Category Archives: Children

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

 

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

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

Fabulous German Shepherd Puppies Ready to Go Home

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

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Hi everyone,

We have several nice puppies available now.  I’ll write about them below, but first I’ll catch you up on what we’ve been doing lately.  I’m committed again to posting most everyday that I’m home and not at dog shows.  We had a very busy show schedule this going to Claremore, Grove, Stillwater in OK, Cortez, Colorado, Albuquerque, NM, and Garden City, KS.  We are preparing to go to Billings and Great Falls, MT.  We have managed to pick up several wins and including some major wins.  However, we should have done better, and were quite unlucky do to weather cancellations and last minute judge changes.  We have eight German Shepherds Dogs on their way to Champion titles.  Easily two to three year project to finish all.  However, Heidelberg’s Patriot, Jude, Ekko , and Daphne are close to completing their championship title.

Heidelberg's Jude v Renac
Heidelberg’s Jude v Renac
This Picture Taken In February of 2012 Shows Daphne's Perfect Gait
This Picture Taken In February of 2012 Shows Daphne’s Perfect Gait
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
Heidelberg's Ekko Quinnd with her owner, Riley Westfall
Heidelberg’s Ekko Quinnd with her owner, Riley Westfall

We have puppies available out of Jude and Grand Champion Kodi, please check out http://keystonegermanshepherds.com/PuppiesForSale.htm.

Grand Champion Heidelberg's Kodiak v Queridad
Grand Champion Heidelberg’s Kodiak v Queridad OFA Excellent
Heidelberg's Jude v Renac
Heidelberg’s Jude v Renac

Below are some pictures of the puppies that we have available:

Victor and Vega on a Great Adventure
Victor and Vega on a Great Adventure
Wren a Kodi Who Loves to Be Held
Wren a Kodi PuppyWho Loves to Be Held
Aspen Letting Everyone Know that He's Special and in Control
Aspen Letting Everyone Know that He’s Special and in Control
Jude Puppies Playing, From Right to Left Aspen, Allen, and Annie
Jude Puppies Playing, From Right to Left Aspen, Allen, and Annie
Yancy and Yosemite Playing
Yancy and Yosemite Playing

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

 

 

 

 

Fecal Exam 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,

Today, I am posting a interesting article written by Christine Wilford who received her doctorate of veterinary medicine from Texas A&M University, Texas.  The point of the article is that doing fecal exam on your German Shepherd Dog is likely a waste of time and money.  Like all animals, your dog will get stomach worms, such as round, hook, tape, and whip worms are the most common.  We at Keystone German Shepherds & Kennel do not do fecal exams rather like livestock ranchers, we assume that our dogs will get worms; therefore we place them on a worming program.  Thus, worming our dogs twice a year for less than the cost of a fecal exam, which as you will read is not a reliable method to determine whether your German shepherd has or does not have worms.  You too can learn how to worm your German Shepherd Dog for less than the cost of a fecal exam.

I'm Worm Free Because Dad Worms Me Twice a Year
I’m Worm Free Because Dad Worms Me Twice a Year

 

Veterinary News

 

FECAL EXAM RELIABILITY

 

A common test for worms may not always give you the right results

 

A majority of owners may be surprised to learn how inaccurate the common fecal examination really is.  Many owners are familiar with the annual regimen of bringing fresh fecal samples to their dogs’ annual physical examinations.  Likewise, most owners take heart in hearing their dogs’ test are normal or, alternatively, owners are glad to receive medications for treating the worms lurking within the bowels of their companions.  But what do these results really tell us?  Understanding how the test is run and knowing a few facts about intestinal worms can help you understand the test’s relative inaccuracies.

 

In general, the fresher the sample, the more accurate the test results.  As a sample ages, the contents of the eggs may hatch, may dry out and burst, or may mix well enough with the solution to be separated and float.  How fresh is fresh?  The preservation of worm eggs in a stool sample varies tremendously depending on temperature, humidity, and the consistency of the sample.  AS time elapses, eggs will degrade and thus will go unrecognized when the slide is examined.  During busy times of the day, other priorities may cause fecal samples to be left unexamined far beyond the optimal reading time.  Even when a sample is fresh and handled appropriately, results may still be unreliable.

 

The chances of finding a worm egg depend on how many worms there are in the intestine, how many of the worms are female, the maturity of the worms and whether the females were laying eggs during the time that the feces was formed.  If there are only a few worms in the intestines, the relative number of eggs laid in a fecal sample is usually much lower than if there is a heavy worm concentration in the dog.  It is also possible to have a significant worm burden with relatively few female worms present; thus, a dog could have clinical signs of intestinal worms without showing evidence of that in a fecal examination.  Similarly, if many of the worms are too immature to lay eggs, there will be no way to identify their presence through a simple fecal exam.

 

Additionally, because worms do not lay eggs at a constant rate, there may be no eggs in a fecal sample simply because the feces were formed and collected during a period when the adult female worms were not shedding eggs.

 

Based on this information, one could argue that an annual screening of an otherwise healthy dog is an unnecessary, and possibly inaccurate, test.  So why bother checking a fecal sample if the results could be misleading?  If no eggs are found, then there may be no worms present or there may be worms and they’ve gone undiagnosed.  Owners cannot depend on a single negative result.  Veterinarians who specialize in the gastrointestinal diseases recommend examining three separate fecal samples before concluding that a negative result is reliable.

 

When your dog’s stool is abnormal, that is, if you see blood, mucus, or a change of color or consistency, or your dog has loose stools, a fecal examination is advisable.  Depending on the types of worms present, clinical signs may not occur or may be subtle.  Worms do not necessarily cause weight loss or decreased activity.

 


In many cases, veterinarians use deworming medication as a diagnostic tool when fecal exams do not reveal worm eggs.  In fact, it may be easier, cheaper, and faster to administer a deworming medication that eliminates the common types of intestinal worms.  If the stools return to normal, it is concluded that the clinical signs were caused by intestinal worms.  Sometimes, common sense and practicality should prevail over complicated and expensive diagnostic tests.


CHRISTINE WILFORD, D.V.M.

Don't Forget to Worm Your German Shepherd Puppies
Don’t Forget to Worm Your German Shepherd Puppies

 

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.

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

Sincerely,

KeystoneGermanShepherds