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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

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.

Banffy Haus Secrets

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.

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.

Banffy Haus German Shepherd Puppies: Mouthiness! Help! Part I

We love our red and black german shepherd puppies:

This is the Banffy Haus staff.

Although I have written a little bit about how to handle in other places on the website, I think this issue is so important and can be so exasperating for my clients that I wish to address it here in detail.  I want you to have a good experience with your German shepherd puppy.  The first question one might ask is:  Is My Puppy Abnormal If It is Mouthy?  In the next article we will discuss some other issues regarding chewing such as the proper way of redirecting and the damage caused by improper reaction to little sharp teeth clamping down on tender skin.  Also, I will discuss when one can expect it to tone down, if ever, and when the mouthyness is just too much and may be an indication of something else.

First of all, almost every puppy will have a mouthy stage.   This is due to two things.  First, while they are teething (losing their babies and getting adult teeth) mouthing and gnawing releases some of the aggravating pain they have in their gums and bones of the mouth and can give as much pleasure as like scratching an itch.  There are many products which can help alleviate some of the problem, but it is just a stage they have to go through.

Secondly, puppies are learning to communicate with their mouth and use their mouth.  Dogs use their mouths for so much more than we do (at least in a mechanical fashion other than talking).  They pick up things and taste things, investigate objects and new textures, they indicate their approval or disapproval to other dogs with them, they jockey for pack position with them.  They also, as puppies, begin to practice the gleaning and chewing on bones of prey they might catch.   Also, chewing is instinctual and helps to keep good gum health and oral hygiene, cleaning the teeth.   Finally, as with little children, puppies need to be stimulated.   If they aren’t, this pent up youthful energy will likely be directed toward chewing.

So all of these things, teething, learning to communicate, taste, investigation, play and pack order, instinct to chew, glean and clean, boredom or release of excess energy we find in puppies.  So it is absolutely normal for puppies to be mouthy.  And this is especially true for German shepherd puppies, considering the genetic proximity to Canis Lupus (wolf).  But this can be VERY trying.  Don’t despair!  Read my next blog for more info.

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 litters.