Even though this is my 4th GSD, there are things I'm doing differently because of what I've learned on this site;
1. Food & nutrition - I had no idea how poor the quality of some dog food had become over the years. No more food like Pedigree, Alpo or Purina! Now, I have places like petfoodadvisor to consult thanks to a referral from this site.
2. I learned how to read "Poop"
, it tells you if you are feeding correctly and if there's something going on that needs to be looked at by a vet.
3. Training - such a help! I would have made so many mistakes had I not learned the basics here about how to "flow" with the pups individual learning ability, how to get that focus and understanding necessary to have a dog actually obey every time regardless if it's in your home or out on a busy street. This pup came out of the chute stubborn and I really needed the help.
4. Health - I know now how many health problems continue to plague the breed and how fortunate I have been with mine. Every one lived to be over 13 and I pray that my new girl will have a long happy healthy life too.
Also, that HD is not a rapidly progressive death sentence and what to do to protect developing joints. I took it so slow with this pup's first year on exercise that could specifically stress joints (jumping & sharp cut turns).
I also learned how much peace of mind having pet insurance brings. Vets are crazy expensive these days! Before, there was always the possibility my dog could get an injury or long term illness that I simply couldn't pay for.
5. And the most important! - It is absolutely wonderful to be able to learn and share experiences here - so many good people who encourage and support in the rough times. Without a doubt, many thousands of dogs lives have been saved here and a few people too!