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.