Celhaus German Shepherds
Personality – Courage – Health – Brains – Beauty
4817 Big Horn Ave.
Sheridan, WY 82801
CARE OF YOUR GSD PUPPY
To insure your satisfaction with your new pup, please take a few precautions:
Socialize, Socialize, Socialize
I’ve devoted an entire webpage for this extremely important part of YOUR job!
I’ve also devoted an entire webpage for this extremely important part of YOUR job!
1. New Home Remember, it is going to be a shock to your pup to leave his familiar home and littermates to go alone to your strange house. You should already have a bed prepared for him ahead of time–a quiet place he can come to call his own. Check out my Preparing for Puppy page for detailed suggestions for getting prepared to welcome the baby. Remember, the puppy will probably cry for a while in his new home–missing littermates, especially to sleep with. An old wind-up clock, wrapped in a towel, can be a comfort those first few nights he has to sleep without his littermates. Another help is a filled hot water bottle (also wrapped in a towel).
Your pup has been raised around lots of people. If you have to leave your pup for a short time during the day, you might want to leave the radio playing for company. Whatever you do, be sure to expect a few days of noise and confusion!
2. Health Check Please take your pup to your vet for a health check within 48 hours of purchase. She is guaranteed to be free of infectious diseases until then, or else treatment is my responsibility. Take your health pamphlet with the shot and worming record. We do not have heartworms here in northern Wyoming, but ask your vet if they are a danger in your area and be sure to have the pup tested and put on preventative medication. Booster shots and more wormings are due at 12 & 16 weeks. Rabies is usually given at 16 weeks. Remember they need yearly boosters of everything. From 4 months to about 9 months, I take a stool sample in monthly to be checked for worms and worm them if needed. After that they generally stay parasite free with only yearly checks needed.
3. Feeding Your pup has been raised on the best food available so that he is vigorous and healthy and should live a long life. He will go home with a 10# sack of Holistic Select Large/Giant Breed Puppy Lamb kibble. Keep him on that at least six months (until he has most of his growth), then gradually change to Holistic Select Adult. It is formulated to slow his growth while providing him with everything he needs to build healthy bones, joints & organs.
4. Growing Well German Shepherds are a fast growing breed. It’s pretty normal for them to gain 10 pounds a month (a 4 month puppy will be about 40 pounds, a 5 month puppy about 50 pounds, etc.) That’s a lot of growing. Help avoid growing problems and later conditions such as hip dysplasia by keeping him lean and in shape by giving him moderate exercise. Anything excessive is bad–to much food, too much exercise, too much fat, too much jumping. Every extra pound and every ounce of flab causes stress on the developing ligaments and joints. You can undo all the outstanding genetics your pup has and end up ruining him. Hip dysplasia is a condition in which the hip joint is malformed, resulting in painful arthritis. It is partially genetically caused and partially environmentally caused. I’ve done my best to take care of the genetics. Now you need to protect those joints. The joints are cartilage until about 12 months, at which time they slowly become bone. Cartilage is soft and under repeated impact and stress will wear unevenly, so that the two parts of the joint don’t fit together smoothly. When the joint ossifies, the bone has rough edges and “grinds” in the joint. Don’t do this to your pup! Use some sense.
5. Teething Your pup is teething now and will for several months. Provide her with rawhide chew bones or a beef knuckle bone or leg bone, when you’re going to be around to be sure she doesn’t choke. NEVER give pork, wild game or chicken bones of any kind, or any beef bones except those listed above. They can splinter in the intestine and kill him. Never give her any old shoes, gloves or people items, because she will not know the difference between them and your good ones and you’ll be unjustly setting her up for punishment. Avoid the discount store rawhides and chews; they’re often made with poisons. A good place is www.i-pets.com; get the large retriever rolls.
6. Housebreaking You will not have too much trouble housebreaking your puppy if you remember a few rules (see the included article). Of course, crates make things much easier because you can confine him unless you’re able to watch him and rush him outside before an accident. Puppy’s bladder and sphincter muscles are not mature until they’re 4 months old and he is physically unable to “hold it” until then, so be ready with the bathroom rush routine. Remember, your puppy will have to relieve himself immediately after waking from a nap, eating, drinking, playing, or any excitement. Any time your pup begins to get restless, circle, or sniff, be warned and get moving. This is approximately a million times a day. Establish a potty area and take him there each time. Leave the poop for a short while to help establish the enticing smell (pups like to go in established “bathrooms”).
Take your pup to the potty area, give whatever command you choose (“go potty”, “hurry”, anything as long as you always use it), and then stay out there with the pup until he relieves himself! This can seem to take hours the first few days (which is why I don’t have winter litters–it’s too cold in Wyoming to stand around in a blizzard while pup deliberates about squatting!), but be confident that once the light comes on it will be smooth sailing–as long as you continue to go out with your pup and not shut him outside. They have been known to just lean against the door you put them out of and when you let them in rush over & squat!
As soon as your pup relieves himself, excitedly praise him, then take the pup back inside. I often pick the pup up and love on him all the way back inside, saying “Good potty” over and over again to help him learn the command. I don’t usually use treats to reward them because most of my dogs have tremendous food drive and after a couple of times spend their time and energy watching and waiting for a treat and thus don‘t get the idea of “go potty” quite as soon. Since the puppies stay here until they’re 7 – 8 weeks old, they are well on the way to being potty trained. I take a lot of time catching them as they wake up and carrying them outside. They are raised in a very clean environment so they WANT to be clean. You just have to consistently make that easy for them.
If you don’t use a crate, be sure to confine your pup in a small place. He instinctively will try not to foul his bed, so if he’s in a place small enough that he defines it all as “bed”, he will cry and ask to be taken out to relieve himself. Make things easier on yourself by not feeding him after 7 p.m.. and taking the water up shortly afterwards. A trip outside just before bedtime about 10 p.m. will soon enable him to sleep all night without having to go out.
7. Toys and games. Even though I’m breeding for retrieving drives since they make training so much easier, some pups have more retrieving drive than others. Glory’s pups (remember, Glory is mother to Ashi & Jubilee and thus grandmother to their pups, great-grandmother to Joyful’s & Quinta’s pups, great-great grandmother to Lively’s pups) especially, have lots of prey drive (chase it!) but often don’t particularly want to bring the toy back to you. They often have to be taught this part of play. You might need to try different things, and vary these to keep them from getting bored (another Glory characteristic is wanting to play keep away rather than give it to you). You might try offering food as a “trade” for the toy. Sometimes calling the puppy back and praising her excitedly will get that toy back to your hands. Often you can try running backwards, or even lying down–be creative. Sometimes you may have to play the “two toy” game. Have two balls (or whatever). Throw one in one direction. As the pup heads back to you with it, encourage her to drop it as she races the other direction for the second toy you throw. This circumvents a common desire to keep the toy and not give it back–she’ll soon learn to drop it as she races by you at high speed, trusting you to throw the second one. Eventually the puppy will get the idea and enjoy bringing the toy back to you for another throw. One thing I’ve found very important with these dogs is to signal when the game is over. Don’t try to trick them out of the toy or wrestle it away from them. I have found it very helpful to carry a treat, to have a command that signals the end of the game (I use “That’s all, Glory”) and to “trade” the treat for the toy. When they learn you’ll be upfront with them, they will be willing to give up the toy and end the game. These dogs are so smart, they insist on fair treatment.
Also see my page on Recommended Reading