Super Nova Shilohs?
Mandatory Health Screening
Each of our dogs go through thorough and rigorous health testing in order to obtain an official Breeding Certificate with the ISSA. Those requirements at minimum are:
- Hip & Elbow X-rays: we do Pennhip hips and OFA for elbows.
- Holter Monitor (EKG): each of our dogs wore a heart monitor for 24 hours to screen for any abnormalities as puppies. We also do heart auscultation or an OFA heart certification as an adult by a Board Certified Cardiologist.
- DM test: if not cleared by parentage, we test for Degenerative Myopathy.
- Full Blood, Fecal, Urinalysis, and Tick panel: prior to breeding to ensure our dogs are as healthy as can be!
The ISSA prides ourselves on the solid temperament of the Shiloh Shepherds we produce, and it's one of our highest priorities. At 8 weeks old, we bring in a certified Temperament Evaluator and Tester to assess the temperament and character of our puppies. The information and insight gained from the evaluation combined with the breeder's own knowledge of the puppies helps us make the best possible decision in selecting the right home for them.
Applicants and hopeful puppy people complete a screening process and their information is compared to personalities and types of puppies in this litter, and then puppies and families are matched in order to set both up for success as new family members.
Genetic Diversity Analysis
The ISSA is the first Shiloh Registry and Club to have our pool of breeding dogs genetically analyzed for diversity! We use this valuable and state-of-the-art insight to help make the best matches possible in order to properly steward our gene pool to ensure robust health in our dogs. Every puppy gets swabbed and tested at two weeks of age and will go home with their results.
Breeders use this valuable information to help guide our breeding decisions. COI is an incredibly important factor in any breeding - whether it's with dogs or cattle, pigs, or horses. This is a solid mathematical yet technically theoretical calculation of inter-relatedness based on paper-pedigree. COI is incredibly important for ensuring a good genetic balance across the board as well as within any given two. dogs. Using our genetic data within a tool called BetterBred essentially makes COI obsolete. We don't have to rely on COI - we have the actual genetic material represented in each breeding dog. We know with absolute certainty the genetic relatedness of any given dog in our gene pool. This is truly ground-breaking within Shilohs and other canine breeds.
The ISSA is unique in that we elect three Breed Wardens to help steward our gene pool and the best possible breedings. When planning a breeding, each breeder in the ISSA does extensive research into the possible pairings for their girls. We utilize tools such as BetterBred and our extensive health database to help us make our decision in what is best for not only our individual programs, and also for the betterment of the gene pool as a whole.
We then consider all angles of health, temperament and structure and draw up an official proposal and submit it to our wardens for review. This helps ensure all breeders exercise due diligence in their research. And besides, it's always helpful to have a second set of eyes to "sanity check" your goals and how you want to accomplish them!
Each litter is raised in our home in Fargo, ND. Occasionally, we will have a co-own whelp a puppy at their private residence. Rest assured - those puppies are also raised in a home rather than in a kennel! All our dogs are raw fed and our puppies will be weaned to raw as well as we believe in a species/biological appropriate diet. Puppies are all wormed, chipped, and inoculated prior to going home. Also, the entire family is treated to a special chiropractic session with one of the best canine chiropractors in the state!
At Super Nova Shilohs we also raise our puppies using the Puppy Culture Protocol. Puppy Culture is the Gold Standard in Puppy Rearing and Socialization. Puppy Culture covers everything from early neurological stimulation, enrichment activities, to emotional resilience and 'sound proofing'. Puppy Culture assists breeders (us!) and puppy owners (you!) with setting up puppies and their persons for successful communication and relationships!
For more information, please check out Puppy Culture at https://shoppuppyculture.com!
Many are surprised that they are not able to choose their puppy or have 'pick of the litter'. At Super Nova Shilohs, we consider the temperament and characteristics of the puppies, and the type of people and families hopefully to gain a new family member. We do allow for a "top 3" selection, as well as a preference of male/female and plush/smooth, and color, to some degree. We then look at what puppies are best fit for who, and if there are two that come close, we select the one that may be in your 'top three'. Our goal is to ensure the best possible compatibility and match for both the puppy and your family.
When I applied for a puppy from the October/Piston litter, I was underwent a lengthy questionnaire and thorough interview. After the Litter Evaluation, the breeders blessed us with Kobuk - and he was exactly what I asked for. He is everything I had hoped for in a dog - things I made certain to outline in my applicant and interview process. When I brought him home at 8 weeks old I had tremendous insight into who he was as a being and as a dog. I appreciated the fact that at 8 weeks we had the best view into who this puppy is; he was akin to clay at this point, and it was up to me to raise him well and mold him into the best family member and doggie citizen he could be!
Service Dog Prospects are a common request we receive. Our program goals are to produce friendly, confident, and outgoing dogs. This is not always conducive to dogs that provide specific services and tasks for their humans.
Should you approach us about a Service Dog prospect please know the following things are required:
An established relationship with a professional service dog trainer with an existing agreement to provide SD training and guidance.
A list of specific goals/tasks/services for your Service dog.
An explicit list of behavioral qualities that will function as requirements during temperament testing. These need to be demonstrable behaviors.
Also be prepared for an in-depth interview with yourself and your selected trainer.
We will not place puppies to function as prospects for motility assistance or psychiatric service dogs due to the incompatibility of the breed with these needs.
As inferred in the Temperament Evaluation section, we do not allow families to pick their puppies in the traditional sense. We strongly believe in ensuring matches are most appropriate for the family and the puppy. The last thing anyone wants is to take home a puppy that is not a good match in an important quality. Nor do I want to send a puppy to a home that he or she will not get their needs met in.
The placement process involves the family working with us to enumerate qualities that they desire and do not want. The temperament test and the breeder's knowledge of the puppies for 8 or so weeks will inform a puppy profile of sorts for each pup in a litter. After the formal evaluation is done, we spend time working on identifying which puppies fit best with the puppy family candidates. Matched puppies are presented anonymously to the puppy family when the temperament testing is complete. The discussion that follows recaps the needs/wants/deal-breakers of the family to level set. Then the anonymous puppies are described in detail and it is explained why the pup(s) are good options for them. Pros and cons will be discussed in detail and a joint decision is made between us and the family. Then the puppy that was decided on is revealed and joy ensues :)
Sometimes only one puppy meets the qualities desired for families, sometimes 2-3. We do our best to make sure that each family has an option in the litter, but certain circumstances such as length of wait time on the list, and other motivating factors may render it that a hopeful family just does not have a good fit for them in the litter. This sucks when this happens, but the right temperamented shiloh is certainly worth the wait!