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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.

Removing a Tick from a German Shepherd the Right Way

Removing a Tick from Your German Shepherd’s Skin the Right Way

Dogs, especially larger, active dogs like German Shepherd puppies, love to get out and exercise and in reality doing so is essential for their overall health and wellbeing. The summer is an exceptionally good time for dogs and their owners as the walks that can be such a chore in the colder months become far more pleasant when the sun is shining and in many areas there is plenty of lush green summer foliage to explore and enjoy.

Something else that enjoys all of this warm weather though is the tick. And as many treatments, powders and flea collars you might have taken the precaution of providing your GSD with the odd tick may very well still latch on to your pet in an attempt to score itself a nice nourishing meal. Once there they are notoriously hard to remove, but doing so as quickly as possible is a must. There is a right and wrong way to go about removing a tick though, both for your dog’s safety and your own. Here are a few tips:

Glove Up

Before you attempt to remove the tick you need to think of your own safety as well. Don a pair of rubber gloves before you begin the ‘operation’, as the infective agents ticks carry can easily enter your own bloodstream through small nicks, cuts or grazes or through the mucous membranes (eyes, nose or mouth if you happen to inadvertently touch them.)

Enlist a Helping Hand

As previously mentioned, removing a tick is not easy and it is very likely that your pup will object to all of the poking and prodding and try to squirm away. If at all possible enlist a second pair of hands to calm and distract them while you work so that the ordeal can be over as quickly as possible.

The Actual Removal

Before beginning you should gather a few supplies; rubbing alcohol, tweezers and some kind of lidded receptacle, preferably a jar, to put the tick into once it is removed. Once you have located the tick using your tweezers grab the pesky tick as close to your dog’s skin as possible and pull upwards in one swift, decisive movement, immediately placing the critter in the jar.

Never twist or jerk the tick as, besides causing extra discomfort for your pet you run the risk of leaving behind the tick’s ‘mouth parts’ in the skin or of having it regurgitate those infectious fluids.

Once the tick is removed cleanse the bitten area with rubbing alcohol. Keep an eye on the bite for the next several days and if it becomes red and inflamed or you notice any change in your black and red German Shepherd’s health or behavior the best course of action is to take them to the vet for a check up. It may also be a good idea to hang on to that jarred tick as should your dog become ill having the creature available for testing will help in your pet’s treatment a great deal.

Cleaning Dogs Ears

Hello German shepherd puppies and dogs owners: This is Dr. Banfe of Banfe Haus German Shepherds. Below are some pointers on cleaning your dogs ears taken from an article I wrote on the k-9 college, with an important addition.  Caveat: If your dogs ears are flapped over and not yet erect, please make certain to get the ears dried out. Moisture is a great environment for yeast and other infections. Ear Cleaning Ear infections can be painful and uncomfortable for your German shepherd dog. Simply cleaning them can be a proactive way to minimize these problems that can not only cause discomfort and related illness, but hearing loss for your best friend. Here are some simple steps to mitigate any kind of repercussions from dirty ears:

  1. Check ears at least once a week looking for wax and dirt build up. If you see dark dried crust it might be a good idea to take your friend in to the vet for a look.
  2. Clean the ears at least once a month. Some do it every week. But I would say, barring filthy build up, once a month should be fine.
  3. To clean the ears:
    1. Get an ear solution from the vet or a pet store. I just use a diluted solution of alcohol, water and white vinegar.
    2. Get some cotton which can be rolled into 3 or 4 inch narrow tubes
    3. Saturate one tube with the solution.
    4. Twist the tube down into the ear, and keep twisting when it is down in to catch wax build up. Then grasp the ear at the base gently, pulling out the tube.
    5. Do this until the cotton tube you insert comes out fairly clean.
    6. Take a cotton pad and saturate it and wipe inside the ear making sure to clean the folds. Clean and wipe until the pad comes out clean.
    7. FINALLY: Saturate some cotton and squeeze a little liquid into the ear.
    8. Then quickly grab the base of the ear and squeeze and massage it. You should hear the squishy sound of the liquid. Do this for about 15 seconds.
    9. Step back and let your German Shepherd shake. And watch out. Sometimes he/she will shake wax out of the ear.

This process usually does a great job cleaning the ear. The rotated cotton tubes usually catch a lot of wax instead of just pushing it deeper, and the liquid massage loosens a lot of the wax. Also, the solution will change the PH balance of the ear making it hard for a yeast infection to set in. For German shepherd puppies, be very gentle when cleaning deep inside, and rub gentle on the folds. For significant build up, you may have to repeat this on consecutive days. But then the health of your friend is very important. I hope this has been helpful to all the German shepherd puppies and dogs friends that we have at Banffy Haus German Shepherds.

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.

A Tribute to My Family and Clients of Banffy Haus German Shepherds

To all my Banffy Haus German Shepherd clients:

I have really enjoyed these years breeding black and red German shepherd puppies.  It has been a joy.  I have enjoyed waiting for every litter expectantly.  I am thankful for my family’s help, my daughter socializing the pups, helping to whelp them, cleaning, grooming and feeding, logging the pups and naming them. I thank my son who has been my builder, post hole digger, cleaner upper, whelper, feeder, and trainer.  Thank you to my wife for arranging all of the paperwork, shipping documents, driving with puppies to the airport, handling AKC registrations, clients.

You know I am a blessed man.  And I have truly enjoyed seeing what we produced as a result of our careful breeding, long drives to the stud, stressing over pedigrees, waiting expectantly for my females to arrive from Germany, hoping this one would produce super puppies with top temperament and great joints.  I’ve enjoyed the work.  It has not been a burden, especially with a great family to help me out.

It is not that I am done yet.  Certainly I have put many years in, but now I can reap the benefits of experience.  I will do it as long as I know it is God’s will.  I have enjoyed these noble beasts, intelligent, sometimes cocky, but with an inbred desire to serve.  They have always provided entertainment and companionship.

Now I am planning another litter with my SchH3 Ussa who is in heat, one in a long list of scores of litters and hundreds of puppies successfully placed with happy families.  We’ve made out mistakes over the years that we have learned from them.   And we have been able to produce a long line of awesome progeny which have brought great joy to many families, guided the blind and deaf, protected them from armed gunmen, foiled a thief armed with a knife and the list goes on.

But what really blesses us here at Banffy Haus is to have a past client come back to us for their next puppy.  Thank you so much for your loyalty and we will continue breeding black and red German shepherd puppies as long as we at Banffy Haus have great clients like you.

 

Banffy Haus: Feeding: Put Away the Trout Almondine

Hello Everyone From Banffy Haus German Shepherds:

We love our black and red German shepherd puppies.  But more is not necessarily better with puppies.  We tend to measure our deals by the pound. We want the biggest pup in the litter, get upset when a puppy is not growing into Clifford the dog, and brag about how large the paws are on our puppy.

We spoil them rotten and feed them anything so that they will keep growing, even though they have become so picky we have to continue to rotate their “menu” to make certain they are interested in their food.  We wet the food, heat the food, stress over whether they are getting enough probiotics or chondroitin/glucosamine.  We fret giving them tap water and instead use filtered water.   And of course, who would feed their dogs anything but vegan, kosher, halal, organic, free range, homogenized, bio-balanced, genetically scrubbed meat?

And, poor Helmut, our lovely male German shepherd puppy.  Yikes! We can see one of his ribs!  (See the pictures at Banffy Haus K-9 U)  And he just won’t eat!  Quick, get his trout/almondine/ epicure’s delight dog food and mix it in!  We need to fatten him up, quickly.  What if this stunts his growth?  Quick, rush, get the appetite enhancers!

Stop already.   Dogs will not starve themselves.  Set the food down for little Helmut, and if he doesn’t eat, take it up after 3 minutes.   So what.  He skips a meal.  But he will learn to gobble up the food placed before him quickly over time.  If a dog does starve itself, them certainly they are ill and need to take a trip to the vet.

Feeding simply is simply superior.  That’s three S’s in a row.   Alliteration to facilitate memorization.   Anyway, you and your dog will be much happier if they gratefully gobble up what you feed them and do so quickly.

And seeing the ribs is not a bad thing.  If you see no ribs, and they are hidden behind a bulbous layer of excess fat, it is time to, for their own health, lower the food intake.  It isn’t cute when our black and red German Shepherd puppies look like watermelons, and it is healthy for adults to look svelte and lean. Banffy Haus German Shepherds.

Banffy Haus German Shepherds: Help!: When to Wean Puppies?

Hello German shepherd breeders from Banffy Haus:

In this next article we will discuss some other issues regarding litters and German shepherd puppies

It is not always an easy thing to decide when to take mom out of the whelping area or decide when to stop her nursing.  There are a number of variables affecting that choice.

First of all, is mom enjoying her time with them or is she frustrated and getting a little aggressive.  Mom’s can start being frustrated when the pups start to get teeth or are very aggressive to nurse.  You will need to be vigilant that she doesn’t intentionally or unintentionally hurt the pups.  Some litters can develop and get teeth more quickly than others.  I take her out if I notice this behavior.

Secondly, if it is an unusually large litter and they are over 4-5 weeks and mom jumping in and out of the whelping box.  I get the pups used to softened food and then get her out.  I don’t want broken tails and damaged puppies.

Thirdly, is it time.  I feel you can start getting puppies used to softened food as early as three weeks.  But I like to get mom out as about 5-6 weeks of age.  Normally mom will decide this naturally.  However, this is good time to begin incremental weaning if she has not.

Be careful if you do decide to take her out.  If mom is still swollen with milk, be careful taking her out of the box and stopping nursing too precipitously.  I have done this and ended up having to milk mom and reduce food intake to relieve pressure and stop lactation and try to obviate mastitis.  Mastitis can be very painful for mom and can lead to infection. It is best to incrementally take mom out of the pen, let’s say for the daytime, and ten put her back for the night, and let the puppies drain her milk.  Then just do one feeding, and then finally as her milk begins to dry up, take her out permanently.

By the way, it is almost impossible to using a breast pump on mom.  And the milking syringes don’t work well.  You really have to massage from the back of the gland forward and squeeze to allow the milk to be released.

I hope this was useful to you.

Please visit our current litters at “Banffy Haus Current Litters” to see some of our world class German shepherd puppies for sale.