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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.

Read Amazing Story – A Life Saving Friend for Life

Gideon with footballDr. Peter Banfe

I wanted to send you a quick e-mail to thank-you and update you on a puppy that you helped me purchase from Germany about 4 years ago. He is a big beautiful super intelligent boy named Gideon. You helped me pick out a pup in hopes that he would alert to seizures before they happen. He does his job quite well! He alerted for the first time at nine months.

He’s now four years old and gives me about thirty minutes. My seizures are well controlled about 85% of the time. I can go for several months and do great but hit a cluster of several weeks where I struggle.

Thanks to Gideon, I can keep my license and independence. I also taught Gideon to search for my cell phone, alert for help, and help with balance if needed. He’s a wonderful wonderful dog.

Gideon R.E.A.D.In addition to being a practical asset, we are very heavily involved in our local therapy dog program. He tolerates the nursing homes while chomping on a favorite toy but absolutely thrives on the many programs that we have in our local elementary programs throughout the year! His favorite thing in the world is to play with children. : )

Gideon swimming

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.

Hot Weather Health Tips for Your German Shepherd

Hello German shepherd dogs and German shepherd puppies lovers:

Sadly, once again this summer there have already been a number of harrowing stories highlighted in the media about the fate of dogs left alone in a hot car, and even a few about concerned citizens taking matters into their own hands to free a distressed animal.

Any truly responsible pet owner knows that leaving their dog, especially a larger breed dog such as a German Shepherd, in a hot car, even a ventilated one, for as little as a few minutes can be dangerous for their pet and should be avoided whenever possible. There are some other dangers associated with the hot weather and the summer season that are sometimes less obvious to even the most doting of pet parents. Here are just a few of the things that you should be aware of as the temperatures continue to rise.

Dehydration Dangers

Many German Shepherds and German Shepherd puppies love spending time outdoors in the summer with their human family. Just like those humans though, even if pets are simply enjoying a little lazy time in the back yard they need easy access to a nice cool drink as and when they need it. They should also have a shady spot to retreat to that still offers plenty of airflow. That means under a shady tree or even sheltered by a canopy if no such thing exists in your yard rather than being cooped up in a kennel.

It is possible for even the healthiest of dogs to suffer from heat stroke and dehydration, especially if they are stubborn about ceasing playtime to drink their water. Warning signs that your German Shepard is really suffering in the heat include excessive panting, an increased heart rate or breathing pattern, disorientation and/or excessive lethargy. If you observe any of things get your pet back into a cool indoor environment as soon as possible and make a call to your vet to obtain professional advice.

Pool Rules

Another thing that lots of German Shepherds enjoy in the summer is swimming. They should not be allowed to take a dip unsupervised, even in the backyard pool. Not every dog is a great swimmer at first, so a floatation device is a good idea for a first timer. Even a strong swimming pup can over exert themselves having a little too much fun so there should always be a watchful human eye nearby.

If your pup is swimming in chlorinated water rinse them off when they get out so that the chemicals do not irritate their skin or damage their fur. Also try to limit the amount of pool water they drink, as chlorine can cause a nasty tummy upset.

Watch Where They Walk

The next time you are out in the street on a hot day, take your shoes off for a moment. Chances are that the hot pavement, especially if that pavement is asphalt, will burn your tootsies pretty quickly. That is how it feels for your dog almost from the first moment they ‘set paw’ on it.  To help make your dog’s summer more enjoyable, and save their paws from unnecessary pain, try to limit their walks and exercise to grassy areas or at very least to shady sidewalks that are out of the sun.

I hope this is useful. We at Banffy Haus German Shepherds want you to has a great life with your German shepherd puppies.

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.

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: Black and Red German Shepherd Puppies

Hello from Banffy Haus to those on a search for black and red German shepherd puppies:

These days I at Banffy Haus German shepherds am consistently hearing clients asking for rich red and black hue on their German shepherd puppies.  I have written before on this issue but would like to address it once more.

Although pigment is important, this obsession with deep reds and black, and the economic pressure of demand risks forcing pigment to the top of the list of German shepherd characteristics in the breeding programs of German shepherd breeders.  This is not in itself bad unless it leads to a demotion of other critical characteristics such as phenotype, gender specific traits, temperament, working drive, or other breed standard requirements.  We don’t want this to color our breeding programs, as it were.

This is what happened with the American lines in which the gene pool was markedly damaged by over-emphasis of show characteristics even to the disintegration of the health of the breed with increased exocrine pancreatic insufficiency, degenerative spine issues, joint dysplasia etc.

What are we doing?  We had better beware if this overemphasis causes damage even to our breeding inventory of West German lines.  Are we so vain that we choose our dogs based largely on color?  The German shepherd is a working dog, a marvel of intelligence and ability, one of the top three most intelligent dogs in the world. Click on “Banffy Haus female shepherds” to see some of our prize 100% imported V rated, top hips and elbows, breeding stock.

They are a marvel to see jumping gracefully over the jumps and rounding the blinds at blinding speed.  I have witnessed what happens with overemphasis on outward appearances with the over-angulation.  I remember watching with horror as a shepherd attempted to jump, only to be constrained by their distorted rear quarters and clumsily tripped and fell, rolling over in ignominy. How sad.  Let’s hope that current fads don’t taint the breeding program and strategy of our breeders and that we remain dedicated to what this breed is all about, a balance of grace and power, of beauty and integrity, courage and loyalty, intelligence and a strongly built carriage.

Let’s be very careful that our focus on black and red German shepherd puppies doesn’t upset the genetic balance.