Jul 212014
 

A loving dog is considered by many as an excellent addition to the family, as it really manages to bring everyone at home closer together. However, the decision to bring home a puppy should not be made lightly, as there are several considerations which should be taken into account, particularly with regards to the actual breed of the dog. This article shall consider the salient points which one should know before getting a particularly popular dog around the world – a German Shepherd puppy.

Physically, these dogs grow up to be quite large (up to 90 pounds), so you should keep in mind that your German Shepherd puppy will not always be so small – they will require more space as they grow up. As regards their coat, it is commonly referred to as a “double coat”, in that it is comprised of a thick undercoat and a dense outer coat which is prone to being shed throughout the year. This coat can be of a variety of colors, with the most common combination being the tan-black and the red-black. Other possible variants include all-black, all-white and sable.

Getting a German Shepherd as a puppy ensures that the dog will grow up to form a very strong bond with its owner. This is because their sense of loyalty and protection is greatly strengthened when their owner has been around since they were puppies. While this protection is often very desirable, one must ensure that it is not taken to extremes, so it becomes important to train your puppy not to become overprotective. Being intelligent dogs, they will quickly learn how to deal sociably with friends and family as long as you show them that they mean you no harm.

Health-wise, these dogs are prone to certain ailments which prospective owners should be aware of. Being considerably large in size, they can suffer from elbow or hip dysplasia. It is also not infrequent for them to experience certain hereditary diseases such as blood disorders, epilepsy, digestive problems, eye diseases and flea allergies. Another issue could be ear infections, particularly because of their characteristically large and open ears. The life expectancy of German Shepherd dogs is approximately between ten and thirteen years. 
It should be noted that these dogs’ active nature requires that they exercise quite frequently. Ideally, they should at least be taken on a daily walk or jog. They also love to play games involving balls or frisbees, as they get to burn the energy accumulated while at home. Taking time to play with your dog will ensure a stronger dog-owner relationship as well as provide a sense of purpose which intelligent dogs actively seek. 

It is really hardly surprising why German Shepherd puppies are widely sought after by dog lovers around the globe. These puppies grow up to be loyal, protective and intelligent companions which can liven up anyone’s life. Adequately informing oneself about this breed will ensure that as the proud owner of a German Shepherd puppy you can quickly start to benefit from the unparalleled love and companionship which these dogs have to offer.

 Posted by at 8:11 pm

German Shepherd Colors

 Norms  Comments Off
May 252014
 

Did you know that The GSD comes in a variety of colors? The typical German Shepherd is black and tan, as seen in dogs like Rin Tin Tin. But there are other just as beautiful GSDs that are not what you typically see in the US.

So let’s break down just two of the color variations in simple terms. But before we do, let me state that the solid black GSD is recognized as an official AKC breed, but the white GSD is not recognized as a breed standard for a Shepherd. Not that they are any less of a dog, but the white Shepherd is not registrable as part of the official AKC breed. I know that the White Shepherd debate is a huge one, but all I’m referring to is the ability to register them in the AKC.

WHAT’S A SABLE?

Sable GSDs are not the typically colored Black & Tan color variety that you see. Their coat is black and tan, or black and red, but not in the saddle back configuration. And the ends of their fir contain either silver, or red, or more, hence the sable name! Now, again let me remind you that I’m not a pro at this stuff, so if you want a concise description of GSD’s and their colors, you canGoogle a hundred different sites for that.

WHAT’S A SADDLE BACK?

Saddle back is the color pattern you’ll see in most common GSD’s. Their coat can be black and tan, or black and red. They come in a variety of patters, two of those being “saddle back” and “tri color” patterns.

 Posted by at 10:40 am
May 232014
 

The body that establishes standards of dog breeds in the United States is the American Kennel Club (AKC). The American Kennel Club decides what qualities make a dog a show quality German Shepherd. German Shepherds in dog shows are judged against these standards, and the dog that comes the closest to matching all the standards of the breed wins the dog show. German Shepherds that win certain prizes in American Kennel Club dog shows can earn the rank of American Kennel Club champion, a designation that appears on a dog’s pedigree.

The categories that make up the standard of the German Shepherd breed include: appearance, temperament, size and proportion, coat and color and gait, the way the dog moves. A German Shepherd who meets the appearance standard of the breed gives the impression of a strong animal, alert and full of life. A good German Shepherd looks substantial and muscular, with an expression of nobility and quality breeding. The standard of the German Shepherd breed calls for a confident personality, slow to make friends. German Shepherds are alert and eager, ready to be report for duty as guide dogs, guard dogs, police dogs, herding dogs or loyal family companions.

The standards require that German Shepherd males should be twenty four to twenty six inches tall at the shoulder; females should be twenty two to twenty four inches tall. The German Shepherd head is noble, strong, and in proportion to the body. Males should look masculine, and females should look feminine. The face includes dark eyes, moderately pointed ears and a long, strong muzzle. A dog with cropped or hanging ears will be disqualified from competition, as will a dog with a nose that is not predominantly black. The neck should be strong, muscular and relatively long, carrying the head high and forward. The body should be deep with long ribs, a firmly held abdomen and a high, bushy tail. The forequarters are well muscled, with short, compact feet. The upper thigh should run parallel to the shoulder blade. The hindquarters are broad, with dewclaws removed from the hind legs.

 

 

 Posted by at 4:29 pm
May 212014
 

Hip dysplasia can be a problem in these dogs but this is due mostly to bad breeding so you need to be sure that you take a good look at the parents of the shepherd and be sure that they guaranteed not to have hip or elbow problems. this dog breed can also be prone to skin problems such as eczema and flea allergies as well as I problems like keratitis, dwarfism and epilepsy.

The German Shepherd does not have any excessive grooming requirements although he is a heavy shedder and does need to be brushed every day.

Although the German Shepherd is rather inactive indoors and can make a good apartment dog, he does need to be exercised frequently so if you have him in an apartment you do need to take him for daily walks and preferably for a long romp in the park on weekends. They love a lot of activity and like to have something to do, so things like playing frisbee or agility training are perfect for this breed. A home with a big yard for your dog to play and is ideal.

Just like any other dog, a German shepherd needs to be seen regularly by a vet into a ball be recommended vaccinations and other medications as deemed necessary by the vet. With proper care, this breed can live to be around 13 years old.

 Posted by at 8:57 am
May 202014
 

I get asked questions all the time regarding training, health, and general “living with our dogs”. But the most “emotional” question I gets asked is, “Do you think I should breed my two dogs?” Here is a question I got asked (name and identity removed), and my response:

QUESTION:

Well first of all they stay in side when im home and out side when im gone. first my female is real scared some times when u call her she gets scared and pees.and she is a gs mixed with lab. and my male is kind of aggresive towd her he dosnt like to play will that change or what do i need to do. and he is gs mixed wit rott. and finally if they were to have puppies would the pups come out full blood gs or would they be 1/3 of every thing thank u for the help cant wait to hear from u oh and they r both 5 months old.

ANSWER:

It sounds like they both need socialization. There is a “fear period” that some dogs go through (submissive urination is one of the symptoms), but that tends to happen at 7-9 months old. I would make it a point to spend time with each one separately. They need to bond to you more than each other. The male being aggressive towards your female will only hinder her and could cause her to have nervous tendencies.

Is it possible for you to take each one separately with you (on leash of course lol) when you go out? A nervous puppy without being socialized can become a “fear biter” when they reach maturity (2 years +).

I would also correct your male when he is being aggressive towards her. At 5 months old, any dog that is left to be aggressive will be a royal pain in the butt when they are older….and a very BIG liability. So I would recommend that you hook a leash to your boy’s collar, and supervise your dog’s time together (as much as possible, I know we have our own lives to lead lol). Once he even BEGINS to show ANY signs of aggression, correct him with a sharp, “NO!” (I use “NIEN!”, as I train with German commands) and a collar correction:

  • Verbally correct with “NO!”
  • Very quickly, tug on his leash sharply right after saying NO! Repeat as necessary, which will not be too long, as he will be trained that this behavior is not going to be tolerated.

I normally do NOT recommend physical corrections at this age, but you are correcting him for a behavior (as I’ve stated above) that will not be tolerated – ever. You are simply becoming the leader of your pack, which includes being Firm But Fair.

And in my honest opinion, please do NOT breed them. I work with many professional breeders of GSDs, and in their breeding programs, they look for the following traits when contemplating a breeding:

  • Will the sire and dam’s litter better the breed as a whole?
  • Will the breeding bring out the BEST traits of each parent, as far as the GSD Breed Standard is concerned?

And their dogs are vet certified for their overall health – especially their hips (called OFA normal, excellent, etc). And they are prepared to “cull” any pups born with disabilities. So, can honestly answer yes to the following questions if you are looking to breed them?

  1. Will your litter better the next generations for their breed?
  2. Do your male & female have AWESOME, GREAT, and DESIRED traits for their specific breeds, that you would like to see in future dogs?
  3. Are you prepared to “cull” a pup? Cull (“to kill”) definition: Animals may also be culled (killed) because of disease, failure to produce or reproduce, because of inherited defects or because of undesirable conformation or breed type.
  4. Parvo/Distemper shots are given at 6-8 weeks, then at 10-12 weeks. A vet can give the shots for you, or you can purchase them at a local feed store or even Walmart Pharmacy – at $9.99 each. A litter of 7-10 pups, shots given twice before you give/sell them, is going to be around $200.

Being Shepherd/Rott/Lab mixes, their litter will be less than a quarter Shepherd. I am sure they are great pets, and I hope the advice above helps them live comfortably in your pack structure. I would lastly suggest that you Spay/Neuter them both, so you won’t have to worry about accidental litters

I would also like to add, which I did not include in my email reply to this question, is the fact that if all the puppies in the litter are not sold/given away, are you prepared, as their breeder, to keep the dogs? There are TONS of dogs in shelters right now that are on death row…waiting for someone to go and adopt them.

 Posted by at 2:54 am
May 162014
 

Originating from the Bavaria region, the German Shepherd was bred from local Shepherd dogs and originally contained a wire haired version as well. This dog was first registered in 1899 and has been a popular family pet and show dog ever since.

A large dog, weighing in at around 90/100 pounds, the German Shepherd is perhaps one of the most recognized of dog breeds. Typically having black and tan markings, the German shepherd has a large triangular head with wide upright years and almond shaped. His tale is bushy underneath and hangs halfway down his legs. while most people recognize the short coated variety, the German Shepherd actually comes in three types, the long-haired, the rough coated, and the long rough coated. Colors can be the typical black and tan, all-black, blue or white and liver. The white German Shepherd Is actually not a German shepherd breed but a separate breed called the American White Shepherd.

Of all the dog breeds, the German Shepard may be the hardest working. Due to his high intelligence and keen interest in learning he is often used for police work, to aid the blind, and search and rescue missions, and as guard dogs. As a family pet, he can be a loyal and loving friend. Most German shepherds get along well with children and other pets but you need to be sure that you pick your shepherd from a good breeder. this dog can be a bit protective of his family so you want to make sure he Is trained and socialized properly from the get-go.

The German Shepherd likes to be kept active and have a job to do. This means that you will want him to be an active part of your family and enjoyed outings with you. To keep him busy you might think about entering him and agility contests at which he will probably excel. As they are smart and eager to please, they usually quite easy to train.

 Posted by at 5:12 pm

Basic Training

 Dog training  Comments Off
May 142014
 

Sit! I said Sit, dang it!” Have you ever yelled that at your dog before? I have. And while the sit command seems to be a simple request, we humans seem to think our dogs should understand it the very first time we yell it at them. But sorry to tell you, it doesn’t work that way…

Teaching your dog basic OB commands is not only a way to establish a strong working bond with your dog, but it also is a great way for your dog to live. You see, domesticated dogs live to please and with a job to do (being commanded certain things to obtain their daily requirements), they will flourish as dogs.

So let’s get right to the training. Before we get into “sit/stay” stuff, let me first tell you about the four different training phases I use.

TRAINING PHASES

Teaching your dog is more complicated than just repetitive actions that form a behavior. Yes, your dog will do “ok” with that command you teach in the front room, but what about using that same command in a “high stress” environment?

You see, just because your best friend will “sitz” (I teach my GSDs in German, for ease of Schutzhund) for you in the living room without distractions, but what about when you are at the park, and 17 kids are all running up to you and your GSD? Will he break that command? I dare say so, unless you are using the 4 basic phases below:

  1. Learning Phase
  2. Distraction Phase
  3. Correction Phase
  4. Maintenance Phase
 Posted by at 4:21 pm
May 132014
 

In the late 19th century, von Stephanitz tried to find out new arenas of breeding German Shepherd dogs with the help of his extensive experience and application of knowledge. He kept his faith about many ideas used in England by that time. During 1899, von Stephanitz participated in a dog show, where he bought Horand von Grafrath. This is the time when Verein was founded and it was Horand who took his entry in the studbook as the first registered German Shepherd. Captain von Stephanitz was most impressed by the qualities of Horand.

Horand was a medium size dog with a blend of liveliness and activity. An obedient, brave, defensive and energetic type of dog was mostly adored for its mental alertness. Additionally, it had beautiful lines all over the body. These were the qualities that made the German Shepherd acquire such a universal acceptance. In modern days, German imports of German Shepherds are highly desirable to everyone for their incredible sense of smell, extraordinary obedience, sound temperament, and excellent physical structure and working efficiency.

 Posted by at 3:30 pm
May 122014
 

In part one of our basic training lessons, we covered the four different training phases:

  1. Learning Phase
  2. Distraction Phase
  3. Correction Phase
  4. Maintenance Phase

Now let’s get into these cool basic OB commands individually:

  • Sitz (pronounced siitz, meaning sit)
  • Platz (down)
  • Hier (pronounced hee er, meaning come)
  • Bleib (pronounced bly’b, meaning stay)
  • Fuss (pronounced fooss, meaning heel)
  • Hopp (meaning jump)

 

 Posted by at 9:05 pm
May 092014
 

It was Max von Stephanitz who gripped all the essential credits for the development of the highly talented, faithful and obedient German Shepherd. He solely conceptualized a great variety of sheep herding dogs into one single variety. He visualized a dog of righteous character, great working ability, loyal and comprehensively trainable. Shepherd dogs were known as the best working dogs in 18th and 19th centuries. The shepherds in Germany employed their dogs to direct their group of sheep as well as cattle. The first priority was given on their working ability, not on their appearance. The root of these dogs in historical timeline has not yet been identified.

In the late 19th century, a movement for initiating the herding sheep method was inspired by Captain von Stephanitz. The movement also influenced his decision to establish his organization Verein fur Deutsche Schaferhunde where both talent and beauty were prioritized. Although von Stephanitz also put his primary emphasis on the working ability of the German Shepherd, the attempt of increasing good appearance was also found to be important.

In the historical timeline, the evolvement of German Shepherd was not always that smooth. In fact, there was a time when there was a reduction in the demand of the shepherd dogs. During that phase, the great innovator Captain von Stephanitz shaped his idea of breeding the German Shepherd in absolutely a new direction as police service dogs, where these dog were increasingly trained as police dogs in order to serve the nation. In the late 19th century and early 20th century, an increasing number of dog shows actually started influencing the breeders to take both appearance and efficiency into account.

During 1899, the idea of the contemporary German Shepherd came into existence with the continuous contribution of von Stephanitz and the formation of Verein. England discovered German Shepherds in World War I and took it back to the U.K. under the name of Alsatian. Verein fur Deutsche Schaferhunde regulated all the breeding in Germany during that phase. However, Germany was devastated and ruined following World War II, and the same was true with the breeding organization and policies. During that period, the credit of breeding the best German Shepherds went to North America.

 Posted by at 8:21 am