Raising A German Shepherd Puppy: A Survivor's Manual

Published: 25th February 2008
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German Shepherds have an image problem of being inherently vicious when, in fact, they aren't. They were never bred to fight other animals or human beings. They were bred, however, to be extremely obedient and willing to please. So, if you ever read about a German Shepherd attacking a human being, it was because the dog was trained to attack, not because the dog is mean.

When thinking up German Shepherd puppy manes for your special furry friend, don't use aggressive names like "Killer" or "Cannibal" This promotes the negative stereotype that German Shepherds are mindless killing machines. You never know whom you and your German Shepherd puppy will be meeting. There are many people frightened of dogs and urging breed specific legislation to outlaw the ownership of some breeds of dog including the German Shepherd. You and your German Shepherd puppy need to be ambassadors for this breed. The right for you to own your German Shepherd puppy is at stake.

Never buy a German Shepherd puppy from a pet store or from an Internet sight that will ship a pup to you without asking you any questions beyond, "Check or charge?" These puppies will be from puppy mills. They will not only be sickly, but they will have missed a major learning period for basic training and will be harder to train and more uncontrollable. The best German Shepherd puppies are from breeders, from animal shelters or from German Shepherd rescues. One of the times German Shepherds are most abandoned is when they are six months old and past the cute stage.

Encourage the German Shepherd puppy to lie down and sleep to lessen the shock of a car ride. Go to the vet within 24 hours of bringing the puppy home, even if the puppy has passed a vet's inspection at a shelter. When you get the German Shepherd puppy home, take it where you want it to relieve itself. Praise the puppy highly when they go in the right place. Keep using that place for toilet training and use verbal commands.

In time, lots of patience, daily handling and attention, your German Shepherd puppy will be a canine ambassador. Your friends, neighbors and even total strangers will appreciate you for taking the time and responsibility to train your dog well. You can help the training process along by not only giving your German Shepherd puppy a sensible name, but getting the puppy spayed or neutered. Mentally, they stay like puppies and are comfortable letting you make the big decisions. They also avoid a lot of health problems this way.

Remember that German Shepherd puppies trying to learn your commands is a lot like you being suddenly transplanted to a different country where everyone speaks a different language from you and have completely different customs. Never be afraid or ashamed to ask a professional dog trainer or your vet for help in communicating with your German Shepherd. Your puppy is ready to listen.

Jan Ryan has written hundreds of articles on puppies, including German Shepherd puppies. German Shepherd puppies should be purchased only from responsible breeders. German Shepherd puppy names should not be similar at all to everyday commands.

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