Category Archives: AKC

Most Important Command to Teach Your Dog

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

 

The first and most important training command you can teach your dog is to come to you when called. Even if you live in a subdivision and your dog is either secured in the backyard or on a leash there will be a time when your dog or puppy slips the lead or escapes the backyard. By correctly training your dog to come when called can save its life or save you from an expensive vet bill. For example, you are walking your dog on a leash and a cat runs out in front of you into traffic. You are relaxed and not expecting your dog to bolt, thus the leash slips out of your hand and your dog is after the cat heading into traffic. Unless the dog is well trained to come there is nothing you can do except pray.

A Two-Year-Old Patriot playing in Pine Bluff, AR at Dog Show in February 2013
A Two-Year-Old Patriot playing in Pine Bluff, AR at Dog Show in February 2013

You can and should start training your new puppy to come to you when called as soon as it comes home with you. Do this at home and often, have tiny treats that your puppy cannot resist, and frequently say your puppy’s name followed by the word “come”. Every time the puppy comes to you give it a treat and love on the puppy then spend a couple minutes playing. The command to come should always be a positive experience for the puppy and never punish your puppy or dog for not coming. If they don’t come be patient and just try again in a few minutes. The idea is to make the come command enticing and irresistible from the dogs’ point of view and this takes time and patience. Making the come command enticing to your new puppy is done by treats they love, affection, and play. If you do this exercise four to five times a day while your puppy is young by the time you actually start formal training with a leash your puppy will be coming to you directly with great enthusiasm.

Heidelberg's William v Carlie (Jury)
Heidelberg’s William v Carlie (Jury)

Nothing makes a dog owner more proud than when their dog or puppy comes to them during training class with great enthusiasm. Once the dog starts formal training you will first teach your puppy or dog to stay and once that is mastered you can start training using the come command on leash using the three enticements of irresistible treats, love and praise, and play. If your adult will not come when you call it, even if your dog is old, you can train it come with practice and using the three positive enticements. Next time, I’ll show you how to train your dog to stay and to stay for hours if necessary.

Well socialized male Heidelberg's German Shepherd Dogs
Well socialized male Heidelberg’s German Shepherd Dogs

Please continue to check out our web page as we post updates on available litters: http://www.keystonegermanshepherds.com/PuppiesForSale.htm. We have several wonderful puppies that that are ready to go home.   Also, please see our web page: http://keystonegermanshepherds.com/
Sincerely,
KeystoneGermanShepherds

 

Finding the Right Fit For Veterinarian Care

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 posting an article by Amber Kingsley, a journalist and social media manager based in S. California.  Amber is a lifelong pet lover and owner and writes helpful pet articles while traveling around the world:

As both animal and pet lovers, we’re often stuck between a rock and a hard place when it comes to expensive veterinary bills. Just like our two-legged children, we still need to keep our four-legged friends happy and healthy, which includes regular and sometimes costly visits to the veterinarian’s office.

According to the ASPCA, when it comes to our pet care, often the highest costs associated with animal ownership are regular trips to the vet’s office. These figures don’t even reflect some often unexpected and expensive unplanned trips that can come out of the blue due to an accident or unforeseen illness.

But what’s a pet lover to do? Plenty actually, while we all know it’s best to shop around for the best deals, especially online, there’s many other ways we can reduce these medical expenses for our beloved animals. Check out these top three ways to take a bite out of our veterinary budget for our best friends:

Newman and Nelson Noah Puppies
Newman and Nelson Noah Puppies

#1 – The Right Fit

Just like our personal physician, our own primary medical care provider, finding the right veterinarian could mean the difference between a big bill and more affordable options. From my personal file of pet stories, I had a dog that accidentally ingested a tennis ball sized batch of carpet fibers that caused her to become dehydrated and lethargic. My vet told me that expensive surgery may be necessary, but wanted to try a less expensive alternative first, pumpkin.

Canned pure-pack pumpkin, the kind used in making pie, is also used as a digestive aid that can be used to help pets pass unwanted items from their digestive tract. Sure enough, my vet called later and told me to come and pick up my precious pooch who had passed the fibers without the need of a scalpel. This kind of insight is not only affordable, but sometimes difficult to locate. Be sure that you have a loving, caring and responsible veterinarian that isn’t just out for a quick buck.

#2 – Medication Malady

Speaking of a quick buck, most veterinarians charge enormous markups on their medications, averaging around 100% and could go as high as 275% in some cases. That can be a red flag or clue when trying to find the right vet as mentioned previously. If they have a problem with you purchasing your pet’s prescriptions elsewhere, this could be a problem. With places like 1-800-PetMeds that offer common medications at a fraction of the cost as those purchased from the vet’s office, there’s no need to spend extra for common prescriptions like heartworm, flea and tick prevention products.

You Are Responsible for Training Your New Heidelberg German Shepherd Puppy
You Are Responsible for Training Your New Heidelberg German Shepherd Puppy

#3 – An Educated Alternative

Is there a veterinarian college in your area? These students are training and educating themselves on common pet care practices like vaccinations. They may offer deep discounts on spaying, neutering and basic checkups for our four-legged friends.
Other collegiate locations to consider may be interested in doing research and treatments on uncommon or lesser-known medical procedures that can cost thousands at the vet’s office. It may be worth exploring along with other inexpensive alternatives found at area clinics that can offer low-cost treatment services, especially for vaccinations and “fixing” our pets at deeply discounted prices.

In closing, as the late, great spokesperson for animal rights, Mr. Bob Barker always said at the close of his popular daytime game show, “Help control the pet population, have your pet spayed or neutered.” The cost of this minor procedure is much less than raising an often unwanted litter of puppies – no matter how cute!

Healthy Food Means Healthy German Shepherds
Healthy Food Means Healthy German Shepherds

Please continue to check out our web page as we post updates on available litters: http://www.keystonegermanshepherds.com/PuppiesForSale.htm.   We have several wonderful German shepherd puppies for sale that that are ready to go home.

Please call me at (918) 261-4729 if you would like to take one of puppies home with you.  Please visit our web page to learn more about these wonderful Heidelberg German Shepherds that we raise at Keystone German Shepherds & Kennels.  http://keystonegermanshepherds.com/

Sincerely,

Dean Heckathorn

Historical of Keystone German Shepherds

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 posting an article about Keystone German Shepherds & Kennels in the Mannford Reporter written by by C.L. Harmon
Publisher:

Dean & Patty Heckathorn show off some puppies at Keystone German Shepherds & Kennels.

Dean & Patty Heckathorn and their former champion Kodi.

Dean & Patty Heckathorn show off some puppies at Keystone German Shepherds & Kennels.

Their names are Dean and Patty Heckathorn and they are a nice little secret tucked away in the country just off Hwy 48 South.Their secret is their success in breeding over 25 champion or grand champion Heidelberg Shepherds in the past several years.
Dean, a former biologist for the US Department of Fish & Wildlife for 18 years, raises, trains and cares for animals full time. Patty still works for the Wildlife Department as a secretary, but also works in the business as well as attending shows with Dean.

In 1996 while living in Daphne, Alabama, Dean started poking around the internet about a place where he could purchase a shepherd. His parents had had them and so he grew up with a fondness for them. After an exhausted search, he found a place with Heidelberg Shepherds in Springs, Texas. The next day, after a ten hour drive, the couple purchased a male and female shepherd.
Although, the couple initially only wanted a shepherd as a pet, they fell in love with the Heidelberg “brand” and decided to do a couple of breedings. They kept a few from the litters and then bought a few more dogs from the breeder in Texas and their kennel was born. In 1999,

Dean got transferred to Oklahoma. At this time the couple had 12 dogs and opened up shop here. Eleven years and several dog days later later, due to federal cutbacks, Dean was to be transferred again in 2010 to Albuquerque, NM. Only now they had several more dogs and uprooting wasn’t simply not feasible. What had been a hobby suddenly became a full-time business venture for the couple.

“I had always wanted my dogs to be available to everyone and so our prices had been $5-600 cheaper than our nearest competitor,” Dean said. However, he was forced to raise his prices in order to make the kennel a viable business that would make a living. They are still cheaper than their competitors, Dean said. Puppies sell now between $1,200-1,500.

One of the concepts the couple use in training is their choice to train family dogs as opposed to many types of shepherds which are trained for law enforcement purposes. They are trained home security, but are smart enough to know the difference between a kid climbing the fence to retrieve a football and the burglar breaking into a home, Dean said.

This breed is sweet natured and are very loyal have a natural herding instinct, Dean explained. “We raise family dogs that are loving family members and protective of the family,” Dean said. In their 18 years of raising, they have bred approximately 700 puppies.
The couple also offers several other services including: boarding, training, pet supplies, microchipping and even a free obedience class on Saturday mornings for all breeds to help teach them basic obedience and social skills.

For more information about Keystone German Shepherds & Kennels, call 918-261-4729, email keystonegsd@cimtel.net or visit keystonegermanshepherds.com

Please continue to check out our web page as we post updates on available litters: http://www.keystonegermanshepherds.com/PuppiesForSale.htm.   We have several wonderful German shepherd puppies for sale that that are ready to go home.

Please call me at (918) 261-4729 if you would like to take one of puppies home with you.  Please visit our web page to learn more about these wonderful Heidelberg German Shepherds that we raise at Keystone German Shepherds & Kennels. http://keystonegermanshepherds.com/

Sincerely,

Dean Heckathorn

German Shepherd Seasons

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

Hi Everyone,

I have learned that no matter how long you do something, you can always learn something new.  Albeit, sometimes, I just relearn those things I have forgotten.  Today, I’m going to write about German Shepherd dogs season or cycles.  For most German shepherd dogs, the female will have her first season or breeding cycle at or near 12-months of age.  Then the average German shepherd bitch will cycle every six months.

The length of the cycle is approximately 21 days, and begins with a light bright red discharge from their vagina.  This discharge can become heavy after a few days, especially during their first season at 12-months.  Subsequent seasons for some bitches can become cryptic unless you are a male German shepherd dog, you may never know your girls is in season.  While the season last approximately 21 days, the female will only ovulate and be receptive from one to five days during this cycle.  This should take place on the 10th day.

What I have learned is not all our female German shepherd dogs have read the text books.  We were having trouble getting some of our girls pregnant and even getting ties*.  We would start trying to breed the pair on the ninth day for a week (in case we missed the first couple of days that the cycle started), resulting in few ties and even fewer pregnancies.

I should mention that we do not place our breeding pairs in kennel and let nature take its course.  We actually assist the male during breedings.  Too much risk exist with the male becoming injured even breaking their penis bone if they are left on their own.  In addition, the male will breed every few hours after he has recuperated often resulting in infertile sperm and increase chance of uterine or vaginal infections.  Another reason we do controlled breedings is that we provide stud services here at Keystone German Shepherds & Kennels, and if we did not actually assist the male, we would not be able to get breedings on a lot of the outside females that are brought in for stud service.

Two Heidelberg's tied together in a controlled breeding
Two Heidelberg’s tied together in a controlled breeding

Recently, I did something different by bringing Heidelberg’s Emmy inside as soon as her cycle began and kept her inside for entire season.  We had planned to breed her to our Grand Champion Kodi and he lives inside with us full time.  Nine days passed and Kodi could care less that Emmy was inside.  we tried to breed them for a week and we were on her 16 day of her cycle, when I made the comment that she must be having an infertile season.  We were enjoying having Emmy inside so we allowed her to remain in the house, and on 21st day of her cycle Kodi came home and was immediately all over Emmy.  We subsequently bred them over the next five days.  Emmy is now pregnant and due on June 30, 2015.  If Emmy were outside in her kennel, we would have never known that she began ovulating 11 days later when all the text books stated that she should’ve been ready to breed much earlier.

Emmy and Kodi playing at a dog show in Sullivan, Mo
A young Emmy and Kodi playing at a dog show in Sullivan, Mo
Emmy on the right with her friend Sasha
Emmy on the right with her friend Sasha
Grand Champion Heidelberg's Kodiak v Queridad, Certified Service Dog, OFA 24G Excellent, DNA  #V495166
Grand Champion Heidelberg’s Kodiak v Queridad, Certified Service Dog, OFA 24G Excellent, DNA #V495166

Obviously, I have made proper adjustments to how we judge the time our girls are ready to breed and look forwards to less frustrations and more pregnancies.  This information, should be helpful to other breeders of all breeds of dogs as well as owners that have intact female dogs.  For one, owners that are not wanting to breed their dogs and separate them during seasons had better keep them separated for the full 21 days.  Because unless you are having progesterone test performed by your veterinarian, your female may ovulate at any point during her 21 day cycle and an unwanted tie and subsequent pregnancy may occur.

Please continue to check out our web page as we post updates on available litters: http://www.keystonegermanshepherds.com/PuppiesForSale.htm.   We have several wonderful German shepherd puppies for sale that that are ready to go home.

June 3, 2015 and it's starting to get warm after a very cool Spring
June 4, 2015 and it’s starting to get warm after a very cool Spring
When can we go to our new homes?
When can we go to our new homes?

Please call me at (918) 261-4729 if you would like to take one of puppies home with you.  Please visit our web page to learn more about these wonderful Heidelberg German Shepherds that we raise at Keystone German Shepherds & Kennels. http://keystonegermanshepherds.com/

Sincerely,

Dean Heckathorn

(*Ties are where the dog’s penis swells to fill a ball shape cavity just past the entrance of the vagina.  Once this happens the dogs become locked together and are physically unable to separate until the swelling subsides).  

 

Don’t Forget to Heart Worm Your German Shepherd

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

 

Hi Everyone,

Last Fall we rescued to beautiful Heidelberg German Shepherds, They were brother and sister, littermates that we hold sold less than four years ago to a married couple in their late 40’s.  Unfortunately, the wife became ill and the husband subsequently died of a heart attack.  The wife was placed in nursing care and the father of the deceased man who was afraid of dogs was basically throwing food over the fence to feed these two beautiful shepherds who were out of Champion Heidelberg’s Dargo and Champion Heidelberg’s Stefanie.

Ch. Heidelberg's Dargo v Angelique
Ch. Heidelberg’s Dargo v Angelique
Ch. Heidelberg's Stefani Missyw
Ch. Heidelberg’s Stefani Missyw

We were contacted about the situation and made the long drive to bring these two back to our kennel and try to re-home them.  It took several months to find adoptive families.  In the meantime, we administered care including stomach wormings, needed annual shots, and monthly heart worm treatment.

Well yesterday, I was contacted by the new owner of the male and he was found to have stage II heart worm disease.  Given the time-frame and the stage of infection it was clear that he had contracted heart worms after the previous owner had died and before we rescued them.  It only took three months for the male to become infected, and now requiring an expensive and risky treatment.

We have been using ivermection, the active ingredient in Heart Guard, manufactured by Merck for twenty years and have never had a heart worm.  In addition, we tell all our customers the necessity of monthly treatment for heart worms and we offer to sell them a two year supply of heart worm medicine for one dog at a cost of only $21.50.  Therefore, in twenty years, we have never had any problems with heart worms and it never occurred to us to check these two rescues for heart worms.

No matter what treatment type you use for heart worm treatment, please make sure you treat your German shepherd dog or puppy.  If you do not treat them and live in most of the continental United States, your dog will eventually get heart worms even if they are primarily and inside dog.

Now there is some misinformation out there concerning heart worm treatment.  One is that if your dog currently has heart worms and you treat the dog with a monthly heart worm treatment that you are placing them at great risk.  Wrong, the reason your vet does not want you treat the dog that may have heart worms is because you will kill off the microfilaria in the blood stream and therefore they would test negative for heart worms.  Another misconception is that you have to go through the very risky and expensive treatment offered by your vet to rid your dog of a heart worm infection.  You can treat your infected dog with monthly doses of ivermection and within two-years all heart worms will be removed from your dog’s body.  However, this is only effective for lower stages of infection.  From what I understand if your Dog is Stage IV, there is no treatment or recovery.

Another concern voiced by some for this slower and cheaper treatment of heart worms by the use of ivermection is that it may result in producing ivermectin tolerant heart worms.  However, since the ivermection treatment makes the female heart worm infertile, the scenario of producing ivermection tolerant heart worms is a mute point.

In addition, to using ivermection it also recommended that monthly treatments of doxycycline for five days will help reduce the chances of secondary infection from the absorption of dead heart worms in your dog’s body and will cause the remaining heart worms to starve or become weakened because the doxycycline kills Wolbachia.  “Wolbachia is a genus of rickettsial organisms, sort of like bacteria but not exactly. They live inside the adult heart worm. These organisms seem to be protective or beneficial to the heart worms; treating the dog with the antibiotic doxycycline, which kills Wolbachia, seems to sterilize female heart worms, meaning they cannot reproduce. Wolbachia is also thought to be involved in the embolism and shock that result when heart worms die. The role of this organism is still being investigated.”*

Ivermection and Doxycycline for animal use can be purchased online without a prescription or at most feed stores.  As always, we at Keystone German Shepherds & Kennels, do not suggest or recommend that you ever treat your German Shepherd dog or any animal without first consulting your veterinarian.

Please continue to check out our web page as we post updates on available litters: http://www.keystonegermanshepherds.com/PuppiesForSale.htm.   We have several wonderful German shepherd puppies for sale that that are ready to go home.

June 3, 2015 and it's starting to get warm after a very cool Spring
June 3, 2015 and it’s starting to get warm after a very cool Spring
When can we go to our new homes?
When can we go to our new homes?

Please call me at (918) 261-4729 if you would like to take one of puppies home with you.  Please visit our web page to learn more about these wonderful Heidelberg German Shepherds that we raise at Keystone German Shepherds & Kennels.  http://keystonegermanshepherds.com/

Sincerely,

Dean Heckathorn

* From  the Veterinary Information Network, Inc. All rights reserved, Copyright 2014 – 2015.

Puppies For Sale

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

Hi Everyone,

I’ve got some special female puppies out of Grand Champion, Champion, Certified Service Dog, Heidelberg’s  Kodiak v Queridad OFAA24G  Excellent, DNA #V495166 (Kodi) and Heidelberg’s Candee Fontana (Shae).  This is Shae’s last litter.

Kodi in Tulsa
Kodi in Tulsa
Traveling with Your German Shepherd Dog
Grand Champion, Champion Heidelberg’s Kodiak v Qeridad Ready for Another Road Trip
German Shepherds Will Protect Your Property From Strange Dogs and People
Shae

These special puppies, I’m only offering them to my faithful blog readers.  Actually I really do not want to sell them, but we must keep our breeding females below 9 or we’ll have to to submit to having the Oklahoma Department of AG out here telling me how to raise shepherds.  Personally, I don’t care to have anymore government intrusion in my life than that which is absolutely necessary.  Anyway, back to the puppies.

There were three puppies in this litter, 1 male and 2 females.  Smaller litters are common with older females.  Shae waited until her last litter to produce her best puppies.  I absolutely fell in love with all three of the puppies.  They are intelligent, confident, slightly independent, and alpha.  I’ve had them outside in the kennel with puppies that are two-weeks older, but there is no doubt who are top puppies.  While being dominant, they are not mean or vicious rather they are sweet even in their play.  They are natural pack leaders.  Sorry, the boy isn’t for sale unless someone offers me crazy money for him.  The two girls are priced at $1,500.00.

Heidelberg's Valerie Candee
Heidelberg’s Valerie Candeef
Heidleberg's Vega Candeef
Heidelberg’s Vega Candeef

 

Please continue to check out our web page as we post updates on available litters: http://www.keystonegermanshepherds.com/PuppiesForSale.htm.   We have several wonderful German shepherd puppies for sale that that are ready to go home.

Please call me at (918) 261-4729 if you would like to take one of puppies home with you.  Please visit our web page to learn more about these wonderful Heidelberg German Shepherds that we raise at Keystone German Shepherds & Kennels.  http://keystonegermanshepherds.com/

Sincerely,

Dean Heckathorn

 

Sleeping 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 posting an article by Amber Kingsley, a journalist and social media manager based in S. California.  Amber is a lifelong pet lover and owner and writes helpful pet articles while traveling around the world.  While this article is focused on Greyhounds it does translate to all breeds.

Sleeping Dogs

Some dogs whimper or bark in their sleep, while some will sleep perfectly still. And some dogs may choose to sleep in a certain place in the home and only in that place, while other dogs can sleep almost anywhere. Sleeping styles can be unique to different breeds or even individual dogs.

Certain breeds need more sleep than others, which can be troubling to some pet owners with more than one breed of dog. You may wonder why your golden retriever sleeps 12-14 hours per day while your greyhound needs about 18 hours of sleep per day.

Shepherds Love Good Naps
Shepherds Love Good Naps

Greyhound Sleep Patterns

One major reason a greyhound requires more sleep than other breeds of dogs is that it’s a much more active dog when awake. You may find that your greyhound needs a specific sleeping area more than other breeds of dogs too. Consider the following ideas for helping your greyhound sleep better in your home:

  • Quiet time. A greyhound will rest better if you give it a specific area in which it can sleep that’s away from other household activity. If people are moving around near the area where the dog is sleeping, it won’t be able to sleep fully.

  • Dreaming. Dogs spend about 10% of their sleeping time in the deepest stage of sleep, REM. Dreams generally occur during this period. It’s important that you don’t wake up your greyhound while it’s dreaming, which may show up as a movement of the paws as if the dog is running. A greyhound could snap at its owner due to being startled out of a dream.

  • Crates. If your greyhound is having a difficult time adjusting to sleeping through the night or to finding a comfortable place to sleep in your home, you may want to consider a crate. Many rescued greyhounds are comfortable sleeping in a crate because they often were crated during their time racing.

  • Beds. Greyhounds may want to bond with you by sleeping in your room at night, and some greyhounds will be most comfortable sleeping with you in your bed. Generally around 45% of dogs sleep in their owner’s bed. However, this really isn’t recommended until you’re sure the greyhound is comfortable in your home, as the dog could become aggressive if its sleep is disturbed suddenly, such as because you adjusted your position in the bed. Even if it’s sleeping in your bed, closing the door to your room is recommended to prevent the dog from prowling excessively while you’re asleep.

  • Outdoors. You are not going to want to allow your greyhound to sleep outdoors overnight or during especially cold daytime weather. Greyhounds don’t have thick coats or a lot of fat on their bodies, which means the dog will not tolerate cold very well. For the safety of the dog, it should be brought inside to sleep where it can be protected from the elements.

Have Patience at Night Time

Keep in mind that bringing a new greyhound into your home can be a stressful experience for the dog, especially if it hasn’t had a lot of experience with a family. This stress can result in poor sleeping patterns until the dog becomes acclimated to your home. You may want to give the dog Benadryl to help it calm down and sleep more peacefully. However, make sure to be aware of relevant food allergies before giving your dog a foreign substance to consume. Remain relaxed and patient with your new greyhound, and eventually the dog will relax and fall into a set of normal sleeping patterns.

Let Me Sleep Please
Let Me Sleep Please
Sleep Time After Dinner
Sleep Time After Dinner

Please continue to check out our web page as we post updates on available litters: http://www.keystonegermanshepherds.com/PuppiesForSale.htm.   We have several wonderful German shepherd puppies for sale that that are ready to go home.

Please call me at (918) 261-4729 if you would like to take one of puppies home with you.  Please visit our web page to learn more about these wonderful Heidelberg German Shepherds that we raise at Keystone German Shepherds & Kennels.  http://keystonegermanshepherds.com/

Sincerely,

Dean Heckathorn