Sunday, April 1, 2012

Our Dog Bugg: Yellow Labrador Retriever/American White Shepherd

Bugg aka Buggah

In my opinion, a yellow labrador retriever/American white shepherd makes for a wonderful mix when it comes to dogs. Bugg has been a joy to us ever since 'I' first picked him out. 

Bugg would never fit the requirements in any dog show, to fit in the category of either of the two breeds his parents are. 

Bugg is bigger than most yellow labrador retrievers or an even the American white shepherd. Both in height, length and weight.. 

For the last three years I have called Bugg, my never ending doggie.  He just never seemed to stop growing.  At three years old I am sure he is done growing and he did turn out to be a big boy.

Bugg has an American white shepherd backside, for the most part. The hind legs resemble an American white shepherd, as does his the fur on his hind legs. His tail is big and strong as a yellow labrador and yet fuller, as a American white shepherd's tail would be.

                     See Me Coming!

Or Heads
Other than a longer muzzle, Bugg looks like any yellow labrador retriever walking towards you. Bugg is built with a strong frame, as a yellow labrador retriever and yet, he has a narrow, sleek like body of a American white shepherd, as you look down his backside.

Bugg has the webbed feet of a yellow labrador retriever and he just loves to play in the water. The yellow labrador retriever was breed with webbed paws/strudy built, to help the fisherman, so the dog was better able to swim out and grab the nets full of fish.

                       Shepherd Behind
Take Care of Those Hips

Oh Yes, Bugg has the typical American white shepherd backside. This means, we must do what we can to lessen the load on those hips.

As with the German shepherds, an American white shepherd, will more than likely be hit with hip issues later on in life.  Our mixed breed dog that we had named 'Boo' that also had an American white shepherd mother, had a awful time with arthritis when he was around 12 years old. 

Yes Bugg is only 3 years old but, you must think ahead and take your dog's health into consideration for the long run.

I will keep Bugg at a healthy weight, this is key for lessening the pain that 'might' come later. 

Yellow labrador retrievers are notorious for over eating, that is, if you allow it. Remember, when it comes to 'labs', open mouth, 'just' insert!  Keeping your dog at a healthy weight, will put less pressure on his hips and lessen any joint pain as he gets older.   

Even though Bugg is showing no signs of his dad's side (Yellow Labrador Retriever) as far as, over eating.  It could change in time, so I will keep a eye on this.

Prevention is key to helping your dog live a full, healthy and fun life, to the end.

                             Do All You Can

My Husband built this ramp some years back when our dogs named Max and Boo were still with us.  Max had been a diabetic (insulin using) since he was 5 years old and when he turned 11 years old, he went blind.  It also helped his Dad Boo, since Boo was then 12 years old and suffering from arthritis in his hips.  

After Boo passed away in 2009 and Max in 2010 we had decided to keep it up for Bugg, in the hopes that it might help Bugg with any hip problems he might have to deal with later on in life.  I don't know if it will help Bugg but, I do not see where it will hurt him.


With both a yellow labrador retriever and a American white shepherd, shedding is a 'huge' problem! I brush Bugg's coat at least 3 times a week and I never seem to get it all.

We wash Bugg only once every few months but, a lot of water time play and with me wiping his face and body off after he comes inside from playing outdoors, as he also suffers from pollen allergies.  

Also, with us brushing his coat out as much as we do, this helps in bringing out the natural oils of Bugg's coat and helping his skin.  Also, it gets rid of any dander (and what ever Bugg has rolled in while playing outside) keeping him clean and using less soap that can irritate his skin.  

A dog that has bad skin, will shed more often than most, so keep good care of their skin and this will help you combat the shedding problem, you 'will' have with a bread that sheds.

                             Those Ears

Keep those ears clean
Yes Bugg was blessed with the (cute as they come) floppy ears of a yellow labrador retriever but, they are also one thing you must maintain. 

At least once a day, I take two damp paper towels and wash out his ears. 

I make sure I do it later in the afternoon, after he has been playing outside and lord only knows what he has been into and what is hiding in those ears.

Be mindful of knots in their hair, just around their ears.  Their hair seems to get matted around this area very easily. 

When brushing lift those ears right up and brush the hair that surrounds their ears. Make sure you brush them once a day, this will stop the knots from forming.

We use a ear wash once a week we obtained from our veterinarian.  It is easy to use, just pour it in their ears and rub their ears around to distribute the solution. This will help bring up anything that has made it deep down inside their ear canal. 

The next morning, I will wash his ears out with paper towels.  If you have more than one dog, do not allow the other dog to lick around the other dog's ears (until you paper towel them), it might cause them to have a stomach ache.  

                              Ice, Ice, Baby

Ever since Bugg was a puppy, I would give Bugg 'ice' and not water. I noticed it helped a lot with his teething and it also can help your dog from becoming bloated. 

I will not allow Bugg to play hard one hour before he eats and one hour after he eats. This too can help your dog from becoming bloated. 

I am not going to say these few measures will stop your dog from bloating but, it 'might' help them from doing so. 

I also keep in consideration the amount of food I feed him at one time.  Very important!

                                 Big Boy

Bugg's personality is more on the yellow labrador retriever side of things, he is a gentle and fun loving guy.  This is why people state they do not make good watch dogs.  I tend to agree but... 

This is where Bugg's American white shepherd part of his personality comes in, Bugg is territorial, as most shepherds are.  

Bugg is 'on guard' when he is on the front porch or in the back yard.  Heck let a car drive by when he is inside or heaven forbid someone pulls up in the driveway, then he really struts his stuff, big bad Bugg. 

I find, having a dog that 'looks like' they will tear you apart, will deter most criminals.  If that line of protection does not work, then I have Bugg's back but, at least he warned me in time to be prepared. 

Though the Lab in him might want to go up and lick their faces and play.  I have found throughout the years that, if you treat any dog with love and respect, they will just naturally protect you, when needed.

                            Train Them!

For different reasons, depending on which breed is poking its head out, you must gain control of this big and strong dog. 

Train your dog from the get go, from the fun loving (at times could get them in trouble) yellow labrador retriever side, to the working mindset of an American white shepherd side, you must have control of this animal. 

Bugg was housebroken and was able to sit, within 3 days of us having him. It was tiring, it was a 24/7 job but, after a little time and effort and within a month, I had a darn good start on training him... 

At this point Bugg was able to sit, stay, go down on command, leave it and walk backwards when told. 

Bugg is a big guy and you must never forget, they are animals, you must train them!

                             Include the Kids

Not only should you put yourself as the alpha in your pack, you must make sure you make all humans in your family higher in the pack order over your dog/dogs. 

This includes the kids! 

Our grandson Tristan (2 1/2), already knows the command sit, leave it and come and he uses it on Bugg (also Tee) and yes, Bugg (and Tee) listens to Tristan. You must make your child the leader, especially in the dogs eyes. 

I must say though, these two just love each other and I know that Bugg would never hurt him but, why take the chance.  Your child should have the control over your dog, just as much as you do.  

As with any leader of the pack, Tristan will walk out of any doorway first, then the dog. This will show your animal who is who in the pack order and yes, Bugg is below, even the children.

Tristan at his age knows the commands for the dogs, I 'now' wish the other members in the family would do the same.  You 'must' make everyone use the 'same' command words, why confuse them.


Yep, Bugg sure was pegged with the Yellow Labrador retriever genes when it comes to this one trait, mouthing. Even though Bugg is a big guy, he has the softest touch with his mouth. 

Like with most yellow labrador retrievers, Bugg can grab a pea from my grandson's hand and the only evidence he would leave is a bit of slobber.

Now, I said Bugg could grab a pea from Tristan but, unless Bugg is being given the treat by Tristan, he has been taught to keep his distance, if he gets too close, Tristan will say "Leave it.". 

We have decided we have to 'somewhat' live with Bugg's (Yellow labrador retriever side) kisses, he just loves to give them.  If we allow Bugg to give us kisses every now and then (few times a day, at least) this  has helped to curve his 'mouthing', especially as he has gotten older.  

I mean come on, look at that face, I just can not say no, all the time.  Having been a mother to two teenagers, I know you must pick and choose your battles, he wins on this one.

                             We All love Bugg!

I have never owned a full blooded dog and I am fine with that, actually I like the spice the mixed breed adds to my life. Yes, I feel Bugg has the best of both worlds and we are all better for it. Just ask Bugg's little brother Sweet 'Tee' and I am sure Sweet 'Tee' would agree, Bugg is the best!

Yes dogs 'do' have Allergies, sadly! 

It's a Bugg's World & Bugg Wants turkey Dog food

Dog Bloating:  It 'could' Be Deadly

All photographs are the property of Denise O.  Do not use unless you get 'my' written permission. All written material is owned by Denise O, it will not be 'used' (sharing my article is different, it is acceptable and appreciated) without 'my' written permission.  Just keeping it real folks.:)

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