Kay Anniversary

Kay Anniversary

Hello Everyone,

On October 17, 2010   our Grand Champion Champion (GCh Ch) Heidelberg’s Oklahoma Natashac (Kay) won Best in Show (BIS) at the Enid, Oklahoma Dog Show.  Last month was the anniversary of that win and nine years later Kay is still the number one GCh Ch German Shepherd Dog in Oklahoma.  Last month we were back at the Enid dog show with Kay’s Grandson, Heidelberg’s Remington v Windy.  Remington didn’t win BIS, but for a beautiful puppy that just turned one-year-old, he did well and we are proud of him.  He ended up with Reserve Winners Dog on Saturday.

Kay was absolutely the perfect dog both in beauty and temperament.  And, she loved being shown by Andrea Hesser, DVM.  Kay had charisma and she enjoyed displaying that in the show ring.  She knew she was all that and more.  I remember when Kay and her sister were about five-weeks-old, I would take them on the back patio and watch them explore the world.  Even at that age Kay stood out.  Kay actually finished her Championship in two weekends.  One of the top professional handlers in the country, Brian Livingston saw me showing Kay for the first time in Grove, OK.  I was doing a terrible job because she just wanted play and jump all over me as we ran around the show ring.  (She was only 12-months-old).  After I won Kay’s class, Brian came up and asked if he could show Kay for free for the rest of the weekend.  He did so and won Group 1 and Group 2 on Saturday and Sunday, respectively.

Reflecting on this while showing Remington this last month in Enid brought back a lot of fond memories for us.  Remington is not quite the show dog Kay was, but he’s young and we at Keystone German Shepherds are hopeful.  Remington will be a Grand Champion Champion after he grows up.

Please visit our web page at keystonegermanshepherds.com.  Help us to continue to purposefully breed these wonderful Heidelberg’s by visiting our web page, rating us, and leaving comments on Facebook, forwarding our web page, or, better yet, please come buy our puppies.  In addition, consider trying our supplements from our online store.  Our dog show wins are in part due to our Pure Total Vitamins and cod liver oil supplement which allows our dogs to grow the most lavish, plush-coats.  These supplements work and are needed to keep your current dogs healthy and away from the veterinarian.  If you try our supplements especially in concert with a healthy diet, you will see amazing changes to the overall health and vitality of your dog within a month.  For a healthy diet please see our web page.

Currently, we have four female puppies that are Kay’s grandchildren.  Do you need a show dog that will win or a family companion that will be loyal and a pleasure to call your best friend.  These puppies are priced at $2,000.00.  Please help us keep this Heidelberg line going.  Call me or Patty at (918) 261-4729.


Dean Heckathorn

Preserving Our Canine Heritage

Preserving Our Canine Heritage

The American Kennel Club (AKC) currently recognizes 193 breeds.  Before AKC accepts a new breed they require that each parent club submits a breed standard for their breed.  These breed standards are the ideal for each breed; a breeder’s guide to follow to achieve perfection within their breeding program.  However, more than half the breeders in this country have never read their own specific breed standard much less understand it.  Breeders purport that they are focused on improving the breed, but is that what they really do?

Using the German Shepherd Dog in the United States as examples of breeders failing to preserve breed heritage and integrity is the illogical rear-end angulation bred into some show lines.  These over angulated show lines appear to be crippled, so much so, that I have witnessed many that walk on their hocks like a rabbit.  In addition, we have import breeders that have brought several different German Shepherd Dogs to the United States from the large long-legged Czechoslovakia and Russian lines that were purposely bred for large intimidating size for use as guard dogs.  Then we have the West German Shepherds with roached back show lines.  Then in order to breed a more high energy working dog, foreign breeders increased the drive of their working lines to such a level they are do not make good family dogs for most people due to needing constant stimulation and activity.  All these types have been imported into the United States with such differing characteristics that one could legitimately argue that we have several breeds within the current American German Shepherd Dog.  Many of the American shepherds have their problems with structure, health, and temperament as a result of breeders ignorantly choosing or arguably not choosing for certain phenotypes.  These deviations from the original shepherds that followed servicemen back to the United States after WW II are now being indiscriminately bred by thousands of breeders across the country.  Many of these different types are interbred with really no plan or thought given to the mental and physical characteristics of the next generation.

All breeds have their problems with structure, health, and temperament as a result of breeders ignorantly choosing for certain phenotypes that they prefer rather than choosing for breed type and trying to improve those traits that set their breed apart from others. The challenges that face dog breeders as a result of generations of bad breeding are enormous.  Dog breeders need to understand the basics of genetics theory to make informed breeding decisions.  Breeders should consider taking the approach of preserving the breed rather than trying to change the breed with ridiculous exaggerations of what is structurally correct or to what aesthetically pleasing to some.

Good breeders preserve our canine heritage for future generations.  We at Keystone German Shepherds breed the Heidelberg type German Shepherd Dog for today and for the future.  We maintain that we are one of the few breed preservationists that actually breed so that a puppy born today will be the same as a puppy born 2050 or 2100.  See our dogs and the Heidelberg type at keystonegermanshepherd.com

As the genetic markers are discovered for specific diseases, the breed preservationist will work to remove these harmful genes from their lines.  Breeding out genetic corruptions in the code is expensive and time consuming.  We at Keystone German Shepherds & Kennels are dedicated to preserving our breed and improving it by elimination of certain genes that cause disease such as degenerative myelopathy (DM).  Some breeders do a poor job out of ignorance, but the main reason most breeders fail is a lack of funds.  We live in a world where competition has assured the best products at unbelievably low prices.  Quality, quantity, cheap, and fast are the modern consumers’ expectations.  Such an economic approach is not compatible with raising quality dogs.  Quality and cheap are antithetical when preserving the German Shepherd Dog heritage.  Quality has to be first for the breed preservationist.

Breed quality and breed fidelity will never be cheap and fast.  Doing it right is not expedient or fast.  Doing what is right is hard and requires financial and time sacrifices from the breeder.  We are often questioned about the disparaging prices on German shepherd puppies from as low as $100.00 to in excess of $5,000.00.  If you are looking for a puppy and are confused about the prices and where you should invest time researching breeders; know that the lower-tiered prices are consistently going to be the backyard breeder where two random dogs are bred with or without papers.  Most likely little is known about the ancestral health concerns and little or no genetic testing for diseases such as dysplasia and DM.  The middle tier on puppy pricing is probably where you will want to focus most of your research.  Sometimes the higher-priced dogs are just higher priced dogs without any genetic or type benefits to justify the higher price.  Some breeders focus more on the branding of their dogs than actually correcting faults or improving the breed.   

Useful Tips for Shed Dog Hair

Useful Tips for Shed Dog Hair

Fall is approaching and with autumn as dog owners and especially German Shepherd owners know that your dog will shed their summer coat and replace it with their winter coat.

While this is easily handled with daily brushing many people will collect the shed fur and throw it away.  Consider rather letting it loose in your backyard.   You will be surprised out how quickly the fur actually does disappear.  This is not a magical process, rather animals are collecting this fur and making winter nests.  

The unseen advantage is that this fur likely contains residual pesticides that will kill pests such as ticks, mites, and fleas.   This will make sure your squirrels and rabbits are getting a flea tick treatment, thus reducing pest numbers on your property going into winter.  Even more important for protecting your yard from pest and helping the local bird population is to let that fur loose in the backyard in the spring.   Birds will line their nests with the shed fur and the added insulation increases the survival of the next generation of birds while killing mites.

At Keystone German Shepherds we always let the fur go into the yard and it is literally removed by nesting birds before our eyes.  Again an added advantage is when our dogs shed in the spring they have all been treated with Advantix or Frontline and those products keep working even after shedding. 

Several years ago at a dog show, we saw the most amazing coat made from shed dog hair.  The owner informed us that it was very warm and comfortable even if it looked as though he was wearing a pack of mangy coyotes.  Probably not the best use of shed dog fur, but good to know in case of an apocalypse.

We have several female puppies out of champion bloodlines.  These girls are incredibly soft and loving.  We also have a couple of older male puppies available.  Please contact us at (918) 261-4729 or go to keystonegermanshepherds.com.  We are in the process of redoing and updating our web page.  Please be patient.  We will soon have our 25 plus champions and grand champions reposted as well as available stud dogs.

Old Man

Old Man

I haven’t blogged in a long time.  However, after cyber-attacks to our web page, email, and social media our business at keystonegermanshepherds.com is at risk of closing.  And, these beautiful Heidelberg’s will be lost forever. 

Nobody in the world is breeding pure Heidelberg’s German Shepherds except for us, Keystone German Shepherds & Kennels.  My intent with starting blogging again is multifaceted, but the most pressing reason is to save our kennel and these wonderful shepherd lines. In deciding what to write, I started thinking about “The Old Man and the Sea”, a book I read several times as a teenager and I haven’t given it much thought since then.  However, the love that “We” (our customers and us) have for these dogs inspired me to understand what that book was really about.

Ernest Hemmingway was writing an autobiographical story about the lost love of his life.  The one that got away.  If you haven’t read the book, read it after reading this.  Also, I’m doing this from 37-year-old memories and I’m not fact-checking so please be kind.  Old Santiago is fishing for the love of his life.  He hooks a great blue Marlin, the largest fish Santiago can remember anybody catching even from when he was a young boy.  ‘The Great Prize’ represents the woman that Hemmingway loved.  Santiago spent endless straining hours fighting this great fish, he had to possess it and claim it as his own.  The battle with the fish represents Hemmingway and his lover’s courtship.

The reason he wrote in such short concise and precise sentences is because that is the language of love and lovemaking.  Santiago catches his great prize and fastens her to the skip, but in possessing her Santiago begins to corrupt her spirit.  The pack of attacking sharks rip away the valuable flesh of this great fish.  Santiago returns to his hut after suffering a heart attack with only the skeleton of his great fish tied to the skiff, he lays down on his blanket in the floor of his hut and falls asleep.  Likewise, Hemmingway returned home with a broken heart after losing the only true love of his life.  The book ends with ‘Santiago dreaming of elephants’.  Santiago wasn’t defeated or broken, and he would have another conquest.  Unfortunately, I believe Hemmingway was defeated and this loss may have resulted in his suicide.

Likewise, we have a great prize here at Keystone German Shepherds & Kennels, the love of our collective lives, the world’s best temperament and aesthetically pleasing German Shepherds, the Heidelberg German Shepherd.  Thank you to all our friends that own or have owned and love our dogs.  Please help us keep this dream alive, if you are thinking of buying a puppy or dog from us, please don’t wait.  We need your support now.  We haven’t decided on a date in which we will close down, but it will only be a couple of months unless we have your support.  Please visit us at keystonegermanshepherds.com

Is there logic behind naming our dogs!

Is there logic behind naming our dogs!

Several times I’ve been asked how we come up with the names for our dogs and what does it all mean. My answer is, it is a great record keeping tool!

So let’s start with my puppy GCH. Ch. Heidelberg’s Kodiak v Queridad, CGC. I will break it down so when you see the name of your puppy or your puppy’s family, it will make more sense!

  • GCh. – Grand Champion, a title Kodi earned.
  • Ch. – Champion, a title Kodi earned
  • Heidelberg’s – because this is the Type of dogs we breed.
  • Kodiak – all of our litters are assigned the next letter in the alphabet when they are born. Then all the puppies in that litter are registered with a name beginning with that letter.
  • v – meaning “of” is used by us only when naming the males.
  • Querida – Kodi’s mother.
  • d – for Diamond, Querida’s mom.
  • CGC – Canine Good Citizen, a title Kodi earned.

Now when I see GCh. Ch. Heidelberg’s Kodiak v Queridad, CGC I know his mother is Querida Diamondw, and Diamond Winsomeu is out of Winsome Umber.

So if I see you out and about, I can ask for your dog’s registered name and I can usually give you their pedigree based on the mothers.

If you have any questions about why we do things that you are interested in or don’t know why we would “do it like that”, please ask and we will explain it so more people understand!

Have a great day!

Patty & GCh. Ch. Kodi, CGC