Dog Information

Why a German Shepherd?

From the loyalty, the striking looks, the strong and stable temperament, to the downright adorable antics, German Shepherds are truly a man’s best friend. The German Shepherd (A.K.A. Deutscher Schaeferhund) is not the breed for everybody. This is a breed bred for working ability in nearly avenue. The German Shepherd may not be the best at everything, but it can do it all! Working ability comes with a few things; the confidence to try, the nerve to handle it, the intelligence to figure it out, the drives to keep going, and the structure to get them there.
This can make for an all around fantastic active companion for an individual, or a whole family. German Shepherds are considered “velcro” dogs, with a strong pack instinct and desire to please, they prefer to spend as much time as possible with their pack. This coupled with their intelligence level makes for a dog that doesn’t make a good yard ornament. This breed is very athletic and needs exercise and stimulation to keep them fulfilled and happy. Due to the requirements each individual German Shepherd needs, you will find we may ask you as a puppy buyer a lot of questions to see if you are the right fit for one of our dogs.


Can I get two puppies at once?

We highly advise that you do not get two puppies of any breed, but especially in the same litter, at the same time. Often times this leads to an extreme attachment between each puppy to each other. The best way I can describe what happens is: “they become each other’s dogs”.
One puppy is a lot of work, especially a German Shepherd puppy with their intelligence and never ending investigations. Two puppies in an average American household is too much to juggle with regular life.


A Dog Owners Guide


This is a great read for new puppy buyers/owners. Going over the details of care, training, socializing, and raising of these puppies. Getting a puppy is almost like having a baby. The responsibilities of potty training, teaching manners, being a fair and consistent leader, it all takes quite a bit of work and requires a bit of homework.


Potty Training

Obviously one of the biggest concerns with taking a puppy home for the first time is teaching potty training. Without the proper tools, consistency, and a little bit of knowledge, this can turn into a nightmare quickly. Here is a fantastic guide to how to potty train puppies.


What is Schutzhund and why do you do it? Will my puppy be aggressive?

Schutzhund is a breed suitability test developed in Germany specifically for German Shepherd dogs. This test was quickly adopted by enthusiasts of many other breeds similar to the German Shepherd. The German Shepherd dog is bred to have some aggression in it, but when properly raised and handled this is of no concern. German Shepherds as stated above, do have quite a few things underneath the surface that when utilized can become quite an impressive specimen. A German Shepherd dog who is properly bred with temperament and drives in mind, will have the natural ability to depict when there is a real threat and will try to act on it. A large part of who a German Shepherd is as an adult, is 1 part genetics, 3 parts raising. Raised in a home with no outside contact, no stimulation and exercise, and no training, they can quickly become an unruly menace. This is why careful selection is done on who can adopt or purchase a German Shepherd from a breeding program or a rescue.
Below are some fantastic links for a wealth of information on Schutzhund and the breed of German Shepherd Dogs.



What is the recommended protocol to vaccinate my new German Shepherd puppy with?

We at Bauerhof German Shepherds choose to follow Dr. Jean Dodds vaccine protocol. We respect Dr. Dodds for her intense research into the canine thyroid disease and the help she has offered to our training clients. We also respect her vaccination recommendation for puppies.


What should I expect to see as my puppy grows from birth to adulthood?

Canines go through many different developmental stages in their life. It is important to familiarize yourself with the most important socialization period of a puppies life. Use that time frame to get out there as much as possible. Socialization is not only seeing other dogs that set a good example for your puppy, but different environments (slippery floors, loud noises, echoes, vacuums, public places, unstable surfaces etc.)


What are drives in dogs and how do I familiarize myself with how they work?

This is a fantastic article that goes into great detail about drives. A little long but certainly worth the read!


What do all these things in my dogs pedigree mean?

This is a great website that is full of information that will explain what every little abbreviation in your dogs pedigree stands for! It will be very helpful for you for not only this puppy, but every future puppy you purchase. So now you know just how special your puppy is and what its entire family has accomplished.


Hannah writes and asks:

A distant acquaintance of mine purchased a poorly bred shepherd 🙄. I saw her post today about the anxiety and unstableness of the dog, and she discussed how she’s had to invest in a dog behavioralist to work on it etc. I noticed the “breeder” commented stating the mom was the same way, but she assumed it was because the mom was poorly socialized. My guess is the mom was poorly socialized and has crap nerves, low threshold etc. that she has now passed onto the litter. So: 
1) First, any advice on how to approach people to tell them what they’re doing is wrong and do some research/get help on breeding?
2) Second, it made me wonder, how can you tell what is a well bred dog that was poorly socialized vs. what is weak nerves/genetics?

Interesting question Hannah.
Let’s start with, the unstableness and anxiety of the dog. Is this a self prescribed description of the dog, or did the behaviorist tell her this is the case? Is the dog being properly exercised and not encouraged to be anxious by the owner? Those are my starting questions because BYB or well bred doesn’t make a difference, they all develop behavioral issues when they are not properly fulfilled. Some worse than others.
That being said, coming from a bad breeder (and by bad I mean the person can be fine, it’s just not a good German Shepherd breeding program), is very common and likely.
Temperament is genetic.
I cannot say that enough times!
Temperament is genetic!!!
I breed rabbits. While I primarily do so for meat purposes for my dogs raw diet, but I also enjoy playing with my rabbit breeding program because you see results so quickly. I mention this because, I can give the exact amount of care to each and every one of my rabbits. The ones with genetically good temperaments will always allow more handling with minimal socialization with me. Then some rabbits no matter what you do, they are always fearful and they produce that too. Confident rabbits produce confident rabbits. Fearful rabbits create fearful rabbits.
Just not as “obvious” on a casual quick observance like a physical trait such as color.
So I would feel safe making an assumption that socialization or not, the mother, and the puppy are doomed to the same fate of this behavior, because it is genetic. Too convenient that the dog produced the same issues now. But it is unfortunate that a breeder would even say “I wasn’t sure if the dog was A or B because of C.” A breeder should know their dogs intimately and whys and where things come from and know what you are pairing to always improve upon the traits of the dogs being bred.
A well bred dog can be observed by several factors. The breeder is testing the health of the dogs first and foremost. If you are going to bring lives into the world, do so responsibly so as not to burden the new homes and the dogs with a fate of health issues. Another factor is in some capacity testing the temperament of the dog. How tested you want to see can depend on what you are looking for. The creator of the breed established a breeding suitability test and a sport called Schutzhund to help evaluate the suitability of the dogs for breeding. If they passed the qualifications in points and earned their titles, were of appropriate height, weight, and proportions, with a pedigree, then the dog was given a license to breed. They still do this in Germany, and people all around the world do this as well. Unfortunately it is not as popular in other countries, and therefor harder to achieve these licenses. The breeder is not required any specific set of knowledge before they breed so its your job as buyer to talk to the breeder evaluate if you think they have a great understanding. Call many breeders and get a feel for what they talk about, and have them answer the same set of questions. What are the differences in the breeders and how they choose to spend their time with you on the phone?  
Educating you on their dogs and their proper diet and care? Talking about how cute they are and what color they are?
That is not to say that a dog with a title is automatically suitable for breeding. If the dog has a breed survey (the license), the dog is far more likely to be a good producing dog though. It is important to go to a breeder who intimately knows their dogs, and what they are producing, and the pairings they are putting together and why. Someone who can explain to you if a specific litter they have is right or wrong for you, and who can pick a puppy out for you based on your wants and needs.
Why should a sport you don’t know about, and a breeding license you don’t understand completely, mean that the dog will produce the dog you are looking for and need? Well for starters, those dogs have been put in front of unbiased judges on different days and demonstrated a correct temperament, working abilities with hardness and drives, health, structure, etc. and found to be correct examples of the breed. Working dogs produce confident, tractable dogs for active families. This is a true example of the breed and a great opportunity for a family to get a good dog.
You then also gain the knowledge of that breeder at your fingertips. You appreciate the raw capabilities of the dog and you have the breeder to go to for guidance in raising your dog and welcoming you into owning German Shepherds.
Not someone just making puppies.
Sometimes it is hard to get through to people who aren’t doing the right thing. Some of them had no idea that breeding German Shepherds was the breeding of working dogs, and why breeding a dog bred with drive and aggression, must be carefully selected for in a program. Sometimes they do know better but choose not to for their own reasons. I do know that people wear a lot of feelings on their dogs. If you speak poorly of their dogs (even if it is objectively about breeding suitability) they will automatically become defensive and shut off.
But once upon a time I didn’t know and I learned. I saw those conversations of responsible breeders vs BYB and I read and I read and I learned so much through those. We all have to start somewhere.
Hopefully kindly talking to them about it and educating them can make a difference.