History Of German Shepherd Breeding
German Shepherds or the German Shepherd Dog came into being as a breed in the late 1800s. Max von Stephanitz of Germany had an interest in the working dogs in his native Germany. Here they were selectively bred to have those qualities that could do the job of herding and protecting a flock from predation. At the time, there was a disagreement among dog enthusiasts about whether a dog should be judged on its looks or on its ability to work.
Max von Stephanitz began looking for a working dog that had it all. At a dog show in 1899, von Stephanitz finally came upon what he considered to be the perfect specimen. He purchased him and named him Horand von Grafrath . This dog was the first dog registered in von Stephanitzs new breed club, The Society of German Shepherds. Horand von Grafrath sired many puppies including Hector von Schwaben.
One direct descendant of Horand von Grafrath, Beowulf, was the sire of over eighty puppies. The first German Shepherd dogs were the result of many inbreedings from Horand and his offspring. Several have stated that wolf crosses were among the dogs bred into this early closed gene pool. However, recent genetic testing would belie immediate wolf ancestry. While German Shepherds may appear more wolf-like than some other breeds, they do not appear to have the DNA to match.
How Do German Shepherds Compare To Other Herding Dogs
When it comes to herding, few breeds can compare to the sheer intelligence and power of the athletic German Shepherd.;Not only were German Shepherds excellent for herding sheep, but they could also protect the flocks from predators.;
Their intimidating physicality and loud barks were often more than enough to scare off animals that might see sheep as snacks, such as wolves. In other words, they were very useful dogs that took up several roles on farms.
But even if the predators did not run away, a German Shepherd could just as often put up a fight.
Specifically as a dog for herding sheep, they were and are perhaps the best choice.;But for herding larger animals, it might be better to go with a smaller dog, such as the Corgi. Yes, this might seem a bit counterintuitive, but we will explain.
Sometimes the animals being herded are not always the most cooperative. So, they might display a little aggression in the form of a kick here and there.;
For smaller animals like a sheep, this wont pose much risk to a German Shepherd. But what about cattle? A kick from a cow could seriously injure even a German Shepherd.;
So, for these animals it is better to have a Corgi or other shorter breed. Any kicks would just fly over their heads, leaving them unharmed.;German Shepherds are much larger, thus, becoming a much bigger target for flying hooves.
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Why Is A White German Shepherd White
A white German Shepherd is white because on the E Locus, they have 2 copies of e which means they cant produce black pigment in their coat. Additionally, their Intensity Locus prevents them from producing red or tan . Some white dogs have a little bit of cream, or small patches of tan. These are areas where they are still producing just a little bit of Phaeomelanin. Phaeomelanin itself is actually a red pigment, the shade we see on a tan dog is caused by how much of the pigment they are able to produce.
This means that the A Locus on a white German Shepherd is unknown without a genetic test or multiple litters.
Want to know more? Scroll down to A Quick Primer on Dog Coat Genetics or visit the website
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Panda And White Spotting In German Shepherds
Panda is a unique mutation that occurred on a single individual dog that causes what is called white spotting on German Shepherds. UC Davis has released several papers on the mutation itself, and even offers a DNA test kit to verify if a given dog has the mutation or not. Panda is a dominant trait, which means it can never be carried by a dog, its always expressed.
What does this mean for the charts above?
Annoyingly, for the purposes of our thought exercise, Panda can unfortunately be hidden underneath e/e in a White GSD. This would lead to yet another set of permutations, to our charts, where we would see a mixture of bi and tri colored Pandas depending on the A Locus a given Puppy has.
German Shepherd Breed Characteristics
- German Shepherds stand around two feet tall. Males can reach 24 to 26 inches and females between 22 and 24 inches.
- A medium-to-large sized working dog, male German Shepherds weigh between 65 and 90 pounds and females between 50 and 70 pounds.
- German Shepherds have a double coat. The outer coat is dense and can be straight or a little wavy, whilst the undercoat is thick but soft.
- German Shepherds are one of the most common police dogs used for everyday duties. The trainability and intelligence of the breed make it the ideal candidate for police work.
- German Shepherds are considered one of the most intelligent dog breeds, along with the Border Collie and Poodle.
- Contrary to popular belief, German Shepherds are very loving and protective pets of their owners. However, they can display aggression if their aggressive tendencies arent kept in check.
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Key Steps To Breed German Shepherd Dogs
If you are a dog lover, definitely you should love German shepherd dogs. So I am. Especially as a German shepherd lover, I have got the experience myself, and also I have discussed with experienced people to find out what is the best breeding process of German shepherd dogs to have good quality, healthy puppies. So in this article, I thought to describe to you some facts regarding German shepherd dog breeding, history, and some other important facts.
How Many Puppies Do German Shepherds Usually Have
A Healthy German Shepherd can give birth to 6 to 9 puppies at a time.;
Many factors influence the litters size like age, nutrition, health, and genetics.
A healthy and young German Shepherd can have a bigger litter than an old dog.
Before breeding a German Shepherd, it is essential to consult your vet.;
Perform a health check on your Dog to see if he is healthy enough to breed.
Many diseases can make pregnancy difficult. Asking advice to your vet is the best thing you can do.
Also, nutrition is an essential part of your dogs life. You should feed a healthy and balanced diet to your German Shepherd dog.
When a German Shepherd is pregnant, you should feed her high-quality meat.
High-quality meat is rich in proteins and essential minerals. Give your dog the most nutritional diet possible, which is full of vitamins. Minerals, proteins, and fats.;
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Supplements For German Shepherds
The vast majority of commercially available dry kibble is complete and balanced for your dog, assuming its a high-quality food.
That means there is almost never a reason to supplement your dogs diet with additives, vitamins, or herbal supplements. In fact, adding these things to a healthy dogs diet can cause a lot of harm.
Never supplement your dogs diet unless directed by a veterinarian. In those cases, they will prescribe or suggest canine-safe products to cover your GSDs special needs.
Human supplements are often unregulated, minimally effective, and often contain substances harmful to animals. Never use a human supplement for your German Shepherd.
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Different Types Of German Shepherds
With such a wonderful breed and huge popularity worldwide, breeding German Shepherds has been very well-received and well-executed over the last decades. Being a people-pleaser, a lot of people wondering how to breed german shepherds have decided to put the emphasis on a particular aspect, or difference, that they do enjoy seeing in their specimens.
This is why, more than most other dog breeds, German Shepherd Dogs have given birth to so many variations. Some a purpose-based, but many others are appearance-focused
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How Big Are German Shepherds
Males stand about 24-26 inches at the shoulder and weigh 75-110 pounds.
Females stand about 22-24 inches and weigh 65-90 pounds.
Some German Shepherds are considerably larger than that, but shouldn’t be. This breed is supposed to be athletic and agile, not giant-sized and ponderous. Larger dogs can have more joint problems and a shorter lifespan.
Dystocia Pregnancy & Birth Complications
One of the issues that can come up with German Shepherds is the size range among some of the dogs. The GSD was not at the beginning intended to be a very large dog. Over time and especially in the United States the GSD has increased in desirable size. A mismatch mating of a sire on the large range with a dam on the low could increase the probability of puppies too large to navigate the birth canal. In the world of dogs, the safest path to a medium-sized dog is not simply to mate a large dog with a smaller bitch.
Size dystocia is common in some breeds especially the brachycephalic ones like a bulldog. In a study of 151 involving over 13,00 bitches in the UK, the German Shepherd Dog was not a very high risk for cesarean section. A pregnant dam of the German Shepherd breed is much more likely than not to whelp that seven or eight puppies naturally without any human assistance.
False pregnancy does happen in German Shepherds as they do in other breeds. In this condition, a bitch exhibits the signs of pregnancy such as enlarged mammary glands, enlarged abdomen, vomiting, and the display of nesting behavior. False pregnancy can happen even if a male dog has not been within reach of the bitch. This common hormonal problem will resolve on its own in a couple of months. It is usually not treated.
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How To Get The German Shepherd Look & Love Right
This means that when done in a nonthreatening way, staring into your GSDs eyes will give you both a moment to connect.
- Pick a quiet time with no other people or animals around to distract you and your dog.
- Gently caress their ears or face and look into their eyes.
- Talk positively to them and use their name frequently in a gentle tone.
When in doubt, it doesnt hurt to offer them a tasty piece of treat while looking at their eyes.
Choose one of the Best Treats for German Shepherds if in doubt.
How Much Does A German Shepherd Chihuahua Cost
The exact price of a German Shepherd Chihuahua mix varies depending on the seller of the dog and the quality of the dogs used to breed.
Typically, both German Shepherds and Chihuahuas are expensive dogs to purchase, although you can often find them in shelters or rescue centers for adoption.;
As few breeders create these mixed dogs, finding a price for these is difficult. Its best to contact a breeder directly or to contact your local rescue shelters to see if they have any available.;
Seeing as German Shepherds and Chihuahuas are expensive dogs to purchase, you can expect a mixed breed puppy to be expensive.
If you are buying a dog, remember to do your research to ensure the dogs are healthy and safe and that the breeder knows what they are doing to avoid any health complications.;
In this guide, we go over:
- Preparing;to adopt a dog
- Dog supplies you will need
- Choosing the right dog to adopt
- & much more!
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Health Concerns When Breeding German Shepherds
Breeding German Shepherds means you must ensure your breeding dogs are cleared of any known health condition to date. Every dog breed has its own bunch of diseases particularly found in its specimens, and GSDs are no exception.
Below is a list of the most common health conditions in German Shepherds; so you can DNA test your dogs for as many conditions as possible before breeding two GSDs.
What Should You Feed A German Shepherd Chihuahua Mix
Feed your German Shepherd Chihuahua mix a high-quality dog food. The best dog foods should contain meat for protein, vegetables, and fruits for added vitamins and omega fatty acids.
Try to find dog foods with added calcium because it will provide extra support for both the German Shepherd Hip Dysplasia and the Chihuahua Patellar Luxation predisposition.
Also, look for foods that do not add too many grains as these arent a dogs natural food source, and some dogs develop allergies to grains.
Depending on its age, you should feed it puppy, adult, or senior dog food. Each age group has its own specific nutritional requirements.
Because the size of the German Shepherd Chihuahua mix can range from small to a medium size, you should choose a dog food that fits your dogs needs.
Small sizes up to about 22 pounds;
10 pounds = ¾ cup kibble per day
11-15 pounds = 1 cup kibble per day
16-22 pounds = 1 cups kibble per day
Medium sizes from 23 to 50 pounds;
23-30 pounds = 1 ¾ cups kibble per day
31-40 pounds = 2 ¼ cups kibble per day
41-50 pounds = 2 cups kibble per day
Large sizes from 51 to 60 pounds
23-60 pounds = 3 cups kibble per day
Be mindful of how much your German Shepard Chihuahua mix eats. The Chihuahua side of your pup may be an overeater. So make sure you monitor food intake to avoid obesity issues.
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Why Wait To Breed A New Gsd
The reason breeders are given certain guidelines for breeding their GSD stems from a need to protect the dogs health in every way. Breeding too early can cause confusion in some dogs, as well as affect the puppies because a parent is not quite sexually mature enough to be bred.
For Female German Shepherds
Female German Shepherds are a bit more complicated than Males as it is with a majority of dogs.
Your female GSD may start experiencing what is referred to as her Heat Cycle at as early as six months old. Although, this in no way implies that she is ready to be bred .
For the safest results, one should begin to breed their female GSD at about two years of age and stop once she reaches eight years of age.
Breeding as early as a dogs first or even second heat cycle may cause confusion for the mother, and cause serious mental drawbacks as she could neglect her pups.
However, breeding her for too long or without ceasing for even one season can cause serious damage to your GSD and her pups.
When she begins to age, the quality of your female German Shepherds eggs will begin to deteriorate, making it harder for her to carry out her pregnancies to full term or even causing stillborn puppies.
Failure to follow these rules could bring serious harm to her and her pups if one is not careful.
For Male German Shepherds
Male German Shepherds are much less complicated than their female counterparts but this in no way implies that their health is less important.
Types Of German Shepherd Breed Based On Color
German shepherds are also characterized based on the color coat they have.
Saddle Back German Shepherd
They are the most common German Shepherd. They are predominantly red or tan with black color on the back which looks like a saddle.
Solid color German Shepherd
They are rare and mostly found in Black or White color. Some mistakenly believe Black GSD to be special dogs though the only difference is in the color.
As only 10% of GSD are solid black, their price is quite high sometimes double or triple of average.
Agouti German Shepherd
This type of GSD has multi colors on the full body instead of resembling a saddle. This is due to the dominant genes.
Panda German Shepherd
This is also a rare type of GSD which has a white abdomen and legs but has black or tan color on the rest of the body.
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How Often Does A German Shepherd Go Into Heat
So once your German Shepherd has their first heat cycle, how often should you expect them to go into heat?
While this can vary from breed to breed, most German Shepherds will go into heat twice a year .
Heat cycles can be irregular in young dogs, and may take a couple of years for their cycles to regulate. Additionally, German Shepherds like all canines do not have a strict time of the year in which they must breed, so this only adds to the irregularity in the beginning stages.
As long as you are prepared for at least 2 heat cycles a year, you are well equipped!
Costs Of Breeding German Shepherds
German shepherd dog breeding done ethically and responsibly is not a money making business. By the time the puppies are born, a lot of expenses will have occurred.
First of all, a good German shepherd puppy with great bloodlines will not cost;$300 to $500 as ads on newspapers often portray, but closer to $1,000 to $3000 or even more. After this investment, breeders will then need to factor in food costs and all the health clearances and genetic testing which can easily total anywhere between $300 and $1,000 a year.
Once the dog is in heat, there are other potential costs. Dog breeders may decide to have their female dog tested to verify the best time to breed , artificial insemination may be required and then there are likely stud fees to cover. Other costs involve verifying whether the dog is pregnant which can be done through vet’s palpation, x rays or ultrasound. Equipment needed to ensure a healthy whelping include a whelping box, bedding, heating pad/heat lamp, thermostat, towels and other necessities.
If the puppies thrive and survive, the ethical dog breeder will then have to factor in the fees associated with registering the German shepherd puppies so that they have papers. This is only possible if both parents have been registered with the American Kennel Club. Next, comes weaning the pups and therefore, starting them on puppy mush and then regular puppy food and then getting the pups vaccinated and dewormed before going to their new homes.
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