The appearance of a puppy in the house is both a great joy and a serious responsibility. If you have never kept an animal before, you will have to face serious challenges. Therefore, without the necessary experience, you need to arm yourself well with knowledge that will help to avoid annoying mistakes in upbringing, will allow you to raise your pet healthy and cheerful. Today we will talk about how to care for a German shepherd puppy, the basics of raising it, you will learn how to feed a German shepherd puppy and many other features of its maintenance.
Getting ready for a puppy in the house
Before proceeding with the consideration of the basic principles and rules of keeping a dog, let us dwell on its choice. One of the main factors of choice is the purpose of the dog: a house dog, protection of the territory, participation in exhibitions. If you need a four-legged friend as a pet or to guard your home, look for two-month-old puppies. The fact is that at this age the puppies have already formed many character traits, which will allow them to make the best choice. For show purposes, experts recommend buying three-month-old puppies.
As practice shows, it is better to keep dogs of this breed in outdoor conditions, and the best option is an aviary in the courtyard of a private house, where a wooden platform is equipped, there is a booth, a shed. If you plan to keep your dog in the apartment, equip it with a corner away from the aisle in a warm and draft-free place. Use a dedicated mattress or lounger with pillowcases, which should be changed several times a week.
In the first days, the puppy yearns for his mother, adapts to new conditions for him, so he will behave restlessly, whine. Try to calm him down by making him interested in the toy, stroking him, pressing him to you. Refuse physical punishment – to prevent unwanted actions, use vocal intonations, encourage with treats.
Get used to the fact that at first (until his excretory system gets stronger) the puppy will walk in need right in the house, but you need to teach him to do it on the street from the very first days. To train your German Shepherd puppy to the toilet as follows: take a closer look at his behavior, since usually the animal chooses the place for the toilet instinctively. Favorite places, as a rule, become areas near doors, balconies, under a window, etc. Having identified them, you should put trays there – you can do this in several places, and remove the extra ones when the animal learns to endure. If you do not want the dog to go to a certain place when needed, put a bowl of food there – dogs do not do this where they eat.
To keep your dog, you will need the following accessories:
- Bowls. You need two bowls, one for food and one for water. They should be stable and suitable for the size of the puppy. In our store you can choose plastic, ceramic, metal products. Plastic ones are quite suitable for puppies – they are inexpensive, lightweight and easy to clean. The main advantage of ceramic bowls is their stability. Also noteworthy are the stainless-steel bowls – they are durable, can be equipped with an adjustable stand, which is very important for the normal development of the dog.
- Places to sleep. For this purpose, sun loungers or pillows are selected. The first ones are made on the basis of foam rubber, easily roll up, so you can take them with you on the road. Pillows are a softer option for bedding. It is better to choose loungers for growth, and preference should be given to products with a replaceable cover.
- Toys. Equally important accessories that are needed not only for entertainment, but also for the puppy to get acquainted with the world around him. If you choose them correctly, you will be able to keep the shoes and furniture intact in your apartment.
- Collar, leash. Since you need to accustom your puppy to a collar and leash from a young age, you need to purchase them right away. For puppies, items made from nylon or soft leather are suitable, and as they get older, you can buy a collar made of tarpaulin or rougher leather.
- Combs, brushes. For short-haired dogs, you can use brushes and slickers. German Shepherds need one brushing per week.
- Shampoo. It is selected depending on the breed and condition of the coat.
- Claw cutter. Designed for clipping: scissors can be used for puppies, and as they grow up, claws are cared for with guillotines or secateurs.
All the necessary accessories for keeping dogs can be found in the catalog of our online store, here is also a wide range of ready-made food that will allow you to raise your pet healthy and strong.
How to care for a shepherd puppy
Caring for a German Shepherd puppy includes the following procedures:
- ear cleaning – performed weekly, and if necessary, hair is clipped on the inside of the ears;
- teeth cleaning – they are cleaned once every three months with a special tooth powder (you can also use special bones containing fluoride, which will not only help clean the canines, but also provide a massage for the dog’s jaw);
- nail trimming – check the length of the nails gently about once a week and trim them if necessary;
- bathing – performed as needed, but too frequent water procedures are not recommended due to the destruction of the protective layer on the skin and wool;
- brushing – for short-haired dogs, one brushing per week is sufficient.
For the health and normal development of the German Shepherd, regular walks are necessary. You can start them only after a complete vaccination of the pet. The optimal time for walking is during the daytime, when there is an opportunity to be under the sun’s rays, which have a beneficial effect on the hormonal system of animals, on the synthesis of vitamin D.
The first walks should be short – 5 minutes is enough. Gradually, starting from two months, their duration can be increased to 30 minutes, and upon reaching the age of six months, the walking time should be 2-3 hours. After the birth of a still immature puppy’s body, heavy loads are contraindicated, but a matured dog needs exercise not only for physical, but also for mental development – during walks, it must communicate with other dogs.
Raising a German Shepherd Puppy
Raising a dog is a multifaceted process that will require a lot of effort from the owner. First of all, it is necessary to accustom the pet to a regime that he needs no less than a person. Since the dog cannot communicate his desires, only a strict regimen will allow your pet to feel confident. The regime should include such basic items as sleep, eating, exercising, walking.
In your family, everyone should be leaders for the dog – this also applies to those who are not directly involved in raising it. The animal must obey even children in order to exclude possible problems in the relationship between family members and the dog.
The training is carried out regularly, which determines how quickly the dog will learn the commands and will follow them accurately. Absolutely all breeds are trainable, therefore the success of the pet depends only on the owner and his enthusiasm.
First of all, you need to pay attention to those rules and commands that will help shape the dog’s behavior. For example, how do you teach your German Shepherd puppy to leash? First of all, let your pet get to know new things. After he gets used to the collar, put it on the dog and let him walk around with a new accessory. Put it on every time you go outside – this way, the collar will be unambiguously associated with a walk in the puppy.
As for the leash, before using it while walking, you must teach the dog the commands “near”, “to me”, “to the leg”, which it must follow unquestioningly. First you need to fasten the leash and release the free end so that the dog gets used to it. When walking with a leash, you cannot force the animal – the leash must be in a free state. Commands are used to control the dog and the leash is slightly pulled. Be patient and stay calm.
Feeding your German Shepherd puppy
German Shepherd puppies eat from the dishes on a special stand (a wide range of such stands are presented in our online store), which can be adjusted as the dog grows. This prevents curvature of the spine and joints of the limbs.
A balanced diet is especially important in the first year. To do this, it is permissible to use both fresh products and ready-made food – you can alternate them, choosing what your pet likes best (it is not recommended to mix natural products and ready-made food).
How to feed a German Shepherd puppy, the following simple rules will tell you:
- the diet of a German shepherd puppy should be varied – meat alone is not enough to provide the animal’s body with everything it needs;
- an overdose of vitamins leads to significant health problems for the dog (for example, an excess of vitamins A and D can cause volvulus);
- proteins should make up 30 percent of all food consumed by the dog during the day – this will ensure the normal development of the skeleton and muscles;
- you cannot overfeed the animal.
Now about how much to feed your German Shepherd puppy:
- up to 2 months – 6 times;
- from 2 to 4 months – 5 times;
- from 4 to 6 months – 4 times;
- from 6 to 10 months – 3 times;
- after 10 months – 2 times.
What do German Shepherd puppies eat? If you decide to feed your dog fresh food, then a third of the food should be protein-rich foods. This includes meat, eggs, dairy products. Also, the diet of a German shepherd puppy should include carbohydrates, fats, vitamins and minerals, fiber.
Dogs are given offal from the age of four months three times a week, and the liver must be boiled to prevent parasite infestation. Eggs are a fairly nutritious product, so it is enough to give them once a week in the amount of two pieces – only yolks are used, which can be mixed with porridge.
As for dairy products, preference should be given to cottage cheese, the daily portion of which can reach 350 grams. You can use yogurt, kefir, as well as unboiled cow or goat milk.
The diet of German Shepherd puppies must necessarily include animal and vegetable fats. They contain fatty acids and vitamins, which ensure the normal development of the puppy, improve immunity. The daily norm of butter is 2 grams per kilogram of weight.