At Stoney Creek/Barron Haus (formerly Wikert) German Shepherds, we work very hard to raise up, what we feel are healthy dogs. Healthy puppies simply cannot come from unhealthy parents. In a nutshell, we feed lots of Raw Meats, a high quality kibble, such as Sport Dog Food Elite, follow Dr. Dodds Vaccine Protocol, do not use pesticides on our dogs skin, and breed for ourselves. Breed for ourselves? What does that mean? Read on.
We try to obtain what we feel are, the best bloodlines in temperament, type, and health. Temperament has become a huge focus for us. Any dog we bring into our family and/or incorporate into our breeding program, will get nothing less than the love he/she deserves as a family companion, raised properly on healthy organic foods, Minimally vaccinated, and so on.
If you've ever wondered about our puppies, this is a good place to be.
Since we take such diligent care of our own personal dogs, our puppies from the time of conception have the best possibly chance at a healthy life, we feel. Not always will you be able to come to us for the same old protocol of raising a puppy. The reason for this? We continually strive for better education and EXPERIENCE when it comes to the health and well being. Rome wasn't built in a day, and neither is a solid breeding program. We never claim to have all the answers. However, when we do have answers that have been proven to us through experience, you better believe we are willing to share our information with anyone we can to better educate others, as so many have been willing to educate us.
We don't follow any one way of how is the best way to do a breeding. Many breed on phenotype or geneotype, and many on a combination. It all has it's ups and downs. Again, we will stress that if you don't have a healthy and sound dog, you don't have anything.
Sometimes I feel, like after all the preaching we do to families coming to us for their new companion and best friend, I don't think it sets in just how important Socialization is, what it means, and how to do it. Socialization starts with the breeder, but this is not the Socialization I am talking about. Most puppies leave us at 8 weeks of age. Socialization needs to come from YOU, the new caretaker/slave/owner/best friend. Socialization means taking your puppy OUTSIDE of the home, to as many new places, experiences, around strangers, children, other dogs, cats, horses, guinea pigs, you name it! Socialization does NOT mean inviting your neighbor over to the house for social hour, does not mean your child's friends coming over for a play date, or the neighbors dog that slips under the fence and rears his head to come play with your dog. I see way too many people keeping their puppy in a bubble for fear of contracting parvo as the main reason, lack of time and commitment, and a variety of other reasons. I can't stress enough how important Socialization is, and getting your puppy out and about to different areas. 3 new senses each day during his/her fragile developing mind. Don't want or have time to socialize? Know what the consequences are? A dog that barks and growls at nearly every passing dog while on your leisurely walk around the block. A dog that you have to put in another room because he lunges or jumps on people every time someone comes inside your home. A dog that runs and hides. A dog that pees on himself. Have you ever seen people who show up at places, open their dog to their vehicle without a leash, and their dogs jumps out wagging his tail and listens to every little thing their owner says? This came from an owner who Socialized their dog, and also Training.
Many times I am asked when to start training, and many times I direct this info to people, and yet I am approached with the same questions of when I should train my dog, and how come my dog doesn't listen to me.
Training starts from the day you bring your puppy home. Training needs leadership, and leadership comes good and effective training. Training needs to start immediately. It's so easy to spend 5 minute sessions with your new puppy at 8 weeks, and have that little one slamming his butt on the ground for his treat or reward. Why wait until the puppy is 4 months to a year to begin? If you waited this long to start training your dog, you probably also failed in the Socialization part. Because basic training, is just like basic manners and leadership. More advanced training can be sought out as your puppy develops, but instilling some basic principles into the young pup, is going to make your job as the pack leader, so much easier as that puppy matures, and approaches sexual maturity.
Pack leadership is separate from training, although goes hand in hand. The first step and suggestion, is make sure you are acquiring a puppy or dog that has the temperament, drive, activity level that you desire. If you are a submissive and quiet person, the last thing you will want is an alpha type dog. Starting off with the right dog, in any breed, if going to increase your bond over the years, and make your friendship that much more enjoyable. So, start with with right puppy, and establish pack leadership the moment that puppy/dog walks in the door. What may seem like basic manners to some, is actually pack leadership. Examples: You eat first, dog eats last. You walk through the door first, the dog follows. If you need more information of Pack Leadership and/or Training, Contact Me.
Let me make an introduction briefly here. Dogs are my life. I have a breeding program, not only pet dogs. My goal is to make my dogs healthier, and my job is to make your dog's life healthier. If I put in all the hard work, why would someone want to ruin all that hard work by not following a way of raising dogs, that has proved time and time again to be the best method of short term and long term health. I don't have dogs as a hobby. I have them as a passion. I eat, sleep, breath dogs. I live with them 24 hours a day, and spends Thousands upon Thousands into their upbringing. You can find more info about Nutrition on our Health and Nutrition page.
We follow a very minimal vaccine protocol using "core" vaccines. More info regarding vaccines, our protocol, and vaccinosis, please visit our Health and Nutrition page.
The development of a puppy is at different rates for each breed, but here I will give info on German Shepherds.
Strenuous exercise before the age of at least 18 months of age, is going to take a toll on your dogs joints later in life, if not increase injury early on. The recommended amount of exercise for a puppy, is enough exercise to mentally and physically tire the puppy, without stress. Young puppies can benefit from lots of different training exercises to tire the brain, and enough physical exercise to tire the body, but not to exhaustion. Grass or soft surfaces are preferred, over long walks on pavement. Using a German Shepherd as a running partner, should be advised after the dog has reached at least 18 months and having his/her hips and elbows xrayed. Anything sooner for those types of activities are going to weigh heavily on his/her joints, and seeing those later in age.
This is an X-ray of a puppy at 2 weeks old - just look to see how far the bones have to grow to just become proper bony joints, let alone become strong articulating joints that have correct feedback into the brain... this is why it is imperative that we don't over-exercise our puppies, and certainly not jump them or train them too hard before they are fully developed. This is different age categories for different breeds, and if the dog has had any specific problems during it's puppyhood. Please be careful at this stage so the dog's joints will last well as they age! Longevity is key!