German Shepherd Puppies: Saving them All

Hello German Shepherd lovers;

This is a blog to help some of you in your quest to “save them all”.  First of all, we as breeders have to live with the hard fact that we can’t.  But we always will try our best.  I have saved puppies by giving mouth to muzzle (breathing gently into the mouth to expand their lungs), we have sutured ruptured umbilicals with dental floss where mom chewed too close, I have spent hours with a heating pad and blow dryer to save rigid puppies born outside in the freezing cold, I have verbally encouraged fading German Shepherd puppies, rubbed and massaged, been heartbroken when they die.

I just lost all five in a litter of five because I could not get oxytocin dispensed to me by my new vet.  I spent hours at emergency and then aborted the dead puppy from the canal myself when the attending vet was too nervous about what my dog might do if she did it.

Look, very few people understand what we breeders do, lovingly cleaning our nurseries and dogs after whelping, stressing for days to make sure puppies make it past “fading puppy sydrome”, putting each pup on the nipple.  The greatest joy I get from this all is hearing from my clients about some amazing story of how our dogs served them or protected them.  I have some wonderful stories to share.  I plan to write some tips for you hobby breeders to help “save them all” in the near future.  Please watch on the blog and follow the new articles and videos posted to (click here) my K9-U.

We German Shepherd breeders have to live with the fact that we can’t save them all, but we can do what we do the best we can.

German Shepherd puppies owners CAUTION-HIPS


Hello German Shepherd puppies lovers:

This is Dr. Banfe.  In this blog post I would like to help you with one of the most ubiquitous concerns for German Shepherd breeders and owners, hip health.  First of all, according to the OFA, hip dysplasia for dogs breeds range from 72% for the bulldog to 0% for the Italian greyhound.  In the US the German Shepherd used to be a poster child for dysplasia.  But recognition of the problem has led to a marked decrease in this problem in the breed.  Currently the German Shepherd is at 19% (number 40 of all breeds listed).  This means that your German Shepherd puppy in the US has a 19% chance of having bad hips.

Good news is that the Germans, with their rigorous systemic approach have reduced hip dysplasia to less than 10% – I have heard as low as 7%.  So getting German lines will dramatically reduce the incidence of hip dysplasia in your German shepherd.  You see, the Americans do not require dogs which are bred to have had hip xrays and certifications.  The AKC does not keep any records of a dog’s health.  However the SV in Germany requires hip certifications and accurate records are kept in order to sanitize the gene pool of this crippling condition.  And, they have a central orthopedic clearinghouse for just German Shepherd hip xrays, a specific group which has the responsibility for supervising the review of hip xrays and certifications.  Whereas, from what I understand, the OFA handles all breeds and rotates xrays out to any orthopedic veterinary expert who is currently working within the OFA system around the country.  So the German system leads to more consistency.

Years ago the Germans also instituted the ZW system on top of the HD and ED (elbow) system.  This statistic reflects the probability of that a dog will pass hip dysplasia on to its progeny.  Although in Germany  I have heard reports of cheating to improve these stats for a specific dog, such as not reporting puppies which had the condition, overall the rigorous German approach to hip dysplasia has been quite effective.  A good rating would be less than 100.  But for certain the sum total of a pairing should not equal more than 200.  For example, my new female Ussa vom Suentelstein has a ZW of 80 and my Parla vom Fiemereck has a ZW of 74.  So they have low probability of passing bad joints to their progeny.  They could be matched with a male of over 100, although we never would.

You can visit our k-9 university for more useful articles by clicking K9 U.

In the next blog post, I will discuss your German shepherds puppies’ hips, some do’s and don’ts and some timing issues regarding formation of the hips.


German Shepherd Puppies lovers: See our K-9 College




Check out the K-9 College at Banffy Haus German Shepherds:

German Shepherd puppies lovers, please visit our k-9 college.  I have taking a lot of time to reveal many of the tricks German Shepherd breeders know about so many issues such as taping ears, correcting jumping, clipping nails, feeding etc.  There is even a great page of must have resources regarding your German Shepherd.  I put on a new article on toys also which I hope will be of help to you.

My goal is to make your life with your German shepherd puppy as safe and enjoyable as possible.  I have spent many years accumulating this info and want you to have it.  Please also see all the other useful resources.  For me an informed buyer is the best buyer.

Please use this free resource.  It is a pleasure to share it with you, my fellow German Shepherd puppies owners and German shepherd breeders.

German Shepherd Breeders: problems with Tieing during mating




I received the following question about unsuccessful ties:

GERMAN SHEPHERD BREEDERS QUESTION;  I guess the one question I have right now is that our oldest female GSD (five years old) that we purchased here in Suriname has been difficult to breed recently.  In the past, we bred her with our oldest male dog (also gotten locally),and he never had any problems mating with her.  We retired him last year, and we have had no success breeding Minx with another male GSD since then.  We tried with my parents’ male before they left the field, and then with our imported AKC registered male.  Although Minx would stand for them, and they would “try,” they never succeeded in penetrating her and “tying.”  We finally put our male Husky in with her, and he succeeded in a matter of minutes when we had been trying with the other dogs for several days.  (Some people like the GSD/Husky cross-breed, but the pups don’t sell for as much as the purebreds).  She doesn’t swell much (compared to our other females), so we don’t know if that is the problem?  Have you ever faced something like that?

DR. BANFE’S ANSWER:   (which may be of interest to German Shepherd Breeders:

It would be a pleasure to give you my take on this.  My website is at  I am not sure what the problem is.  I have never had a problem mating a brood female if the timing were correct.  But sometimes when you are early (or late), and the scent is not right, the males will not tie correctly even though they appear to be trying.  I have had that problem before.  It is all by scent and they can smell when she is ready.  She may also not be completely receptive if the timing is wrong. So you may have tried too early but then been right on with the husky.  I use progesterone testing to get the right timing if I can’t leave her to have access to the male multiple times.

So I suspect that is the problem.  Also, I don’t know if you are assisting penetration.  That can make it more likely successful if you are a little early or late.  I have watched this but not done this as I have relied on a very experienced stud owner for this.

You can go to litters page to see our newest world class import litter at Banffy Haus German Shepherd puppies for sale.

I hope this is of use to you German Sheperd puppies owners and German Shepherd breeders alike.




German Shepherd Puppies: HEALTH WARNING-Parasites-Coccidia


This is Dr. Banfe with another blog entry for all you German German Shepherd Puppies owners or aficionados.

Just a health warning to make certain nothing happens to your new puppy.  Coccidia is a common parasite which lives in the walls of the intestines of dogs, but more so in puppies.  When a puppy leaves its litter and mom, this can be a stressful experience.  Due to this stress the intestinal tract of the puppy can become overwhelmed by the parasite, causing diarrhea.  Then it must be treated to remove the infection.

If this happens with your puppy, do not take it lightly.  A puppy can lose a lot of liquid through diarrhea and become dehydrated quickly.  If your puppy is expelling completely liquid stool for a good deal of time, you can pinch the skin on the back of the neck gently, and when released if it does not return quickly, the puppy is likely dehydrated.   The skin has lost its elasticity.

If you notice the liquid has red flecks, you need to get the puppy in to the vet as soon as you can as the puppy may die within the next few hours if you do not .  The vet can immediately administer fluidd subcutaneously (under the skin) to provide the life sustaining rehydration.

Please visit our newest import litter at VA1 Fred/V Ussa to see a truly world class pairing.

I hope this is of use to you German Sheperd puppies owners and German Shepherd breeders alike.


German Shepherd puppies: Health and Cleanliness

Hello German Shepherd puppies lovers:

This is Dr. Banfe.


I would like to write this blog to address a couple of important issues about German shepherd puppies and puppy development.  Here at Banffy Haus German Shepherds we take a holistic approach to puppy development.  Our approach addresses four separate areas.

The first is health and cleanliness.  We think that puppies can benefit from early intervention in these two areas.  First, we us a plastic whelping box to inhibit spread of germs to the newborns and growing pups.  We also use ceramic tile and epoxy group in the nursery which inhibits the growth of bacteria.  It is also easy to clean and liquid body waste cannot penetrate the group or ceramic tile to create a harbor for bacteria growth and mold.  We then use painters fabric drop cloths (4 x 15 cut into three 4×5 pieces and available at Lowes) for the surface layer for the puppies.  It absorbs urine and mom can still clean up the feces easily.  Also, these are thrown into the garbage after use and can be changed quite often.  We have a 4×4 piece of fairly rigid plastic which fits into the box onto which we tape the sheet. The cost is reasonable, especially considering you are breeding world class pups.  We also use a biodegradable zoo disinfectant to mop the tile and clean out the plastic whelping box.  I will address other issues in the next blog.

Please visit our newest import litter at VA1 Fred/V Ussa to see a truly world class pairing.

I hope that this blog might be a help to owners of German Shepherd Puppies as well as German Shepherd Breeders.

German German Shepherd Puppies

Warning German Shepherd Puppies Owners: The Overuse of Medication by Vets

Hello Everyone who loves German German shepherd puppies:

This is Dr. Banfe.

I am so tired of hearing about vets treating every pimple, scab, scrape, cut, earwax etc. with antibiotics.  Also, we innoculate dogs with everything under the sun, mumps etc.  It is tragic.  And with the complicity of our veterinarians we pump medication into dogs too early and too often.

Can’t we see what this has done to human children.  The over-use of antibiotics in humans seems to be correlated with auto-immune problems later in life as children’s own systems, like puppies, never develp the ability to ward off infections.

I have the utmost respect for veterinary medicine, and these dedicated professionals.  However, I think we need to be vigilant and understand that vets will more than likely take the least risky (at least in the short-term) protocol.

I highly recommend you work with your vet.  Tell them you will keep a close watch on anything suspect to make certain you treat it before it gets out of hand, when infection is beginning to set in.  Also, tell him/her you would like to take apply the minimal innoculation protocol to your dog.  Please visit our newest import litter at VA1 Fred/V Ussa.

I hope all you who love your German Shepherd puppies, will consider this astute advice.

American Lines Vs. German lines: Germans win.

Well, in the last blog, I discussed many of the issues which demonstrate the superior genetic culling which results from the West German show line approach of the Germans.  We talked about how the American lines do not have this quality control, which has led to loss of drive, stability and soundness, working ability, joint health, and increased incidence of genetic problems.

In this piece, I want to briefly and, admittedly, in a cursory fashion, address a number of other quality control characteristics of the German breed system that lend to the superiority of German vs. American lines.  First would be the kor klasse system.  Under this system, dogs are breed surveyed and over 50 metrics are gathered regarding a dog including general physical features such as height and weight and pigment, conformation characteristics, how they stand move, nerves and self confidence, and many others.  The highest rating, and what we consider at Banffy Haus the only acceptable rating, is KKL1 or “highly recommended for breeding”.  We will not breed or purchase any dogs which are not KKL1.  Nor will we offer puppies from litters in which parents are not also rated KKL1.

So at this point the German dog has a hip and elbow rating, HD1 being the highest for hips and ED1 being the highest for elbows.  They will likely have a ZW rating, indicating the probability of passing bad hips to their progeny.  They have obtained their BH obedience and temperament title.  They have had an endurance test and passed the AD.  They have gone through a rigorous breed survey and met the mark with a KKL1, “highly recommended for breeding”.  As this point they have two more hurdles to be navigated.

The first is the Schutzhund title.  This is a very complex obedience/intelligence/courage, working ability test made up of three parts and with three levels. The three parts include a test of tracking ability, one of obedience, and one for courage/protection.  The three levels are SchH1, SchH2, SchH3.  The highest is SchH3.  One might see the three levels as equivalent to an AA degree, BA degree and Masters degree.  Each has the three parts but in markedly increasing level of difficulty.  The technical details of the trial are enough for a complete article if not a book and therefore will not be covered in this blog.  But it is evident that German German shepherd dogs have to go three a very challenging mix of tests to assure the judge that they have what is considered characteristic for the breed.

Finally, the dog will go through a conformation show where they can receive a number of ratings.  The two highest ratings, the only ones Banffy Haus German shepherd breeders will accept, are V (excellent) and VA (excellent select).

The American shepherds, although some make participate in some aspects of the German breed system, will likely not.  One could argue that this quality control genetic vetting system for German German shepherds is rigorous and lends to developing a far superior breed than the very lax American system.  Although there are clearly some flaws in the German system, ways around many of the rules, this system creates amazing canines specimens of superior health, temperament, working drive.

It is a shame what has happened to the American lines.  Occassionally they look to breed to West German lines to breed back in some of the positive characterics preserved by the German breed system.  However, what a pity that the American lines have been allowed to languish for so many years.  Our recommendation is resoundingly to buy a West German show lines German Shepherd.