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Email: GS RoaR
Address: GSROR
P.O. Box 1481
Westminster, CO 80036
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“Dogs do speak, but only to those who know how to listen” ~ Orhan Pamuk

Foster Homes Needed

In order for us to help save more dogs we need people like you to open up your home and foster one of our dogs until their family comes. A foster home provides a safe and temporary home for dogs while we search for their permanent home. Please click on the Fostering Guidelines for more information about our foster program. Some of our dogs come to us with behavioral issues, so we have found that previous experience with German Shepherds is helpful. If you have the desire and the interest, but are not familiar with German Shepherds, we ask that you fill out the application. Regardless of your experience with this particular breed, our dogs need good foster homes. We hope to soon have a program available to educate future foster and adoptive parents about the breed and provide training tips.

We want to thank you for your interest in helping GSROR by opening up your homes, families, and hearts to help a dog in need. Rescues would not exist if not for the thoughtful time and generosity of foster parents.

Mission Statement

German Shepherd Rescue of the Rockies (GSROR) serves the public as a non-profit organization dedicated to the rescue of homeless and abandoned German Shepherd Dogs (GSD). While providing loving, temporary homes for our dogs in rescue we get them vetted and spend time getting to know them personally so we can place them in the home that best fits their needs. Our goal of German Shepherd Rescue of the Rockies is to find well-matched, carefully-screened, permanent homes and families for each dog. As a community resource, we provide nutrition information, referrals, education, training tips and other services.


GSROR has joined the Walk for A Dog Program at

To supporrt GSROR go to and download the app. Instructions for using the app are also located there. There are apps available for both Android and iPhone.

Brian’s Bite-sized Behavior Bits – March 2017
What’s Your Dog Telling You?

Click here to see all of Brian’s Bite-sized Behavior Bits

One of the most ubiquitous complaints dog owners have is that their dog “just doesn’t listen”. I would postulate that if they could talk, most dogs would have the exact same complaint about their owners. And while dogs may not be able to speak to us in the way we are used to conversing with each other, the reality is that they are talking to us all the time.

Whenever I’m working with a dog – whether in normal day-to-day activities, or in training sessions, or during the process of behavioral rehabilitation – I’m always “listening” to her by observing the way she responds to what I’m doing. If I ask her to do a task such as a “Sit” and she in no way acknowledges me, it gives me valuable feedback. Either I haven’t made myself relevant or there is something in the environment that has captured her attention. Usually it’s a combination of both. Let’s see how you can apply the art of listening to boost training progress and create greater communication with your pup.

Being Relevant

In order for your dog to “listen” to something you’ve asked her for, a couple things need to be in place. First of all, she needs a good reason to do so. If, for example, she loves treats and will do anything for them but you’ve decided against training with treats, her lack of interest in your requests may be telling you that you need to adjust your approach. Try using treats. If, on the other hand, you’ve tried using treats to train your dog but she seems far less interested than if you simply pet her and give her some love… give her some love, already. And then, watch how she responds. If she is more engaged and compliant, continue training her in that manner.

Secondly, if you’ve listened to her and learned how to motivate her to do the right thing, you can move to a *slightly* more distracting environment and communicate that you still expect her to do what’s asked. If you ask for a sit and she sits, stay relevant by rewarding her. If she doesn’t, stay relevant by not allowing her to ignore the command. Apply some gentle pressure upward with the leash until her tush hits the ground and then release the leash pressure. Tell her “good girl!” (No need for a treat unless she complies without you having to “remind” her with the leash.) Note: if you can’t get any kind of redeemable response from your dog, you may have moved too fast. Take a step back and go to a less distracting area.

The Dance

Training your pup – regardless of the specific behavior you’re trying to teach – should feel like a loosely scripted dance, with you responding to her every move and subtle gesture by adjusting your approach. Everything you do has an effect on her behavior, so if you aren’t getting what you want, it’s up to you to change what you’re doing. Try something different next time and observe her response and subtle body-language cues. Pay attention to how that changes what she does and what she might be “telling” you. If you get exactly what you’re looking for, great! Stay the course. If what you were aiming for didn’t materialize, make another small adjustment and observe her response. Keep tweaking your approach. Does your dog look confused by something you’re doing? Ask yourself, “How can I create greater clarity?” and try again. Remember that your dog is always talking. If you really listen to her and combine persistence with creativity, you’ll have a dog that listens to you as well.


Content Copyrighted 2017. Brian Bergford. All Rights Reserved.

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Denver, CO 80204
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Longmont, CO 80501
(720) 480-7920
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