Very useful advice to help you with training and behavioral issues with your German Shepherd.

Free Feeding: Why It’s a Bad Idea for Your German Shepherd Puppy

When and how to feed their German Shepherd puppy is a question that many new owners have. Answering every element of that question takes time and the answer may vary from dog to dog, but the one thing that applies to any dog, but especially to a large – or soon to be large – dog like a black and red German Shepherd is that ‘free feeding’ should never be an option.

‘Free feeding’ is a term that refers to the practice of leaving food out for an animal at all times, even if it is ‘just’ a harmless bowl of kibble to ensure, in the owner’s mind, that their canine companion never goes hungry especially if no one is home. It is an easy way of doing things for the owner, just top off the bowl before they head to work and Puppy should be fine all day. It is less of a good thing for the German Shepherd puppy though, and in fact it can be a very bad thing.

Try thinking of it in terms of your children. Would you leave them all day with open access to all the food they want? No, of course you would not. Meal times are set and only the occasional snack is allowed. It’s all a part of good discipline and teaching healthy eating practices.

So why should it be any different for a ‘fur kid’? As they are highly intelligent, German Shepherds can get bored rather easily and like humans if the food is there they will eat it, not necessarily because they are hungry, but because they have nothing else to do. And just like a human, if the practice continues the dog will become overweight and sluggish.

Even if your pup does not gain excess weight there are other reasons why free feeding should be ‘taken off the menu’. For example, one of the earliest signs of a number of serious ailments in dogs in general is a sudden loss of appetite. How are you ever going to notice such a thing though if several members of the household are in the habit of filling up the food bowl when it starts to look empty? Chances are that everyone will simply assume that someone else filled up the food when it is has actually gone untouched for some time and by the time everyone figures out that is not the case it may be too late.

Then there is the sanitary aspect of things. Would you leave your own food out all day, where it can easily also become a meal for flies and other flying critters who carry all kinds of bacteria with them? There are even tales of animals like raccoons learning to crawl their way through pet doors because they have discovered that there is a constant source of food waiting for them just behind it.

Finally there is the matter of discipline. If you want to integrate your German Shepherd into the family, the way that most owners do, then they need rules as much as all of the human members of the household do. Mealtimes should, as far as possible, be a set time affair for everyone, including the dog.

Energy and Training: The Magic Ingredient

To all my Banffy Haus German Shepherds clients:

Don’t you remember the teacher school that kept you riveted to the discussion, and had such passion for the subject that it rubbed off on you?   I remember one of my teachers in 1st grade who every year taught us about Japan.  She made this exotic culture so interesting that I have gone on to study Japanese, have been there a number of times, and taught my son and daughter to enjoy sushi from a young age.  Do you also remember the teacher that was so boring everyone fell asleep in class?

Dogs sense energy.  If you are tentative, they know.  If there is any fear they know.  What you feel goes right down the leash into your dog and affects his attitude to the training.  The best trainer knows how to spark interest in their canine students.  One thing I know for certain is that energetic tones, and exciting quick movements, enthusiastic rewards, and stopping while they are still interested in continuing, are key to keeping the training interesting.  And if you dog is engaged, not only are they easier to train, but they look so much crisper and respond so much more immediately.

Here are a couple of helpful hints:

  1. So, it is best not to train your dog when you are not going to be enthusiastic about training.
  2. Keep your posture tall and confident
  3. Keep the pace brisk- quick movements.
  4. Use enthusiastic tones
  5. Reward often
  6. Reward unexpectedly and with high energy approval
  7. Keep the routines shorter
  8. Switch disciplines often
  9. Only do long and complete routines on the day of a trial or competition
  10. Correct quickly and completely.   If you do this, then they will start to correct themselves, because they expect you too and don’t want to be corrected.

And enjoy training.  Training times are some of the best bonding experiences for you and your dog.  You learn to respect their desire to serve you and they learn to respect your authority.  This way you get the best of both worlds!  And a trained pet is a happier pet.  It gives them a purpose that they need.

I hope these are helpful hints for understanding how to get the most out of training.  If you want to visit and K9 university or visit our puppies for sale page.

The Automatic Dog Training Technique by Banffy Haus

Hello German Shepherd puppies lovers:

I hope all of you will have a very blessed Christmas.  For those wondering, yes we do have ONE big male import German shepherd puppy for sale from Germany that can be delivered prior to Christmas.  CLICK HERE!

But now…on the automatic dog training technique.  This is a follow-up to the last article I wrote entitled “You are always training with your German shepherd”.  I know we would all like to know a way to ensure your puppy becomes all that it can be and become another legend in the family, your own Rin Tin Tin.

Well, here is the secret:  The environment.  Environment is one of the most important variables determining the success of a human child.  A nurturing, loving environment, one with encouragement and many avenues for learning and creativity improve the chances of a child’s success later in life.  While a broken and angry household, in which parents abandon children to their own devices, and let them learn and fend for themselves, normally contributes to a greater probability of truancy and delinquency.

Dogs are very routine animals.   I remember how at first when my parents drove me to military academy I resented it.  But the structure and routine was excellent for me and I flourished. There were loving, yet demanding, men and women who corrected me for mistakes but encouraged my successes.  Dogs, even more than humans, yearn for and thrive on order, routine and a firm social order.  They are just more confident and peaceful in such a structure.

So, of course you would want your dog to have every chance for success and to be a valued member of your pack.  But how do you do this.  I recommend you make an “K-9 Home Environmental plan” for Fritz.  Type it out.  Read it to the family and stick by it.  Don’t flinch and don’t move an inch.

It should include, for example, which rooms Fritz is allowed to come in, things he can and can’t play with, or lay on.  Be specific.  Do not ever let him have the same rights as the humans.  Yes, that means not on the couch.  That is reserved for you, with him loyally at your feet.  No, not in the kitchen during dinner.  That is your time.  Also, never let your huge, powerful, brilliant shepherd sleep in bed with you.  If you decide he is not to go upstairs, enforce it.  Choose potty areas and egress and ingress for your dog.  Give him his spot where he is to lay, rather than him choosing it.  Choose his eating place, which is best in a garage and not within the walls of the house.  Be specific and detailted.   Map this out, make a diagram, learn it, teach it to the family and, most of all, enforce it.

I will finish the discussion of the “K-9 Home Environmental plan” for your German shepherd puppy or dog in the next article.  I hope it has piqued your curiosity.

I hope these are helpful hints for understanding the behavior of your Banffy Haus German Shepherd puppies.  If you want to visit and K9 university or visit our puppies for sale page.

You Are Always in Training with your German Shepherd

Hello German Shepherd puppies lovers:

My father used to tell me that military academy was good for me because the structure would keep me out of trouble.  Indeed it did and it was good for me.  I developed patterns of behavior, respect and cleanliness, integrity and discipline, which have helped me during all of my life.

This is the same for your German shepherd.  You need to create a consistent and well thought out ordered living structure for your shepherd.  And you need to stick with it without relenting and breaking the structure. You may think that your dog has been so good, or is so darling that just this once you will feed him/her at the table while you are eating.  But this relenting just makes you happy and is not in the best interests of the dog.

We all marvel at superbly trained German shepherds, police or military trained.  Most of us would like a dog like that.  In fact I will tell you that those noble beasts are at peace, knowing exactly what to do and when to do it.  They are creatures of structure, and very comfortable within it.

So, it is kind for us to create structure.  Dogs are creatures of habit and order.  And we love it when they are obedient and loyal.  We need to create environments of structure for them so that they can become the dogs they could be and that we would prefer.

So, when you get the urge to break ranks and to encourage your dog to do so, don’t be surprised or angry at them when they continue the behavior you began.  Don’t blame them if they jump up on your mother and ruin her new dress when yesterday you decided to pat your chest and encourage them to jump up.  Don’t get angry at them if you have friends over and they salivate and beg for food when just last week you rewarded Otto with a big piece of meat at dinner.

In the next article I will carefully detail how to create a surefire structure to get the most out of your amazing German shepherd and raise your German shepherd puppies in an environment that helps them to be all they can be.

I hope these are helpful hints for understanding the behavior of your Banffy Haus German Shepherd puppies.  If you want to visit and K9 university or visit our puppies for sale page.

Banffy Haus German Shepherds: Dog Behavior part 1

Hello German Shepherd Puppies lovers:

I wrote this short helpful top 7 list for you, our Banffy Haus clients and other German shepherd puppies lovers regarding dog behavior.  I hope it is helpful.   Here are the first three.  The next blog will have the last four.  Please note that these are general rules and one must understand ones own dog to properly determine levels of reward and punishment, duration of training as well as the proper rewards and punishments for your specific dog.

The Seven Simple R’s for Dog Behavioral Integration

R’S FOR A HAPPY HOME

By Dr. Peter Banfe

  1.  Rules:  Dogs thrive on simple understandable social structure and articulated rules.  Set up rules for the dog and enforce them.  Set these with the family (not on the couch, no rough-housing inside, certain rooms off limit) and enforce them and your dog and you will have a happier dog and family. Example:  Feeding at the table is improper.  It will motivate salivation and begging.  Certain dominance behaviors should be shunned.  For example, excessive licking and jumping up, surging ahead when walking all can be dominance behaviors.
  2. Repetition:  Repeat every day the behavioral rules a number of times.  Dogs learn by repetition. A good time is before a meal, or during a walk.  It is better to focus on one behavior (sitting) multiple times in a session than a number of behaviors once in a session.  And it is a good thing, if you have laid off the training for a while, to refresh the obedience relationship by repeated the repetition ritual.  Always focus one behavior and repeat it many times in a session.  Demand perfection and excellence.  If she is not sitting completely, she is not obeying.  Do it over and over.  And after it is correct once, repeat and repeat.
  3. Reward: Dogs are best rewarded not with human style affection (kisses and hugs),  but with your time and company.  It is a privilege to spend time with the Alpha.  Of course, you can use food or toys, a praise.   But reward must be connected to obedience.  Give nothing for nothing.  It is so important to distinguish between negative and positive reinforcement.  When praising exaggerate profusely.  Use higher pitched vocal tone to simulate excitement.  Also use body language to convey your satisfaction.

I hope these are helpful hints for understanding the behavior of your Banffy Haus German Shepherd puppies.  If you want to read more visit our blog and K9 university.

Amazing Stories of Banffy Haus German Shepherds

Hello German shepherd puppies lovers:

I have been thinking about writing a series on Banffy Haus stories, stories about Banffy Haus puppies or dogs we have imported for clients who have grown up and done some amazing things.   I will tell you one sad story about a family in Ohio.

This African American lady called me searching for the right German shepherd puppy for her deaf, dumb and blind son.  She wanted to get him a special companion to become his ears, eyes and voice to the world.  These incredible companions can become extensions of the body for sensory challenged individuals, becoming their only gate to the outside world.  They not only provide them with companionship, but classic German shepherd loyalty, protection and dedication.  I have sold dogs to become seizure alert dogs.  I have placed puppies with people with debilitating neuro-muscular diseases to act as motility support.  They are given special harnesses that allow fallen individuals to grab onto the leather harness handle and pull themselves up.

But this dog was to serve a very unique function and would have to learn multiple sensory support skills.  He would have to be extremely sensitive, very strong, and unusually intelligent.   Also, this dog would have to be an uncanny fit, and be completely dedicated to this sensory impaired individual.  Just imagine, the only senses this young boy had to communicate with the world was to touch, taste and smell.  Without a voice to express need or desire, or to alert for danger, this dog could give him the most amazing gift that we take completely for granted:  A sense of security.  Anyone who has studied Maslow’s hierarchy of human needs knows that individuals must first satisfy the need for security and safety prior to seeking satisfaction at other higher levels of need.  These dogs can facilitate a world of new possibilities.

Well, I placed the dog with them and remember that communication with the family stopped at some point.  One day, many years later, I received the call.  Someone had entered their back yard and somehow constrained the dog and stolen it.  Please understand that this is nothing like having a house broken into or a car stolen.  It was like she was mourning over the loss of her son’s eyes, ears and voice.  That is what they had stolen, not just a best friend, but this young man’s window to the world.

We at Banffy Haus German Shepherds honor these noble companions.  These beautiful black and red German shepherd puppies from parents imported from Germany are truly amazing beasts.

Running with Your German Shepherd

Hello German shepherd puppies lovers:

I would like to just jot some thoughts down about running with your dog.  First of all never jog your German shepherd puppy.  Wait until they are at least one year old to begin any serious long distance running.  At this point the hip will have seated well into the socket, the growth plates will be set and the dog will have reached its maximum height.

But, please remember that you must matriculate your dog to running, a little at a time.  One reason is the tender pads of the feet.  These need to toughen up and callous over.  If you do not heed this advice and overdo the running too soon, you dog can get nasty cracks in the pads which can take a good deal of time to heal.  Of course it is best to run on grass as opposed to cement.  But if you will be running on a hard abrasive surface, build up the callous incrementally over time.

Also, it is best to build up their cardiovascular starting with 1/2 mile for a few days, then to one mile for a few days, etc.   Also, be very sensitive to your dog when running in heat as German shepherds can suffer heat prostration.  Make certain to have a bowl of cool clean water ready when they return.  If you are going on a long run on a hot day, bring water and  watch for signs of heat prostration.

As I know that a dog’s joints don’t last as long as a humans, I think that it is best to max out running at 5 miles a time and then drop your buddy home for a rest while you continue on. I know that dogs can run long distances with proper training and that people do run longer distances with their dogs.  But I worry about the constant trauma running on hard pavement.  We have well engineered shoes which cushion the shock.  Just my feeling.  Even we humans do get excessive and joint replacements are on the increase related to sometimes excessive exercise regimens.

Click on the link to read about the Banffy Method and how we develop our German shepherd puppies.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How to Spot a good Trainer/and Training Tips For Your German Shepherd

Hello German shepherd puppies lovers:

 

In this blog I would like to address some issues about finding a good trainer when your German shepherd puppy is ready.

First, many people ask at what age you start training your dog. I say that you should start immediately upon receipt, but that the training is different until they are of the age of responsibility for their actions, or when they know what they are to do and understand the expected response to a command.

From about 8 weeks until that point, the training is mainly motivational without any coercion except for limited undesirable behavior (relieving themselves in the wrong place, aggressiveness, biting on expensive furniture, things that a threatening to their lives, etc). One should always be in training mode. At this age, they are “learning to learn”. When you pet them, for example, work on excessive licking (sign of dominance) and jumping up. When eating, they must sit and wait for the food. When walking, on the left side. When walking out a door, you first.

Word to the wise: From the day you get your pup, always be in training mode, always be confirming pack order.

As they get older, training becomes more demanding, using both tools of punishment and praise as a normal part of overall training. Now, if there is not an immediate response to a command, there should follow an immediate correction. One of the hardest things to correct is slow reaction, delayed reaction to commands, which can denigrate into outright disobedience. ALWAYS BE IN TRAINING MODE. Even when they are with you in the house lounging around. Don’t relent. If they are to lay in a certain area, don’t let them change that location themselves. Make your relationship be one of pack leader to pack member, all the time. Leave no room for question. Sure, you must be kind. But the best parents are those that care about their children’s behavior and stick to a regimen.

When you are looking for a trainer/facility here are some pointers.

1. First, for show line dogs, stay away from most, though not all, k-9 handlers who deal exclusively with working dogs. They take normally take too hard an approach and can put your dog into avoidance. Their approach is effective with working lines, but can be counter-productive with show lines, which may need more coaxing. They can be impatient with show line dogs. Actually it takes more expertise to train a lower drive show line dog.
2. Go to the training facility and watch the trainer’s personal dog. Does it slink in fear next to him/her? Does it wince when they yell or raise their hands. Or is it head up, tail wagging, prancing and enjoying it? This is what you want, a dog enjoying serving.
3. Do they use shock collars? Does everyone have on a prong collar?
4. Is the attitude about showing whose dog is tougher or bites harder?
5. Does everyone give lip service to obedience, or is this treated as the most essential part?
6. When a dog doesn’t release from a bite on command, do they brag about it? If so they have what I call the “tough man” complex and don’t realize it is never good for a dog to disobey, especially when biting.
7. During an average training day do they rely on shock collars, physical corrections, and overuse of prongs?
8. Do they offer to take your dog for you for a few days and forbid your participation, to train your dog? I would never leave or send my personal companion dog to anyone to be trained. Understand their motivation is to get paid and therefore they will do what they can to get it done. This can have long-term deleterious effects on your dog’s personality.
9. Before they launch into training, do they take time to observe your dog? Each dog is very different. As people have different learning styles, dogs also need a tailored approach.
10. Are the people friendly and helpful?

Any of our customers can call us anytime for advice about trainers. We will look at websites and help you out. This is part of our “Lifetime Support Guarantee”.

I hope this is a help to you.  Visit our German Shepherd K9 University by clicking on “GSD K9 U“.

 

 

 

DANGER: GERMAN SHEPHERD AT RISK!

Hello German shepherd puppies lovers:

I just feel drawn to list a number of very irresponsible things some people do with their German shepherd puppies and older dogs.  I hope the list just might caution someone against doing something they may have done had they not read it.  I think I will make it a list so that it can stand out:

1.  Don’t overfeed your dogs:  No, it is not cute that Klaus is grossly overweight.  Shepherds have a breed standard.  Unless you have an unusually large dog, the standard is a good guide.   American buy dogs by the pound and believe bigger is better.  Also, for some reason we fear underfeeding our dog.   We are an obese culture and our animal reflect our own obesity, as we feed them into oblivion.  With a shepherd, lean is good and how they should be.  It is alright to see some ribs.  They are not dying.  If they have energy, do not excessively shed, don’t have a strange odor, don’t have overly flaky skin, and are just lean, that is good.  Their hips joints are finite in terms of use, and overweight reduces the longevity of joints.

Sorry I took so long on overfeeding.  But there are just so many other related health concerns regarding obese dogs.  You can look at a picture bird’s-eye view of a representative healthy weight and overweight at our K-9 college at “GSD K9 U“.

2.  Don’t leave dogs with things near them they can injest:  Like tennis balls.  By the way, the glue on normal tennis balls erodes the enamel on dogs’ teeth.  When they have bitten a bone in pieces, take it away right away.   My dog destroyed a kong and then vomited up the pieces.  I should have been watching.  I know a dog who swallowed a tennis ball whole.  Watch out for those plastic packing peanuts.  They are toxic.  Antifreeze is sweet but deadly.

3.  Don’t leave your dog tied to a tree or post with a choker on the live link:  They can easily wrap themselves around the post and strangle themselves.

4.  Dont feed only one big meal a day:  Although I have read that bloat (too much air and fluid in the stomach) can be caused by other things (older age, stress, acidic foods), one cause attributed to bloat is eating one large dry dog food meal a day.  Instead give your dog two medium sized meals.

5.  Don’t use the “knee” correction for jumping up: Some people, and I have also, use the knee correction for dogs which jump up.  They just throw their knee into the dogs chest as they jump up.   But this can lead to broken bones, and painful bruises.  Better is to “block” the nose, cupping your hands and letting them run into it.  Or have someone hold their leash and yank back as the jump up.

 

I will give you some more on another blog.  But those are just a couple of things to think about.

 

I hope this is a help to you.  Visit our current and planned world class German Shepherd litters by clicking on “current litters“.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Introducing Dogs to Your Pack

Hello German shepherd puppies lovers:

This is for all of you who have asked me how to introduce new German shepherd puppies / dogs to your pack.  Here are some helpful techniques:

First, a good way to start them off on the right foot is to put the puppy in a crate and then tell you other dog to go find his/her new friend.  Lead them into the area calmly but with enthusiasm.  When they find the puppy, have a treat ready and reward them for finding them.  Do this five times or until your dog is really enjoying the adventure.  Then switch.  Put your dog in the kennel and have the new puppy go find your dog.  This time, when the puppy finds your dog, reward them both.  Do this a number of times.

Once you have done this, it is time for the walk matriculation as I have explained in another article/blog.  You take them both for a walk, dogs on the right, shoulder at your hip, and then stop one dog, control the head and let the other go behind and sniff.  Then continue walking and let the other do the same.  Do this a number of times.  This allows then to scent without challenging and is a good way to break the ice.  And having them go face to face can lead to pack warfare, especially in an amorphous pack.

Continue this with the walk matriculation a few times.  Remember to always watch your dogs together as long as tails are up.  When they drop to their normal position in each others company or wag, accompanied by a relaxed countenance, they are starting to get used to each other.  Still, always watch your dogs for a few months and never leave them alone together.

I hope this is a help to you.  Visit our German Shepherd K9 University by clicking on “GSD K9 U“.