This will give you advice on many puppy issues and how to obviate future problems by handling this precious and critical time correctly.

The Critical Training Tool for German Shepherds: THE WALK

Hello German Shepherd puppies lovers:

Walking your dog is one of the most enjoyable and useful bonding AND training experiences you can have together. It cannot be underestimated. It is tool for correction of bad habits, setting pack order, superior exercise, wonderful for developing your relationship, good for socialization. It is so essential for your dog from German shepherd puppies to older dogs, that I would like to elaborate some important facets of the walk.

First, get rid of the flexilead. This can only lead to less than optimal behavior. First, the dog can wander too far from you. Secondly with the variable distance from you they won’t know the limits and can start learning to pull. Thirdly, unless you have your finger ready at the button, your dog can veer into danger or into a fight with another dog. Flexileads can lead to lazy supervision and getting your German shepherd puppy into trouble such as eating other dog’s feces, poisonous plants, etc.

What you need is a good strong 3-5 foot lead (I like 4). Your German shepherd should always be on the left side, his/her right shoulder on your left hip, on a loose lead. When you head out on the walk, allow them to get excited and dash too far forward. Then quickly yank the lead and pivot to your right and say “phooey”. This will set the tone and initialize training mode. As you walk intermittently stop, they sit, start, you walk. When you stop and they sit, it is time for positive reinforcement. Every once in a while have them platz (lie down). Do a number of reverse turns.

When a dog walks by, tell them “look at me”. And when they do obey and switch attention to their two footed bipedal friend (you) you can reward them for their effort. When you stop to talk with someone who has no dog with them, your dog should sit courteously at your side. If the other person has a pet, your shepherd should be disinterested but pay attention to you. It is not cute to have your dog jumping all around and getting your leashes tangled. If dogs fight, this can make it difficult to intervene and you could end up being bitten.

Do not ever let your dog step out ahead and pull. If they do, use this time to set pack order ad address this dominant behavior before they pull you through the mud. When you round the corner home, they will sometimes begin pulling. But the walk is not complete until the kennel door shuts. Be sure to keep them in order, loose lead, by your left side. Please visit our home page links to our litters and our K-9 University. Most of all, make this a time enjoyable and rewarding for your German shepherd.


DESTRUCTIVE CHEWING: German Shepherd Puppies

Hello German Shepherd puppies owners:

So your German shepherd is mouthy and driving you nuts. Join the crowd. German shepherd puppies are especially mouthy during the teething stage. They are cutting teething and chewing is like rubbing something that hurts until it gets numb. Some people find relief for their pups by getting a teething toy with water which can be put in the freezer. The cold toy appears to give some relief to these burning canines.

But how do you get them to stop chewing on the things you don’t want them to (your new Florsheim shoes) and to chew on what you want them to (click on toy list for some recommendations and advisements)? Redirection. Redirection. Redirection. If you catch them in the act, firmly say “Phooey”. I use this word rather than “no” due to the fact that I do not want to use no which is used often in conversation. Remember, one strong correction is worth 1000 weak ones. If you correct weakly, you will end up having to increase the intensity.  Now, after you say “phooey” then hand them their toy.

An important final step is when they start chewing on their toy, you should praise them lavishly. Please remember, as with a correction which must be strong enough to get their attention, a praise must be lavish.  Make them feel as though they just did the best thing in the world. This will allow the dog to easily differentiate between bad and good behavior.  You might think of it this way if you are squeemish about a firm corretion.  It is unfair and cruel to not let a dog know clearly what is right and wrong. Also, you don’t want to have to correct them over and over again.  That is even worse for them.

So, destructive chewing behavior in German shepherd puppies should be corrected using “redirection” of the behavior to an acceptable object. With older dogs, you can use a leash correct along with the verbal correction for unwanted chewing, and then redirect the behavior to the appropriate object.


Designer dogs vs. German Shepherds: A Kind of Biased Report

Hello German Shepherd puppies lovers:

This is really quite sickening what we have done with dogs to satisfy our vanity and desire for novelty.  Designer dogs are just that.  Chiweenie, Daniff, Chipoo, Borador, Pitweiler, Newfypoo, Chorkie, Beabull, Mastador, Snorkie, Labrashepherd (how hideous), Golden Shepherd (this is just wrong), Morkie, Maltipoo, Jack Chi, Schnoodle, Boglen Terrier, Chizer, Borgi, what are we doing?  Dogs were originally bred for the purpose of serving mankind.  Most of these breeds have no working or service utility whatsoever.  On the old farm, if an animal could not do enough work to pay for feed, it was sold.  Certainly they can provide joy to their masters.  No doubt.  But, they are only good to be served rather than to serve, pampered and spoiled just as we do our children.  Is mankind now serving rather than being served?

Have we lost our bearings?  Will we eventually lose the elegance of dog in motion, doing what it was molded and refined to do?  Swimming to gather the spoil of his best friends hunt, ratting out rodents that vexed their human companions.  Protecting with valor their flocks that were provision and necessity for their two footed families.

Let us consider the German shepherd for example.  It’s canine Einsteinian intelligence puts it in the top three of all dogs.  It serves as one of the most effective sets of eyes for the visually impaired.  It serves its auditory function as servant to the hearing impaired with skill and aplomb.   It is on the first line as an intrepid searcher and rescuer of those in danger, having saved thousands of human lives, Johnny on the spot, ready to work at any moment, eager to please.  It can smell out cancer in human tissue, find out and thwart the scum that deal death to our children.  It can form such an intimate bond with its human companion that it can sense miniscule changes in human chemistry and alert their charge to avert the danger of an imminent seizure.  And these intrepid beasts serve on the front lines, taking bullets for their trusted masters, sniffing out explosives, lead scouts taking the first fire in the line of duty as soldiers, as courageous care-takers willing to go where no man would.  They will dive into frigid waters to save a sorry soul whom they have never met, catapult themselves through glass or flame with no regard for their safety.  They are civil servants, decorated protectors, soldiers par excellence.   These shepherds are the king of canines, the barons of beasts, music in motion, the prince of protectors, the most fearless of friends, our unflinching understudies.  Ok, maybe I have gone over the top a bit…well, a lot.  But how fun would this blog be if I didn’t?

I thank those German shepherds breeders here and abroad who endeavor to maintain this magnificent breed for our progeny and for the service of mankind.  This is what is dog should and must be. Please visit our K-9 U for helpful informational articles for your German Shepherd.


Getting their due: Puppy Mills and cruelty

Hello German Shepherd Puppies owners and breeders:

On Tuesday Ohio, one of the centers of puppy mill style dog breeders, known for their cruelty to their animals, finally passed a landmark bill.  The bill restricts the ability of breeders to mistreat the dogs they are raising for sale. Ohio had virtually no legal oversight of breeders and became an unregulated epicenter for puppy mills,  They keep their dogs in confined, cruel and unsanitary conditions, a strategy for maximizing profit.   I can’t imagine this happening to these beautiful German shepherd puppies.

The Ohio Law, among other things, “requires state licensing and inspection of breeders who annually sell 60 dogs or at least nine litters; authorizes Ohio’s agriculture director to specify standards of care; and denies licensing to anyone convicted of animal cruelty in the last 20 years.”

We at Banffy Haus only do 4-6 litters per year.  Please take a look at our amazing kennels and nursery, where classical music and hymns are piped in to toasty young pups on sweet smelling cedar chips, fed only the finest, Royal Canin, lounging casually in a large whelping box.  I am so proud of how serious my family is about how we treat our dogs and how much concern they all have for the puppies we whelp.  That is why I want to complete the construction of my kennel design page with videos and articles.  Then hobby breeders can see a reasonably priced way to do it well, and create a superior environment in a well planned micro-kennel.  Visit our home page at Banffy Haus.

Some of these poor animals suffer from dental disease, eye infections, ear infections, covered in feces and urine.  It is about time that the government stepped in to stop this travesty.  There is absolutely no possible rational for this despicable behavior.  We as German shepherd owners need to stand firm against this unforgivable behavior.


Taping German Shepherd puppies ears

Hello German shepherd lovers:

This blog is a continuation of one I began on how to deal with German shepherd puppies ears which do not stand erect.   It will also tell you when you should begin being concerned.

You can see the full article by clicking on my German Shepherd K-9 University.

So you have determined it is time to artificially aid the ears. But first, no matter what technique you use, carefully clean the ears with an ear cleaner.  This can be purchased or at you can consider the solution I offer in the article, but at your own risk.

There are a number of ways to aid the ear including:

1. getting your vet to tape them with a surgical tape, hopefully one that doesn’t stick well to hair.

2. Some people tape foam hair rollers to the inside.

3. Purchase foam GSD ear forms from a friend in Germany (around $20 per set)

4. Moleskin glued to the inside of the ears

But here are a couple of solutions that have worked for me. These have been a real help. First of all you can buy “Tear Menders” glue on amazon. It is actually sold as dog ear glue. I found this glue to be the best glue by far for artificial ear support solutions. Here are two solutions:

1. If the ears are not to large yet and or they only need a little aiding, maybe only the tips, buy Breath-rite strips, the large and stiffest ones. Place them on the inside of the ear to support standing. They may last in the ear without any Tear Menders. But if they keep coming out, you can use the glue. If they stay in for a few days, that is successful.

2. If you need more help, you can use any of the ideas above and glue them in using the glue. You can then wrap tape around the ear at the bottom and top to secure it, although you may not have to.

3. Another idea: I make my own forms out of a piece of leather or gray pipe foam insulation. You can get a nice sized piece at a leather store for a reasonable cost considering how many forms you can make out of it. Wet it, roll into shape, and let it dry. It shouldn’t be too thick to put weight on the ear but just a natural support. You can experiment with different shapes. I got a form from Germany and then used them to make my pattern. But larger ears need larger forms, smaller, smaller forms. Foam insulation also works well.

Make certain to check the ears for infection often. If you smell something foul, it is probably bacteria setting in. Keep them up for a week or two and then see if they stand and stay there. If they begin to drop again, start the process over. The oldest I have heard of remediating floppy ears was around 10 months old. But this is unusual.

Good luck, and I hope this helps those of you who own German shepherd puppies and have to deal with this issue.

CAREFUL: German Shepherd Puppies ears… some advice





Hello German shepherd Lovers. This is Dr. Banfe:

In this blog post I want to help owners of German Shepherd puppies with questions about ears.

Yes German shepherd ears should stand on their own, but don’t always do so.  Some have “soft ears” or soft cartilage.  It is possible they may never stand completely.  But the vast majority do.  And with proper care and intervention even soft ear problems can normally be rectified.

At about 4.5-5 months, if your puppy is not teething, it is time to consider intervening.  If they are still teething or just stopped teething, then you may still be fine and won’t need to support the ears.

If they have been flopping for a while, then the cartilage can become creased and needs to be artificially supported to regain rigidity.  I have posted an article on my k-9 University about addressing these situations.  Just click on the link K-9 U.   But since the writing of that article I have been experimenting and come up with some novel ways to support the ears.  I will discuss those in an article and upcoming blog post.

Always clean the ears, deep in and the folds of the ears and bases prior to any inserts or support. You can read one of my articles on ear cleaning for directions.  And be really careful of calcium supplements as they can cause joint laxity and bowed legs if you are not careful.

Also, besides a good quality food, make certain your puppy is stimulated with sounds and other stimuli to use the muscles around the ear.  And also, be careful that you are not crated them in a crate which does not have enough room for the ears to stand up straight when they are standing in their crate.

The latest I have seem an ear which is not standing be remediated was at about 10 months.

I hope this helps you with your German Shepherd puppy.  For us as German Shepherd breeders, we are concerned that you have information to obviate problems in the future.

German Shepherd Breeders Beware: EPI

Hello German shepherd puppy and German shepherd dog lovers:

Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency in German shepherd dogs. Symptoms include:
1.Foul smelling feces
2.Yellow of mustard color feces
3.Consistency soft unformed like a cow patty, oily
4.Brittle coat, loss of hair
5.Weight loss. Inability to keep weight on even with appetite
6.Voracious appetite
7.Constant thirst
8.Rumbling sounds in the stomach and gas

EPI is a common disease in the German shepherd dog. I myself have been fortunate to only have one myself. Also I have only had one reported in hundreds of pups I have sold over the last decade. But 70% of reported cases of EPI are in German Shepherd dogs. It does not normally present itself in German shepherd puppies. Sometimes it takes time for the pancreas to atrophy (die) prior to the dog becoming symptomatic. It usually appears in young dogs ages 4-5.

This disease is basically caused by the malfunctioning (or lack thereof) of the pancreas. The pancreas either incrementally fails to excrete enough enzymes to digest food or completely shuts done, preventing the proper digestion and absorption of nutrients. Basically, due to the failure of the pancreas to produce the enzymes necessary to digest the food, the dog starves, even if they eat lots of food. The pancreas does not produce the proper amounts of amylase (to digest starches and sugars), lipases (for fats), and proteases (for proteins). The dog literally can starve to death.

There are thought to be two major causes of EPI. One is pancreatic atrophy, which may be due to an inherited condition. The second could be stress to the pancreas caused by multiple bouts of pancreatitis. There is no cure for pancreatitis and life long treatment are expensive, using pancreatic enzyme supplements.

We at Banffy Haus have been very fortunate in this regard.  We have had a very low reported incidence of EPI in the German Sheperd puppies we have sold.  If you are interested we have German shepherd puppies for sale listed on our page:  Current litters (just click to visit).

INTERESTING NOTE: I have heard of a nurse friend of mine who treated EPI in her German shepherd dog with sheep pancreas for a much lower cost than the supplements. I am not certain how she did this but it may be something to look into.

The Holiday Minefield for German Shepherd Puppies.

Hello GSD lovers

Making the Holiday Safe for Your German Shepherd

Many holiday items create a mine field of potential problems for you dog, but especially for your German Shepherd puppy. The GSD has a very sensitive stomach and certain foods like turkey can cause diarrhea, which can lead to dehydration and death fairly quickly in a puppy. Chicken and Turkey bones can splinter and cause a dog to choke. Chocolate is a deadly toxin for dogs. If you suspect they have eaten it, get in contact with your vet or pet emergency/poison control center immediately.

Be careful that your puppy or dog does not consume food wrapped in foil or plastic. Watch out for poinsettias and holly. It is advisable to not feed human food to your dog or radically change their diets during the holiday season. Also remember that it an obese German shepherd puppy or dog is not cute but grotesque, cruel and unhealthy. Be safe and don’t let the kids slip them a cookie or other treat.

Be careful and watch for potential aberrant behavior during this season. It is stressful and confusing for your dog to have all of the visitors, interlopers into his/her pack. Be careful not to turn your back with all of the new toys, especially with your puppy who can quickly ingest small pieces of things.

Please visit our German Shepherd K-9 University for further useful articles and videos.

Above all, love and cherish your German shepherd puppy, keeping them safe this holiday season.

Puppy Development for German Shepherd Breeders


Hello GSD lovers

Puppy Development Techniques:  Please look online on youtube at our new German Shepherd puppy video on helpful techniques for puppy development for Geman shepherd breeders.  In it we show some of what we do here at Banffy Haus to prepare your puppy.

Please take a look at it on our growing instructional video webpage. (click here).

Giving puppies a head start is so vital.  Make certain your breeder is not so big or so commercial that they don’t take the time to nurture and individually treat each puppy in a litter.  Since we normally only have one litter at a time, we can know each puppy individually.  We can know them by name.

We will be sharing more and more about this issue, and will reveal things as we learn through our experimentation with our puppies.

My goal is to make your life with your German shepherd puppies as enjoyable as possible.







Two ball: the Ultimate German Shepherd Game



Hello GSD lovers

TWO BALL:  THE ULTIMATE GERMAN SHEPHERD PUPPY AND DOG GAME.  I just love two ball.  It is a great way to get phenomenal exercise for your dog, teach obedience, and prepare for training skills for competition later.  Two ball also allows the owner to not have to be in great physical condition and still be able to participate in training the dog.

These balls are hard rubber to guard against your German Shepherd destroying them.  They have a rope handle to give you leverage to launch the ball for a much greater distance.  Here is a picture:


Ok. So you get two of these balls and then march out to the field with your overly excited, exuberant dog to play “two ball”.  Remember to integrate training into the games.  Take one ball, ask your dog to sit (this is so difficult as, if they have some prey drive, they are chomping at the bit to scramble after the ball.  Sometimes I make them platz (down) and only release them after I have thrown the ball and allowed them.  So swing the ball with the rope and let it fly.  Send the dog who will bound after the ball and tell him/her, “bring” or other command.  When they are young, start with very short distances and exaggerated commands and praise, coaxing them constantly to return to you and rewarding them with excessively.

When they bring it back, then bring the other ball out and say “aus” (out).  As they drop in, launch the other.  This sure beats running after then all around the yard to get the ball out of their mouth.  You can mix it up by one time requiring a down, throw, slight pause, release to pursue.

I can’t tell you what a great game this is and how much fun you will have with your friend.  However, if you need to work off that holiday culinary excessiveness (too much food!), then maybe “one ball”, with you chasing your dog, might be in order! smiley

Please take a look at it on our growing instructional K-9 U (click here) for more helpful articles .

I hope you enjoy playing this game with your German shepherd puppy or adult as much as I have.