Basic Care Tips for Your German Shepherd Dog

Basic Care Tips 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

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Hi Everyone,

There are some basic care for your German Shepherd Dog that every owner should be aware of and that is what I am going to discuss today.  While German shepherd Dogs are relative low maintenance compared to other breeds you will need to trim their nails at least once a month and while doing so you can check the dog’s body for other problems.  After doing the nails comb the coat thoroughly with a straight steel pin brush to remove dead hair.  Check the skin for abrasions, ticks, or other problems.  We sell top quality steel rakes and grooming brushes at Keystone German Shepherds & Kennels.  Often our prices are better than the big chain pet stores and we can ship.

A Happy Well Maintained and Healthy Heidelberg German Shepherd Dog

A Happy Well Maintained and Healthy Heidelberg German Shepherd Dog

If your dog is not eating well (it might be wormy) or if it appears to in ill health or not feeling well, take their temperature rectally for two minutes.  The normal temperature for a dog will be 101.5 – 102°.  If it is high or low you should consider contacting your veterinarian.

A Happy Heidelberg Puppy Litter Resting After Having Their Monthly Health Check

A Happy Heidelberg Puppy Litter Resting After Having Their Monthly Health Check

Heartworm preventive is a must for your puppy/dog or they can die of heartworms caused by mosquitoes. We use IVOMEC beginning at twelve weeks for puppies and of course continue their monthly dose for the rest of their life. Therefore it is a good idea to give them their heart worm preventative while clipping their nails and grooming every month.

It is a good idea to check for ear mites and ear infections every month.  If you see signs of ear mites then treat your German shepherd Dog immediately.  Although since we have started using Advantix and Frontline to treat our shepherds for pests such as fleas and ticks we have not seen a case of ear mites.  Whereas, ear mite infections used to be quite common.  Also, note if your shepherd seems to be holding one ear lower than the other, shaking its head, or pawing at its ear and you have ruled out ear mites as the cause, you may want to make an appointment with your vet immediately because ear infections in German shepherd Dogs are serious and can become life threatening. 

It's Time For My First Heartworm Treatment

It’s Time For My First Heartworm Treatment

The most common symptoms of ear mites: ears appear inflamed/red, ears refusing to stand, scratching on or behind the ear, shaking of head or holding head to one side, and/or visible dark dirt or wax in inner ear (actually ear mite poop).

Fleas and ticks: Nothing causes your dog more misery and disease than fleas and ticks!  The life cycle of the flea is as short as six days in an ideal growing condition.  In other words, a flea goes from egg through larval and mature state in only six days.  To put this in the proper perspective, only ten fleas can become TWO HUNDRED AND FIFTY TOUSAND fleas in only thirty days!

While fleas carry less diseases than ticks, they do carry tape worm eggs that can cause your dog’s health to suffer.  Ticks carry several diseases that German Shepherd Dogs are susceptible to, and if not removed from your dog’s environment most assuredly will cause the death of your beloved shepherd.  We at Keystone German Shepherds & Kennels used to struggle and spend small fortunes fighting ticks and fleas until they came out with Advantix several years ago.  Now we have no fleas or ticks on our dogs.

We treat monthly with Advantix and switch out the next month with Frontline and have successfully eliminated fleas and ticks from our property.  Even our wild rabbits and squirrels are tick free because they use the treated – shed fur from our dogs as nesting material.  

I Am Tick and Flea Free

I Am Tick and Flea Free

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

Basic Care Tips for Your German Shepherd Dog

German Shepherd Dog Grooming Tip: Part 2 – Nails

Exploring the vast prairie of the Washita National Wildlife Refuge

Exploring the vast prairie of the Washita National Wildlife Refuge

Trimming Your German Shepherd Dog’s Nails Conclusion

One of the most frustrating and difficult activities you may ever attempt with your German Shepherd Dog is trimming their nails if they resist or fight.  Today I am going to tell you how to train your German Shepherd Dog adolescent or adult to sit still while you trim their nails.

This training will take patience and persistence and will require you to perform theses exercises daily for a month or more.  However, the exercises only take 5 to 10 minutes and have a secondary benefit of bonding closer to your German Shepherd Dog.  Do not attempt to trim your German Shepherd Dog’s nail until they successfully complete the below exercises.

Every day as with the puppy, sit with your German Shepherd Dog adolescent or adult and rub and massage them to get them to relax. Once relaxed play with their feet.  If they become anxious stop and go back to rubbing and petting them. Continue daily with this exercise until you can hold their feet and spread their toes without resistance or anxiety.

Every day after you play with their feet, place your German Shepherd Dog adolescent on a grooming table.  Good quality grooming tables and neck harness can be purchased for approximately $100.00 to $140.00.  You need a grooming table if you own a German Shepherd Dog, therefore, invest in a good quality table that will last your lifetime.

German Shepherd Dog Grooming Table

German Shepherd Dog Grooming Table

Once on the grooming table place the lanyard over their neck and brush them out.  If they show anxiety reassure them.  Make the exercise of being on the grooming table a good experience for your German Shepherd Dog.  Once they have become comfortable being on the table lift their feet up in the air and spread your German Shepherd Dog’s toes. While playing with their feet on the table, groom them by brushing and using a shedding comb, and acclimate to the nail clippers by gently rubbing them on their body and around their feet.

After Your German Shepherd Dog adolescent or adult has become comfortable with the above exercises, you are ready to start trimming their nails.  If possible have another family member to help hold your German Shepherd Dog on the grooming table.  Confidently start trimming their nails.  You will likely clip two or three nails before they realize something is not the same.  Once your German Shepherd Dog realizes what you are doing they will become anxious and start resisting.  Back off from the nail trimming and reassure your German Shepherd Dog by brushing and petting.  Once they calm down start clipping their nails again.  Repeat the calming efforts as needed.  The first time that you do clip their nails it may take 30 minutes, but hang in there because it will get better each time you trim their nails.

The above method is the best method for training your German Shepherd Dog to sit calmly while you trim their nails.  However, you may speed up the process if you lack the patience for the above method and you have a strong assistant. This method requires laying the German Shepherd Dog on their side on the grooming table.  The assistant needs to hold the dog down distributing their weight on the neck and head and applying pressure to the rear legs.  Do this as calmly as possible and within two or three nail trimmings your assistant will be able to hold onto your German Shepherd Dog adolescent or adult in a sitting position while you trim the nails.  Eventually you will not need the assistant.

German Shepherd Dog Restrained on a Grooming Table

German Shepherd Dog Restrained on a Grooming Table

322x269KodiRestrainedII

 

Trim your German Shepherd Dog’s nails on a regular basis and they will love you the more for it, and you will love having doors and door jams without scratch marks ,

Ask me a question and I will provide my opinion.

Sincerely,

KeystoneGermanShepherds

Basic Care Tips for Your German Shepherd Dog

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