This as an early Friday post because, we are off to Wichita Falls Dog Show until Sunday. There will be no post on Saturday and I do not post on Sundays. If you need any supplies, Spencer will be running the Supply Store and puppy sales.
I will provide the results of this weekends show, Monday morning. This weekend, we have a chance at majors and to finish two Grand Championships on Champion Heidelberg’s Nashville v Oklahoman and Champion Heidelberg’s Kelsey Queridad.
Today I’m going to discuss the best and what I believe is the correct convention for naming and registering your German Shepherd Dog puppies. You should start with your kennel name or German Shepherd Dog type or title name as we do at Keystone German Shepherds. For example, we use the title name Heidelberg, therefore, our dogs’ names begin with “Heidelberg’s”.
Next you should have a litter letter for each litter. We started with “A”, and work through the alphabet. For example, every German Shepherd Dog puppy in the litter will have their first name begin with “A”, such as Heidelberg’s Allen, Heidelberg’s Alvin, and Heidelberg’s Alice.
To complete the name, we use mom’s litter letter name with the maternal Grandmother litter letter at the end of mom’s name. Continuing with the above example, mom is registered as Heidelberg’s Missy Angelq. Therefore, her puppies would be registered as Heidelberg’s Allen v Missya and Heidelberg’s Alice Missya. We use the v to denote males.
If you follow this convention or a similar one, you will find that it is much easier to remember the breeding or lines of each dog. In addition, it becomes a record keeping tool that makes life a little easier for considering breeding matches and for looking up lineages several years from now.
Today we are going to discuss Two German Shepherd Dogs that are true heroes. In 1999, we moved from Daphne, Alabama to Tulsa, Oklahoma. While our kennel was small, we still had several German Shepherd Dogs that we had to mete out to family members until we could purchase property and build kennels in Oklahoma. Two of our shepherds, Heidelberg’s Oregon v Burmak (Bismarck) and Heidelberg’s Winsome Umberb stayed with us in our hotel. In the mornings, Patty, my wife would take the two dogs to my parents’ house while we were at work and then pick them up after work.
During these trips, Patty started to notice that every time she had high or low blood sugar Bismarck would lean over the car seat and incessantly lick her face. Patty has had juvenile diabetes since she was 18-years-old. The entire family learned to trust Bismarck newly discovered ability. Whenever Bismarck alerted to sugar problems by licking Patty’s face, we made sure that she received proper treatment. Sometimes with high or low sugar blood levels diabetics will not help themselves because they become mentally confused. Therefore, family members may have to force the diabetic to test and treat their sugar blood level.
Bismarck’s talents were discovered well before the use of Service Dogs was made into law. So the use of Bismarck’s medical alert talent was not utilized outside the home and dog events. After the new Service Dog Law came into effect, Patty wanted to train a full time Diabetic Alert Service Dog, but he had to come through Champion Heidelberg’s Oregon v Burmak (Bismarck). Unfortunately Bismarck had passed, so we bred his son Champion Heidelberg’s Amazon v Whispe to Champion Heidelberg’s Querida Diamond. This litter produced Patty’s new Service Dog, Grand Champion Champion (GCh. Ch.) Heidelberg’s Kodiak v Queridad (Kodi).
Before this breeding Patty’s diabetes had progressed to the point that she was having incidents of blacking-out on regular basis, and even having diabetic events while she was driving. One day my daughter and I had just started to watch a movie, when Patty said that she was going to Wal-Mart. Two hours later, Ashley walked outside to find Patty hanging halfway out the door of her vehicle passed out and almost in a diabetic coma.
Kodi’s Service Dog training began at 6 weeks. Patty would check her sugar in the evenings and if it was high or low, she would then bring the Kodi puppy into the house and love on him until her sugar returned to normal levels.
Within time Kodi, began to react to Patty’s low or high blood sugar levels by pawing at her and basically being a complete nuisance until she checks and treats her blood sugar levels.
Kodi goes everywhere with Patty including work, restaurants, when she travels, etc. In the four years that Kodi has been a full-time Service Dog, the only serious diabetic event Patty has had is when she left Kodi at home to do some Christmas shopping in 2012. Patty had disappeared for several hours and the entire family began calling her. When she answered the phone it was obvious that her blood sugar was low and that she did not know where she was while driving her car. We finally got her to park in a parking lot and through a lot of questioning, we pinpointed her general location. Her sister found her and got her to eat dinner, and Patty recovered. The next shopping trip, Kodi went with Patty.
Kodi sleeps on the floor next to Patty and wakes her up in the middle of the night if her sugar is high or low. This is a great relief to the entire family because most diabetics slip into diabetic comas or even die while asleep. This nighttime risk for diabetics is probably because nobody is around to know they are in trouble.
There is no doubt that Kodi has saved Patty’s life on several occasions. He is our hero!
GrCh. Ch. Kodiak v Queirdad (Kodi) DNA, OFA Excellent
We have all seen the guy standing at the street corner holding the sign “Vietnam vet”, even though that war ended when he was 5-years-old or my favorite, “Will Work for Food”, although, they will not work for food or anything else.
Well the good news is your German Shepherd Dog, puppy or adult will work for food and they will work hard. Therefore, we should use food treats as rewards while training our German Shepherd Dog, puppy or adult. However, we should not give them a treat without having them earn it.
German Shepherd Dogs are a lot like people and if you give them rewards without earning them, like people, they can become lazy and spoiled. Even though, I know it is not good for my German Shepherd Dogs to be given snacks without earning them, I am guilty of giving out free treats. I should stop being lazy, and if I want to give them a treat, I should ask my German Shepherd Dog to work for it.
So the next time you want to treat your German Shepherd Dog to a snack, ask them to sit and stay or lay down, it does not matter what, just ask them to earn the snack. You will find by doing so that your German shepherd will be more engaged and will bond much closer to you.
Today I am going to discuss one of my favorite basic obedience exercises to socialize German Shepherd Dogs puppy and adults to strangers and strange dogs. I call this exercise “Leap Dog”.
After a new basic obedience class has become fairly competent in heeling and sitting in a stay position next to their owners, I will line up my German Shepherd Dog class in a row with German Shepherd Dogs approximately three feet apart and facing the same direction and placed in a sit Stay. Our average class is 15, but this exercise can be accomplished with as little as five participants.
One at a time, I have each owner and their German Shepherd Dog heel by weaving through the line of owners and dogs. It is important that the owners of the German Shepherd Dogs that are on a sit stay during this exercise maintain a tight leash in case there is aggression shown by one or two German Shepherd Dogs as the person is heeling through the line.
I also make sure everyone in the class understands the proper procedure to separate two dogs that get into a ruckus. This is done by each owner of the aggressive German Shepherd Dogs to turn and walk in opposite directions to separate the two aggressivors. Never stick any part of your body in between two dogs that are showing aggression.
This exercise serves several purposes, first for those dogs in the sit stay position, they learn to remain in the sit stay position even when a stranger and strange dog are walking around them in close proximity. In addition, it teaches the heeling German Shepherd Dog to concentrate on heeling and their owner and to ignore distractions of strangers and strange dogs.
More importantly, it teaches passive and/or insecure German Shepherd Dogs to develop confidence around strangers and strange dogs. Most importantly for those German Shepherd Dogs that are people or dog aggressive, it teaches them to be under control when in close proximity to strangers or strange dogs.
Try this exercise or ask your trainer to incorporate this exercise into your basic obedience class and you will be pleasantly surprised about how quickly your German Shepherd Dog will improve their social skills around strangers and strange dogs.
Today I going to tell how to train your German Shepherd Dog, puppy or adult to jump up on a grooming table or to load into the car, etc.
First cut a piece of 3/4-inch plywood into a 2-foot by 4-foot table size platform. Lay this on the ground so that you and your German Shepherd Dog, puppy or adult can walk on the table. Heel onto the table top and give the command to sit on the table. Reward your German shepherd Dog with a treat and praise. Do this exercise 3 or 4 times. Now take 4 concrete cylinder blocks and place them under the table so that the table is sturdy.
Now repeat the above exercise by both you and your German Shepherd Dog stepping up on the platform and give the command Jump in a fun sounding voice as your German shepherd Dog steps up onto the platform. Once on top give the command to sit. Repeat this exercise 4 to 6 times and provide plenty of treats and praise.
Now raise the platform again. This time it may be too high for you to step up on the platform, therefore, you will heel your German Shepherd Dog straight into the platform and give the command to jump while you step to the side. Once your German Shepherd Dog is on top of the Platform give the command to sit. Provide lots of treats and praise, if they accomplish this part of the exercise. If they refuse to jump then repeat step two of this exercise by lowering the platform to where you can step onto it with your German Shepherd Dog. Do this several times and then try raising the platform. With a little practice your German Shepherd Dog puppy or adult will readily be jumping up on the platform. From here it is easy to transfer this exercise to a grooming table or the family car.
For those German Shepherd Dogs that refuse to jump up on the higher platform, you can try to climb up on the platform and while on top encourage your German shepherd Dog to join you on the platform, This is usually all it takes to encourage those German Shepherd Dogs that are hesitant about jumping.
Know the limitations of your German Shepherd Dog, puppy and adult and never ask them jump a height that they cannot readily make. For example, into the back of high clearance pick-ups may be too high or if they miss the jump they may seriously injure themselves.
Today I will discuss roundworms and hookworms. Do not worry if your German Shepherd Dog puppy or adult does not have these parasites, they will.
Hookworms live as larvae in the ground and once a yard or property has been infested with hookworms, you may never be rid of them. When your German Shepherd Dog comes into contact with the larvae, the larvae burrow into the dog’s skin usually through the paws and infect your dog. Serious infestations can result in anemia and death. There is a small to no human risk with hookworms from your dog.
Roundworms survive in the soil as eggs until ingested. Like hookworms once your yard has been infested, you may never be rid of roundworms. Your German Shepherd Dog can become infected with roundworms from several different vectors. Unborn puppies are infected when larvae travel from the mother through the uterus to the puppies. Almost all puppies are infected in this manner before birth because the roundworm can live encysted larvae in the mothers muscle tissue where it cannot be treated. Once the mother starts releasing hormones due to her pregnancy, the encysted larvae become active roundworms and are transmitted to the puppies in utero. Once born, the German Shepherd Dog puppies can be infected from the mothers milk and likewise the puppies reinfect the mother as she cleans up after them. German Shepherd Dog puppies and adults can become infected by ingesting eggs in the soil when their sticks or toys are soiled by infected soil. In addition, your German Shepherd dog can become infected by ingesting an infected animal such as a rodent or rabbit. There is a moderate human health risk for roundworms, but with proper hygiene and washing your hands before eating the risk is miniscule.
Now that it is clear that at some point your German Shepherd Dog may become infected with these parasites it is good idea to worm your German Shepherd dog on a regular basis to ensure their health, as well as, your family’s health. Parents of small children should oversee the use of proper hygiene and wash their hands after handling puppies.
We at keystone German Shepherds use nonprescription but prescription strength Pyrantel Pamoate at a dosing rate of 1cc per every ten pounds. We worm our German Shepherd Dogs at a minimum of every 5 months. We worm our German Shepherd Dog puppies and moms every ten days until their first shot. After their first shot, we worm them every three weeks. By the time our German Shepherd Dog puppies receive their first shots, they have been weaned and the vicious cycle of reinfecting from mom to puppy has been broken. Therefore, it is not longer appropriate to worm the puppies as often.
Worming your German Shepherd Dog puppy or adult is a way to take control of your dogs care and to ensure a happy healthy companion that will be around for years to come.
As always consult your veterinarian before using any medicines on your German Shepherd Dog.
Today, I thought I would discuss heartworm medicines. There are a lot of different types of monthly heartworm medicines available for your German Shepherd Dog. Some treat only heartworms and others treat all worms, while others kill fleas, as well as heartworms. The common theme to all these medicines is that they are way overpriced.
If you live in certain areas of the country, you must treat your German Shepherd Dog with a heartworm preventative or they will be infected with heartworms. Heartworms can and will eventually kill your German Shepherd Dog. Even the treatment for heartworms, while very expensive, can and sometimes does result in the death of the dog being treated. Therefore, use a heartworm preventative.
German Shepherd Dogs get heartworms from being bit by infected mosquitoes. Every time an infected mosquito bites your German Shepherd Dog, the mosquito will leave one microfilaria at the bite site. This microfilaria migrates through the bite into your German Shepherd Dog’s circulatory system where it develops into a heartworm. Eventually the heartworm attaches itself to the inside of your German Shepherd Dog’s heart. Most all heartworm preventatives kill the microfilaria before they can become heartworms and attach themselves to the German Shepherd Dog’s heart
We at Keystone German Shepherds use injectable Ivermectin. Note: Noromectin is generic for Ivermectin.
Ivermectin is the active ingredient in Heartgard manufactured by Merial and distributed through your veterinarian or online pet supply store at an average cost of $50.00 to $60.00 for a six month supply for a German Shepherd Dog. The other active ingredient is pyrantel, which is for round and hookworms (stomach worms). I will discuss stomach worms in tomorrows blog.
We purchase the Ivermectin at our feed store and can treat 30 German shepherd Dogs for 12 months at a cost of $33.00.
We cut the Ivermectin with glycol propylene at the ratio of 1:2 Ivermectin to glycol propylene. We then orally dose our German Shepherd Dogs based on weight at a dose of 0.10 cc/20 pounds, using a 1 cc syringe with the needle removed.
Keystone German Shepherds as well as most all kennels have been using Ivermectin in this manner for over 25 years with no occurrence of heartworms.
We also treat our German Shepherd Dogs every month out of the year because even in January in Oklahoma, we can have a bout of warm weather and have mosquitoes become active for a few days.
Certain breeds of dogs cannot tolerate Ivermectin or its generics, therefore, always consult your veterinarian before using any medicine on your German Shepherd Dog.
I decided that every Wednesday would be a blog about German Shepherd Dog heroes. Please send me your Heidelberg German Shepherd Dog hero story so that I can post a story about your hero. Also, please send your pictures of your hero.
This incident took place several years ago, and is a True Story:
Nancy was 27 married with children, a boy and girl age 3 and 2, and her husband traveled a lot for his job. They had purchased their Heidelberg shortly after they were married to protect Nancy while her husband was out-of-town. Up to now Heidelberg’s Chance had shown no signs of protectiveness and seemed to love everyone. In this neighborhood the mail boxes were on the front porches. Therefore, Chance’s daily routine included waiting for the mail delivery, which developed into a friendship to the point that the postman would ring the doorbell to say hi to Chance.
One night while alone with her two small children Nancy was awakened to the sound of a deep guttural growl, that she had never heard before. The growl caused the hair of her neck to stand. She got out of bed and followed Chance downstairs where he jumped up on the back window barking loudly.
Nancy still hazy from her deep sleep thought the best thing to do was to open the back door and let Chance out. Chance shot out the door and while Nancy couldn’t see clearly it was obvious that Chance had chased a large object over the chain link fence.
Nancy called the police, and the police found that the screen was removed from the back window and that the window had been pried open. The intruder, they said, was only moments from coming in the house.
A week later in the same neighborhood an intruder broke into a house and brutally raped a women. They never did catch this predator, but what is known is that Chance saved Nancy and her two children from a brutal attack.
Today I am going to discuss the proper way to clean your German Shepherd Dog’s ears. First unless your German Shepherd Dog puppy or adult is highly trained and completely under control you will need an assistant.
Place your German Shepherd Dog on a grooming table. Have the assistant hold your German Shepherd Dog in place on the grooming table.
Using a high quality ear cleaner, liberally squirt the cleaner in an ear. Have the assistant hold the head and ear that you have just treated while you squirt the cleaner in the other ear. Once the cleaner is in both ears gently cup the back bases of both ears and massage the ears. You will be able to hear the cleaning solution slosh around in the ear if you applied enough solution into the ears. After massaging the ears for thirty seconds, release the ears and stand back as your German Shepherd Dog shakes the cleaner out of their ears.
This process is well tolerated by most German Shepherd Dogs and will remove all the wax and debris from the ears in most cases. If the next day, the ears are still dirty, you can repeat the cleaning process.
If the ears have small amounts of debris on the inner surface of the outer pinna (outer standing ears), then lightly saturate a cloth with rubbing alcohol or ear cleaning solution and gently rub the inner pinnas to clean the outer ears.
If your German Shepherd Dog has ear mites, you will need to clean their ears as described above by using the cleaning solution first. After, you have cleaned your German Shepherd Dog’s ears, then apply a good quality ear mite solution. It is necessary to clean the ears first to allow the miticide to reach the ear mites that live on the eardrums of your German Shepherd Dog. You may need to treat for three days in a row to completely rid your German Shepherd Dog of ear mites. I also find it necessary to liberally apply the miticide in the ears rather than a few drops. After applying the miticide, gently massage the bases of your German Shepherd Dog’s ears for thirty seconds. If you can hear the miticide slosh around while massaging you have applied the correct amount of miticide.