DEAR PAW’S CORNER:
We adopted a beautiful, fluffy pup at a nearby shelter. A worker there described it as a Russian sheepdog. She said “Curty” should grow up into a large dog with a lot of energy. So far, I haven’t found this to be true. Curty hasn’t grown much beyond his height when we adopted him, and he doesn’t seem to have the energy I have seen in shepherd breeds, although he is pretty playful and was easy to housebreak. Are there any health problems he might have, or do we just have a mixed breed dog that isn’t going to take on purebred characteristics? — Jerry C., Burlington, Vt.
There are several types of sheepdogs hailing from Russia and surrounding regions, so it’s hard to say exactly which breed you have. Indeed, you may have a mixed-breed dog, if the shelter wasn’t able to provide any information on Curty’s former home. The best thing to do is take Curty to the veterinarian for a checkup. Explain that he isn’t growing as fast as you thought he would and that he doesn’t have a lot of energy. The vet can check for any signs of underlying health issues. Curty could be a perfectly healthy pup, but just a mixed-breed dog who is developing normally and won’t be very big. An even-tempered, playful, well-socialized, easy-to-train dog isn’t a bad thing. But do make sure that he’s healthy and that there are no hidden health problems.
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