Preparing for your German shepherd puppy
The arrival of your German shepherd puppy will definitely be an anticipated event in the “pack”. In order to avoid last-minute problems with the puppy’s needs, it is good to prepare beforehand to ensure the puppy’s comfort and your peace of mind. Here are some of the important things that you should include in your list:
- Puppy pen
- Puppy chew toys
- Collar with identification tags and a bell
- Towels or blankets
- Puppy litter box and shavings
- Food and water bowls
- Grooming supplies
- Odour neutralizer
Puppy proofing your home
- Keep any electrical cords out of sight by taping them to the back of cabinets or on walls. Make sure that they cannot be easily reached by your puppy.
- Dangerous chemicals such as insecticides, detergents, disinfectants, and antiseptics should be kept on cabinets with locks or on high shelves.
- Plants should be taken outside the house
- Move breakable things to cabinets which are out of reach
- Gates and crates should be installed
- Garbage containers are placed in areas where the puppy cannot gain access to such as under the sink.
- The bathroom door should always be kept closed and the toilet seat should always be down
- An enclosure which is escape-proof should be installed in your yard
- Block the staircases with baby gates
Meeting the Breeder
If you are thinking of bringing home a German shepherd puppy, you should be certain that you are dealing with a dog breeder who has an excellent reputation in the industry. When you setting up an appointment with a dog breeder, arm yourself with a list of questions that will help you decide. Knowing whether or not you are dealing with a reputable breeder can help you avoid fly-by-night dog breeders who are into the business for the money without any consideration for the quality and soundness of their litter. Most of their puppies have higher risks of developing inherited health problems that will be surely be just a waste of your money.
1. Are the puppy’s parents certified by a veterinary specialist?
A responsible dog breeder takes the time to have his dogs evaluated for congenital problems and certified by a veterinary specialist before mating.
2. Can I visit your kennel and meet the puppies and their parents?
A dog breeder with a good reputation has nothing to hide and will gladly welcome you and take you on a tour of the kennel. When you meet the parents and the litter, be sure to keep a keen eye on the temperament of the parents and how big they are so you will have an idea of what your puppy will behave and look when he is full-grown.
3. How is socialization conducted while the puppies are still in the kennel?
Experts in dog behaviour recommend that socialization of puppies start as early as possible. This is very important because it has been shown that puppies which were exposed to socialization between the ages of 6-16 weeks old were able to better adjust to new situations, other dogs, and even different people.
4. Can I see the puppy’s vaccination and health record?
When examining the puppy’s vaccination and health record, ask about what vaccines the puppy still needs and the schedule of booster shots. Make sure that the record has been signed by a licensed veterinarian.
5. Have the puppies been dewormed?
Puppies already harbour worms when they are born. The mother can transmit parasites via the placenta when the puppies are still inside her womb thereby infecting them even before they are whelped. Following a deworming schedule is very important particularly for very young puppies which can easily succumb to the effects of parasitism.
6. Do you provide a guarantee for the sale?
A reputable dog breeder will not hesitate to provide a guarantee for your purchase of a puppy. This is an important document that will take care of problems when a puppy that you have bought will later be diagnosed with a serious disease condition.
7. Will you issue a certificate of sale?
Reputable dog breeders provide a certificate of sale, a document that you can use in case problems may crop up later.
8. Do the parents have pedigree records?
A pedigree record will show you important information on the lineage of the litter for several generations. You will also find records of titles. If you see titles which are listed within the first two generations, these will indicate signs of reliability and soundness of the litter.
9. Are the puppies fitted with a microchip?
A microchip is one of the best ways of providing dog identity. Although this is very important, not all dog breeders deem it necessary to have their litter micro-chipped.
10. May I have names of people who have previously brought home puppies from your kennel?
A reputable dog breeder won’t hesitate to give you names of people who have bought puppies from his kennel. Once you have the names, take time to call them and ask about their pups and if there were any problems they have encountered.