We have created this puppy guidance sheet for new puppy owners. This is great information, the same information we have used to raise our own German Shepherds and have had great results. Our puppies are born in our home where they are able to be handled and interacted with on a daily basis. As they grow, exposure to other dogs, cats, different sounds, flooring, kids, and situations ensure our puppies get off to the best start in life possible. We spend hundreds of hours with our pups, from the time they are born until the day they depart on their journey to their new homes. Once they reach the proper age, we allow them to go out into the yard with the adults to enjoy fresh air, new sights, smells, a small kiddie pool and sounds. They learn very quickly the ways of the "pack" and do extremely well in their surroundings. They are fearless, they super bold and absolutely love life and everyone they meet. Basic puppy obedience starts at 5 weeks old, starting with basic potty training. All puppies are dewormed at regular intervals and are up to date on their vaccinations before leaving for their new homes. We begin feeding moist kibble around 3 weeks of age, along with raw ground turkey, plain yogurt, and pumpkin. We cherish each and every puppy we produce and want to give the best advice to their new owners as possible. We are ALWAYS here for any questions that you may have concerning your new addition.
Diet, Nutrition and Supplements
Your puppy has been raised on Diamond Natural Large Breed puppy Food. Some foods we recommend: Diamond Naturals, Purina Pro Plan 30/20, Victor Dog Food, Sport Dog Food, Fromm, Zignatures, Acana, Taste of the Wild, Diamond Naturals.
- We add a small amount of canned pumpkin a few times per week to dry food.
- NEVER FEED your dog AFTER EXERCISING!!! This can lead to bloat, a serious life threatening condition.
- Feed you dog puppy food until they are at least 15 months old.
- Once your dog is abut 6 months old, add omega oils to their diet. Salmon oil and coconut oil.
- Continue to feed vitamin C through out your dogs life.
- Adding fresh fruits and veggies are good for you dog in minimal amounts. Please look up safe fruits and veggies. We give our dogs: Green beans, Carrots, Sweet Potatoes, Blue Berries, Watermelon, Coconut chips, Apples.
- If you choose to feed a raw diet PLEASE do your research! Feeding raw can be rewarding and very dangerous if not fed correctly.
This is for the pups as youngsters as well as your pup as it grows into adulthood. From birth to the time they leave to their new homes, they have been on a diet that has been adhered to closely, with careful monitoring of the pups during each new change in their feeding routines. This diet is not complicated, and is designed to promote maximum benefit and structural health for their fast growing bodies. A balanced, nutritious, diet is crucial, particularly in the early formative stages from birth through their first 2 years of their life. Along with regular exercise, balanced nutrition is the key to a long and healthy life for your dog. Correct balanced nutrition produces solid, even growth of bones and joints, and gives the pup the best possible outcome for prevention of bone disorders.
Research now shows that what is eaten by the pup in its early formative months and years greatly affects the way in which your dog forms its structure, relating, directly to the incidences, such as hip dysplasia as well as arthritis and other bone disorders (OCD) which is a large breed dogs are prone to develop. OCD is not prevalent in our bloodlines, but as a large breed they can be affiliated by the disease by a host of other influences, such as injury to joints, however the major cause is from an imbalance diet, a diet provided sporadically, a diet lacking excessive in nutrition, or any significant changes are being made which causes serious growth spurts. A balanced diet also includes fruits and vegetables, and occasionally dairy products.
Feed your puppy 2-3 smaller meals per day until the age of 1 year or older. It is beneficial for your pup to have this daily ration in smaller portions rather than one large amount, risking overfeeding, bloat or torsion, of your puppy or dog. Several daily meals will help to satisfy and quiet them, giving them a full tummy in the hours before bedtime. Remember to take them out to relieve them right after a meal and before bedtime. The change to their new food should be done gradually. Mixing portions of the new food with the old, gradually adding more of the new, less of the old. Some pups/dogs will develop a bout of diarrhea at the beginning of a diet change.
Correct Weight of your pup/adolescent dog A good rule of thumb for weight is just to be able to feel their last rib in the dog’s ribcage as you run your hand over their side. Their coat condition should be shiny and eyes should be bright and alert. They should have a good appetite and be excited for their food to be set out for them. If the pup does not eat everything, don’t leave it out for them. Take it away and put it in the fridge, and try again on their next meal, slightly reducing the quantity you put out for them.
If you decide to change you puppies food, ALWAYS look at the label. Make sure the food is made in the United States or Canada. And always mix the old diet with the new diet for about three weeks when swapping foods.
We recommend puppies be taken off puppy food no later than 15 months of age and switched to a high quality adult/ or all life stage food. This can aid in keeping your puppy from growing too fast and putting them at risk for Panosteitis (growing pains) and joint issues. Feed your pup at least 2-3 times daily until they reach 4-5 months of age. Adding warm water to your pup’s food will allow them to chew their dry food easier while they have their puppy teeth. Do not over feed to allow your puppy to become over weight. Do not free feed. Never feed your dog before exercising them. I cannot stress this enough!!!! Feeding them before exercise may cause the dog to bloat, also known as Torsion (stomach flip).This is an emergency situation and can be fatal.
Treats: We give our puppies and fresh veggies: Carrots, Green beans, Apples, Sweet Potatoes, Canned Pumpkin Also, 1-2 times weekly: provided raw: turkey necks, chicken necks, meaty knuckle bones and marrow bones.Try putting fresh fruits and veggies in the freezer, they love them frozen!! Please Read your labels on all commercial dog treats. Do not buy treats made in China It could cost you your dog’s life
Bones: Feeding raw marrow bones is also very beneficial for your dog/pup.
Always supervise when feeding raw marrow bones. Keep frozen until ready to use.
Never feed cooked bones!!!! Cooked bones splinter and can be very dangerous.
Supplements: Vitamin C: We give our puppies and adult dogs Vitamin C. Although all of our breeding dogs have certified hips, environmental factors can play a part in the incidence of hip dysplasia. So to help in the prevention of dysplasia we recommend supplementing your puppy's diet with Vitamin which is important for the development of bones, muscles, and connective tissue. Vitamin C is virtually harmless so don't be worried about overdosing. It can cause diarrhea so if this happens just decrease the dose slightly. We recommend a chewable Vitamin C Tablet. Puppies LOVE it!!
Dosages for VIT C
- Pups form age 10-12 weeks of age, 125mg 1 X daily.
- Pups from the age 12 weeks to 4 months, 250mg 1 X daily.
- 4-6 months, 500mg 1 X daily.
- 1500mg daily by the age of 18 months and onward. 1 X daily.
Other beneficial supplements
- Vitamin E
- Salmon Oil/ Omega 3, 6, 9 supplements
- Coconut Oil
- Turmeric / “Golden Paste”
DO NOT supplement your puppy or dog with Calcium!! Unbalanced Calcium intake can cause severe and excessive bone growth and contribute to the dog being plagued with arthritis in the future.
Benefits of Turmeric for Dogs
The health benefits of golden paste for dogs is kind of a never-ending list! So if you aren’t giving your dog golden paste daily with your dog’s meals I highly recommend you start ASAP! Here are some of the benefits…
1 Natural detox
3 Natural antibacterial
4 Promotes heart and liver health
5 Reduces blood clots that can lead to strokes and heart attacks by thinning the blood
6 Promotes digestive health
7 Acts as an antioxidant AND it’s believed to be able to prevent cancer
8 Offers allergy relief
9 Helps to prevent cataracts
10 Has been used in the treatment of epilepsy
11 Natural pain relief
12 Natural treatment for diarrhea
I feed my dog’s golden paste twice a day with their two meals morning and night. Turmeric doesn’t last too long in the body so you can feed it in smaller amounts multiple times a day. As with any new food or supplement, start slow. 1/2 a tsp for larger dogs and 1/4 tsp for smaller dogs. My dogs gets 1.5 tsp total a day.
Ingredients & Instructions
• 1 cup of water
• 1/2 cup of organic turmeric powder
• 1/2 tablespoon of organic fresh ground pepper
• 1 tablespoon Ceylon cinnamon
Warm the water in a pan and add in the turmeric. Slowly stir together until it turns into a paste. Turn off your stove at this point. Add the coconut oil, fresh ground pepper, and Ceylon cinnamon and mix well! Serve with the next meal! Store in the fridge for about two weeks.
ALWAYS pay close attention to loose stools. Occasionally, bowel movements can get out of hand, becoming diarrhea, or worse, bloody diarrhea. If your pup becomes severely dehydrated other complications can occur and even death if left untreated. Have Kaopectate on hand and use it at the first signs of Diarrhea. Also some boiled plain white rice added to their food will help. Canned pumpkin is also beneficial to pups have loose stools.
Please do not allow your puppy to do any major jumping, such as jumping high to catch a ball or jumping out of a high vehicle, until he is fully grown as this could damage his joints while they are still developing. Also be careful with certain agility exercises that would have the pup moving in an unnatural way, at least until his hip joints have set. Take your pup for short walks where he trots or gaits instead of galloping this strengthens the muscles in the hindquarter. Swimming is the ideal exercise as it puts no pressure on the joints. Do not over exercise your puppy. As an adult- exercise is extremely important. Exercise your dog at least once daily. Throw the ball, swimming, long walks, jogging, hiking are all wonderful ways to exercise your dog.
If you must spay or neuter your dog, we recommend waiting until he/she is physically mature or after two years of age.
Early socialization is EXTREMELY important!!! Socialize and imprint your pup from the moment they arrive home with you, from cats to car outings and friend with kids exc. Crucial imprinting age is from 8 weeks to around 18 weeks, so do what is needed in the beginning to avoid temperament issues later in life.
Basic obedience training is extremely important!!! We recommend finding local trainer. Start your puppy in basic obedience at 8-9 weeks old. This will help you have control over your dog once they reach adult hood. Set your puppy up for success. This breed loves to work. You can do your research, find a training venue/ sport you might think you and our dog will enjoy and GO FOR IT!!!!
Crate training is extremely important. This is for their own safety, and also to prevent damage to your home while you are away. Always provide a safe, protective environment for your pup to live in, especially when you are away from home with the pup left unsupervised. Dogs are essentially den animals, they prefer to be in a den type of structure when nesting or for their "down time"- providing them a crate to retreat to is appropriate. It is always a good idea to exercise your dog or puppy before leaving the house and placing them into their crate. This way they have released energy and will settle and relax. Please know, that while puppy crate training- puppies need to be let out quite frequently, do not leave your puppy or adult dog in a crate for more than 6-8 hours. Puppies especially need to be relieved from a closed crate alt east every 2-3 hours if possible. Please remember to always remove collars from the puppies/dog to avoid potential strangulation.
Puppy ears may go up and down when the dog begins to cut their adult teeth (at 4 to 5 months). If this happens the ears will ALWAYS come back up after teething. If your pup is very large, the ears may need to be wrapped and taped with foam inserts while the ears are actively growing. Receiving a little support in order to stand upright while the ears are forming and strengthening, rather than hang over while in a growth stage. DON'T rub the pup's ears. This can cause breaking down of the ear cartilage. Petting them between the ears and stroking them gently on their bodies, is a better way of showing affection to them, until their ears are fully standing by 6 months. PLEASE DO NOT TAPE OR GLUE PUPPY EARS!
DO’s and DON’T’s
- DO: always feed your puppy a high quality meaty dog food.
- DO: feed a puppy kibble designed for active Puppies until 15 months.
- DO: provide raw bones as chew toys or treats. Always with your supervision!!
- DO: feed your puppy at least 2 X daily, with 3 X being most beneficial for your puppy.
- DO: feed Vitamin C each and every day! Along with a balanced diet.
- DO: Socialize and imprint your pup from the moment he or she arrives home with you…from cats to car outgoings to friends, and kids. This is the prime importance of your GSD puppy. Crucial imprinting age is from 8 weeks to around 20 weeks… so do what is needed in the beginning. It will benefit your puppy for the rest of its life.
- Do: protect your puppy from exposure to disease, especially while their immune systems are developing, generally after 13 weeks of age it is safe to expose them to pet friendly places such as pet stores and public parks exc.
- Do: crate train your puppy. This is for their safety and aids in prevention of damage to your home while you are away. Always provide a safe and warm environment for your pup to live in, especially when you are away from home with the pup left unsupervised. Please ALWAYS remove your dog’s collar before placing them in kennel.
- Don’t: begin immediately taking your puppy out where other dogs may have been. Many of these unfamiliar animals are not current on their vaccinations and can harbor and pass along serious illnesses. Your puppy’s immune system is not quite strong enough to fight illnesses. Your new puppy will take a few weeks to develop an adequate immune system. Until this occurs, estimated to be around 13-14 weeks old, your puppy can be at risk for contracting, illnesses from other dogs.
- Don’t: Exercise your dog directly before or after feeding!!
- Don’t: Let your pup jump in and out of trucks, from high porches, or other high objects. This can damage hips and elbows in the pup’s early formative stage as well as later in life.
- Don’t: Jog, bike, or run with your pup until 2 years of age!!! They are still going through bone development and the concussion of the pounding force of constant running can erode the soft bones causing damage to bones and joints. Instead, allow the pup to self-limit the amount of exercise they receive. The pup’s action will let you know when they are tired during their normal play routine.
- Don’t: Let the pup spend too much time in their crate. They need to exercise in order to stimulate proper bone development.
- Don’t: Let loose bowels get out of hand, becoming diarrhea or worse, bloody diarrhea. This is a very serious situation for your pup and they can become severely dehydrated very quickly resulting in additional complications. Pure raw pumpkin added to their food works very well for loose stools. (Without Spices)