How To Raise A German Shepherd Puppy
There are fewer things in life more irresistible than a German Shepherd puppy, but you should never bring one home on impulse. This needs to be a careful decision. Bringing a puppy home is the same as bringing home a human child, except German Shepherds mature faster and are more loyal. Although German Shepherds are a big responsibility, their friendship is priceless.
- A German Shepherd, on average, will cost about $3,000 a year in food, grooming supplies, and vet care. This is far less than your car, but it’s still something to keep in mind.
- Because of their fast growth, German Shepherd puppies need their diets closely regulated to avoid potential health problems.
- They will also need positive reinforcement from day one. Never train a German Shepherd puppy by force. Most dog bites are from scared dogs, not dogs that are attacking.
- You must first research the breed so you know everything you can about German Shepherds. These dogs have an image problem some people think they are inherently vicious when, in fact, they aren’t. They were never bred to fight other animals or human beings. They were bred to be extremely obedient and willing to please. So, if you ever read about a German Shepherd attacking a human being, it was because the dog was trained to attack, not because the dog is mean. Care and training are all-important if you want to succeed with a German Shepherd.
Other Characteristics For True Breed Gsd
The next feature that these puppies carry while growing is the head tilt. This is really popular among German shepherds dogs, we are not sure if its just them being cute and adorable, some even say that its a sign of intelligence others say they do this as puppies to see us better but what I can tell you is that all GSD does this.
German shepherds are very protective and smart they can even detect a threat before you the master sees it. The bond and loyalty between owner and dog will not generate overnight, this will take time however once that establishes the bond is not something that can be broken.
Finding A Puppy Who Is The Best Fit For You
Finding a good, ethical breeder is one of the most important ways to ensure you are getting off to the right start in obtaining the puppy who will be the best fit for you and your household. Breeders observe their puppies personalities and drives and can match the right puppy to the right individual or family.
You may also wish to acquire a puppy from one of the breed-rescue organizations listed in the AKC Rescue Network currently, over 40 GSD rescues are listed, a testament to the popularity of this magnificent breed. If you choose this route, be sure to discuss with the breed rescue organization your needs and what you are looking for in a puppy they should also be able to help you find the puppy whose temperament and personality will be the best match for you.
Nadia Adams of Oher Tannen German Shepherd Dogs has been a GSD breeder for 15 years and comments, A well-bred German Shepherd Dog is highly intelligent, thriving on praise and wanting to please the owner. This combination makes them very trainable, which is one of the most appealing qualities of the breed.
This breeds high level of intelligence and strong willingness to work mean your GSD must receive consistent and ongoing training from an early age. A bored GSD is a destructive GSD. That said, states Adams, the sky is the limit, if the owner ca devote a good amount of quality time to the dog, especially during the critical first year of life.
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Pick A Puppy From A Litter Or Choose The Right Dog In A Shelter
I believe that this aspect not as important as finding a reputable breeder or shelter. There are mainly two reasons for this. First, a puppy bought from a reputable breeder is far less likely to develop expensive health issues or significant behavioral problems, two of the main things people want to avoid. The second reason is that a reputable breeder or shelter will be able to guide you when choosing your pet by knowing their animals and making sure to understand your expectations and goals. In that case, they will give you the best possible advice.
To choose a dog from a litter or shelter, look for a healthy and shiny coat. You should be able to feel the dogs ribs but not to see them. Eyes, ears, and genitalia should be clean and not inflamed. Get the dogs attention to test sight and hearing. Finally, pick one that will match your level of energy.
Its okay to pick a laid-back dog or puppy if you mainly want a low-maintenance cuddling buddy. In the same idea, choose a high-energy puppy or dog if you have a very active lifestyle. Although energetic dogs will require a lot of daily exercise and activity and will most likely need more training, they will be the perfect companion to go on many adventures with you.
Once you have your dog, dont forget to get a dog license . Check our new dog owner guide to know everything you need to get ready to welcome a dog home in a few minutes. Its a 5-minute read packed with helpful information for future and new dog owners.
When To Seek Professional Help
Seek the help of a professional trainer the moment you begin to notice problems with biting or barking. You want to make sure any sign of aggression towards the dog’s family is stopped right away. Dogs are pack animals by nature, and you must make sure your dog knows its place in the pack and sees you as the pack leader. If the dog sees himself as the pack leader, behavior problems such as violence can come into play.
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Bathe Seldom Brush Regularly
We have already mentioned that German Shepherds dont need baths very often. Bathing your German Shepherd may be something you only do when they get exceptionally dirty.
However, brushing your German Shepherd is something you need to do once or twice a week.
Brushing removes the dirt and dander that can make German Shepherd odors linger around your house.
It gives you a chance to check for fleas and mites so you can treat them before they become a serious problem. And it gives you a chance to bond with your dog.
Use a damp cloth instead of a comb to groom hair around your German Shepherds face.
Tests For Your German Shepherd Puppy
1. Eye contact
When you look directly at your puppy, does it look back at you? If your puppy stares back at you, this is showing confidence.
If your puppy avoids eye contact then it may be anxious, scared, or have a vision issue.
2. Clapping your hands
This can indicate how social your puppy is. If it comes towards you and tries to interact with you, this is a great sign.
This shows that the dog is eager to socialize with people. A puppy thats more apprehensive to approach will be more timid in nature.
3. Call out to the puppy
Do they come towards you at the sound of your voice? This is a fantastic sign. If the dog doesnt come towards you this could indicate a behavioral issue, hearing issues, or other illness.
4. Pet the dog
It will be important to note how the puppy interacts with your physical touch. If the puppy is affectionate and loving, this will be another great sign.
If they bite or growl at you, this will likely be an indication of a bad temperament. The dog will have to be trained out of this.
5. Play ball
Bring a ball with you when you meet your puppy. Roll this towards the dog and see how the puppy interacts with it. Does the puppy follow the ball? Bring it back to you?
Or does the dog keep the ball for itself? This will be an excellent indicator of the puppys temperament.
A more independent dog will likely show very little interest, if they show any at all.
6. Roll the puppy
They may even just watch you as if theyre asking you what on earth youre doing.
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Look At The Puppy Litter And The Parents
Once you have spoken to the breeder, youll want to look at both the puppies parents, and the puppies themselves.
Things that might signify a good puppy when picking a puppy from the litter are:
A sociable puppy sociable and friendly 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
Look at the parentsyou want to ensure they:
Have a good temperament
Have had their x rays and checks on their hips and elbows, and received a pass grade
Have had their general health tests
Look at their family tree and establish lines and ancestry/genetics
Look at their titles if required
Also, check that the breeding premises in general is clean, and there is plenty of space for the puppies to run around.
German Shepherd Dogs Are Known For Their Versatility
If you need any job done, just ask your dog. GSD owners understand their dogs were developed as working dogs. In fact, the ideal German Shepherd has a body and gait suited to the hard work that is considered its primary purpose. This means your dog can excel at almost anything. From dog sports like rally, agility, scent work, therapy work, to service dog work, German Shepherds can do it all. The only thing holding your dog back is the time and energy you can commit to training. Its no wonder people always think your dog is a service or police dog.
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Taking Your Gsd In The Woods For The First Time
Before the first outing in the forest, the puppy must undergo an initial training course at home. He must be able to carry out elementary commands and be able to respond to his nickname. Disobedience in the forest can create many problems for both the owner and the pet. Often this becomes the reason for the disappearance of the dog.
Before stepping into the forest area, you must foresee the dangers such as ticks and mites, or snakes.
Ticks and mites
Ticks are a significant hazard during forest walks. They are carriers of serious diseases tick-borne encephalitis and borreliosis. Therefore, 2-3 days before walking or hunting, it is useful to use drops or aerosol against forest parasites. You can put a special anti-mite collar on your pet.
However, such products do not always protect against bites. Therefore, after each exit into the forest, you need to carefully examine the wool. If you find a tick, you do not need to try to remove it yourself. It is better to seek help from a veterinary clinic.
When encountering a snake, the dog usually tries to grab it. In this case, pets often get bites. Therefore, you need to have antihistamines with you. This is the first aid for the defeat of snake venom. Then the dog needs to be urgently taken to the veterinary clinic. The specialist will inject the animal with a special serum.
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Note On German Shepherd Colors
German Shepherd puppies come in many colors:
- black and tan,
- black and brown,
- and sable.
Some color patterns are not accepted as standard by the AKC: for example, a completely white German Shepherd. A puppy with tufts of hair in his ears and between his toes is considered a “long-coated black” German Shepherd. Although he is not a standard German Shepherd type, the long-coated black will make an excellent family pet.
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How To Get Started
Before you can worry about choosing the best German Shepherd puppy for your home, you will need to find a breeder. Its not just as simple as opting for the breeder who sells the cheapest dogs.
You will need to opt for a German Shepherd breeder who has a good reputation. So you will need to do your research to find the right breeder for your needs.
You wont want to support any puppy mills, as these are very cruel to the animals.
You may even need to travel a fair way to find the perfect breeder. You shouldnt choose your breeder based on how close they are to your location.
Even if your German Shepherd breeder is located several states away, it will be worth the trip.
Its important to remember that adding a German Shepherd to your home is a lifelong commitment. If you put in the right amount of time and effort now, it should pay dividends throughout the next few years.
Here are a few handy tips to help you find the right breeder to buy a German Shepherd puppy from.
Choosing Your New Puppy
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How Do I Know What The Puppys Personality Will Be
Although accurate temperament testing is not possible at a very young age, you can get a general assessment of your pups personality. Does he seem interested in play? Does he sniff or nudge your hand when you hold it out and welcome your touch? Is he comfortable around people or does he cower when you approach? See if the puppy will roll over on his back for a belly rub. Pups that will remain in that position are typically easygoing, while pups that resist being rolled onto their back often have a more independent nature. Do not force the dog to stay in that position, as it can be stressful.
Start By Keeping Your Dogs Bed Clean But Not Too Clean
Dog beds are ground zero for German Shepherd odor.
They accumulate saliva, droplets of urine, tiny particles of feces, and anal gland secretions that visitors can smell throughout your house or apartment.
Clean your dogs bedding before it gets stinky. Spray bedding with stain repellent to prevent future odors.
But dont wash everything in your dogs sleeping area.
Dogs need odors to feel secure. Leave some toys or a blanket unwashed so your dog will have a sense of comfort.
It is especially important to keep objects that carry the scent of missing companion dogs or human family members.
Go full Scooby-Doo and break out your blacklight.
Use a blacklight to identify old urine stains. They will glow yellow or green. Neutralize German Shepherd odors with baking soda or vinegar.
You may even need to paint over badly stained baseboards.
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Visit The Puppy On More Than One Occasion
Just like people, puppies have their on days and their off days. You will not be able to get a very accurate picture of how your puppy will be on one short visit. In fact, with my last dog, I visited him at least 4 times and stayed for at least 30 minutes with him each time prior to taking him home.
A good breeder will have no issue with you doing this, and in fact, will prefer it. They want their dogs to be well-matched with their new owners, so this is common practice.
If you have a family or even just a significant other that will also be living with the puppy, its a good idea to bring them along. The puppy should become accustomed to the people it will soon be spending its entire life with. So the more familiarity that you build now in this phase, the easier that puppy will transition to home life with you and your family.
Its also a good idea to bring along some treats, the kind you will be feeding your puppy when you bring it home. All of these steps are positive reinforcement for your new puppy and will build familiarity and a bond even before you arrive home.
Also, bring a small blanket or clothing item and ask the breeder to leave it with the puppy. This will allow your puppy to become familiar with the scent of you and your home. Making for a better transition.