Welcome to my Dog Blog!

In the months ahead I will be sharing a wide array of information on subjects including but not limited to: Selection of a new puppy, proper diet for puppies and dogs, potty training, teaching basic commands, safe toys, breaking the habit of car chasing, stopping/biting, good dog breeding habits, how to register with (AKC) American Kennel Club, how to place your puppies into proper homes, how to donate to pet charities, just to name a few. I hope you will find this blog informative and I always welcome comments, questions or suggestions.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

"Essentials for Your New Puppy or Dog"

     Before you bring your new puppy or dog home you will need to have some essentials on hand. You may be able purchase some of these items later, but if you have most of them on hand early on it will make your life much less stressful.

Below  is list of  essential items:

1.     PUPPY/DOG FOOD. A good quality food is a must for the healthy development of your puppy or dog. Please read my post dated 1/7/10 which lists the vital ingredients that a quality puppy or dog food should contain. There are also listed several foods that a canine should never eat!

2.     SMALL TREATS made without artificial preservatives or dyes. Use sparingly!

3.     FOOD & WATER DISHES.  Choose a size appropriate for your breed of dog or puppy.

4.     CRATE or KENNEL.  If you will be  keeping your new puppy or dog inside at any time, then you will need an inside crate if he/she is not yet potty training completely.  The crate will also  serve   as a sleeping and time out area where your pet can feel really safe. The metal see through type really works the best since the puppy/dog can then be able to see out  and not feel as though  he/she were in  dark confinement.  It is extremely important to choose a size appropriate for your breed of canine. This will guarantee that the puppy/dog will have ample room to move around in it.  He/she should be able to stand completely up with headspace above the head. Also, he/she should be able to lay down completely stretched out. 
     If your pet will be living outside at any time, then you will need either the appropriate fencing or an outside kennel large enough and tall enough to keep he/she safely inside.
*USING A CHAIN TIE OUT OF ANY KIND IS DAMAGING TO YOUR  DOG  AND SHOULD BE AVOIDED! Many dog protective agencies feel chaining a dog to actually be abusive. Depending on where you live...........you may receive a fine and/or have your dog removed from your custody.
*ALSO,  your puppy/dog should be in his inside or outside kennel for limited periods of time. Over confinement can lead to physical, mental & emotional growth  deformaties and abnormalities.

5.      A BLANKET OR DOG PILLOW. This will give your puppy or dog something soft to lay on. If Your puppy/dog will be living outside, then a nice bed of straw inside his/her dog house works pretty well.

6.       DOG HOUSE. This is must if your canine friend will be living outside or left outside while you are away from the home. There are many types and sizes. Choose one that is appropriate for your dog breed. Some even come adaptable for heaters and floor heating pads. If you are particularly energetic and love a good building project, there are many dog house plans available either online
or at your local home building center.

7.        A MESH KENNEL COVER. These mesh kennel covers are available at many home building centers, farm supply stores,  pet supply stores or through online retailers. The mesh kennel cover provides shade from the hot summer heat over the kennel area and are a faily inexpensive
way to keep your puppy or dog  from overexposure to the summer sun's heat.

8.        COLLAR & LEASH. Purchase a size appropriate for the canine breed and size. If you have a large
breed and are considering a pronged type walking collar, some do come with protective rubber rubber tips which are much more safe for you dog.

9.         TOYS.     Yes, dog need toys, too.  They need and crave active stimulation through play and interaction with humans or other canines. Some toys can be easily chewed or torn up leaving your puppy/dog open for an accident or choking, so choose his/her toys wisely and carefully. I've found that the heavy duty extra durable rubber toys seem to hold up the best.
      Most dogs and puppies love a good ball. Choose a rubber type that is larger than his/her mouth opening. The tennis ball types will come apart pretty quickly and may cause a choking incident.

10.       DOG OBEDIENCE CRATE/POTTY TRAINING DVD OR BOOK. Widely available through online retailers and professional dog training websites.    Teaching your puppy or dog manners will ensure a greater degree of happiness between you and your pet.

11.       DVD OR BOOK SPECIFIC TO YOUR DOG BREED.  Having a reference manual  or DVD  specific to your dog breed will help you  be educated in his/her genetically inherited  traits.   This will be valuable to you during your puppy/ dogs development and training.  It will also inform you of any genetic illnesses or health issues that you need to be on the alert for.

12.       GROOMING BRUSH.  Brushing your puppy on  a regular basis will definately make it an easier task later on since he/she will used to the brush. Some puppies tend to bite at the brush at first, but will soon will really enjoy the grooming session.

13.       DOG SHAMPOO.   At least every month it's a good idea to give your puppy or dog a bath. Use a shampoo with coat conditioner. Starting your pup early will make the task easier later.

14.       FLEA &  HEARTWORM CONTROL.  It is vital to make sure your puppy/dog is on a monthly regiment of heartworm control. There are several brands on the market.   Discuss this with your vet.  You will need to purchase it at the vets' office or get a prescription for it if you are ordering it online.
     Also,  it important to keep  fleas and ticks under control!  A dog can become very ill due to flea infestation and it is very uncomfortable for your pet to be bitten constantly by fleas or having fleas and ticks feed on their  blood.  There are several brands of flea and tick control available.
      I have personally found that Frontine administered once a month  works very efficiently. Buying it in a 3 or 6 month pack will save you quite a bit of money in the long run.
     Some  vet's will give you a free puppy pack with these two items included in it when you take your puppy in to the office for first exam and immunizations.

15.       AN ABUNDANCE OF LOVE & AFFECTION!  Displaying love and affection to your new puppy or dog will go a long way towards his physical, emotional, and mental health. He/she will be calmer and easier to obedience or potty train. There is no other place in the world that your puppy or dog would rather be than with you. So enjoy spending  plenty of time with him or her  going  for walks,  playing ball, teaching new tricks or just petting and praising.
     These are some items that I have personally found essential for the new puppy or dog owner. You may know of other items that would be useful.

Answer to last "What Dog Breed Is This?"   Golden Retriever.  Belongs to the "Sporting" group.
Average size is 55 to 75 pounds. Devoted companions, hunting dog. Developed by Lord Tweedmouth in the Scottish Highlands during the 1800's. Cross between Yellow Retriever and now extinct Tweed Water Spaniel. Golden Retrievers are very energetic and need plenty of excercise. Water repellent double coat needs regular brushing as it sheds seasonally.
"WHAT DOG BREED IS THIS?"  This breed is the 5th most AKC registered in 2009. Please Post your answer.

 ***  The new AKC 2009 statistics are now available...
1. Labrador Retriever
2. German Shepherd Dog
3. Yorkshire Terrier
4. Golden Retriever
     The German Shepherd Dog and the Yorkshire Terrier changed positions in 2009. Apparently,  the Labrador Retriever is risking losing the number one spot to the German Shepherd Dog. We will have to wait until next year to find out what happens.

Friday, February 19, 2010


I'm sorry to inform you that there will not be a new blog post this week. I have been ill with some type of seasonal virus that attacks the sinus, ear canals and bronchials. I probably picked this stuff up during my travels across the country by train. There was a lot of coughing and sniffling going on in the train cars.

Hopefully, I will be recovered enough by next week to write about another important dog subject.

Thanks for your understanding.............Deb


I continue recovering from my illness... See you next week!!!!!!!!!!!! 


Friday, February 12, 2010

"BREAKING NEWS".............


  That's right folks,  in 2009  the Yorkshire Terrier lost it's spot as  number  2  AKC registered dog. For more than 3 decades the German Shepherd Dog had lost it's Number 2 ranking and is now quickly moving up the ladder  leaving even the Labrador Retriever at risk of losing it's number 1 spot. 
  Newly released statistics from the American Kennel Club show that as more and more Americans are concerned about  security, they are increasingly turning to the loyal and strong German Shepherd Dog for  family protection. German Shepherd Dogs have for decades been used by police and other government authorities in serious security roles, as well as, in search and rescue, guard, drug and bomb detection, etc.  and the general  American public is now  increasingly turning to this breed for the security and family protection they can provide.

    *To find a German Shepherd for sale or adoption in your area please read my blog post in the Archive section of this blog for tips on successfully locating a reputable dog breeder. Also, read the previous blog for information on the breed.
     I have just returned from a passenger train trip half way  across the continent so this is a shortened form of my blog this week. Next week I will be posting  another informative article on an important  canine subject.

***FYI***  Homeland Security Is Doing It's Job on the Railways!!!   Unmarked "Marshalls" are riding the rails at all times now! Homeland Security is bringing our 2nd favorite dog breed(German Shepherd Dog) on board and in the stations for security checks...  

Friday, February 5, 2010


    So you've decided to add a cute little bundle of joy to your family. Maybe big, maybe small or maybe just in between.  You've done your research and decided which breed is best for yourself and your family.
GREAT!   Now you can begin the search process.  This one can be a bit tricky, but with a little knowledge and patience you'll do just fine.


    This can be relatively easy if you know where to look. It will take some research and being on the alert. Many cities and towns have radio stations that offer a "Buy, Sell and Trade" show either on a daily basis or a weekly one. You can tune in to one of these regularly and probably find someone locally who may have a dog or puppy for sale or give away. Also, you can check your local pet shelters where you may find just the right pooch for you. There is usually a small fee to pay, however.
     Check bulletin boards in restaurants, gas stations, truck stops, retail stores, etc. Many provide a place to hang posters where locals can advertise.  There are also scads of online websites that offer either puppy/dog finding services or breeder websites. Some of these services are free, but many require paying a fee to join.
     The  akc.org    website offers a free list of possible AKC breeders in your area. Of course, all AKC breeders do not use the   AKC website to advertise because of the cost to them, so ask around. Ask your trusted friends, relatives and local veterinarian if they know of  anyone in the area that may have puppies or dogs for sale.   Newspapers and weekly shoppers also usually provide a section with pets for sale. Some work places either offer a free weekly shopper or bulletin board where employees can advertise. Also, some credit unions offer a free member shopper in print and online.
     These are just some places that you can use to begin your search for that adorable canine friend that you've been wanting.

      (Although some are comfortable with this option........I would NEVER recommend this option!!!)


     Once you've located  either a breeder, private party or pet shelter, asking the right questions will go a long way in making a successful choice. 
     Here are just a few:
       1. Ask about the temperment of the parent dogs.
       2. Ask if there are any genetic health problems within the pedigree. Some breeds are more prone to genetic issues.
       3. Ask the age of the parent dogs. The mother dog should be no younger than 2 years old when whelping her first litter. The father dog can be at least 6 months of age to sire, but preferrably older.
       4. How many litters has the mother dog whelped? Is she bred at every "heat" cycle? It is usually advisable to let the mother dog rest at least through one heat cycle between litters.
       5. How many female breeding dogs(bitches) does the breeder own? If more than  "ONE"  this may be the first tip off that you are talking to a "puppy mill" owner.
       6. If you are wanting to purchase an AKC registered breed, ask whether the parent dogs are registered and whether the available puppies will have AKC registration applications at the time of  pick up. Is so, will the puppy be sold on a "Limited or Full" registration?  Typically,  most are sold on a "Limited" AKC registration. This is a way that the breeder can control  their breeding program and also limit the possibility of interbreeding in your area.  This is a good thing because you know that the breeder is really interested in the welfare of the puppies they are raising and want to contribute to the betterment of the breed.  A "Full" registration means that the puppy can be used to breed AKC registerable puppies. They are usually quite expensive and harder to find.
        7. Ask for references from others who have purchased puppies/dogs from them.
        8. Get the name and phone number of the breeders  veterinarian and call them to see if  he/she would recommend them.
        9. Ask whether the puppy or dog is up-to-date on  immunizations and wormings, etc. Has he/she had any illnesses and were they successfully treated? Up-to-date on  heartworm medication and flea/tick control?Will you receive documentation of these?
        10. Ask if  the breeder can either email or snail mail you some photos of  the parent dogs and their living environment. Can you view them in person? Some breeders allow visitors while others do not for many different reasons. First, it can somewhat upset or make the dam uneasy and nervous. This can affect the unborn puppies. Second, in some areas there is a high incidence of puppy and dog thief so breeders may not be willingly to let you come out to view in person until you've made a security deposit of some kind on a dog/puppy. Third, they may have unclean or unhealthy living conditions for their dogs, so they DON'T  want you to see it. Fourth, It may be a puppy mill.  This is why you need to get references from others who have purchased puppies/dogs from them. Ask the references about the breeder and their breeding practices.
      11. Are the parent dogs healthy, get plenty of excercise and live in a clean environment?
      12. Ask about the color, size and temperment of the puppies and their parents.  Ask the breeder to send you pictures of  puppies or dogs that have come from this sire and dam. Is this what you are looking for in a dog or puppy?
      13. Ask how much the dog or puppy will cost and  how much of a security deposit the breeder requires to hold a puppy for you. When is the balance due? Will you get a written receipt with the date of balance due and amount?  Sometimes breeder's ask more for either  females or males, but alot of them time they are the same price.
      14. When will the puppy/dog be available for pick up or delivery?  If you are having the puppy/dog delivered...by what means will this take place? Are there extra costs involved? If you are buying a puppy ask how old he/she will be at pickup date. Eight weeks old is  usually a sufficent age for pickup, however, some breeders are inclined to wait until up to 12 weeks of age. Others will let puppies from 6  or 7 weeks old go to their new homes for one reason or another.  Have the breeder explain his/her reasons. By all means avoid a breeder who will let you take a puppy home  before at least 6 weeks old  (very) minimum!
      15. Can you return the puppy/dog to the breeder at any time if you are unable to care for the animal?
      16. Does the breeder offer a solid  purchase agreement/contract outlining the proper care of the dog/puppy and the responsibilies of both parties?
      17. Can you contact the breeder at time after purchase with questions or concerns about the puppy or dog?


     These a just a few questions that you should ask anyone that you  planning to purchase a puppy from. Of course, you may think of others, but these are just basic questions that will help you make a wiser choice. If the breeder, pet shelter or private person is hesitant to answer any of theses questions, then find a different one. Any reputable breeder,  person or organization that really and truly cares about the health and welfare of animals will be glad to answer these questions.  Be prepared for them to ask you quite a few questions in return,  so that they can be certain they are placing the dog or puppy in the right home and living environment.
Of course, if you have opted to take on a mixed breed, the owner or pet shelter may have limited information about the animal.   A mixed breed can be an excellent choice, it's just whatever you prefer. But, remember...........It's like the lottery..........You take your chances and hope you win.............
*Answer to last weeks  "What Dog Breed Is This?"   German Shepherd Dog.  In the Herding Group.  Originated in Karlsruhe, Germany in 1899. Derived from old breeds of farm and herding dogs. Fast, Stealthy, Loyal, Intelligent, alert, good companion, excellent guard,  used in police work, very energetic and needs plenty of excercise, good with children once relationship is established, makes good farm and family dog. This breed shows some alooftness not lending to immediate or indiscriminant  friendships. Should not be hostile but be approachable, unless trained as guard. Puppies should not run up to greet newcomers or prospective new owners. They are cautious at first, then will warm up to newcomers.  This is a large breed dog with males reaching up to around 100 lbs. Very muscular and strong. AKC acceptable colors: Black and Tan, Black, Black and Red, etc.  Colors should be strongly marked not washed out sables,  blues or whites.

"WHAT DOG BREED IS THIS?"     It is the # 4   AKC registered dog breed in 2008.
Please Post your answer and comments...........Thanks!

To find quality pet supplies "click" on the  bluff.com or  Petsmart  banner link on this page!!!

Thursday, January 28, 2010


     This is a question that all families really need to consider BEFORE bringing a new bundle of joy home to enjoy. Why? Because all dog breeds aren't alike...their personalities can vary greatly as do their personal care needs.  Doing some avid research on the different breeds of dogs, their characteristics and care needs before you actually invest is really the first step in successful dog ownership.


     Here are a few questions that you should ask yourself and get answers to before investing in that new pup:

1. Do I have the time for a new puppy or dog?
2. What breed would be best suited to my living arrangements? Do I want a calm breed or an energetic one? Long hair or short hair? Large, Medium or Small breed? Mixed breed or Purebred?  Is anyone in the family allergic to dog hair?
3. Do I have small children who can accidentally be harmed by one of the larger breeds? (Large breeds grow quickly and usually go through a jumping stage and nipping stage.)
4. What is  the life span expectancy for the given breed I am are interested in. How many years do I want to
invest in him/her?
5. Which sex is best suited for our family and living arrangements? (Males may be more dominant, females more submissive.)
6. How much can I afford for the initial investment and how much can I afford on a weekly and montly basis for his/her care. *Do some research on each of these and make a list of expense amounts. Remember this is more than just the purchase price of the dog and some food. There are a number of other items you may need including: water and food bowls, inside training kennel and treats, pillow,  toys, outside fencing or kennel area, collar and leash, flea/tic preventatives, etc.  Later, it will mean regular trips to the vet for immunization boosters, wormings,  neutering or spaying, etc.
7. Should I purchase from a friend, breeder or rescue a dog from a pet shelter?
8. Have I discussed with my family the responsibilies of owning a dog? Will everyone in the family chip in and make this new addition to the family a successful one?
9. There may be other questions that you think of?


     Dog ownership is a great investment for your family and your pet when you choose wisely. With spending just a little time answering the above questions, you will be better equipped in making the happiest choice for you and your family.


     Here are a few resources in that you may find useful when doing research on dog breeds:

1.   akc.org/breeds    Lists all purebred breeds and characteristics. Also lists some AKC breeders.
2.   Internet  websites.
3.   Supplies:  cherrybrook.com  or petsmart.com  (click links on this page) Also, drsfostersmith.com   Your local pet stores and farm supply stores.
4.   Talk to trusted friends, family, breeders and others who have had experience with the dog breed you are interested in.
5.   Talk to a trusted veterinarian.
6.   Read this blog each week. I will be introducing a new breed each week along with its characteristics.

*You won't want to miss my Dog Blog next week. I will be addressing the subject of  "Selecting a Reputable Dog Breeder".


*Answer to last week's "What Dog Breed is This?"  Yorkshire Terrier.  The "Yorkie" was named after the English city of Yorkshire. Used in the nineteenth century to catch rats in  clothing mills.  Toy size  from 4 to 7 pounds. They have long hair that takes daily care and grooming.   Need limited excercise but daily interaction with owners. Adapts easily to surroundings and travel well. Acceptable AKC colors as adults are: Dark steel- blue or Tan.


This week's "WHAT DOG BREED IS THIS"?  This breed is the 3rd most AKC registered dog in 2008.  Please post your answer....

To Contribute to Pet Shelter Charities go to:   cafepress.com/GSdogArt

Thursday, January 21, 2010


     Cold weather can bring in many challenges to both human and canine. Just as it is important to keep ourselves, children and loved ones warm, comfortable and safe  in cold weather months, it is also vital to make sure that our 4 legged friends are, as well. Since they can't talk to us directly(although we should be able to read their animal language fairly well), being on the alert to their needs is very important to survival and happiness. Especially puppies and small dogs are extra vulnarable to cold related illnesses, frostbite and death. Just because dogs have fur doesn't mean that they don't get cold, frostbitten or hyperthermia.

Here are a few tips to endsure that our puppies and dogs are properly cared for during the cold days of  fall and winter:

     This can vary depending upon your climate and  living arrangements. For those living in rural areas a simple area in an accessible dry barn or shed can provide a nice place for your Fido or Fido's to find the appropriate shelter. A thick soft bed of  dry straw is an excellent warm bedding. When it gets really cold  out there, as it does in areas of the  upper U.S., a heat lamp above the bedding area will provide enough heat for your dogs.  When it's brutially cold out there chances are your dogs won't want to be romping around outside anyway, so will be happy to stay in the nice warm place that you have provided for them.

      Of course, there are a number of  very nice dog houses that can be purchased and outfitted with a portable ceramic heater, floor heating pad or straw(but I would use caution in using any  electric heating source with straw in order to minimize fire risks).  If you live in  a town or city environment this will probably be your best choice if your dog is spending a lot of time outside during the cold weather months.

      Some folks who have a nice slot of time in the summer and early fall may enjoy building their own custom dog house. If you are one of those people please keep in mind that this will take a real commitment of time and resources on your part. 

       At times the ol' thermometer dips down so far that it is unsafe for any pet to be outside for more than    5 to 10 minutes to avoid possible freezing limbs, toes, ears, and paw pads, getting frostbitten or freezing literally to death!  In this case it is advisable to make a place inside your home for your dogs and other pets. Of course, Fido would really enjoy being in your living area with you, but if this is not acceptable to your living arrangements for one reason or another, then by all means providing him/her with a warm place in your basement or heated garage/porch would ensure that your dog friends are comfortable and safe.


     Winter air is usually fairly dry and dogs are still in constant need of hydration. Since water may freeze quickly in outdoor containers it's vital to make sure that steps are taken to provide plenty of  fresh drinkable water at all times.  There are a variety  of ways to do this. One is the electric dog dish that plugs into an outside electrical outlet. Another is a device that is actually designed to drop into the bottom of the dog dish and is plugged into an outside electrical outlet. Both types of devices will keep the water unfrozen enough that your dog will be provided with adequate drinking water. Of course, when the temperature reaches near and below zero it may require breaking up the ice regularly to keep it fluid.  Water should be checked daily.


     I have talked about the proper dog food diet for your dogs in previous articles, but the most important thing to realize is: "Your dogs and puppies need to have plenty of food available especially if they are living mostly outside."  Dogs will generally eat quite a bit more food in the winter as they need more calories to keep them warmer. Many people have automatic self feeders for their dogs. Some just feed a larger quantity of food to their dogs each day at a regular feeding time.  By all means, if you are going to be out-of-town overnight or longer.... please leave your dogs enough food, water and protection. Having a trusted friend or family member check on them a couple times a day is a really good idea, as well.


     Yes, it may sound silly to some, but those cute doggie booties and sweaters that you've seen advertised can be very useful in contributing to your doggie's comfort and protection. Even, large breed dogs can benefit from doggie booties because their paw pads can get frozen,  frostbitten  or cracked if they are out on snow and ice for extended periods, especially when taking your pooch for a walk in the winter. Also, they may protect against tearing a toenail on ice. Tearing a toenail can be  very painful for your dog.


     Providing plenty of room  for excercise can go a long way in helping your dogs stay warmer in the cold weather. This way they will have the needed room to be able to keep moving around which contributes to healthy circulation. Taking them on daily walks is also an excellent way to contribute to the all around health of your dogs.


     Giving your puppies and dogs plenty of love and affection can also go a long way in providing proper care. They crave your acceptance and love, so giving them plenty of it is one of the most loving things you can do for them.


     Hopefully, these tips will help you plan for the protection of your canines during the cold and wet  days of  the fall/winter season. As always, please ask your family veterinarian any questions that you have concerning the saftey and well being of your pets...............

**To find ready made dog houses that you can buy or order, please go to the  "cherrybrook.com" banner link on this page.  
***Answer to last weeks question:"What Breed is This?" ----  Labrador Retriever. A member of the Sporting Class of dogs. They need vigorous exercise. Very loving, devoted,  playful and outgoing.  Used as family pets, search and rescue, hunting, companion.  Originated from Newfoundland helping fishermen pull in nets and catch fish. The original Labrador died out due to a heavy dog tax and quarantine law. So many labs were interbred with other Retrievers, but the Labrador characteristics predominated. AKC acceptable colors are yellow, black and chocolate. Adults reach 55 to 75 lbs. Study, strong boned.

OK.........  "WHAT BREED IS THIS?" It was the Second most AKC registered dog breed in 2008.

Please post your answer.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

"PUPPIES" -- How Long Should I Feed Puppy Food?

This is one subject that I always review extensively with all families that I've sold puppies to. Why? Because our society has been trained and conditioned to "think" that because commercial Puppy Food's containers "say" we should feed our puppy  "puppy  food" until a certain age, then it must be the Honest Truth.
Well, I'm here to tell you that we have been conditioned "wrong" in many instances.


The truth is...........puppy foods contain high levels of certain vitamins and minerals that your puppy needs. One of these minerals is: Calcium which builds healthy strong bones and teeth. However, your puppy doesn't need to be eating these high levels for nearly as long as the puppy food container states. The real motive here is "MONEY". Puppy food costs the consumer more and well... the longer your puppy eats the "puppy" food.........the more money the "pet food" company makes...bottom line!


Since I raise German Shepherds, a very large breed of dog, the issue of  puppy food is very important to me and to those I have sold puppies to. Why? Well, large breeds of dogs grow quickly and are prone to issues like hip and elbow displasia.  From my research I have found that puppies that consume large prolonged amounts of calcium in their diets are more prone to these health issues. In fact, it's the leading cause and these health risks can be drastically reduced by shorting the period of time that your puppy eats a diet of puppy  food.


I asked my veterinarian this question on the first visit to her office with our first litter of puppies. The answer was strongly, "Large breed puppies should  start transitioning from puppy food to Adult Dog Food by AGE 16 WEEKS."  Humm.. I thought, "Does this sound right?" Since I'm one to always check things out thoroughly, I started doing a little digging. I also asked several other veterinarians and they confirmed what she had told me. My research backed this up, so we started educating every new puppy owner that we sold a puppy to.

Then, I started thinking, "Maybe I should keep one puppy from this first litter to monitor his development."  This would afford  me the opportunity to verify for myself all the new and important information that I was learning about large breed dogs. It would also help me as a breeder to raise the healthiest  German Shepherd puppies that I possibly could and then, in turn, I could share what I've learned with others, including all of our new puppers owners.


Since then we have raised several litters of AKC German Shepherd puppies, NONE HAVE EVER HAD ANY HIP OR ELBOW DISPLASIA! All have been born healthy and alive. We've never lost even one pup even in the extremely cold winter climate that we live in. All are healthy with no genetic defects or health problems. Why? It all comes down to..........the proper nutrition and care.

What brand of  puppy food do  I personally feed and recommend. Any of those brands that I mentioned in last weeks blog: Blue, Chicken Soup for the Dog Lover's Soul, Diamond Naturals(except beef flavor). There are obviously others, but these three rank high in all time favorites for balanced nutritional value and are relatively reasonable in price. Cherrybrook.com carries these brands at a very competitive price.
"CLICK"  on the banner at the  top or bottom of this page to review their products or prices.
or "CLICK" on the BlueBuff.com link in the Google Ads portion in the lower part of this page.

*Some smaller puppy breeds aren't so prone to the conditions that I've discussed here, so please check with your own veterinarian for his/her recommendations on when to transition over to adult food.

Raising healthy, happy canines does take quite a bit of  education. That's why I decided to write this blog... to share what I've learned with you dog lovers, so that you may have years of  happiness with your favorite canine friends. Wouldn't you agree... they deserve it?  :)


 Each week I'll post a picture of  a specific AKC Registered Dog Breed. See if you know it's name and leave your answer in the comment post.  The answer will be posted on next week's blog post...

This one is easy.... it is the Number 1 Top Favorite dog breed registered by the AKC in 2008.

**If you would like to share with our readers a picture of your dog or puppy  please email or snail mail me a photo. I will be starting to post pics next week on a weekly basis, depending on the quanitiy of photos that I receive.                  My email address is:  dlodestein@yahoo.com

Thursday, January 7, 2010

DOG FOOD DIARIES or ("What is my dog eating , anyway?")

     Well, I could write pages and pages about this subject. However, I'm going to stick with the basics today.
     There are hundreds of types of commercially processed dog foods to choose from and everyone has their own favorites for one reason or another. But, you may wonder... Are all dog foods equal and are they all really healthy for my four-legged friend?  How can I identify good and bad ingredients?  How can I choose a nutritionally sound food for my dog? We will explore these questions in this issue of my

      The food that you feed your dog is the foundation of  his/her health and longivity. Did you know that dogs  are living shorter  lives these days partially because they are not getting the proper nutrition needed? And, did you know that you can actually save alot of visits to  the vet's office and ultimately alot of money   just by feeding your dog a healthy diet? This is why it is so important to choose wisely what you are  feeding  your dog. There are pros and cons to feeding either "commerical dry or canned food", the "table scrap" diet or whether to feed the "raw meat" diet.
      This is your choice, but for most of us the "raw diet" is too expensive, labor intensive and if you start feeding your dog raw chicken or beef, the next time he/she is near a flock of live roosting hens or a herd of cattle.... well, you know the rest of the story....they become live meat hunters! Oh, and if you have a pet bird, well.... just make sure there is an iron  barrier around it's cage!
       The "table scrap" diet is an option for some provided you have that many table scraps leftover (which, if you have a healthy eating family as I do, you won't have even  a tablespoon of food leftover for the dog). Also, just table scraps may not contain the  balanced variety of nutrients that your pet needs to maintain excellent health.
       So, this leaves the "commercial dog food" diet which seems to be the best option for most of us busy families today. It's quick, easy and fairly economical. However, it can be very daunting trying to figure out which dog food to choose for your pet.
       As a successful German Shepherd dog breeder I'm going to offer my advice in choosing the best commercial dog foods. My findings are based on experience, research and recommendations from several veterinarians that we have routinely  used over the years. I encourage you to please make your own educated choices, however.


       A good rule of thumb when choosing a healthy commerical dog food for your  beloved friend is to check all of the ingredients listed on the dog food can or bag. Keep in mind that the majority of dog foods contain ingredients that are actually fillers and are very unhealthy for your pet.  The following is a list of bad ingredients, mainly because the dog can neither digest these ingredients, they provide little or no nutritional value or they give your dog loose stools, all of which leave the pet open to a number of health problems. **Also, you will be buying twice the amount of dog food monthly that the dog would actually need if he/she were eating a proper balanced dog food. 

           "No-No" Ingredients:
        1.  All meat by-products!
        2.  Wheat, Soy, Corn! (Can cause allergies, including but not limited to excessive hair &
               weight loss, and vomiting.)
        3.  MSG or Preservatives! (Can cause allergies, including but not limited to excessive hair & weight
               loss, and vomiting.)
        4.  Large quantities of Sodium(salt)!
        5.  High Frutose Corn Syrup or Sugars. (Contributes to canine diabetes & poor dental health.)
        6.  Anything listed on my "dog blog" from last week.(Found in Archives listed at left)

       Following is a list of essential dog food ingredients that actually encourage excellent pet health and may add years to the life of your dog:

             "Healthful" Ingredients: 
         1.  REAL Meat! This should be the First  ingredient listed.
         2.  A nice variety of fruits, vegetables, and including rice, flaxseed, oatmeal, barley & millet!
         3.  Probiotics!  This will keep your dog's intestinal tract healthy, warding off a number of contagious
                 transferable  bacteria, that can cause loose stools, vomiting and excessive hair loss.
         4.  A balanced variety of  essential vitamins, minerals, crude protein, fat and fiber.

      I  have tried and tested many a brand of dog food over the years until I was educated in the "Truth About Commerical Dog Food" from a veterinarian friend of mine. It was enlightening to say the least
to find out that what I had been feeding my dogs for years(not our German Shepherds, of course)  were actually full of "garbage" ingredients which were doing them absolutely no good, contributing to poorer health,  shorter life span and HIGHER  VET BILLS!  I also realized that when I starting feeding "Good" dog food to my pets, they actually ate about 1/2 as much food, so the cost of the higher priced dog food was actually saving me a considerable amount of  money each month.
        Here are a few brands of  Great Commercial Dog Food that I have found to be excellent choices:
           1.  Blue Buff (high priced but contains all of the above essential ingredients.)
           2.  Chicken Soup for the Dog Lover's Soul (medium priced and contains all of the above essential  ingredients.)
           3. Diamond Naturals (lower priced, but doesn't have and probiotics. I stay away from the beef flavor since it seems to be harder to digest for my dogs.)

    ***These dog foods can be purchased at places like PetSmart, Some Home Improvement and Farm Supply Stores, and of course ONLINE  at:    Cherrybrook.com  by "clicking"  on the button at the top or  bottom of this page to link to their website. This seems to be the most cost effective online store to purchase the first 2 dog foods listed above. The price is right in line and the shipping is also extremely reasonable.
      THANK YOU FOR READING MY "DOG BLOG" POST THIS WEEK and I hope the  information contained in it has been helpful to you and please post your comments. If you would like a free subscription to my blog, then just "click" the "become a follower" link on the upper left side of this page. AND PLEASE PASS ON THIS  "DOG BLOG" LINK TO YOUR FRIENDS!!!