This is Keronaus…my Black and Tan male German Shepherd Dog. He is such a loyal companion and so well mannered. He protects our family when imminent danger is near with a boisterous bark, but he is not a vicious dog. That’s why I love these dogs so much….they are just so darn loyal….well, he’s spoiled too!
I often get this question and found out the hard way…the question? Should I house my female German Shepherd Dog’s in the same kennel? From experience, let me tell you definitely ‘no’. I had a breeder tell me once that I shouldn’t do this. She said you will have ears bitten off and possibly death.
This is when I first started breeding and didn’t pay much attention to her. I continued to house my females together and found out the hard way because one of my GSD’s had their ear bitten off from a dog fight. Well, it wasn’t the whole ear, but a small chunk was gone. Females are a lot like human females, they have ‘cat fights’ often.
It’s best to house your female and male together, and not your females together. I think God just naturally made male and female to get along better.
So please, don’t be stupid like me and put your females together. It will be to your best benefit. Hope that answers your question!
I get a lot of questions about this…what’s the difference in a ‘slant’ back German Shepherd Dog and a ’round’ or ‘roach’ back German Shepherd Dog and what do you prefer?
Well first let me say that whatever dog you choose to love, you need to have a connection with that dog and give it the best loving home that you can. The dog is a part of your family, right? So if you purchase your dog from a breeder with AKC standards, or you adopt a dog, or find a stray, it really doesn’t matter as long as you love the dog. With that being said, we are focusing on the German Shepherd breed of dog and there are different color varieties, as well as different ‘looks’ of the breed.
One fairly noticeable difference is the slant of a German Shepherd Dog’s back. The ‘ideal’ Shepherd, the way they were originally bred in Germany, is the slant back German Shepherd. If you were to show your German Shepherd, this ‘slant’ would definitely need to be seen in your dog. Again, this is the ‘ideal’, original German Shepherd Dog’s features and we always want to stick to this ideal when breeding dogs.
However, once the German Shepherd’s became more ‘Americanized’, the dogs were being bred to a different standard and started producing dogs with a round, or roach back. I can tell you that I have both styles of dogs, and although I love each dog the same, I actually prefer the slant back German Shepherd as far as the ‘look’. In fact, when I first got my ‘roach’ back German Shepherd (I rescued her from an older woman who simply couldn’t take care of her), I thought something was wrong with her. I had never seen this round type of back before because all of our other Shepherds are the standard slant back. But as I researched, I found that this is normal and actually is preferred by some German Shepherd Dog lovers. I have actually had requests for a round or roach back style of dog.
I think a good German Shepherd breeder can distinguish between the two styles of dog and by the way, it does not affect any other qualities of the breed, just the ‘looks’ of the dog. As a breeder, I can look at a German Shepherd and know if it is a direct import from Germany, if it is a Czech Border Patrol dog, or if the dog has a long line of American breeding. This is all just preference if you are looking for a family pet.
So, the takeaway here is that no matter what your preference, the slant or roach back German Shepherd Dog, the breed is still one of the most sought after, loving, intelligent, loyal dogs available. That’s why I Love German Shepherds!
After you’ve gone through the nerve racking part of your Bitch delivering her new litter of puppies, it’s really time to get focused on making sure these puppies are safe and secure. My father-in-law always says ‘dogs were meant to have puppies outside, that’s the way God made them‘ and while this is true, there are really a lot of things you can do to prevent any puppies from dying. If left outside the way God intended, there’s more loss of life and so we really can aid and assist in preventing that.
One way breeders lose puppies is because they don’t regulate the temperature of the puppies. Until the puppies are 3 weeks of age, they have no internal temperature gauge so you must make sure to regulate it for them. The ideal temperature for newborn puppies is between 80-90 degrees. You must make sure that they are not under a ceiling fan or beside a window or door where cold drafts come in. Once the puppy gets chilled, you can almost bet that puppy won’t make it. Each week after the first week of life, you can reduce that temperature by 5 degrees, so at 3 weeks, the puppies will be safe at around 75 degrees. After the 3rd week of life, the puppies are regulating their own temperature and can take on a more varying temperature range.
Just remember the facts: 80-90 degrees the first week of life with no drafts and your puppies should grow to be healthy dogs!
I have had every experience in the world happen as a dog breeder and unfortunately sometimes it’s not all pleasant. Things happen just as things happen with human births. Your puppies can have defects and even pass away unexpectedly for reasons you aren’t aware of. This all comes with the territory and you should not expect bad things to happen, but be prepared for them to. So the question is, ‘My GSD is pregnant and has a greenish discharge, is this normal?’ The answer to this is no, it is not normal and most usually means that she has just lost a puppy inside of her. If at all possible you should get her to a vet because leaving a deceased puppy inside could actually kill your female dog, and it could interfere with the delivery of the puppies that are still alive. I have actually had my Bitch discharge green liquid during the end of her pregnancy and she delivered a dead puppy. So it’s not a good sign and it is something that you should be aware of and know what to do when this happens.
As a Breeder, I can tell you that no two dogs are alike and no two circumstances or situations are alike. This means that every experience you have with each litter will be different. Just know that. No two deliveries are the same. So the question is, ‘Will my German Shepherd’s water break prior to giving birth?’ The answer to that is not as direct as you would think. With most of my deliveries I can tell you that her water breaks just prior to her dropping a puppy, but I have had times where the water did not break. So, the answer is most likely, but not always. If it doesn’t break, don’t be alarmed, she can still have a healthy litter of puppies.
Your German Shepherd Dog may be a direct import from Germany, or he may have a German heritage. These dogs have a wider range of titles and rankings because Germany classifies their dogs differently than American bred GSD’s. When researching your dog’s lineage, you may see these titles and rankings and wonder, what does all this mean? I have made it easy for you to understand these abbreviations so that you can understand your dog’s history, line of breeding and in general, their stock. Here they are:
German Shepherd Dog Titles:
- AD: Endurance Test, approximately a 12 mile run with an Obedience Test at the end.
- BH: Companion Dog, Temperament and Obedience Examination, Must preceed SCH title.
- Sch: Includes 3 levels; Sch1, Sch2, Sch3, of disciplines in Obedience, Protection and Tracking.
- IPO: Includes 3 levels; IPO1, IPO2, IPO3 comparable to Sch titles using International rules.
- HGH: Herding Dog Title
- PH: Police Dog
- FH: Advanced Tracking Title
- BIH: Guide Dog for the Blind
- ZH: Customs Dog
- DH: Service Dog
German Shepherd Dog Ratings:
- U: Insufficient
- M: Faulty Show or Performance Rating
- A: Sufficient Show or Performance Rating
- G: Good Show or Performance Rating
- SG: Very Good Show or Performance Rating
- V: Excellent Show or Performance Rating
- VA: Excellent Select Show or Performance Rating, Awarded at SEIGER Show, Highest Attainable Award.
- Seiger: 1st Place Champion Male of National Show
- Seigerin: 1st Place Champion Female of National Show
- Koerklasse: (KKL1) Breed Examination, Recommended for Breeding, Must be Titled Sch; (KKL2) Breed Examination, Suitable for Breeding, Must be Titled Sch
- Hip Ratings: (A1) Normal= OFA Excellent to OFA Good; (A2) Nearly Normal= OFA Good to OFA Fair; (A3) Mild Hip Displaysia= Only OFA’s Occasionally
- BSZS: National Breed Show
- BSP: National Working Trial
- LGA: Regional Show or Working Trial
- BLH: National Herding Trial
According to the American Kennel Club, here are the top 10 most desirable dog breeds for 2015. As you can see, the German Shepherd Dog is still holding strong in the number 2 spot:
- Labrador Retriever
- German Shepherd Dog
- Golden Retriever
- Bull Dog
- Yorkie (Yorkshire Terrier)
- French Bull Dog
After many years of successfully breeding the German Shepherd Dog, I can honestly tell you that each and every time your Bitch gives birth it feels like a brand new experience. You will get nervous, anxious, and try to remember how things went with your last litter, and the anticipation is exciting and nerve racking. Just as with human births, there are definitely signs and signals that your dog is ready to drop a brand new puppy.
Although the anticipation is great and you may feel nervous, try to channel your energy to create an environment for your dog that is soothing and comforting. Remember, she is nervously anxious, too. She will need you tremendously at this time and will look to you for comfort and security…more than any other time in her life. You will notice a big change in her around birthing time because she will linger around you more than usual. Pet her and give her comfort as this helps her know everything will be O.K. Her eyes will become dilated and she will begin to noticeably pant faster than normal.
When your dog is very close to giving birth, she will begin to dig. It is ideal to have her in a contained area such as a child’s plastic swimming pool
or a whelping box to give her security and to contain the puppies. I have always used a plastic pool for whelping and line it with newspapers that I get in bundles from my local newspaper office. They have bundles of old or imperfect papers that you can purchase for $1 a bundle. This makes it easier for any messes to be cleaned up and allows your Bitch to be able to dig a place to have her puppies. This is normal for her and she needs something to dig up and prepare. If she were outside (which I don’t recommend) she will dig a hole in the dirt to drop her puppies in for security. Newspapers have always worked the best for me since I have all of my puppies indoors in a controlled environment.
Another sign that your dog is ready to give birth is her inability to get comfortable. She will pace, often in circles, in her contained area and rarely finds comfort in laying down. She will often look behind her repeatedly to see if a puppy has been dropped. This is a very good sign that birth could happen any second.
Dogs have always given birth naturally, outside, because they are in fact animals. But a good breeder wants to make sure that your female Bitch and her puppies are optimally cared for. You can often prevent a puppies death or other bad things from happening by being attentive and observing the birth of these precious puppies.
If you have any other questions regarding birthing of your GSD, please feel free to leave a comment and I’ll answer your questions as soon as possible. Good luck with your new litter!