Everything You Need to Know about Trimming Your German Shepherd’s Nails

Grooming is an important part of taking care of your German Shepherd. One aspect of grooming that German Shepherd owners often overlook is nail trimming. All German Shepherds need their nails clipped occasionally unless they wear their nails down naturally. Overgrown nails can affect your dog’s gait and make it physically uncomfortable for them to walk. Here is some more information about how to got about trimming your dog’s nails from the team at Ulvilden German Shepherds.

The Benefits of Trimmed Nails for Your German Shepherd

There are many benefits of keeping the nails of your German Shepherd clean and trim including the following:

– Trimming prevents nails from splitting, which can cause your German Shepherd a lot of pain, bleeding, and potentially lead to a trip to the veterinarian.
– Torn nails from lack of trimming can be extremely painful for your dog and lead to infection.
– Nails provide traction for German Shepherds, allowing them to walk and run without slipping. Overgrown nails can affect your dog’s ability to walk properly.

How to Trim You German Shepherd’s Nails

If you trim your dog’s nails too severely you could end up cutting into the quick, causing your German Shepherd serious pain and potentially even cause them to bleed. The best way to avoid cutting into the quick is to trim your dog’s nails in small increments, scaling them back little by little with specialized dog clippers over the course of a few days.

When Should You Trim Your German Shepherd’s Nails?

There is no hard and fast rule for when a dog should have their nails trimmed. Your German Shepherd’s age, activity level, and diet will all affect how fast their nails grow. As a general rule of thumb, your dog should have their nails clipped a few times a month. If you hear a clacking sound when they walk, it’s an indication that their nails have grown too long.

Nail trimming is an important part of grooming for your German Shepherd. Not only will trimmed nails keep your dog walking proud, they will also prevent infections and other health concerns. For more information about German Shepherd grooming and general German Shepherd care tips, contact us today at Ulvilden German Shepherds.

German Shepherds and Noise Phobia

It is very common for German Shepherds, especially puppies, to be frightened of loud noises such as thunder claps and other sudden commotions. While noise phobias aren’t a big deal on their own, if left untreated they can lead to more serious behavioral problems such as an excessive and irrational fear response to external stimuli. Proper training is required to ensure that your German Shepherd doesn’t develop bad habits in terms of responding to noise. Here is some more information about German Shepherds and noise phobia, and how you can help them conquer their fear.

What are the signs of noise phobia?

The signs of noise phobia in German Shepherds can manifest in a number of ways, including the following:

-Excessive panting
-Pacing
-Barking
-Drooling
-Trembling or shaking
-Chewing or biting
-Urinating or defecating

During extreme weather events such as thunderstorms, your German Shepherd may become especially sensitive to changes in the barometric pressure and other signs of weather changes that humans may not be able to perceive. In this case, they may start acting out in anticipation of loud and disturbing noises.

How can I help my German Shepherd manage their noise phobia?

Unlike other types of training, you should refrain from a reward and punishment system to manage noise phobia. Punishment will likely raise their anxiety level, and coddling them too much can provide positive reinforcement for negative habits. Some tactics you can use to help ease your German Shepherd’s noise phobia include:

-Turning on soothing music or TV during moments of loud noise such as thunderstorms or vacuuming.
-Counter conditioning: engaging your German Shepherd in play or giving them a chew toy in order to distract them from loud noises
-Desensitization: playing automated CD tracks of storms and other low levels can help your German Shepherd to get more accustom to loud noises when the occur

Noise phobia are normal for many dog breeds including German Shepherds. If this fear starts affecting the behaviour of your German Shepherd, it’s time to implement strategies to help them overcome their phobia. For more information about training and taking care of your German Shepherd or to make an appointment to visit the dog currently available for adoption, contact us today at Ulvilden German Shepherds.

Health Eating Habits for Your German Shepherd

German Shepherds are a muscular breed with high energy levels, so good nutrition is especially important to their health and well-being. German Shepherds tend to have a healthy appetite, but the wrong diet could lead to obesity and other health problems so it’s important to provide your dog with the healthiest options possible. High-Protein ingredients that promote a glossy coat and regular digestion are the best to keep your German Shepherd healthy and satisfied. Here is some more information about healthy eating habits for your German Shepherd.

Calorie Intake

German Shepherds are large dogs, usually weighing between 60 and 90 pounds once full-grown. This means that they require a certain caloric intake per day to sustain themselves. Older German Shepherds within this weight range require between 1,272 and 1,540 calories per day, while younger, active German Shepherds need between 1,740 and 2,100 calories per day. Dog food has information about calories per serving on its packaging. Make sure to carefully read this information and serve your dog accordingly. German Shepherds with arthritis or other mobility issues may require a reduced-calorie diet to avoid weight gain.

Protein

In addition to the right amount of calories, German Shepherds require a high-protein diet to ensure proper growth and energy levels. It’s recommended that foods should contain at least18 percent protein and 5 percent fat for adult dogs, and 22 percent protein and 8 percent fat for lactating mothers and growing puppies. Most dog breeds are fed special high-protein puppy food for the first year, but German Shepherds should only be fed puppy food for the first 6 months. The early switch to adult food helps to prevent too-rapid growth, which can lead to joint and bone problems down the line.

Just like humans, German Shepherds require careful attention to their diets to ensure their health. Since German Shepherds are a larger dog breed, they need the right balance of protein and caloric intake to maintain their energy levels. It’s also crucial to avoid overfeeding, which can lead to obesity and other health problems. At Ulvilden German Shepherds, our experienced staff can give you all the information you need to help your German Shepherd grow healthy, happy and strong. For more information about our services, and to organize a visit to see the dogs currently available for adoption, contact us today at Ulvilden German Shepherds.

How to Keep Your German Shepherd's Coat Glossy, Shiny and Healthy

A glossy coat is a good visual indication of your German Shepherd’s overall health and well-being. Most veterinarians will tell you that a dog’s dull coat is a sign of poor nutritional habits. A dull coat can also be caused by health problems such as parasites, infections, and kidney conditions, so if you notice your dogs coat is looking more lacklustre than normal, consult a professional as soon as possible. Here are some tips and tricks for bringing the shine back to your German Shepherd’s coat.

Bathe Regularly (But Don’t Overdo It)

Bathing your German Shepherd regularly is a good way to keep their coat glossy and clean. Make sure to use a moisturizing shampoo that won’t irritate the skin. Apply a natural conditioner containing vitamin E to the fur after washing to sooth the skin and hair. Bathing your German Shepherd is important but be careful not to overdo it — washing too frequently can strip the natural oils from your dog’s fur, resulting in a dull coat.

Food Supplements

Since a dull coat is often indicative of poor nutrition, try changing your dog’s diet to improve the glossiness of their coat. Seafood such as tuna, sardines and salmon contain omega-3 fatty acids that contribute to a shiny coat. Stirring a teaspoon of vegetable oil into your dog’s food can also improve the health and look of your dog’s coat. Sunflower, flaxseed, olive, coconut, and safflower oil can all improve the coat of your dog, but too much can trigger digestion problems and diarrhea so be diligent with your dosing.

Your German Shepherd will be much happier and healthier with a shiny coat of fur. Through these simple grooming and diet tips, you can keep your dog’s coat shining for a long time to come. For more information about German Shepherds and how to properly care for them, contact us today at Ulvilden German Shepherds.

Surprising Facts About German Shepherd

One of the most popular dog breeds, German Shepherds make great guard dogs, service animals as well as family-friendly pets. While German Shepherds may have exploded in popularity, there are still some things you may not know about this kind and beautiful breed. If you have a German Shepherd at home or you’re interested in learning more about them, here are some surprising German Shepherd facts.

German Shepherds Have a History in Film

German Shepherds don’t just make great pets—they also make great actors. Two of the most famous German Shepherds in Hollywood are Strongheart and Rin Tin Tin.

Rin Tin Tin was only a puppy when he was rescue from a bombed-out kennel in France during World War I. After coming to his new home in America, Rin Tin Tin rose to fame by staring in movies alongside the biggest film stars of the 1920s. Before him a retired police dog named Strongheart charmed American filmgoers with his onscreen charisma.

German Shepherds Were The Original Service Dog

Did you know that the first seeing eye dog was a German Shepherd? Buddy, a female German Shepherd, helped to guide her owner Morris Frank during the 1920s. After the success of the project, seeing eye dogs became more widely available for people with impaired vision. Nowadays, service dogs can help assist people dealing with a variety of disabilities.

German Shepherds Like To Show Off

German Shepherds have one of the strongest work ethics of any dog breed. They love a challenge, and they thrive when put to work to accomplish a new task. If you want to have some fun with your German Shepherd, they love to learn new and impressive tricks. In fact, one German Shepherd puppy was reported to have learned 100 tricks by her first birthday!

German Shepherds are a hard-working and fun-loving breed of dog. For more information about these beautiful and special dogs and to learn about our adoption process, contact us today at Ulvilden German Shepherds.

The Benefits of Owning a German Shepherd

German shepherds are beautiful dogs that have been human’s best friend for hundreds of years. These majestic canines are very graceful and a pleasure to be around. Beyond the obvious joy a dog can bring to a household, there are several benefits of choosing a German shepherd.

They are guardians of the home: German shepherds are very loyal dogs and will defend their home. These powerful dogs make great watchdogs and will protect all the members of the family.

They will bring you lots of love: These large dogs have lots of love to offer and make great snuggle buddies too. If you are looking for a caring canine, look no further than a German shepherd. These dogs love to be around family and are great with kids.

Highly intelligent and easy to work with: German shepherds are one of the smartest dog breeds on earth. These dogs will learn very quickly and they are super easy to work with.

They socialize well: If properly trained, German shepherds will socialize well with other members of the family including other pets. But always remember to start socialization training early for maximum benefit.

They are relatively easy to care for: German shepherds are very easy to take care for and require minimal bathing. While these dogs require regular brushing due to their long hair, they only need a bath once every few weeks.

They make great exercise partners: These dogs are very active and require a lot of exercise. If you love to work out and go for long runs, a German shepherd would make the perfect exercise partner!

For more information about our German shepherd puppies, contact us today!

Keeping your German shepherd Active in winter

German shepherds need lots of exercise and it’s important to pay just as much attention to physical activity when the cold weather season begins. Aside from their daily walks, these dogs need lots of play.  Winter makes many want to hide away but finding fun ways to get your German shepherd’s exercise in will give you an incentive to get outside and stay active. Here are some tips to keep your German shepherd active as it gets colder outside.

Create Challenges

Hide a toy like a ball that can let you put treats inside it somewhere in your yard. Challenge your dog’s sense of smell by letting them find it. You can also set up a little obstacle course to get them running and jumping out in the snow! Alternatively, if you do not have a yard, you can do this at the local dog park.

Winter Hikes

Take your dog up to a trail one weekend on a milder day. Your dog will appreciate the fresh cool air and freedom to run around – and it’ll be relaxing for you too! With some hot chocolate, friends or a loved one, some mitts and a Frisbee – you’ll be set for an active and fun day together with your German shepherd.

Indoor activities

For those days when it’s tougher to get outside, practice an indoor activity you can do together.  Work on commands like targeting – by instructing your dog to touch their nose to the back of your hand. This type of exercise will get them moving around and will stimulate their sense of coordination. It’s also a great way to help your dog learn to focus and you can use it as a distraction technique when your German shepherd is barking or about to do something “bad”!

Are you thinking about adopting a German shepherd? Read our FAQs to learn more about these dogs and get in touch with us for any further questions or inquiries.

Signs of Dominance with your German shepherd

Like many dogs, dominance issues can be present in a German shepherd’s (GS) innate qualities. As a breed, they are very territorial and operate in packs. In a family of humans, their instincts tell them to take the position of being the alpha of the pack. However, this doesn’t happen alone. German shepherds are highly responsive to approval – so if you, the owner is actively letting them take the lead by letting them do as they please, the problem will continue to grow into a dominance issue.

Dominance issues can also escalate into even larger problems as your puppy grows up. Your adult GS will then continually override your authority, situations of aggression can occur and in some cases, they can even begin to bite. Fear not, today we’ll discuss how to control this behaviour from a young age and how to set your GS up with the proper training so they follow your commands, rules and procedures.

Understanding the signs

If your dog begins to do any of the things listed below without your permission or seems to make decisions regarding any of the following, these can be seen as potential signs of dominance.

  • Barking and whining when you don’t offer food
  • Jumping and charging at family members and new guests
  • Stubbornness or ignoring commands
  • Growling unnecessarily
  • Showing signs of aggressions while you’re away (destroying things as an example)
  • Sleeping on your bed or other furniture (against your rules)
  • Putting paws on you
  • Difficulty walking on the leash (pulling, refusing to put it on etc.)

Steps to take

Dominance issues can start young so it’s highly important that your puppy has dominance training very early on. It’s important to pay attention to these details to ensure that you react properly to their aggression and communicate to your German shepherd that their behaviour is not okay with you.

Tips:

  • Show your dog that you’re not scared. Stand your ground and be authoritative.

Do this by: Using verbal commands like “No”, “Stop”, “Stay” or distract them from bad behaviour by making them obey another command such as “Sit”.

Another form of distraction is through a “put down” – an action where you put them onto their back or their side until they are calm and stop exhibiting aggressive behaviour. This is a submissive position and will communicate to your dog that their actions are not going to cut it.

  • Establish dominance

Do this by: Pulling back on the leash when they try to pull you.

Not react to their aggression with your own aggression – especially if it’s after-the-fact. Your dog will not understand what you are trying to communicate. Stay sharp and authoritative instead with your verbal commands as-in-when things happen.

If your dog isn’t following commands – be patient and ensure they follow it (no matter how long it takes)

German shepherds make wonderful companions and obedient dogs with the right training, nurturing and love. Interested in learning more about adopting a German shepherd? Get in touch with us today to learn more and to get the process started!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Three Common Health Issues German Shepherds Face

German shepherds are wonderful companions to have in the family. It’s important to be aware of any health conditions a certain breed can face in order to take the right steps to ensure their health and safety. Knowing the most common health conditions that can affect German shepherds will allow you to detect the signs early in the light that your dog displays difficulties. Catching this early can prevent illness and sometimes even save their lives.

Sensitive digestive systems

German shepherds often face digestive problems like chronic diarrhea due to food intolerances, colitis (a type of inflammatory bowel disease), issues with their pancreas and hemorrhagic gastroenteritis. If symptoms of any of these are present you may want to reconsider the type of food you are feeding them.

German shepherds are also at a higher-than-normal risk for gastrointestinal syndrome bloat – a disease in dogs in which the animal’s stomach dilates and then rotates, or twists, around its short axis which cuts of blood flow. This can cause a number of situations that require emergency care.

What you can do: Feed your dog good food, exercise them often and always be aware of symptoms like restlessness and pacing, drooling, pale gums, signs of pain, lip licking and vomiting motions that don’t present any vomit.

Hip and Elbow Dysplasia

German shepherds suffer from the high rates of hip dysplasia and elbow dysplasia – when the head of the bone doesn’t fit properly into the hip socket or elbow socket. Don’t fret; only 25%-30% of these cases are genetic which means you can play a large role in the outcome of your German shepherd’s health. Over-exercising or pushing them to do more than they can, especially while they’re young, can speed up the process of this disease. It’s important to understand how to exercise your German shepherd from the time its a puppy!

What you can do: have their hips checked after the age of two by an orthopedic specialist. This condition cannot be seen with the naked eye and by their movements. You will need to have an x-ray done to know how to proceed.

Heart Problems

Many large breeds like German shepherds can suffer from a variety of heart problems like valve diseases, heart murmurs or enlarged hearts.

What you can do: make sure your German shepherd has their heart checked annually to ensure their heart has no abnormalities.

Watching for the signs of these health conditions can be critical to your German shepherd’s health and safety. Want to learn more about this breed? Read our FAQ and check out the testimonials of new German shepherd owners!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How to Ensure Your Children Get Along With Your New German Shepherd

A German shepherd is a great companion and guardian for every family. As with any new dog, it’s important to prepare your children for how to welcome your German shepherd into your home. Without proper guidance, your child may interact with your German shepherd in a way that hinders its training and development. Here are some tips for preparing your children for a German shepherd.

Reduce Roughhousing

German Shepherds make such great family dogs because of their playful energy. They are highly social dogs that enjoy plenty of exercise and companionship. As a result, German shepherds make perfect playmates for young children. However, German shepherds can get easily excited and may not realize their own strength, especially as puppies. For this reason, it’s important to supervise your child when they play with a German shepherd so you can step in if things get too rough. Let your child know beforehand not to tease or roughhouse too much with your German shepherd, as it could cause them to become agitated.

Simple Obedience

German Shepherds are one of the most loyal breeds of dog. If your child fosters a healthy relationship with your German shepherd, it is likely to be obedient and responsive to your child. German Shepherds can pick up simple commands very easily. Teaching your child some basic commands and letting them help you to instruct the dog is a great way to create a bond between your child and German shepherd. If your dog learns how to obey simple commands from your child early on, they’ll develop a strong relationship that will last a lifetime.

German shepherds make great family dogs. With the right preparation and supervision, your children and your dog can create memories that will last a lifetime. For more information and advice about how to care for your German shepherd or to adopt a German shepherd for your family, contact us at Ulvilden German Shepherds today.