Choosing the Perfect German Shepherd Puppy (Conclusion of the Three Part Series)

Exploring the vast prairie of the Washita National Wildlife Refuge
Exploring the vast prairie of the Washita National Wildlife Refuge

Hi Everyone,

Choosing the perfect puppy with the personality that best fits your family’s lifestyle and needs can be quite easy once you have decided on the correct reputable breeder.  First, you must ask yourself what you want.  Are you a jogger that needs a running partner and added security while running public trails?  Are you a homebody and not that active?  Are you an entertainer and have several people over to your house on a regular basis?  Do you live in a bad neighborhood and worry about being burglarized every time you leave your house?  Do you live on acreage and have farm animals such as chickens?  These are just some of the questions that you may want to answer before to choosing a specific puppy from a particular litter.  While if the breeder has done his job well all the puppies in the litter should have the same general temperament, the puppies are individuals and will have different personalities and propensities for certain behaviors.

Cute German Shepherd Puppy
Heidelberg German Shepherd Puppies are Cute

The following analysis is based upon my interpretation of the Volhard Puppy Aptitude Test (Volhard).  While I do not accept the theory that there are distinct puppy personality types, I do believe that there is a continuum of personality traits and those puppies can be graded on this scale with some degree of accuracy for discussion purposes.  It also must be noted that different litters develop at different rates and that a puppy at eight weeks that grades as a submissive puppy may actually be a very dominate puppy if reexamined at ten weeks.  We have used the Volhard for many years and believe it an useful tool for predicting personality tendencies.  However, Volhard is not completely accurate in predicting the adult temperament of a German shepherd Dog because environment including training, socializing, life experiences, and time spent with the new owner is more critical for the final expressed personality of the German Shepherd Dog.  The below discussion delves into personality types that the new puppy customer should observe and consider while selecting a puppy from a litter.

Cute German shepherd puppy
Cute German Shepherd Puppy
Heidelberg German Shepherd Puppies are Cute

The more dominant puppy will appear to be the more rebellious puppy with a lot demonstrated independence.  This puppy will not like being held for any period of time and the most dominant puppies will actually try to bite at the person holding them.  Dominant puppies will resist the new owners attempt to be the pack leader.  This is not the German Shepherd Dog for the new or inexperienced owner.  These dogs will make excellent herding dogs and home protection dogs if properly trained.  A more dominant puppy would be good for a family placing home protection as a priority or for a rancher wanting help with herding farm animals. However, if improperly trained these can be the dogs that chase cows rather than herd them.  Also, for the jogger that is an experienced German Shepherd Dog owner, the more dominant puppy would be good choice.  

The independent puppy will not grade as a high in dominance as the dominant German shepherd Dog.  However, the independent puppy is dominant, but will be a little more accepting of an inexperienced owner and not look to take the leadership role every time the owner exhibits submissive behaviors.  The independent puppy has high confidence and will readily try and explore new things.   These self-assured puppies are naturally protective and are not generally too aggressive, but in improper hands may demonstrate dog and/or people aggression. 

Cute german shepherd puppy
Cute German Shepherd Puppy
Heidelberg German Shepherd Puppies are Cute

The docile German Shepherd Puppy is a good choice for most families and while the moniker of docile sounds derogatory it actually describes a solid, confident puppy that is willing to learn.  The docile puppy will be protective, but accepting of strange animals and people. This personality type would be great for families with young children that have very active social lives. 

Heidelberg German Shepherd Puppies are Cute
How do I choose

The docile/affectionate German Shepherd Dog puppy will be much as the docile puppy, but requires more affection and reassurance from their owners.  These also make excellent puppies for large active families with children.  These puppies will often become involved in play or an activity, stopping suddenly to return or look towards the owner as if  to ask permission to continue.  These dogs would rate as low to medium submissive.

The last puppy personality type is the timorous or true submissive dog that lacks confidence or has very low self-assurance.  These puppies are most suited for inactive elderly people that will spend several hours a day with their puppy.  With the correct owner these puppies can develop self-confidence and become great companions.  They should not be considered if home protection is a priority.  These will be the puppies that will run or hide from new people after age of ten-weeks-of-age.

Our Heidelberg German Shepherd Dogs’ personalities generally will range from low dominate to docile/affectionate, which is the personality types that most families are realistically looking for in a German Shepherd Dog. Unless you are a professional trainer that trains military or police attack dogs, you would not want a high dominant dog.  The high dominant dog is rare and can become a complete disaster for the dog and new owner if in the wrong hands.

Before scrutinizing the litter you will be choosing your new German shepherd puppy from, you should have fair idea of the personality type that best fits you and your family.  Start by getting the entire litter out and observe the litter as the puppies are playing around you.  After observing and making mental notes for several minutes play with the puppies and pick them up while trying to recognize specific behaviors such as timidness and confidence.  Also, note any aggressive behavior towards the other puppies.  Notice any puppies that tend to wander off to explore on their own.  These puppies are likely more independent and self-confident and may be a little more of a challenge to train.  Ask the breeder his opinion of each of puppy’s personalities.  Utilize his opinions because the breeder knows these puppies better than anyone.  Also, if the breeder has employees that clean the kennels and feed the puppies and if they are present, ask them for their opinion. 

Once you have narrowed your choice down to two or three puppies based on personality types, ask the breeder to put up all the puppies except your two or three choices.  Only now start making your decisions on physical attributes such as structure, size, coat length, coat color, markings, etc., respectively.  I recommend that you make your decision in the above order giving priority to structure over size, etc.  Structure is the most important to form and function and the overall beauty of your German Shepherd Dog.

Heidelberg German Shepherd Puppies are Cute
Heidelberg German Shepherd Puppies are Cute

Good luck and I hope that this has been helpful in choosing your next German Shepherd Dog puppy.

Because this is probably one of the most important discussions I can have regarding German Shepherd Dogs, I will be editing these three posts and adding to them over the next couple of weeks with the plan to add this discussion as a new page on my web page so please revisit these posts as they are refined and improved.

Ask me a Question and I will provide my opinion. Also, please see our web page: KeystoneGermanShepherds

Sincerely,

KeystoneGermanShepherds

German Shepherd Dog Choosing the Right Puppy

Exploring the vast prairie of the Washita National Wildlife Refuge
Exploring the vast prairie of the Washita National Wildlife Refuge

Hi Everyone,

Now that you have decided on what you believe to be a reputable breeder, you must then visit this breeder to make sure that they have well cared for and high quality German Shepherd Dogs.  Upon your visit examine the overall health of all the dogs and notice if the kennels are clean and well maintained.  Does the place smell bad of urine and feces?  If the kennel does not pass this initial examination, you may need to move onto another breeder.  Once you do find a reputable breeder with well-maintained dogs and kennels, you need to know that there are myriads of different types of shepherds with different looks and different functions. These differences may not be readily apparent to the average puppy buyer.   Therefore, it may take several visits to different breeders to find the reputable breeder that is producing the right type of shepherd for you and your family.  A reputable breeder does not always translate into good quality German Shepherd Dogs that are right for you or your family.  Therefore, you must assess the actual German Shepherd Dogs especially the adults and parents.  Because the related adults at the kennel especially the parents are going to be the best predictors of the temperament and structure of the new puppy.

Keystone German Shepherds & Kennels
Keystone German Shepherds & Kennels

If you have chosen a breeder that specializes in imports be aware that many of these German Shepherd Dogs are high-strung and are full of nervous energy.  Unless, you and your family members are prepared to spend several hours a day exercising and training an import shepherd may not be the best choice.  For several years, the breeders in Europe have bred their German shepherd Dogs to increase the drive and energy of their lines.  This is because the sport of Schutzhund requires a high drive dog, and the higher the drive the more successful the breeder will be in competitions.  While this is a noble pursuit for dogs that will be used professionally in law enforcement activities, this does not translate well for the family dog.  In addition, some imported German Shepherd Dog lines are people and/or dog aggressive.  Do you and your family have the skills to deal with an aggressive dog?  Note that not all imports are high-strung; those that originate from the show lines in Germany have steadier temperaments and often make wonderful companions for families, as well as offering home protection.

When visiting the kennel to discuss the potential purchase of a new puppy be sure and go around to all the kennels and visit each of the breeder’s dogs.  Observe their behavior.  If you are greeted with a serious barking and aggressive behaviors at several kennel this is an indication of the aggressive behavior that would be exhibited by your new puppy once grown.  However, if you are greeted by an excited bark this indicates less aggression and a more relaxed temperament.  Will the German Shepherd Dogs come greet you through the fence by smelling and licking your hand or do they retreat to the back of the kennel?  A retreating German Shepherd Dog could potentially be a dangerous dog that could be a fear biter that could get you sued. Retreating or showing fear towards strangers is not the correct German Shepherd Dog temperament, and is a big clue that these may not be the right German shepherd line for you to get your next puppy from.

Champion Heidelberg's Stefanie Stretched Out In Her Stack
Champion Heidelberg’s Stefanie Stretched Out In Her Stack

Notice if the kennels are heavily chewed or if excessive digging behaviors are observable. Again, these are indicative of behaviors that your new puppy may demonstrate at home.  Is there incessant barking coming from the kennels even after you have been there for a while?  This may indicate a barking problem when your puppy is grown.  Ask to see the dogs outside the kennel.  Will these dogs allow you to greet them and to pet them?  If the breeder is reluctant to let the dogs out of the kennel this is a major warning sign, and perhaps it is time to move on to the next kennel to purchase your next German shepherd Dog.  Be observant and ask questions and listen to see if the breeder’s answers ring true to you.

We at Keystone German Shepherds & kennels breed an even tempered German Shepherd Dog that are a true pleasures to live with inside and/or outside. However, while friendly towards welcomed strangers and children our dogs would readily give their lives to protect us and our property.  Our Heidelberg German Shepherds can discern the difference between a stranger and a truly bad person; therefore they will not get you sued for biting someone because if they do bite someone that person will be going to jail.

Heidelberg's Shae Playing In the Rock Garden
Heidelberg’s Shae Playing In the Rock Garden

When someone first arrives at our kennels, the first thing that they will notice is that there is no odor. The next thing they will notice is how quiet it is on our property.  Our Heidelberg German Shepherds will first alert bark when strangers come in, but once we go outside to greet the people, the dogs know that all is well and they will quietly observe us and the potential puppy customer.  Our kennels are not chewed or dug up.  Strangers can go from kennel to kennel and be greeted by a kiss to the hand from every dog on the property without any aggressive or fearful behavior being exhibited.    

My next post will be a continuation of this series in “Choosing a Reputable Breeder” and the “Correct Type of German Shepherd Dog for You and Your Family” to actually Choosing the Perfect Puppy With the Personality That Best Fits Your Family’s Lifestyle and Needs”.  Because this is probably one of the most important discussions I can have regarding German Shepherd Dogs, I will be editing these posts and adding to them over the next couple of weeks with the plan to add this discussion as a new page on my web page so please revisit these posts as they are refined and improved.

Basic Obedience Class At Keystone German Shepherds & Kennels
Basic Obedience Class At Keystone German Shepherds & Kennels

Ask me a Question and I will provide my opinion. Also, please see our web page: KeystoneGermanShepherds

Sincerely,

KeystoneGermanShepherds

Choosing the Correct German Shepherd Dog Breeder

Exploring the vast prairie of the Washita National Wildlife Refuge
Exploring the vast prairie of the Washita National Wildlife Refuge

Hi Everyone,

Choosing the correct German Shepherd Breeder is not an easy task with so many disreputable, incompetent, and misguided breeders. Since the presence of new German Shepherd Dog puppy is a twelve year investment and commitment, choosing the best place to purchase your next German Shepherd Dog puppy for you and your family involves careful consideration including life style and economics.  Today, my discussion will focus on tell-tale signs of breeders to avoid.

First and most importantly, do not purchase your next German Shepherd Dogs puppy from a puppy mill.  Dogs used for breeding in puppy mills have miserable lives and in many cases never live outside a crate, cage, or adequate kennel.  Besides the obvious problems with the likely poor quality of puppies from puppy mills, the cruelty to the breeding animals is reason enough for a caring person to avoid puppy mills.  In addition, avoid purchasing puppies from pet stores.  Pet stores in general purchase all their puppies from puppy mills.  While these types of puppy mills are somewhat better because they are overseen by the United States Department Of Agriculture and certain minimum living conditions are met; nevertheless, the breeding animals often have miserable lives with little to no love or socialization.  Whereas, puppy mills that hide from the authorities and sell their puppies through the local newspaper, internet, parking lots, or even alongside the road are the worse culprits and largely are cruel places with harsh and often mentally ill owners.  Do not support this cruelty.

Our Heidelberg German Shepherds Playing
Our Heidelberg German Shepherds Playing

How to recognize a puppy mill:  First and most glaring indication of puppy mills is that puppy mills will breed several different types or breeds of dogs from Chihuahuas to German Shepherd Dogs.  In addition, puppy mills will not readily let you see the parents or if they do so they will bring them to you so that you cannot see their living conditions.  Often, they will place you in a room or fenced yard away from all their kennel operations and bring you the puppy one at a time or they may bring the entire litter out for you to choose from.  The point being they will hide their dog raising activities from you.  If they will not provide you with a tour of their entire facility, you probably should leave as quickly as possible.

Another blatant indication of a bad breeder and/or puppy mills are dog registrations with a parent club other than The American Kennel Club (AKC).  AKC inspects all their breeders, and if standards are not met then that breeder’s registration rights are suspended.   Puppy mills usually cannot stand the scrutiny of an AKC inspection.  However, some Puppy mills do pass AKC inspections by moving sick animals off property and cleaning up their facility before the inspection.  I wished that AKC would perform surprise inspections, but unfortunately at this time they schedule all inspections.  For those breeders that are banned from AKC, they will often register their dogs with a club that is not familiar to most of us.  We at Keystone German Shepherds & Kennels have been told, over the years, by three different AKC inspectors that we have the cleanest kennels and best cared for dogs that they have ever seen.

 Keystone Kennels in Winter

Keystone Kennels in Winter

We at Keystone German Shepherds & Kennels have devoted our lives to breeding and promoting the German Shepherd Dog.  It has taken years to learn how to correctly breed our shepherds to produce the best possible puppy possible for our customers.  Our breeding focuses on temperament, health, and appearances.  For a powerful dog such as a German Shepherd Dog, temperament is absolutely the most important attribute.  Perfect German Shepherd Dog temperament does not happen in a vacuum.  By definition, backyard breeders randomly purchase German Shepherd Dogs from different breeders and then breed two different lines and types of German Shepherd Dogs.  These breedings that put two random dogs together, mostly produce poor quality shepherds.  Because the backyard breeder lacks basic breeding principles and knowledge, they have have no way of predicting the end product. These German shepherd Dogs are usually sold exclusively through advertisement in the local newspaper and almost always are the lower end of the price scale with puppies priced as low as $100.00 to $500.00.  Avoid purchasing puppies from backyard breeders, that is if you can afford to go to a reputable breeder to ensure the highest possibility to acquire a healthy and good looking German Shepherd Dog puppy with the correct shepherd temperament.  Although, on rare exception, you may find a good quality shepherd from a backyard breeder.  However, more than likely, unless you are an expert in judging German Shepherd Dog puppies, you will end up with a puppy with serious temperament or health problems including an extremely structurally incorrect German Shepherd Dog that is just plain ugly.

To purchase a top-of-the-line German Shepherd Dog from a reputable breeder, you will likely have to spend approximately $1,500.00 or for a world class dog that turns heads, you may need to spend significantly more.

For years, we at Keystone German Shepherds & Kennels have tried to keep our prices down around or below $1,500.00, but with the rise in cost of almost everything related to the operation of our kennel, we had to go up in our prices to where our average shepherd puppy is sold for $1,500.00.   As the consumer of new German Shepherd Dog puppy, you should be aware of how expensive it is for a reputable breeder to consistently produce top quality German Shepherd Dog puppies.  Doing things the right way and not cutting corners always cost more in time and money.

There are many bad breeders that are posing as reputable breeders and some clues to those that are legitimate and those that are not are provided below.  The first thing you should ask is how long have they been breeding German Shepherd Dogs.  While we all had to start at some point, longevity is a partial indication of legitimacy.  More importantly, are they doing anything with their breeding dogs, such as AKC Championships, Herding Titles, Obedience Titles, proven Service Dogs, etc.  If a breeder is not doing anything with the dogs he is breeding, this is an extremely strong indication that this is not a breeder that you would want to get your puppy from because they are likely only interested in selling puppies with little consideration for the dogs they breed.  Not placing titles on the German Shepherd Dogs that you breed, in my opinion, is an inexcusable cutting of corner and indicates a lack professionalism.  As the consumer, the only indication that these puppies are worthy of you and your family is the word of the breeder that has done nothing to prove their German Shepherd Dog lines.

A young Ch. Stefanie Being Shown
A young Ch. Stefanie Being Shown

In addition, do they have a web page, and does it give the impression of professionalism.  Do they readily state their guarantees and breeding philosophies?  Be aware that breeding philosophies and guarantees are often rote and copied from reputable breeders by incompetent breeders. Also, If they are breeding and selling other breeds of dogs or other animals such as horses, this is indicative of a breeder that lacks dedication and focus on the German Shepherd Dog.  Are they nut cases asking you to fill out applications and sign ridiculous restrictive contracts that threaten you with legal actions and fines?  These are all indications of breeders that you may want to avoid.  The only exception to signing a contract is possibly a non egregious show contract that clearly lays out the responsibility of the new owner and the breeder.

Legitimate breeders health screen and will be forthright about any health problem that they have observed in the dogs they breed.  As the buyer, you need to be realistic and realize that all breeders of German Shepherd Dogs, overtime, have had certain health issues.  If the breeder has been breeding for a number of years and has produced several hundred puppies over many years it is very likely they have most assuredly seen certain health concerns.  This is just biology and the realities of the world that we live.  What is important to you as the consumer is the rate of occurrence of these health concerns and the breeder’s willingness to discuss these issues with you.   As a potential puppy buyer, you should realize that health concern discussions are going to be a touchy conversational subject for even the best and most reputable breeders.  To be fair, save this discussion for an actual visit to their kennel so the breeder will know that you are a legitimate puppy buyer and not someone looking for information to disparage them or their dogs.  Phone or email questions about Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) elbow and hip certification should be fine and readily addressed by the breeder.

Ask these questions when considering a breeder:  Is the breeder knowledgeable about training, feeding correctly, and routine maintenance such as pest control, worming, and heart worm prevention?  Do they take the time to share their knowledge with you?  Do they explain how to correctly feed your new puppy so that the puppy grows correctly and fulfills its genetic potential?  Do they convey a basic knowledge about proper nutrition for German Shepherd Dog puppies and adults or do just suggest a certain brand of dry-food without a detailed explanation for their recommendation?  Are they available for questions and support after you have purchased your German Shepherd Dog puppy?  Do they offer training?  We at Keystone German Shepherd & Kennels offer several types of training including basic obedience, AKC Canine Good Citizen training and testing, conformation training, Service Dog Training, etc.  Our basic and obedience training and AKC Canine Good Citizen Training are free and included in the purchase of your new puppy.  These are just some of the questions, you should ask when looking for a reputable German Shepherd Dog breeder.

 AKC Canine Good Citizen Class at Keystone German Shepherds &

AKC Canine Good Citizen Class at Keystone German Shepherds & Kennels

Now that you have decided on a reputable breeder it gets down to purchasing the correct puppy.  There are myriads of different types of shepherds with different looks and different functions, personalities, and temperaments.  Tomorrow I will discuss how to find the reputable breeder that is producing the right type of shepherd for you and your family.

Ask me a Question and I will provide my opinion. Also, please see our web page: KeystoneGermanShepherds

Sincerely,

KeystoneGermanShepherds

 

German Shepherd Dog Stacking

Exploring the vast prairie of the Washita National Wildlife Refuge
Exploring the vast prairie of the Washita National Wildlife Refuge

Hi Everyone,

Today, I am going to attempt to tell you the correct way to stack a German Shepherd Dog.  The more correct structurally your German Shepherd Dog is the easier they will be to stack.  For example if your German Shepherd Dog’s feet turn out and are not parallel to the body lines this is called east/west, and to get the feet in the correct position, you will have to screw them into the ground.  This is very difficult to do while making your German Shepherd Dog comfortable enough to stand still for three or four minutes in a correct stack.

Grabbing the Left Elbow to Place the Left Foot
Grabbing the Left Elbow to Place the Left Foot

The basic stack starts always at the front feet.  Throw the leash to the side out of the way of the stack. Grab the German Shepherd Dog’s right side scruff and the side of their cheek with your right hand.  With the left hand reach over the shepherd and grab the left elbow and place the left foot directly under the German Shepherd Dog with the left foot pointing straight relative to the body line of the shepherd switch hands now grabbing the left scruff and cheek with the left hand.  Take your right hand and grab the right elbow and place the right foot in perfect alignment with the left foot about five to six apart.  Switch hands again and take your left hand and gently run it down the left side of your German Shepherd Dog down the left leg to the hock.

Reaching Back to Correctly Place the Left Hock
Reaching Back to Correctly Place the Left Hock

Grab the left hock and pull the entire leg back until you can place the left foot on the ground so the left hock is perpendicular to the ground.  Switch hands again grabbing the left scruff with your left hand.  With your right hand grab the right rear hock and lift and place it under the body below the stomach. Most the time you can lift this leg and let it drop into the correct position by pulling it forwards slightly.

Well that is the proper procedure for stacking a German Shepherd Dog.  While this is easier said than done with a little practice and patience, you can have your German shepherd Dog stacking like a champion.

A Perfectly Stacked Champion Heidelberg's Genny Heatherh
A Perfectly Stacked Champion Heidelberg’s Genny Heatherh

Ask me a Question and I will provide my opinion. Also, please see our web page: KeystoneGermanShepherds

Sincerely,

KeystoneGermanShepherds

German Shepherd Dog Puppy Shots

Exploring the vast prairie of the Washita National Wildlife Refuge
Exploring the vast prairie of the Washita National Wildlife Refuge

Hi Everyone,

We start our puppy shots at six weeks by giving them the Duramune Max 5-CvK, (The Puppy Shot) is a 5-way + coronavirus Modified live plus killed coronavirus, canine distemper, adenovirus type 2 (and hepatitis), parainfluenza, and parvovirus.  We repeat “The Puppy Shot” at 9 weeks at a minimum of three weeks between inoculations.  For the shots to work correctly three weeks between subsequent inoculations must be maintained.  Several shots must be given to ensure seroconversion. The methodology behind puppy shots is that the vaccines must first use up all the maternal antibodies before the puppies will start making their own antibodies, and therefore, have immunity to these devastating puppy diseases.  Several shots are required to ensure that the puppies are producing their own antibodies.

575x442 essences puppies II

At twelve weeks, the puppies receive their first adult shot, which is Duramune Max 5-CvK/4L (The Puppy Booster Shot) canine distemper, adenovirus type 2 (and hepatitis), parainfluenza, parvovirus, and 4 strains of Lepto.  The only difference between this shot and “The Puppy Shot” is the 4-way Lepto.  Lepto cannot be given before twelve weeks because it could cause blindness in young German shepherd puppies.

We re-inoculate at 16-weeks, and a week after this shots most all German shepherd puppies have seroconverted.  Therefore, you can confidently take them any place without concern for these devastating puppy diseases.  We re-inoculate at 20-weeks and again at six months. After this our dogs go on an annual inoculation schedule.

Darcy Puppies

Ask me a Question and I will provide my opinion. Also, please see our web page: KeystoneGermanShepherds

Sincerely,

KeystoneGermanShepherds

German Shepherd Dogs (Finicky Eaters)

Exploring the vast prairie of the Washita National Wildlife Refuge
Exploring the vast prairie of the Washita National Wildlife Refuge

Hi Everyone,

Our Heidelberg German Shepherd Dogs are generally good eaters.  When we sell a German Shepherd Dog puppy they have ravenous appetites and they eat their food fast because they know if they do not eat it then their litter mates will.  However, every now and then when a customer takes home their new German shepherd puppy, the puppy will not eat well.

A German shepherd puppy may lose their appetite for a couple of days, and this is normal as the puppy makes the adjustment to the new home and people.  However, the German shepherd puppy’s ravenous appetite should return after a couple of days.  The biggest mistake new owners make in regards to their puppy eating is during this transition time, they will try coaxing the puppy to eat.  Our German Shepherd Dogs are highly intelligent, and they crave attention.  If you do not believe this just make a big deal about a minor injury.  For example, when they hurt a foot make a big deal out of it, and you will see them carry-on, feigning continuing pain as long as you show them a high emotional response.   Likewise, if coaxed to eat, they will recognize this human behavior as submissive and they will exploit the new owner by continuing not to eat well.  Often once this process is started, the new owner will entice the new puppy to eat by adding more favorable foods, such as pieces of steak to their food to get the puppy to eat.   

DSCF2272

Once the new owner has done this the puppy may never eat right again, and if they do not eat right they may not grow correctly.  The best way to avoid this is do not react to them not eating well for the first couple of days.  Simply pick their food up after 20 minutes and place it in the refrigerator until the next feeding time.  The new German shepherd puppy will eventually get hungry and start eating well again.  The new owner must also be aware that not eating well is one of the first signs of illness so if the German shepherd puppy is not eating and shows signs of malaise then you may want to take their temperature and contact your veterinarian.   However, if the puppy is lively, playful, and drinking water, there is nothing to be concerned about.

If your German Shepherd Dog, puppy or adult is a finicky eater then you must stop worrying about what and when they eat.  They live by your emotional state, and if you have anxiety about them eating then they will not eat well.  Feed them their diet without fanfare and if they do not eat pick the food up in 20 minutes and place it in the refrigerator.  Do not worry, your German Shepherd Dog will not starve themselves to death, eventually they will start eating on your schedule.  The main thing is to separate yourself from the emotional concern about whether they eat.  

Well Fed Puppies
Well Fed Puppies

The only supplement that I recommend to increase the appetite of your German Shepherd Dog, puppy or adult is our “Pure Total Vitamin Supplement”, which has chicken liver powder as part of its ingredients.  German Shepherd Dogs cannot resist the taste of chicken liver powder.  It is fine to add this supplement to their food because you should be supplementing their diet with vitamins anyway and the “Pure Total Vitamin Supplement” should be a part of your German Shepherd Dog’s daily diet.

You can purchase “Pure Total Vitamin Supplement” by clicking on the below link and contacting us at Keystone German Shepherds & Kennels.

Ask me a Question and I will provide my opinion.  Also, please see our web page: KeystoneGermanShepherds

Sincerely,

KeystoneGermanShepherds

German Shepherd Dogs (Digging)

Exploring the vast prairie of the Washita National Wildlife Refuge
Exploring the vast prairie of the Washita National Wildlife Refuge

Hi Everyone,

Our Heidelberg German Shepherd Dogs dig very infrequently. However, all German Shepherd Dogs will dig.  Three basic reasons exist to cause your German Shepherd Dog to dig. The first and most common is boredom, followed by digging in a damp place in the yard in the summer to keep cool, and because they see you dig and want to join in on the activity such as planting a tree.

If your German Shepherd Dog is digging because they are bored.  Take note of the time of the day or night that they dig and try to interrupt this behavioral pattern by walking them at this time.  If it is during the middle of the day, while you are at work, you can try walking your German Shepherd Dog as soon as you get home from work.  Usually by adding a daily brisk walk, the digging behavior will be abated.  If this does not work, hire a teenager to walk your German Shepherd Dog during the day while you are at work.  When you get home consider adding another walk to your German Shepherd Dog’s daily routine. A walk or combination of walks should stop the digging.

Running Free and Not Thinking About Digging
Running Free and Not Thinking About Digging

If your German Shepherd Dog is digging to stay cool during the summer time, place a plastic kiddie pool full of water in their backyard.  It is usually best to place the pool over the area that they usually dig.

If you garden and have had the pleasure of planting several plants only to have your German Shepherd Dog dig up all your plantings, you are not alone.  Do not disparage and give up on your garden.  While planting place your German Shepherd Dog in a crate out-of-site of your gardening activities.  This is usually all that is required to keep your German Shepherd Dog from helping you with your gardening.

DSCF2278

Heidelberg German Shepherd Dogs Exercising at a Dog Show in Missouri

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KeystoneGermanShepherds

Sincerely,

KeystoneGermanShepherds