The following advice, written by myself is the product of many years of placing puppies in their new homes and learning by other peoples mistakes, mistakes which you can avoid if you listen to the advice below. You can do it the easy way, or the hard way, the choice is yours alone.....
The next 24-48 hours are going to be quite traumatic for him, don't forget he has spent the last 7 weeks in the company of his other brothers and sisters, with Mum and several 'aunties' if he is going to a home without another dog he is going to feel isolated for a short while until he adjusts to this. If he is going to a home with another dog, they will need constant supervision to ensure that all is going smoothly......... and if he is going to a home with children, THEY will need constant supervision with him.
Make things easier on your pup, when you come to collect him to take him home, bring a towel or a blanket which can be rubbed all over Mum, so he has a familiar scent to take to his new home.
Experience has taught us that we get many individual resposnses from a puppy entering its' new home when it comes to feeding time. While the puppies have been with us, they have fed as a litter and that creates competition, they will all struggle to eat as much as possible of what we are offering, before their brothers and sisters can get it !!
When the competition from their siblings is taken away it can leave some pups bewildered at suddenly being faced with a bowl of food all to themselves. Added to this the very stressful move that they have just undertaken from our home to yours, saying goodbye to all that is familiar to them, brothers, sisters, mum and aunts and all the people they have come to know.
Now they are in a strange home, with nobody familiar and for some pups this can affect their appetite considerably. In some cases they have travelled many hours in a car and may also be upset by this. They may seem uninterested in food, they may even have mildly runny poops, all further signs that your pup is stressed by his move.
Please follow this link for advice on 'fussy eating' your pup is not a fussy eater - YET!! Follow the link and read how to prevent him ever becoming one HERE
The very best thing that you can do if your pup refuses a meal, is to remove it and offer it again a few hours later and so on until he accepts it. Many of you will not have this worry as 90% of pups carry on eating as normal, but if you are concerned, please contact us, or share your worries on the facebook group.
By sticking to a routine and letting your pup adjust slowly to his new environment, this will help to settle him more quickly.
Do not overwhelm your pup with lots of new experiences in the first crucial days, limit his world to one room and the garden, make sure you have created a safe environment for him to be in, where he cannot come to any harm or get into any trouble. Make sure all electical appliances are not plugged in or are well out of his reach.
Don't have every member of your family and friends visiting in the first few days and when it is time for visitors, drill them all with what is acceptable from puppy and what isn't, everybody who interacts with the pup in this first crucial stage must be consistent. Avoid letting the pup get over exited at times of visitors, ask visitors not to let their children 'wind up' the puppy.
Be aware that your pup is a baby and as such requires lots and lots of sleep to grow and develop properly, if he is napping try not to disturb him. Curb any children in the house and discourage them from waking the puppy up....He needs his sleep !! And so do you !!
Which brings me onto one of the best pieces of advice I can possibly give you, before puppy arrives home, invest in several pairs of ear plugs for you and your family, you are more than likely going to need them....... Every now and again a puppy will settle immediately in its' new home, with no night time howling, but the usual scenario is very different and a whole lot noisier !!
To begin crate training a pup, place the crate in the room the puppy spends most time in and leave the crate door open and put some of his favourite toys in, when your puppy is happy going in and out of the crate, you can begin to lock him in for short 10 minute periods.
Place the blanket you have Mum's scent on into the crate and lock puppy in, try to do this when he is tired and with luck he will settle down for a sleep. Do not remove a crying pup from a crate just because he is crying, compare this to picking up a baby, every time it cries.
Let him out when he is quiet, that way he will not associate crying with being let out of the crate.
You might want to give your puppy a bone, for the times he goes into the crate, to help settle him, he will soon see the crate as his 'den' and be quite happy to spend short periods of time in there, which means if you have to go out and leave him at all, he is safely confined, you may also find a crate trained pup is easier to housetrain.
When it's time to settle your pup down for the night, either in his crate or a small safe room, firstly ensure that he has relieved himself, then quietly, without fuss, leave him in his crate or room and put your ear plugs in, the next couple of nights will probably be very noisy. The most important thing is NOT to respond to the screaming, howling racket he will more than likely be making, your first instict will be to go and comfort him BUT, if you do, you have taught him a very valuable lesson in record time......
'If I cry loud and long enough..they will come'
Make sure that all your family are aware of the rules and don't let them sabourtage your efforts !!
If, however you puppy settles and is quiet for a long period of time and then begins to cry, this could be him telling you he needs the toilet, this should not be ignored, go down to the puppy, but DO NOT speak to him or comfort him in anyway, instead take him quietly to the area you wish him to go to the toilet in and just use two words 'Be quick' if you can say this while your puppy is actually going to the toilet, this is possitive reinforcement. If your puppy performs, praise him very quietly, then return him to his room or crate without any sort of fuss or words, leave and put those ear plugs back in !!
Your pup can be soothed by a human voice, leave a radio on close to him as a comfort factor, you may also like to leave a ticking clock close by him, theories are that the ticking mimics Mum's heartbeat.
Give your pup lots of praise and reassurance, but do not allow children to constantly pick him up, the place for a dog is on the floor!! Do not allow him to jump up at you, or place him on the furniture. Never encourage biting of hands, redirect it to a favourite toy.
Also, never allow a puppy to constatly demand attention, far better for you to call the pup to you and then give him fuss/praise/play sessions, although puppies, especially males will do all kinds of things to get you attention, including this....!!
Whilst this kind of behaviour is not acceptable to humans, to a puppy, it's the most natural thing in the world, a very firm 'NO' and the dislodgement of the puppy should curtail this behaviour, but you have to be consistant about it, never laugh at him if he does it to you, just say 'NO', get him off and walk away from him.
When interacting with your puppy it is vitally important that you do not encourage him to mouth your fingers, there is plenty advice below on how to stop this, but it is crucial in those first few days that EVERYBODY who interacts with your puppy is consistant with this, some people find a small puppy chomping on their fingers quite endearing and so it is 'allowed' even encouraged, some will find it funny, especially children, but it stops being endearing or funny when you can't stop the puppy from biting you and he is biting hard !! How is he to know he's suddenly not allowed to do it any more?
Start as you mean to go on, a puppy that is allowed to bite will certainly take other liberties and this will only get worse - If you allow it.
Teaching bite inhibition is an important part of a puppy's developement, if he doesn't know he's hurting you, how will he know to stop ?
By reacting with a loud squeal or yelp everytime your puppy does make contact with your hands/feet with his teeth engaged, he then knows he has hurt you, compare it to the squeal a litter mate would make if the play fighting got to rough.
Every pup goes through the 'biting' stage, it is normal instictive behaviour and does not mean that you have an aggressive puppy, they are testing their boundaries, they are working out what is acceptable and what isn't, biting is a normal part of that behaviour.
It is how you deal with this behaviour that is important here, click on this link:-
- To read about the method I have been using for years to irradicate this sort of behaviour, it really works......for me!! But you may just find it makes your puppy bite back more, an experienced owner could deal with this, an inexperienced one may make the matters worse.
But there are several other methods which can also be used and depending on what sort of a personality your puppy has, you may find other methods work better.
1. Separation - If your pup starts to bite, squeal loudly and sharply and separate yourself from him immediately, walk away into another room and ignore the bad behaviour. I find that this method takes longer to get results with.
2. Have a small plastic bottle half filled with small stones so that it makes a distict rattle when shaken. When puppy bites, shake it into his face. Do not allow puppy any contact with the bottle - it is not another toy for him. You could also try one of the corrector sprays available on the internet and from pet shops.
3. When puppy bites, a very firm and loud 'NO' and immediate separation can work, but again I find this takes time to achieve results. Many of our owners have had puppy biting issues from mild to extreme and they have all found ways that work best with their puppy.
If this turns into a major problem for you and you are struggling to stop it, please come onto the Facebook group and share your experiences
Try a combination of these methods working out which you get the best results with.
But you HAVE to be consistant about it !
You can turn the friendliest most out going puppy imaginable into a quivering nervous wreck with nervous wreck with aggressive tendencies if it is not socialized properly in the first important few months of it’s life.
There is a window which is open between the pup being born until it is around 16 weeks of age, the window then starts to close, during the time that window is open it is very important to subject the puppy to as many different people, other dogs, situations, sounds and experiences as possible, once the window closes, it is a lot harder for a pup to accept new situations/people/noises etc.
Taking him for very short journeys in the car, allow him to look out of the window and experience the sounds of heavy traffic.
Work in the house with a collar and lead, practising until he accepts them so that when he is safe to go out properly on a lead his first experience is a journey of discovery and not a struggle to get him to even walk on the lead!
Positive Paws Dog Training ©2002 – Margaret Hughes - 707-935-6142 – [email protected]
Adapted with permission from Pat Schaap’s “RULE OF 7’s” for 7 week old puppies
By the time a puppy is 12 weeks old, it should have :
(If your puppy is over 12 weeks start right away with this socialization guide.)
Jane Anderson's 10 simple rules sum it all up, please click on the link below..........
Make an A1 student out of your pup by enlisting him into puppy training and socialising classes as soon as he is old enough. Spend some time reading about training and when you practice at home, use 10 minute lessons, so the pup's attention does not wander, always try to finish on a pleasant note for the pup.
If you live locally, take advantage of the discounts available to you as a Krisannrio Puppy Owner, when you use Stretch Dog Training, more about them HERE.
Socialisation whilst the puppy is still young is VITAL, again it's a straightforward choice on your behalf, do you spend tons of time taking him to socialisation/obedience classes, do you make sure he has lots of positive experiences meeting other dogs or do you live with the consequences of not doing this, which I will guarentee, will include anything from silly, exitable behaviour when your dog spots another to downright nervous aggression.....
Not easy to handle when your male shep tips the scales at 40 kilos, but this is just as important with females too, both sexes can end up a living nightmare if enough time is not put into them when they are young, don't make the mistakes many others have made and reinforce some people's beliefs that the German Shepherd is aggressive, there are no bad dogs, but there are many bad owners...Don't be one of them please. There is lots more advice below in the 'Puppy Management' section.
Another thing to think about is........Do you have small family members ? If so, great........Your child will be of an age that you can reason with him/her.....Or I would not be letting you have a puppy......but what if your family has no little people ? A puppy/dog that has never been used to small children, can in fact be intimidated by them, I have several theories of my own as to why this can sometimes happen, but it can so easily be avoided.......Most people live close enough to a primary school to use this to their advantage.....AS SOON as your pup is ready to go out, take him to a school gates at home time and make the most of free socialising sessions with little people !!
Most parents will ask if it's OK to allow their child to pet your puppy, again the same rules must be observed with mouthing, you will need to carefully supervise each child's interaction with your puppy, but once you have done this a few times, your puppy will view these kind of sessions with utter delight and you may then knock visits like this down to once a week, keep them up throughout the puppy's developement and this will be another check on your list of important experiences for your puppy.
Just like growing human babies, puppies are constantly growing and developing, they go through the 'terrible twos' seen in human babies at around 2 years of age, but puppies experience this a lot earlier, when they are just a couple of months old.
No sooner have you got them through this stage, then they all hit the teenage and adolescent stage and turn into 'gobby Kevins' right before your eyes. It doesn't help that you have a GSD, a breed which grows very large, very quickly, your pup may look grown up, but he is still such a baby and is going to take at least two years to mentally mature. It is vital that throughout this period his socialisation continues.
Here is an extremely helpful link which will allow you to see the changes in personality your puppy will go through during this physical and mental growth period.
Who is Alpha in your pack?...........
Click on the link below to help understand how to become Alpha
It is very, very important that your pup is not over exercised or allowed to do anything which will damage his soft growing bones.
Hip dysplasia can be brought on and manifest itself in a remarkably short time when a pup is given too much or the wrong type of exercise, once you have damaged the hips although they can be managed, it will never go away, far better then to ensure it doesn’t happen in the first place.
There is a growing misconception that hip dysplasia is a purely genetic disease, I can absolutely assure you that it is not, in my opinion man has, by modern methods of management contributed enormously to this on going problem and it can pop up in any pup, no matter how well bred or low scored its parents were.
So how do we help avoid it happening to our puppy? This is quite simple, we have a puppy management system which is two fold, we feed an appropriate diet and we allow our pup only appropriate exercis.
This is advice given out to every puppy owner, but you've only got to look at the gallery to realise that good advice is not always taken on board, with pics of pups being taken on stairs, sofas and all kinds of places they shouldn't be. Once your puppy is grown at 18 months, you can allow him to do all of these things, but until then please respect the fact that this kind of activity could be very damaging for him.
What is appropriate and inappropriate?..........
As your pup grows, the bones are very soft and impressionable, the larger the breed the longer it takes for the bones to develop properly, the stress those bones receive, play a major part in whether that pup could go on to develop hip dysplasia. Lead walking long distances is definitely not a good exercise for growing pups, with a breed like a German Shepherd, the bones are not fully mature until well over twelve months of age. During that time the best exercise you can allow your pup is natural play, how then do we define natural play?
Natural play is your puppy determining the amount of time he wishes to stress his bones, when he becomes tired he will rest, if he is an environment where rest may occur, if he has to walk for 15 mins to the park and then meets up with friends which he than spends the next 15/20 minutes chasing around, his adrenaline will have kicked in and his tiredness will have been forgotten about, you will only notice that he has overdone things when the poor little chap is so tired he can barely make the walk back home. This can be very damaging to growing bones.
Far better then to walk very short distances on the lead with him, a trip out does not have to and should not end in a mad dash around the local park, I would advise never, ever to allow you pup to run with older dogs until it is well past 12 months of age. Not only will he be stressing his bones enormously, he could also be barged or bumped also causing damage. You would never allow your toddler to get on a bouncy castle with big boisterous kids, give your pup the same consideration.
Swimming is an excellent form of exercise for growing bones, it builds muscles without stressing the joints.
The following I would recommend you take great care NOT to allow your pup to do until well over the age of 12 months:-
1. Climb stairs, going up and down stairs can be extremely damaging, do not let your pup ever do this, if necessary buy a child gate and use it.
2. Leap on and off furniture, sofas, chairs etc.
3. Jump in and out of the boot of a car, always lift him in or out.
4. Jump or lunge at moving objects such as frisbys, balls etc, these types of exercise are definately not appropriate !!
5. Encourage any exercise which results in him being on his 2 hind legs and this includes jumping up at you.
6.Chasing or running with older dogs.
Appropriate Recommended Exercise....
1. Sufficient free exercise than a pup can initiate and end on his own.
2. Wrestling with a favourite toy.
3. Playing tag or tug with other family members human or gentle canine.
4. Ambushing favourite toys.
5. Swimming (from about 5 months- supervised and gradual)
6. Chewing on a Raw Meaty Bone.
7. Very short trips out on the lead.
8. Free running, supervised and uninhibited by other canines.
9. Puppy class or training class (use exercises as homework)
This can be a very simple and quick procedure, here are some links to help you with this.
We have already begun to toilet train your puppy and he is about 85/90% there. From the time he was 5 weeks, he has had defined areas for sleeping, eating, playing and going to the toilet. As a result of the arrangement he has been living in, he has been able to make the choice for himself to move outside, away from his sleeping area to relieve himself.
We don't believe in paper training and the only time your puppy will have had to go to the toilet on newspaper, was when he was still very tiny and unable to make the journey outside.
Once he has been moved to the puppy house at 5 weeks, he will never see newspaper here again and becomes used to making his own choice to go to the toilet outside, as he has 24 hour access to an indoor covered run. By the time a litter is 6 weeks old, they are all choosing to make the trip outside for themselves.
Providing plenty of tasty bones for your puppy to chew whilst teething could also save unwanted attention to your house, shoes, furniture, etc, etc .........!!
If you have another dog in the house make sure they are separated at bone time, an older dog will not take kindly to a pup trying to muscle in on his bone. Pups have to work out their boundaries and respect older dogs, most dogs will not share their bone willingly !
Make sure that when you give the pup his bone, you make a practise of taking it off him at regular intervals, to prevent any kind of food agression manifesting, do the same with the pups meals from time to time, praise the pup then return to him the bone or dinner.
This advice is not given because your puppy is RAW fed, feeding them in this manner does not make them aggressive, but food aggression can manifeste itself no matter what the dog is fed on, so follow the advice given and it won't happen to your puppy.