Frequently Asked Questions

Puppy Training

Should I crate train my puppy?


The short answer is; Absolutely! Crate trainining is essential to raising a well disciplined puppy (Don't you wish you could have done this with your kid). It keeps them safe when you need to step out for a short time and cannot take your puppy with you. In addition, it is a place that your Shepherd will learn to enjoy as a place of quiet time and refuge. When they want to get away from it all, It becomes their den. It is also a place for a "time out" when they are misbehaving (again, this would have worked wonders with kids, don't you think).




At what age should I begin training my puppy.


Immediately! Just like your child, your puppy's brain is like a sponge at only 8 weeks old. Well, OK, maybe your child's brain isn't a sponge for learning at 8 weeks, but you get the idea. This is the time to begin working on basic obedience. Be very patient and always positive with the way you respond to your puppy. Never scold your puppy for doing something wrong (This doesn't apply to your child). Have plenty of treats on hand and keep your training sessions short. Remember, they are just babies and their attention span is very limited (You'll find this to be true of your child particularly through the teen years). The world is a new place to them and they are always pulled to the next great adventure. Remove all noisy distractions from the room and keep your training sessions to no more than fifteen minutes in length, once in the morning and once in the evening. A lot of praise and treats and you will have your puppy doing amazing things. Do this with your kids and they'll be living with you forevah!!!




Should I use a harness on my German Shepherd


Absolutely not. Your German Shepherd puppy is going to grow very big and become very strong in a very short period of time. A harness does not give you any control on the dog and in fact, it is extremely dangerous to you and others. while you are training your Shepherd, they can still be distracted by any number of things such as a squirrel running across the road. If they should suddenly bolt, the combination of their strength and momentum will bring you face down onto the pavement. Your dog will be gone, perhaps into oncoming traffic and you may well have sustained serious injury. No harness...ever.




What kind of collar should I use.


As a responsible owner, it is up to you to be in control of your German Shepherd at all times. Failure to do so can have dire consequences. Even the best trained dog can have a moment where you will need to exercise an added level of control, so your Shepherd should always be wearing a choke collar. This collar will apply enough pressure on the dog's neck area to be uncomfortable and prevent them from pulling away giving you tighter control. The choke collar is also the primary tool to be used in training your dog in basic obedience such as heeling. If the dog moves out in front of you, one quick and light snap of the leash to tighten the collar momentarily reminds them that they must move back to your side. Never allow your German Shepherd to walk in front of you. That is showing them that they are the leader and that is something that you never want to do, and if you do, you will have other behavior problems with your dog.




Are prong or pinch collars OK to use.


Absolutely. In fact, they are a very useful and effective tool. Sometimes there is a certain task or behavior that a dog is just not conforming to and for that particular situation, a pinch collar would be in order. The pinch collar is just a step up from the choke collar in that, when drawn tight, it simply gathers the loose skin around the dogs neck and pinches it so that there is more of an immediate realization by the dog that what he is doing is wrong. Always remember though, that just as is the case with choke collar, the correction must always be given immediately when the offense is commited or the message is lost.




Should I use a shock collar.


The short answer is No! Let me say here that a shock collar does serve a purpose, but it is a harsh correction and should only be used by a trained professional who understands when and how to apply it. The use of a shock collar by someone who lacks thorough knowledge and understanding of canine behavior can have an opposite and negative effect on the dog's behavior.




How do I find a good trainer.


CAVEAT EMPTOR (BUYER BEWARE): This has become a real problem in recent years. People who have maybe taught their dog to sit and shake their paw all of a sudden fancy themselves as certified dog trainers. They have a computer, create a fancy Facebook page and just like that, they're off and running, bilking folks out of hundreds of dollars by not having the first clue about what they are doing. Some will offer to come to your home for two or three sessions to teach you how to train your dog. This is a scam. Just spend twelve bucks on Amazon and buy the book, German Shepherds for Dummies and you'll learn more than these people will ever know. If you wish your dog to be trained by a professional, however, there are some good trainers out there, but you need to do your homework. These people will provide you with references. Check those. They will want to do an evaluation on your dog, and then they will be honest and frank with you about what they can realistically do and what they can't. Mike Kelly of K9 Communications in Norwell MA is a great German Shepherd trainer if you happen to live near that area.





Feeding

What should I feed my new puppy.


Here is where the battle lines are drawn and opinions vary widely about what is best for your new puppy. Many times, people will not feel comfortable feeding their puppy something unless it has been recommended by this vet or that organization or even costs a lot. The truth is that the dog food industry spends millions on Madison Avenue buying up advertising that will entice us to purchase their food. They tell us about all the fresh fruits and vegtables that go into their food as well as the freshly caught wild salmon, etc! In truth, this is all about appealing to our human emotion. After all, everyone wants what is best for their baby, right? Here your puppy is weaned on INUKSHUK and gets about 6 cups per day. If you do have another food that you prefer, we suggest that you buy a bag of INUKSHUK here or online and make the transition to the new food a slow one to avoid digestive upset. If possible, we strongly recommend you stay with Inukshuk brand Dog Food.




At what age should I switch my puppy to an adult dog food.


We feed and recommend Inukshuk 30/25 for all stages of your German Shpeherds life.




How much water does my puppy need.


Your puppy should have fresh, clean water throughout the day. Take the water up at 6PM however. At this point they have had enough water and now you want to help them get through the night while avoiding peeing in their crate. So water up at 6PM, puppy out to potty just before bedtime, in the crate, lights out, and let the screaming begin.





Health

Should I neuter or spay my German Shepherd


The short answer here is you should spay your female somewhere around six or seven months of age and never neuter a male. Spaying is necessary as the female will come into season every six months or so and in addition to it being messy, there is always the danger that it could result of an unwanted pregnancy. It takes just a second for a male to mount and lock into a female and then, there you have it, its done. So, yes, do spay your female. Neutering a male on the other hand is not necessary surgery. There is simply no benefit to the dog in neutering him. In fact, studies have shown that there could be possible negative health issues associated with neutering such as hip displaysia and long bone disease.




What Health tests do you do on your Shepherds.


We want to make sure that we have done everything possible to send you home with a strong, healthy puppy. Every breeding Lebenshunsger German Shepherd is tested and is negative for the Degenerative Myelopathy gene. Our breeding Shepherds are also OFA hip and elbow certified.




What vaccination and treatmeants will my puppy have received when I pick it up.


At 2 and 4 weeks of age, your puppy is treated for internal parasites using Pyrantel Pamoate. At 6 weeks of age, your puppy receives a five day treatment for internal parasites using Panacur. They are then treated again with Panacur three days prior to leaving. At 8 weeks of age, your puppy revceives a vaccination for the Parvo virus, distemper, para influenza, hepatitis, and adenovirus.




How much exercise does my German Shepherd need.


Your German Shepherd needs daily exercise. Here you must use your common sense. If you have a new puppy, it will still need a lot of sleep, so expect that. There is nothing wrong with your puppy, it's a baby and needs rest. Do not force extensive playtime on your puppy. They will tell you when they are tired. Let them lay down and rest. If you have a young German Shepherd the same is true. Regular exercise, but be careful of the way you play with your Shepherd. Avoid tug of war and games that require biting and pulling. This is building your dogs drive and unless you plan on doing bite work with your Shepherd, you do not want to build up this kind of drive in him or her. This is also true of playing with a ball. Too much ball playing builds drive and can lead to a dog that is highly driven. So unless you want your Shepherd to be constantly in the "on" mode, keep the ball playing to a minimum.




When can my German Shepherd start running with me.


Be very careful here. A Shepherds joints are still developing up to 18 months of age and excessive exercise such as running long distances can be damaging to those joints and lead to hip and elbow displaysia. There will be plenty of time to spend on the trails with your running buddy and they will keep up with you every step of the way if you allow those joints to develope properly. Likewise, avoid excessive stair climbing and jumping during those formative months as well. Your efforts will pay off down the road with a strong and healthy German Shepherd athlete.





Shipping

How do you ship my puppy


For the most part, we use Delta Dash. We ship out of Bangor International to a major airport nearest you. Delta is very professional and experienced in handling pets and every precaution is taken to assure your puppy arrives safely. The flight is very non eventful for your pup and they come out of the crate tail wagging and happy to meet you.





Bringing Your Puppy Home

What do I get with my new puppy.


You will receive a puppy kit with your puppy's health certificate showing the dates the puppy was treated for internal parasites as well as the vaccination that it received for the Parvo Virus along with the date that the next Parvo Virus vaccine is due. This is information that you will want to take to your veterinarian. You will receive a written contract specifying the terms of your puppy's lifetime health guarantee as well as other terms of your agreement. You will receive your puppy's AKC registration application. Most importantly, you receive our assurance that we will be here for as long as you own your Lebenshunger German Shepherd to not only stand behind our guarantee but to be your resorce for all issues regarding your Shepherd.




Do German Shepherds like cats.


Lebenshunger German Shepherds have been carefully bred and come from a foundation of breeding that has taken us more than 20 years to build. During that time, we have built on a breeding program that produces only the finest in temperament and character in German Shepherds. So we are very confident when we tell you that your Lebenshunger German Shepherd will treat your cat like the royal felines that they undoubtedly believe they are.




How much does a Lebenshunger puppy cost.


The price of a Lebenshunger puppy is $3,800.




How do I reserve a Lebenshunger puppy


You may reserve a Lebenshunger puppy anytime with a deposit of $1,000 up until the time that the puppy reaches 4 weeks of age. By the time your puppy is 4 weeks of age, the entire purchase price is due.




Is my deposit refundable.


NO! Lebshunger puppies are in high demand. When you reserve a puppy you are eliminating a choice that perhaps someone else will be denied. It is important that you know what you want before you place a deposit. You are making a comittment that is not to be taken lightly. If you are not absolutely certian about wanting a puppy, do not make the deposit.




What form of payments do you accept for a puppy


We accept all forms of payment including; cash, checks and credit card.




Do you ship and how much does it cost?


Yes. We ship puppies to all 50 states and Canada. We can usually get a good flight out of Bangor, Maine. In that case your shipping cost will be $600. In the unlikely event that we must travel to either Portland, Maine or Boston, Massachusetts to connect to a flight to your city, the shipping price will be $800.00.





Breeding

Why am I not allowed to breed my Shepherd


Breeding is not easy. There are a myriad of considerations about a breeding pair that must be taken into account before they produce a litter of puppies or the result could be devastating. Good breeders have spent many years studying bloodlines and building a foundation bloodline that they are breeding on. These bloodlines, like ours, are proven for producing healthy puppies with outstanding temperaments.




What is "Limited AKC Registration"


Limited AKC Registration is virtually the very same thing as full AKC Registration with the one exception that puppies produced from a breeding using any dog with a Limited AKC Registration would never be able to be registered with the AKC.





More Than One Puppy

If I want two, can they come from the same litter?


Absolutely! Now some breeders with less experience with German Shepherds will tell you that according to some other breeder's website you should not do this because of "pack mentality." This is nonsense. With more than 20 years of experience of breeding these wonderful dogs, I can tell you with certainty that two puppies from the same litter are just fine. As with all things involving the raising of your German Shepherd, you must never forget that you are the pack leader, not them. They live in your world and at your pleasure.....not the other way around. Many of our clients have purchased two from the same litter. Just ask us and we'll put you in touch with them to find out first hand how well they get along and how each one bonds with their owners and not with each other.




Are two puppies more work or harder to train?


No, not at all, and in fact, it's easier. If you have the home facility and time to raise one of our beautiful puppies, adding a second at the same time is a piece of cake. Obviously, you cannot entertain your puppy all the time so in those times where you cannot do so, they are entertaining each other, and no, they won't bond with each other and not you. In terms of training, one will often play off the other and so training time is a twofer....When it's potty time, it's out the door with both. Same with the sit, stay, come, etc. It's all the same and again, one will play off the other so training is a breeze.