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Your First German Shepherd Puppy

Updated on August 11, 2009

Is The German Shepherd The Right Dog For You?

The German Shepherd is still one of the most popular breeds of dog in the world. But that doesn't mean it's the right breed for everyone. There are many things to consider when selecting the right dog for your family? Owning a dog can be a very rewarding experience by adding a great deal of love and canine companionship to your family, but it's very important to do your homework first to make sure that the puppy you choose is not only right for your family, but for your lifestyle as well.

Tips on Choosing Your New German Shepherd Puppy

How to Choose your First German Shepherd Puppy

When it comes to choosing the right puppy from any litter, you must choose wisely. However, choosing the right puppy is never an exact science and requires certain methods instead of simply going to a breeders house and making a random selection. Most people tend to base their choice on the appearance of the puppy instead of taking the time to get to know the individual personalities. This can cause one to make the wrong choice. Based on most German Shepherd breeders, when it comes to making the best choice, they all agree that temperament is key.

Why is it so important? Because it will ensure that your puppy will be more compatible in any situation, and have better coping skills no matter what you throw in his or her direction. Here are some other things to consider when choosing your new German Shepherd puppy:

Plan Ahead

  • Evaluate your needs
  • puppy proof

Where are the best places to find a puppy

  • Your local humane Society
  • German shepherd rescue
  • A reputable Breeder- Not in it for the money

Do your research in looking for a breeder and ask for references to check them out

  • Ask for registration papers and pedigrees
  • Shots and worming dates
  • Ask to see the parents, etc

Looking for a puppy:

  • proper weight
  • clean, odor free, and in clean surroundings
  • well socialized and playful
  • inheritable diseases
  • Requires lots of socializing from you

German Shepherd Temperament

The character of the German Shepherd is of self-confidence and nobility.

A family protector and is very alert

  • Make excellent companions
  • He should be approachable and outgoing
  • If you are looking for protection, the German shepherd can be a great choice as long as he is well balanced. An overly aggressive or unsound dog should be trained in protection, so it can be trusted and in your protection.
  • Temperament is inherited- so be sure to check out his or her family line

The Appearance and Size of a German Shepherd

The German Shepherd is a medium to large breed dog with erect pointed ears, a fairly long body, and has a weather resistant coat. The outer coat which is shed all year around, is close and dense with a thick undercoat and comes in a variety of colors, the most common being the Black and tan or red and white varieties. Both varieties have black masks and saddles.You can also find rarer colors like all white or all black.

Diet and Grooming your German Shepherd

Proper care of your German Shepherds coat starts before you ever take out a brush, by making sure to provide a good nutritious diet. High protein, high fat dog food or well prepared beef, chicken, or lamb are great for this. If you choose to make your own dog food, make sure you get the right balance of needed nutrition. I have seen a lot of websites that provide some great recipes if you want to take the time to feed them homemade food. This can be a great way to make sure they don't become board with the same old kibble day in and day out.

Once you have a good diet in place, you should only have to groom your German Shepherd twice a week in order to keep skin oils well distributed and keep their coat free of tangles near the skin. A standard slicker brush or a good metal rake are great tools to use and will make grooming much easier.

How often you Bath your German Shepherd will depend on where you live and your dogs typical routine. If you live in very dusty conditions, once a month or more may be required for optimal health, but if you live in a typical suburban neighborhood every 2 to 3 months should be enough.

Proper shampoo selection is very important. Like many other breeds, German Shepherds can be sensitive to wheat or exhibit other allergic reactions. A good oatmeal shampoo can provide soothing relief or keep allergies at bay, but they can cause build up on the hair quicker than other shampoos, so more bathing may be necessary. If you have problems with build up, you can use a good aloe shampoo to wash away all residue.

Common Health Issues

The German Shepherd, like many other breeds of dogs, has some major health issue that you should consider first. Here are a list of problems they may have:

Health Guarantees:  When you are looking to buy a new puppy, take the time to ask for a puppy guarantee from the one that you buy your puppy.  If they can not provide one, then move on.

  • Canine hip Dysplasia: An abnormal development of the hip joint.
  • Elbow Dysplasia (CHD):  Due to improper growth problems and could lead to painful arthritis.
  • Panosteitis: A skeletal problem of spontaneous lameness and pain, usually found in large breeds in the 5 to 14 month range. Aspirin may be used for pain.  Eventually the the condition goes away.
  • von Willebrand's Disease (vWD):  A blood disorder
  • Progressive posterior Disease:  Is a neural condition, a paralysis of one or both hind legs.
  • Skin Allergies:  Allergies of the skin are the most common of all breeds and can sometimes be chronic.  The three types are Flea allergies, food allergiesAllergic Inhaled Dermatitis.

There may be more that you may want to check out by looking on the Internet or asking your local breeder or veterinarian.


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      JAMIE J 3 years ago

      This helped me a lot with my white german shepherd puppy! He's a land shark! Hopefully this will help!!