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Special Aspects


Even a small German Shepherd puppy is destined to be a large dog. This is something that must be taken into consideration when rearing it. As a puppy, your German Shepherd should not be allowed to do anything that you would not wish your full grown German Shepherd to do, such as laying on the couch. And because your puppy is going to be such a large dog, it is also a very, very good idea that it receives, at a minimum, basic obedience training. You DO NOT want a dog that will not listen to you; this can lead to obvious problems.

German Shepherds grow at such an astonishing rate that it is best not to force their growth with artificial vitamins and calcium supplements. A good quality dog food is all that they require. Our VonziuElite Puppy Food is perfect for this breed. A German Shepherd is going to become a large dog, anyway; allowing them to grow at their own pace will give them a more stable foundation once they arrive at adulthood. Many breeders recommend NOT feeding a 'puppy diet' beyond the first few months due to the high protein content. Vonziu however after over 25 years of experience would recommend your puppy to remain on puppy food until at least 2 years of age. In short, the very best –IN = the very best –OUT. Feeding the best results in the best results when your puppy matures into adulthood.

During growth periods your German Shepherd puppy could be subject to joint injury. You will need to be especially careful during these times to control excessive exercise. A puppy may play at its own rate and should be encouraged to take long walks, but not jump obstacles, or any other exercise that will stress the joints. This is not to say the puppy has to be confined. Just use caution and do not allow it to over exert itself.

A German Shepherd remains a puppy much longer than most breeds. Even though a German Shepherd is already quite large by the time it is 6 months old, it is still growing and maturing rapidly. A German Shepherd does not reach its full physical or mental maturity until after 2.5-3 years of age.

You will be surprised at how much a German Shepherd puppy will drink. Fresh water should be kept available at all times. Drool will accumulate in the bottom of the pup's water dish. Since the pup will not drink its own drool, the dish should be rinsed constantly throughout the day.

All puppies love to chew. German Shepherds have very powerful jaws, even as a puppy. Some chew toys that are fine for other breeds may not be suitable for your German Shepherd. Caution should be used when choosing toys or chew bones because the pup could bite off pieces and swallow them, resulting in intestinal blockage. German Shepherd puppies also have a tendency to chew, or swallow, rocks and sticks. They should be watched closely and discouraged from doing so.


This cute adorable puppy needs to learn what acceptable behaviour in the home is. Before you bring your new pup home. It is recommended that you purchase a CRATE. We can discuss the specific sizes when you come to visit the pups. Contrary to what people think a crate is not a cruel thing. It provides the pup with its own personal space. The crate protects the pup as well as protects your home. The crate provides an easier way to house train your pup. A warm blanket or bed can be placed into the crate for the pup to lay on.


Conformation training or just training should start as soon as you arrive home with your puppy. The first thing to consider is the correct COLLAR.

You should never use a narrow collar on a young puppy as it will cut into their tender little neck. I believe that the chain collars are too heavy for young puppies. If you put it on a small puppy, they will lower their head, then run and hide. A heavy collar on a young puppy is depressing to them. The wide nylon is best for a puppy because it is so light-weight that they won’t mind it. They may scratch their neck a few times because it feels strange to them, but they’ll get used to it.

  • WARNING; when a puppy is wearing a choker collar, don’t leave them any length of time as it might catch it in something in your absence and hang themselves.
  • SIZE: Put the collar around their neck and add 5 centimetres. I like the adjustable collars as a German Shepherd puppy grows so fast.
  • LEADS: This should be lightweight so the puppy does not object to them, and I have found this is the easiest way to get a puppy used to wearing a collar.


Your puppy can learn many things at a very early stage by different tones of voice. They may not understand the new word commands used, but they instantly recognise your different tones of voice. Performed each time a question is asked. Here are a few examples:

  • Do you want to go out? (As you walk to the door?)
  • Do you want dinner? (As you pick up the puppy’s dish)
  • Do you want a drink? (As you turn the tap)
  • Do you want a treat? (As you take a treat from the fridge)
  • Do you want to go for a walk? (As you pick up the leash)

When you use the word "NO” to correct your dog, lower the tone of your voice. The tone of voice is what is important in training. Praise make it a positive, joyous, and full of good spirits, and be sincere, as a dog can spot insincerity.

When handling your puppy or dog, be gentle, make a companion of them, and talk to them as you would a friend---conversationally. You won't spoil them by doing this but will gain respect. Your dog will be your best friend and you will gain his respect.


Your puppy toenail’s are to be cut every two weeks to keep them short. If they are permitted to grow unattended, they become unsightly, cause the puppy’s toes to spread a part and may cause lameness. If you cut them too short, and accidentally cut into the quick and cause the nail to bleed. Don’t panic. Just dab some coagulant powder or iodine on to it to stop the bleeding. Talk soothingly to the puppy and place a tiny bit of the powder or iodine on bleeding nail. The bleeding will stop immediately.


A successful German Shepherd housebreaking program.

Housebreaking is a five part program:

  1. Scheduling
  2. Diet
  3. Odour Neutralisation
  4. Confinement
  5. Correction

The key to this whole process is to make all five things work in conjunction with one another. You cannot do just one and expect the dog to get housebroken.


This is a list of suggested times to walk, feed and water your German Shepherd pup. Times can be altered to your schedule, but be sure to spread them evenly apart. This schedule is based on an 8 to 9 week old puppy.

Suggested Schedule when someone is home all the time with the pup.

7:00amWalk the dog
7:30amFeed, water, and walk
10:00amWater and walk
11:30amFeed, water and walk
2:30pmWater and walk
4:30pmFeed, water and walk
7:30pmWater and walk
10:00pmWalk the dog (last water of the day)

Suggested Schedule for working people.

Wake UpFeed, water and walk the dog
Before Leaving for WorkQuick walk & toilet
MiddayFeed, water and walk
Home from workWater and walk
Early EveningFeed & water
Before BedtimeWalk the dog


Either walk the dog outside or let the dog use the back garden. You must stay with the dog regardless to assure toilet training has taken place.

Walk the dog for 20 minutes. If they do not toilet within that time, bring them inside and confine them or watch them very closely. If you catch them toileting in the house, correct them and take them outside immediately, to finish the job.

Repeat the walk one hour later if necessary.

When you are at work, be sure to leave a dish of ice cubes for the dog, this will help with teething.

When you are at work, keep the dog confined in a designated area, with a see through puppy gate. DO NOT place newspapers on the floor. Accidents should be expected and simply cleaned up when you get home. DO NOT correct the dog about accidents that occurred while you were at work or out. You may use an adequate sized dog crate providing someone comes to walk the dog midday and you follow the rules about confinement.

Crating dogs for limited periods of time is not cruel. Dogs have a denning instinct. Depending upon their age, puppies and older dogs should not be crated for excessive periods of time.

Here are the crating guidelines for Housebreaking:

Puppies between 2 and 6 months should not be crated for more than 2 to 4 consecutive hours

Puppies between 6 and 12 months should not be crated for more than 4 to 6 hours

Judgment should be used based on the size and age of the dog.


Both the amount of food and when the dog is fed are important.

Food requirement may vary depending on the size of the pup, environment, exercise and stress factors.

The Best diet for a puppy in the house breaking process is quality dry food only. The proper amount of food is just as important as the proper kind. If you feed the pup an excessive amount, they will need to relieve themselves more often. If you feed him too little, they will start to chew the house down.

Leave food down for 15 minutes. Do not leave food or water down during other times as long as the dog is being housebroken.


Wash all areas where the dog has gone to the toilet in the house with an odour neutraliser. The scent must be completely eliminated. Remember that just because the owner can't smell the tell-tails of a previous toilet, the dog may be able to.


The dog is to be confined when no one is home or when you are not able to watch the dog. The dog is to be confined with only a mesh puppy gate or a dog crate. Do Not expect the dog to understand the reason for a dog door until he is housebroken.


The dog should be corrected only when caught in the act! To correct: Use the word "NO" and take them outside immediately.

Praise them when they toilet correctly!