German Shepherd Dog Puppy and Adult Health Tip: Lean Dogs

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

Hi Everyone,

Today I’m going to provide a very simple but extremely important health tip for your German Shepherd Dog. Simply, keep your German Shepherd Dog lean.

Everyone wants a fat healthy German Shepherd Dog puppy.  A plump puppy indicates good health.  However, German Shepherd Dogs, as do all large breed dogs, grow rapidly and even a few extra pounds can place undo stress on vulnerable and growing joints.  Puppies play hard and often can come up lame, and the difference between limping for a few days and having a lifetime of lameness resulting from injuries can be a few extra pounds in a growing German Shepherd Dog puppy.

Lean Puppies Playing
Lean Puppies Playing

Many owners cannot wait for their German Shepherd Dogs to bulk up once they turn two and have slowed in growth.  Therefore, they often overfeed and unknowingly make their German Shepherd Dogs fat.  Unfortunately the look they really want is not the rolly-polly dog that they have created, but rather that of a muscular mature German Shepherd Dog. German Shepherd Dogs are not stocky breeds by design, such as Rottweilers, St. Bernard, or Bernese Mountain dogs.

Usually by the time your German Shepherd Dog turns five they will have started to develop a mature well muscular look.  This lean well muscled German Shepherd Dog will come naturally with proper nutrition and exercise.  Be patient, with good genetics, diet, and exercise it will happen.

A Four-Year-Old Champion Heidelberg's Bismark Naturally Bulking Up
A Four-Year-Old Champion Heidelberg’s Bismark Naturally Bulking Up

Having your German Shepherd Dog adult overweight is more detrimental to their overall health than having them too heavy as puppies.  While joints are still a concern, your German Shepherd Dog is now predisposed to diabetes, autoimmune disease, heart attack, stroke, and increased risk of cancer.

Keep your German Shepherd Dogs lean, and they will perform, feel, and look better.

Ask me a question and I will provide my opinion.

Sincerely,

KeystoneGermanShepherds

German Shepherd Dog Grooming Tip: Part 2 – Nails

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

Trimming Your German Shepherd Dog’s Nails Conclusion

One of the most frustrating and difficult activities you may ever attempt with your German Shepherd Dog is trimming their nails if they resist or fight.  Today I am going to tell you how to train your German Shepherd Dog adolescent or adult to sit still while you trim their nails.

This training will take patience and persistence and will require you to perform theses exercises daily for a month or more.  However, the exercises only take 5 to 10 minutes and have a secondary benefit of bonding closer to your German Shepherd Dog.  Do not attempt to trim your German Shepherd Dog’s nail until they successfully complete the below exercises.

Every day as with the puppy, sit with your German Shepherd Dog adolescent or adult and rub and massage them to get them to relax. Once relaxed play with their feet.  If they become anxious stop and go back to rubbing and petting them. Continue daily with this exercise until you can hold their feet and spread their toes without resistance or anxiety.

Every day after you play with their feet, place your German Shepherd Dog adolescent on a grooming table.  Good quality grooming tables and neck harness can be purchased for approximately $100.00 to $140.00.  You need a grooming table if you own a German Shepherd Dog, therefore, invest in a good quality table that will last your lifetime.

German Shepherd Dog Grooming Table
German Shepherd Dog Grooming Table

Once on the grooming table place the lanyard over their neck and brush them out.  If they show anxiety reassure them.  Make the exercise of being on the grooming table a good experience for your German Shepherd Dog.  Once they have become comfortable being on the table lift their feet up in the air and spread your German Shepherd Dog’s toes. While playing with their feet on the table, groom them by brushing and using a shedding comb, and acclimate to the nail clippers by gently rubbing them on their body and around their feet.

After Your German Shepherd Dog adolescent or adult has become comfortable with the above exercises, you are ready to start trimming their nails.  If possible have another family member to help hold your German Shepherd Dog on the grooming table.  Confidently start trimming their nails.  You will likely clip two or three nails before they realize something is not the same.  Once your German Shepherd Dog realizes what you are doing they will become anxious and start resisting.  Back off from the nail trimming and reassure your German Shepherd Dog by brushing and petting.  Once they calm down start clipping their nails again.  Repeat the calming efforts as needed.  The first time that you do clip their nails it may take 30 minutes, but hang in there because it will get better each time you trim their nails.

The above method is the best method for training your German Shepherd Dog to sit calmly while you trim their nails.  However, you may speed up the process if you lack the patience for the above method and you have a strong assistant. This method requires laying the German Shepherd Dog on their side on the grooming table.  The assistant needs to hold the dog down distributing their weight on the neck and head and applying pressure to the rear legs.  Do this as calmly as possible and within two or three nail trimmings your assistant will be able to hold onto your German Shepherd Dog adolescent or adult in a sitting position while you trim the nails.  Eventually you will not need the assistant.

German Shepherd Dog Restrained on a Grooming Table
German Shepherd Dog Restrained on a Grooming Table

322x269KodiRestrainedII

 

Trim your German Shepherd Dog’s nails on a regular basis and they will love you the more for it, and you will love having doors and door jams without scratch marks ,

Ask me a question and I will provide my opinion.

Sincerely,

KeystoneGermanShepherds

German Shepherd Dog Grooming Tip: Part 1 – Nails

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

Hi Everyone,

Today, I would like to discuss a grooming tip for your German Shepherd Dog, adult or puppy. Because German Shepherd Dog’s are relative clean in nature, they require very little grooming maintenance other than a good coat brushing a couple times a week and nails trimmed ideally twice a month.  Many German Shepherd Dog owners never clip their dog’s nails because their puppy was not properly trained and conditioned to have their nails trimmed.  Now as an adolescent or adult it is a nightmare to clip their German Shepherd Dog’s nails.  Other owner are afraid of accidentally cutting the quick. Thus, many German Shepherd Dog owners avoid clipping nails or take their German Shepherd Dog to an expensive grooming service or veterinarian.

It is a health hazard to allow your German shepherd Dog’s nails to grow long.  Sooner or later, due to the high activity level of your German shepherd Dog, they will snag and pull an entire nail off.  Such an injury is highly susceptible to serious infections that can result in amputation of a toe.

While your German Shepherd Dog is a young puppy acclimate them to nail clipping by playing with their toes while they are being loved in your lap, on the couch, or in the floor.  Make it a habit to play with their feet and toes by grabbing hold of the foot and spreading their toes apart.  This conditions your German shepherd Dog puppy to be relaxed regarding having their feet and toes messed with.  Then clip Your German Shepherd Dog puppy’s nails routinely at least every other week.  If you do this as your German Shepherd Dog grows up, you will be able to always clip their nails without problems.

Human toe nail clippers are ideal for your German Shepherd Dog puppy, but eventually you will need to purchase a good quality scissor nail clipper as shown below.  Never use the the guillotine type clippers on German Shepherd Dogs. Guillotine clippers tend to dull quickly and crush the nail rather than cut, which results in discomfort for your German Shepherd Dog.

Scissor Type Nail Clippers
Scissor Type Nail Clippers

Below the photograph shows the correct place to trim your German Shepherd Dog nails. The cut should be made in front of the quick where the nail starts to hook over.  If nails are white you can see the quick, however, most our German Shepherd Dogs have darker nails making it impossible to see the quick. Through experience you will know where to trim the nail to avoid cutting into the quick.  When you do cut into the quick it will cause some pain and bleeding, and you will need to apply styptic powder.  Do not be afraid of cutting the quick because “it will happen”, but as you continue to trim your German Shepherd Dog’s nails you will learn how close to trim.

281x 269 Champion Bogie getting nails trimmed

Tomorrow, I will discuss German Shepherd Dogs that resists or fights nail trimming and tell you how to train them so that their nails can easily be trimmed.

Ask me a question and I will provide my opinion.

Sincerely,

KeystoneGermanShepherds

 

German Shepherd Dog Diet Tip: Yogurt

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 recommend that you add to your German Shepherd Dog’s diet one tablespoon of plain white yogurt to every meal. Yogurt contains the essential calcium in a highly digestible form that is needed for maintenance and growth.  Once German Shepherd Dog puppies are weened they become lactose intolerant, which means they no longer are able to produce the enzyme lactase in sufficient quantities to digest most milk products.  Certain cheeses and cottage cheese in small quantity and yogurt are digestible by your German Shepherd Dog.

German Shepherd Dogs love the taste of yogurt.  Yogurt may help a finicky German Shepherd Dog eater to eat their food.

Yogurt is especially good for your growing German Shepherd Dog puppy by promoting and supporting proper bone and joint growth.  Most all dry-food companies that sell puppy formulas, advertise their kibble as being fortified with calcium, but if you read the label the form of calcium added to the kibble is calcium carbonate.  Calcium carbonate is ground up limestone and is not a readily digestible form of calcium.  Therefore, the limestone powder passes through your German Shepherd Dog puppy’s digestive system unabsorbed and may even be detrimental by adding undo stress to your German Shepherd Dog puppy’s digestive system.

One heaping table spoon of a high quality Yogurt such as Dannon provides your German Shepherd Dog’s daily requirement for calcium, as well as probiotics such as acidophilus.  Acidophilus will help your German Shepherd Dog digest their food more efficiently by assisting the breakdown of nutrients into a digestible form.  This is one supplement for your German Shepherd Dog that may pay for itself by assisting in the more efficient digestion of your dog’s food. Thus, better absorption and less poop.

In addition, yogurt can help with diarrhea by replenishing the flora that is lost in your German Shepherd Dog’s digestive system during a bout of diarrhea.  When one of our German Shepherd Dog has an upset stomach, we give them 5 to 6 heaping tablespoons of yogurt added to their dinner and in most cases this settles their stomach and reduces or ends their bout of diarrhea.

A good source of yogurt is as close as your local food store.  We recommend a high quality yogurt because the cheaper brands may not have live acidophilus cultures.

Include yogurt in your diet regime for your dog, and your German Shepherd Dog will love you the more for it.  You will not be disappointed, and will love purchasing less dog food and picking up less poop.

Ask me a question and I will provide my opinion.

Sincerely,

KeystoneGermanShepherds

 

 

 

German Shepherd Dog Diet Tip: Cod Liver Oil

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 recommend that you add to your German Shepherd Dog’s diet a table spoon of cod liver oil.  Cod liver oil contains the essential omega three fatty acids that are need for maintenance and growth.  Cod liver oil is especially good for your growing German Shepherd Dog puppy by promoting good brain growth and a strong vascular system, as well as providing essential macro-nutrients for good eye health.

Another benefit of cod liver oil for German Shepherd Dog is that it will keep their coats bright and shiny.  In addition, if your German Shepherd Dog has skin allergies, cod liver will help alleviate the itching and scratching associated with skin allergies and hot spots.

Cod liver oil can also be used to flavor bad tasting medicines.  Just pour a little cod liver oil on the pill or powder and your German Shepherd Dog will readily take their medicine.

We sell one quart bottles of the purest North Atlantic cod liver oil that is available.  We charge $17.50 for the one quart bottles that are human grade cod liver oil.  Our cod liver is also preserved only with vitamin e (no artificial preservatives or harsh chemicals) and can be placed in the freezer for long term storage.   A one quart bottle will last approximately 3 months.

Include cod liver oil in your diet regime for your dog, and your German Shepherd Dog will love you the more for it.

Ask me a question and I will provide my opinion.

Sincerely,

KeystoneGermanShepherds

 

 

 

 

 

German Shpherd Dog and Puppy Training Tip: Heeling

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

What To Do If Your German Shepherd Dog Heels With Their Nose To The Ground

Hello Everyone,

Many German Shepherds Dogs have natural instincts to to track.  This is why many German Shepherd Dogs make superior Search and Rescue Dogs, Cadaver Dogs, and Drug Search Dogs. For the German Shepherd Dog that has these instincts it is rather quite easy for a trainer to harness these instincts and develop this German Shepherd Dog into a superior working Dog.

However, these same German Shepherd Dogs want to heel with their nose to the ground rather than watching where the owner wants to go. This behavior is easy to correct while performing the heeling exercise.  First make sure that you have the choke chain on so it will release after a correction and that it is correctly sized to your German Shepherd Dog puppy or Adult.  In addition, make sure the chain is in the correct position high on the neck.  (See my blog tip on choke chains.)

While performing the heeling exercise when your German Shepherd Dog puts his head down give a sharp command “LEAVE IT” while giving a serious of sharp corrections with the choke chain.  This means quickly pulling up with the leash sharply then releasing. As soon as the tension is out of the leash pull up again sharply.  You should be able to get three to four corrections in a a manner of a couple of seconds.  Repeat as necessary and eventually even the most aggressive tracker will not put their nose to ground while heeling.

Try this technique the next time you are performing a heeling exercise with your German Shepherd Dog puppy or adult and you will be pleased with how much better your dog will heel when their nose is not continuously on the ground.  Your German shepherd Dog walks will be much more enjoyable and your German Shepherd Dog will love you more for it.

Ask me a question and I will provide my opinion.

Sincerely,

KeystoneGermanShepherds

 

Training Tips for German Shepherd Dogs and Puppies – Conclusion: Stop Jumping

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

Conclusion: How to Stop Your German Shepherd Dog, Adult and Puppy to Stop Jumping on You

Hi Everyone,

Today we conclude our 3 part training tip on how to stop your German Shepherd Dog adult or puppy from jumping on you and other people.

This last method that I recommend for your German Shepherd Dog to stop jumping on people requires two people.  This method is mainly for those German Shepherd Dogs that only jump after an extended absence by the owner or family members.

This exercise can be accomplished at the door that the family uses to enter the house.  First a family Member that is home must be contacted by the arriving owner that they are a few minutes from coming home.  The person that is home gets the German Shepherd Dog adolescent or adult on a leash and choke chain.  Place the German Shepherd Dog on a sit and stay command in front of the door.  Then the arriving owner opens the door and provides verbal commands for the German Shepherd dog to remain in a sit and stay.  The person on the leash gives choke chain corrections (in silence) for the arriving family member.

The arriving family member does not approach the German Shepherd Dog until they are are in the sit and stay position.  If the dog moves as you approach give verbal commands while the leash is operated by the silent family member.  Continue with this exercise until you can approach your German Shepherd Dog while they remain in the sit and stay position.  Once approached give your German Shepherd Dog adolescent or adult love and praise.  Repeat this exercise every time you return home until your German Shepherd Dog will remain in a sit and stay position until greeted.  Then try it without the leash and choke chain.  Repeat training exercise if your German Shepherd Dog reverts back to jumping.

The above method can be transferred to the yard or kennel.  Try utilizing the outside door to the backyard or a gate for the arriving family member.

Lastly, I do not advocate kneeing your German Shepherd Dog when they jump because your dog does not understand this correction and they are also in a very vulnerable position and can be seriously and/or permanently injured if kneed, which can cause them to land awkwardly.  In addition, I do not advocate hitting your German Shepherd dog with a slap or with your fist on the muzzle.  Again, they do not understand this correction and you can seriously injure your hand on their teeth since the German shepherd Dog’s mouth will usually be open while jumping up to give you a kiss.  Also, you may injure your German Shepherds Dog’s eye if you start flailing with your hand.

With patience and persistence you can use the above exercises to train your German Shepherd Dog puppy, adolescent, or adult not to jump on you and others.  Your German Shepherd Dog will love you more if they are well mannered and they will show you their appreciation with lots of kisses without jumping.

Puppy Kisses
Puppy Kisses

Ask me a question and I will provide my opinion.

Sincerely,

KeystoneGermanShepherds

 

Training Tip for German Shepherd Dogs and Puppies – Continuation: Stop Jumping

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

Continuation: How to Stop Your German Shepherd Dog, Adult and Puppy to Stop Jumping on You

Hi Everyone,

Yesterday’s discussion focused on how to keep your German Shepherd Dog puppy from jumping on you.  More specifically how not to inadvertently train your puppy to jump on you.

Today we will discuss how to stop your German Shepherd Dog adolescent or adult to not jump on you or other people.  This will not be easy and will require patience and persistence.  There are several methods to re-train your German Shepherd Dog from jumping on you and most require a certain level of physical strength and mobility by the owner.  I will provide the methods that I found to be effective.  For all these methods, you must be persistent and never allow your German shepherd Dog to jump on you without applying one of these methods.  In addition, these methods can be combined or each specific method can be used to fit the situation.

The first method requires the most physical ability by the owner and the most effort. When your German Shepherd Dog jumps on you immediately give the correction “OFF” then take your German Shepherd Dog to the ground laying on top of your German Shepherd Dog until he stops struggling.  This is the ultimate show of dominance and reinforces that the owner is the Alpha Dog or Pack Leader.  Once the German Shepherd Dog adolescent or adult stops struggling release them and provide praise and love.  This is done for two reasons, to reassure your German Shepherd Dog and to incite excitement that may cause them to jump on you again.  If you can get them to jump on you again then repeat the exercise.  For the more stubborn German shepherd Dog, you may have to repeat several times.  If you have small children or other family members that are not physically able to hold the German Shepherd Dog down, but nevertheless are a target of the German Shepherd Dog’s jumping include them in the exercise with you taking the dog down to the ground.  Once the German Shepherd Dog is released allow the child or other person to reassure the dog and possibly entice the jumping behavior to repeat the exercise.

Note: that the above method is not for German Shepherd Dog adolescents or adults that have aggressive behavior problems due to the chance of the owner or other participants being bit.  Consult your professional trainer if you are unsure about your German Shepherd Dog’s behavior problems or aggressiveness.

Another method that requires less physical ability of the owner is for the owner to grab the front feet of the German Shepherd Dog adolescent or adult when the dog jumps.  Immediately, use the command “OFF” while walking the German Shepherd Dog backwards.  Repeat the OFF command several times while you are doing this exercise. Again, if you have family members that are not capable of doing this exercise then do it for them by grabbing the feet and walking the dog backwards for three or four yards (9 to 12 feet) before releasing the dog back to the ground.  Once the exercise is complete reassure the German Shepherd Dog by using praise and love.  Repeat as necessary. You may also squeeze the front feet, thus increasing the discomfort to your German Shepherd Dog.

All methods can be combined, for example you may start the retraining exercise by laying on top off your German Shepherd Dog on Saturday when you are not wearing your best clothes and then the following morning on your way to church you may want to grab the German Shepherd Dog’s feet and walk backwards to keep your clothes from being soiled. The main point is no matter what method(s) you use, you must use a corrective exercise every time your German Shepherd Dog jumps on you or another person.  Persistence in these exercises will achieve the fastest and lasting results.

Tomorrow I conclude this discussion by providing another effective method to stop your German Shepherd Dog adolescent or adult from jumping on you and other people.

Ask me a question and I will provide my opinion.

Sincerely,

 

KeystoneGermanShepherds

Diet Improvements for Your German Shepherd Dog or Puppy

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

Why Does Your German Shepherd Dog or Puppy Eat Grass

Hello, today I thought I would blog about the correct way to feed your German shepherd dog and/or your German shepherd puppy. We’ve all seen German shepherds eat grass and then vomit the grass back up. Most of us have heard that the reason for this is that they have an upset stomach and that is why they are eating grass.

German shepherd dogs eat grass because they are not strict carnivores, but rather omnivores that have a nutritional requirement, as we do, for chlorophyll.   Unfortunately your German shepherd dog cannot digest the Johnson, rye, or Bermuda grass in your yard.  Therefore, they must vomit it back up.

We satisfy this need for Chlorophyll in our German shepherd dogs’ diet by adding cooked spinach and/or raw alfalfa sprouts to their diet. We add about 1 ounce per day of cooked spinach or alfalfa sprouts to our German shepherd diet.  Your German shepherd dog or puppy will be able to digest and fully assimilate these vegetables, thus benefiting from these rich sources of chlorophyll, vitamin A, and iron.

In addition, we monitor our German shepherd dogs and if we observe them eating grass, we increase the amount of spinach and/or alfalfa sprouts to their diet.  German shepherd dogs are like humans in that their nutritional requirements change; sometimes daily depending on environmental stressors and hormone levels such as going into season.

Try adding cooked spinach and/or alfalfa sprouts to your German shepherd dog’s diet.  You will be presently pleased with the results and your German shepherd will love you the more for it.

Ask me a question and I promise I will provide my opinion.

Sincerely,

KeystoneGermanShepherds