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RhosynGSD - Largest German Shepherd Dog Database in Australia FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)



Category: Main -> Buying a German Shepherd

Question
·  Why should I buy a puppy from Rhosyn German Shepherds?
·  What should I look for when purchasing a puppy?
·  Do GSDs make good family pets?
·  Can my breeder guarantee my puppy will not have hip problems?
·  Should I get a male or female?
·  What is "socializing" and why is it so important?
·  When will my GSD puppy's ears stand?
·  What is bloat (gastric torsion)?
·  Do German Shepherds shed a lot?

Answer
·  Why should I buy a puppy from Rhosyn German Shepherds?

A puppy that is purchased from Rhosyn German Shepherds is a sound puppy in conformation and mind, and has been bred in compliance with all of the Breed Improvement Schemes and Breeding Guidelines of the GSDC of SA. This will provide a greater assurance that you are buying a quality puppy, that will have less chance of suffering from the hereditary diseases that may occur in the German Shepherd Dog.

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·  What should I look for when purchasing a puppy?

The most important thing when purchasing a puppy is that you get a puppy that is healthy, physically sound, and of good temperament. A guide to assessing these things is that: - the puppies must be clean, healthy, active, bright and outgoing (happy to see you), - both parents must have PASSED all of the Breed Improvement Schemes, - the kennel/yard must be clean and tidy. Rhosyn German Shepherds recommends that you purchase a puppy through the Puppy Listing service of the German Shepherd Dog Club of SA or from the Puppy listing Service of the Local German Shepherd Dog Club in your State or Territory as these Breeders have complied with all of these requirements.

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·  Do GSDs make good family pets?

Yes! GSDs are naturally protective of their "pack". Young children should never be left unattended with a puppy, however, if the children learn to respect the puppy as a living being, the puppy will be a wonderful companion for the children as they all grow up together. Your dog's ranking in the "pack" should always be established as the bottom (Omega) member below humans.

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·  Can my breeder guarantee my puppy will not have hip problems?

NO! Hip dysplasia is considered to be polygenic. That means that it's caused by a combination of genes that may not show up in any litter previously. No matter the certifications in the pedigree it is possible that your puppy could be predisposed to hip dysplasia. That's why preliminary hip x-rays after 6 months are a good idea. Treatments (both surgical and drug) can be done early to alleviate problems down the line. If in doubt, find an orthopedic specialist. Be wary of a breeder that says their puppies will definitely not have hip problems. But, a responsible breeder will guarantee their puppies for life. The guarantee may vary. Some breeders will require you to return the puppy for a replacement; some will refund all or part of your money; some will not require you to return the puppy, but still offer a replacement or refund. Do not be dismayed at a requirement for a return of a puppy. A puppy may be in severe pain and an owner may not be emotionally prepared to put a puppy down who really should be put down. A responsible breeder will want what's best for the puppy/dog.

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·  Should I get a male or female?

This is an age-old question and almost strictly a matter of preference. Some people will say that males are more "location" protective while females are more "pack" protective. Males are generally more territorial, so unless training steps are consistent, marking could be a problem. (Neutering may help alleviate this problem. Any dog not intended for a breeding program should be neutered or spayed. Besides eliminating the possibility of unwanted puppies and reducing some undesireable behaviors, it's considerably healthier for your dog since it eliminates or severely reduces the chance of testicular or mammary cancers. Breeding should *never* be taken lightly.)

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·  What is "socializing" and why is it so important?

Socializing refers to exposing your puppy to a variety of experiences, including meeting lots of people of various ages, races, sizes and both sexes as well as teaching them how to acceptably interact with other dogs. Puppy kindergarten classes provide an excellent opportunity for socialization in a controlled environment. Socializing is important because it helps strengthen your dog's confidence and reduces the chance that your dog will become shy or fearful. Fearful dogs can become fear aggressive or fear biters.

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·  When will my GSD puppy's ears stand?

Although some puppies' ears stand as early as 8-10 weeks, don't be concerned if your pup's ears don't stand until 6-7 months (especially pups with large ears) after teething. Some pups ears never stand. This is known as a "soft ear". Sometimes taping is successful. "Soft ears" are a genetic trait, and dogs with soft ears should not be bred even if taping is successful. It is a disqualification in showing. Some GSDs ears stand but wiggle at the tips when the dogs run. This is known as "friendly ears". Friendly ears are not a disqualification but are not a desirable trait. One method of "taping" ears is to take a pink foam roller and attach it with eyelash glue to the inside of the ear (the pinna). Do not block the ear canal. Taping may take up to 2 months. But again, be cautious about considering breeding a dog whose ears have had to be taped.

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·  What is bloat (gastric torsion)?

Bloat (otherwise known as "gastric torsion") can be a problem with any deep-chested breed like German Shepherds. The stomach twists so nothing can pass through the esophagus to the stomach or through the stomach to the intestions, causing gas to build up. This is an immediate health concern where the dog should be taken to the vet or emergency clinic. Signs of bloat include a distended rigid abdomen, indications of vomiting with no results and inability to belch or pass gas. High activity directly before or after eating can exacerbate bloating. Keeping the dog quiet at least one hour before and after eating can help reduce the chances of bloat. Pre-moistening the dog's food with water can also reduce the chances, however, without the teeth-cleaning help of crunching food, you will want to take especially good care of your dog's teeth by weekly tooth-brushing and hard biscuits to help remove tartar. (Be sure to include any treats you give in the balance of food intake. Too many treats may cause your dog to gain weight, and treats only may not give the dog the nutrition it needs.) Smaller meals can also reduce the risk of bloat if you do not free-feed. (Free-fed dogs just need to have their activity level watched, but do not usually eat enough at any one sitting to cause problems. Bloat is more of a problem with a dog that "gulps" its food which a free-fed dog won't usually do. Don't leave pre-moistened food down for a free-fed dog too long as it can breed bacteria. Instead, leave them smaller portions, but refill more frequently.)

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·  Do German Shepherds shed a lot?

Yes. The GSD is a "double-coated" dog with an undercoat and guard hairs. The guard hairs will be shed all year. The undercoat is "blown" twice a year.

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