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The American Alsatian Dog Breed Guide

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Breed Introduction

The American Alsatian is a unique dog breed because it looks like a combination of a wolf, a German Shepherd, and a Husky. Although the American Alsatian is a relatively large dog, don’t let its size fool you. These gigantic snow dogs love affection and attention, and it is more common to see them as house and family pets rather than hunters. These puppies underwent generations of breeding to act as companion dogs.

Dog breeders used a variety of dog breeds to create an ultimate companion dog with minimal health conditions. The American Alsatian’s mixture is unique, and breeders carefully select breeds to give the dog breed a wolf look without the aggression. Interestingly, there’s not a drop of wolf DNA in any American Alsatian puppy. A few common dog breeds in an American Alsatian mix are the English Mastiff, the Great Pyrenees, the Siberian Husky, and the Irish Wolfhound.

Your American Alsatian is also built for the cold. They have long, fluffy coats that repel snow, hail and ice. Their coats range in color, and it’s rare to see an American Alsatian dog with only one coat color. Typically, they are bi-color or tri-color that range in brown, white, black, and golden. Since they have a thick, dense coat, American Alsatian puppies require a lot of special care and grooming. Pet owners should groom their American Alsatian puppy at least once a week. The American Alsatian dog also sheds frequently. During the year, this dog sheds nearly their entire coat after Winter. It is messy and non-hypoallergenic.

American Alsatian puppies look similar to a dire wolf, which is now extinct. American Alsatian puppies are eye-catching because of their majestic look. Since they look like a wolf, pet owners can’t help but grow their American Alsatian puppies’ coats long and fluffy, grooming them to look like the Dire Wolf. Despite their wolf-like appearance, they are companion dogs who love to be social. While your American Alsatian may have ancestry from hunting and herding dogs, they now lack that trait. American Alsatian puppies instead are lovers who want attention from their owners. Since they are lovable pets, American Alsatian puppies also like to be around other dogs. Don’t let it frighten you if you are nervous about adopting another pet for your American Alsatian puppy. When pet owners socialize their Alsatian puppies, it gives them the ability to be around other dogs.

While this is the case, they are also high-energy dogs that need a lot of space to run and play. American Alsatian puppies suit large families with a bigger home and lots of time. They can become destructive out of boredom and need at least three walks a day for about 60 minutes. Your American Alsatian puppy needs more than walks. To entertain them, you need to encourage them to play. It does not take long to encourage these puppies to play as they are hyper and love to run and fetch. Not only do American Alsatian puppies play with their owners, but other animals, too. Surprisingly, these wolf-looking dogs are gentle.

While some people may think that their American Alsatian puppy is a mix between two dogs, experts consider this breed pure. These dogs have muscles and large bodies to accompany their build, and they also have black noses and have an excellent sense of smell. Unlike other dogs, the American Alsatian has triangular ears that stick up with protruding puffs of hair. They have a lifespan of 9–13 years.

The American Alsatian puppy grows between 25-32 inches tall; however, there is a slight difference between male and female American Alsatian puppies. Female American Alsatian puppies weigh on average 85 lbs while their male counterparts weigh 90 lbs. These dogs are also relatively healthy and happy. Although this is the case, they can develop health conditions and need preventative care.

One of the unique traits in the American Alsatian is their calm nature. These big, gentle dogs are loving and wonderful around children. While they need large spaces to run and burn energy, they have a calm and quiet temperament. It is uncommon to hear them bark or whine, and instead, they quietly follow their loved ones looking for affection.

detailed shot of American Alsatian

The History of the Dog Breed

There is not a lot that experts know about the American Alsatian, other than it’s a recent dog with an origin in California. American Alsatian puppies go through two to three generations of breeding to create what they are now. In California, pet enthusiasts used German Shepherds, English Mastiffs, and Great Pyrenees dogs to mimic the look of a Dire Wolf. These dog breeds have a large and vital part of the American Alsatian.

This dog breed has the sharp features of the German Shepherd dog, including its thick fur and long legs. Club members use the Great Mastiff dog breed for its short muzzle and tails. Alsatian puppies acquire their fuzzy and wiry fur from their Irish Wolfhound DNA. The Great Pyrenees dog has a stocky and long body that Alsatian puppies inherit.

The Dire Wolf is an extinct animal that dates back to prehistoric times. There is not a lot known about Dire Wolves either. Since no humans saw this wolf breed alive, there is no basis for the look. However, the founder of the Dire Wolf Project, Lois Schwarz, used the bones of a Dire Wolf and predictions to select dogs to breed to create the American Alsatian. Even with their mix, though, club members consider these dogs purebred. While they used the three dog breeds above for breeding the American Alsatian Breed, there may be others.

Funny enough, your American Alsatian puppy would not be here today if the Dire Wolf project did not exist. Your American Alsatian puppy is not a mixed breed dog because it has been about five generations since they were last mixed. The project was so successful that nearly all American Alsatian puppies share similar features and temperaments. They also have a lack of health problems because dog breeders carefully select the parents of each Alsatian puppy.

There is a bit of controversy surrounding this dog breed. Alsatian dogs are friendly, live long lives, and are generally happy. While this is the case, pet owners have brought their large fluffy dogs to hot and sunny locations. As friendly and flexible as the Alsatian breed is, they require a colder environment.

Some people also criticize the history of American Alsatian puppies. They are technically not natural and took years of breeding to get to where they are now. Although these dogs are popular because of their looks, they also spark fear in people because of their enormous size. Critics wonder if introducing this dog was necessary since there are many other gentle giants.

Breed Intelligence

If you are looking for an intelligent and highly easy-to-train large dog, then an American Alsatian puppy is excellent for you. Since they are a mix between breeds that pet owners would train to herd dogs and work with livestock, they remember commands reasonably well.

Their docile nature also makes it easy to socialize with other animals. You don’t need to worry about your American Alsatian puppy bothering your other animals. Instead, they will probably become friends quickly with pets like other dogs, cats, and birds. It is not uncommon to have more than one American Alsatian dog in a household.

Since Alsatian puppies are companion dogs, they want to make their owners happy and proud. American Alsatian dogs have the temperament and many traits from their ancestors, including German Shepherds and the Great Pyrenees dog. Both of these dogs have a long history of owners training them efficiently.

Experts recommend using positive rewards training for these dogs. It’s also a lot easier to train Alsatian dogs and puppies outside. Although it is not impossible to train an older Alsatian dog, it does increasingly get difficult.

You can train your dog to follow your commands by giving them rewards when they make progress. Pet owners should only give praise and treats when the command is complete with reward-based training. If pet owners give their Alsatian puppies treats and praise beforehand, it can confuse the dogs.

Psychological Health Conditions

While the American Alsatian dog is a healthy dog, it can still develop psychological health conditions. The breed has a unique mix of various dogs that have their own risks of developing health conditions. Psychological health conditions affect an American Alsatian puppy’s spirits, but also their physical health. It’s important for pet owners to notice the signs and make the appropriate changes.

happy American Alsatian laying on ground

Cognitive Health

Alsatian puppies need mental stimulation in order to strengthen their cognitive health. Your American Alsatian has a high risk of developing conditions like Canine Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome and Epilepsy. There are ways to prevent and manage these conditions, however.

Canine Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome

What is Canine Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome (CCD)? Canine Cognitive Dysfunction is a cognitive condition where American Alsatian puppies lose their memory and develop confusion. CCD is a normal part of aging for dogs but can be scary to watch. This condition develops as your American Alsatian puppy ages. However, it is more common in Alsatian puppies over seven years old to develop CCD.

Although American Alsatian puppies can inherit CCD from their parents, any dog breed can develop this cognitive condition. There is only one cause of CCD in dogs. As your dog ages, its brain cells die. While it’s normal for your dog’s brain cells to die, they do not get replaced naturally.

There is no cure for CCD; you should still look for the signs, though. If you notice that your Alsatian puppy is experiencing confusion or is actively whining and getting lost in their home, it could be CCD. Alsatian puppies can also suffer from anxiety and depression when experiencing this cognitive condition, and it is strikingly similar to dementia.

It is not always necessary to professionally diagnose your Alsatian with CCD. Since there is no cure, veterinarians can only help you treat and monitor your dog’s symptoms. Your American Alsatian’s vet will ask questions and review your dog’s symptoms. There are no additional tests required, as CCD is a normal part of aging. It’s hard to watch your dog suffer and decline, but there are things you can do to improve the quality of life for your dog.

You can manage your dog’s symptoms and slow down the progression through mental stimulation. Pet owners can mentally stimulate their Alsatian puppies by providing mazes and elaborate toys. You should also keep your American Alsatian on a schedule. This way, they do not suffer from confusion and can remember information better. It also helps to keep your dog’s items in the same places. Overall, provide your American Alsatian with love and support!

Epilepsy

What is Epilepsy? Epilepsy is a neurological abnormality where the brain misfires and the body reacts by convulsing and with involuntary muscle movements. American Alsatian puppies inherit this condition as they have a predisposition to epilepsy. Many dog breeds are at risk for seizures. Since many large dog breeds underwent breeding to create Alsatian puppies, they are also at risk for seizures.

The cause of seizures and epilepsy depends and varies from dog to dog. Although your American Alsatian can develop seizures, it is still a rare condition. The few times dog owners have noted seizures in their dogs, they tell the project managers who jot it down and monitor other American Alsatian puppies.

For veterinarians to diagnose Alsatian puppies with Epilepsy, seizures need to occur more than once. While one seizure is concerning, it does not mean it is a chronic condition like epilepsy. Some underlying conditions that can cause epilepsy are immune system disorders, heat stroke, stress, and tumors.

Since there are so many causes, it takes veterinarians months to review and complete a diagnosis for Alsatian puppies suffering from seizures. Veterinarians need to test your dog and read their brain activity. You cannot treat seizures at home. While you can manage the symptoms, you should listen to your vet’s recommendations.

To provide comfort to your America Alsatian puppy, you can provide cushions throughout your home. This way, when your Alsatian has a seizure, they do not hurt their head. You can also provide your Alsatian puppy with supplements like coconut oil. An active ingredient in coconut oil is ketones, which can decrease the chances of seizures. Don’t worry though, most American Alsatian puppies with epilepsy live long lives with treatment and management techniques.

Stress

Everyone feels stress, this includes American Alsatian puppies. These delightful dogs can develop stress because of common stressors. There are ways to naturally relieve stress in your American Alsatian dog and manage the symptoms, though. Your American Alsatian puppy should not suffer from stressful feelings alone.

American Alsatian dog in front of grey background

Common Stressors

What are everyday stressors for American Alsatian puppies? The most common stressors for Alsatian dogs are people, loud noises, and being alone. Stress is a natural feeling that is normal and allows animals to make split and quick decisions to keep themselves safe. Everyone feels stress as a survival instinct; this includes humans. However, when your American Alsatian puppy feels too stressed, it can harm their psychological and physical health.

One of the leading causes of stress in American Alsatian puppies is people. When pet owners adopt American Alsatian puppies, each one has had its own unique experiences. Sadly, some Alsatian puppies come from hardships and associate people like children, men, or other animals as a trigger. Another common stressor is loud noises, which experts also refer to as noise phobia. Your American Alsatian does not understand where the loud noises are coming from or if they are safe. So they may react negatively to fireworks, loud music, and banging.

Sometimes, your dog may react to being alone negatively. Alsatian puppies are companions; they want to be by their owner’s side. If they can’t, they can feel overwhelmed and lash out. You can tell if your American Alsatian puppy reacts negatively to stress if they throw up without reason, cause destruction, cry out and frequently whine. There is no need to worry, though; there are many stress-relieving techniques you can use for your American Alsatian dog, so they live a long, happy, and healthy life.

Natural Stress Relief and Management

A few natural stress-relieving techniques you can use on your American Alsatian puppy are essential oils, playtime, and classical music. Lavender essential oils are calming and safe for inhaling. However, a few drops go a long way. It can also become toxic if your Alsatian puppy consumes it. Add a few drops to your Alsatian puppy’s toys or blanket; they will relax.

Pet owners can also encourage playtime for their American Alsatian puppies. Exercise releases endorphins and serotonin, which increases your dog’s mood. Encouraging exercise is an excellent strategy to decrease your dog’s stress levels. When dogs feel stress, the cortisol hormone (also known as the stress hormone) increases. Experts also recommend playing calming classical music for your dog when reacting to a stressor. Researchers link classical music to stress relief in dogs.

However, the only way to completely treat or get rid of your dog’s stress is to take away the stressor permanently. This is not always possible, though. You can also try to desensitize your dog to its stressor. Do this by taking baby steps. For instance, if your dog is afraid of loud noises, you can sit by them and comfort them when they hear loud noises. Start with a few loud bangs and try not to react. Once American Alsatian puppies see their owners not reacting, it helps them relax and understand that they are safe from their stressors.

Anxiety

American Alsatian puppies can develop anxiety disorders because of constant stressors. Although it is rare to see an Alsatian puppy with health conditions, they are companions that require being around their owners. These loyal dogs want to be by your side, and without proper preventative techniques, they can develop social anxiety and separation anxiety disorder.

Social Anxiety Disorder

What is Social Anxiety? Social Anxiety is a psychological condition where your dog fears social situations. While there is nothing wrong with feeling fear, if the fear takes over your Alsatian puppy’s life, then it can be detrimental. American Alsatian puppies can inherit this condition from their ancestors. Since the Great Pyrenees and the German Shepherd can develop social anxiety, the risk also transfers to their American Alsatian puppy.

Social anxiety is a mental health condition that has many causes. A few of the leading causes of social anxiety in American Alsatian puppies are stressors, experiences and misunderstandings. Your dog may suffer from social anxiety if they react to social situations poorly. Although it is normal for your dog to react nervously once or twice, it should not be constant. A few of the most common symptoms and signs that your dog has social anxiety are pacing, vomiting, aggression towards strangers and barking.

It is not always necessary to diagnose a dog with social anxiety through a vet. Your dog’s life expectancy does not change because of this condition, but their quality of life can decrease. When your dog fears being social, it may be hard to leave them alone or take them with you to other locations, which decreases the number of experiences your Alsatian puppy can have.

You can treat Social Anxiety Disorder at home with a few techniques. For instance, you can train your American Alsatian dog not to react to social situations. You can do this by taking your dog on frequent walks to get used to being outside with other animals and people.

American Alsatian at the park

Separation Anxiety Disorder

What is Separation Anxiety Disorder? Separation Anxiety Disorder is a psychological condition where your American Alsatian puppy has anxiety attacks when someone separates them from their owners or loved ones. It is never easy to watch as your dog suffers and panics while being alone. However, not all of us can take our dogs to work or run errands.

Dogs that suffer from separation anxiety disorder destroy entry and exit points, vomit, diarrhea and bark loudly. Your dog’s condition can worsen if pet owners don’t reduce their anxiety. There are complications like stomach ulcers, digestive problems, headaches and dehydration.

Your American Alsatian puppy’s vet can diagnose your dog with Separation Anxiety Disorder based on their medical history and a physical examination. However, you do not always need a vet to make an assumption and treat your dog’s condition. To treat Separation Anxiety Disorder, focus on training your Alsatian puppy to understand that being alone is okay. When you leave your home, don’t pay attention to your dog. Repeat this when you come home, and over time, your American Alsatian puppy will associate you leaving as something normal.

Physical Health Conditions

Your American Alsatian puppies’ physical health is just as important as their psychological health. There are a lot more components in your dog’s physical health you should consider when treating and caring for your Alsatian puppy. The brain, however, connects to the rest of your body. Psychological health conditions can cause physical health conditions.

Allergies

It is not uncommon to see a dog suffering from allergies. American Alsatian puppies can develop skin and food allergies through their DNA. For instance, the Great Pyrenees has long thick fur that causes allergic reactions to the skin. German Shepherds also have consistent food allergies. While this is true, not all American Alsatian puppies will have allergies. You can prevent, treat and manage allergies in your dog at home.

Skin Allergies

What are skin allergies? Skin allergies are allergic reactions to a contact allergen that results in a skin reaction. Each dog has their response, however. American Alsatian dogs have thick and medium coats that hang low. Their coats offer protection, but can also store and harbor allergens if not appropriately groomed.

The leading causes of skin allergies in American Alsatian puppies are genetics and environmental exposure. Some dog breeds are predisposed to skin allergies and can pass it to their offspring. This is the case for Alsatian puppies since they have a unique mixture of many large dog breeds. There is, however, an environmental aspect to skin allergies. The risk worsens if you expose your Alsatian puppy to skin allergens at a young age. The most common skin allergens that cause allergic reactions are fleas, pollen, dust and mites.

While each dog reacts differently to skin allergens, the most common symptoms are sneezing, red skin, bumps, scratches and dandruff. If your American Alsatian puppy keeps scratching and biting at their skin, they can develop infections from leaving open wounds on their bodies. American Alsatian puppies have relatively clean and dense fur, but allergens can quickly become tangled in their coats, causing allergic reactions.

Your dog’s vet can diagnose them with skin allergies by asking you for their symptoms and what is causing them to react. There is not an accurate skin allergy test to take. Instead, vets can take a skin scraping sample to eliminate the possibility of skin infections. After you diagnose your American Alsatian puppy, you can treat their allergic reactions. Soothe the lesions on their skin by applying an oatmeal shampoo or lotion. Oats have an anti-inflammatory property that helps your dog’s skin recover.

To prevent further damage, infections, and scarring, you can also add Band-Aids to your Alsatians scratches and bumps. This way, American Alsatian puppies cannot scratch or lick the open wounds. It is not always possible to prevent skin allergies; however, you can reduce exposure by limiting your dog’s outside time. Thankfully, your American Alsatian’s life expectancy does not change because of skin allergies.

American Alsatian puppy on a leash

Food Allergies

What are food allergies? Food allergies are allergic reactions to a food-related allergen. American Alsatian puppies need a quality diet. Some owners report that their dogs have food allergies; however, they are a minority. The risk comes from genetics, although scientists are still trying to understand how food allergies develop.

Alsatian puppies’ most common food allergens are chicken, pork, beef, milk, and whole wheat flour. These foods are hard to digest for all dogs but cause unusual allergic reactions in American Alsatian puppies. Your Alsatian puppy may have an allergic reaction if they suffer from stomachaches, weight loss, vomiting and develop Acid Reflux.

Since the symptoms of food allergies are like other gut health conditions, it takes vets months to diagnose dogs with food allergies. No test can tell you if your American Alsatian puppy has food allergies. Instead, write the food ingredients and treats your dog eats and their reactions to them.

Thankfully, there are ways pet owners can manage the symptoms of food allergies in their American Alsatian puppies. If your Alsatian puppy throws up as a reaction, it may lose important bacteria that help your dog’s stomach digest food. You can give your dog probiotic supplements that aid in digesting foods and protecting the stomach lining. To manage your dog’s condition, avoid the food they are allergic to and cook fresh meals at home.

Gut Health

The American Alsatian dog breed has a large build and a tough stomach. Although this dog breed has minimal physical health problems, there are two severe gut health conditions your dog can inherit from the parents. The two most common gut health conditions in American Alsatian puppies are bloat and stomach ulcers.

Bloat

What is Bloat? Bloat is a gut health condition where the stomach twists suddenly and abnormally. This is a problematic health condition because blood pours inside of your dog, causing severe health issues. American Alsatian puppies inherit this condition from their parents, and it is a common gut health condition in large dogs.

The animal medical community often debates the cause of bloat. Some experts theorize it occurs when a dog eats too quickly and swallows air. Others believe it is genetic and dogs are born with the condition. However, not all American Alsatian puppies will develop bloat.

Bloat occurs in stages. During the first stage, your dog may experience confusion and dehydration. It is not uncommon to see an American Alsatian puppy whining in pain. Since the condition occurs inside your dog’s body, there are no physical symptoms in the beginning. Your dog’s stomach may expand with air, though. However, as the gut condition progresses, they may have seizures, heart attacks, collapse, and vomit blood. With these severe symptoms, you need to take your American Alsatian to a veterinarian as soon as possible.

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Bloat is an emergency! There is no at-home treatment. Your American Alsatian’s vet will take an X-ray or CT scan to see the condition of your dog. Once they know the condition, your Alsatian puppy will need surgery to repair and untwist their stomach. If pet owners don’t catch this condition early, it is fatal. Approximately 30% of all dogs with bloat die.

Pet owners can’t prevent bloat in their American Alsatian puppies most of the time. While this is the case, a few things are worth trying. You can try to train your dog to slow down while eating. It is also beneficial to feed your American Alsatian puppy a diet high in fiber and low in fat, as it is easy to digest. Look for signs, especially early signs of bloat, and bring your dog to a medical professional as soon as you can.

Stomach Ulcers

What are stomach ulcers? Stomach ulcers are lesions that develop on your dog’s stomach and digestive lining. The lesions are red, may bleed, and are super painful. American Alsatian puppies develop this gut health condition because of underlying conditions. The leading cause of stomach ulcers in dogs is vomiting, which can happen because of an underlying condition. When your American Alsatian loses acid from throwing up, the protective coating does not work, meaning that the stomach is open for damage.

When your dog’s stomach lining is unprotected, bacteria and scarring from acid and other fluids can harm it, causing painful lesions. Stomach ulcers worsen if your dog keeps vomiting or eating harsh and hard-to-digest foods like fatty proteins. The most common underlying conditions that can cause stomach ulcers in American Alsatian puppies are acid reflux, bloat, anxiety disorders and stress.

Your American Alsatian may have stomach ulcers if they are vomiting blood, have bad breath, whine in pain, lose weight rapidly, or have a lack of appetite. It is difficult to diagnose stomach ulcers at home since the condition occurs inside your dog’s body and the symptoms are also similar to other gut health conditions. However, your dog’s vet can diagnose them with stomach ulcers through imaging tests like x-rays and CT scans, which show sores and lesions.

Sometimes, your American Alsatian’s vet will order an endoscopy to see a clearer image of your dog’s throat, esophagus and stomach. It is a painless exam where a tiny camera goes down your dog’s throat. Your dog’s vet will recommend medical treatment to treat stomach ulcers in American Alsatian puppies. As your dog takes the treatment, it is necessary to make dietary changes.

It takes time for your dog’s stomach to heal, which is why bland foods are necessary. You should avoid fatty and oily foods so your dog’s stomach ulcers can heal. Pet owners can also cook white rice, a clean carb for their American Alsatian puppies. Dogs still need to eat protein, though; it is best to serve your American Alsatian cooked chicken without fat or seasonings.

American Alsatian sitting on grass

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Eye Health

Your American Alsatian puppy’s eyes are an important sense to your dog. However, if you do not give your Alsatian puppy enough nutrients and mental stimulation, they can suffer from eye health problems. The most eye conditions are Pannus and Canine Cataracts.

Pannus

What is Pannus, and how does it affect American Alsatian puppies? Pannus, also known as Chronic Superficial Keratitis, is an immune system disorder and eye condition leading to blindness. American Alsatian puppies inherit this immune system and eye condition from their German Shepherd genetics. The risk is low because of dog breed mixing, but it is still possible.

Alsatian puppies with Pannus have a damaged cornea, an essential part of the eye. There are risks for this eye condition, including smoke and living in high altitudes as the pressure builds in your dog’s eye. It is essential to refrain from smoking cigarettes near American Alsatian puppies.

Your American Alsatian puppy may have Pannus if they display red eyes with inflammation or a red or pink mass. This mass, which develops directly on a dog’s eye, is not painful at first. Most American Alsatian puppies don’t feel symptoms, allowing pet owners to easily miss this condition. However, as Pannus worsens, the pink mass spreads throughout the eye, causing blindness and eye infections.

American Alsatian puppies may produce watery eyes and wipe at their eyes with their paws, spreading bacteria to their cornea. If the condition is worse enough, mucus-like pus runs out of the eye. There is only one way to diagnose this eye condition, which is through a vet. The vet will proceed with a physical exam. The pink or red mass is a clear indication of Pannus. However, since the condition may develop because of Cancer, your dog’s vet may order additional tests to rule out a tumor.

There is no cure for Pannus! However, you can manage this condition at home. Just because your American Alsatian puppy has damage to their eye does not mean they can’t live a long and happy life. If your dog does lose their eyesight, you can help them manage their new reality by providing them with a stable life. Providing a stable life means keeping areas clear in your home. If too much clutter, your American Alsatian puppy may bump into hard furniture and harm themselves.

Canine Cataracts

What are Canine Cataracts, and how do they affect American Alsatian puppies? Canine Cataracts is an eye condition where a cloudy blue film passes and engulfs the lens of your dog’s eye. The lens of your American Alsatian puppy allows light to pass through, which is how American Alsatian puppies see. Canine cataracts are harmless most of the time; they may look scary but are normal.

American Alsatian puppies inherit this condition from their parents. However, not all Alsatian puppies will develop cataracts if you use preventative techniques. Cataracts are also a sign of normal aging. All dog breeds are susceptible to the development of canine cataracts. While age is a primary concern for developing cataracts, it is not the only cause. American Alsatian puppies with diabetes can also develop cataracts; however, it occurs rapidly.

Canine cataracts start as a small blue or white dot on the eye, and some dogs can develop cataracts in both eyes simultaneously. If your American Alsatian puppy develops cataracts because of its age and genetics, it will slowly spread and take years to develop. However, if diabetes is the leading cause, canine cataracts can happen overnight and leave your Alsatian puppy blind.

As the condition of your dog’s eye worsens, bacteria can infect it. Not only can American Alsatian puppies lose their eyesight, but their eyes because of this condition. If you notice the grey or white cataract on your Alsatian puppy, you should take them to their vet. While it is not always painful or dangerous, your dog can still have an underlying condition like diabetes that your dog’s vet needs to monitor. Your dog’s vet may start with a blood exam to look at your dog’s sugar levels.

Your dog’s vet can perform a physical exam where they shine a light in your American Alsatian puppy’s eye and look for symptoms and progression. It is essential to understand that there is no cure for canine cataracts. Once your dog has this condition, it will only worsen and progress. You can, however, slow down the progression with medical attention. If severe, your dog’s vet may recommend surgery to replace cloudy cataracts with a clear film lens.

To manage canine cataracts and help your American Alsatian puppy transition, you need to manage their diabetes. You can do this by making alterations to their diet. You should lower your dog’s sugar intake to slow down the progression and treat the underlying cause. If your American Alsatian puppy loses their eyesight, stick to a schedule they can remember. Take your dog out at the same time every day; this can aid in their anxiety and confusion.

American Alsatian laying in grass field

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Immune Health

The immune system of an American Alsatian is an important part of their body. The immune system connects to the brain, bones, and digestive system. There is only one condition that your American Alsatian puppy can inherit, and that is Autoimmune Hemolytic Anemia (AIHA). You can naturally boost your dog’s immune system by making a few lifestyle and diet changes.

Autoimmune Hemolytic Anemia (AIHA)

What is Autoimmune Hemolytic Anemia (AIHA)? Autoimmune Hemolytic Anemia (AIHA) is an immune system health condition where your dog’s body attacks healthy red blood cells, causing anemia. Your dog’s body makes red blood cells in the bones, but they don’t live long before the body attacks them. American Alsatian puppies inherit this autoimmune disease from their Great Pyrenees genetics as it predisposed them to AIHA.

There are two common causes of AIHA, primary and secondary. Primary AIHA is the most common and occurs when the immune system is naturally not working well. Your American Alsatian puppy’s immune system may not work well if there is damage to the system or developmental problems. American Alsatian puppies develop secondary AIHA conditions because of poison, toxins, allergic reactions, stress, or cancer. You need to treat the underlying condition before AIHA goes away.

The symptoms of AIHA resemble a lot of other immune system conditions. The most common ones are fainting, exhaustion, pink and pale gums, sleeping a lot, loss of appetite and dark urine. To diagnose this condition in dogs, vets need to perform a complete blood count test. Your dog’s vet does this by taking a blood sample that shows the entire blood count. American Alsatian puppies with AIHA should have abnormal red blood cells in size, shape and numbers. Typically, American Alsatian puppies have less than 35% red blood cells than dogs without this condition.

There is no way to treat this condition at home without medical intervention. If you do not give your American Alsatian puppy medical treatment, AIHA can be fatal as the symptoms worsen. For instance, if your dog’s immune system is not working correctly, a simple illness or disease can lead to their death. Most dogs with AIHA need a blood transfusion or multiple ones throughout their lives.

You can manage the symptoms by preparing your American Alsatian dog fresh vegetables and raw foods to bring vitamins and iron they lack because of this immune system condition. A few powerful food sources are sardines and fresh greens. You can also provide your American Alsatian puppy with Vitamin C supplements, and these supplements help your American Alsatian puppy absorb iron and nutrients from the digestive system. AIHA can alter your dog’s life expectancy if they do not receive the proper medical treatment. However, your American Alsatian can live a long life with treatment and management.

Boosting your Dog’s Immune System

What are some ways to boost American Alsatian puppies’ immune systems? A dog’s immune system is an essential part of its body. Not only do immune systems help American Alsatian puppies fight off illnesses and diseases, but it is directly connected to the gut health system. If your American Alsatian does not have a strong or healthy immune system, it can affect other parts of their bodies.

One way to boost your American Alsatian puppy’s immune system is through exercise. Encouraging playtime with new toys and games can promote hormones from your dog’s glands to release. There are over 40 anti-inflammatory hormones in your dog’s body naturally that can aid in relieving pain and inflammation. It also aids in burning fat, which relieves pressure on American Alsatian puppies’ bodies.

There are also a few unique supplements to give your American Alsatian puppy. Probiotics not only boost your dog’s immune system but their digestive system, too. Probiotics are healthy and natural gut flora and bacteria that aid in fast digestion. Fish oil supplements also contain rich Omega-3 fatty acids that provide anti-inflammatory products to boost your dog’s immune system. You can also make some beneficial changes to your dog’s diet and lifestyle. For instance, feed your American Alsatian puppy less starch, as it is hard to digest properly that brings minimal energy.

Immune Health Options We Love

Ear Health

Your American Alsatian puppy’s ears are just as important as their eyes. The American Alsatian dog breed uses its eyes frequently. Ear infections can develop if you do not take care of their ears, especially because of the unique ear shape of your American Alsatian dog. These infections are painful and can lead to permanent eardrum damage.

American Alsatian in front of black background

Ear Infections

What are ear infections, and how do they affect American Alsatian puppies? American Alsatian puppies can develop three different ear infections: inner, middle, and outer ear infections. Your American Alsatian dog develops ear infections because of its ear shape. These dogs are indoor pets, and outdoor bacteria exposure can cause infections.

Inner ear infections develop near the eardrum and are extremely painful. They are the least common type of ear infections in American Alsatian puppies. Middle ear infections occur in the middle part of your dog’s ear and cause ringing. Usually, they go away without medical intervention. Outer ear infections affect your dog’s outer ear, including the narrow passage before your dog’s eardrum.

American Alsatian puppies have ears that stand up like bats and are more likely to develop an outer ear infection. This is because they allow bacteria and foreign objects easy access. Although it is the outer ear that gets mainly affected, Alsatian puppies can still develop inner ear infections if water or foreign objects with bacteria get accidentally trapped in the ear. The thing about dog ears is that they are a perfect hotspot for bacteria. This is especially true about American Alsatian puppies, as they have long and dense fur around their ears.

Your American Alsatian may suffer from an ear infection if their ears are red, swollen, and they shake their head for pain relief. As the infection worsens, it can spread to your dog’s bloodstream and other parts of their ears. If your American Alsatian puppy’s ear canal swells, then liquid pus can leak out. Ear infections are very dangerous if the bacteria reach your dog’s ear canal. American Alsatian puppies can develop permanent hearing loss from ear infections that damage your dog’s eardrum.

It is not always necessary to diagnose your dog with an ear infection. However, all ear infections develop because of different bacteria. To treat your dog’s ear infection properly, you need to determine what is affecting their ears. It could be yeast, fungi, or bacteria. Your dog’s vet may scrape a piece of their ear to see what bacteria are affecting your dog’s ear. If your dog has something blocking its ears or hearing, your dog’s vet can take it out with ease.

How to Properly Clean American Alsatian Puppies Ears

How do you clean an American Alsatian puppy’s ears? American Alsatian puppies have long, bat-like ears that rarely need deep cleaning. The hygiene of American Alsatian puppies is unique because they only require one bath a year to keep their coats clean and odor-free. This, however, changes the more your American Alsatian puppy plays outside as their coats absorb dirt, dust and other allergens.

You can start with a mild soap or ear cleaning solution to clean their ears properly. It is unnecessary to use a scrub for an American Alsatian’s ear. The scrub can harm their ears because it is harsh on their skin. A dog’s ears are sensitive, and any scratches can introduce bacteria. Instead, use warm water, mild soap, and your hand to effectively rub the soap and water in your dog’s ear. Rinse again with warm water, being careful enough, so the water does not go down your dog’s ear.

However, it is more important to dry your American Alsatian puppy’s ears well. Since any water in your dog’s ear can introduce bacteria and breed it, you need to dry all the water. However, refrain from placing any sharp or thin objects in your dog’s inner ear. American Alsatian puppies have narrow ear canals that can sustain damage. American Alsatian puppies may have severe and permanent damage if your dog’s ear canal or eardrum gets injured.

You should also choose a drying source that won’t leave pieces of fur or fabric behind. For instance, you can use a microfiber towel. Cotton can harm your Alsatians’ ear, causing infections. Every time American Alsatian puppies finish swimming, dry their ears too. It is uncommon for American Alsatian puppies to die because of an ear infection, but it may affect the quality of their life.

Ear Cleaning Solutions We Love

  1. VetWELL Ear Cleaner for Dogs and Cats - Otic Rinse for Infections and Controlling Ear Infections and Odor in Pets - 8 oz (Cucumber Melon)
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    09/25/2022 05:58 am GMT
  3. Virbac Epi-Otic Advanced Ear Cleanser for Dogs & Cats, 8 oz
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    09/25/2022 08:43 am GMT
  5. Nutri-Vet Ear Cleanse for Dogs | Cleans & Deodorizes | 8 Ounces
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    09/25/2022 03:23 am GMT

Joint Health

The American Alsatian puppy has a variety of dog breeds within them. Interestingly, this only increases their chances of developing a joint health condition. All the dog breeds used to create American Alsatian puppies have a predisposition to joint health problems. The two most frequently seen joint health conditions are hip and elbow dysplasia.

American Alsatian in the woods

Hip Dysplasia

What is hip dysplasia, and how does it affect American Alsatian puppies? Hip Dysplasia is a joint condition where the hip joint does not develop properly. Dogs with hip dysplasia often have a hip ball or socket abnormally sized. American Alsatian puppies inherit hip dysplasia from their German Shepherd, Siberian Husky, and English Mastiff genetics. Hip dysplasia is common in large dog breeds with long legs, and most of the time, American Alsatian puppies are born with this developmental.

The biggest problem that American Alsatian puppies face with hip dysplasia is that the size difference between the ball and socket causes the hip bones to dislodge. The bones and joint parts rub against each other when it occurs, wearing down the cartilage near the bones. This condition does not start painfully but develops to where American Alsatian puppies can no longer walk.

The condition is entirely hereditary. Mostly older Alsatian dogs get diagnosed with it, but American Alsatian puppies can also be born with this condition. Your American Alsatian puppy may experience severe pain while moving and walking. Since the symptoms are like other joint conditions, a diagnosis by a vet professional is necessary.

Your dog’s vet will need to take scans with an X-ray to assess the damage and size difference of the hip joint parts. The only way to treat this condition is surgery, and not all American Alsatian puppies qualify for surgery. Most of the time, pet owners manage the symptoms of their furry friends.

Pet owners can manage the symptoms of hip dysplasia in their American Alsatian puppies by giving them supplements to build cartilage. The great thing about supplements is that they come in many forms. If your dog struggles to take the gel pill form, you can mix a powder supplement into their food. To provide relief to your dog’s painful joints, you can provide them with an orthopedic bed and a small step stool to climb up slowly. American Alsatian puppies should not jump on high surfaces, as the impact can further damage their hip joints and bones.

For temporary relief, you can also massage your dog’s hips with warm water bottles. Since American Alsatian puppies still need exercise, they need to take part in an activity, but they can hurt themselves with additional pressure on their joints. You can encourage active playtime in a pool so that your American Alsatian floats and lessens the pressure on their hips.

Elbow Dysplasia

What is elbow dysplasia, and how does it affect American Alsatian puppies? Elbow Dysplasia is a joint health condition, similar to hip dysplasia, where a dog’s elbow joints don’t develop properly. The condition causes the elbow not to fit together and causes slips. It is a common condition that American Alsatian puppies inherit and have a predisposition to because of their unique genetics.

Other dog breeds can develop elbow dysplasia because of trauma. Small dogs with short legs can harm their elbow joints by falling, jumping and slipping. Some complications can arise with American Alsatian puppies with elbow dysplasia. For instance, they can develop cracks in their bones and arthritis. Sometimes, American Alsatian puppies develop elbow dysplasia because of untreated arthritis.

Your American Alsatian may experience symptoms like pain in elbows, bone-cracking, fear of jumping or running and shaking. The risk of this condition increases in American Alsatian puppies that are obese. The extra weight that some American Alsatian puppies have can put pressure on their legs, hips, and elbows. This extra pressure makes it hard for American Alsatian puppies to run and exercise, and it becomes painful and continues to aid in the elbow joints grinding against each other.

It is impossible to diagnose this condition in your dog without medical intervention. Your dog’s vet will need to take an X-Ray of their elbow to look at the damage and progression of the joint condition. Elbow dysplasia is an uncomfortable joint condition that can wear down the joints, cartilage and bones. Some veterinarians have seen American Alsatian puppies with tears in their muscles because of this joint condition.

The only way to treat elbow dysplasia, like hip dysplasia, is through surgery. However, since older American Alsatian dogs have this condition, they don’t always qualify for the surgery, as it comes with risks. Although there are not many treatment options or cures for Elbow Dysplasia in American Alsatian puppies, you can still relieve your dog’s pain by providing them with supplements. Experts recommend giving your dog an anti-inflammatory supplement, and one of the most common ones is fish oil.

Joint Health Options We Love

  1. VetIQ Hip & Joint Supplement for Dogs, Chicken Flavored Soft Chews, 180 Count
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    09/25/2022 12:15 am GMT
  3. PetNC Natural Care Hip and Joint Soft Chews for Dogs, 90 Count
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    09/25/2022 08:38 am GMT

Skin and Coat Health

Your dog’s skin and coat need preventative care and frequent grooming. Your dog’s coat is long and luxurious. If you do not dry it correctly, it can result in Acute Dermatitis. Although heavy shedding is not a skin condition, it is a frequent phenomenon.

American Alsatian wearing blue bandana

Acute Dermatitis

What is Acute Dermatitis, and how does it affect American Alsatian puppies? Acute dermatitis is a skin condition and reaction to skin allergens, and the condition is chronic and rarely goes away on its own. American Alsatian puppies have delicate skin, which their fur protects. Since they are indoor dogs, if pet owners expose them to the outdoors, they can develop infections, allergies, and Acute Dermatitis.

American Alsatian puppies inherit this condition from their parents since they have a predisposition.
Acute Dermatitis works by irritating your dog’s skin and causing inflammation. It is common to see American Alsatian puppies itching, biting, and licking at ‘hot spots.’ These ‘hot spots’ harbor bacteria and cause nasty infections hard to treat and prevent. If you notice that your dog has red bumps, flaky white and pink skin, and sores on its coat, it could be Acute Dermatitis.

This skin disease is not contagious! You don’t have to worry about your dog spreading it or contracting from another animal. As uncomfortable and itchy as the skin disease it, it also does not affect your American Alsatian’s life expectancy.

To diagnose this condition, you should take your dog to the vet. While it is not fatal, it is painful and can cause complications if the skin disease worsens. Your dog’s vet will perform a physical exam and order additional tests based on the symptoms. The most common test that vets use to determine if American Alsatian puppies have skin diseases like acute dermatitis is intradermal skin testing. During this test, your dog’s vet injects an allergen into the skin. If your dog’s skin reacts by raising into a small red welt, then that is their allergen. The test, however, is not entirely accurate.

To treat ‘hot spots’ at home, you can do a few things, including running a hot bath and providing your dog with a hypoallergenic diet. American Alsatian puppies react well to warm baths, although it may take some time and coaxing to get them in the water. You can add anti-inflammatory ingredients and products to the water to soothe the lesions and marks left by acute dermatitis. A diet change may treat these allergies and lessen the severity. You can give your American Alsatian puppy a diet rich in proteins that are not full of fat.

Heavy Shedding

Do American Alsatian puppies shed heavy? They do! American Alsatian puppies are notoriously known for being heavy shedders. Not only do these dogs frequently shed year-round, but they also go through two large deep sheds a year. Although it may seem concerning to brush your hand through your Alsatian puppy and see fur on your hand, it is normal. There are a few things you can do to protect your American Alsatian’s skin, coat and your home.

All pet owners know dogs shed, and their fur can get everywhere. Some dogs shed profusely, like American Alsatian puppies. The first thing to know is that shedding is natural. Most large dogs that shed do so as an old survival tactic. Before American Alsatian puppies were companions, they were bred from Huskies, German Shepherds, and other Winter loving dogs. This means that the dogs used to make your American Alsatian puppy grow long and thick coats to keep warm. As the Winter ended, though, they would shed their coats to get relief from the sun.

Skin and Coat Health Options We Love

Now we have access to air conditioners and heaters, so this biological response is unnecessary. However, it still happens. There is not a lot you can do while your Alsatian puppy sheds. However, you can provide them with a nutrient-rich diet so they can grow back their coat thick and luscious. Omega 3s and Omega-6 fatty acids prove to strengthen a dog’s coat. You can feed these fatty acids in their dry food or as a gel capsule supplement.

To keep your home free from excess amounts of fur, you can groom and brush your dog with a de-shedding tool. You can purchase these tools anywhere, but experts don’t recommend metallic bristles as they can accidentally cut and bruise your dog’s skin. Pet owners can also place fabric covers to make cleaning up after their dog’s fur easier. Couch covers are great because you can stick them in the washer, and it protects your couch underneath. Excessive shedding should concern you if your dog has inflammation of the skin. Sometimes, American Alsatian puppies lose patches of fur because of allergies and skin conditions.

Overall, American Alsatian puppies are healthy dogs with a unique history. Although they are generally healthy dogs, your American Alsatian still has genetic predispositions. While you cannot prevent all health conditions, you can try the techniques listed throughout this guide to help your American Alsatian stay its healthiest and live a long life.