Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Wishing You All And Your Furry Children A Merry Christmas & a Great Year Ahead

Hello friends, Years of our togetherness has been a great inspiration for me to continue with this blog that is committed to offer best and well researched information that you may been looking for in the Internet. So, in this most auspicious and cheery time of the year I wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

For the tunes of the past days belong to the past moments And coming year's songs await a fresh tunes altogether for all of you and your furry children!



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Thursday, November 6, 2014

Just a Few Shots of My Dogs That You May Love to See






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Wednesday, October 1, 2014

German Shepherd Puppy Raising Tips


Raising a puppy demands quite an in depth knowledge and both artistic and scientific techniques. Raising a German Shepherd puppy may prove to be a bit more different from raising any other puppies. Your need for a dog may not match that of mine. While many people need a German Shepherd Dog because they love the breed and want a great companion, others may need one for guarding a premise and yet another group will probably be looking for a GSD as a working partner. Whatever the need and thought may be, everyone will be looking for a puppy that will grow up into a dog with all characteristics typical to this breed… self assured, confident, trainable, intelligent, and courageous with a stable temperament. If you are planning for a German Shepherd puppy you should understand the typical German Shepherd characteristics, so that you can raise the puppy correctly. All of the characteristics that you will read in this section (the link of which is given) are mostly genetic or psychological. But raising your German Shepherd puppy incorrectly may spoil its characteristics traits – be it genetic or psychological or psycho-genetic. 


Remember, nearly around half or little more than that of your puppy’s traits are governed by its gene, but to get these traits pronounced environmental engineering (the way you raise your GSD puppy) plays a very important role.

Here are some tips on raising your German Shepherd puppy in the right way. 


Food, Play and Care – Most important of all is what you feed your German Shepherd puppy, how much calorie to burn and what type of exercise should your puppy be getting! Insofar food for your pup a balanced diet is an obvious recommendation. Contrary to the popular belief, it is recommended not giving too much protein to your puppy. High protein will enhance the growth rate and eventually your puppy may get exposed to the risks of developing anatomic defects, due to gaining too much weight that may not tolerated by tender bones. Here is a great read on diet management for your German shepherd. More insightful read on food for your GSD puppy


Free play is strongly recommended until your puppy reaches at least 7 to 8 months of age. Play session should be a fun for the puppy, but a training session for you. A happy puppy would learn a lot of tricks. If he loves to chase the ball, let him do that only after he does something desirably on command. This way the play would turn to be a reward for him for desirable actions. German Shepherds are trotting dog, and the structure has been developed through conscious and selective breeding to meet the requirements of trotting while on work. But power trotting is a big NO until your puppy become physically completely able for that.


Proper socialization - Socialization is important and should be started as early as possible – preferably at an age of 2 to 3 months. A German Shepherd not properly socialized may be a nightmare, while a properly socialized dog is sure make the best companion ever. Socialization is an act of making your puppy familiar to wide range of situations so that when it grows into an adult dog it will less likely to react with fear. A properly socialization makes your puppy grow into a more relaxed dog, with rich experiences in different situations including mingling with other animals, strangers, children, etc. Socialization with sounds, crowds, darkness, men, women and kids of various ethnicities and other strange situations is a must. There is actually no limit or degree of socialization. Wider the range situations you will expose your puppy, better it is for both of you. I hope you will love the story of how I helped a battered German Shepherd girl (Rani) to regain confidence.


Obedience Training – Whether you want a guard dog or a family companion, obedience training your puppy is a must. Apart from just teaching basic obedience commands like Heel, Stay, Come, Go, Fetch and Halt, it is important to proactively teach your puppy the table manners. If you have other dogs too, it is a must that all of them should know that the meal time is not a battle ground. Your puppy will always communicate with you. All you need is to understand it’s communication and use positive reinforcement training methods to teach your dog new tricks.


Establishing alpha membership in your pack – Raising a German Shepherd puppy doesn’t only involve training it well and feed it good. You need to become the alpha member (Leader) of your pack. You puppy should know that you are the boss of the pack and s(he) must follow you. Dogs are perfectly social animals and in the natural state dogs lead their lives in a structured (hierarchical) social order. The same structure needs to be maintained in your family, where your puppy should know who the leader is and what is expected from him/her. As a successful alpha member of the pack you need to be dominant over your dogs. This will maintain a balanced relationship with your puppy as he grows. Here is how to become the leader of the pack

 
Here are some great resources that will help you raising your GSD puppy more technically. Who doesn’t need to be a good owner his puppy? 

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Thursday, September 4, 2014

Top Two Myths And Facts About German Shepherd Dog Training

Hi... I will not be talking about the importance of training your GSD - especially when it comes to "Obedience", because the GSD owners seem to have become far more aware of it these days. What I have come across recently while discussing with some of the community members is again a few more shocking stuff. While some believed that not all German Shepherds are trainable even with rewards, because they are genetically stubborn, others said that using food as rewards may not be the best option, because finally you will want your shepherd to act on commands without food.

Knowing that there are still some myths prevailing about dog training, I thought of publishing this post on Facts and Myths About Training German Shepherds.

Read on…

First

Myth: Some German Shepherd Dogs are genetically stubborn, which makes them tough to be trained well.  

Fact: Admitted that some GSDs may be more dominant than others, but that doesn’t mean that they cannot be easily trained. There is no suit-to-all dog training strategy. All dogs are different – and this is universally true and natural – just like human kids. Something that can work good for my puppy may not work at all for yours. A professional dog trainer tries to understand the specific traits that make a dog more dominant than his/her mates. As soon as he understands them he would be able manage the dog efficiently. Rewarding a dog for any good thing he does and refusing a reward for undesirable things will work good for almost all dog while training. But dominant dogs usually have tendency to disobey command. It is important for a trainer to establish the alpha membership (leadership) more effectively and train him/her in a separate area - away from animals and people. A dominant subject usually requires more time to learn tricks – but it’s not impossible.

Same problem may arise with puppies that are born with overly high prey drive. Very high prey drive will result in higher degree of distraction, which compromises the puppy’s attention paying ability, making the training little tougher. However, even in this case training is not impossible. An “All-Positive” GSD trainer will try to avoid environmental distraction elements while training. Usually the distraction elements for a high prey drive puppy are anything that moves – may be a butterfly, a passing by animals, a flying bird and even the weathered/ falling leaves from the trees. So now you know what it primarily needs for you to train a dog that are genetically dominant or having overly high prey instinct.

Second

Myth: Using “food as a reward” while training your German Shepherd may not be the right option, because the dogs has to finally act only on command and without treat as a reward.

Fact: Although many GSD owners still believe that their dog may become completely dependent on food to act, but this is a prevailing and most common myth about dog training. Food based reward training is a part of a very new concept, called Motivation Dog Training. Most of unsuccessful “food based reward training” results have occurred because of the fact that the trainers have been unsuccessful in using the food correctly while training a dog. Many dog trainers were noticed using the food as a bribe for an action to be performed. The rule is to use the food as a reward for the dog’s successful accomplishments of an action, which will motivate the animal to repeat his good work and NOT to wait for the treat (primarily) and work (secondarily).

Another most important step is to make the dog’s habit of getting the food reward eventually fade out, simultaneously letting the dog know that he will be highly praised for all of his great works.

Without applying the Motivation Dog Training rule properly please do not expect your German Shepherd puppy to work for you on command and not for food. Here is a great read about the basic rules of food based motivation dog training.

 Most important of all... your dog should never be left with a novice hand for training. Newbies and amateur dog trainers can be a real nightmare. Without professional knowledge Reinforcement Training can Severely Backfire.

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Sunday, August 3, 2014

Is Feeding Raw Food to Your Dogs Safe? - FDA

Risk of feeding raw food to your dogs.

The U S Food and Drug Administration - FDA has circulated an article about the risk of feeding raw food to your dogs. The raw food for your dog is composed of primarily uncooked bones, meet and organ meet that can be responsible for serious food poisoning. Here is what FDA has to say about feeding raw food to dogs:

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Sunday, July 20, 2014

How To Know Whether Your German Shepherd Dog is Ill?

Sign of healthy German Shepherd Puppy
A Healthy German Shepherd Puppy

Signs of Illness in German Shepherds And Any Other Dogs

If you are reading this post it means you already have a dog or planning to have one or may be some way connected to dogs. If you already have a dog or if you are looking forward to adopt one this post will help you become a better owner.

Signs of illness in dogs are the topics of discussion here. A strong power observation needs to be developed to understand when actually your German Shepherd's health demands your attention, and it depends on how efficiently you can identify the signs of illness that are holding back his happiness and smoothness of life.

The more you observe your GSD, the more you are going to learn about him. The better you know him, the owner you can become, and in turn your observation power will automatically be enhanced.

Here are some of the common signs that your German Shepherd may show when he is ill…

  • Mouth smelling bad: Smelly mouth is an indication of liver mal-functioning or internal health problem
  • Smelly ears: Smelly and waxy ears is a significant sign of illness.
  • Dry and rough coat: Heavy internal parasitic infestation and weak internal health adversely affect the coat condition.
  • Skin rash and patches on the skin: Internal parasite also adversely affects the skin condition. Bacterial problem, allergies and mal-nutrition causes different type of dermal problems. Here is how to do diet management for your German Shepherd puppy.
  • Bleeding gum: Accumulation of tartar can cause pyorrhea and bleeding gum.
  • Dry nose: Dry nose indicates fever and/or other health problems
  • Discharge from the nose and/or eyes: Your dog may have caught cold
  • Lethargy: Lethargy can caused by many problems, including insufficient diet, un-balanced diet or shortage of essential minerals and vitamins.

These may sound like just some basic signs of illness, but may be lead to serious health concerns if not treated at the earliest. Your dog may show other indications that may lead to even serious situations.

Sudden Loss of Appetite: As long as your German Shepherd is taking his usual diet normally, he is okay. Sudden loss of appetite may be the result of one or more health problems, starting from indigestion, irritation and pain to more serious issues that may need immediate attention. Dogs usually love food – especially his normal diet. Any deviation in the general affinity towards his food should be an alarm for you to call your vet.

Increase or Decrease in General Intake of Water: Dogs usually drink less compared to humans and this is normal. If your German Shepherd suddenly starts drinking more or less than what he usually intakes, you should be more attentive, and probably it’s the time for you to give a call to your vet. Serious health issues like pyometra in females, kidney problems, stomach problem and dehydration etc. may cause your dog to drink unusually less or more.

Unusual Panting With or Without Drooling: If your dog is panting unusually, then he is showing an inevitable sign of health problem and should be considered as a serious matter of concern. He may have ingested something that is poisonous for dogs. In such situation your dog needs immediate veterinary attention. Any delay may prove to fatal for your dog

Stained urine: Stained urine is an indication of kidney problem. If stained urination is accompanied with burning pain it indicates that your dog may be having Urinary Tract Infection. Stone in urinary tract also leads to painful and stained urine.

Frequently Vomiting: Frequent vomiting is an indication of fragile gastro-intestinal health. Blood vomiting should be considered too seriously and may indicate many fatal ailments. Frequent and repetitive vomiting with change in the color of stool should not be overlooked. May be you need to spare a thought over your dog's daily diet. Here is the science of food and nutrition for your GSD.

Distressful Breathing: Distressful breathing is an indication of many internal health problems, most common of which are respiratory tract infection - RTI, cardiac problem, lungs problem etc. Sudden imbalance of essential minerals and certain blood components may lead to many serious health issues and may start with distress breathing. Decrease in hemoglobin level also leads to distressed breathing. Presence of heart and lungs worms also leads to distressed breathing.

Change in Behavior: We cannot overlook the behavioral aspect. Any kind of physical irritation and pain is reflected through unnatural behavior in your dog. Behavioral signs like unpredictable aggression, restlessness, decreased tolerance level, lack of patience, lethargy, facing problem to stand from sitting, disoriented locomotion, staying overly aloof are some of the signs of physical displeasure.

Repeating… a powerful observing capability will make you more efficient as a dog owner. Keeping a dog is a big responsibility that many of us have shouldered knowingly and consciously. It’s just the awareness and knowledge that make you better as a dog owner than others. All kind of physical displeasure in your dog – be it serious or trivial are reflected differently, either through prominent or subtle change in behavior, or through other sings. Hope this piece will help you. Please feel free to share your experiences through commenting.

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Sunday, June 8, 2014

Importance Of Treat Reward For Successful Dog Training

Training German Shepherds seems to be comparatively easier than some of the stubborn breeds like Shiba Inu, Chow Chow, Pekingese, Borzoi etc. Yet wrong techniques can make easiest things tougher. Even with the most intelligent breed like GSD, training may be incredibly challenging if not proceeded correctly. However, abusive training methods are a big ‘NO’, and ‘NO’ for ever, and ‘NO’ for any and all animals – irrespective of breed, group, class and species.

http://aringsburgkennel.blogspot.in/2014/06/importance-of-treat-reward-for.html


Importance of reward based training finds its role to play here.

What does a reward have to do with training? 

Let’s start off with asking ourselves: “why should we need to train a dog at all?” Well the answer is simple… we train our dogs because we want them to behave the way we want, which means we want to modify their behavior to suit best the way we live and mingle in the society. Rewards can really do the trick.

For dogs, the punishment (traditional and primitive way of teaching tricks for example leash jerks, shock from the collars, hitting, and using prong choke chains) works just temporarily and on a surface level. Training based on rewards like lavish praises, treats etc. is a better, safer and smarter alternative that gives desired outcome more effectively. The reward-based dog training (positive training) methods has drastically won over the traditional discipline-based training methods. Most contemporary canine behaviorists and trainers are relying on the effectiveness of treat reward training systems. Reward based training system emphasizes on praising and rewarding on correct actions of your dog, rather than not rewarding and accompanied with punishments based corrective measures when your dogs behaves incorrectly. Years of experimentation and study of canine psychology concluded that “not rewarding and accompanied with punishments based corrective measures when your dogs behaves incorrectly” works less effectively compared to “praising and rewarding on each and every correct action of your dog”.

What the reward based dog trainers stress on? 

Most modern reward based trainers believe in eliminating the undesirable behavior by gradually replacing them with desirable ones. And that can be done by rewarding your dog when he does what you want and refusing praising or rewarding him when he does what you don’t want. The new behavior that is the one that you want him to act like is called “incompatible behavior” (good behavior - not compatible to the current situation, and needs to make them compatible), which can be eventually induced through Positive Reinforcement – rewarding. Food like cookie tidbits yield awesome results in a Reinforcement Training. However, with wrong identification of the specific behavior to target, the reinforcement training may backfire.   

To conclude with I should be pointing that the most important thing about reward based, positive reinforcement training is “Attention”. Attention is the best reward for your dog when he does something good and another important thing is that training should be a fun for both your and your dog. Proper exercise in the form of play is the best source of stimulation to ensure physical and mental well-being. Just came across CollarsAndTags.co.uk-kong-dog-toys an online shop for pet toys offering a good assortment of fun and indestructible dog toys. A content dog (the one that usually adequate exercise and play) is mentally more stable and more focused which make him a better student for any experienced trainer.

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Sunday, June 1, 2014

Does Your German Shepherd Dog Eat Poop?

One of the most challenging situations for you as a dog owner is when your dog have grown a tendency to eat poop and you need to stop him doing so.

The first step to dealing with this problem is to spot out what makes your dog find poop edible. Apparently eating poop may not cause any instant damage to the health, but the habit is one of the most unpleasant behavioral flaw that hinders the healthy environment when it comes to staying with dogs. However, this habit of eating poops, called 'Coprophagia' may expose your German Shepherd to the risk of getting heavily infested by parasite, and viral or bacterial attack.

Image Courtesy: Wolfie & Ustina - Mr. S. Mitra, Lt Col, IA.
(Wolfie & Ustina are highly trained & award winning specimens and have got no relation with any kind of behavioral issues talked about in this post. )





Several studies have come up with a few conclusions as to why dog may be growing tendency to eat stool. While some of the reasons are simply quite natural based on certain situations, the others are driven by really complicated psychological factors.

Natural Reasons Why Your GSD Eats Poop 

Mother cleans her puppies (Natural Maternal Instinct): Mothers tend to lick up her pups after they are done with their meal. This is a natural process to defecate puppies and to stimulate urination. Most often mothers also lick up their babies stool and urine as a cleaning process. Dogs living with us at home should be kept under supervision and the owners needs to be a bit more proactive with the cleaning process until the puppies grow and separated from their mother.

Psychological Triggers Driving Your German Shepherds To Eat Stool 

Frustration elicited habit: Poop-eating habit has been connected to certain psychological conditions by some canine behaviorist. Studies aver shown that bored, frustrated, unattended and lonely dogs usually develop certain undesirable behavioral problems - and 'Coprophagia' (habit of eating stool) is one of them.

German Sheperds are working dog and always need something to do until their energy is fully exhausted through proper exercise. Hence they get bored more easily compared to many other breeds if they are left unattended and without right exercise. Loneliness and boredom generate mental stress in your dog. Just like many of us are found biting nails under stress, your shepherds may develop 'Coprophagic' tendency as a frustrated elicited behavior, often times leading to Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. In case it has developed into OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) medicine doesn’t really work. It is then recommended to provide your GSD with an optimized environmental enrichment – play fetch, chasing Frisbee, long walk (composed of both brisk walk and stroll).

What Some Nutritionists Have To Say About This 

Some nutritionists think that food type contributes to this habit to a fairly good extent. The food that you give to your shepherds may have nutrient deficiency. Same food may work good with other dog, which means your shepherd require certain thing in extra. This is yet another challenge to find out what is that thing that your dog is not getting adequately. It may not be the case that your dog is not getting adequate nutrient, but some nutritionists believe that malabsorption of dietary nutrients in your dogs may also lead to Coprophagia.

Many dogs are keen to ingest stool of other animals and investigate garbage bin to find what have to eat. Often times, odor of poops and garbage acts as an enticing attribute for you dog and waste parts, like stools and stale garbage may not be unpleasant to dogs unlike they are for us, humans. Many a times I have found many dogs getting attracted to fowl odor while investigating environment.

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Sunday, March 2, 2014

Diet Management For German Shepherd Puppy


Diet management for German Shepherd puppy

Diet management for German Shepherd puppy is one of the trickiest dispositions. Whatever good and nutritious for you and your kid may not be enough for your dog, or at times may also be harmful for them.


Making food for your GSD at home can be a real fun and a big responsibility at the same time. Good nutrition is always more than important during his growth period. Diet management for your puppy doesn’t only mean giving him the right kind of food with right percentage of fats, proteins, carbohydrates, minerals and vitamins, but it also mean feeding him right quantity of food at the right time. The most common mistake noticed in many dog owners – especially in newbie is a tendency of overfeeding, which may be detrimental for your growing puppy. It is rather wise to invest time on planning a healthy feeding routine for your pup. Rather than feeding in bigger volumes, it is advisable to break your puppy’s food into 5 to 6 feeds a day and gradually decreasing the feeding frequency and increasing the volume as he grows.


What Should Your puppy’s Food Contain?

Keep a close eye on your puppy’s health condition and growth rate. Remember a fast growing puppy gives you an indication of impending anatomic problems. Promoting optimal health starts with giving him the right kind of diet that is well balanced, at right quantity. A balanced diet may promote good growth in your German Shepherd puppy.


Let’s think of it a bit different way. Instead of feeding your puppy those so-called ‘puppy food that are available in the pet stores, let’s plan your puppy food that will promote optimal growth and build strong immune system. Well balanced diet with all necessary nutritional factors can be prepared at home with right quantity of fat, protein, carbohydrate and minerals. Planning a diet with very high protein to promote excessive growth is not a wise decision. However, planning a low protein diet for your puppy is not wise either.


The base of your puppy’s food can be chicken and vegetables, which are readily available and not much expensive as well. Fresh chicken, eggs, cheese, fruits and vegetables (not all types of veggies and fruits are permissible though) are a great source for carbohydrates, fats, minerals, proteins and vitamins that are required for your puppy’s growth. Organ meats are simply as nutritional in your GSD’s diet as the muscle meat itself.

What I prefer personally and it proved to be quite healthy…


Meat - 

Organ meats are rich in B vitamins, vitamins A, D, E and K, and important minerals like phosphorus, copper and iodine. To complete 100% of the meat side in my dogs’ diet, I prefer a combination of organs, muscle meats and bones. I mostly give chicken, where I prefer the combination as follows:

• 15% organ meat (mainly heart, liver…)
• 45% lean muscle meat
• 30% chicken neck bones (safest way to give natural source of calcium – no risk of splinters)
• 10% chicken head


Organs like heart, brain and eyes are concentrated source of taurine – an essential amino acid that forms the main constituents of all proteins. Hence this promotes good growth. However, muscle meat also has taurine, but just not enough as in the organ meat. By planning home made diet with components like fresh meat, necks, heart, liver and brains you already make sure that your puppy is getting enough of essential nutrients and growth promoting amino acids.

Please Note: Although organ meats are a nutrient dense food and good for your GSD puppy, but too much of it is not recommended. 10% to 15% of heart and liver with 80% of other types of meat each day is a good combination or 20% to 25% every alternative day may be nice as well.


Fruits and Vegetables - 

Fruits and vegetables are rich source of antioxidants and reduce the risk of cancer in dogs, though not all can be included to his diet chart. Just like fruits and vegetables are good for us humans, they are also highly effective to promote a healthy life of your dogs. Fruits like orange, banana, apples, watermelons, guavas, mango, papaya, cucumber, cantaloupe, cranberries are mini powerhouses of antioxidants and are great for your dog’s internal health.


Vegetables like carrots, broccoli, green beans, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, spinach, bottle gourd, ladies finger are a great addition to your dog’s daily diet. Cooking and steaming these veggies will break down the cellulose walls, making them easily digestible for your GSD puppy. Apart from lycopene, tomatoes also contain concentrated vitamins A and C. Occasional inclusion of tomatoes in your puppy’s food may be a good decision. However, if your dog may develop acidity, you should consider stopping tomatoes in his food.

Here is a better insight on Food For GSD Puppy .Also drill deeper into the Diet and Nutrition Plan For Your German Shepherd.

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About This Blog

All you need to know about German Shepherd Dogs. Read out what I have to share with you regarding the amazing German Shepherd Dog breed. Are Alsatian dogs and German Shepherd Dogs same? Who was Max Von Stephanitz and What is SV? Also learn a bit more in depth on German Shepherd Dog training tips, German Shepherd puppy care tips, German Shepherd Dog behavior, German Shepherd instinct, German Shepherd Dog standard and history of German Shepherds.
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