Here are answers to some frequently asked questions:
1) What is the difference between American bred and Imported German Shepherds?
There is a long answer to this important question that goes back to the history of the breed and the different direction breeders in Germany and America took. The shortened version is that the national parent club of the breed (GSDCA in the United States and SV in Germany) writes a "breed standard" to describe the characteristics that set their breed apart from all other purebred dogs. This standard is to be used as a guide by breeders striving to maintain the unique characteristics of the breed that make it particularly suited to accomplish the task it is bred to perform. By breeding dogs best representing the standard, breeders preserve the "breed type" for future generations. However, the governing boards of national breed clubs are elected from a membership of breeders belonging to the club and often have different opinions as to what primary task a breed should perform. As opinions change, so too the standard evolves and adapts to the new function of the breed deemed most useful by the parent clubs. Soon, the physical and mental characteristics of a breed change along with the standard. In some breeds,"form follows function" means their appearance has remained static over time since the function of the breed has remained constant. The German Shepherd is unique among breeds in that its adaptability is such that it excels at the greatest variety of tasks and therefore is influenced by the greatest variety of opinions of what constitutes "breed type". People often refer to German Shepherd Dogs as the dog for all reasons and aptly so. German Shepherds are used for companion dog, herding dog, Schutzhund dog, therapy dog, guide dog, Search and Rescue dog, agility dog, and military and police dog. Originally, Captain Max von Stephanitz, an exmilitary man turned gentleman farmer and the breed's founder, set out to produce a shepherd dog superior to the sheep herding dogs of the working class farmers, but in response to a waning need for shepherding dogs, von Stephanitz looked for a new direction for his breed that would ensure its status and rising popularity. That direction was for a working military and police dog, and he devised a set of trials that would be used to choose the breeding dogs most suited for the new direction. These trials, Schutzhund trials, are still used in Germany today as a requisite for breeding stock as well as a highly competitive sport.
As the German Shepherd Dog gained worldwide attention early in the 20th century, wealthy Americans began importing German Shepherd Dog breeding stock from Germany. The Americans who imported the dogs were fanciers of the new sport of dog showing and considered themselves guardians of the breed type as it was originally intended, as a herding dog. Choosing to emphasize the unique characteristic of gait that would enable the breed to herd tirelessly for hours, American show people have continued to this day to breed for an elegant herding dog with the unique "flying trot" as described in the GSDCA standard:
A German Shepherd Dog is a trotting dog, and its structure has been developed to meet the requirements of its work.
General Impression-- The gait is outreaching, elastic, seemingly without effort, smooth and rhythmic, covering the maximum amount of ground with the minimum number of steps. At a walk it covers a great deal of ground, with long stride of both hind legs and forelegs. At a trot the dog covers still more ground with even longer stride, and moves powerfully but easily, with coordination and balance so that the gait appears to be the steady motion of a well-lubricated machine. The feet travel close to the ground on both forward reach and backward push. In order to achieve ideal movement of this kind, there must be good muscular development and ligamentation. The hindquarters deliver, through the back, a powerful forward thrust which slightly lifts the whole animal and drives the body forward. Reaching far under, and passing the imprint left by the front foot, the hind foot takes hold of the ground; then hock, stifle and upper thigh come into play and sweep back, the stroke of the hind leg finishing with the foot still close to the ground in a smooth follow-through. The overreach of the hindquarter usually necessitates one hind foot passing outside and the other hind foot passing inside the track of the forefeet, and such action is not faulty unless the locomotion is crabwise with the dog's body sideways out of the normal straight line.
By placing emphasis on gait, Americans have bred dogs with physical characteristics that allow for much more extreme movement. The most obvious of these characteristics is the angulation of the rear legs. The lengthening of the lower stifle bone causes a more acute angle of the rear leg allowing for greater underreach and followthrough and therefore a longer stride. The forequarter is also to be maintained at a 90 degree angle to allow greater front extension. Today's American dogs are breathtakingly beautiful when at a full flying trot.
The Germans on the other hand, after their breeding program was reestablished after World War 2, continued to breed dogs who would be competitive at trials designed to create a superior police/military dog. The characteristics German breeders chose to emphasize were working drive, strength, short roached backs that allow the dog to drive forward against greater resistance,and shorter powerful necks. The angulation that allows more fluidity of movement when trotting for long periods was sacrificed for more powerful limbs suitable for short bursts of speed when attacking an agitator. Here is the way the SV standard describes movement (notice the difference between the German and American standards' descriptions of gait):
The American decision to breed an elegant herding dog with ever more extreme reach, and the German decision to breed a strong working dog increasingly boxier and shorter bodied created the differences in breed standards and also basic conformation variences between American and German dogs. Until this last year, among top showlines in both countries, such singleminded breeding resulted in a caricature of the original breed type. Although this past year has shown marked improvement in conformation tending toward moderation among top placing dogs at both the GSDCA National (kudos to Ken Downing) and the German Seiger Show, more attention needs to be paid by parent clubs to the many genetic diseases afflicting the breed. For us here at WindRidge and a growing number of likeminded breeders worldwide, combining bloodlines from America and Germany produces the golden middle breed type and benefits from the best of both worlds.
To sum it up, elegant herding dog vs powerful working dog.
2) Why are your dogs so much more expensive than other ads in the newspaper?
We understand that our puppies are not inexpensive and not everyone will be able to afford them. For those nice people who are disappointed because our puppies are out of their reach, we are truly sympathetic but we ask a fair price for the quality we produce, and we will not lower our prices just to get rid of "leftover" pups as so many other breeders do. The truth is that you get what you pay for in dogs just as in most everything else. It may not seem fair that everyone can't afford a Mercedes or Lexus either, but that is life. We are proud of what we've accomplished with our breeding program, and we make no apologies for the price of our dogs.
When you buy a WindRidge puppy, you are buying years and years of dedicated research into the breed. You are buying a puppy specifically bred to be the best family companion possible instead of the cast off pups of a show breeder who is breeding for that one show puppy and needs to get rid of the rest of the litter. Instead of choosing breeding stock that will only win in a show ring or schutzhund trial, we are choosing for temperament, health, willingness to please, adaptability, and overall balance. Our responsibility to the pups we produce begins before birth and continues throughout the dog's lifetime. If at anytime in their lives they need a home, we will without hesitation take them back. Believe me, there aren't many breeders willing to do that. Breeding is not a hobby for us just as it's not a job we do for our family income. Breeding is a lifelong passion, and we will continue to pursue the betterment of the breed.
3) Do you guarantee your puppies?
The next time you call a show breeder about a pet quality puppy and ask if they guarantee their dogs, don't be surprised if they reply, "No, you're only paying $300, what do you expect?" Well, we expect much more from people who are selling dogs to share your life and home with. Yes, we offer a guarantee in our purchase contract that is as complete as we can make it. Our detailed contract is there to protect us as the seller, you as the buyer, and the life of the puppy. The following is excerpted from the contract:
Section 1 - Sellers Obligations:
This puppy is a purebred German Shepherd, registerable with the American Kennel Club.
An individual application is pending and shall be available at no additional charge to the purchaser. Upon execution of this contract, the seller does hereby convey title and interest in the described German Shepherd puppy to the buyer [EXCEPT FOR THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS LISTED HEREIN].
This puppy has been inspected by a licensed veterinarian at 6 weeks of age, and was found to be a normal, healthy, puppy with a sound temperament. The puppy is free of communicable diseases at the time of sale. It is strongly recommended by the seller that the buyer have his / her veterinarian complete a physical examination on puppy within 48 [forty-eight] hours of taking possession. The examination costs will be at no expense to the seller. If the puppy is found to be ill or in poor health, the puppy and veterinary reports will be returned to WindRidge German shepherds immediately. The breeder/ seller will offer a replacement puppy or refund, pending verification of illness or poor health by the breeder’s veterinarian. WindRidge German Shepherds will not be responsible for illness or health problems that are diagnosed after this time period ends, except those conditions specified below.
Hip Dysplasia is a congenital malformation of the ball and socket joint of the hip. A dog may or may not become lame because of the disease, depending upon its severity. Although no breeder can guarantee that a puppy will not get hip dysplasia, we are making every effort to avoid such an occurrence by using stock that may have been prelimed or x-rayed and when needed rated by the OFA [Orthopedic Foundation of Animals].
In the event that one of our puppies were to develop grade III bilateral dysplasia, we will replace the puppy with another of the same quality, but only after receiving proof of proper diagnosis. A copy of the original x-ray and OFA letter of diagnosis must be returned to the breeder, as well as copies of training methods used, feed and supplements [vitamins] used, exercise reports from a licensed trainer, and photos of puppy’s housing location at buyer’s home. The guarantee on dysplasia replacement is good from the time the puppy turns eight months old until the last day of the month that puppy becomes 26 months old. WindRidge German Shepherds will not be responsible for any veterinarian expenses incurred. Neither will WindRidge German Shepherds pay for transportation of original or replacement puppy. This contract EXCLUDES [unilateral] dysplasia that may be caused by accidents, abuse, falls, blows, excessive crating, excessive over / under weight of puppy, excessive jumping, incorrect training methods used, and failure to follow recommended diet and nutrition recommendations from breeder.
Should the puppy be diagnosed with a genetically derived medical condition, Such as: epilepsy [seizures not resulting from head or central nervous systems injury, low blood sugar, poison, tumors, infection, or reaction to immunizations], Von Willebrand’s, heart and esophageal abnormalities, and pancreatic inefficiency [not as a result of dietary induced acute pancreatitis]. Two unassociated veterinarians must attest to the condition. At such time, seller will upon provision of veterinary reports and where applicable, provide buyer with one of the following options: within the first 24 months of the puppy’s life,
Should buyer choose to keep puppy and accept refund, seller will refund 50% of purchase price. The puppy must be spayed or neutered, and buyer’s veterinarian of choice must have provided the spay/ neuter certificate to the seller by 10 [ten] months of age [last day of the 10 th month], before any refund will be issued.
Should buyer choose to keep puppy and accept a replacement puppy of similar quality, buyer must pay 50 % of the original puppy’s purchase price for the replacement puppy, plus any shipping or miscellaneous charges associated with transport of the replacement puppy. Original puppy must have been spayed or neutered and spay / neuter certificate must have been provided to seller by buyer’s veterinarian before refund will be issued. [Before the last day of the 10 th month birth date].
Should buyer choose to relinquish ownership of puppy, Seller will refund 75% of the original purchase price, only after WindRidge’s veterinarian has examined the puppy. This examination may include x-rays, vaccinations, worming, heartworm check, fecal check, blood profile, bathing, and any other medical treatment the veteraniarn deems necessary to ensure in properly diagnosing any medical condition. Seller will have final payment, [minus any deductions of veterinarian care and shipping,] returned to the buyer within 30 days of the puppy’s return to WindRidge, unless a court case is pending concerning this puppy.
Section 2 - Buyers Obligations:
At the time of sale, this puppy is considered to be “PET QUALITY.” The buyer understands that this puppy is sold under ‘’ limited registration. ’’ This puppy is not to be used for breeding purposes and must be spayed or neutered. A licensed veterinarian must perform the procedure. The buyer will send to the seller a copy of the alteration by the last day of the month that the puppy reaches 8 months of age. The best age to alter this puppy is between four and eight months of age. Any offspring WILL NOT be accepted for registration with the AKC [American Kennel Club]. The breeder will not, for any reason, lift this limitation. Said registration entitles buyer to register puppy with the AKC as new owner. Registration enables the new and puppy to compete in all AKC sanctioned events, other then conformation shows.
Buyer swears that he/she is not acting as an agent in the purchase of this puppy and that the puppy will remain solely in his/her custody. Buyer further swears that he/she is not associated with a pet shop, puppy mill, or animal broker. Buyer agrees that this puppy is not purchased for resale, neither will it be trained for activities which are illegal, inhumane, or for which it is not suited by reason of temperament or conformation. Specifically, it will not be used as a guard or attack dog or to hunt or fight other animals. German Shepherds raised in a loving family unit will naturally become protective of its home and family. WindRidge German Shepherds takes pride in breeding animals that are protective, not aggressive.
Buyer is acquiring this puppy as a family companion or as a working dog to be used for tasks appropriate to its breed such as: herding, search and rescue, therapy dog, family protection, Schutzhund competition, obedience, agility, tracking, and the possibility of police protection and narcotics work.
Buyer is responsible for all transportation costs to and from WindRidge German Shepherds on original and or replacement puppy.
Buyer agrees that Puppy will be registered with the AKC. The name must be in the following format: ________________________OF WINDRIDGE. [This is used for litter identification purposes].
Buyer is responsible for all expenses regarding the puppy, including shipping of the puppy, proper care of the puppy, feeding the puppy, veterinary fees involving the puppy, housing of the puppy, training of the puppy, damages caused by the puppy, or legal liabilities in regards to the puppy. Puppy will reside at buyer’s home of residence.
The buyer agrees to inform WindRidge German Shepherds during the puppy’s lifetime of any address or phone number changes so that we may keep in contact with the buyers, as well as be informed on the health and welfare of the puppies bred at WindRidge German Shepherds. A copy of any and all titles or awards obtained by the puppy will be sent to WindRidge German Shepherds for our records. Buyer agrees that WindRidge German Shepherds may use photographs and any particulars, accommodations, qualifying awards, or wins of records in any future advertising and web-page designs.
Buyer will take good and responsible care of the puppy, feed and house the puppy properly, provide adequate veterinary care, including but not limited to annual checkups. Buyer will keep all immunizations current according to the puppy’s state of residence, within the state’s Veterinary Medical Associations Guidelines. Buyer will keep this puppy contained indoors with the human family unit, in kennel runs, or in a yard with a fence of adequate height and security, when not indoors. Buyer will provide adequate housing for this puppy both in and out doors. Buyer will never tie or chain the puppy out or allow puppy to run at large. Neither will buyer allow puppy be to ride freely [must be crated] in the back of an open or exposed truck or flat bed pickup.
Buyer agrees that, if for any reason a deposit, a payment, or an original purchase payment paid by personal check is returned for stop payment, insufficient funds, or any reason not listed, the buyer will return the puppy to WindRidge German Shepherd’s property immediately. Buyer accrues all expenses involved with the repossession as well as the full purchase price of puppy [this is to cover medical expenses, medications, training, advertisement, re-socialization, re-temperament testing, AKC paper work, the breeder’s time, and other expenses]. Any and all court and or attorney’s fees will be collected from the buyer. The puppy will not be considered as the buyer’s property until it has been paid in full. Registration papers will remain with the seller until contract payment obligations have been met. The canine is WindRidge German Shepherds property until he/she is paid in full. If for any reason of non-payment, and the puppy is returned or repossessed, He / She will be re-sold to another family / buyer. NO refund will be given. All deposits are nonrefundable.
HEALTH / TEMPERAMENT:
Seller guarantees that puppy is in good health to the best of her knowledge, and has received appropriate medical inoculations [vaccinations] and worming. Seller will provide to the buyer a vaccination and worming report detailing the treatment that puppy has received while under WindRidge German Shepherds care, along with an outline of future care that seller feels is essential to puppy’s well being.
Seller strongly recommends that buyer attends obedience classes with puppy and provides proper socialization opportunities for puppy. German Shepherds are highly intelligent animals. The proper life skills that WindRidge German Shepherds introduced must continue throughout the puppy’s life. Puppy is not to be left solely in a back yard, crate or kennel and will be allowed to spend substantial quality time inside the home with family members. Puppy is sold with the understanding that it is to go to a carefully selected home. The buyer AVOWS the puppy shall become a family member. This is to assure proper development and maintenance of the temperament for which the puppy was bred.
Should the puppy exhibit aggressive behavior in which buyer deems intolerable and irreversible within 12 months after purchase, buyer will provide seller with proof that the puppy has been sufficiently socialized, and that obedience classes and other structured training methods have been attempted with no results. Upon receipt of such proof, evaluations of puppy will be scheduled with three recognized canine breeders or trainers, one to be chosen by buyer, one to be chosen by breeder, and one chosen jointly. Should the puppy be deemed irreversibly aggressive by two of the chosen breeders / trainers, seller will arrange for euthanasia of puppy. The seller will provide a replacement puppy of similar quality, upon new litter availability to be chosen by seller, If puppy has not received adequate socialization, seller will accept puppy back, but there will be no replacement puppy provided. Shipping will be at the buyer’s expense.
Buyer agrees to maintain puppy in good health including but not limited to the following: to keep the puppy free of all internal and external parasites; to keep puppy on a continual monthly form of heartworm preventive; to provide annual exams with rabies; fecal and DHLPP boosters. Bordetella vaccine is highly recommended by the breeder.
Buyer further agrees to provide proper exercise to maintain puppy in proper weight and physical shape. Buyer agrees to prevent stress injuries by not allowing puppy to jump from heights taller than itself at the shoulder. There should be no forced exercising or running until at least 18 months of age. Buyer agrees not to start Schutzhund bite / protection training or any other strenuous physical training until puppy reaches 18 to 24 months of age. This excludes Search and Rescue and tracking as long as the puppy is allowed to work at its own pace. This is to prevent damaging puppy during formative stages of growth. Buyer acknowledges that failure to meet and follow this requirement will be considered breach of this contract.
Buyer will keep puppy on a proper diet consisting of top-quality puppy / dog food. Table scraps [human food] cannot be digested easily by canines, and is strongly discouraged. WindRidge German Shepherds feeds and recommends that your puppy stay on, taste of the Wild or Blue Buffalo puppy food. A brand such as Iams, Preformaxx, Eukanuba, or Science Diet [lamb or chicken and rice,[ meet beef based is best]] is comparable. Keep puppy on puppy food until 18 to 24 months of age. Once puppy has reached adulthood [two years], he/she should remain on one of the above diets in an adult formula. We recommend free feeding, leaving a small amount of food in the puppy’s bowl at all times, and feeding at an elevated height to help in the prevention of tork also known as torsion and bloat. Chocolate even in tiny doses can kill canines and should be kept out of puppy’s reach
LIMITATIONS OF CONTRACT:
This contract applies to the original puppy and original buyer only and is nontransferable to a second party. No replacement puppy will be given if the puppy has been bred, sired, spayed, or neutered outside of the limitations of this contract.
Violations of any terms of this contract renders all guarantees stipulated in this contract to be null and void, and will result in the buyer being required to return the puppy to the breeder IMMEDIATELY. [Said notice will be known as verbal, written or a typed notice] The buyer will be responsible for the cost of the puppy’s transportation back to the breeder. If the buyer violates this agreement, he or she will be held responsible for any / all legal costs the breeder acquires enforcing this contract.
Seller has endeavored for many years to protect the German Shepherd breed and her dogs from improper ownership and treatment. The reputation of the seller is the result of many years of work and professional experience. Inappropriate breeding of a bitch or dog from WindRidge German Shepherds damages the reputation and value of the seller’s name and of other litters. Puppy has been sold as ‘’PET’’ quality and is to be spayed or neutered.
Intentional or negligent breeding of puppy is detrimental to the breed, to the seller’s name, and to WindRidge German Shepherds. Acknowledging the intrinsic value of the seller’s name and reputation, and the difficulty of precise damage calculations for breach of the contract, buyer agrees to pay the seller $4,000.00 per puppy [alive or dead] born as a result of any such breeding. The original puppy [parent of breach of contract puppies] of the contract will be returned to WindRidge German Shepherds immediately AT THE BUYERS EXPENSE, as well as any and all offspring [puppies] born from the beach of contract. All canines involved in the return will immediately and permanently become the property of WindRidge German Shepherds.
If it is reported and confirmed that puppy is being abused, neglected or bred by the purchaser, family member, friend, or stranger, rights and ownership of puppy will automatically terminate and revert back to the seller who will immediately assume possession. Buyer agrees seller can and will REPOSSESS PUPPY UPON EVIDENCE OF NEGLECT AND/OR ABUSE and that buyer will be held responsible for any and all fees involved in repossession, as well as any local, state and federal fees and or charges, And any other costs accrued.
The buyer agrees that ownership or possession of this puppy will not be transferred [sold, traded, or given] away to another party without the written consent from the breeder. The breeder may accept the return of the puppy at any time the purchaser declines to keep said puppy or can no longer give appropriate care for puppy. However, the breeder is not obligated to refund any part or the entire purchase price paid for the puppy.
The BREEDER neither makes nor implies any warranties or guarantees, express or implied, other than those written in the agreement. This includes, without limitation, the warranties of merchantability and fitness. This document constitutes the entire agreement between the Breeder and Buyer with respect to this sale. The buyer’s signature below indicates that he/she has read, agrees, and does understand all of the conditions in the Purchase Contract.
4) What brand of food should we feed our puppy?
We feed taste of the Wild and Blue Buffalo puppy and adult food. We recommend Science Diet, Black Gold, `Eukanuba, Pro Plan, O.N.E, Bil Jak, and Natures Best. All of these brands come in a puppy as well as an adult formula. Do not feed you puppy / dog OLE Roy brand or any similar non-brand dog foods that have a corn base meal to them. Your German Shepherd puppy should stay on puppy formula until it reaches six months of age. Then slowly switch puppy over to the adult formula. We free feed, leaving a small amount of food in the puppy’s bowl at all times. It is highly recommend that you elevate both the water and feed bowls off of the ground to make swallowing and digestion easier on the puppy / dog.
5) What snack / training foods can we give our puppy? Can we feed table scraps?
Puppies enjoy extra treats, we suggest that treats be given in moderation. Raw Hide chews, pigs feet and ears should NEVER be given to a puppy. Small pieces can be torn off and pose a great choking hazard. They can also come out the digestive tract undigested and can easily block your puppy’s bowels. As a training aid, we recommend small bits of meat, chew bones such as Milk Bones, and boiled egg. We discourage the use of ANY human foods, as most are processed with preservatives. Humans have a hard time breaking down the preservatives, canines can not. It is best to keep your puppy on one brand of dry food. If your vet feels that an additive would be beneficial to your puppy’s diet, we recommend boiled eggs, cottage cheese, peanut butter, boiled liver or chicken [no bones] mixed with boiled brown rice. A daily vitamin is highly recommended through out your puppy’s life. Remember: Chocolate should never be given to canines. Even in small amounts chocolate can be deadly.
6) When will my puppy’s ears stand?
Each puppy is unique, therefor there is no set age or date. A German Shepherd’s ears are large and take time to develop cartilage and gain strength while growing. A Shepherd puppy’s ears will look like radar’s, standing then laying back down. These positions are normal and can last from the time the puppy is six weeks to six months of age, or during stress and teething. After eight to ten months most Shepherds’ ears will stand. If by seven months, both ears are not fully STANDING contact WindRidge for taping instructions. Extra large boned Shepherds ears can sometimes take longer.
7) Should we crate train our puppy? How do we crate train?
All creatures need a place to call its safe zone. As long as the crate is large enough and you don’t punish the puppy by crating [USE A SIZE 400 OR GREATER 26X36X24], your puppy will soon learn to enjoy his crate as his little bedroom. Start by using the crate as the puppy’s bed, place the crate next to your bed or in a quiet corner. Put the puppy’s favorite toy and a safe snack inside the crate and give the command [in a firm not angry voice] ‘’Crate ‘’, ‘’Inside’’, or ‘’Bed’’. Place the puppy inside the crate and close the door. Most puppies will whine, bark, and cry wanting back out. Praise the puppy and after 15 minuets, let the puppy out, calling its name and telling the puppy how ‘’GOOD’’ he is. Remember to always praise your puppy when he enters and leaves his crate, leave the crate door open when not in training. Soon your puppy will realize that the crate is his and want to get inside to ‘get away’’ from too many stimuli, nap, sleep, or just hang out. We recommend that your puppy /dog never be in a crate longer then six hours with the door closed.
8) How do we potty train our puppy?
Potty training is one of the easiest things that your puppy will learn. When your puppy leaves WindRidge German Shepherds it will be about 75% potty trained to potty outdoors or on newspaper indoors. You must learn when the puppy needs to go out and where to place the puppy. Most puppies will start to sniff around, whine, bark, or even go to the door. Puppies at this age will need to be let outdoors every two to three hours. As your puppy grows and matures, so will his holding ability. Place you puppy outdoors in the same spot of your yard, or on clean dry paper if indoors. Your puppy will use the same spot AS LONG AS IT IS KEPT CLEAN. It is usually human error when an accident does happen, do not rub your puppy’s nose in his mess. He is learning and trying to please you. If accidents keep accruing, the puppy may have an infection, needs to be let out more often, or have his feeding time adjusted to fit his needs.
9) My puppy is chewing on everything and wont stop barking what do I do?
Puppies often chew when they are teething [cutting adult teeth]. When a puppy becomes destructive, the cause is usually from not enough stimuli, or boredom. Let the puppy know what toys are his / hers. Remove and put your [children’s] toys and wanted items out of the puppy’s reach. If the puppy were to find and chew on a child’s toy or the t.v. remote, simply remove that item and say ‘’NO’’, give the puppy one of its toys in place of the item it was chewing on. Make a habit to check for loose parts on your puppy’s toy’s and do not allow your puppy to chew on old shoes, as he cant tell the difference between the old shoe and new Reeboks. Rubber toys can be chewed up and torn apart, your puppy can’t pass the rubber in these types of toys and could block his digestive tract. We recommend rope type toys and Kong balls. Never play tug-a-war with your puppy, this type of play will teach the puppy to play aggressively and to become possessive. Shepherds want to please and be rewarded, try a game of fetch or catch instead of tug-a-war, and remember to talk to and reward the puppy with a treat or extra love. When your puppy barks he is trying to tell you something, you need to respond. Adult Shepherds have the mentality of 2 to 4 year old humans, when not responded to ‘’BAD things can happen.’’ Your puppy must be stimulated to prevent boredom, bad behaviors and for his mental growth. The best remedies are training, enrichment toys, and human contact. Spoil your puppy with love, what you will receive in return will be priceless.
10) How do we introduce the new puppy to our other dog or cat?
SLOWLY!!! Don’t expect it to be love at the first encounter. In a short time each animal will find its comfort zone and tolerance level for the other animal. Watch older canines for aggressive behavior towards the puppy. Let the animals sniff each other while each is on a leash. Two canines meeting for the first time might try to ride each other, this is a normal dominance placement behavior to establish a ranking system. German Shepherds are pack animals and follow a dominance higharchy system. In a Shepherds eyes there must be an ALPHA. This “alpha” is the highest rank according to a Shepherd and must be filled by all of the humans in your home in an A, B, and C order. The animals will automatically place themselves in a ranking system. Remember to show ‘’NO’’ favoritism in any of the animals and do not allow one animal to hurt or injure another. Be gentle and repetitive with all other meeting and encounters, Soon all your companions will except each other.
11) What vaccinations will my puppy need, When should I take my puppy to the vet?
When you picked up your puppy, a packet of paperwork was sent home with a chart showing what vaccinations and wormings your puppy has received, as well as the due date of any other vaccinations recommend. We recommend that you take your puppy to your veterinarian within the first 48 hours after being picked-up from WindRidge. This visit to your vet will set a report between the vet and puppy, as well as reassure you of your puppy’s health. You will need to know how to take your puppy’s temperature. At any age in your puppy’s life take him to your vet if he acts lethargic or has a temperature of higher then 102.5. Some puppies under going the stress with the change of environment, water, diet, the ride home and new humans may develop an upset stomach with soft stool or diarrhea. Puppies as well as adult canines can be given Pepto or Kopectate to help with this discomfort. We suggest two check ups yearly, by your licensed veterinarian.
12) What are some of the different titles my puppy can earn and how do I get started with dog shows and competition?
The first step is to contact the A.K.C at 919-233-9767 or on the net at www.AKC.ORG. The A.K.C will send you a list of clubs, with contact names and numbers and a list of shows in your state. Next you will want to attend competitions and dog shows. While attending ask a lot of questions about the type of training that will be needed and find out where the different clubs meets.
13) At what age and where do we find information on starting puppy obedience classes?
When you get home with your new puppy and introduce him to his new environment you are training him. If you don’t want him in the kitchen, then don’t allow him in the kitchen, use a baby gate, or other device to keep him out. The same goes for letting him on your bed or other furniture. What he does, as a puppy will stay with him through his adult life. Teach him the basic commands first: new name, sit, no, down, off, come. Always use one word commands such as lay, go, heal, bring, stop, ball, left, and right. Short groups of words such as ‘’get off’’ or ‘’lay down’’ are two different commands and will confuse your puppy. Make sure that every human uses the same command’s for the same wanted reaction. We train in German as well as English, and use hand signals. To continue and advance in training we recommend reading THE GERMAN SHEPHERD DOG HAND BOOK, attending an obedience trial, and joining a training club. You will need to train your puppy, never send a puppy off to be trained by a stranger with out you. The best age to start formal training is at three to four months, Start with basic kindergarten puppy classes that work on socialization and the simple sit, stay and come. As you sand your puppy, pass each level of training you can advance to higher levels of training and competition.
14) What can we use to help prevent or treat our puppy for fleas, ticks, and worms?
Most parasites are transferred by the parasite jumping from one host to another, or by being carried on human and canine feet back to a canine’s home or yard. As the dog grooms itself it cleans its feet, swallowing the parasite’s eggs, and infecting itself. Only walk and train your canine in isolated areas. Parks are a great play date, and often used a the meeting spot for training classes, but beware as a lot of humans take their pets to local parks that have not been treated for parasites, these animals can spread fleas, ticks, and worms. Never take a puppy to a park or rest stop that has not been fully vaccinated. You can use a product such as Top line, Advantage, Front line, Bio Spot, powders and sprays to help control a flea or tick problem, but use them in moderation and only when needed as the working chemicals are absorbed into the animals blood system. We do not recommend flea collars as the collar can get hung on objects and choke a canine to death, as well as only protecting a canine’s neck with parasite medication. The four common types of worms that can infect your puppy are: rounds, whip, tapes, and hooks. We recommend that you have your puppy tested / treated every three to six months, by your veterinarian.
15) What are heart worms?
Heart worms can be your canine’s worst parasite enemy. They are transported in the common mosquito as larva. One bite from an infected mosquito can deposit larva into the untreated canine’s blood stream. The larva travels to the canine heart where it develops and hatches into worms. When the worms mature they will separate into tiny segments that can cause the canine to have heart attacks, strokes or death. It is very painful, expansive, and dangerous to treat a heart worm infected canine. Start and keep your puppy on heartworm preventive at the age four and six months, depending on your location and mosquito season.
16) How should we pick up and carry our new puppy?
Stand at the side of your puppy. Place one of your arms under his chest, between his front legs and your other arm under his buttocks. As you stand remember to lift with your leg muscle’s not your back. Your puppy will grow very quickly, we recommend that children not be allowed to carry the puppy as puppy’s can wiggle out of young humans arms and be injured.
17) What type of collar and leash should we use on our puppy?
We suggest that a leather leash that is three to five feet in length be used for every day walks. You will need to invest in a longer lead as you train in puppy classes. A nylon or leather collar to hold his name tag with your home address and contact phone numbers should be kept on your canine at all times as well as the puppy’s rabies tag. For training and trips away from home we use and recommend a choke type collar made of nylon or linked chain. Make the letter ‘’P’’ out of the adjustable collar, place your puppy in front of you, and put on the collar. This position assures that the collar will release correctly and not choke your canine.
portrait of our handsome Jett
WindRidge German Shepherds and Heart to Heart Rescue