Here Are A Few Tips To Help You Raise And Care For Your New German Shepherd
Finding The Right German Shepherd Puppy For You
Cute, fuzzy, and oh so intelligent… German Shepherd puppies are furry little balls of fun, but each little puppy has their own personality; some very playful and rambunctious, others more quiet. German Shepherd puppies begin “fighting” and forming a litter hierarchy at approximately five weeks. Remember, these personality traits will carry over into adulthood, so be prepared for a lifetime of “what you see is what you get” with your new puppy.
We perform a “temperament testing” to help you find the best puppy for your lifestyle. Each puppy has a very definite personality; you may not recognize it immediately, so rely on our expertise and experience in placing the right puppy with you.
Keys To Proper Training
Training is an important aspect in properly raising your German Shepherd puppy and it takes little time to develop these mental skills. German Shepherd Dogs are highly intelligent, so you should spend time with your puppy to make certain he/she is happy and continues to grow properly. Games requiring “fetch” or playing with a variety of toys helps broaden your German Shepherd puppy’s experiences and will keep your GSD physically sound and mentally alert.
How you train and what your German Shepherd puppy is exposed to during their first 16 weeks of life greatly determines how your dog will respond in adulthood. These experiences form an “imprint” for good behavior as your dog matures. Your German Shepherd puppy needs to spend time within your family life. Allow time for you, and all members of your family to enjoy and nurture your German Shepherd pup.
House Breaking Your German Shepherd Puppy
Training your German Shepherd puppy, aka “house breaking”, is a task you should attend to as soon as your puppy arrives. We raise our puppies in a clean environment and expose them to a crate as early as 5 weeks, with the door open. They also ride to the vet in a crate with another puppy for their 7 week vet check. This early crate training makes your job so much easier when the puppy arrives @ 8 weeks. House Breaking put simply is preventing puppy “accidents.” Constant vigilance is the key to housebreaking with any puppy, so be prepared to devote time with this challenge. Using a crate is a simple method for house breaking – by placing your German Shepherd puppy in a “safe” or designated location when you cannot monitor your puppy. Your puppy will get used to his/her crate rapidly and will do just fine inside, but typically for only short time spans. Dogs actually like a dark and quiet location for sleeping, so keeping your puppy behind closed doors will work well for those times when you are not present to watch him/her. Avoid accidents as much as possible to reinforce “house rules.” Additionally, your dog crate is an excellent “home away from home” when traveling, so make sure you have one available for your puppy.
Proper Feeding For Your Healthy German Shepherd
It’s best to continue feeding your German Shepherd puppy the identical diet we were feeding the puppy for the first few weeks. Review your puppy’s diet with us before you take your puppy home. If you decide to change dog food, attempt to do this gradually, mixing new food with old until you phase out the old diet completely.
Attempt to avoid switching foods often, repeated changes in diet are a cause of dog food allergies and also how picky eaters are created. Allow just enough time for your puppy to eat, usually fifteen minutes is adequate. Try to feed your puppy two times a day and remove uneaten food so you can control your puppy’s dietary intake. Use a metal dish for both food and water for your German Shepherd dog. Plastic dishes do not clean completely and retain bacteria and food debris. Although metal dishes cost more, they definitely last longer and are much more safe.
Start Early With Collar and Leash Training
Our puppies go home with a puppy collar; you will need a leash. Use a flat collar for your new puppy, and make certain it is not too tight… your puppy will grow rapidly, so be prepared to adjust the collar frequently. Leather works better than nylon for a a puppy who does a lot of pulling because nylon will cut if pulled too hard. A rolled leather collar will do nicely, however it is more expensive than a flat leather collar, but doesn’t damage the dogs hair.
Purchase a six foot leather leash to use for training your German Shepherd puppy the “stay” command and is a definite requirement if you enroll your puppy in a training class. Puppy training classes are an excellent idea, starting at about four months of age. This will give your puppy necessary obedience training and give him/her an opportunity to interact with other dogs, which is excellent for developing social skills.
Choosing Your Dog’s Veterinarian
Finding a good veterinarian is very important. Talk to your friends, family, and the breeder and settle on a veterinarian who will answer all your puppy related questions. Your puppy will have been vet checked & tattooed before he/she heads home. It is recommended that you also health check your puppy at your vet within three days of ownership and then again a month later for his/her second vaccinations. Find out about spaying or neutering procedures, we recommend putting this major surgery off until after 14 months of age. Discuss our vaccination schedule with your vet. Be sure to ask questions to be as thorough as possible about your puppy’s health care.
Cute, fuzzy and oh so intelligent… Take the time to educate yourself on this great breed. Prepare for their arrival into your home and be prepared to have your life changed forever.