Our dogs are very soft. We know things are getting pretty soft in this pampered world, like blankets, they are so soft any more that you do not think blankets can get any softer until you touch the next one... Well, our dogs are just as soft as these blankets partially due to "silk gene" we got in Sparky's great gene pool, partially due to care. Here is what we use.
Another thing that helps is Fish oil. You can either buy Salmon oil in a pump bottle, or fancier version called ShedEx - mix of oils and supplements. They have multiple brands, do your homework to find the right one for you. We came to conclusion that just Salmon oil works great: makes fur shinier, healthier looking and reduces shedding.
Also it's not a secret that German Shepherds shed, we told you all about it, but it's not helping when your sweet puppy starts losing fur in clumps all over your carpet, furniture and clothes. Here are few options to deal with it. If it worked for us, it should work for you.
Cheap, but laborous - brushing. It's close to a part-time job to brush your German Shepherd. So far the best brush we have found is Furminator double sided.
Now, for those who got more than one GSD and realized that brushing more than one of them is a full-time job, here is expensive but quick option - Animal blower. Honestly, it's the best investment we had even made and worth every penny. Right after washing, conditioning and spraying Shine-On, blow dry your doggy. Blow drying blows out all the loose fur (wear googles or you will be digging fur out of your eyeballs for a week), it blows away any dandruff, any weeds tangled up in your dog's fur, especially cheat grass seeds that drill into the skin and doesn't seem to come out. The most magical thing - your German Shepherd stops shedding for 3-4 weeks after being blown! Yes, German Shepherd that does not shed, it's possible. There are many cheaper animal blowers, and they may work fine for 1-2 dogs. We had a chance to try this one, and did not want to risk for amount of dogs we got, we bought this bulletproof one. Check it out here, but as always, do your homework, research all options to find the right one for you.
Both types of ears are really good in terms of saving your shoes and furniture when puppies are teething, which will last pretty much from time you bring them home till they are 7-8 months old. Chewing will continue after as it becomes relaxing activity or coping mechanism for anxiety. They also help naturally clean dog teeth without effect of “sandpaper” grinding teeth down.
Pig ears are more smelly as they are smoked or roasted to melt some excessive fat, darker color, however they don’t last as long because they are little softer. 8-10 weeks pup will work on them for awhile, but by 4 months old they will crunch them in 5-10 min. These are good to get puppies to like them. Best deal we found so far was in Costco 20 ears for $25 while they last, but you can check out Amazon or Chewy for a close match deal. D&B Supply has 10 pig ears for $13, so almost as good as Costco. Do not pay more than $2 per ear unless you own an oil well or a gold mine (we had reports of as much as $5 per ear from Pet stores). When you're buying online, make sure they are whole ears and not “slivers”, which pretty much the same ears cut into small pieces and sold per count of pieces.
Cow ears are not naturally as fatty, so they are usually baked. Cow ears are harder to chew up, even adult dog has to work 15-20 minutes to get one of them down. These don’t smell as much, but dogs love them. You can find decent deal on Amazon or Chewy, really good deal if you can get them for $0.50 a piece, but you can pay all the way to $1. Much more is a rip off. Make sure they are whole ears and not “slivers” as well buying online. Important, do not offer more than couple a day, as they caused constipation in some dogs, and watch your pet closely. It never happened to our dogs, but saw reports around, may vary by dog or diet.
Pay attention to late warnings, some pig ears had been recalled due to salmonella concerns.
The life is long and full of dangers 😂 Puppies discovering pig and cow ears.
t’s very important to make sure that your dog comes on recall no matter what distractions are around. Someday it may save your dog’s life. Better if dog comes and sits in front of you by default as it allows to easily collar or leash them as well as keep their attention.
You need to gradually increase the level of distractions. Don’t take dog from your backyard to dog park and expect him to listen. Practice in less distractive areas first. If you know he is not listening first 15 min or so, let him run it out, and then start practicing. Never allow your dog to get away with not listening to you, it will build a bad habit. Better not to call him than call and allow him to ignore you.
You need to make sure to positively support recall. Often we call dogs just to put them on a leash, so they start avoiding to come over if they are not done playing. Call him, give him a treat and let him go back to play. It will build positive attitude towards recall.
Food aggression is one of the biggest issues in dogs when it comes around children. Young children tend to pet the dogs randomly, and when dog is laying down calmly chewing on a bone or treat it seems to children like a good time for petting. Unfortunately, not all dogs feel secure when little children pet them during this time or try to take their bone or treat.
We work with all our puppies not to have food aggression by feeding them in specially designed feeding trough and desensitizing them to human and, especially, child's touch while they are eating.
In order to prevent developing of food aggression when you get a puppy, make sure to handfeed him for a few days to establish his trust for you to handle his food. Afterwards, make sure to pet him while feeding or slowly move his bowl around without taking it away to prevent resource guarding reaction. If you have any other pets at home, make sure puppy is not being bullied by older pets. And, of course, supervise your new puppy closely with small children.
It’s a Christmas season, and Christmas puppies are everywhere! Truly, cute and fuzzy Christmas puppy is a great surprise gift for a child or a loved one! Especially if breeder is cool enough and close enough to keep puppy till Christmas Eve or even Christmas morning! However, puppy will last longer than Christmas break, and here what you need to think about to make sure this Christmas won’t turn out to be a disaster for anyone including puppy:
1. Make sure the Christmas puppy is a desired gift (including breed, size, color, and temperament).
2. Make sure that the person who you're getting the puppy for can afford to take care of puppy, and it does not just include food, but also toys, dishes, beds, collars, routine vet visits and possibility of emergency visits as well. Time also goes into this category, because some people work too much and cannot "afford" to give puppy enough time and attention, which more than likely will result in trouble behaviors.
3. Make sure person who you're getting the puppy for has suitable housing situation, especially if they do not live with you. Many rentals do not allow dogs or allow only certain breeds. Many houses do not have fenced back yard, and new owner will have to figure out how to maintain the puppy on the property. Puppies grow quickly, and can turn out to be a nuisance for the neighborhood.
4. Make sure the breeder will take puppy back if the whole surprise Christmas puppy idea will not go well. You may need to take puppy back, and it's much better to return him as a puppy to his breeder than not pay enough attention to puppy, and get rid of him later as adult dog sending him into sad life of being "re-homed" or be in a shelter.
5. Make sure you're giving Christmas puppy for the right reason: only to the person who truly wants a dog of this certain breed and can take care of them vs you ran out of ideas and just saw this cute puppy fairly cheap and it may work out as a Christmas gift.
Have a great Christmas season!
If there are many people living in the house puppy eventually will choose a main master, however, you can help him. Besides feeding, walking, training etc which will make him lean towards one person or another, you can give puppy your sock. Take nice long athletic sock, wear it (go for a nice hike, play a game etc), goal is making it nice and stinky. Then tie it in a knot and give it to puppy, put on his bed. Your feet have the strongest smell of you, and when puppy misses you he can chew on the sock instead of your expensive leather shoes or those nice sneakers. As alternative you can gather socks from everyone in the family, then puppy can choose for himself. Whatever the case it will help with anxiety when puppy is left home by himself.
Claws trimming for GSDs can be considered as indicator of their activity level. If you ever have to trim your GSD claws, it means your dog does not get enough exercise. If your GSD has plenty of outside time, when he can run, walk, and jump his claws will be filed off naturally at the same rate as they grow. If claws are growing out to the point you can hear them clicking on your hardwood floor, or even worse to the point of curling at the tips, your GSD needs more active time.
Also, please, consider that you walking or even jogging with your dog on the leash is exercise for you, but not for your GSD. Your GSD can run with the speed 30 mph, so make sure to let your dog run off leash, chase sticks or balls, hunting down squirrels or whistle pigs (small chance of catching them, but a lot of fun and exercise). Good exercise for GSD is to follow bicycle or ATV, but make sure to make pit stops and hydrate your dog.
We will never get tired to repeat that German Shepherd Dog is the best breed for children. However, we do not recommend families with babies or toddlers as only children getting a GSD puppy. Strange? Not really, let's see why.
Many parents love the idea of getting their baby or toddler a puppy so "they can grow up together". But what's actually happening? Cute fuzzy GSD puppy within a year will turn into full of energy 75-80 lbs "teenage" dog, who will see your baby or toddler as a same age playmate. Now, imagine GSD play. Can 2-3 year old who is barely holding up on his feet take this kind of play?
Now, if you have a mature GSD (2 years or older) when you welcome a new baby to your family, adult GSD will be sensitive enough to feel that your baby is fragile and will be gentle around baby, but still can be a great playmate when your child is ready for it. If you do not have children, but planning within next couple years, it's a good time to get a puppy, so it's trained and ready for your baby.
On the other hand, if you have a baby or a toddler, and no adult dog wait until your toddler is 4 years old ( at least, child should walk, run, jump, walk up & down stairs surely and without support, do some talking). If you get a GSD puppy at this age, your child and GSD will be able to play, grow and learn together. GSD will be very attached to your child, and your child will not even remember time of his life when he did not have a dog.
On the pic: Sparky 3 years old and baby 3 months old