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Old 12-07-2013, 03:02 PM   #1 (permalink)
fadyadly
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Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 3
Default General questions and advice

Hi all,

I've had my Ash for a couple of days now (he's almost 9 weeks old) and I've got a few questions I need help with.

Some background first; my first dog was a female Rottweiler (Ruby) who, while a terrific family dog (she helped numerous people get over their fear of big dogs, my grandmother included!) was not particularly active or athletic. She lived to about 10 years old and passed away (still miss her) a couple of years back. My wife and I are big dog lovers so we decided to get our first dog together (we've been married for a little over a year now) so we got our Ash but I am determined to raise my boy to be more outgoing, athletic and overall more active than Ruby was. I live in a large third floor flat in Cairo, Egypt with easy access to a large public garden right across the street from our building (which is a family building with a 2 year old Golden Retriever and a Rottweiler just under a year old I think).

Ash is a gorgeous, almost entirely black GSD (we can never be too sure about breeding here in Egypt but I'm not too fussed about that to be honest, his sire looked amazing though and his dam was impressive too) with just a small blaze of white on his chest, but he was the runt of the litter and he is worryingly undersized for his age at 1ft at the shoulders and 4.3kgs (9.48lb).
He moves well and runs freely and is energetic when playing but he sleeps a lot (which I know is normal but I still worry sometimes). We've been feeding him mashed up boiled eggs (he loves them; will eat 3 per meal and 3 meals a day) with some sausages but I'm seriously considering moving him on to a raw diet as I'm convinced that the more natural anyone's diet is (including dogs) the better off they are.
Another thing I've noticed is he doesn't drink as much water as I'd like (maybe a cup or a cup and a half per day) though I'm careful he always has plenty of fresh water at his disposal. He does seem to like milk, though.
Toilet training is also not going as smoothly as I'd hoped. I'm worried he's got it into his head that we don't want him to go at all (rather than wanting him to go in a specific place) but I can't for the life of me think why he'd get that impression. We don't shout or throw fits when he has an accident and we praise a lot when he gets it right. Another thing I've noticed is that (this is recent, only today) he can't seem to cut his urine off when I pick him up to rush to his elimination zone and he dribbles all the way there (sometimes he cuts it off only to refuse to go when we get to his EZ) and this is making me think that a) poor thing's trying to hold it in because he's scared and ends up with a bladder that's too full to control or b) he's being stubborn (which actually worries me less than a)

I'm desperate to give my boy the best chance possible to be a happy, healthy, active dog so I'm asking for advice on:
1) feeding; raw or not, supplements or not, how to build up bulk (my poor boy's skin and bones)
2) potty training; anyone encountered my problems before? how did you deal with it?
3) general advice and any tips you can give me

Thanks in advance!
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