The following information is a copy of a little handout that we give
to each of our new puppy owners when they receive their new puppy. We fill in the blanks, of course, so you know what
vaccinations and other treatments your puppy has had.
We suggest AND hope that you will read over this information BEFORE you
pick up your new puppy and we hope that this information will help prepare you for the trip home and your first
days with your new German Shepherd Puppy.
You might also take a look at old "Latest News" posts on This Website
Menu for discussions about additional issues that arise with German Shepherd Puppies. There is also
some good information at our Yahoo Group discussion site.
PUPPY CARE AND SUGGESTIONS from
Harmony German Shepherds
Your Puppy is a Purebred German Shepherd Dog from an AKC (American Kennel Club) Registered Litter.
Puppy Number: _________________
Date of Birth: ______________
AKC Registered Litter Number: ___________________
( ) Remember to fill out and send in the AKC Registration Application if you want to have the official Certificate of Registration
on your new puppy . (This is not essential, unless you intend to breed your dog or just want something to frame and put on
the doghouse wall.)
Please excuse me if I am telling you things you already know... or if I have different opinions about issues than you have;
but, here are some ideas, information and things to consider that you might find helpful:
PREPARE TO PICK UP YOUR NEW PUPPY
Whether you are coming here to our farm to pick up your new puppy; or are meeting us out on the road between your home
and our farm; or if we are delivering your puppy to you - you need to get ready for your new baby. HERE ARE SOME IDEAS TO
FOR THE DRIVE HOME: If you are driving your puppy home, you should come prepared with old towels and an old
blanket. Most puppies will settle down on an old towel on the floorboard of your vehicle and be fine there. You might want
to put plastic under the towel to protect your carpet and you might want to put a plastic trashbag over your car seats and
cover them with an old blanket. Some puppies will want to crawl up your lap or even sit in the seat and look out the window.
They are not used to travel so they may upchuck once early in the trip - so have some paper toweling handy. We will withhold
food the night before their travel day and hopefully there won’t be any or not much of an "accident". Having a small
crate on hand might be a good precaution; but, we carry one and have never had to use it even on very long trips. Most puppies
don’t initially care much for riding in a car or truck….but after an hour or so they usually curl up on the floor
and go to sleep. Remember, puppies sleep much more than they are awake.
CRATE: You should buy the largest crate you can find before getting the puppy so that you have his home ready
for him. The size crate you will need permanently will not fit in most vehicles. But, you may need to put
up a divider in a really large crate so the puppy doesn't start going one end to go to the bathroom.
For the first few weeks and for the trip home, an inexpensive plastic puppy crate big enough for a dog the size of an adult
cocker spaniel would be about the right size for a 12 week old German Shepherd. You should have a watering bowl and be prepared
to stop at every other rest area on the interstate for a potty break as you travel.
FOOD: We will provide you with a sample bag of the food the puppy has been eating so you will have food for
the first couple of days back home. We do Not recommend feeding the puppy during your trip.
COLLAR AND LEASH: We will also provide a collar on the puppy and a rope leash for the trip home. At 10 or 12
weeks of age the puppy will Not walk on leash…. You will need to carry him/her out of the vehicle and put him on the
ground where you hope he will "do his business" at rest areas. Keep a hand on him or the rope lead at all times. Training
to walk on a leash is something you can start working on at home …but do not expect much success until after 4 or 5
months of age. The leash is mostly so you can keep control of the puppy and keep him out of danger.
When You Get Home -
The First Days of Adjustment
You are adopting a German Shepherd
Puppy. You are Not
adopting a Lab or a cocker
spaniel. No offense to other dog
breeds (we own a Lab and have
owned cocker spaniels and
when they don’t wander
off and get lost they are cute..but
frankly, relatively dumb). The stories I could tell about Labs
that wandered off miles away
or forever…cute, but dumb.
If you see our Lab "Ringo", say "Hi" for us.
When you drive up to our house….just
freely pet the big black
labs that might come out to
greet you…they are no threat at all to
anyone. I would not recommend that you walk around any
German Shepherd who is at his
home. Our German Shepherds
may not growl or bark at you,
but I would strongly recommend
that you not
approach them, until we have introduced you to
them. After that you
can hug them all you want..but Not before. German
Shepherds are Not dangerous,
but they are leery of strangers..
which is a desirable quality
and a quality that your new puppy
will probably demonstrate to
you …since you are a stranger to
In my opinion, most other breeds of dogs are Not nearly as
as German Shepherd Dogs and most other breeds
do not have the same natural
protective and survival instincts
that a German Shepherd Dog
is born with. A German Shepherd
(even a puppy) can survive
in the wild, avoid dangers and find
a cocker spaniel or poodle
most likely can not survive without
human supplied food and shelter. That means essentially,
that a German Shepherd puppy…(even
one only a few weeks
old - like your new puppy)
is very much aware of his
surroundings and he is going
to Know that his Mom and
littermates have suddenly disappeared
when you take him
Frankly at his weeks-old age
he is amazingly aware of where
he is and he would be comparable
to perhaps a human child
of grade-school age who would
most definitely notice and be
very upset if he was kidnapped by strangers and suddenly
Mom and Dad had disappeared. A human baby of your
puppy’s extremely young
age would not be very upset by new
people or surroundings….but
your weeks-old puppy is much
more aware than that. He knows his familiar world has
vanished and he is going to
be upset in most cases. He does
Not know you. You are a stranger and a possible threat to his
survival. He needs time to decide.
He is not going to immediately accept you completely.
You and your family are strangers and he feels alone, lost and
by his birth family. It is natural for him to feel at
least a little insecure and
probably frightened, apprehensive
and suspicious….it is
like he has been thrown out into the
woods to survive on his own. It is definitely panic time for him.
You will have to give him time
to adjust and calm down. So,
please, don’t expect
your German Shepherd puppy to be an
brainless bouncing puppy who
slobbers all over you and
everyone else he encounters. If you want that…please just
get a Lab or other breed puppy…
Of course, you will not have
a German Shepherd then…but
rather a dog that will lick, grin
and wag her tail at the burglar
as you get robbed or attacked.
When you get your German Shepherd
puppy to your home,
please do not gush all over
him, overwhelm him with attention
and expect him to play with you or anyone else right away. He
needs space and quiet! He needs his safe place – a “cave” to
retreat to. (Again, if you want this …get a Lab. Or take
ours… we took in
three of them..two wandered off never to be
seen again. ) Immediate acceptance and adjustment would
be abnormal really for a German
Shepherd puppy. Some
puppies will want to explore
their surroundings a little, but
most will just want to retreat
to a corner and think things over.
He should naturally be apprehensive to some extent and he
needs a “settling in”
Hopefully, you got him a crate (as we recommend) and you
put that crate in a quiet corner
of your house. Put him in the
crate and please just leave
him alone and don’t pester him.
When he is ready to come out, he will let you know. Let him
come to you out of curiosity
and interest and because after a
couple of days of your feeding
him and giving him quiet talk
and attention occasionally..he
feels you are not threatening to
him. Don’t try to force your attentions on him…you will just
intimidate and frighten him
and make the adjustment take
longer. You have to Earn his trust that you are not going to
hurt him and that does Not
The process of lifelong bonding and earning your puppy’s
loyalty and love takes longer. Respect and love are not
instant and not earned overnight,
but over time as you show
affection, patience and consistency. It also doesn’t hurt that
he learns that you are the
provider of the food.
This basic survival instinct
of intelligent suspicion of strangers
is why German Shepherds
(once they bond with their new
Masters) become natural protectors
and guardians of their
homes and families. Once your puppy bonds to you, you will
have a lifeong loyal companion
and a guardian who would lay
down his life to protect you
and your family and who will be
on guard against strangers
until you introduce them as friends
who are acceptable.
It will be perfectly normal
for your puppy to be just
inconsolably miserable the
first couple nights or first few
nights in your home. He doesn’t feel “at home” - he feels
abandoned and lost. Mom and Dad and his familiar
surroundings and brothers and
sisters and all the normal
smells have vanished. It would not be unusual for him to cry,
whine or even howl in misery
for a couple of nights. You can
deal with this by putting his
crate in the farthest room from
where you sleep so you don’t
hear it so much, or you can do
what we do and put his crate
next to our bed so he at least has
the reassurance of other breathing. It can also sometimes
help to wrap a hotwater bottle
(filled with warm water) in a
towel and put that in the crate
with him so he has something
to snuggle up to. Some brave new owners even take the
puppy to bed with them ..which
is the ultimate reassurance for
the puppy….but then you
have to be ready to accept the nearly
inevitable “accidents”. Remember this is a Pack Animal…
that naturally sleeps with
his family in a pile and feels most
secure surrounded by his Pack. He has to come to accept
you and your family as his
new Pack and you as the Alpha
of his new pack. That takes time.
patient and loving…(even as you mop up those inevitable poop and pee accidents) and very soon you will have the puppy
and then the dog you want.
YOU CAN HAVE YOUR PUPPY AFTER HE IS 10-12 WEEKS OLD
This is just my opinion, but these are our puppies, so as a practical matter at this point, it is
the only opinion that matters in this case. I am convinced that it makes no sense to separate a Puppy from its Mom and its
Littermates very much before about 10 or 12 weeks of age. Maybe it saves commercial dog breeders a lot of money when they
sell 5 or 6 week old puppies-and they are cute as can be then; but, I think that it often makes for sick, weak puppies. All
that early-separation does is traumatize the Puppy...... so what you often get is a really frightened, crying and insecure
puppy; you also deprive it prematurely of its Mom's training and of her real milk that it needs for a good start in life;
and, finally, early separation deprives it of the socialization it needs with its littermates. And, you can't really begin
to teach a puppy under the age of 12 weeks anything anyway. At 12 weeks of age, they are still babies.... their eyes have
only been open for about 10 weeks and they have only been able to walk for a very few weeks. Besides, I like to keep them
as long as possible....I'd keep 'em all if I could afford to feed and care for more.
You are more than welcome to visit your new baby puppy anytime while we are still caring for him and
we will post pictures of each puppy every couple of weeks on our website.
I/we are Not "professional breeders"...(whatever that means-at least in the sense that this
is Not a profit-making business that is our livelihood). I do think I know as much about German Shepherd Dogs as anyone I
have ever heard about or read about…with few exceptions. I have no interest at this time in importing dogs from Austria,
Germany or elsewhere in Europe or dragging dogs around all over the country to AKC Dog Shows so they can earn "points" and
have titles or ribbons. I am doing everything I can to "improve the breed" and raise healthy, well-adjusted puppies. This
is not a "puppy mill" looking to turn a profit by cranking out huge numbers of puppies. This is a small scale home activity.
I have owned German Shepard Dogs for over 25 years and we breed puppies because we love these dogs and really enjoy raising
puppies. We currently charge $750 and Up for a puppy and after taking into consideration the costs of food, medicine, registration,
advertising and all the rest and - Not considering our investment in kennels/equipment , etc. or our considerable Time we
are Not charging enough to break even.
Our Puppies nurse on their Mom for about the first 8-10 weeks of their lives and are weaned naturally. We
believe that while they are nursing and for some time afterwards, they get full natural immunity from most common dog diseases.
Mom is healthy and has a good immune system and her milk will pass the antibodies (and immunity to various dog diseases) on
to her puppies. All the scientific research I have read indicates that Very early vaccination is not only pointless, it is
probably bad for the health of the puppies. We do vaccinate for the usual dog diseases at around age 8 weeks.
On ___________Your puppy had a Combination Vaccine which included Canine Distemper Adenovirus Type
2-Parainfluenza-Parvovirus vaccine, modified live and killed virus Leptospira Bacterin, etc. Specifically "Duramune Max 5/4L"
which we purchase in 25 dose lots from our Vet. You can obtain similar products from almost any farm supply store and it is
not difficult to administer the shots yourself. For example a complete individual vaccination kit can be purchased at TSC
for $3.99. (We probably gave you the empty vaccine vials and packaging so you can show your Vet what they have had.)
Giving shots is something many people can do themselves (Practice giving shots on an orange) and save
a few bucks over the cost of having a Vet give the shots. There are other dog vaccines, but this "Combination Vaccine" contains
everything that is commonly given.
On about ____________, about Four (4) Weeks after the first shot, your Puppy should have one more
vaccination just like the first one, as a "booster". Some Vets will recommend a third or fourth booster, but all of my reading
leads me to the conclusion that two shots are probably plenty. I would probably do one more booster shot a year later. You
decide for youself. Some people (mostly those who sell the vaccinations) recommend annual booster shots... my reading leads
me to believe this may be unnecessary and maybe even harmful to a dog's natural immune system. If you think your dog needs
annual "booster" re-vaccinations.....then you ought to get yourself and your family to a doctor Every Year and get your annual
booster shots for all your vaccinations. Do some reading and form your own opinion about how vaccines work and how the immune
system works. Ask a Vet (or a couple of Vets) that you trust for honest opinions based on the latest scientific studies.
______________Rabies vaccination. From what I have read, you can't legally give this shot in most
states. You can order the vaccine from out of state but that won't get you the official "tag". This vaccination can be done
after 12 weeks of age, but I personally wait until 4 or 5 months. Watch the papers for any county clinic..usually in the summer
and it costs about $10 for the shot and County Tag.. Your puppy should Not be running wild anyway. This shot is required by
most states and other jurisdictions and is the only vaccine required. If you keep your Puppy indoors or in a good escape-proof
kennel and he never, ever runs wild then he is very unlikely to contract rabies. But all dogs run at some time.
Illinois, for instance, requires the rabies vaccination once a year....this probably just messes with
the dog's immune system and reduces the dog's health and lifespan. Wonder what organizations or professional group lobbied
to have that law passed? Other states only require the shot every three years. You will have to check for your local laws
and practices. Even the most conservative research I read concluded that every 3 years was often enough. Go figure. My reading
leads me to believe that two shots (about a year apart) in a dog's lifetime probably provides sufficient immunity to rabies.
Use your own judgment. As a lawyer, I can assure you that you violate several laws every week, probably every day, and you
don't even know it. There are too many laws for any human being to ever know about them all, so we are all criminals anyway
under our existing legal system. Again, I recommend some reading and common sense.
_____________Your Puppy was wormed at least once on 3 consecutive Days with Panacur (Fenbendazole
10%) Liquid given by mouth. It smells "minty-fresh" and apparently tastes just awful. There are more expensive drugs that
supposedly taste better to your dog and also capsules and tablets; but, we find this liquid is much cheaper and easier to
administer. You need to do worming.. otherwise you will be spending money feeding worms and have a sickly dog. It helps to
have two people to do worming. One person holds the Puppy, opens his mouth and the other person syringes (without the needle
of course!) the liquid wormer down the dog's throat. This wormer treats Round, Hook and Whip Worms. Our dogs don't have worms
but we treat them anyway at least twice a year.
This stuff works. It costs about $125 for a quart, which is roughly 1000cc. You should be able to
get a smaller quanity from a Vet.. The dosage is 1cc for every 5 pounds of body weight. Take the needle off of a syringe and
use it to measure and squirt it down the dog's throat. For example, a 100 lb dog would need 20cc by Mouth, everyday, for 3
consecutive days. This stuff works, don't waste your money on Grocery-store or feed-store worming stuff...they don't work
as well or at all in some cases. If you keep your dog away from other dogs and do not let him run wild...you shouldn't have
to do this more than once or so a year, if that. On the other hand, many, maybe most dogs engage in "coprophagous" behavior
(you can look that up in a big dictionary) behavior so they re-infect themselves with worms often. Your vet can examine your
dog's "stool" for worms if you want... just pick up a tiny sample in a plastic baggy and take it to the Vet. You can use this
drug on cats too. You should have your puppy’s stool checked on his initial Puppy visit to your Vet….so bring
a Small sample with you.
This is a Killer Disease transmitted by mosquitoes. I recommend "Heartgard Plus". These are
chewable (or not) tablets that you give once a month that dogs will eat like candy. If you get the non-chewable tablets…just
hide it in some cheese or a hotdog. You must start Before mosquito season begins…. like May lst and continue until Winter/hard-freeze....
like through September or October. There is a blood test your Vet probably will require before starting this treatment to
make sure he is not already infected, but maybe you can avoid this expense if you start your pup out Before Mosquito season
comes. This is going to cost about $5 a month. There are other treatments you can check out, even (I read) once-a-year shots.
I think Heartgard Plus monthly is a better idea because it also helps keep other worms in check too. Just be glad you don't
have to give them a Daily nasty-tasting liquid medicine for it like in the old days. I used to pay a ton of money for gallon
jugs of "poison" and had to squirt the nasty stuff down all my dog’s throats during mosquito season…no one enjoyed
that. One pill or chew tab a month is mucho better.
There is a Generic version of this stuff that is cheaper. Or if you want to cut your costs in half
ask us about buying your dog medications from Australia…. like Canada they don’t allow drug companies to charge
outrageous prices for Medicine……only in America does greed run rampant and uncontrolled…..at least it seems
to be especially bad these days (2004). We have had good products, service and prices from www.PetShed.com.
FLEAS AND TICKS
Apparently, Nothing sold at grocery stores or anywhere over the counter really works. Not collars,
not dips, not sprays, not powders, nothing..don't waste your money. Poisonous
flea collars are a particularly stupid idea. What does work is Frontline Plus. It ends up costing about $10 a dose...
or less if you are willing to do some math and buy the large dog dosage package and divide it up yourself. My Vet now even
squeezes out the little expensive blister packets into a small bottle and then we syringe them out in exact amounts for each
dog based on weight. Half of a cc or ml is plenty for a cat or puppy. And, only about 2 cc (or less) or 2ml (cc (cubic centimeter)
and ml (milliliter) are the same thing) seems to do the job on a full grown German Shepherd.. That means you can get Two (2)
doses from each 4.02ml dosage packet!! You may only need to do this every 6 weeks or even every two months. You have to get
this from a Vet or order Online or by an 800# call. You can treat your cats with this stuff too.
Oh, same thing goes with Frontline Plus… www.PetShed.com in Australia if you want to cut your expense even further.
Dogs are carnivores. That means they eat meat. They
do NOT thrive on a diet of Corn!! They may browse on greens….grass..but notice they usually throw it up too. Probably
the best food for a dog is whole Raw (Never cooked chicken with raw bones!!) fresh chickens..guts,bones and all..with maybe
some pureed vegetables. You can give a dog bones if you want....but make sure they are Fresh, Raw - NOT Cooked. Look up B.A.R.F
Diet for dogs on the internet. Cooked bones can splinter and perforate the dog's guts and kill him. My dogs really enjoy eating
chickens live with feathers.. which is why I have to buy two dozen new pullet/hens for egg-production each year because I
can't seem to build a perfect a hen-escape-proof chicken yard..and if dog meets chicken...well he will probably have a chicken
for lunch . Most people probably won't feed their dogs raw meat or whole chickens....although it is probably best for them
and cheaper...but it is a little disgusting to watch.
Most of the "Cheap" Grocery-store dog food is really not a bargain. Just read the list of ingredients.
Just like human food, the ingredients are listed in the order of what percentage of things are in the bag.. If the First Ingredient
is Corn..it is mostly a bag of cornmeal. Most "cheap" foods are mostly Cornmeal. Many highly advertised and expensive dog
foods are mostly cheap cornmeal. Dogs pretty much can't use Corn....so it just passes through them and plops in your yard
or kennel in the form of large piles of doggy doo. If you want to feed a lot of dog food, and create large piles of dog crap...then
you can feed the "Cheap stuff"or highly advertised stuff. Some dogs do seem to thrive and even get fat on cornmeal....but
most German Shepherds have "sensitive guts" and will probably just get diarrhea from cheap dog foods. They do much
better on a diet high in natural meat protein and since they can use most of what they eat you get a lot less feces to clean
I recommend that you find a dog food that has as its First Ingredient...some kind of meat...preferably
CHICKEN OR LAMB. Instead of Corn, dogs apparently find RICE more digestible than any other grain.. Soybean meal is the "Protein"
source in most cheap dogfoods...Soybeans are NOT Meat and are not a very good meat-substitute protein for Dogs. People are
"Omnivores" like pigs (we can and do eat just about anything) ...we can eat our soy-Tofu (fermented./curdled soy paste) and
do just fine. But dogs are "Carnivores". The Percentage of Protein in a dog food means very little if it is just vegetable
protein from soybean meal.
Suggested foods to look into are IAMS and Maximum Nutrition Lamb and Rice (little cheaper)
from Walmart. And, Diamond Feed makes a good lamb and rice too. These premium feeds may seem really expensive (compared
to those big old bags of Ol Roy, but they really aren't if you analyze them. You should read the Ingredient labels.. look
at the First two or three ingredients. You should have to feed a whole lot less of a good dog food...maybe half as much as
a very cheap one...so it is not only healthier for your dog, but maybe even cheaper. FOR EXAMPLE: Compare bag labels - how
many cups of IAMS you need to feed per day to how many cups of Cornmeal Bow Wow or Ol Roy or whatever per day for the same
age and weight dog.
DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES FEED ANY KIND OF REGULAR PUPPY FOOD!!!! German
Shepherds Grow like weeds!!! They are born weighing less than a pound and the size of your hand...by 10 weeks they are about
20 pounds and the size of some small adult dogs. Keep in mind that they are still puppies and still growing for Two (2) years
although they may look (and are) big at only 6 months. Many Experts think that you need to be careful about overfeeding them,
because then they can grow too fast and it Can affect their joint and bone growth and may even be a cause of bone and joint
disorders. Some experts feel that overfeeding may be more of a cause of things like "Hip Dysplasia" than even Genetic factors.
You might want to look into "Large Breed" versions of good dogfoods....or maybe even consider feeding a high quality, but
lower calorie, adult dogfood....since that is essentially what the "Large Breed" puppy formulations seem to be.
Water. Your puppy needs to have fresh water available at All times. No Candy...bad for his teeth and.especially
not Chocolate...which is actually poison for dogs.
YOUR DOG WANTS HIS OWN HOME....INVEST IN A "CRATE"
If you plan to have you Puppy inside your house, even part of the time:
A "Crate" is Not a Cage! It can be his Den and his own space..he will Not want to go to the bathroom
in his "Den". German Shepherds try to keep their Den clean and he will hold "it" as long as possible. Having a crate will
help you potty train him so he can be in the house all the time or occasionally. It is a way to save him from soiling your
floors, chewing up your furniture, shoes and clothing... Puppies really need "something" to chew on...especially when they
are teething. I recommend rawhide...Really big pieces. Not cornmeal hard biscuits. Even better are Raw (uncooked) bones.
This is going to be a Big dog... the big crates cost about $90 at their very cheapest. Plastic crates
can be cheaper..but may also be chewed up. All steel wire crates are best. But the crates are great for traveling..they fold
up to a carry size. However, you can Not and should not lock up a young puppy for hours...they are like kids...they go to
the bathroom frequently during their first 6 months especially. And they need playtime and exercise time throughout the day.
They also need a lot of nap and quiet time and their crate is perfect for that. As the puppy gets a little older you will
find him going into his crate and staying there with the door open….it is his Den.
If he is going to be outside in a fenced-in yard then build a real dog house.. with INSULATION in
the Walls, Floor and Ceiling. and a swinging door. A German Shepherd has a great fur coat, but he cannot live out in the open.
All that an uninsulated dog house with a wide open door does for your dog is halfway keep the rain off. He needs more shelter
than that if he is going to be outside in freezing weather. Save your money and don't buy a uninsulated plastic doghouse.
Just about anyone can build a cheaper and much better doghouse with a little plywood, some 2x4s and a roll of fiberglass insulation.
OUTDOOR KENNEL - DOGPEN. Dont
chain your puppy up, Please!! It is cruel and abusive and if I see it I will take him back (it is in the contract you signed)
and/or get in your face and show you what I learned in the Marine Corps. You do Not want this to happen. You can build a small
chainlink kennel much cheaper than you can buy one of the kits being sold. The parts are available at places like Lowes. Or
a nice 4-piece small 10 x 10 kit can be found for $200 and is perfectly adequate. A Concrete pad is a good idea but cheap
patio blocks can be used for a floor to prevent digging out.. German Shepherds are very very smart and can learn to unlatch
and open gates so they need to have a positive lock and even a six foot chainlink fence is not an obstacle to a determined
shepherd. I had one who could easily climb an 8-Foot high kennel fence. It doesn't happen often, but you may need to put a
lightweight fencewire "top" on your pen. It is a waste of money, in most cases, to put up a lightweight fence pen....they
can chew right through normal fence wire that would stop other dogs or jump over one only 3 or 4 feet high. Chain link fabric
and parts are a pretty cheap investment that lasts for decades. Occasionaly there are Shepherds that will rip apart or chew
through chain link, in that case, simply add an electric fence tape to the bottom of the fence. You can find fence chargers
at farm supply stores. It works. An extremely well trained Shepherd will not roam or even leave your property without
you once he is older and knows the boundaries of His property.
TRAINING AND BEHAVIOR
You need to at least spend some time on basic training and behavior. German Shepherds are Very Large
headstrong intelligent Dogs and you need to make sure that you train your dog to obey you and behave. You have to be the "Alpha"/Head
Dog in his Pack. At minimum, at least teach: SIT, STAY, COME and train him to walk on a leash. Food treats (little
tiny bits of meat) are a great training aid and reward. Real training is most effective after about 5 or 6 months of age,
but you can begin immediately to do short basic training. Work on "Come" first… and you do this by always making "Come"
be a happy experience so he always wants to come to you for good attention and pets.
If you don’t want a 100 pound hairy beast laying around on your furniture a few months from
now don’t encourage the cute little puppy to climb up on your lap now. You must not tolerate the puppy jumping up on
you…it may be cute now, but it won’t be when he is taller than you are. Your dog should promptly sit when he comes
to you and be rewarded with pets and "good dog".
If your puppy is doing something undesireable, like chewing on your dinningroom table legs, your pants
or your new shoes just skip the "No!" and just distract him by giving him a rawhide or bone to chew on and praise him for
chewing on the acceptable chewtoy. If you catch him in the middle of taking a dump on your livingroom carpet startle him by
shouting and pick him up and carry him outside to the proper toilett area and then praise him hugely when he does his "business"
there in the right place.
We strongly recommend that you purchase Ed Frawley’s video training tapes and dvds to help you
with your puppy training. You should definitely purchase the " Your Puppy 8 Weeks to 8 Months - Video 120 - 2 Hrs. - $30.00" available from http://leerburg.com/vidolist.htm .
In fact, we recommend www.leerburg.com as an excellent source for all sorts of German Shepherd information.
German Shepherds are NOT naturally vicious or aggressive dogs. They are very territorial which is
why they make good natural guard dogs. They are essentially Herding Dogs...I am convinced that my German Shepherds were the
best baby-sitters my children ever had...they always paid attention and were amazing at herding the kids away from dangers..like
our pond. It is Not their nature to attack people or to be aggressive. They generally just naturally guard their Home (your
home) and firmly stand their ground...just quietly watchful and on alert when a stranger approaches. Only a fool would try
to go through or around a German Shepherd.
If you treat your puppy with kindness and patience he will learn to be well behaved, obedient and
ready to actually lay down his life to protect you and your family and never harm anyone unless that person is hurting you.
Don't try to train your Shepherd to be an attack dog...that is probably not desirable and maybe even dangerous...leave that
to experts, if at all.
Like with human children, Rewards and Positive reinforcement of "good" behavior will result in a better
behaved dog. I wouldn't recommend ever hitting, beating, hurting in any way or even yelling at a German Shepherd....that is
a sure way to end up with either a cowed, suspicious. slinking dog or a dog who is ready to defend itself by biting you or
anyone else that seems threatening. There are no "bad" dogs…they are not born that way. This is going to be a very very
large, Very intelligent creature, much stronger than you or any human...and who has a very long memory....don't hit him and
don't waste time rubbing his nose in his accidental poops or pees...he will learn absolutely nothing from it except that you
are weird. PRAISE gets better results. Use a Crate, he will naturally do almost anything to avoid soiling his Den...or Your
"Den"/Home when he gets older.
There are lots of good books and the Internet is a great source for more information. Most public
libraries can provide you with the books and Internet Access for free. One easy way to research on-line is to use the website
www.google.com which is a good Search Engine, easy to use..just type in words like "dog crate" or "dog vaccinations"
or "recommended dog diets:" or whatever to find a thousands of good information sources and ideas.
There are lots of good
books on this topic. The best
way to start is to use
a crate. Do not let your puppy run
wild through your house
unattended. Think of him as a
toddler - without a diaper. He should be watched
constantly when he is
out of his crate. If he begins to
circle, pick him up and
carry him outside to the
designated potty area
immediately. He is not going to
be leash trained for some
time..a leash is just a control
tool initially. You must carry him out to the designated
potty spot for the first
weeks. As you take him there….
and “Go potty” . And when he actually
does go potty outside,
praise him lavishly…
”Good Potty” “Good Puppy!!” Or whatever words
you want to use…just
use the same words all the time
and he will soon get the
idea that it makes you happy
that he went potty outside. Pick up all mistakes in the
house or crate and do
not comment and do Not scold
him for “accidents”…it
was your fault, not his. Take
him out right/immediately
after feeding him in his crate
and every 2 or 3
hours and before bedtime one last time.
He naturally will not want to soil his home/crate..so if he
goes potty in there..it
is because you left him in there
too long without taking
him outside..so adjust how
often you take him out.
VETERINARIAN You need one. You need to take your new puppy for a checkup
within the first 4 days of getting him home…so make an appointment ahead of time. In our area we recommend Lamczyk Veterinary
Hospital , 12246 North Sparrow Lane, Mt. Vernon, IL 62864. 618-242-4759. This is a husband and wife who are both Vets. They
have reasonable treatment rates, reasonable charges for medications and convenient hours. Buying medications from them usually
costs no more than it would to buy it from some 800 number supplier or Online WebSite place. And, they are nice folks. We
hope that you will find equally sensible and nice people for your Vet in your area.
NAMING YOUR PUPPY We do not have
any requirements regarding naming your Harmony German Shepherd puppy, at this time. You can use parts of the parent’s
names if you wish in naming your puppy. Here is an excellent source for German Shepherd Dog names: http://www.pedigreedatabase.com/gsd/dog_name_pick.html
. This whole thing about the names of kennels and dogs gets a little strange…. We could easily have chosen to be known
as Von HarmonieHaus Kennels..(and did think about that-very briefly) or something else germanic sounding and insisted that
each puppy have the VonHarmonieHaus name registered…it just didn’t feel right to us- seemed a little pretentious
and that isn’t our style ….we aren’t of much German descent …and we happen to live in/near an old
village named Harmony (still on some maps) and our families have been in this area for well over 100 years…and we like
the name. For us the notion of Harmony associated with German Shepherds kind of summarizes the type of German Shepherd we
try to breed…one that is strong, stable and calm and not aggressive.
ALL OF THE ABOVE INFORMATION IS STUFF THAT I LEARNED THE HARD WAY OVER THE LAST 40 Years+ years of being a dog
owner. It is just my opinion !- and I could be wrong .... or at least other people
might have different opinions. On some issues, I Know other people have different opinions. So be it. I do have a Doctorate
Degree...but it is not in Medicine or Veterinary Science...I just read a lot and have listened to what people whom I respect
say and mostly I learned from the school of hardknocks. You probably ought to get at least one good dog book and check up
on what I have said or what other people tell you. Form your own opinions.
If we can answer any questions about German Shepherd Puppies, we will be happy to try and help. Just
email us or Post your question on our Yahoo Group Message Board. You might even find the answers you are looking for already
posted there. We hope and are certain you will have a wonderful time with your new German Shepherd. We are, of course prejudiced,
but we don't think there is a better, more intelligent and loyal breed of dog.
Lyle and Kathy Williams
Our Website: www.HarmonyGermanShepherds.com