Category Archives: Conformation ring

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).  

 

Pups For Sale

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

We have several German Shepherd Puppies for sale.  The first that I would like to write about are two girl puppies out of Heidelberg’s Patriot v Atlantan whose almost a new champion and Heidelberg’s Winter Xandrac.  Winter is the classical female German Shepherd type.  She is not overly large, but when you look at her you know that she’s female and she is very beautiful.  Patriot is our largest male and could easily be 110 pounds lean weight at maturity.  Winter had three of the largest female puppies that I have ever seen at birth.  I’ve been doing this for over twenty years and have seen a lot of German shepherd puppies born.  Therefore, when I say the largest that really means something well beyond just big pups.  These three puppies have continued to remain unusually large.

Heidelberg's Patriot v Atlantan
Heidelberg’s Patriot v Atlantan
Heidelberg's Winter Xandrac
Heidelberg’s  Xandrac Carenf

However, the beast thing I like about these puppies is that they demonstrate flawless temperament with ornery personalities.   The one that we have sold, I was told is already barking at 10 weeks-of -age at strange cars and people coming to the door, which is what this elderly gentleman wanted was to be alerted to strangers coming on his property.

Xena and Xandra Winterx big puppies ready to go to a new home
Xena and Xandra Winterx big puppies ready to go to a new home

She also is protecting their property, he said that he saw her get into it with a giant crawdad that was crossing the yard.  (We have had an unusually wet Spring and everything is saturated) After being pinched on the nose several times, she figured out that she could pull a rear guard maneuver on this crawdad and safely dispatch this evil enemy that had invaded her owner’s yard.

We have her sister’s here available at http://keystonegermanshepherds.com/.  Priced at $1,500.00 for someone looking for beautiful, large female puppies that will also be protective.  These are breeding and show quality females, even though I have them priced as companions.

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 Dogs and Puppies in Competition

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

Hi Everyone,

We are close to starting our show season for 2014.  We are very excited about the judges and shows through April 2014.  We will be choosing shows past April as the judge panels are posted on Onofrio.com. We have several shows planned and everything has lined up well for us in regard to quality judges and show locations.  Our training has started and we should finish three dogs to their Championship and complete the Grand Championship on two dogs this year, and if we do really well four or five dogs will finish.  Our first show for 2014 is Saturday only in Wichita Falls, Texas on March 1, 2014.  The following week will be going to Columbia, MO showing both Saturday and Sunday on March 8 and 9, 2014.

I learned a lesson last year about posting the show that we are going to be competing before the shows close.  Apparently, we had some professional handler(s) that will go unnamed track my postings to enter shows where we had built majors and then showing up with one or two extremely competitive dogs.  While we do not shy away from competition under some of the judges that we showed under last year strongly leaned towards professional handlers rather than owner handlers such as myself especially when the dogs are close.  This proved to cost us some major wins in 2013, which was frustrating when we had gone to the expense and work to build the majors.  Therefore, I will now only discuss shows publicly after the entries have closed.  If you are showing a Heidelberg German Shepherd with us please call me to find out what shows we are planning on going to this year.

We have three dogs that are close to finishing and will likely complete their Championship this year.  The First with nine points and one major is Heidelberg’s Kaito v Carlief (Toby), with seven points and one major is Heidelberg’s Brandi Chariman (Kailey), and with eleven with and one major Heidelberg’s Diesel v Oklahoman.  Champion Heidelberg’s Kelsey Queirdad has 33 points and four majors and only needs to defeat two champions to win her Grand Championship.  Also, Champion Zeke v Gennnyh (Kolby) needs only seven more points to complete his Grand Championship.

Heidelberg's Kaito
Heidelberg’s Kaito v Calief (Toby)
Heidelberg's Ekko
Heidelberg’s Ekko Quinnd
This Picture Taken In February of 2012 Shows Daphne's Perfect Gait
Heidelberg’s Daphne Oklahoman
A Two-Year-Old Patriot playing in Pine Bluff, AR at Dog Show in February 2013
Heidelberg’s Patriot v Atlantan
Heidelberg's Jude v Renac
Heidelberg’s Jude v Renac 
Heidelberg's Brandi Chariman
Heidelberg’s Brandi Chariman
Champion Heidelberg's Kelsey Queridad
Champion Heidelberg’s Kelsey Queridad
Champion Heidelberg's Zeke v Gennyh
Champion Heidelberg’s Zeke v Gennyh

Also in contention for this year is Heidelberg’s Patriot v Atlantan, Heidelberg’s Ekko Quinnd with one point, Heidelberg’s Daphne Oklahoman with three points, and Heidelberg’s Jude v Renac with one point.

If you are considering getting a German shepherd puppy consider getting one of our older puppies and save a little money on some very high quality 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 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

Another German Shepherd Dog Hero Story

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

 Hi Everyone,

Damon is a young 14-month-old, long-coat Heidelberg German shepherd that has almost completed his first level of Rally.  Damon and his owner  went out to the barn to feed their horses .  Damon is still on leash while feeding because he likes to chase the neighbor’s cats (he mainly wants to play) and he wants to herd the horses at inappropriate times.  The owner had experienced some health problems and has been falling a lot, and this time she fell at the barn and badly twisted her leg.  She screamed and dropped the leash.

A Six-Month-Old Heidelberg's Damon Relaxing at Home
A Six-Month-Old Heidelberg’s Damon Relaxing at Home

Once she had dropped the leash she thought ‘oh no Damon is going to chase the horses and I am hurt too bad to stop him.  However to her surprise Damon straddled her while she was lying down and stood over her until she was able to stand.  Damon stood there on alert guarding her and trying to figure out what happened and why did his owner fall.  She said, ‘it was so obvious he was guarding me’.  Damon completely ignored the neighbor’s cats and horses and focused completely on protecting his owner.  Once Damon realized there was no real threat he got behind his owner and started pushing on her back with his head to help nudge her up.

A Six-Month-Old Heidelberg's Damon Sitting Nicely at Home
A Six-Month-Old Heidelberg’s Damon Sitting Nicely at Home

I have experienced similar behavior with our Heidelberg German shepherd while falling in the show ring.  I have taken some hard falls over the years while running around the ring and each time our shepherds have immediately come up to me and start licking my face.  Whereas, I have seen other shepherds being shown where the handler has fallen and let go off the leash and these shepherds that are not Heidelberg’s have taken off running away out of the ring and if they didn’t have a leash where somebody was able to grab them, they would probably still be running today.

A Six-Month-Old Heidelberg's Damon Standing Nicely at Home
A Six-Month-Old Heidelberg’s Damon Standing Nicely at Home

If you would like to see Damon practicing his Rally testing please see: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=janpVs814Uo

If you are considering getting a German shepherd puppy consider getting one of our older puppies and save a little money on some very high quality 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 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,

German Shepherd Dog (Our Daphne)

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

 Hi Everyone,

When watching Heidelberg’s Daphne Oklahoman (Daphne) yesterday, my first thought after saying to myself she is perfect was how blessed I am.  I do not see myself as particularly talented and to consistently have such wonderful and nearly perfect German Shepherd Dogs, I can only be thankful to God for his blessings upon me and my family.  Daphne is a Daughter of Grand Champion (GCh.) Champion (Ch.) Best in Show (BIS) winner Heidelberg’s Oklahoma Natashac (Kay) and Ch. Heidelberg’s Bogie v Charisman.  Kay is a Ch. Heidelberg’s Natasha Cheyenne and Ch. Heidelberg’s Dargo v Angeliq daughter.

This Picture Taken In February of 2012 Shows Daphne's Perfect Gait
This Picture Taken In February of 2012 Shows Daphne’s Perfect Gait

The wonderful thing about Daphne is that she is an exact copy of Kay, but where Kay was a little bit too small at approximately 65 pounds, Daphne is going to finish out at approximately 85 pounds.  With the size of her Grandmother Natasha and the movement and structure of Kay and the energy and Charisma of Dargo there is little doubt that Daphne could be campaigned to be the number one German Shepherd Dog in the country.  Will that happen probably not because of the expenses related to such a campaign, but maybe if we can find a sponsor for her in the next couple of years it could possibly happen. 

Daphne (left) Playing In Pine Bluff, AR Feb, 2013
Daphne (left) Playing In Pine Bluff, AR Feb, 2013

Daphne already has 3 champion points from the puppy class with me showing her and when we start showing again this fall, I suspect that she will finish quickly like her mother, Kay.  Kay finished in three weekends going breed every day and winning several group placements.  Kay is our first BIS Winner and multiple-Group winner.  In 2009 at Kay’s first competing show, I showed her in the 12 to 18 month class, I won the class, but Kay was jumping and playing not showing well at all because she was too happy to be with me.  Brian Livingston, one of the best professional handlers in the country, saw Kay with me in the show ring.  After I won the class, Brian came up to me and said, ‘if you will let me show her for the rest of the weekend, I’ll show her for free, and I guarantee that she will go Best of Breed and win in the Groups’.  Kay won Best of Breed and took Group 1 and just missed out on winning Best in Show.  The next day she won Breed and took Group 2.  Kay is a superstar that rarely comes around and Daphne is in the same class as her mom.

GCh. Ch. BIS Multiple-Group Winner Heidelberg's Kay at age 15 months
GCh. Ch. BIS Multiple-Group Winner Heidelberg’s Kay at age 15 months

Please continue to check out our web page as we post updates on this litter and future available litters: http://www.keystonegermanshepherds.com/PuppiesForSale.htm.   We currently have Wally and Walter, two male puppies left.  Both are wonderful puppies and Walter has developed in to quite the show prospect.   Remember that we do ship puppies.

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

Sincerely,

KeystoneGermanShepherds

German Shepherd Dogs (Our Patriot)

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 discuss our wonderful Heidelberg’s Patriot v Atlantan (Patriot) a Grand Champion, Champion (GCh.) (CH.) Heidelberg’s Kodiak v Queirdad (Kodi) son.   He is also the son of Heidelberg’s Atlanta Natashac, a Daughter of Champion Heidelberg’s Natasha Cheyenne that produced GCh. Ch. Best in Show (BIS) winner Heidelberg’s Oklahoma Natashac. 

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

Patriot is 2.5 years-of-old and is finally maturing into a fabulous dog.  He is sweet and smart and extremely confident.  He is the perfect size German shepherd at the top of the height standard at 26 inches and at around 100 pounds he will be a trim solid dog.

Patriot does very well at the dog shows, and as he matures he is starting to get a lot of second place and reserve wins.  I suspect that he will reach a point in his maturity where when he starts winning, and once he starts winning he will fly through to his championship.  He will be finished, and we will look back and say, ‘wow that was fast’ as it has been with most our great male champions.

Patriot is a true joy to travel with.  He never has an accident in his crate and when he really needs to be let out of crate he has whine that is distinct.  When he needs an unscheduled bathroom break all we have to do if we are driving is find an exit let him out and he immediately takes care of his business and then he wants to get right back in his crate.

When we are at scheduled breaks, he is great to let out with our girl German shepherds because he romps around and with his playful nature he encourages everyone to run and play fight.  When Patriot is at the shows everyone gets good exercise breaks.

Patriot Playing With Daphne at a Dog Show in Wichita Falls, TX in February 2013
Patriot Playing (left) With Daphne at a Dog Show in Wichita Falls, TX in February 2013

 Please continue to check out our web page as we post updates on this litter and future available litters: http://www.keystonegermanshepherds.com/PuppiesForSale.htm.   We currently have Wally and Walter, two male puppies left.  Both are wonderful puppies and Walter has developed in to quite the show prospect.   Remember that we do ship puppies.

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

Sincerely,

KeystoneGermanShepherds