German Shepherd Dog Vacation

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

Hi Everyone,

I will be in Yellowstone for two weeks so I will be unable to post until June 15, 2013.  However, Spencer, my 29-year-old son will be posting updates on our puppies that we have for sale, and he will be running the kennels for boarding.  Our Pet Supply store will also remain open.

Sincerely,

KeystoneGermanShepherds

 

 

 

 

German Shepherd Dogs & Microchips

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

 Hi Everyone,

The American Kennel Club (AKC) requires that breeders permanently mark their German Shepherd Dog puppies with an individual tattoo number or microchip.  We at Keystone German Shepherds & Kennels have always tattooed all our shepherds, but about three-years-ago when AKC came out with the AKC Companion Animal Recovery (CAR) with their International Chip, we were quick to jump on board with the AKC CAR program.  We now tattoo all our puppies and offer the service to microchip your new puppy for $20.00.

Microchip Your Dog With AKC CAR Program
Microchip Your Dog With AKC CAR Program 

Having both a tattoo and microchip is the best way to protect your new German Shepherd Dog puppy from theft and loss.   Having your new puppy tattooed and/or microchipped is the only legal way that you can prove that puppy is your dog short of collecting DNA from both parents and paying for expensive testing.  Having a microchip tag on your puppy’s collar will deter some thieves.  In addition, in most jurisdictions dog pounds are required to check for tattoos and microchips and should attempt to find the owner before adopting out or destroying an identified dog.  This provides extra protection for your German Shepherd Dog if they become lost.

What Me Get Lost?
What Me Get Lost?

AKC CAR program only charges $19.95 for a onetime and lifetime registration fee, which provides you a web page for your puppy, which you can change and update all your pertinent information, such as moving to a new home or changing veterinarians.   

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

Sincerely,

KeystoneGermanShepherds

German Shepherd Dog and Swimming Pools

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

Hi Everyone,

German Shepherd Dogs, adults and puppies love to swim.  Even young puppies are fearless when it comes to water.  My daughter loves to walk our new litters around a little trail that goes around one of our ponds.  One day while walking a six-week-old litter in late Fall she heard a splash and turned to see a little male puppy that jumped in the cold water and was swimming to the middle of the pond.  She panicked and was afraid that she would have to jump in the freezing water to save the puppy.  However, she started clapping her hands and calling at the puppy and he turned and swam straight to her and the shoreline.  He was cold but okay once she dried him off. 

Over the years, we have on occasion heard the bad news that our customers’ German Shepherd Dog, puppy or adult had drowned in their pool because the dog did not know where the shallow end was located.  The shepherd had either jumped or fallen in the pool when nobody was around and then drowned when they could not get out. 

Practice Pool Safety With Your German Shepherd Dog, Puppy or Adult
Practice Pool Safety With Your German Shepherd Dog, Puppy or Adult

If you own a pool, you can safely own a German Shepherd Dog, but you must get them in the pool and show them the shallow end and the steps.  If you purchase a puppy or adult in the winter when the water is too cold to get in with them, you either must show them the shallow end by you staying outside of the pool or do not allow them unsupervised access to the pool.  If you decide to show them how to get out when the water is cold have a long pole with a net to scoop them up if they panic before finding the shallow end.   

Having a pool with a German Shepherd Dog can be fun and safe.  However, take the time to make sure they are safe.

German Shepherd Dogs Love the Water
German Shepherd Dogs Love the Water

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

Sincerely,

KeystoneGermanShepherds

Introducing a New Puppy to Existing Dogs in the Home

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

Hi Everyone,

Introducing two or more dogs to a new German Shepherd Dog puppy can be an anxious experience because you will be worried that the older or larger dogs could potentially hurt the puppy.  The first thing you must remember to do is present a relaxed mental attitude so that your existing dog(s) does not become anxious or nervous at the time of the introduction.  So take a deep breath and carry your new puppy into the house and allow your other dog(s) to come up and sniff the new puppy while you sit on the couch loving the new German Shepherd Dog puppy.  Once the existing dog(s) lose interest in the new puppy allow the puppy to roam around the house and approach the existing dog(s).  If the existing dogs do not lose interest in the new puppy, after several minutes in your lap place the new puppy on the floor and allow the dogs to meet each other.  This should be closely monitored by you until you are absolutely sure the older dog(s) will not harm the new puppy.  If you have outside dogs then the same exercise can be done in your backyard.

Excited puppies playing
Excited puppies playing
German Shepherd Dogs are Gregarious and Want to Be Part of a Pack
German Shepherd Dogs are Gregarious and Want to Be Part of a Pack

You should have a fair idea about the tolerance level and aggressiveness of the older and larger dog(s); therefore, if a possibility exists for the existing dog to snap at the new German Shepherd Dog puppy, you should do the introduction while the existing dog(s) are on leash, which may require the help of family members.  Even if you have an older dog with a solid temperament if it is a shepherd or larger size dog, I would be hesitant to leave the new German Shepherd Dog puppy under 16 weeks-of-age alone with the existing dog without a couple of days of close supervision.  One single act of aggression from the older dog intended only to teach the new puppy manners can severely injure the puppy if you are not there to prevent or intervene.  After a couple of days of close supervision, you should know if it is safe to leave the dogs together unattended.

If you have friends with dogs then you can do the introduction in the same manner at your friend’s house.  The process should be the same if your friend brings their dog(s) to your house.  If you are introducing new puppies to each other there is no reason to go through any pretense, just introduce them and enjoy the show as they discover each other.

Puppies Learn Manners From Older Dogs
Puppies Learn Manners From Older Dogs

 

Puppies and Adults Can Get Along if Properly Introduced
Puppies and Adults Can Get Along if Properly Introduced

As always with all puppies, any dogs that the puppy comes into contact with should be up to date on all vaccinations.  There is little worse than losing a new puppy to parvo or distemper because they came into contact with an unvaccinated dog that was shedding viruses.

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

Sincerely,

KeystoneGermanShepherds

Retraining Dog Aggressive German Shepherd Dogs Conclusion

Exploring the vast prairie of the Washita National Wildlife Refuge
Exploring the vast prairie of the Washita National Wildlife Refuge
Hi Everyone,

The best way to retrain your German Shepherd Dog not to be dog aggressive is to expose them to a lot of strange dogs while walking on lead while healing, and when the opportunity arises refocus their attention from the aggressive actions to that of a calm and relaxed mindset.  To get your German Shepherd Dog to refocus while it is being aggressive requires a firm action from you that must be robust enough that it will distract them from the object of their aggression and refocus their attention back onto you.  For those that are physically able a Kung Fu type grip and a sharp poke into the rib cage of your German Shepherd Dog is usually enough to get them to refocus back onto you.  This is not to be done hard enough to physically hurt the shepherd, but hard enough that they will be unable to ignore it and that they have no doubts that you disapprove of their behavior.

Well Socialized German Shepherd Dogs Playing
Well Socialized German Shepherd Dogs Playing

In the wild, the pack leader would harshly bite a subordinate if they were showing undue aggression to other pack members or a perceived threat.  By poking your shepherd in the ribs, you are assuming the role of pack leader and biting a subordinate dog that is misbehaving, and this is how your dog will perceive this correction.  If done properly, the dog will turn in your direction and look at you, and at this time you should provide a sharp verbal command of “Leave it”.  Throughout this retraining exercise, you cannot become anxious or excited, you must remain calm and exude confidence or your dog will pick up on your negative energy and remain aggressive towards strange dogs.

When the correction is repeated and done correctly over several days your German Shepherd Dog will begin to relax around strange dogs and remain calm while you are walking.  Once this begins you can start trying to work this exercise with long leads and allow your German Shepherd Dog to actually interact with strange dogs.  You must continue to use a lead so that you can separate your shepherd from the strange dog if either dog begins to show aggression.  Only when you are fully confident that your shepherd is retrained can you allow your shepherd untethered access to strange dogs.

For those people that are not physically able to perform the above exercise, electric shock training collars work well to replace the hand as the pseudo bite to your dog.  In addition, if your German Shepherd Dog shows unwarranted aggression in the backyard by barking and charging the fence every time a strange dog walks by, the use of a shock collar will place an end to this unwanted behavior quickly.

If the shepherd that demonstrates this behavior towards strange dogs has subordinate dogs in the yard with them, they may lash out at the subordinate when the shock is applied.  This is because they believe that the dog closes to them applied the shock (pseudo-bite) and since they are subordinate, they had no right to correct the dominant shepherd.  This is a simple problem to fix, just put up subordinate dogs when using the shock collar.  You may want to create the corrective situation by having friends or neighbors walk their dogs by your yard until your aggressive German Shepherd Dog ignores the strange dogs after a few corrections from the shock collar.

Socializing German Shepherd Dogs Should Start as Puppies
Socializing German Shepherd Dogs Should Start as Puppies

If you hire a professional trainer to retrain your German Shepherd Dog not to be aggressive towards strange dogs, they will basically be doing a derivative form of the above training exercise.  Once they retrain your dog, they will want to retrain you.  If you do not follow their instructions you will likely be right back at the starting point with a dog aggressive German shepherd.

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

Sincerely,

 

KeystoneGermanShepherds

Aggressive aggressiveness protectiveness

Retraining Dog Aggressive German Shepherd Dogs

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

Hi Everyone,

First, I would like to apologize for not posting daily, which was my original plan for this blog.  However, as we have moved into spring, mowing and maintenance work has dominated my time.  I see now that I will not be able to always post every day.  However, I will post as much as possible and after I get caught up with all my work, I will post on a more regular basis.  Please continue to check our blog for new posts, and look in the archives for post that may be germane to your current situation or questions regarding German Shepherd Dogs.

Retraining your German shepherd dog not to be dog aggressive is not an easy task and will take a concerted effort and time to correct.  Retrain rather than train is because your shepherd was not always dog aggressive, and likely you had a large part in the development of this behavior as your puppy grew up.  Either you did not socialize the German Shepherd Dog enough as a puppy by exposing them to strange dogs and people or when you came into contact with a strange dog while walking your shepherd you gave the wrong signals, which encouraged the aggressive behavior.

12-Month-Old Heidelberg's Nelson Being Socialized to Strange Dogs at a Dog Show
12-Month-Old Heidelberg’s Nelson Being Socialized to Strange Dogs at a Dog Show

German Shepherd Dogs that are bred correctly will have the propensity to be protective of their owners and their owner’s property including the owner’s other animals.  If not nurtured and developed correctly this predisposition to be protective can be demonstrated in aggressive behavior to strange dogs that come to close to the owners or owner’s property or even while on a walk.

Because your German Shepherd Dog is aggressive towards other dogs does not mean that your shepherd is evil or a killer.   If this is your thought process then you need to understand that your shepherd is just doing what they were bred to do and because of your lack of training experience it is your fault not your dog’s fault.  In your German Shepherd Dog’s mind they are protecting you from attack from strange dogs when they show this aggravating behavior of charging at strange dogs while you are walking with them.  From this perspective, while frustrating, it is a little harder to be angry at your dog now that you know they are willing to risk injury and even death to protect you from what they see as a perceived threat.

German Shepherds Will Protect Your Property From Strange Dogs and People
German Shepherds Will Protect Your Property From Strange Dogs and People

If your German Shepherd Dog is dog aggressive then it is imperative and solely your responsibility to keep your shepherd from contacting a strange dog outside of your property until they are retrained.  If your German Shepherd Dog hurts another dog outside of your property get your checkbook out and start writing a check.  While you are writing a check, then write another one out to a professional trainer to retrain your German shepherd Dog. 

Basically if your German Shepherd dog is dog aggressive, you have four choices: 1) return the dog to breeder or get rid of the shepherd and the problem then get a poodle because you do not understand dog psychology well in enough to own a German Shepherd Dog; 2) ignore the problem and keep your shepherd on your property away from strange dogs; 3) retrain your German Shepherd Dog yourself; and 4) hire a professional trainer to retrain your dog not to be dog aggressive.  Tomorrow, I will continue this blog by focusing on option 3 and 4.

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

Sincerely,

KeystoneGermanShepherds

Add Juicing Pulp to Your German Shepherd Dog Diet

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

Hi Everyone,

A lot of people are paying more attention today to their health by educating themselves on a healthy diet.  They are juicing to increase their nutrient intake.  Juicing is becoming more popular than ever before as people learn more about nutritional needs and how to meet those needs in a world of processed foods.  Besides being delicious, juicing fresh vegetables and fruit it is particularly healthy.  I personally have been juicing breakfast and lunch somewhat inconsistently for the last two years.  I get away from juicing because I get busy and do not have the time to purchase the vegetables and fruits and to prepare them.  It does take a lot of time out of your daily schedule to juice on a regular basis.  However, I keep coming back to because I feel and look much better when I juice.   I lose weight, have more energy, and my complexion improves, and I have a definite healthy glow when I juice on a regular basis.  In addition, it only takes a couple of days to start to feel and see the positive effect of juicing.

Healthy Puppy Befitting From Juicing  Pulp in His Diet
Healthy Puppy Befitting From Juicing Pulp in His Diet

Today, I encourage you to start juicing if you do not and if you do juice do the same for your German Shepherd Dog by including the pulp left over from juicing in your German Shepherd Dog’s diet.  The pulp leftover from juicing is similar to the predigested stomach contents of herbivores.

Carnivores and certain omnivores such as lions, dogs, wolves, coyotes, and foxes in nature, after capturing their prey will always first consume stomachs and intestines, which contain predigested vegetation. These predigested contents provide the meat eaters with much-needed nutrients such as complex amino acids, minerals, enzymes, and chlorophyll necessary for maintenance, health, and longevity. These nutrients cannot be found in sufficient levels or in a readily digestible form in most all dry-foods. In addition, many of these basic nutrients are cooked out of the dry-food during processing.

Healthy and Happy Heidelberg German Shepherd Dog, Puppies
Healthy and Happy Heidelberg German Shepherd Dog, Puppies

Prepare the pulp by bringing it to a boil.  By denaturing the proteins, you will further make it more like predigested stomach contents of herbivores. You can also add eggs and fresh meat and cook these items with the pulp, thus making a gruel that you can pour out over your German Shepherd Dog’s dry-food.

Food items that are exceptionally healthy for your German Shepherd Dog include kale, carrots, apples, oranges, grapefruit, berries of all types, grapes only in very small quantities (grapes can be harmful to your dog in large quantities), cranberries, spinach, cucumbers, watermelon, tomatoes, etc.  You will have to experiment with ratios both for you and your dog for taste.  Too much pulp and your German Shepherd Dog may not eat it. 

Grand Champion Heidelberg's Kodi Enjoys Juice Pulp
Grand Champion Heidelberg’s Kodi Enjoys Juice Pulp

 Try juicing for yourself and your German Shepherd Dog.  I guarantee that you will like the results.  As always before dramatically changing your diet or your dog’s diet consult your physician and your veterinarian.

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

Sincerely,

KeystoneGermanShepherds

Traveling Tips for Your German Shepherd Dog Continued

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

Hi Everyone,

Traveling with your German Shepherd Dog can be easy and enjoyable when you and your dog are prepared for the trip.  German Shepherd Dog, puppies or adults can be extremely sensitive to the water that they drink.  Water from different areas contain different chemicals and hardness, and can cause your German Shepherd Dog to get diarrhea.  Therefore, it is well worth the effort to travel with water from your house for your German Shepherd Dog.  An alternative to this is to purchase distilled water.  When we are traveling to dog shows, we may have as many as eight adult dogs in our van.  This many dogs makes it impossible to carry enough water from home for a four or five day trip.  We have found that the dogs do well on distilled water and they never get runny stools from the water.

Enjoying a Break while on the Road
Enjoying a Break while on the Road

I discovered this years ago while at a dog show with seven German Shepherd Dogs in West Texas where the local water was high in sulfur.  I as well as all seven German shepherds had upset stomachs.  I purchased distilled water and everyone got well within one day.  Also, if your German Shepherd Dog does develop runny stools while traveling, four or five table spoons of Dannon plain white yogurt added to their food will calm their upset stomachs. 

Traveling with your German Shepherd Dog’s food is easy with a little planning and preparation.   I recommend bagging daily rations of dry-food in Ziploc baggies.  This way you will not run out of food before your travels are done and you are not hauling extra food.  You also can precook carrots and eggs and place these in Tupperware and keep them cool in a small doggie ice chest along with your yogurt and canned meet.  Vitamins and cod liver oil also be premeasured and placed in smaller containers so you are not carrying extra while on your trip.  We prefer to feed canned salmon or mackerel when traveling.  One 15 ounce should be enough for 5 days.  Be sure to bring a food bowl; we prefer stainless steel because it is durable and very easy to clean in a hotel sink. Also, you should bring a pail that you can hang onto the side of their crate for them to drink from.

Taking Time to Explore While on a Travel Break
Taking Time to Explore While on a Travel Break

Where does your German Shepherd dog ride while in the vehicle?  For adult shepherds the front or back seat may suffice.  If your dog is not crated, please use a dog seat-belt.  This will protect you as well as your German shepherd Dog if you have a car accident.  Even a minor fender bender can propel your unsecured dog into or through the windshield or into the back of your head killing you and your dog.  For traveling with German Shepherd Dog puppies, I recommend a crate that is just large enough that they can stand up and comfortably turn around in.  The crate should be secured to the vehicle so that it cannot become a projectile in case of an accident.

If you are staying overnight in hotels, you should bring a crate that you can place your dog in while he is in the hotel room, especially if you leave to go to eat and leave the German Shepherd Dog behind.  This is because if hotel staff opens the door, they will not be greeted by a German Shepherd Dog and possibly let your dog out of the room when they leave the door open while running away.  This happened to one of our customers while at a dog show in Biloxi, Mississippi.

Finally do not forget to bring a couple of your German Shepherd Dog’s favorite toys.  Traveling is stressful to your dog and having a couple of their favorite toys in evening will allow them to unwind while you watch television to unwind.  Enjoy your travels with your German Shepherd Dog and be safe on the road.

Traveling with Your German Shepherd Dog
Grand Champion, Champion Heidelberg’s Kodiak v Qeridad Ready for Another Road Trip

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

Sincerely,

KeystoneGermanShepherds

Updates and Improvements Coming

Hello everyone, this is Spencer Heckathorn, Dean’s son. I am working to improve the blog’s layout and structure with regards to the internal workings. You will see a few minor changes on the blog over the next week. Please check your bookmarks!

Also any feedback is going to be greatly appreciated. We need to know about any problems you may encounter, suggestions you have, or any questions. We would also greatly appreciate and like to hear any dog related questions you may have.

Thank you for reading Keystone German Shepherds Dog Blog.

Traveling Tips For Your German Shepherd Dog

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

Hi Everyone,

Traveling with your German Shepherd Dog can be easy and enjoyable when you and your dog are prepared for the trip.    German Shepherd Dog, puppies or adults can comfortably travel five to seven hours without having to get out and exercise and relieve themselves as long as they have gone to the bathroom right before leaving.  If you are traveling further than five to seven hours you need to plan for a puppy or dog stop. 

a Heidelberg German Shepherd Dog Puppy Traveling
a Heidelberg German Shepherd Dog Puppy Traveling

We personally prefer to exercise our German Shepherd Dogs of lead; therefore, we try to stop in isolated places such as behind a large church or behind large shopping centers where there are often large areas of grass and little traffic.  For those that want to exercise their German Shepherd Dogs on lead, most gas stations and truck stops along the Interstate have designated exercise areas for traveling dogs.  An expandable lead is in dispensable for exercising on lead because it allows your German Shepherd Dog to get away from the owner so they feel more comfortable going to the bathroom.   For those that are traveling with German Shepherd Dog puppies younger than 16 weeks, you should avoid public potty areas because of the risk of your potentially unprotected puppy being exposed to parvo, distemper, or other communicable diseases.  Look for isolated places such as behind Wal-Marts.  Everyone that exercises their dogs in a public place should clean up after their dogs.  Pack plastic bags with you so you can pick up the feces and throw it in the trash.

Heidelberg German Shepherd Dogs Exercising Behind a Shopping Mall
Heidelberg German Shepherd Dogs Exercising Behind a Shopping Mall

Once your German Shepherd Dog has stretched their legs for five to ten minutes and relieved themselves, they will be ready to travel another five to seven hours or until you arrive at your destination. 

While on your planned dog stop, if you know your German Shepherd Dog, puppy or adult needs to defecate and they will not go after ten minutes, you can gently insert two or three wooden kitchen matches halfway into their rectum.  This will get your dog to go to the bathroom within a few minutes.  Most German Shepherd Dogs tolerate this well as long as you are gentle.

Heidelberg German Shepherd Dog Looking for a Place to Potty After Being Matched
Heidelberg German Shepherd Dog Looking for a Place to Potty After Being Matched

Sometimes while traveling a German Shepherd Dog will get a nervous stomach resulting in diarrhea.  This is not a problem as long as you are prepared.  While traveling you should always have a collar on your dog so that they cannot slip out of it and a leash readily available.  Therefore, if you have to pull off on the side of the highway your German Shepherd Dog and you will be safe.  If your German Shepherd Dog needs to go to the bathroom while you are driving they will become anxious and let you know by either whining or barking.  Look for the closest and safest place to pull over and pull over connecting the leash to the collar before you open the door.  If it is an emergency bathroom break, your dog may surprise you by darting out the first open vehicle door running out into traffic if you do not have them on lead. 

Tomorrow I will continue this discussion with for more travel tips for you and your German Shepherd Dog.

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

Sincerely,

KeystoneGermanShepherds