This has be kindly reproduce with permission from

Jean Duff   { Willowdale GSD's }


Congratulations! you have recently acquired a German shepherd puppy over the age of 6 weeks old and hopefully it will be, and continue to be, a source of enjoyment for all the family. This short guide is to give you some background as to how the German shepherd pup would have been reared and his/her feeding habits. Also perhaps some hints on how to deal with the initial problems (or joys) depending on your outlook!!!!

The German shepherd puppy should be apparently in excellent health and condition having had a veterinary examination during the course of his inoculations, notwithstanding that ideally the puppy should be traumatized as little as possible during its change of home. This is a very stressful period for some German shepherd pups and great care should be exercised. Do not be concerned with the fact that German shepherd puppies will exhaust themselves in play very quickly and 'crash out ' so to speak on the spot, ie sleeping within minutes. This is absolutely normal and it is also extremely common for the heart to over-react at times due to prolonged or additional excitement. As the German shepherd pup grows these occasions become less and less until it learns to cope admirably with all situations it encounters.


All necessary precautions should be taken as there is a poor recovery rate, and at best leaving the pup seriously incapacitated, from the canine viruses.

Dog License

The dog license which you have shown me should be kept up to date.

Toilet training

The easiest method is with papers and if this system is used training should be accomplished within weeks. If the weather is good the German shepherd puppy should be fed and kept outside until it has 'performed' and then you should shower it with praise. It learns quickly from 'praise'. If in the home, place the papers within reach of the pup, plenty of them to start with, and gradually reduce the number until one only is at the back of the door and eventually it waits at the door to get out. Do not stick the German shepherd pup's nose in any waste product; this is absolute nonsense and achieves little.

General training

Do not slap a German Shepherd pup with papers this is very cruel and achieves nothing except to teach the pup to be frightened of papers. To get a German Shepherd puppies attention it is always best to use an enticement. To correct it lift the German Shepherd pup by the scruff of the neck and shake it, repeatedly saying 'no'. This is what the mother German Shepherd does (well obviously does not say 'no'). Be consistent - do not let it on a chair one moment and then chase it the next. Do not string sentences such as "oh! do not do that' - just simply NO. One word commands and never say 'come here and sit down' - this is 4 commands to a dog. One word commands is all that is necessary - do not confuse the animal with more.


Well this is crucial to the growth and development of the young individual. There are many excellent products, such as Royal Canine, Eukanuba, Hills, Beta, Bento, Pedigree, and provide the right formula is obtained . They are all very efficient. Through time if wished, one can feed meat or other dietary items. Be careful however, German shepherd pups are wise creatures and if they get used to steak they will demand steak.

At times with the changeover of diet or indeed just at times, the German shepherd pups stomach may become upset and diarrhea ensue. Provided there are no other symptoms such as vomiting the following procedure is advised. Keep all food away from the German Shepherd pup , even though it wants it , and offer water only (not milk). Give the German Shepherd puppy an appropriate dose of Kaolin and Morphine (or alternative) over a period of 24 hours. If the diarrhea has stopped feed a little white meat an then perhaps some scrambled eggs. Very little at a time . After another 24 hours you should be able to ascertain the extent the upset has cleared and then you can put the pup back to its regular feeding but very gradually with small amounts at a time . No not worry about the weight it will soon put it on when back to normal. If however , the is blood being past or projectile vomiting is taking place a visit to the veterinarian is essential.

Do not add any extra vitamins to the feeding provided the proprietary recommended meals are being used. The German Shepherd pups body will expel any unnecessary vitamins such as calcium and the fact extra doses can do more harm than good.


Provided the German Shepherd pup with his own toys and this should avoid problems of the destructive nature but you may have to be patient and wait for his teething period to finish.


The German Shepherd puppy should have been presented to you with pedigree, kennel club registration and can be transferred for the appropriate fee on the certificates. We also recommend you continue with your insurance coverage when the 12 weeks free insurance has expired.

All breeders should be available within reason to answer any queries you may have regarding your new pup.

In the following pages we have attempted to cover some of the 'little' problems encountered with German Shepherd pups and hope that the narrative will be of help. Most problems that arise are toilet training, chewing and noise. These are dealt with although there is always one which has not read the rule book and improvisation may be necessary.


The importance of the above is manifold in that today's society demands that we as humans confirm, everything must be in it's slot and ultimately this leads to the situation whereby there is a place for everything and nothing should be out of place. Not wishing to remonstrate about the diction that the modern, educated world is taking we are still left with the irrefutable fact that the demands of today call for the dog to be sociably acceptable to the human race. What exactly does this mean! Interpreted literally it means that the dog should not:

* Bark * Defecate * Greet anyone * Run free * Shed * Fight

Society is happy for the dog to perform as:* Blind leaders * Deaf hearers 

* Guard(under control)* Experimental material *

The dog loving public oddly enough is not quite in the minority, having ,of the overall pet owning population 25% of the share. However, the greater majority see dogs as a nuisance and at best something to run around a yard. So how do we deal with this situation. We simply have to ensure that our dogs, in as far as we possibly can, do not cause any reason for complaint as unfortunately the law and everything else is very heavily weighted against the poor dog. Even the cat and horse have more support than the dog.

So these issues have to be tackled by educating the German Shepherd dog. Buying the book and setting it in front of it does not seem to work, so how do we overcome this?! The sooner the indoctrination begins the better . If we can start with the German Shepherd pup and teach it a few of the do's and don't then we will have a sound base to build on.

The most essential part of socializing a German Shepherd pup is to train it how to behave with:

1) People

2) Other dogs

Most of the behavioral components required for both of these are similar. The German Shepherd dog should not bite, snap, bark at, jump on or run away from people or other dogs. The most accepted type of attitude society calls for is for the dog to ignore everything else around it and to pay attention to its owner. This state of learning can be achieved ultimately with the other dog if its learning habits are channeled carefully from the beginning.

Coercion in training should be avoided at all cost; but there may come a time with some very obstreperous dogs when mild force may be the only answer as against a visit to the vet.

So German Shepherd pups are very much like young children; adult German Shepherd dogs are much like older children - very little change! When we are attempting to do anything with the German Shepherd pup and try to imagine what it is thinking and remember your childhood. Being a devil was always fun and you, the perpetrator never saw any harm in your devilment. The German Shepherd pup is exactly the same it cannot understand why it should not do certain things or indeed more important how to avoid doing these things. It is up to show the German Shepherd pup the right way, ie to make it more socially acceptable.

We should not be so concerned with getting the German Shepherd pups to perform precise obedience but rather to teach them the acceptable levels of behavior and how to integrate into the canine world of the adult dogs and more importantly how to interact with the human race. What may seem very simple to an individual may be very difficult to another . For instance some children are frightened of the dark, others are very daring in the dark. But would you with a frightened child lock it in the room to cure it! I think not , so punishment is not the reward with dogs either. We must at all times be precise and attempt to use the same commands. They are very clever at noticing routines and will anticipate what you are going to do next before you even know it.

So we must start by teaching the pup to be tolerant and not frightened or aggressive towards dogs or humans. This is achieved by praise when its doing what you want and stern handling when it is not.

Some of the habits of dogs most disliked by humans: 

*Barking dog

Most dogs bark unfortunately. This is there method of communication. Yet; in some areas of England there has been bylaws passed that prohibit the dog from barking!! No-one as yet seems to be able to get the dog to read the bylaw though so it is not sure how this is going to be implemented. But let us try to tackle the dog which barks, whines, generally makes a noise consistently.

Many things need to be taken into consideration not least of all the age. Here we will deal with the young German Shepherd pup. The major reason dogs bark is:

1) Attention 2) Fear 3) Aggression 4) Play 5) boredom

1,4, and 5 can sometimes be interlined. As the German Shepherd pup is after attention in order to play which breaks the boredom. 2 and 3 are intrinsic characteristics of the dog and have to be handled in a disciplined manner.

The problem with the dog who barks primarily for attention is that even scolding it gets the dog the attention it craves. So use reverse physiology perhaps let it see you so that its attention is drawn to you and not the other way around; but do not make of it. Keep using such methods or drawing its attention without paying attention to it and eventually it will become bored with you and prefer to do other things.

With German Shepherd pups play and boredom are frequent offenders causing the pup to bark. It is learning and gets excited about everything. Let it have toys of its own and try to give it attention at the 'danger times' ie when it wakes up from sleep, before it is settled down for the night and first thing in the morning. A regular amount of play and interaction at these times will teach the German Shepherd pup his habits and he will soon learn when the time for play which relieves boredom takes place and thus his routine will become established without a lot of noise during the intervening periods.

To control barking through fear or aggression the methods used are similar. The German Shepherd dog must be taught to respect you and your wishes more than his own instincts. Training the German Shepherd dog in his stress situations to be properly behaved will eventually cure this. It will not make the German Shepherd dog less fearful or aggressive but just more controllable. To control general barking for no apparent reason there are two methods one can employ. The German Shepherd Dog can be taught to bark (yes) and once this exercise is learnt it can then be controlled. Simply by saying NO or any other suitable word you want to use when you end an exercise. This method means that you have turned what the German Shepherd dog was doing itself into something you want the German Shepherd dog to do or not do. You now control the German Shepherd dog and not the other way around. The method of teaching the German Shepherd dog to bark can be learnt in obedience training.

The alternative is to shock the dog into not barking. If the German Shepherd dog gets a scare everytime it barks it starts to think twice. One method of actually chastising the dog without actually hurting it or interfering in any way with its future capabilities for training, is to use water. The sound of water and the very cold effect afterwards has an almost magical effect on the auditory senses of the German Shepherd dog. One must be ready for the event. Have a bucket of water handy, stand hidden in a convenient very close by spot and when the dog starts to bark through the contents of the bucket immediately at it and shout very loudly NO. With most dogs this is only necessary perhaps once or twice. With the hardened barker more attempts may be necessary or a stepping up of the volume of water with the dog left to suffer a bit in his wet surroundings.

No one method of teaching a German Shepherd dog is correct there are many and varied ways and each owner must be able to assess his own pet and put into action the remedy for the problem. But owners must learn to be consistent and not proceed half way along the cure and then give in. Barking and Noisy dogs are a big, big reason for many owners selling their dogs or worst still sending them to the big house in the sky.


Not a pleasant subject, but one nevertheless which appears to cause absolutely everyone concern. Dogs are not allowed to preform this very personal act on a pavement, road, park, beach, or any place where the human species is situ. All other animal life can preform this act at will without any risk of interference. 

The feces of the dog are blamed for toxicarnus, smell, unsightly and many serious diseases in children. In fact the most common cause for disease in humans, young or old, is through the cat or fox. Both these creatures pollute and cause more harmful excreta, full of worms, than any other domestic animal

To be continued ...