German Shepherd Puppies; Distinctly West German, Uniquely American
100% German Bloodlines,
 Breeding to a higher standard! 

Outstanding Companion and Family Protection dogs; Herding, Performance and Service Dogs are all our Specialty. 
We train/work/title and live with our dogs as well as health test.  We breed sound dogs (not afraid of thunder or gun shots)

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Last updated - Thursday, March 19, 2015 08:37:08 PM -0500

Last updated - Sunday, November 08, 2015 08:02:48 PM -0600

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Show puppies by Anatomy; Loyal Companions and Protection by Nature; Health and Longevity by good genetics; and proven by Health Testing Certifications. Brought to you by a thoughtful knowledgeable trusted breeder of over 45 years. Breeders of the finest quality Schutzhund/IPO titled & Breed Surveyed German Shepherds in the United States. Our breeding program maintains the integrity of the German Shepherd's heritage to preserve the ideal human-canine bond. 

Our Merkel Geneology is from
Haßloch, Germany

We are published in these books

Haus Merkel
   Breeder Name: Dyan Merkel
   Location: North Texas
   Contact Info:

   Hip/Elbow Certifications: Yes
   Degenerative Myopathy Certifications: Yes
   Thyroid tests: Yes
   CERF tests: No

   Titles/certifies breeding stock in discipline?: Yes

   Raises breeding stock from puppies: Yes
   Titles dogs bred on premise:  Yes
   Imports titled breeding stock: Yes
   Buys from other Breeders:  NO MORE!

   Has trained in Schutzhund: Yes
   HOT from puppy to SchH3: Yes
   HOT and bred to SchH3: Yes

   Show ratings: Yes
   Breed survey: Yes

   V Putz vom Haus Merkel SchH3, Kkl 1a
   V Ulla vom Haus Merkel SchH3, Kkl 1a
   V Zessa vom Haus Merkel SchH2, IPO3, Kkl1a
   V Riesa vom Haus Merkel SchH2, Kkl 1a
   V Puma vom Haus Merkel SchH2, Kkl 1a
   V Emma vom Haus Merkel SchH1, Kkl 1a
   SG Wickie vom Haus Merkel IPO1 a
   SG Vessa vom Haus Merkel IPO1 a
   SG1 Clar vom Haus Merkel SchH1 a
   Ch Merkel's Opium SchH1
   V Merkel's Arletta SchH1, a
   SG, VP2 Nixe vom Haus Merkel BH, AD, a
   SG Feli vom Haus Merkel BH, AD, a
   Ch Merkel's Leica UDT, OFA
   Merkel's Leibchen Shiloh UDT, OFA
   Ch Merkels Sangria UDT, OFA
   United States Grand Victrix
   Ch Merkels Vendetta  ROM, OFA
   Ch Merkel' Quaestor CD, ROM, OFA
   Ch Merkel's Essence UD, OFA
   Merkel's Coda vom Jennerick CDX, OFA
   National Certified Search & Rescue
   Lieb vom Haus Merkel OFA,
   National Obedience Winner
Ch Merkel's Cut Up of Timmee UDT, OFA
   Certified United States Service Dog
   Bryn vom Haus   Merkel CGC, OFA
   Certified United States Service Dog
Fred vom Haus Merkel
   Ch Merkel's The Cutting Edge OFA
   Ch Merkel's Virtual Reality OFA
   Ch Merkel's Tequila CD, OFA
   Ch Merkel's Sante Fe OFA
   Merkel's Spellbound ROM,
   Merkel's Emma ROM , OFA

   Merkel's Estes CD, near ROM
   2009 Annual Achievement Award Recipient
   Ch Merkel's Heart's are Wild
   Ch Merkel's Heart to Heart CD, OFA
   World Sieger Larus von Batu SchH3 Kkl 1a
   World Sieger Zamp vom Thermodos SchH3, Kkl 1
   World Sieger Yasko vom Farbenspiel SchH3,Kkl 1a
   VA Dux della Valcuvia SchH3, Kkl1a


S I T E    N A V I G A T I O N

About our 46 years in the Breed

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Excellent Link to pet/health videos
Any health care links located here are NOT to replace a veterinarian visit; please take your dog to a vet immediately at any sign of odd behavior or any symptoms of illness or injury. Call your vet and describe your dog's symptoms with any of your concerns about the dog's well-being. Your veterinarian may discover changes in your dog's health that you have overlooked. It is always better to err on the side of caution

von Willebrand Disease
Hip dysplasia Positioning
(A badly positioned x-ray can make
your dog look dysplasic!)
Triple Pelvic Osteotomy
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Schutzhund USA


My beloved mother
(Dorothy Conner Merkel Obituary)
Love, kindness & laughter was her gift to all.  Always on my mind forever in my heart!


Click photo to go to their site

Calorie Content (calculated):
ME 3894 kcal/kg;429 kcal/cup

Formula for Active Dog & Puppies contains high levels
of Proteins and Energy with only 30% carbohydrates! This super premium food is naturally formulated with added vitamins, minerals and other additives that work
together to support a strong and healthy immune and digestive system. As with all Victor dog foods, this formula is free from Corn, Wheat, Soy or Glutens and is also made using GMO Free. Dogs love the all natural flavor of this super premium food



Click on photo for the

attribution (C) DFDK9 

Canine body language

THIS is why you do not walk your dogs on asphalt or concrete in the summer. If you see someone walking their dogs on asphalt or concrete, PLEASE educated them and get the pet to cooler ground. Original post was from Pet Ambulance Victoria

This should be sent to all the veterinarians including the specialists!


We have received two notices. (1) Nails wrapped in cheese at dog parks in Chicago and Massachusetts (see pic). (2) from some friends that in Augusta Maine dog park, antifreeze is being found in doggie water bowls. Please beware and be careful and PLEASE SHARE and spread the word

Ever wonder where puppy mill dogs come from? Here's an example. Many get cooked alive in the sun and freeze to death in the winter. If you purchase your dog from a pet store, I can guarantee your "AKC" certified dog came from a place like this.  This one is even better than the ones  I saw in Iowa and Missouri!

Do you recognize she is a Yorkie?
Please do not purchase your pet from a Pet shop, Backyard breeder or Commercial Puppy Mill.

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"The man who rears a dog must complete what the breeder began..." Max v. Stephanitz; Father of the German Shepherd Dog


"Fun at the Beach"

"Fun at Work"

This is a real combination of symptoms that spells out EMERGENCY. These are the classic symptoms of a condition referred to as "bloat" - a dog that is pacing, restless and has unproductive attempts to vomit.

This is a common problem in large breed deep-chested dogs but can also occur in smaller dogs.

Basically what happens is this - the stomach twists causing the blood supply to the stomach to be compromised then leads to tissue death. As tissues are damaged, toxins are released and a sequence of events occurs that if left untreated, leads to death.

If you ever notice these symptoms in your dog, call your local veterinarian or emergency clinic as soon as possible.

This is a condition that is fairly common and often occurs in the evening or nighttime hours. It is also a very expensive condition to treat.  READ MORE...


Dealing with Excessive Barking

The first step to stopping barking is to understand why it is happening. Dogs bark for all kinds of reasons, including anxiety, boredom and/or loneliness. Sometimes they bark just because it feels good.  Luckily, most dogs will respond to one or other intervention to curtail their barking. Whether you simply bring an outdoor dog inside or take the time to apply behavior-modification techniques, you can cause a dog to be less of a nuisance and to be more socially acceptable.

Removing Skunk Odor

No need for the tomato juice. Use a mixture of 10 parts hydrogen peroxide to 1 part baking soda. Add a dash of degreasing dishwashing soap and pour into a spray bottle. Spray liberally over dry coat and allow to air dry. Avoid eyes. Works on other objects, too!

Click link below to enjoy the Birding Site








A few procedures performed before the bitch comes in heat may make all the difference in producing a litter of live healthy puppies. These procedures will contribute to the continued good health of your bitch. Also, they ensure the safety of the stud dog if a natural breeding should desired, and they can help protect the stud dog's reputation by preventing unnecessary breeding failures. We like to start about one month before the coming heat, in order to have time to treat any problems found.

The most common factor in missed litters is the condition of the uterus. Changes to the uterus occur because of low grade bacterial infection, and the progesterone stimulation that occurs in the 'false pregnancy' experienced by every bitch following her heat. Progesterone causes changes in the uterine lining and additionally lowers resistance to bacterial infections. The full breeding cycle in the bitch not 3 weeks, but 4 months, due to the hormonal false pregnancy. Some bitches show outward physical and behavioral signs of a false pregnancy, others don't, but they all have elevated progesterone levels that affect disease resistance and the uterine lining. If a bitch cycles once a year, every 8 months, or every 6 months, she has time for the uterine lining to rest and normalize. Bitches that cycle every 4 months have no such rest period. These short-cyclers, therefore, are more likely to have the condition known as cystic hyperplasia. They are also, for the same reasons, more likely to suffer chronic low grade infection and inflammation in the uterus. The result of these latter two conditions is a build up of diffuse scar tissue in the endometrium. It also follows that every year older the bitch is, the greater the build up of damage from these causes.

Bitches that short-cycle should have periodic white blood counts, and possibly mibolerone treatment (formerly 'Cheque Drops') to monitor for the development of pyometra and to limit ongoing endometrial damage.


No matter how clean the environment, there will be a continual supply of bacteria (mostly of fecal origin), present where the bitch sits. Every time she has a heat, her cervix opens and bacteria can move into the uterus. In humans, upright posture and gravity tend to work against infections ascending from the external genitalia. Dogs don’t have this asset. If ‘vaginitis’ (an infection in the vagina) is present and fairly well established in the bitch when her cervix opens, the infection may gain entry to the uterus where it may become an ‘endometritis’ or a ‘pyometritis’. An endometritis is an inflamed uterus, and a pyometritis is the condition of frank pus in the uterus.

The factors that cause a uterus to become an unsuitable place for puppy development are scar tissue, inflammation and continual stimulation of the uterine lining. The causes of scar tissue and inflammation are low grade bacterial infections. So, while the developing puppy may not be literally attacked by harmful bacteria residing in the uterus, bacteria can contribute significantly to the deterioration of the uterine environment. Any bacteriologist will tell you that any organism can be pathogenic in large numbers. On the other hand, we don't really need or expect to wipe all bacteria with antibiotic treatment, but we hope to keep the numbers of these bacteria below the level where it would be expected to interfere with conception and gestation. Some especially dangerous bacteria we do try to eliminate. Additionally, some bacteria can contribute to neo-natal puppy death (as opposed to puppy loss during gestation).

In order to gauge whether a positive bacterial culture means a vaginitis, an endometritis, or a pyometritis, we must always do a white blood count. The culture-and-sensitivity, and the white count work together to generate information in a useful form. Keeping in mind that the entire animal must be evaluated for other reasons for an elevated WBC, in intact bitches in otherwise good health, a normal to mildly elevated count with a positive culture usually indicates a vaginitis. A moderately elevated white count implies a severe vaginitis or an endometritis, and a white count of 30,000 and above is a severely affected uterus; in this last condition, the uterus may be distended with pus which can be felt by palpation and may be visualized on ultra sound or x-ray exam. This is then known as pyometra.

NOTE: bitches with pyometra will either exhibit no signs at all, or mild depression and perhaps some loss of appetite. There may be a thick creamy discharge, but just as often there is not. If the disease has progressed to the pyometritis point, it is well beyond the point we like to have caught it. One way to monitor your bitch and avoid such an extreme problem is to do a white blood count about 3 weeks after each heat period whether or not she has been bred.

If an infection exists and the white count is high, the pyometra is treated with the administration of prostaglandin therapy to open the cervix and empty the uterus in order to get the infection under control, along with concurrent antibiotic therapy. Those bitches with a frank pyometra and an extremely high white blood count may become septicemic, toxic, shocky and die if not caught in time. Bitches that are followed in a routine manner are caught before they become too toxic and can be treated effectively, and at least 85% should be able to return to normal fertility.

To determine if a uterine infection exists, a bacterial culture and sensitivity should be done using a ‘guarded culture instrument’. The culture is taken high in the vagina, near the cervix, and is termed a ‘high culture’ or a ‘cervical culture’. We find that sometimes even young bitches that have not been bred before may have significant numbers of bacteria that are capable of being uterine and reproductive pathogens, as well as very elevated white blood counts indicating a uterine infection. We always tell people that the reason we have to check on even maiden bitches, is that the bitches don’t wear panties (and the dogs aren’t circumcised)!

The use of a guarded culture instrument or a sterile stainless steel speculum will ensure that the organisms come from the area near the cervix, rather than the area around the vulva. If a guarded culturette or a stainless speculum is not used, the culture will be contaminated by the organisms the bitch last sat on, rather than those that are actually in residence near the cervix. Using proper instrumentation and technique, there is virtually no possibility of introducing bacteria from the lower vagina to the area near the cervix; those who claim this will happen, probably do not have the instrumentation and know-how to perform the procedure properly, and a qualified reproductive practitioner should be located.

A sensitivity is performed along with the culture. This is done in a petri dish filled with a culture medium which will support the growth of most bacteria. The culture swab is swept evenly over the medium, to provide a solid growth pattern. Then, small discs of blotter paper, each impregnated with a different antibiotic, are placed on this surface. Where the growth of bacteria is prohibited in a circle around the disc it is said that that organism is ‘sensitive’ to that antibiotic. Where there is no interruption in the growth of the bacteria around the disc, the organism is said to be ‘resistant’ to that antibiotic. This gives us our third item of useful information; what antibiotic to chose to treat the infection.

Many breeders who aren't exactly certain of what each of these procedures are, think that a vaginal swab, used by some to evaluate breeding readiness, means a culture has been taken. The vaginal swab us used to transfer the epithelial cells lining the vagina to a slide. These cells are stained and examined for the amount of keratinization they exhibit. This has nothing to do with a culture/sensitivity.

If an infection is found that warrants antibiotic therapy, four to seven days after treatment has been completed, a follow-up culture is necessary to be sure the organism has been eliminated, or reduced in numbers below an acceptable level. It is important to obtain the actual report of the lab on the culture and sensitivity, as many labs are incorrect in which organisms they identify as ‘significant’ in a reproductive infection. A report of ‘clean’ or ‘no significant organisms’ is not sufficient.,/P>

The organisms we generally feel are significant in a properly obtained cervical culture are : beta Strep, E. coli, Pseudomonas spp., and Staph aureas, as well as several others if they are found in large numbers.

Additionally, we check for Mycoplasma, an organism that is cultured in a different manner. Mycoplasma is responsible for kennel wide sterility is some instances. In other examples, a bitch may whelp a litter even though she has Mycoplasma in residence. In fact, it is a 'normal inhabitant' in the reproductive tract. However, normal does not mean desirable, and if the culture comes back with a moderate or heavy growth report, we treat for it to reduce the level of organisms. There is controversy about just how important a pathogen it is, but years of clinical experience and sterility in dogs that have been infected suggest that it is not prudent to neglect this organism. Mycoplasma cultures are processed differently than the standard aerobic cultures and take a bit longer to grow. We prefer to obtain cultures about a month before the bitch is expected in heat, which gives us time to get all of the necessary information, and to give antibiotics if necessary without having to worry about getting it done before the time for breeding.


Thyroid is the basic ‘trophic’ hormone in the body; trophic means promoting or supporting growth. In order for all of the more specific reproductive hormones to play their proper role in the very complex series of events resulting in successful production of a litter, thyroid must be present at an adequate level.

It can be misleading to consider a 'lab normal’ range for T4 as the appropriate range for successful pregnancy. In terms of reproduction, we are not interested in what is a normal level for an aged animal. We need to know normal T4 for a bitch of 1.5 to 5 years of age when trying to judge if there is a sufficient thyroid level to support pregnancy. We have no breed and age break-downs in those lab normal ranges. Even though the labs have been computerized for a long time, most submitting veterinarians neglect to note down the breed when they submit their samples. Thyroid requirements vary with age and with stress and disease demands. Thyroid normals from labs will include unhealthy dogs, and not reflect the 'euthyroid' of those included in the range.

The best way to generate normal thyroid levels for your breed is to organize a blood clinic at a national specialty; in this way, we can obtain thyroid levels of healthy dogs of ages ranging from 6 months to veterans. When the values obtained are sorted by age, you will have a good idea of normal thyroid for a dog of your breed and age.

The bitch for which we may recommend l-thyroxine supplementation to assure that this is not the factor preventing a breeding from being successful, is not a bitch that we would say had abnormal thyroid function. If the dog were exhibiting clinical signs of a true thyroid deficiency, she would not be the one you would be proposing to breed anyway. She would be an unthrifty and unhealthy looking animal. Many of the normal breeding animals I check have a T4 in the low normal range. Many of them are older than 5 years of age; some of them also have Lyme disease. I feel, and this is an opinion I have discussed with several endocrinologists, that we should try to have bitches in the upper third of the normal range to assure that thyroid is not a limiting factor for pregnancy. Almost every bitch of 5 years or more will have a relatively low thyroid, when compared to her thyroid (T4) at a younger age. This a normal sign of aging. As human women should reproduce before 40, bitches should reproduce before 5. Yet through the simple act of supplementing l-thyroxine, we are most often able to extend that breeding range to 9 years, all other things being equal. The argument as to whether we should be breeding bitches with low thyroids is, in my mind, totally useless until we take a better look at the validity of published ranges.

A thyroid panel, such as the OFA panel, should be obtained on a young healthy bitch in order to reflect the true euthyroid condition of the animal. Thyroid varies just like body temperature throughout the day; for a normal appearing and functioning animal, the ball park T4 is all we need to evaluate before breeding.

In a younger bitch that has had trouble conceiving and has a low (or low normal) T4, often once a successful pregnancy has been established and the bitch is checked again after she has finished with weaning and shedding, she may be able to go off supplementation and maintain higher levels of T4 on her own. Again, rechecks are necessary to determine needs, if any as the bitch’s age and circumstances change. It is not a certainty that a bitch with a low normal T4 can’t have a normal heat, become pregnant and whelp a litter; rather, it is a matter of trying to cover the bases and eliminate areas where potential problems can occur in order to enhance our chances of producing the litter.


The owner of the stud dog should always require that a Brucella titer be done within the month or so prior to a breeding. Unless artificial insemination is a certainty, or even if just normal courtship behavior is anticipated, it is necessary to protect the male, and any future bitches that might come to him. It is contagious, and will render dogs and bitches infected with it totally sterile. Brucella is a true venereal disease, whereas the infections we have discussed previously arise from the environment. It is likewise reasonable that the stud dog owner request that all of the tests we have discussed should be done, to protect the stud dog’s health and fertility, and to protect his reputation as a sire.


Click here for a complete discussion of the influence of Lyme disease and monthly heartworm medication on pregnant bitches. Suffice to say here, no breeding animal, whether dog or bitch, should ever be on any monthly or injectable heartworm medication. Daily preventives such as Filaribits or Nemacide are safe to use.

The following tests are reasonable for the stud dog owner to request the bitch owner to do before a breeding. Even if artificial insemination is used, no stud dog owner wants her dog's reputation for producing puppies to suffer because the bitch wasn't worked up. These same tests will help ensure the breeder of a normal healthy litter.

  • LYME WESTERN BLOT OR IDEXX SNAP-3D LYME TEST (differentiates between vaccinal and natural Lyme exposure)
  • CULTURE (Mycoplasma)
    If the bitch is over 4 or has had a 'miss' on a prior breeding


Mary C. Wakeman, D.V.M.
©2000-2003 for BREEDERVET
Revised 3/28/03

Bacteria May Cause Infertility in Dogs and Bitches

by William Truesdale, DVM

Have you experienced poor conception rates? Early embryonal or fetal death? Abortions, stillborns, fading pups, or small litters?

A common opportunistic bacteria known as T-Strain Mycoplasma may be responsible for the above complications. Researchers have isolated mycoplasma from dogs in all phases of infection. The condition is most often seen in establishments where there is a high population of breeding animals living in close quarters, hence lending itself to propagation.

Transmission of mycoplasma is not necessarily by sexual contact. Virgin males and females have been cultured with high levels of mycoplasma. It has been established that direct contact, such as shared water buckets, exercise pens, and intense close living conditions, are perfect hosts to the propagation of mycoplasma. In some affected kennels, several bitches or stud dogs may be involved, causing fertility rates to drop drastically. Ironically, many reproductively sound dogs and bitches can also harbor these agents.

Stud dogs and bitches that are subfertile or infertile may show no clinical manifestations of urogenital tract infections. However, the fetus(es) may become infected, perhaps fatally, during or at the time of birth.

It is clear to this veterinarian that the opportunistic nature of this bacteria leads it to be overlooked as a significant pathogen, since not all of its victims are affected. It is my opinion that when there is a history of reproductive problems in both male and female animals, the animals should be tested for mycoplasma as a possible cause.

Diagnosis of bacterial infection is made by isolating the organism. In bitches a deep vaginal culture is collected by passing a guarded culture swab into the vaginal canal during any phase of the estrus cycle. In males a culture of the prepuce or of the semen is performed. Culturing aborted fetuses or afterbirth can also be of significant diagnostic value.

When mycoplasma is isolated in high numbers, antibiotic therapy should be instituted. Treatment consists of dosing entire groups of animals with an antibiotic such as Baytril, Tetracycline, or Chloramphenicol. Therapy should be given for a minimum of 14 to 21 days. In many cases multiple treatment regimes are required. Successful therapy is greatly dependent on minimizing re-exposure to carriers. Single dog/bitch households are very easily treated, if kept free of re-exposure. Unfortunately for the active show enthusiast, many pathways to re-exposure exist, making it difficult for total and permanent eradication of the bacteria.

Much research is still needed to establish the definite role of these agents in breeding dogs. But in cases of canine infertility, looking for infection with mycoplasma and other bacteria should be a part of every diagnostic work-up.





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