just like you, i used to feed dog foods one can buy in a grocery store, too. I had no idea ppl could package up such crap,:eek: and put it in a pretty bag, and say whatever they wanted to about what's in the bag.
rule of thumb (in USA anyway) is usually, if you can buy your brand of dog food in a grocery store, it's a 90% chance it is crap.:cautious:

Iams is mostly corn, (as the items are listed by WEIGHT, and the chicken is not yet dehydrated when weighed and listed............ so once it is dehydrated,
it is much lighter,
and nowhere NEAR the top ingredient.:(
So the top ingredients in IAMS, after the chicken is now dehydrated light powder form and NOW that dehydrated chicken now falls wayyyyyyy down the list, are----
----CORN, (undigestible to dogs, it's a filler)
---------BYPRODUCTS (that is like, meatfree hooves and beaks, slaughterhouse refuse) ------------and SORGHUM, (another starchy carb like corn)
Dogs need meat,and Iams has almost no meat in the whole bag,:( .

Here is a review of Iams:

(their puppy food looks slightly less horrible than their adult dog food)
here's another review of Iams:

Here is a real simple site, it rates dog foods by scoop, like 5 scoops is best. At first, i thought they did not rate Iams, at all, but then i realized, they have a "No scoop" rating for Iams:

YOur dog's coat might improve to even better than he is now, and he might scratch less, and shed a LOT less, once he is well nourished with proper nutrients.
He might shed a lot less. :D See, if a dog eats stuff he is allergic to, they get skin and coat problems, not runny noses like we do. It's not impossible, with all the crappy ingredients in Iams, that your dog *might* be getting stuff he is slightly allergic to,
or being slightly malnourished of proper nutrients.
Does he scratch a lot?

to pick out better dog food----->HERE is one of my favorite of all dog food comparison charts,


as besides rating the nutrition in the dog foods----------- it indicate the price, too:D (i am on a budget, so price matters to me, and most dog food rating sites, you must run to other sites to get an idea if it is expensive or not expensive, but that one sort of helps sort them by price, as well)

If you do decide you want to move away from Iams, you would want to do so, slowly, swapping out only a few of the kibbles at a time, gradually swapping it out, like over a week or two, so your dog wont' get diarrhea or upset stomach.

don't feel bad, i did exact same thing, sure did, and i LOVED that dog, and i just had no idea. My old dog food cost a lot, too. My vet said it was okay, so i believed him.:rolleyes:O_o

back then, i did not realize corn was undigestible filler and bad for dogs, i did not understand "by-products" means hooves and beaks, had no idea about toxic preservatives used in dog foods, did not know that "animal digest" means actual poop, and cellulose was cardboard, and i had to learn a lot to decide on a better dog food that i COULD afford.

So i settled on "chicken soup for the dog lovers soul", it's only about $1 a pound, lists 4 meats on top, no corn, no byproducts, no cellulose, no soy, no wheat, no poisonous preservatives, has pro-biotics and omega 3s, is made in america, and doesn't get recalled, and it has no horrible stuff in it. You can't buy it in a grocery store, (GOOD SIGN) but several pet stores sell it, but, it's only once a month trip, and your pup can go in there WITH you, so it's fun!!

no matter what dog food you decide on, do Call ahead, as our local Petsmart doesn't carry it, but Pawmart does, as does PetSuppliesPlus, etc. NOt all pet supply stores carry all brands, i mean, so call ahead.


Well-Known Member
Wow. Thanks for the heads up about Iams! I knew that ScienceDiet was utter crap because, c'mon, my learning clinic uses it on shelter dogs (we go through at least 50 a week), so I knew they weren't feeding these ownerless dogs something GRAND.
I will look to see if there is even a Petsmart anywhere near me (being in the middle of nowhere sucks).
He doesn't scratch a lot, rarely really, until recently when he picked up some fleas while on a weekend visit to my mom's.
I think I will look into the Chicken Soup brand! Sounds like a good thing to me! Plus I won't mind spending 20 bucks (what I am spending now on Iams) on a food that is actually GOOD for my baby.
He gets 1 egg a day and sometimes some boiled chicken if I feel like he needs to be a little spoiled (he isn't allowed human food other than that), so I am hoping those factors help maintain his coat and health while I finish this bag of Iams.


Staff member
Just so you know, you don't have to feed puppy food or large breed to a larger dog. Just find a good life stages one or the normal one is fine as well. The only difference in between the large breed and regular is the protien levels usually. The large breed tends to have a higher protien level which isn't needed. Just food for thought.

For fleas, it depends on where you're at. Here in south jersey fleas aren't all that bad so I can get away with using garlic and apple cider vinegar. When I went to Flordia the fleas were really bad and I went and bought Comfortis. It's a little pill that wasn't too expensive for my larger pack. It didn't wash off and it kept the fleas away while we were there.


Experienced Member
Just so you know, you don't have to feed puppy food or large breed to a larger dog.
Really ? I always thought there was a difference due to nutritional needs and not wanting the larger breeds to grow too fast during the developmental puppy stage and cause problems, especially in the larger breeds.


Staff member
I'll explain. There is a difference between the 4 different kinds, mostly in protein levels which if high can cause bone and join problems from growing to fast. For large breed puppies it is recommended to never go over 25% protein to make sure fast growing doesn't happen. Lower is better. Cheaper food with high protein doesn't cause the same problems (other than it being crappy food) because most of the protein isn't digestable as high quality protein.

Here is the protein levels in Wellness, Eukanuba and Taste of the Wild.
Eukanuba Large Breed Puppy: 26%
Eukanuba Large Breed Adult: 23%
Eukanuba Puppy: 29%
Eukanuba Adult: 25%

Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream Puppy: 27%
Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream Canine: 25%

Wellness Complete Large Breed Puppy: 26%
Wellness Complete Large Breed Adult: 25%
Wellness Complete Puppy: 28%
Wellness Complete Adult: 22%

As you can see most of the adult formulas have a better protein levels for larger dogs than their puppy counter parts. There is another reason they have so many different varieties, to sell more. If they have more than one variety the stores have to stock the other varieties as well. This give them more shelf space to sell more and push others out of that local market. This is why if you go to a store you can see a sea of Purina and Eukanuba and not a lot of other products because Purina and Eukanuba has pushed the other out by making more varieties.

And because I have a feeling I'll be asked. Raw food (prey-model) is around 25% protein because of water and bone content.


Experienced Member
ok I understand the protein level thing but then doesnt that play with the other nutrient and calorie proportions ?

have also read that protein factor is not as important as previously thought.


Well-Known Member
Regardless, I will continue feeding large breed food to him. I have been told to do so by vets and friends with larger dogs several times, so I'm sticking with it. ;)
Better safe than sorry, really. Large breed get specific food just as small breeds do. There has to be something more as to why they tell you to do that other than just marketing strategy. Why would my vet tell me "large breeds need large breed food" if he wasn't getting a cut of whatever profit the brand's large breed formulated food I buy? Seems pointless. Doubt they ALL would be so brainwashed and not care about the consumer so much that they point them to the more expensive dog food just because it says large breed on it when they could be saving the consumer money by saying, "look, this is just as good and saves money". They get no profit from making the customer buy something like that.
Just my 2 cents on it. No offense intended. (y)


Experienced Member
Sarah, a vet I know and trust says that its more the balance of nutrient/calories/volume proportions that is important in the large breed foods . You may feed regular food but you then have to maybe alter the amount you give ( large breed is usually bulkier so its more filling) to make sure they arent overfed because its usually the number of calories and weight gain thats the major problem.. Most people are lazy and dont want to be bothered tinkering.


Well-Known Member
Time for another update guys! I can just hear the excitement. LOL

So, Yuma is now a year old as of the 28th of May. I can't believe how fast time has flown!
He's still a big ol baby who thinks he is the size of a chihuahua and wants to be in my lap. :p
Good news is he is healthy and happy, which is what we all want for our fur-children, yes? He still has his naughty moments, such as stealing 5 cupcakes from the cooling rack in my kitchen!
Oh boy did he know he was going to get a scolding. He looked to pitiful I couldn't stay too upset for long!
To make up for him wanting such things, I made him doggy safe cupcakes for his birthday! He ate em up and was happy, thinking he was getting a sugary treat! In truth, they were healthy for him. Shhh... ;)

He still has issues with recall. He ignores me completely if there is someone walking down the street or if the neighbor's dog is barking. Drives me insane to stand there and call him repeatedly. Does no good to step forward at all to go get him -- he bolts.
Only after what seems like the millionth time I call him and get angrier with each ignored command does he come slinking back to me and go straight to his crate. He hides away there whenever he knows he was a bad boy.
I'm afraid he will bite someone or some dog. It used to be that he just rushed and was wanting to play, but now he is barking and has hackles raised. I call assurances to the people that he doesn't bite, but I can't keep telling people that if I'm not sure that he won't.
He is going through this overly protective stage and is at my heels constantly when we walk on the leash in town (HE DOES GREAT AT THAT NOW, BTW) or when we are in the house. But it only takes one neighbor to walk by too closely to the yard or for a neighborhood dog to bark to set him into what I call "derp mode".
He does so well going outside to potty off leash until one of the above mentioned things happens. Any suggestions besides leashing him?
I've tried treats, acting like I am walking away and leaving him, calling, getting a toy, etc. to no avail. (n)

Care to help once more with what must seem like never ending problems chain of posts? :ROFLMAO:


Honored Member
Oh, that's just great!!

Now, i hope you get lots of ideas on things to try, and *just* me.
but, imo,
since Yuma is working on issues, Yuma should just never ever be offleash where she can go running up to people or dogs, imo.
Yes, leash the dog.
IF and when you ever have razor sharp recall, you may other options, but, since you admit you do not, leash Yuma.
See, thing is, the world is chockful of children and idiots, and neither group can be trusted to not grab Yuma, try to lean over her, pet her, squeal in her face how cute she is, etc etc.
which could send Yuma over the line into a bite.

You can still find places to run Yuma off leash, like an empty fenced in schoolyard, field, football field, ancient cemetery, baseball fields, just empty places where Yuma can run free.
<-----------GREAT places to teach her recall.
You CAN teach a dog to come when called, and i think it also takes ongoing practice to keep it sharp for some dogs.

and you can still continue ongoing work to desensitze Yuma to seeing unknown humans and/or dogs, too,
starting where Yuma IS comfortable, rewarding her looking calmly at humans running around in a park, (far away) and over time, moving closer each week.

but there is a risk there, with a high price tag,:( if Yuma is off leash, and some idiot gets too close, Yuma could freak out and bite the stranger. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.


Honored Member
Re: recall, i already explained how i did it,
i didn't start out when my dog was far down the street distracted by some dog or human,
i began teaching my recall word "come" when dog is right beside me.
step by step
in reply #46 on page 3 of this thread.

If you have already worn out the word "come" you may have to find a whole new word,
like "here" or something, or whistle noise,
and start allll over and actually TEACH the dog how to come, even amidst distractions,
as i explain in reply #46. <---- don't skip one step, do the whole lesson step by step.

Many other great replies too, on how others taught their dog to come when called, already on this thread. Scroll back!!

LOTS OF WAYS TO TEACH RECALL, but, Reply #46 worked for *my* dog, but, i set my dog up for success, started with dog right next to me, and made him think coming to me was best moment of his day.
Don't fade the treats too soon when TRAINING recall, and i still randomly reward my dog now and then for showing up.

You can not be angry at the dog for not coming when called, and scolding him for not coming is only teaching him to be EVEN LESS LIKELY to show up next time.
My neighbor does this, if she has to go GET the dog, or if dog takes too long to return, she is obviously angry at the dog,
and now, her dog also bolts away when she approaches him, too.:rolleyes: big shocker, eh?

Like i said back on page 3 of this thread--------NEVER scold a dog who did show up, even if he showed up late, he'll remember that, and be less likely to show up next time. Why show up to get yelled at?
Never scold the dog you have to go get, the dog learns, "Here she comes, she is going to grab my collar and yell at me" so naturally, the dog bolts.

YOu CAN teach the dog to come when called, but anger has no place in this lesson, none at all. It doesn't seem fair to ask a one year old puppy to master self control of all emotional impulses, if you can't! :LOL:
Take a deep breath, when Yuma doesn't come, and go get her, leash her up, walk her home again. NO anger. <-------THAT is why your dog bolts, she has learned you have a temper.

and there are lots and lots of methods and ways to teach recall.
Did you even read, or even try the step by step stuff i wrote in reply #46? It works. GOOD LUCK,
Now, you've made some great progress with Yuma,
you CAN DO IT!! YOU CAN!! but you have to TRAIN a dog to come,
and that is hard for dogs,
so you have to teach it, step by step.


Honored Member
also, off topic,
but a dog displaying what humans typically call guilt,
is just dog language, to appease you, when you lose your temper.
It's "appeasement".

UNLESS YOU CAUGHT THE DOG IN THE ACT of eating the cupcakes,
you dog cowering, looking "guilty" was just her attempts to help YOU calm down.
dog had no idea what you were yelling about.:confused: dogs live in the moment, so far as Yuma knew, you were honked off cuz she was walking in the kitchen :confused: or sitting by door, :confused: or whatever she was doing when you yelled her out.

If you were mean,
you could walk into your home, when dog did nothing wrong at all,
yell at dog in same exact way/tone/facial expressions/gestures/anger,
and although no cupcakes are missing,
and he'd do exact same thing, cowering, looking sad, trying to calm you down. It's not "guilt"
"my owner is freaking out about something, wish she'd calm down."

Please do NOT do that to test it out to an already insecure dog like Yuma, it'd be mean. I'm just sayin, your dog is only calming you down.

Dogs are actually a lot better than we humans are about controlling their emotions, imo,
and i think we should all strive to be more like our dogs!!:ROFLMAO: Instead of dogs having to try to calm US down!!!:LOL:

I could post a quickie video, on how to teach your dog to stop eating stuff on your tables or counters, but, i guess you already have enough things to work on,
but IF you get interested in finding a way to solve that,
besides yelling at your dog when you find out cupcakes are missing (won't work, dog learns nothing by you yelling)
then watch this:



Honored Member
Tigerlily has given you some really good advice above, I hope you really look at her posts. Yuma is about a year old, coming into physical maturity, and is also starting to feel very protective about his house, his yard, his territory - not just going into "derp mode" as you term it. He's a German Shepherd, and has been bred to guard for years and years. He's beginning to do what comes naturally to him. Thing is, you don't want him "doing it" in the wrong way, with the wrong person or dog.

As you've already determined, his recall is the first priority. Nagging him repeatedly to come, then scolding him when he doesn't won't suceed in really anything, as you've seen - except for turning him ino a dog who doesn't want to come to you when you call. Why should he? Sometimes he gets in trouble, and sometimes he has to go to his crate - neither is anything to look forward to. Coming to you should be (at least sometimes) the possibility of something fabulous. Do pick another word, and start all over again. Instead of 'come', use here, or yoo-hoo, or ... pick a word, anything. Start fresh. And start small, just in the house. And only call Yuma to you when you know for sure he'll come to you (like, when he's already heading in your direction). And reward the heck out of him. Make it a party, then turn him loose, all done. And do it unexpectedly - but again, for a while, only when you know he'll be successful. Start in the house, then move to outside on a long-line. Don't give him the option to fail. It may sound ridiculous, but when you see him coming right at you, call him then, and reward the heck out of him!!! If at some point he doesn't come to you, oh well - try it again a bit later, and when you know he'll come - and reward, reward, reward. Make it something really high value to him.

Renowned trainer/behaviorist Kathy Sdao would walk by the same park daily with her dogs. She used to stop by McDs and pick up a hamburger, stash bits in a tree in the park, then walk her dogs there and let them go play. At some point, she'd call them to her (practicing recall) and presto, they'd get some McDs hamburger as a reward!! Yes, she does give her dogs healthy treats - but to the dogs that was amazing, and worth the run back, cuz holy cow, they never knew if they might get that!!! :LOL: Just an idea of what you can think up to entice Yuma to want to come to you.

I would keep him on-leash to potty when out front (or wherever he is) where these people, dogs, etc are walking by. You don't want to run the risk of an accident happening. If his hackles are now up, he's bothered by these "intruders"/ distractions and wants them gone. Take the pressure off him to feel he must do something about them. You have the leash, you're in charge. Make his and your first job perfecting his recall, and don't put him in the position to make a mistake that he could possibly pay for with his life (should he finally decide to run and bite someone).

Work only as quickly as Yuma can go. Remember there's no race to the finish line. Take Yuma's recall slow and steady. There's no hurry, you want to be sure it's solid. Be patient, and if you call him and he doesn't come, then he's being a dog, not the "bad boy" you refer to him as in your post. :confused: A year old German Shepherd may be big, but remember, he's actually still a big puppy. GSs really don't mature til around 3 yrs old (or older) -- hate to break the news to you. :ROFLMAO:

So - take a HUGE deep breath, get some really great treats (maybe chicken, hot dogs, cheese, or maybe a big grab bag of a little of everything ... mine love grab bags!, they never know what's coming out), and surprise Yuma with what's in store each and every time you ask him to come to you. And if he chooses to ignore you, then just ignore him. And try again in a while. For now, don't put him into any circumstance where he can ignore you ... and get himself (and others) into any trouble. Keep that leash handy!


Honored Member
great post Jackie!!

I am embarrassed by my typo,
when i wrote //"Now, i hope you get lots of ideas on things to try, and *just* me."//
i was trying to write
//"Now, i hope you get lots of ideas on things to try, and NOT from *just* me."//:p

maybe if Sarah gets ideas from many ppl, it WILL make sense to her.


Honored Member
I've read with interest everything on this thread. First, Yuma is beautiful and I adore GSD had them all my life until now - all rescues of course. But I want to say DO NOT get Don Sullivan's books or DVD's they are really ghastly. Yes he claims to train 9 wk old puppies to super obedience but his methods are terrible and those puppies I'll guarantee are NOT happy pups and will NEVER grow into the confident, loyal, loving dog you so desire.

Patience is the key with recall. Zeus my golden oldie was fantastic both he and his sister 'recalled' almost without training - but hey Mom always had a treat and a 'game of tug' if only for a few seconds, when they came.

Ra Kismet - different story. He's been harder to train to recall. That big, exciting outside world was more interesting than treats, Mom, silly games you name it - the grass was greener etc. BUT with patience and NEVER ticking him off at all when he didn't respond has paid dividends, he will now 'come' when called most of the time. When he doesn't come - I find with him - clapping loudly and 'acting the fool' - works a treat - because the site of Mom being silly is now more interesting than whatever is holding his attention.

Also, if Yuma is sniffing to potty DO NOT call or expect him to come. He needs to 'go' and like all of us isn't about to stop just because we call. Wait until he has 'pottied' then call.

Hats off, you've taken some harsh but extremely well meant and said with love, advice.

You and Yuma will have a wonderful relationship - puppies can be hard work, though in all honesty I ADORE training pups, but hey the rewards are well worth it all:)


Honored Member
//"Hats off, you've taken some harsh but extremely well meant and said with love, advice."//

I hope i haven't sounded harsh, but, it's possible i did. I'd have to go back and reread my posts. but, when sometimes on DTA, we do get ppl who post problems,
but, do not actually even read,
let alone try, the advice,
and then repeat the same questions, over the course of a year,
like how to train recall, for example, as they explain the dog still wont' come, even when they get angrier and angrier, and yell at the dog.:(
SORRY if it is my posts (?)that you, MaryK, are labelling as "harsh".

At least in this case, with Yuma, the owner IS returning:D to continue to try to learn:D , so huge kudos to her for that!!! :D YAY!!! I do think all dogs CAN be helped to learn, to get better!


Honored Member
Yes it was me but Tiger Lily, I would have been just as 'harsh,' I was doing some growling when I read Yuma's first post so PLEASE DO NOT APOLOGIZE TIGER LILY:)

You showed understanding too;) And ALL you said was true, I was having fifty fits over leaving the puppy so long between potty and almost screaming at the monitor HE NEEDS POTTY!

And where she got angry coz Yuma didn't come, almost exploded! Ra Kismet was a tinker with come, and I NEVER get angry, even when he decided to ignore me at 3.a.m. in the morning, and he'd 'been'. Plus he's so black you just cannot see him in the dark, little tinker would be standing near me looking at the stars or whatever.

I like people to say it as it is and you did just that. It's a pups well being at stake and that's VERY important. I hope Yuma understands that you said it all with LOVE(that's how I read it anyway), that you're PASSIONATE about helping train pups and their companions THE RIGHT WAY to AVOID future problems - not to be nasty or well harsh...... you get the picture:) It shows in ALL your posts how much you care.

If you hadn't already advised Yuma so well, I would have jumped right in with the same advice because PUPPIES ARE PUPPIES and they DO NOT come with a built in training/how to manual. Sleep deprivation is par for the course when training a pup. I've spent nights dozing in chairs, when Zeus and Tiger Lily were pups because LOL whilst they did EVERYTHING else together, potty wasn't on the same waive length. First one would need to 'go' then the other, usually Zeus he was a tad harder to train to potty, would decide he just HAD to go, even though we'd been outside in pouring rain in the middle of a cold winter's night. He HATES rain and would 'hold it' as long as possible, whilst Tiger Lily would kinda shrug her shoulders and 'get it over and done with' so she could head back into the warm:)

I would even put on their little winter rain coats but he STILL hated going in the rain!

Now with the Cushings, at times I still have to get up in the middle of the night, because he needs to 'go' - they cannot hold their urine or bowels as well when they have Cushings.

And yes KUDOS to YUMO she does care and has come back:D We'll all soon hear how well Yuma is doing - YEAH go YUMA!!!!!!!!!!!