Category Archives: Safety

German Shepherd Dogs and Winter Weather

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

 Hi Everyone,

It is the end of November in Northeastern Oklahoma, and it is time again to pull our dog houses out of storage and place them in the kennels.  After the 15th of November, we often get cold snaps in Oklahoma, which can include several days of freezing rain or even snow.   Our Heidelberg shepherds are well equipped to deal with the cold with their correct plush double-coats.  Likewise if your shepherd has a correct coat and no health problems, you will probably notice that when you crank up the heater they well probably ask to go outside more often than normal.  This is because they have their winter coats on and cannot remove them as we remove our jackets upon entering the house.  Fortunately for our shepherds that are inside, my wife and I run a little hot and we keep our thermostat down during winter months.

Heidelberg German Shepherds Enjoying a March Blizzard
Heidelberg German Shepherds Enjoying a March Blizzard

We place straw in our dog houses in our kennels to provide warm insulation for our shepherds. In addition, their runs are covered to protect against rain and snow.  We have found unless our shepherds are wet that they will not use their dog houses even in subzero temperatures.  We often have observed that our shepherds prefer to sleep on the snow rather than their well-insulated dog houses.

Heidelberg German Shepherds Playing in a Winter Storm
Heidelberg German Shepherds Playing in a Winter Storm

Therefore, if they can stay dry and out of the wind and your German shepherd is healthy and correctly coated, they comfortably can withstand subfreezing temperatures .  Actually you may find that they prefer and are much more comfortable outside during the winter months than they are  inside your cozy warm house.  Remember to always provide fresh unfrozen water for your shepherd during the winter months because they will get dehydrated almost as quickly as they would in the summer.

Heidelberg Puppies Are Well Equipped to Be Comfortable in the Winter
Heidelberg Puppies Are Well Equipped to Be Comfortable in the Winter

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,

Bones for German Shepherd Dogs

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

 Hi Everyone,

Today I have another diet tip for your German Shepherd Dog.  It is fall again, and for those that live in rural parts of the United States that means it is hunting season and more specific it is deer season.  Here in Oklahoma, we have two large deer processors nearby and daily I collect their scraps from their deer processing operations.  I usually pick up four large trash cans full of meat and fresh bones.  We separate the bones from the meat scraps and place the bones in the kennels every evening.  The following day we remove the bones before they dry out and become brittle and, therefore, become possibly a danger by breaking off in sharp shards.

Heidelberg's William Loves Deer Bones
Heidelberg’s William Loves Deer Bones

Fresh bones have the consistency of a bar of soap in that you can shave them as you can shave soap.  Fresh bones in moderation are easily chewed and digested by German Shepherd Dogs.  We even provide bones to puppies as young as 8-weeks-old.  Our shepherds enjoying chewing off the fresh meat still attached to the bones and they enjoy eating some of the bones and the nutrient rich marrow inside the long bones. Our shepherd get very fat and healthier in the fall.  In addition to the nutritional benefits of fresh bones, the process of chewing on the bones removes all the tarter off our shepherds’ teeth.

Grand Champion, Champion Heidelberg's Kodi has a Perfect Smile Because He Keeps His Teeth Clean from Chewing on Deer Bones
Grand Champion, Champion Heidelberg’s Kodi has a Perfect Smile Because He Keeps His Teeth Clean from Chewing on Deer Bones

Give your German Shepherd Dog fresh bones from time to time.  Find a deer processor near you, and ask them if you can collect some fresh leg bones from them.  Offer to bring a container that they can throw the bones in it for you.  Most processor are more than happy to provide their bones to you.  For the most part they just throw them away anyway.  Collect and freeze enough to provide a fresh bone treat to your German Shepherd Dog a couple of times a month.

Note a word of caution: if you have not previously given fresh bones to your shepherd, you may need to monitor their consumption for the first couple of times because they literally will eat all the bones that you give them, which can cause gastric upset and constipation.  Your shepherd never before having fresh bones will devour them as a kid would if they were experiencing chocolate for the first time as teenager.  No amount will satisfy.  Once you give your shepherd bones on a regular basis of a couple times per month they will then just chew on them and eat very little of the actual bone, which is what you want.  After twenty-four hours remove any uneaten bones from the yard and throw them away.

12-Month-Old Heidelberg's Nelson With A Perfect Smile
12-Month-Old Heidelberg’s Nelson With A Perfect Smile

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

German Shepherd Dogs (Reflections on Last Year’s Wildfires)

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

Hi Everyone,

Tomorrow, I will return to discussing our young German Shepherd Dogs and the future of Keystone German Shepherds & Kennels, but for today I cannot allow the month of August to pass without discussing a small miracle on our behalf and a horrible tragedy to over 400 families in the Mannford, Oklahoma area. 

Last year on Thursday August 2, 2012 a fire was started nine miles South of Mannford, OK when Billy Cloud threw his lit cigarette down on the ground just outside his trailer.  The summer of 2012 brought most of the Midwest including Oklahoma a continuation of severe drought that started in 2011 with record high temperatures of 110 degrees to 115 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Fires Burning Toward Keystone German shepherds & Kennels

The lit cigarette ignited a wildfire that burnt over 90 square miles and burned down over 400 homes.  Throughout August 2 and 3, 2012 the wildfires raged several miles from us at Keystone German Shepherds & Kennels.  On August 4, 2012 my wife and I had lunch in Mannford and had a false since of safety against the fires since they raged so far away.   Upon returning to home and the kennels, the wind shifted and the fires started burning straight toward us.  Late that afternoon we lost electric and could see the fires approaching us.  Roads in and out of our area had been closed, and while we had several wonderful clients and friends offer to come out to pick up our dogs and then drive them to safety, they were not allowed in.  We were ordered to evacuate, but we would not leave our dogs so we stayed to fight the fires.  We thought that we could save our kennels and house by manning several water hoses around our property.  However, as the fire approach, we lost all water pressure.  The Creek County Rural Water District water well pumps went out just as the fires approached our property.  Without water we became very concerned for our own safety as well as the safety of our dogs.

Fires at 5:30 PM approaching Keystone German Shepherds & Kennels Property
Fires at 5:30 PM approaching Keystone German Shepherds & Kennels Property

At the time that we had lost water pressure a small fire truck came roaring up our driveway and told us that they only had 5-minutes of water and that they would not be able to save our house.  He pointed to the woodlot that was 100-yards away from our house and said once the fire gets into the canopy of the trees the heat would be so intense that our house would just explode into flames.  The firemen yelled for us to let loose the dogs from their kennels and to get ready to jump in the pond to save our lives.  The fireman said they would be in the pond right behind us.

I was never so proud of my German Shepherd Dogs, as we let them out of their kennels, they remained calm and none of their normal squabbles or barking took place.  They all knew that the situation was serious and they all stayed around but out-of-our-way.  With the gates open they would be able to escape and return after the fire had passed.  

At this time the smoke had grown thick with very little visibility.  While only about 5:30 PM, it appeared to be twilight just after sunset.  After burning down our neighbors’ houses, the fires jumped Highway 48 and started raging up our property.  I will never forget standing in the driveway watching the fireman raise his helmet and start scratching his head.  The fires had hit our forest and then began to die down and go out.  The fireman was befuddled because for three days he had watch these fires hit woodlots and then just roar out-of-control.

I yelled down to the fireman that I had burnt my property earlier that year in March, burning all the leaves and fallen branches on our twenty-acres.  He said that controlled burn had saved our home and kennels because the fires did not have the fuel to reach the forest canopy.  We returned the dogs to their kennels, and watched the fires burn around while burning more of our neighbors’ homes. 

Fire As It Burned Down Our Neighbor's House and Approached Our Woodlot before Dying Down
Fire As It Burned Down Our Neighbor’s House and Approached Our Woodlot before Dying Down

We were saved from the fires, but due to loss of power, we did lose over 2,000 pounds of frozen venison meat for our dogs, most of the contents of our refrigerators, all four-corner fence posts, and suffered two-weeks without power with record high temperatures of 110 degrees and above.  The Water District did restore water service on the 5th of August so we only had to haul potable water one day.

We were spared by providence because I was led to burn my property, which I had not done in about three years.  Due to the senseless act of a drunk thousands of people suffered the loss of everything that they owned, and while no human life was lost several animals and even a customers Heidelberg German Shepherd Dog perished in the fires of 2012.  Even though I am an experienced ecologist and have been trained in fire management and prescribed burning methods, I learned given the severe environmental conditions that we experienced in 2012 that wildfires can become extremely dangerous and unpredictable.  I would most likely move our dogs much sooner and not stay if ordered to evacuate if ever faced with similar circumstances.

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 Walker, a male puppy left.  Walker is a wonderful highly intelligent and a very quick learner.  Walker will be perfect for a family looking for an obedient and loyal companion that will provide home protection.  Families with existing pets such as dogs and cats will be a good fit for Walker.  Walker is very sociable.  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

Dog Personalities – Kodi a Grand Champion with a Job

My mom’s service dog is well known to the family as he goes on most functions with us.. Kodi like Kay is also a Grand Champion, but even cooler he can tell when my mom’s sugar is starting to fluctuate to a critical level and needs attention. He will alert her by pawing at her and winning until she checks her sugar. Amazingly my mom has only had a problem with her sugar and that was when Kodi was not there to warn her. He has become a very important part of our lives, and the family.

Kodi is amazingly smart, at 4 ½ years old he not only can open all the doors in the house, but he knows to stand at the open door waiting for someone to approve his entry. He has a great sense for knowing when we need to play with him and will take off running and bounding at seemingly randomly times, but always when a break is needed. Just the other day I decided to walk with him to survey the changes after a rainstorm here at my parents’ house. We walked the long way around the pond and as we got closer he knew where we were and very uncharacteristically ran out ahead about 20 yards to the top of the dam waiting on me to get there. As soon as I got there it was on, full sprint around the pond right on the edge of the new water line splashing everywhere just having a great and very fast time, I could not get my camera out fast enough.

Later the next day I thought he would enjoy the pond again so I walked down there with him this time straight to the dock. We sat and looked around for a moment and then it was time to play. He when to back to the bank and then straight to the edge of the water and splashed it with is paw very enthusiastically, and I decided to sit on the edge of the dock and do the same. This was just too much excitement for him as he could not see how he could get to the water from on the dock, so he mimicked my kicking of the water with his front paws in the air a few times. And then he got this look in his eye, he was off full sprint around the pond on the edge of the water again. This time I was able to catch the end of it on video.

Kodi is one that loves attention and especially loves my mom, just the other day I think more due to missing her he jumped into bed with me during a thunderstorm only during the storm. Typically with my mom around he will sleep right through them, but I think with her gone to Yellowstone he didn’t want to feel alone.

Kodi has never looked better in my opinion he is filling out and looking very ‘beastly’, he should not be done filling out until he is closer to 5 or 5 ½ so I am looking forward to see how muscular he gets. Kodi is the grandson to Bismarck and should look very great in his later years. Bismarck could have been mistaken for a body building dog, and was the first dog my mom found to be able to sense when her sugar needed attention by licking her until she would take care of it.

This post has been written by Spencer. Thank you for looking.

German Shepherd Dogs & Microchips

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

 Hi Everyone,

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

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

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

What Me Get Lost?
What Me Get Lost?

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

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

Sincerely,

KeystoneGermanShepherds

German Shepherd Dog and Swimming Pools

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

Hi Everyone,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sincerely,

KeystoneGermanShepherds

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 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 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