The Kennel Or Breeder Environment
Whether you are purchasing your German Shepherd puppy from a kennel or a private seller, look at the conditions of both. How does the kennel look to you? How does the breeders environment look?
Both kennels and private breeder yards should be clean, and all puppies should have clean water. Please do not buy a German Shepherd puppy from a breeder where the conditions are unclean.
There Should Be Enough Space For The Breed
Space is one requirement that all dogs have. The important thing to note here is that due to their size German Shepherd dog needs more space than a smaller breed such as a beagle. If you dont allow them to have the necessary space for them to exercise and run around then youre likely to find that develop behaviors such as chewing on furniture or excessive barking.
They will have to move, run, or exercise so there should be enough space for them. If you are buying a German Shepherd puppy then understand that it is going to be a grown-up big.
If this is going to be your first dog then it may be worth dog sitting someone elses dog of a similar size in your home to get a feel for how they will cope. Owners of similar-sized adult dogs will be able to guide you on how they may cope in your home.
The long-haired German Shepherd puppies have a really thick tail. While they will move around in your house they wont necessarily be aware of what their tail may hit. Keep the fragile items at your home at a certain height that is not reachable by the dog and not going to fall over should they be knocked by the dog.
Another issue that people usually face is that dogs have the habit of chewing things. Beware if you have dolls or soft toys at your home as they will be an easy target for the German Shepherd dog and your child may not appreciate that. If there is enough space then the German Shepherd will be free to roam around and their minds can be diverted to playing.
The American Kennel Club
Locating a good breeder is one of the main considerations. The breeder should be very knowledgeable about the breed and the American Kennel Club .
The American Kennel Club tries to regulate all registered puppy breeders, but because there are so many breeders, it is difficult to watch over all of them. But if you know what you are looking for and ask the breeder a lot of questions, you will soon know whether you have found a good breeder.
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The German Shepherd Does Not Like To Stay Locked Up
Its not to say that this dog doesnt like going around in circles. The German Shepherd loves cold temperatures not only because he doesnt suffer from them, but also because nothing can get between him and his love for physical activities. And its not a little snow that will scare him!
To keep your pooch happy even when the mercury drops, adapt the duration of his activities to the temperatures. Hypothermia or frostbite quickly happens if he spends too much time in the snow. Also, be sure to optimize your German Shepherds living space by offering him a thicker bed or a warmer shelter.
How To Measure Dog Back Length
For dog coats, dog hoodies, dog raincoats, and doggy lifejackets, you will need three measurements: neck, chest, and back length. Find your dogs back length by placing the start of your tape measure on the base of your dogs neck. The base of your dogs neck is where a collar would sit naturally. Hold the tape measure in place with one hand, then pull the tape straight across your dogs spine until you reach the base of the tail.
Do you have a male dog? If yes, you may need to slightly shorten the measurement depending on the fit of the apparel item. If the coat or hoodie you are buying is not shaped to avoid doggy messes , theres a chance your dog will pee on it. Not sure what we mean? Check out DJANGOs dog hoodies which are internationally designed to avoid any mess during bathroom outings.
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Bringing Your Puppy Home
- Coming home: Encourage your new puppy to lie down and sleep to lessen the shock of the car ride.
- The vet: Take him to the vet within 24 hours of bringing him home, even if he has passed a vet’s inspection at a shelter.
- Potty training: When you get your puppy home, take him or her to the right place for dogs to relieve themselves. Praise the puppy highly when he goes in the right place. Keep using that place for toilet training and use verbal commands. Small puppies have small bladders. They will need to go outside to try and toilet every two hours until they are about six months old when they can start holding their bladders for seven hours. German Shepherd puppies usually walk in circles sniffing when they need to go. When a puppy has an accident, he is not trying to be bad. He often just can’t hold it. However, once they learn, it’s learned.
- Getting spayed or neutered: You can help the training process along by getting the puppy spayed or neutered. Mentally, neutered dogs stay more like puppies and are more comfortable letting you make the big decisions. They also avoid a lot of health problems this way.
In time, with lots of patience, daily handling, and attention, your German Shepherd puppy will be a canine ambassador. Your friends, neighbors, and even total strangers will appreciate you for taking the time and responsibility to train your dog well.
The Coat Color And Length
Even though it wont change the quality of your dog in other areas, you might want to go for a particular coat color. There are 11 AKC-registered GSD coat colors: Bi-Color, Black, Black & Cream, Black & Red, Black & Silver, Black & Tan, Blue, Gray, Liver, Sable, and White.
You may not be able to choose from the entire range of colors, but you know the extent of the variety that you can have. White German Shepherds are stunning-looking dogs, and if you are interested in this unique color, head over to my article all about the White German Shepherd.
This is particularly important if you were looking for a show dog as a white dog is disqualified from showing in many countries, and you will need to check the breed standard for your area.
You will also need to decide if you want a standard coat length or the less common long-haired variety. Whatever you choose, German Shepherds have two coats and are heavy shedders.
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How To Get Your German Shepherd To A Healthy Weight
Being overweight is very dangerous for this breed it increases their risk of heart disease and other diseases, and it places extra strain on their joints, particularly the hips this is important to note, because this breed is very prone to hip dysplasia. Dogs usually become overweight from a combination of overfeeding and under-exercising, just like humans.
- Help Your Dog Eat More Gradually: Instead of free-feeding your dog, divide their food into multiple small meals a day. You can use a slow feeder bowl or toy to help them eat more gradually. As your dog ages, its metabolism will slow down. So you may need to adjust its food as it grows from a puppy to an adult, and then from an adult to a senior. Make sure that you give minimal amounts of people food and keep treats to a reasonable level.
- Be Careful With Treats: When training or playing, you can reward your German Shepherd with small training treats or simply with toys.
- Make Sure Your Dog Exercises Regularly: Its also important to give your them regular exercisethey dont do well as couch dogs! These dogs should be getting at least an hour of exercise every day. So go for a walk, take a jog, or simply play fetch in the yard. It will be good for your health too.
They Will Ask You Questions Such As:
- Why do you want a GSD puppy? They will be asking this to see for what purpose you want a GSD pet/protection/show. This will aid them in helping you choose.
- Where do you live, in an apartment or in a home? They will want to ensure that the puppy will not be in a cramped space.
- Do you have a yard, and is it fenced-in? They will want to make sure that the puppy will have adequate room to exercise as it grows.
- Do you have children in your home? They will want to make sure that you understand the importance of socialization and training to keep your family safe.
- Do you have other pets in your home? They will want to make sure that you know how to properly introduce the puppy to other animals, and whether any other pets you have may actually be a danger to the puppy.
- What type of work do you do, does it require you to be away from home for long periods of time? Because GSDs do not do well alone, they will want to make sure that you have adequate time to devote to your dog.
- Are you financially prepared to take on a GSD? While this may be a bit of a personal question, it is important to know that you are financially able to care for a GSD. They are expensive to care for, and it is fair for a breeder to ask this question.
If a breeder does not ask you some form of these questions, then perhaps think twice. It may be an indication that they are more interested in profit than raising a quality puppy that they care will go to a quality home.
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Shortcomings Of Unethical German Shepherd Breeders
The most common representation of unethical dog breeders are those found in what is dubbed as puppy mills in the US or puppy farming in the UK and Australia. But backyard breeders are also considered to be part of this category of breeders.
While we cant generalize, commercial dog breeders are very often driven by the desire to make profits and easily compromise the welfare of the canines.
Here are some of the features that will define unethical breeders:
With the comprehensive knowledge about whos an ethical German Shepherd breeder and who isnt, you are now ready to find that reliable breeder, buy your new GSD, and bring him home.
But how exactly do you find that breeder? Lets move on to step three
What Should I Look For In A German Shepherd Puppy
First, you should decide if you want a male or female. Males and females are similar in many respects but there are marked differences between the sexes that you should be aware of.
Males are larger and heavier . Females are somewhat smaller and lighter in weight . Secondary sex characteristics should be pronounced for males and females, e.g. a male looks like a male with pronounced masculinity and a female should look feminine with more delicate features. Females will also have a season twice a year. If you choose a female and do not wish to have puppies, then it is recommended that she be spayed. The differences in the sexes in puppies is not as pronounced as in the adult dogs.
Have some idea what you expect from your new addition so you can inform the breeder. Let him/her know if you want a companion, show dog, or a competitive performance dog. No matter what the function you desire in your puppy, all puppies in the litter will have the same bloodlines. Most well-bred litters from ethical breeders are bred to emphasize the health, character, and trainability of every puppy in the litter.
In the search for your puppy, you want to observe the puppies together at first. A German Shepherd puppy should have, first and foremost, a good temperament. They should be inquisitive, outgoing, and unafraid in his advances towards everything and everybody. They will also demand and exhibit affection without inhibition.
Who Is The Best Human For A German Shepherd
German shepherds love being a part of a high-energy family or with someone who leads an active life. A sedentary lifestyle doesnt work for this herding breed, as they love to learn, play, and be a part of their human pack! German shepherd puppies can get distracted easily. Even though they love children and family life, while training, its best to have them focus only on the task theyre learning so as to avoid sensory overload.
German shepherds are a tried and true family dog. They love swimming , running, and romping in a big backyard. Theyre highly social and friendly dogs, so a busy household works well for them. They also need plenty of affection and snuggles. Due to their hunting heritage, they love to play fetch!
Finding A German Shepherd Breeder
The first step is to do your research. Sadly, there are many puppy mills posing as reputable breeders along with many online scams. Be aware, and reach out to different online forums for conversations about getting your future furry family member.
Be sure to ask questions, make arrangements to meet the parent dogs or mother, and follow your gut. If something seems wrong at a breeder you visit, or the German shepherd puppy seems too good to be true, theres likely something going on. The AKC also offers resources for finding a breeder, with fairly strict guidelines on who they let participate.
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How To Pick A German Shepherd Puppy From The Litter
Chances are, if you go to a true reputable breeder, they will know the puppies very well better than you because they have spent more time with them.
They should try to get to know who you are, what youre looking for and what your lifestyle is like.
Without sounding too intrusive they should make sure you have the financial capacity to care for a GSD as well.
They should try to match you up with the puppy that is most compatible with you and your needs .
Things that might signify a good puppy when picking a puppy from the litter are:
A sociable puppy around the other puppies and around you
Welcoming body language i.e. relaxed muscles, and wanting to greet you as opposed to a tense puppy that hides, or charges at you and retreats
Check that the puppy looks healthy ribs arent exposed, eyes are clear, walks evenly, looks clean
Caring For Your German Shepherd
German Shepherds are fantastic dogs and its easy to see why they are such a popular breed. However their size and strength means they arent suited to all families and need a lot of space to burn off their energy. Youll need to make sure you have a lot of time to spend with these dogs and you are committed to providing for their exercise needs every day.
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Expect A Dog Who Wants To Know Your Business All The Time
If you dont like having a dog follow you everywhere, even into the bathroom, perhaps reconsider getting a German Shepherd. These dogs are busybodies, and they want to know where you are and what you are doing at ALL times in the event that your actions could compromise the security of the house and the family. Theyre just doing their jobs, you know. ?
How Do I Make Sure My German Shepherd Is Healthy
Preventive care is key in helping your German Shepherd live a healthy and long life. Taking your German Shepherd to regular veterinary appointments is one of the best things you can do to ensure that they are healthy and feeling their best. An experienced veterinarian can assess your pets health, make general health and wellness recommendations, and look out for common, breed-specific conditions.
German Shepherds are particularly prone to a condition called gastric dilatation-volvulus or bloat due to their large size, deep chests, and high energy level. They are also more susceptible to gastrointestinal tract and hip issues. A veterinarian should regularly assess your pet for these health problems and run tests for anything they may be more prone to due to their breed. Preventive care is truly a must for your dogs overall welfare to ensure they are able to live long healthy lives with you and your family.
Regular vet visits are crucial to your pets ongoing health and longevity. Its also essential to plan for the cost of accidents or illnesses. Treatment for many conditions, including bloat and GI issues, can cost thousands of dollars.
Only 19.44% of pet owners say theyd be able to cover a $5,000 expense out of pocket. Dog health costs are also more expensive than other pet healthcare costs due to dogs being larger in size. Since larger pets have higher healthcare costs, the German Shepherd breed is one of the most popular dog breeds to have pet insurance.
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Be Watchful For Signs Of Shyness
Many German Shepherds, especially American-line dogs bred for show/companionship, tend toward shyness and anxiety. If not addressed, this shyness can transform into fear-based aggression. For this reason, socialize that puppy from the minute he comes home with you, and dont stop throughout his lifetime.