Here at Liberty's West German Shepherds we regard every puppy as a unique and precious life. We are humbled and grateful to be entrusted with the caring of each precious puppy, and take very seriously the fact that we are framing their perspective of the world from their first moments. One of the ways we do that is by having them in our home from birth until they leave us for their new families. Our little puppies are around a variety of activities associated with normal household functions, all of which will be familiar to them as they leave us to join you!
Food & Nutrition
The first way in which we help your puppy get a great start is not just in what we feed them, but in how we feed them. The what is that our puppies are fed Nature's Logic canned and dry dog food. Nature's Logic is rich in animal protein (not plant protein) which is essential for heart health and for strong joints and muscles. It is a human grade food with no synthetics whatsoever. Nothing comes from China. The added bonus of this food is that it is void of the ingredients that the FDA has recently cited as being suspect for causing an increasing amount of health problems that many people are experiencing with their dogs today. The FDA has released numerous statements and is working on keeping the list of dog food brands updated and available online. I encourage you to NOT take our word for it. Read, study and educate yourself as to what is in your dog's food. Learn how it affects your dog and be prepared to learn so much about what most dog food on the market today is actually doing to your dog's health. We get absolutely nothing from Nature's Logic for mentioning/using their food. Does your dog constantly scratch or chew itself, always have an ear infection, have a dull coat, or not have a robust appetite? Start with their food. Some dogs develop health problems that seem to be "out of the blue". That is not so. These health problems have been slowly brewing under the surface over time until the dog's body says, "I can't take any more." Many of these problems are due to what the dog is eating.
Too many dogs are possessive of their food through no fault of their own. If you have a dog that can't be trusted not to bite a child or that growls when anyone gets too near its bowl, then a good place to start is with the food itself. Some dogs will never become possessive; they'll just eat enough to stay alive. Others will eat like they're dying, yet be of a healthy and sometimes too healthy weight!! That's because they're taking in calories so their weight is good, but there's no nutrition in it and they are literally starving for sustenance. If you have more than one dog, meal times should never be frenzied or a run of the gauntlet for you in order to keep them from stealing one another's food. Again, start with changing the quality of the food and educate yourself as to what a properly formulated dog food should have in it (and commercials can't offer that). Of course there are other issues that can lead to food aggression and my advice is not a one-size-fits-all formula. It's just a good place to start.
The how is in that our puppies are fed in groups of two or three. This not only ensures that each puppy gets the amount of food it needs, but it also creates a less frantic eating experience. We feed them twice daily a combination of canned and dry food and scrambled eggs, cottage cheese and pumpkin puree. These are excellent sources of animal protein, calcium and fiber respectively that can be immediately used by the dogs' digestive systems. Since eating can be quite a competitive sport with puppies, creating a more relaxed eating experience diminishes the chance that "resource guarding" will be an issue while they're with us. A week before they go to their new homes we start mixing a small spoonful of Greek yogurt and another spoonful of organic, non-gmo pure pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix) into their food. This helps bolster their little systems as the transition to a new environment can be stressful.
Our puppies are also fed Glucosamine supplements daily. We purchase them through NuVet in California. These tablets are human grade, synthetic free and combined with the right ingredients to ensure absorption and effectiveness. Glucosamine is great for joint and cartilage health and is also great for strengthening the cartilage in dogs' ears. If you purchase a puppy from us, we will send you home with an access code from NuVet that allows you to order these supplements for your dog. NuVet/NuJoint can only be purchased through an access code.
Each puppy will go home with a bag of Nature's Logic Beef dry dog food , one can of Nature's Logic Beef canned food, a can of pumpkin, a starter supply of NuJoint Plus (for hips/elbows) and a starter supply of NuVet (immune system booster).
We also have two goody bags full of fun stuff for each puppy to help get their new life started.
As cleanliness is important in order for a puppy to develop a good standard, we bathe our puppies regularly and make sure that their play area is kept clean and void of their mess. We also take them on car rides in order to avoid the motion sickness that is often a result of not being in the car enough when they are young. Here at Liberty's West German Shepherds we strive earnestly to make sure that your puppy gets the best start in life both nutritionally and environmentally. We do suggest that before you bring your puppy home that you purchase a non-slip bath mat for your puppy to stand on when bathing. It really helps the puppies keep their footing in the bathtub. It is not good for their little hips and elbows to be slipping in the bathtub and it also makes for a more pleasant experience. They feel more secure when they're not sliding all over the place.
Our females are bred for only three years. They have their first litters at two years of age and their last litters before they turn five. Once they turn five years old, they are removed from the breeding rotation and spayed. Spaying a female is important if she is not going to have puppies. Allowing a female to go into heat over and over without a pregnancy following a heat could lead to pyometra, which is a very serious infection of the uterus that is life threatening and not easy to detect until the dog's life is in danger. That is why we breed our females every heat starting at two years of age. Studies have shown that females have their best and healthiest litters before five years of age. That is also when the mother is most engaged, energetic and recovers quickest after giving birth. That is not to say other methods are bad or wrong, this is just an explanation as to why you will see more frequent litter announcements at Liberty's West German Shepherds. We practice higher frequency but for a shorter period.
We offer a two-year health and hip guarantee on all of our puppies. Our guarantee is two-fold, offering you a way to customize your warranty to fit your preferences. Feel free to ask for more details.
Companies Whose Products We Love to Recommend
As most of us can say, we've ran the gamut of products that are out there only to be disappointed in the quality, durability or price to product ratio. We also feel a very strong loyalty to American owned and operated businesses when they keep all of their manufacturing here in the U.S., ensuring that so many of our fellow Americans have employment. We have found that U.S. products are better, more durable and healthier respectively. Another interesting detail is that the companies we deal with not only know more about their products, but they love to talk about their products. This just ensures that the consumer is better able to make an educated purchase. Here are a few companies we highly recommend for product quality, price to quality ratio, and for their customer service. All of these companies use materials sourced in the U.S.
For Dog Food: Nature's Logic (Nebraska). Their people are educated, passionate about manufacturing the quality food that your pet deserves without breaking the bank, and welcome calls from people just like you. Ask them anything at any time.
For Supplements: NuVet Labs (California). Again, the customer service is great and they love to answer questions about their products. Their quality control is excellent.
For Leashes, Collars, Vests and Other Training Items: Mendota Pet (Minnesota). Excellent knowledge of the product, honest about every aspect of the product in relation to your individual needs, and willing to make sure you make the right purchase the first time. Their warranty is outstanding! If you buy a product from them that doesn't hold up (dog chewing excluded as that is operator error!), they will replace it for you free of charge. It doesn't matter if it's two years down the road.