Congratulations on making the choice to bring a gorgeous German Shepherd puppy into your home. You’re about to experience the joy and amazement these beautiful dogs can bring. Bringing your puppy home is hugely exciting and a massive responsibility. Keeping your little ball of fluff happy and healthy is critical to setting them up for an amazing life. We have put together our 10 top tips for a super happy German Shepherd Puppy.
#1 - Safe Sleep
You and your puppy will want nothing more than to spend all day and night together. Your puppy will need their own place to sleep and recover from their hard days play. A comfy crate or a den is a must to give your German Shepherd puppy a safe place to recharge their batteries. If you use a crate we would highly recommend leaving the crate door open throughout the day with treats, food or water so your puppy gets used to being in the crate.
#2 – Start a toilet routine
House training is one of the first things you’ll ever need to teach your German Shepherd puppy. The key is to get into a good routine and stick to the training. All puppies learn at their own pace, you may be incredibly lucky and your German Shepherd will be toilet trained in a few days or it may take a little longer do not get angry and stick to the routine and you’ll get there in the end.
#3 – Structured Feeding
Your German Shepherd puppy’s digestive system is very sensitive, especially when they are still young. Try and avoid switching between food providers, if possible use the same food brand as the breeder and if you would like to switch brands bring this is slowly over a matter of weeks. Your puppy, like a human baby, will need to be fed little and often (around 4 times a day). You may think the recommended portion for your puppy looks small and that he may still be hungry but after a cuddle and a play outside he’ll soon be ready for a nap and forgotten all about his tummy.
#4 – Set Ground Rules
Just because your German Shepherd puppy is adorable doesn’t mean you can allow it to get away with being naughty. You must set the ground rules and be consistent. Make sure your puppy respects the home and knows you and your family are in charge with plenty of reward-based training.
#5 - Socialise
Your German Shepherd puppy is curious and inquisitive. Puppies have a short period of time (Up to around 17 weeks) where they just accept new things being introduced without being fearful of what they are being introduced to. Before their vaccinations try and get as many people around the house as possible to introduce your puppy to new people. After your puppies vaccinations heading out on walks and introducing your puppy to as many (friendly) other dogs as possible will make sure your puppy is well socialised.
#6 – Introduce to the big wide world
The world outside your German Shepherd puppies’ home is load and scary. Help your puppy to familiarise themselves with busy places, crowds of people, children, traffic and other animals by introducing them to these as soon as possible. Having a well-rounded German Shepherd puppy that is comfortable in a variety of surroundings will give you the ability to go further and do more with your dog when they are older.
#7 – Play, Play, Play
Just like humans part of social development for puppies is playtime. Having a healthy playtime is a big part of raising a well rounded German Shepherd puppy. playtime is good for both physical and mental development and will help your puppy to develop their social skills.
#8 – No Teeth
Your German Shepherd puppy would have used biting as a normal part of play with it’s littermates but biting when learning to play with a human is not something that should be encouraged or allowed. You puppy needs to develop an understanding while young that biting is not allowed so that later in life if placed in a stressful situation your now larger German Shepherd dog will not use their teeth as a reaction. If you German Shepherd puppies teeth touch your skin while playing a stern “NO” and withdrawal of attention will soon teach them this behaviour isn’t allowed.
9 – Encourage Independence
Your German Shepherd puppy will at some point in their life need to be left alone for a period of time. It’s incredibly hard but when you want to put your puppy to sleep or for it to relax you have to ignore it’s cries. Only return to the room or let your puppy out of it’s crate when it is calm. If you have to leave the house don’t make a big fuss of your puppy before you go as this can cause apprehension in your puppy.
10 – Learn how to earn rewards
Your German Shepherd puppy will learn best through positive reinforcement this means a health treat or reward whenever they are a good puppy. The rewards do not have to be treats, they could be a toy or interaction. When your puppy has earnt a reward they also need to learn to receive that reward in the correct way Send it moving forward we will receive the correct response from them when praising their behaviour. There are plenty of games that can be played to help your puppy learn how to receive rewards And always use encouraging words prior to the reward.
These 10 tips for a super happy German Shepherd Puppy will help your new family member to develop in to the amazing, loyal dog that German shepherds can be. Having a puppy is a fun and exciting time above all else make sure you enjoy it and cherish the precious memories you will create together.