Info for New Puppy Owners
Congratulations,you are the proud new parent of a 8 week old German Shepherd Pup!
You have spent countless hours online first to locate the Breeder ,waited months for him to get here and have a fair amount invested in his purchase,his shipping,toys,collars and leashes.You want to do right by him,giving him the best food,training and health care but after reading all the online articles of what to do,what not to do.What to feed,what not to feed,vaccinations,neutering.....You are more confused then ever!  
There's a lot of info out there thats very informative and alot that's just ridiculous.And even 2 knowledgeable Breeders will do things differently then other and many will insist that their ways better.How do you decipher if you don't have the experience to know the difference? Listen to your Breeder.If you purchased a pup from them then you must trust their instincts and knowledge. It is in their best interest that your new pup has the best of everything. If the Breeder has been breeding awhile and has a established kennel with good references,repeat clients,feeds quality feeds has healthy dogs and is willing to take the time to explain why they do this or that,listen well because the knowledge they have is priceless.It is free to you but cost them thousands upon thousands of dollars and a lot of blood,sweat and tears to get that knowledge. Good Breeders LOVE,LOVE,LOVE it when you ask questions.It shows us you care about your dog and want to do the best by him.

Thank goodness that most of the general public has come around to understanding and embracing this.I've been breeding long enough to remember when everyone thought they were cruel and you were for using them! Dogs are den animals and once they become accustomed to the crate, they happily go in it.
Crate training serves several purposes.First, it helps to housebreak by keeping the pup contained to a space that is its den and they do not want to soil their den. Second it provides a safe,secure place to put the pup when you are not home and third,it teaches the pup that being separated from you is ok, you will come back 
A lot of well meaning people think they're doing better by their pups by spending every second with it and they are actually setting themselves up for having a dog with separation issues in the future.they need to learn separation from you will not harm them,that you will return.It is for the good of both Owner and Pup as adult dogs that have never been crate trained or kenneled will destroy a crate or do damage to themselves trying to get out of a kennel. A crate trained dog can go anywhere safely.You can take your dog on vacations and leave your dog in its crate in the motel room while you shop or dine.You can travel by air and take your dog and if your dog is ever injured or needs surgery that requires him to be confined,He will do so without protest or risking further injury.  It does not have to be a something that you do for the life of the dog but the imprinting of teaching the pup when its young is most critical.Some people like wire crates,some like the plastic crates.I prefer the latter but both work equally well. click on the button to To read a great article on crate training and housebreaking.

Crate Training
It is Critical to Socialize Your Puppy !
The most important thing and key to well balanced dog.Exposing your pup to many different sites,smells and sounds as a youngster teaches them to adapt,accept change,interact with people ,overcome obstacles thereby giving him confidence and making him a better, well rounded dog. Socializing is important to do with any breed but especially German Shepherds because the combination of their Intelligence,sensitivity,protective and suspicious nature,its crucial. I often give my clients the analogy of baking. My Pups have all the best ingredients in them from their bloodlines and how they were raised up to the point they leave, but ingredients mean nothing if you don't bake the cake correctly.The socialization is the baking. It can be started as you get the pup at 8 wks by going for car rides,visiting friends or relatives with dogs that have had their vaccinations and will be safe to introduce your pup .If you have concerns or don't know if their dog will be ok,do NOT introduce them.Its not worth the risk.If they have a bad experience at this age it can effect them forever. Bonding with you,meeting new people and learning his place in your "pack" is most important right now. At this time the pup has had only one vaccination so He is still at risk of contracting diseases.This means do not take your pup to public parks, pet stores,dog parks,puppy classes and No play dates with other pups until He has at least 2 vaccination (10 weeks).   
Pet Stores,feed stores, Home Depot, School play yards,etc. Encourage him to approach people ,asking their permission of course,and allow people to pet him or give him a treat. .Make socializing a fun,happy adventure,give him obstacles to climb like stairs,different surfaces like docks or grates.Never forcing the pup into a situation that is scarey but instead allowing him see,smell and investigate it on his terms.Do not pet him when He's afraid as this only reinforces that fear.Staying calm,non reactive to his fear doesn't add energy to the situation & helps his mind process the situation better.Using treats makes it easier and helps get past the fear too. With young pups There's a fine line between socialize and terrorize So use common sense in your socializing and don't forget He is a Baby..For instance,Taking your young pup to the gun range or nitro drag strip is not ok. It will scare him & be counter productive to what you were trying to accomplish.Possibly creating a fear/anxiety that didn't exist prior. I also do not ever recommend dog parks.Not for adults and certainly not  pups. Dogs running in packs can behave very badly and a pup is a easy target.Its not worth the risk. If You don't know if a situation is age appropriate for him,ask your Breeder. Most reputable Breeders sell their pups with the guarantee of Lifetime Support and would rather have you call and ask the question then to risk exposing the pup to something He is not mentally old enough to handle.
For a great resource on socializing your pup,check out this website The Puppy Socialization Plan
At 3 wks of age We start Our Puppies on a mixture or gruel of Organic Baby Rice Cereal & Goats Milk. As the pups mature we start to mix in a soaked grain-free kibble and phase out the baby cereal. We slowly add raw at 5 wks by hand feeding.With kibble we add or top dress with a bit of Honest kitchen Thrive. By the time the pups are 8wks of age they're on hard kibble(not soaked) augmented with raw.I only use Natures Instinct Raw and prefer the lamb. The reason I like the prepackaged raw is because I like to know exactly what's in the food..ingredients,protein ratio,etc and of course,it's easier:)
There are many excellent brands of high quality Grain free food but we prefer Orijen It is a huge misconception that pups need puppy food-this just a marketing ploy. I feed my pups 2 x a day unless its a large litter,then its 3 x. I recommend my Clients only feeding 2x a day. If you're feeding a great food, this enough. More then that is unnecessary and it makes it harder to house break. Do not ever free feed! Not only does it start bad eating patterns,you cant tell if they've gone off their feed and that's crucial info to know. It could be a sign of a problem.One of the best reasons to feed your dog yourself at set times is that the act of feeding your dog is one of the things that establishes you as the boss.The next is to regulate amount of food and establish a ritual.Dogs need routine in their lives too and feeding effects everything from crate training,housebreaking and sleeping through the night.  As a society,Americans tend to grossly overfeed their pets and most do not need as much food as you think they do. 

Vaccinations & De-Worming
We worm the pups 4,6 and 8wks of age Pyrantel Pamoate and vaccinate at 7wks of age. We administer these ourselves and provide Our Clients with a Health Record containing what was given and when and The labels from the Vaccine viles are attached also. There's additional de-worming and vaccinations that need to be done by your Veterinarian at interval over the next 6 months. We have always felt strongly about vaccines and the over use of them and thank god,the info is finally out that backs this up. We recommend the next Vaccinations at 10 and 13wks. Rabies at 20 wks or older if you can. Given again at 1yr but do not do the combo and Rabies at the same time,try and do it at least 1 mo apart. After that do titer counts.Most vets offer this now.
Naming & Registration
All of our pups come with either AKC Ltd Registration or Full Registration Applications.This means they are eligible for Registration.The Litter has been registered by the Breeder,signifying parents,DOB & number of pups but the Puppy is not yet individually registered until the new owner signs it and sends it via mail or completes online.We utilize the German Alphabetical method of naming our pups.This means the registered name of every pup in the litter will begin with the same letter,followed by our kennel name.For example Ava von dem Waldkonig. The next litter born will be the next litter in the alphabet and so on. We allow our Clients to be a part of picking the name as long as it begins with that Litter letter,its not silly or contains another kennel name. We put the name on the registration papers and if it is changed at all,the Warranty for that dog is completely Void. Why can't you name your own dog? You can.You can call your dog anything you like.Most people use a call name,not the registered name anyway. But the Pups Registered name is a brand of where He came from.He is a product of a mating the Breeder thought of, paid for financially,physically and mentally and is a Breeders blood,sweat,tears & love for the Breed in the flesh. It's no different then any other company putting their "logo" on their items and is the only way we can do so.

             Crate training ~Socializing ~Feeding ~Vaccinations & De-Worming ~Naming & Registration
More Puppy Info  ~ Page Two
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