What are some dos and donTS with my new German Shepherd puppy

Whatever you do allow will be what your puppy will do as an adult. Remember that the GSD is a big puppy and can be a challenge to a timid owner.

Do’s: Teach the basics,, sit, stay, come. Potty training is important but remember if it is a puppy it will take time. Take your puppy outside at least every 2 hours and right after eating. Always use the same command e.g. Go be a big girl/boy etc. When he/she does go wild with praise! Immediately give a treat. Accidents will happen inside. Don’t punish! Don’t ever rub a nose in the pee or poo! With a lot of attention your puppy will master these simple commands quickly. Remove temptations rather than wait for them to be destroyed. Your puppy will chew and nothing is safe! It is a natural instinct so the best you can do is take away and give a firm NO if he has something other than a chew toy. Spend lots of time with your dog. They are social animals and you are now part of his / her pack. Speaking of pack remember to establish that you are Alpha. While playing pin your puppy down, place an arm across the back of his neck and hold him ’til he no longer struggles (don’t choke or hurt the dog). As the dog gets a little bigger he will challenge your Alpha role! It is of utmost important you win that challenge. When it happens, grab him at the back of his neck, shake him, holler really loud and put him down on the floor. Again place your arm across the back of the neck and hold until there is no more struggle. Have lots of chew toys on hand. Teach him to play ball with you. I buy bags of tennis balls for about 8 or 9 dollars. They will not last but they will be fun. Keep treats on hand to reward good behavior.

Don’t: IF you don’t want your adult dog to sit on the couch don’t allow it when he is a puppy. Have a dog bed near the couch that he can lay in and still be close to you.

Don’t ever hit your dog! Teach by rewarding positive behavior. A stern NO and a grab at the back of the neck is all that is needed tp get the point across.

Now the next one is hard! Don’t give him table scrabs! Stick with a routine, quality diet. Your vet can be of help in that area.

Your dog needs a lot of exercise. I’m not a fan of dog parks but that is something that you need to figure out for yourself.

Your GSD will be a loyal companion but also very protective so be careful when strangers come around.

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DO get him a chew toy. His little teeth are needle-sharp.

DO get him lots of socialization.

DO enroll him (and yourself) in puppy classes at the nearest kennel club as soon as he is old enough.

DO find a vet and make sure he gets his shots and checkups on schedule.

DO NOT expect him to be alone for long periods of time. He is a member of your pack now and he will expect to be up front and in your face for the rest of his life.

DO NOT give him people food as treats.

DO commit to being the owner and companion of a loving, smart, beautiful, loyal but high-maintenance dog for the next twelve years or so. Lots of brushing, lots of exercise but mostly lots of attention (you will never take a shower or use the toilet alone again).

German shepherds are a lot of work but they are worth it.

DO socialize your puppy to new sights, scents, sounds, people, places, animals, flooring types, etc.

DON’T limit socialization to exposure, but emphasize a positive experience and practicing a desired behavioral response.

DO exercise your puppy giving them lots of chances to run, climb, and tumble on shock-absorbing surfaces like grass, dirt, or mulch.

DON’T push your puppy to do repetitive exercises (i.e. jogging at the same pace for a long time), jump, or to exercise on hard surfaces like concrete or asphalt.

DO feed your puppy a quality diet.

DON’T overfeed your puppy – he should be just on the lean side of normal by the time he is 4 months old, and should stay pretty lean and certainly not overweight until he is done growing (2 years/24 months old).

There is much more you should know and do – get a good vet, train early and often, etc. Good luck!

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