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What to consider when searching for and bringing home a Puppy.

Updated: 4 days ago

A comprehensive guide on what to look out for and what you should think about when bringing home a new family companion.


Over time, we have come to understand the complexities and common pitfalls of adding a new family member, like a Puppy. Bringing home a German Shepherd puppy is a wonderful and exciting time, but there are important considerations to keep in mind. The process of searching for and bringing a new family member home begins long before even looking at puppy options, and in fact starts in the home. Here are what you should consider:



 

Ensuring your home is prepared for the addition of a puppy.

  1. Training and socialization: German Shepherds are highly intelligent dogs that require regular training and socialization. It's important to establish a consistent training routine and enroll your puppy in socialization classes as soon as possible or set strong socialization regimen. This can include daily obedience, puppy classes, or dedicated character building time.

  2. Exercise: German Shepherds are typically active dogs that require exercise. Make sure you have a space and a plan in place for providing your puppy with regular walks, playtime, or mentally stimulating activities (e.g., tracking for toys, fetch, playing tug of war, learning obedience, etc.). Who will take of the puppy if you are ill? Who will take care of the puppy while you are away at work or school? Make sure to have friends and family support.

  3. Diet: German Shepherds have a high metabolism and require a high-quality diet to stay healthy. Feed your puppy on a consistent schedule. We feed our puppies 3 times a day according to weight and age. As they get older feeding schedules can be modified to twice per day, with snacks/treats in between meals.

  4. Puppy-proofing: German Shepherds are curious and playful dogs that will explore their new surroundings. It's important to puppy-proof your home by removing any potential hazards and securing loose items. Like a child, they will want to check everything out, so it’s the owner’s responsibility set up safety boundaries and other designated areas for your puppy to be comfortable and secure. Establishing a potty area either outside or on a Puppy-Pad is critical for the early days of a new puppy since you will be setting a behavior for the longterm. As the puppy ages, you may begin to teach the puppy to go to the bathroom when they wake up, after a meal, and before bed by going to the designated potty area. Teach them a cue word or 'magic' word so they can associate "potty"/"pee-pee"/"poo-poo" with going to the bathroom. That way, when they are adults, when you say that magic word, they will do their necessities.

  5. Vet Check-up: After bringing your puppy home, it's important to schedule a vet check-up as soon as possible. This will ensure that your puppy is healthy and up-to-date on vaccinations. We always Vet-Check our puppies before they are rehomed, but we still recommend going to your local vet as a follow up.

  6. Consistency: German Shepherds thrive on consistency and routine, so it's important to establish a consistent schedule for feeding, potty breaks, and training.

  7. Patience: German Shepherds are highly trainable but they need patience, positive reinforcement, and consistency. Your puppy will make mistakes and have accidents, but it's important to be patient and understanding while they learn. Try, try again is the moto! Your puppy needs modeling and practice to improve. An example is, if they bark at other dogs their first few days socializing, provide a correction and reward system, but keep exposing them to new dogs and new environments. Eventually, they will learn good behavior with practice. If they are afraid of loud noises, continue to gradually expose them to new sounds with rewards/loving care to desensitize them. Puppies are like children and require love, security and patience to help mold them to your family routine and habits.



 

So your home and family are prepared for this wonderful addition, what's next?

Nowadays, there are breeders in almost every neighborhood. According to the Humane Society, as of 2021, there are approximately 2.6 million puppies sold who originated from puppy mills. When searching for a German Shepherd puppy, there are several important factors to consider to ensure your puppy is a healthy, and a life long companion.

  1. Breeder Reputation: It is crucial to obtain a German Shepherd puppy from a reputable breeder. Look for breeders who have experience and knowledge about the breed and can provide health clearances for the puppy's parents. A breeder should be focused on improving the quality of the breed or at least producing a quality representation of the wonderful animal. We focus on strong temperaments, intelligence, beauty, and physically capable German Shepherds who can offer superior puppies to suitable families. Read reviews, ask questions, if the puppy is not a good fit temperament-wise, can you bring the puppy back or get a new puppy? Is there a warranty agreement? Does the breeder do some sort of character assessment on the puppy to have an idea of character? Do they have trainers you can contact for future support? Do they have a vet recommendation? etc.

  2. Health: German Shepherds are prone to certain health issues such as hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, and bloating. Make sure the puppy you choose has been cleared of any inheritable genetic health issues and that the breeder provides a health guarantee or some form of health report/vaccination record. Make sure the breeder can provide you with a genetic health panel or hips and elbows clearance on the parents. We provide all families with crippling Hip and Elbow Dysplasia guarantees backed by genetic and veterinary testing of the parents.

  3. Temperament: German Shepherds are known for their loyalty and intelligence, but it's important to choose a puppy with a good temperament. A good breeder will be able to provide information on the puppy's temperament and socialization. For example, is the puppy more active or calm? Are they dominant or gentle? Do they take more time to take corrections (e.g., stubborn/strong willed) or do they easily take corrections (e.g., docile). Can they be with other dogs? Are they suitable for young children in the household? etc.

  4. Training and Exercise: German Shepherds are active and require regular training and exercise. Make sure you are prepared to provide your puppy with the necessary physical and mental stimulation. We believe a German Shepherd should have a balanced character. Thus, we prioritize protection capabilities, play or food drive, with family time. Make sure you have time and space to walk your puppy, play, and teach.

  5. Cost: German Shepherds can be expensive, and the cost of the puppy is just the beginning. Be prepared for the cost of feeding, training, grooming (trimming NAILS are very important for their body structure!), and veterinary care. We try to offer superior quality of bloodlines, character, and build at a reasonable value to quality families.

  6. Research the breed: Before obtaining a German Shepherd puppy, it is important to research the breed to make sure it is the right fit for you and your lifestyle. German Shepherds are typically active and require a lot of attention, so make sure you are prepared to provide time, energy, and space. The younger the puppy, the more energy and time. They need to be potty trained, crate trained, go through teething where they bite everything, etc. The older they are, they will typically calm down with their energy level and know familiar routines. It is important to build a bond with your puppy, so a good way to do that is with food, care, and love.


Regular training, socialization, exercise, and a consistent schedule are key to raising a happy and healthy German Shepherd.

In conclusion, bringing home a German Shepherd puppy is a big commitment and an exciting time, but it's important to be prepared for the responsibilities that come with owning one. We always tell our families that bringing home a puppy is like a bringing home a newborn child - they are entering their new life. And most importantly, it's a life-long commitment. Do your research and find a reputable breeder with healthy, well-tempered puppies. Be prepared to provide your puppy with proper training, exercise, and care, that come with owning a German Shepherd. Get ready to invest time, patience and fall in love with the process of raising a German Shepherd!

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