~Frequently Asked Questions~
Q: ~Do Long Hair German Shepherds shed a lot?
A: Many people are surprised to learn that RPR Long Hair German Shepherds do not shed much. In fact, smooth coat German Shepherds actually shed more. Specifically with our dogs, it depends on which coat type the puppy matures into. If its more plush like their mom, they will likely shed some during the hot summer months. If its a soft long hair coat like their dad, they will not shed much or even at all. They have a think undercoat and only when brushed, will any old or dead hair easily release. Keep in mind, it is important to maintain proper grooming with the long coat to remove unnecessary undercoat. If proper grooming is not up kept, problems may occur. If the dog is exposed to excessive amounts of water or wet weather conditions, moisture can become trapped in the thick undercoat with no air flow to properly dry against the skin. This can cause skin irritations such as mold and mildew growth. Its important to brush regularly and schedule a professional grooming at least twice per year.
Q: ~Why are RPR Shepherds priced higher than some other unregisterd German Shepherd dogs?
A: Most AKC registered dogs similar to ours cost $1500-$2500 or more and also come with several restrictions, requirements and long application processes. We really attempt to value the quality and uniquness of our dogs, their health and our efforts to maintain the rare standard of the breed while making them affordable for families. These dogs become a life long addition to your family. This long term investment ensures that our puppies are placed in responsible homes that will continue to provide the best care possible throughout their life.
Q: ~Are breeding rights included in the price?
A: Because our dogs do not have registration papers, we cannot grant nor deny breeding rights. However, we strongly discourage the breeding of all our puppies respectfully. Spay or neuter is highly recommended between 6 to 12 months of age.
Q: ~What does the ear tattoo mean and why is it there?
A: All our puppies receive a 3 or 4 character tattoo in the left ear for identification purposes throughout their life. An example is "P8A." All tattoo's begin with the letter 'P' correlating our ranch brand. The next number (in this example "8") indicates which litter number they are from. The last letter (in this example "A") corresponds with the collar color they had as a puppy. Blue=A, Red=B, Green=C, etc. This acts as a brand or a lifelong form of ID. In case the puppy is ever lost, stolen or sold without paperwork, they likely will not be interbred with a litter mate and could possibly be traced back to our records if needed.
Q: ~Why does RPR breed frequently, having two litters per year? Is that hard on the dam?
A: It is important to us to share our personal ethics and standards of our responsible breeding program with our prospective buyers. We parallel the breeding philosophy of other responsible breeders such as Von Ward Kennels and respectively credit much of the following information to them.
First and foremost, we consider many factor's in choosing the right German Shepherd (males AND females) to enter into our breeding program. They must have correct straight backs and hips, large bone, upright hocks that do not cross or touch the ground when they move, display the right drive (not high strung but not so little that they have no desire), and be easily taught to follow basic commands. There are other considerations as well, including temperament, color and markings that we specifically breed for. Then, the dog must be healthy, complete DM testing, and be free of disease and parasites. Once a dam has passed our initial requirements and is entered into our program, it has always been our instinct to breed her ‘back-to-back’ through each heat cycle, with the occasional skip for whatever reasons we deem necessary at the time. Our own experience has guided this practice for years and our thoughts have always been that if our dams are healthy and happily raising their litters then we are fulfilling our job as their owner. Other breeders have similar views, after all, that’s what breeders do, they breed! People who view this practice as sub-standard don’t really know what the breeding process is about. There is resistance to this method of breeding and often inexperienced or non-breeders profess that it is not healthy to allow a dog to have more than one litter a year, without specific data to back up their position. The scientific data, though, proves that skipping a heat is actually DETRIMENTAL to the dam’s health! In an AKC Breeder Symposium with keynote speaker Dr. Claudia Orlandi Ph.D, it was revealed that scientific studies have proven that a dam’s health is better served by breeding her for every heat cycle. Studies were done on Labrador females in which half were bred every other heat and the other half were bred every heat. They were all spayed at the same age and the removed uteri were dissected. The findings were that the females that had skipped heats had noticeable damage to their uteri and the other dogs’ were normal and healthy. The reasoning is that the dog’s body operates as if it were pregnant after a heat even if the female was never bred and the hormones released can cause considerable damage to a uterus without puppies. In nature a dog would be pregnant every heat. This is what their bodies were designed to do. A breed-worthy female ADORES her puppies. They care, protect, and nurture with such devotion it is obvious they love what they are doing. Our dogs are happy, healthy and well loved. We strongly believe in the natural breeding process, which is why we devote our constant time, love and energy into our select few breeding dogs rather than in high volume. We do not lock our dogs in confined areas together in order to produce a litter. They have free run at all times on our 20 acre fully dog tight fenced ranch with no pressure or expectations from us. They are our true family companions and are treated as such. We do cherish them.
In addition, It is impracticable that we would compare humans to dogs, especially when discussing reproduction. Dogs are not humans, they don’t think or feel the same way humans do, and comparing their reproductive patterns to ourselves is not only silly, it is completely inaccurate. It’s no different than trying to compare ducks to elephants! It is this concept of comparing a German Shepherd dog’s nature (or any other breed of dog, for that matter) to humans that also gets owners into trouble during training. To train a GSD, you must think like a dog, not a human. You must consider yourself the leader of their pack and treat them as your subordinate. Being a responsible breeder is no different. If you want to breed German Shepherds or any other breed of dogs, you must consider the animal that will be reproducing and not your own personal feelings. Responsible breeders should not be questioned for their breeding frequency, it’s as unreasonable as telling a seasoned rancher how often he is allowed to breed his livestock. I hope this information is helpful in better understanding our program.