Julie Martinez Mittelwest German Shepherds has done a series of articles on health issues that are present in this breed. You can read about them here:
As mentioned in previous articles, each breed will have some breed-specific health concerns, and will present some challenges. Please be aware, we as breeders do our best to produce the best and healthiest litter to our potential customers and owners, but some problems will still surface. Below we will outline some things that can be done to raise a healthiest German Shepherd Dog, and some things to be aware of. Our customers often ask us if these types of health issues can be avoided.
Here is the situation:
- Some of the common problems are genetic in nature. This means that they are inherited from parents, who might or might not have them present. These genetic health issues have become common today in the breed due to imprudent breeding practices over the years. Julie Martinez Breeder is committed to eliminating these genetic diseases and follows a protocol for best practices. There are numerous books written on this topic and this is relevant to other popular breeds.
- When looking to purchase a German Shepherd, ask the breeder if they do gene testing. This can save you a lot of problems in the future. Gene tests determine if a German Shepherd carries a Degenerative Myelopathy (DM) gene. If a puppy tests positive for it, there is a 25% chance that it becomes afflicted with this devastating condition in the future. If the breeder does test for it, ask for proof, as certificates are issued for each dog tested.
- If you are looking to purchase a pure-bred German Shepherd, Julie Martinez Mittelwest recommends asking to see full lineage of the dog, and discussing the potential genetic conditions with your breeder.
- Other set of problems that a dog might develop are environmental in nature. Which in essence means that is caused by the way you raise your dog or puppy. Be aware of the conditions that are ideal for this breed and only then purchase it and bring it into your home. German Shepherds are large, intelligent dogs and must have an active lifestyle in order to be healthy.
- A lot of health risks can be avoided by proper nutrition. Healthy, natural nutrition is the best for this breed. Dry, canned and kibble variety of foods are not your best option. You can supplement your dog with it, but it will serve your dog best to be eating as natural as possible to avoid a variety of digestive and auto-immune diseases. Natural, raw diet is always the best.