How to Take Care of Your Puppy
Buying a new German Shepherd puppy is a very exciting experience. There are many things you may not think about before you take your puppy home so here's an article to help you in your new adventure.
Before you pick up your German Shepherd puppy you should have a crate large enough for the puppy to grow, bowls, food and water, toys, a collar that adjusts for growth, leash, a pad or bed for the crate, and the number to a veterinarian you really like and trust.
The day you take your German Shepherd puppy home:
- Introduce him to every place he is allowed to roam.
- Introduce him to the place where you want him to go to the bathroom.
- If your puppy goes to the bathroom in your home, never spank him or stick his nose in his mess, he will not understand. It is OK to be disappointed and hurt, but not angry. After all, he's just doing what nature tells him!
- If he uses the bathroom where you want him to, praise him! It's OK to go a little overboard and get really happy and playful! Dogs are very good at responding to emotional cues.
- Introduce him to his new crate.
- Show him, but don't force him inside his crate.
- Place a toy in the crate and make it a happy, safe place. Put the crate close to your bed.
The first night, and probably the next couple of nights will be the most challenging. Before you go to bed take him to his bathroom spot. Try to get him to do his business there. Take him to his crate and put him in. Close the door and go to bed. If he cries for more than 30 minutes try to get him closer to your bed so he can see you. This night you need to get up every 2-3 hours to take him out to his bathroom spot. He may cry every time you put him in his crate. Try to coax him in with his favorite toy if you can and remember, he will adjust in a couple of nights. This crate training process is very important for life long housetraining. Before long, your puppy will go into his crate by himself and will go to the bathroom outside only.
German Shepherd Puppies are especially prone to chewing and biting. Everything you do not want chewed to shreds needs to be out of reach and preferrably out of sight as well! Spanking a puppy because it chewed up your coach purse or $200.00 heels will NOT teach him to never do it again. Puppies of all breeds like chewing on things that smell like their owners much moreso than a perfectly clean toy from the store. Chewing is natural and important for pup's teeth and ear development. Provide many different toys to minimize house damage. If during play your puppy scratches small children, you can very carefully clip the end of his nails. If during playtime he bites your children with his cute but razor sharp puppy teeth, get a spray bottle with white vinegar diluted with a little water, and every time he tries to bite, squirt at him. This will not hurt him and teaches him very quickly not to bite, because he hates the smell of the vinegar.
One of the best ways to release a growing GSD puppy's energy is ball play. It is very easy to teach a young German Shepherd Puppy to chase balls and will be a great bonding experience for whole family. Our puppies have a natural ball drive and won't be able to resist!
Do not overfeed a German Shepherd! Feed your growing GSD puppy raw meat or quality dry kibble 2-3 times a day for 15 minutes at a time. Resist the urge to spoil your new addition with an abundance of goodies, snacks and treats. For instance, one piece of popcorn, a small chunk of beef jerky, or a single tortilla chip probably won't do any harm. Avoid dog food or kibble with corn or wheat anywhere in the ingredients list. A dabble of corn or wheat as a small treat once in awhile probably won't hurt your dog but feeding kibble with corn and wheat day after day is really bad for most large breed dogs. Please see my page about feeding German Shepherds for more information on feeding your German Shepherd puppy.
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