We are passionate about black and red German shepherd puppies. Over the last 10 years we have had the pleasure of whelping hundreds of world-class West German German shepherd puppies and worked with scores of European import German Shepherd puppies. It has been a blessing to have these wonderful creatures in our homes. The timing of the growth of our journey fortuitously coincided with my experimentation with teaching methods as a college Professor, and trying different strategies home schooling our children. We built Montessori boxes and tools for the children, experimented with classical music and colors, and taught them chess and music early on in their lives. We are a very close family and it was a pleasure to see them learn and develop as individuals, and to see the benefits of some of the things we did. It just seems logical that a properly devised developmental program for dogs would also give these puppies a head start in life.
We knew from the beginning we did not want to be a large kennel. My children work for us at the kennels, and help tend the puppies, socialize them, apply behavioral treatments and log the temperaments.As one would expect, puppies are not normally individually addressed and litters can’t be given individualized attention in a larger kennel. I studied the breed zealously, soaking up everything, getting training in schutzhund, receiving private lessons from a European expert. I learned a lot about this magnificent breed, and about puppy development, and whelping. Over this time we have made our mistakes, and learned from them. We have lovingly tended our litters, giving “mouth to muzzle” resuscitation, suturing ruptured umbilical chords, and had the joy of reviving many puppies. We have never had a C-section, and never lost a female.
I remember one time when the litter was born with only my young 12-13 year old son at home. It was not an easy litter, with breach puppies, and other complications. It would really test whether or not he had learned what I had taught. When I came home he was so proud, having used dental floss to suture a ruptured umbilical that certainly would have killed the puppy. My children have always taken a personal interest in each puppy. When there is a puppy who looks as though he may not survive, they will take that puppy and make saving their lives their personal mission. There are a number of wonderful family friends and protectors who would not be there if not for their loving concern.
Over the past decade we have come to a number of conclusions about dog behavior, training, and temperament development, specifically with puppy development. We at BanffyHaus take a holistic view of the puppy preparation process. We are interested in five facets of the puppy process.
▪Health and cleanliness
▪ Stimulating intelligence and development
▪ socialization and anthropos-foci (human centeredness)
We address each one of these separately, but understanding that each is important in the overall puppy preparation process. First, regarding health and cleanliness, we have tried to create as sterile, environmentally controlled area as possible. The whelping box is plastic instead of wood so that it doesn’t harbor harmful bacteria and can be sterilized after every litter. Second, the floor on which the puppies eat is ceramic tile and grouted with epoxy to create a strong liquid barrier that can be mopped. Third we use a zoo disinfectant to keep the area clean. The private nursery is heated and cooled and new puppies are placed on a hard plastic mat heated to 101 degrees. We change our puppy sheets often, and when mom leaves, we put them in red cedar chips to repel insects and keep their area clean. We constantly clean out the whelping area to do our best to obviate bad habits such as coprophagia. Puppy, as with all our dogs, are fed what we consider the best commercial food in terms of the balance between food tolerance and nutrition for the German Shepherd, Royal Canin.
As regards safety, newborns are monitored from the main house via a wireless monitor. Also, puppies are handled with care and picked up properly protecting sensitive joints. Also, the whelping box is extended and a pig-rail installed during the early stages to lessen the chance mom will step on the newborns.
As for temperament, we believe we can give the pups a head start by stimulating the senses. Classical music and speech is played for the puppies and other noises are made to aid in sound insensitivity, drills, vacuum, loud ringing sounds, loud voices to try to reduce sound sensitivity. Pups are handled and put on their backs when they show signs of dominance.
As for socialization/anthropo-foci, we log each puppy and keep a profile of how they interact with the other pups, amount of drive, etc. Any dominance is worked out by constant touching, especially the head, of any puppies which may have a little more attitude. We touch the puppies quite a bit so that they are very people focused by the time you get them. We call them to the front often, play radio voices, to get them used to human tones and vocal intonation. We bring them outside and teach them to run to their human owners as surrogate parents. We work with prey drive development.
We have found that this approach appears to have a very positive effect on litters, and all of our pups rush to the front of the box to be with people. And they love to be petted and touched, accelerating matriculation into the new home. Our strategy is to get puppies to new owners, if possible, at 8 weeks. At that time they have started focusing away from litter interaction toward humans (anthropo-foci).
We can truthfully say that we have never had a client who has returned a puppy we have chosen for them. We know that you will love our German Shepherd puppies, carefully bred for top joints from world class import German stock, tended with care for you, giving them a headstart in their new lives.We hope you will honor us with owning a BanffyHaus German shepherd puppies. We take very seriously our job as German shepherd puppy breeders.