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Old 12-07-2013, 03:02 PM   #1 (permalink)
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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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Old 12-07-2013, 04:05 PM   #2 (permalink)
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1) start feeding him raw: 300 gramms of raw beef mince with mushed pumpkin twice a week; one day cooked boneless fish; and the rest of the week raw chicken with rice. Tubular bones should be removed. Add cod liver oil and bone poweder into his meals. Feed yogurts and cottage cheese daily. Regularly provide him with large beef bones to chew on. Chewed bone mass is important for guts, and your dog will clean his teeth by chewing;
2) keep on taking him out certain times, especially in the mornings, so, he would use to them. Don't be irritated of him urinating, it is normal before 1 year old;
3) All GSD are highly trainable dogs and you have to decide what sort of dog you want him to be. There are three different types of training, and it is better to start when your puppy is very young:
1. School of socializing and raising a pet;
2. Schutzhund sport - participating in sport competitions;
3. training a bodyguard, personal protection dog;
These three schools are very different and you cannot follow either of two at once. Make your mind.
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Old 12-07-2013, 04:24 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Socializing the dog is important no matter what you want to do with the dog unless you want a fearful or aggressive neurotic adult and in that case by all means don't socialize. How you socialize and to what might differ depending on your training goals.
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Old 12-07-2013, 05:12 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Socializing the dog is important no matter what you want to do with the dog
Yes, of course. A pet would have to be socialized with public and other dogs. Schutz dog would be socialized in his club. PP dog would go through a very different socialization always winning over human through rather brutal training.
Dogs, socialized with people and other dogs shouldn't bite in any case, their prey is their toys only. Train him socialization first, and, say, at 6 months introduce him to Schutz protection - and he wouldn't hesitate to include humans in his list of prey. Shutz dogs should learn everything in the club starting from obedience course at three months old, only then a "big prey" is fixed in their mind as a man of certain shape and certain behavior, associated with the club environment. No word about PPD in this case, that is raising a killer dog.
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Old 12-07-2013, 05:13 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Old 12-07-2013, 06:05 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Yeah...
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Old 12-07-2013, 06:34 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fadyadly View Post
he's almost 9 weeks oldand 4.3kgs (9.48lb).
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.

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!
In my opinion 4.3kgs at 9 weeks is lean, an ideal weight would be around 6 to 9kgs. However, it is better to be a little on the lean side than overweight for puppies and is essential they are grown slowly. I think you are giving him too much egg and sausage is not really a good meat to give as a meal (maybe as a treat). There is lots of good information here and on the world wide web on Raw diets, you need to aim for feeding your puppy meaty bones, muscle meat and a tiny bit of organ meat, if you do your research you will find some helpful information that will suit you and your position. Water is essential, milk is not and should only be used as an additional food, also please don't give cows milk as they can't digest it properly - give goats milk.

1) feeding; raw or not, supplements or not, how to build up bulk (my poor boy's skin and bones) - raw is a personal choice, there is so much information and expert opinions on this matter that it is very confusing. Some experts say 'only feed raw' some say 'only feed good quality dry kibble' some say 'combine the both'!!!! It is your choice, you need to do your research and find a good feeding program that suits you and your dog. I feed raw in the morning (raw meat & meaty bones) and then 12 hours later (for digestion) grain free dry kibble soaked in water for 20 to 30 minutes. This is working for me so far, however I should point out all my dogs have had a combination of raw and dry always, I used to combine them both, now I am separating them. Supplements - again this is a personal choice and different people recommend different supplements, me - I always gave my puppies omega 3 & 6 supplements for brain development. Now, as adults I have them glucosamine & chondroitin. With building bulk, be very careful here, it is really important with this breed to grow your puppies slowing and steady. Do not let your puppy get obese and too thin. A slow steady weight increase will help him to achieve good health. Also, you have to remember that he won't be fully grown until he is around 3 years old.

2) potty training; anyone encountered my problems before? how did you deal with it? - my dogs were potty trained at varying stages of their puppy life, some were quicker at understanding toilet is suppose to be outside! some took a little longer. I always took pups out to toilet after eating, drinking and waking up from a sleep. I always rewarded my pups with treats when they went toilet outside and ignored the accidents inside. If they do go inside, you could say 'toilet outside' and take you pup outside, don't reward them for going inside and don't be too hard on them as they are still learning.

3) general advice and any tips you can give me! - grow your GSD slowly, don't over exercise him with miles and miles of walking or running, obedience train him, love him, trust him and enjoy him.
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if your GSD is eating and eating and eating and losing weight - please consider testing for EPI.

http://www.epi4dogs.com/epiinsnapshots.htm
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Old 12-07-2013, 07:04 PM   #8 (permalink)
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potty training with both my GSD's went the same. Once I thought they would never get it they started going outside all the time. Just be consistent.
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