Everything You Need to Know About German Shepherd Puppies: Buying, Raising, Training, and Naming
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 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 dogs that are scared, 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.
This article is intended to spread knowledge and concern for German Shepherd puppies, and explain how to choose the right puppy that will be a perfect fit for you and your family.
Where to Get a German Shepherd Puppy
Never buy a German Shepherd puppy from a pet store or from an Internet site that will ship a pup to you without asking you any questions beyond "Check or charge?" These puppies come from puppy mills. They will not only be sickly, but they will have missed a major learning period for basic training and will be harder to train and more uncontrollable.
The best German Shepherd puppies come from breeders, animal shelters, or from rescuers. German Shepherds are most often abandoned when they are six months old and past the cute stage.
Finding a Puppy
The easiest way to find German Shepherd puppies for sale is by looking on the Internet. That, at least, is a good start.
Locating a good breeder is one of the main considerations. The breeder should be very knowledgeable about the breed and about the American Kennel Club (AKC).
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.
The breeder should be very open about his breeding policies and provide the proper AKC papers for every puppy. He must give you all of the medical information on the puppy, as well as information about his social behavior and any problems. He must show you where the puppy has lived during its short life, and he and his family should be interacting with the puppy as if it were their own. He should know the characteristics of each and every puppy in the litter (German Shepherds often have litters of about ten). He must also ask you specific questions that you will expect from reading the information about the breed.
The puppies for sale should be wormed, and have their initial shots plus a very generous health guarantee. Some breeders will also provide a good crate with a favorite toy to help make the moving transition easier on the puppy and the owner.
Be sure and ask about these considerations before even looking at the puppies, because there will be no need to spend time with this breeder if he does not provide you with this essential information on the new puppy.
Advice About Picking a Puppy
When you look at the puppies, they are all going to be cute and lovable, so how do you make a choice? Whether you are purchasing from a breeder or adopting from a rescue center, there are some signs to look for which will give you an indication of how the puppy may act in your home. Any sign of abuse or neglect must be considered; you want to know if you are bringing home a puppy that has been through trauma. Take a look at the breeder and at the location where the puppies have lived for the last few weeks. If there is something there that causes you any reason for concern. then it is best to look somewhere else.
You want to make sure that the puppy that you are considering is as active as his or her siblings and seems physically up to speed with them. Also, make sure that the puppy seems to play well with you. If the puppy distances himself, and tries to avoid affection or being held, you may want to consider another puppy, because a puppy that doesn't like affection is likely to grow into an adult that doesn't like affection. Then again, a German Shepherd puppy who is okay with being alone might make a good guard dog. It is important to figure out what you want in your dog, and then evaluate the puppy to see if it fits into your expectations, so that you and your puppy will both be happy and content.
Looking at these few things will help make sure that your purchase is the right one and that you can avoid problems later down the road. Once you have considered everything and you have carefully examined the puppy and its personality, the adoption process should be a smooth and happy experience for everyone involved. Take your time and never make any snap decisions.
Note on German Shepherd Colors
German Shepherd puppies come in many colors: black and tan, black and cream, black and silver, solid black, 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.
Bringing Your Puppy Home
Encourage your new puppy to lie down and sleep to lessen the shock of the car ride. Take him to the vet within 24 hours of bringing him home, even if he has passed a vet's inspection at a shelter.
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.
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.
Remember that when puppies try to learn your commands, they feel a lot like you would if you were suddenly transplanted to a different country where everyone speaks a different language from you and has completely different customs. Never be afraid or ashamed to ask a professional dog trainer or your vet for help in communicating with your dog. Your puppy is ready to listen.
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.
Raising and Training a German Shepherd Puppy
When thinking of bringing a German Shepherd pup into your home, it is important to understand the responsibility you will need to take. Giving your puppy the care, love and training it needs while it is still young is vital, so that you have a well-behaved dog in the future. A German Shepherd is not only a wonderful friend to have in the house but a wonderful alarm, as he is ready to bark at any sign of danger. But German Shepherd puppies must be taught who is in control.
Fun-loving pups need proper care and guidance so they do not grow into large, mean animals. With the right combination of love, compassion and guidance, your puppy can grow into a well-behaved and tame dog that no one has to fear.
Even though many raise a German Shepherd with the intent of making him or her a guard dog inside the home, you do not want your dog to be mean. You don't want him or her to ever turn on a family member, causing them both emotional and physical harm. Training them right from the beginning can mean a lifetime of friendship. Your grown dog will alert you of danger to protect you, not in order to harm another person.
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.
But even while you are trying to establish yourself as the pack leader, it is important that you never strike the dog. This will only physically hurt the dog or make them end up resenting you, which can end poorly once the dog has grown into an adult. Teach a dog with love and respect, not violence and fear. What you put into raising your dog will be what you reap later. The way that a German Shepherd turns out as an adult is never its own fault, but the result of its training or lack thereof.
Make sure that you provide your puppy with the proper nutrition so that he or she can grow into a healthy dog, instead of a dog who is always ill. Poor health can lead to behavior problems if a dog has no other way of showing you their discomfort.
Make sure that potty training and basic commands are taught right away. All German Shepherd puppies should know the basic commands such as "sit," "stay," "heel," and "come." These commands are vital in order to maintain control of every situation and even to protect the dog's life.
Naming Your Pup
Most owners choose names that reflect the personality of their pets. You will find training easier if you give your puppy a name that attracts his attention. Don’t have it sound too similar to commands they hear all the time, like "stay" or "heel." German Shepherd puppies are smart enough to respond to name changes. Don't use their registered name—it's too long and won't grab their attention.
When thinking up names for your special furry friend, don't use aggressive names like "Killer" or "Cannibal." This promotes the negative and false stereotype that German Shepherds are mindless killing machines. You never know whom you and your dog will be meeting. Many people are frightened of dogs, and promote legislation to outlaw the ownership of certain breeds of dog, including the German Shepherd. You and your puppy need to be ambassadors for this breed, because your right to even own a German Shepherd is at stake.
Is a German Shepherd Puppy Right for You?
German Shepherd puppies make very loyal, protective and loving pets. Many vets, trainers and owners who share their lives with German Shepherd puppies feel blessed. If you can accept the responsibility for training them and caring for them, you will be rewarded.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.