Congratulations on your decision to bring a bouncy baby purebred German Shepherd into your home!!! The decision to bring a new puppy into your home is such an exciting and wonderful feeling, and will ultimately provide you with many years of smiles, kisses, and tail wagging memories you and your family will never forget. Adults and children alike are forever changed after belonging to one of these incredible dogs.
We at Krieghund Farm are dedicated to helping you make the most of your experience from day one. We want you to feel confident and prepared, and that’s one reason why we are always here to answer any questions you may have now and for the life of your dog. We have put together an FAQ for our new buyers and have made it available here on our website for everyone to view. Even if you choose to purchase a puppy from someone else, this information will help the breed as a whole if it can lend information to someone who needs it.
We would also like to recommend some websites that have useful information as well.
Why buy an AKC German Shepherd:
Because there is no other breed that compares! German Shepherds are the epitome of loyalty, and I cant have more respect for that. These dogs will follow their human off a cliff if need be. There is no end to their unwavering love and devotion. They are extremely intelligent, graceful and athletic, beautiful and striking with varying colors and features, and adore children. Here is a great list from AKC’s website showing some of the awesome traits that German Shepherds are most known for.
Krieghund Farm guarantees every breeding dog is DM clear, which means your puppy has no chance of carrying this horrific gene and developing the disease. This disease is 100% preventable through breeder testing. Make sure you never purchase a puppy from a breeder who has not tested for this in both parent dogs.
When to spay/neuter:
This is a hotly debated subject, so I will just give you our stance and a link to an article that provides some information on our stance. We are strongly against spaying/neutering a German Shepherd before the age of 18 months. We believe so strongly in this age range that we do not honor our 2 year guarantee on hips if you spay/neuter before 18 months of age. Fixing the dog means you are removing hormones the dog needs to grow correctly. There have been many studies that have shown early spay/neuter directly linked to hip dysplasia in dogs. We believe in controlling the pet population as well, so this means owners must be made aware of proper protocol while their dog is in heat, or anywhere near a dog in heat if it’s a male. There are products we can recommend to help owners of females avoid messes in the house while their female is in heat. They are washable and reusable, and make life much easier for the few heats a girl should go through before spaying.
Best Dog Food of 2018
When it comes to the health of your dog, nutrition should really stand out as the first line of defense. You are investing in your dogs health and vitality! Feeding real fresh foods is always your best option. Dogs were not meant to eat processed dry kibble. But when feeding kibble, quality is a must especially if that's the only food theu eat day in and day out. The price tag is higher than the cheap grocery store brands, but you will see a major savings over the life of your dog with fewer vet bills. The better the dog food, the less waste they create as well because they don’t need to eat as much. You will notice one very common denominator with all the foods on the list of the 20 Best Dogs Foods of 2018. Many are grain-free formulas. One thing I always asked myself when looking at dog food was how does it compare to a dog diet in the wild? Historically, you wouldn’t have seen thousands of years of dogs eating corn and soy. SO WHY does it pop up as one of the main ingredients in cheaper commercial dog foods? Well, because its cheaper than the healthier ingredients. Not only are they not a natural part of a dog diet, but these forms of corn and soy are genetically modified, or GMO. They are sprayed heavily with pesticides and herbicides through the growing season, which are toxic when ingested. Think of that, if you are feeding your dog the same food over and over every day they will be accumulating toxins fast if they are present. Soy is also a hormone disruptor, and can interfere with bone formation, reproductive health, etc in a dog. Soy has also been recently under suspicion for being a carcinogen and linked to breast cancer in humans. Your best bet is always to avoid any dog or even cat food with corn or soy anywhere in the ingredients list.
Another benefit for going grain-free means a higher meat content(usually) as well as a lessened chance of your dog having an allergic issues with the grains. Dogs are well know for having allergic reactions to grains, so its best to avoid it if you can.
One last nugget, I highly suggest you try to feed some whole real foods to your dog. Maybe you cant manage to do it every single day, but a few times a week is better than nothing. We like to cook it in bulk and feed over time. Your dog will love you for making
their diet more exciting too! Just remember junk food does not = whole foods, try to stick to meats and produce.
KRIEGHUND FARM AKC GERMAN SHEPHERDS
Puppy/Adult Care Sheet
First days in their new environment:
This will be a whole new experience for your puppy. There will be new smells, new people and animals, and new areas to explore. Keep in mind that even though puppies at this age are best suited for transitioning into a new home, it is still a total change for them. It may take a few days before the puppy has totally relaxed and begun to learn their new routine. As tempting as it is, try to avoid having everyone you know come visit your new puppy in the first few days as this may overwhelm a puppy. Avoid leaving the puppy alone for the first few days as well. I have sent a blanket home with your puppy that has been thoroughly rubbed all over its Mommy. This blanket will help your puppy to transition in those first few days. Let your puppy have access to it, especially when its sleep time. It will be a comforting tool until your puppy becomes more familiar with its new home and family.
Your puppy has come to your home already paper trained and wood chip trained. However, it is still a puppy and accidents occasionally happen. I strongly suggest you avoid using paper as a staple, and instead rely on outdoor potty training right away. Many owners of puppies have regretted using paper as a staple as they had quite an uphill battle trying to undo inside training. German Shepherds are very intelligent and will make the association quickly for outdoor training, so you don’t want to train him/her to go inside your home.
One of the best ways to catch their potty time is to take them out right after eating. Most puppies will want to relieve themselves within 20 minutes of eating a meal. Watch for clues such as sniffing the ground, spinning in circles, or the all too obvious squat. If your puppy has an accident in the house in the early days, I always pick it up with a paper towel and put the poop outside in the area you want to train them too. If you keep having accidents, keep taking it outside and let them see it. They will catch on. Most owners report to us having less accidents than they can count on one hand, so if you are having more accidents than this something in the approach needs to be addressed.
Keep in mind puppies have very immature bladders/digestive tracts and cannot hold themselves for more than a few hours at first. They will need to be let out frequently to use the restroom. At this age, I usually take my puppies outside a minimum of two times during the sleeping hours at night. They will get into that schedule and learn to hold it until their potty times during the night. Some of them will even whine to tell you it’s time during the night.
If you are not going to have a puppy in bed with you at first, I strongly suggest a crate for him/her. You don’t want a puppy roaming around in the middle of the night chewing electrical cords or any other possible hazard. A crate will also help with potty training, but you have to take it slow. Puppies like keeping their area clean, and as long as you let them out regularly during the night they will try to hold it until you come to let them out. Again, they can only hold it for so long so don’t scold them if they have an overnight accident in a kennel. I have found positive reinforcement with potty training to work very well, and fast. Give them lots of praise every time they go when and where you want them to, and continue to do that until potty training has been a total success.
If you choose to switch your puppy off the food he is currently on (Diamond Brand Puppy Food) you will need to gradually change the food. I do send an 8-pound bag of their current food home with you so you can make the switch. If you change the puppy’s food too quickly, they will get an upset stomach and may get diarrhea. Everyone always wants to know how much to feed a puppy. I have always fed more than the recommended amount from the manufacturer, but they don’t always eat more. When your puppy hits about 4 months old, you will likely notice they will start looking slimmer all of a sudden. This is a time when your puppy will need a little more nutrition. They are sleeping less, and moving more. They are growing rapidly, and will need adequate nutrition to fuel that growth and exercise. If you increase the puppies food amount and they get pudding stools out of nowhere, you may be feeding a bit too much for their systems to handle. This is common with puppies; pudding stools happen a lot. There is a difference between pudding stools and watery though, watery is not something we want to see.
I strongly advise against grocery store pet foods and treats. They are lower quality, and they usually have mostly grains and inferior meat sources. Please do not feed your dog Milk Bones, as they have no nutrition and actually some ugly ingredients in them. That’s why they are cheap. But never feed your dog a rawhide. These are both toxic due to extreme processing and can get stuck inside your dog’s digestive system requiring expensive surgery and sometimes can prove fatal to your dog. The ONLY dog treats I feed my dogs besides their dog food is whole fresh foods. We can do this easily as we keep chickens/cows/hogs on our farm, but you can buy a dozen eggs and feed half a dozen a week and the cost is fairly small. They love raw eggs, and it’s great for their coats! We give fat/gristle off cuts of steak to our dogs, it’s very good for them. We give steak bones, but never give cooked chicken bones to a dog. They have slivers and can get stuck in your dog’s mouth, throat, and intestines. Ouch!
We do give fresh raw cow bones that come frozen. You can also find them at butcher shops and some grocery stores. This is the dog’s FAVORITE treat, and when you pull one out for your dog- you won’t see much of them for a few hours as they enjoy gnawing on it if you let them. They are filled with marrow and that’s an excellent health food for dogs. They are meant to chew on real fresh bones. I will warn you, you may want to section your dog off to an area where they won’t get into a fight with another animal over the bone (trust me they will get territorial over these), and where they won’t get any residue from the bone onto your nice couch, bed, or carpeting. A linoleum floor is great for these, it wipes up easy if they leave any residue behind. Once they have gnawed all the meat and marrow from the bone, it will be a clean bone you can leave out wherever in your home. They will continue to chew on them here and there, and it saves a puppy from chewing your furniture, shoes, etc. If they don’t get all the meat off it the first time, you will want to put it in a Ziploc bag and put it in the fridge and offer again the next day so it doesn’t rot. Puppies can’t always get all of it the first day. They will when they are full grown! FYI, the boxes from this supplier will state “Not for Human Consumption”. Its law that humans cannot eat these types of meat leftovers, so they have to use a dusting of natural charcoal on them to prevent people from wanting to eat them. It’s harmless to dogs. Also you will want to limit the time they have with them until their systems get used to them. If they have never had one before and you let a dog chew on one for hours, they can get pancreatitis and get runny stools.
You will always want to have fresh clean water available for your puppy to drink, especially in hot weather. German Shepherds love water! Dehydration in hot temperatures can cause a myriad of health issues, and some can be fatal or cause irreversible damage.
I recommend a high quality supplement, such as Nupro powder and Salmon oil. I buy my Nupro in bulk from Amazon, a 5 lb. tub lasts me a long time with a lot of dogs. You could get a small 1 lb. tub for under $20 and it will last one puppy/dog quite some time. Every time I feed my dogs, I distribute salmon oil over the food, and then sprinkle the supplement onto the oil. I then mix the food with a spoon, and the oil makes the supplement stick to the kibbles. If you don’t use salmon oil, you can just wet the food with a little warm water to get it to stick to the kibbles. I buy my Salmon Oil in bulk from Costco. I have never seen it in the store, but it is available on their website. Using these two supplements will greatly benefit your dog’s overall health and vitality. Even though Diamond is a good brand of dog food, dogs naturally have a varied diet and these supplements really make a difference for them. It will prevent any dandruff, it lubricates their joints, and they will have nice clear eyes and a healthy shiny coat. I have taken full grown dogs who never had supplements and started them on it, and you can really see a difference in their health and their appearance.
German Shepherd puppies can be bathed as needed. You don’t want to bath too often as it will irritate their skin and remove oils their fur needs to stay healthy. The most frequent scheduled baths would be once a month, and no sooner unless you have a bathing emergency of some sort. As they get older, they will need a bath a few times a year or as needed if any emergencies. Be careful to not get soap/water in their ears as this could cause ear infections or lead to a yeast infection in the ear.
You will need to brush your Shepherd regularly once they have lost their puppy coat and their adult coat has grown in. Shepherds shed their coats twice a year. In the early spring is when it’s the worst. You will know it’s time to brush by looking for two things: the first sign is you are seeing more hair than usual on your floors. That’s a sure sign they are beginning to shed. The second sign is if you can actually see clumps of hair starting to stick out or fall off their hind quarters. By this time, your dog is in full shed and needs a proper grooming. You can either pay someone to do it or get the right tools and do it yourself. I don’t like using groomers personally as the situation is stressful for the dog if you don’t do it frequently. They don’t need grooming as much as some other breeds, so it’s less stressful on your dog to do it yourself. You will need a special kind of brush for when your dog starts to shed. It’s a deshedding tool and they can be quite pricey in pet stores. Luckily, Menards carries one by the name “FurGoPet”, and Amazon has one called “Furminator”. You will want to get a large size for an adult shepherd. These are miracle workers for a shedding shepherd. A regular dog brush will NOT get the undercoat when you brush them, so you will be wasting time without this kind of tool. This is the same tool groomers use to get undercoats out of dogs. Take care when using it, if you keep making the same pass over the same area too many times your dog will likely get sensitive and want you to stop. To prevent this, just keep moving around and don’t dwell on the same spot for more than a few passes. Just come back to the spot if it needs more brushing. Be delicate on the legs and hind quarters, they all seem to dislike having the rear and legs being brushed with these. Beware other types of deshedding tools or rakes, these can cut your dog’s hair and even their skin.
is a very delicate matter, and if you don’t have any experience doing it you may want to have a groomer or your veterinarian do it. You will want to keep their nails cut every 3 or 4 weeks. If you can hear your dog’s nails clicking on the floor when they walk, they are getting too long. If you let too much time go in between cuttings, they will grow out on the nail bed but also in the center of the nail, and it will take a lot of time to get it to recede. It’s always best to stay on top of nail trimming. It’s best to take less off and work your way in than too go too far and clip the sensitive insides of the nail. If your dog bleeds from a nail then you hit the quick and went too far. I also don’t recommend dremel style trimmers, they really don’t work well and take forever to do very little. Dogs don’t like the sensation or the sound of the tool. NOTE: Never use a Guillotine style trimmer, they put too much pressure on the nail and can split it, which would be extremely painful for your doggy. I wish they didn’t sell those but you will see them everywhere. Here is a picture of what the right kind will look like.
This is the right kind of nail clipper!
Cleaning ears – Most owners end up with a dog who doesn’t get much crud in their ears, lucky! Some do, some don’t. If you end up with a dog who has visible ear wax, dark colored gunk, or seems to be scratching at their ears a lot, you will have to do ear maintenance routinely. Ears are very sensitive so be gentle with anything you do! Be careful not to bend the cartilage, especially on a younger puppy. To clean the ears, there are commercial ear cleaners you can purchase, or you can use your own formula at home. I have had a lot of success cleaning just ear wax only with soft Kleenex. You want to avoid putting liquid in there if possible. If your dog is scratching at their ear(s) and making grunting noises when doing so, that’s a possible ear infection which could be bacterial, viral or yeast. There is an AWESOME product out there called “Zymox Otic HC 1%.0”, just make sure you get this exact version and not the cheaper Zymox version called “Otic”, available on Amazon. These drops cure all kinds of nasties that cause itching. I have seen dogs with chronic ear infections go to the vet over and over, get prescribed drops and it just comes back. Ear drops and a vet visit get pricey! These drops are very reasonable, and the bottle will last a long time. They also clear up several types of infection that antibiotic drops wont. Just follow directions, and this is one liquid its ok to get into their ears if they have an infection.
Reminder: never play with a pups ears as this can damage the cartilage permanently, causing the ear to lay flat and not stand erect like a shepherd should.
Flea/Tick/Rabies: If you live near any wooded area, or take your dog on walks you will for sure want to get a rabies shot every year and use a Flea/Tick preventer that actually works. The rabies shot is to protect not only your dog, but also you, your family, and anyone who comes near your dog. I do not advise getting the triple rabies shot that last longer than a year. Studies on these have shown excessive side effects up to and including death, and the shots efficacy has not shown to last as long as they claim. You are better off getting the annual shot every year. German Shepherds have also shown a longer titer life on the rabies vaccine, so you can pay to have your dog titer tested for rabies and possibly avoid getting another shot they don’t need every year.
Fleas and ticks are nasty little pests. They have both been on the rise in recent years due to weather extremes of moisture and less hard core freezing over the winter. As a result, flea and tick preventers that used to work just fine are no longer protecting dogs in particular. The liquid flea/tick drops you place over your dog’s back were the gold standard until about two years ago. Now they are working like sugar pills. Trust me, we spend a small fortune on flea/tick preventers here so we have been through all kinds over the years. And most flea collars don NOT work. When the liquids quit working, and I mean we gave each dog a dose of the preventer and a week later we were still finding ticks feasting on our dogs, we knew we had a problem. There is a product on the market called Bravecto. We get ours from the veterinarian over the counter. It may seem pricey at first, it’s about $40 a dog for treatment. However, it’s a three month treatment and it works the whole 3 months. So $13.34 a month is very comparable to the old liquids price, and now you don’t have to deal with liquid poison spots on your dog’s fur for a few days. These tablets are chewables. They are simple and the dogs eat them readily. I highly recommend them, as we have had excellent results and no problems at all. That being said, they are a poison and there are side effects that can happen so be cautious and do your research before giving anything to your dog. We only use these if we have to, and even then its only once a year and we don’t need them all year long. There are some natural flea/tick solutions out there that have some success like apple cider vinegar, so these are much safer to try first.
Containment: Please don’t ever trust your dog outside off leash unless they are EXTREMELY well trained. Many people with good intentions have had dogs suddenly dart off, and it can be very dangerous for your dog. Please always keep your dog in a secure area when outside or keep them on a leash. Please do not keep your dog outside overnight or when you are away from home. Keep them in a crate or a kennel that is safe and secure. Outdoor temperatures can be too hot in the summer and too cold in the winter for dogs to sleep outside. They must have shelter from the elements. I strongly recommend crate training right away. They will not only be safer in a crate, but they feel safer in their own area as well. Our dogs readily go their crate when told, and we even find them sleeping in them occasionally with the door open.
Be cautious of a full grown shepherd in low fencing, they are usually ok but I have had an athletic shepherd before who could jump 5 foot fences. Just keep an eye out for that. They can also dig under fences if you leave them outside for too long and they get bored.
Toys: I recommend non-stuffed dog toys, especially as they get bigger. Any stuffed toy we have ever brought into this house has been shredded and unstuffed by a German Shepherd. They LOVE pulling the stuffing out of them, which will make a big mess and ruin the new toy you just dropped money on. It’s also dangerous if they swallow any of the stuffing or fabric. I stick to hard surface toys with my dogs, and it works great. Don’t ever give a dog a sock or smaller piece of fabric they can swallow. Many a dog has had major surgery to have them removed from their intestines, and some dogs get so ill they pass away from fabric twisting their intestines. If your dog is acting lethargic, not eating or passing stools, get them to the vet right away.
If a plastic toy is getting chewed in a way that pieces of it are falling off, throw it away at once. You don’t want them swallowing the pieces, again as they can get stuck.
It is extremely important to get your puppy introduced to other animals they will encounter on a regular basis as soon as possible. Beware other full grown dogs that may act aggressively and try to hurt the puppy. Never put a puppy into a situation with an older dog without close supervision until they have been well established and are very comfortable with one another.
If you do not have other pets in your home, I recommend taking your puppy occasionally to someone’s house who does have “friendly” pets and keeping them acquainted. It will also help to have other pets visit your house. This will prevent the puppy from becoming too territorial and making it difficult to introduce a new pet if you ever choose to do so.
The same goes for children, as your puppy needs to learn how to behave around them as well. An adult dog that has never been near children may not behave the way you want them to, so it’s best to put in the time when they are growing up and making that connection in their permanent wiring. Puppies who grow up in homes with kids will not have this issue as long as the children are not mean to the puppy. If you have small children, you MUST supervise together time for both their sakes. Young children can hurt puppies easily, and puppies who are teething can gnaw on kid’s fingers. Never leave them unattended together! Encourage young children by showing them how to properly play with a puppy, and teach them how not to play as well.
*You have purchased a puppy that comes with lifetime breeder support. We will always be here to answer any questions that may come up as you raise your new puppy. Our contact information is below.