The Idea of them being raised in the home helps them get uses to the everyday noises of a house hold to include but not limited to (kids screaming, kids talking, the television nosie, pots and pan banging, the vacuum cleaner, the washing machine banging when it becomes unbalanced, and so much more).
As they grow they get new positive experiences like meeting other dogs, different flooring textures, (grass, gravel, carpet, hardwood flooring, concrete. We also put them on the trampoline ( no we are not jumping on it with them) the moving ground as we walk helps build confidents an example of this is walking on a moving bridge when they get older.
We start potty training at 4 weeks because there in our home this is a lot of work but it helps with the smells and mess on our floors.
At 4 weeks we also start to wean them by adding in mush, what we call mush is a combination of all stages of life Life’s Abundance dry kibble, water and Nuvet powder. We first start out with about a cup of food and a cup of water soaked overnight to become mushy after it is soft I add the Nuvet Power (one scoop per puppy) and then add a little more water to make is more watery than firm. During this time frame each day we add less soak time and less water so that when puppies go home at 8 weeks they will be feed with two bowls (a water bowl and a food bowl (dry food)) Where we start slowly weaning puppies at four weeks puppies
normally do not stop nursing until they are approximately six weeks old this is great because it is an extra source of calcium. At 6 weeks we will take puppies to the vet to get there 2nd puppy Check up ( they typically get the first at 24-48 hours old. and get a clean bill of health for their new homes! Also at six weeks puppies get there first set of shots to start the series of vaccines more will be needed to complete the series ( 6,9,12 weeks and a rabies at 12 weeks or 16 weeks)
We do everything we can to produce healthy puppies from Certified elbows and hips but there is a huge environmental factor. Hips dysphasia is approximately 25 percent genetics and the other 75 percent environmental this is the reason you need to keep puppy from exercising too much, long, long strolls and jumping. Do not allow your puppy to do any big, hard jumps examples are jumping out of a truck, jump high in the air to catch a ball, until fully grown as this could damage his joints, while they are still growing. Something that can also effect puppy is agility exercises that would have the pup moving in an unnatural way, we recommend, Take your little one for short walks quick trots, but not long runs.
Keeping your pup lean is also a crucial factor in the development of healthy joints as they grow.
We Here at Freedom Shepherds strongly advise against early spay and neuter. This is why in our spay and neuter contracts we give you until age of 2 (24 months old). If you must spay or neuter your Shepherd, we recommend waiting until he/she is physically mature. Through our Research we recommend to not spay or neuter before 12 months of age (we recommend as close to 18-24 months as possible.
Early socialization is EXTREMELY important for any puppy, but even more in German Shepherd puppies. From the time you take your puppy home to around sixteen weeks of age is a critical time period for their social and psychological development. German Shepherd pups are known to hit what is known as the scary stage normally from 12 weeks to about 16 weeks it is important to have a positive interaction and positive experiences during this time. Highly recommend attending obedience classes as this exposes your pup to new surroundings, animals, people, and sounds during this time we cannot stress this enough and is highly recommended.
If you introduce a puppy to new places, people, and animals regularly as this is help socialization and builds confidence. We can produce the best and do everything for your puppy while they are with us but it is up to you after we start the foundation you the owner the alpha of your pup need to continue and keep up the work to finish that foundation to have the amazing partner/ friend that everyone deserves. A great dog is just not genetics/ or just born there is work behind it!
We hope this is educational but shows you how much time and effort we put into our puppies and furry family members Please feel free to email us or ask any questions! We hope you have a very blessed day, thank you for your time, and are looking forward to communicating with you and welcoming you into the Freedom Shepherd family!!