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BensLife 03-05-2014 05:30 PM

Just 2 more weeks!!
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Hi! My name is Ben and I went to go see my puppy and put a deposit down on him this morning! I'm excited and I've been researching and reading a lot about the GSD breed and hope I become a good parent! He's such a wonderful boy and I can't wait!

I've made a huge shopping list on what I need to buy, such as:

6' leash
Retractable leash
Food/water bowl
Teething toys
Toys such as the chuck it
Accident sprays
Bitter spray
Poop bags
Treat bag

If I left or need to include anything let me know! And without further adieu, my boy.. Mushu!

Attachment 187673

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AshleyW 03-05-2014 06:03 PM

Congrats!! He is adorable :)

diarmuid957 03-05-2014 06:40 PM

Hi Ben,

How old is Mushu? 8/10 wks? What a cute chunky monkey! :) He looks like such a big handsome boy already.

Just a few ideas...

Have you thought about bully or pizzle springs? Puppies love 'em and a bully spring can keep him quiet for upwards of an hour. I like the coiled shape because they're less of a choking hazard.

Make sure the accident sprays have odor-destroying enzymes. Otherwise those accident spots are going to seem like the most attractive, familiar places for your puppy, who is currently building his meager bladder strength.

**Also a big housebreaking helper**--I attached a few jingle bells to a ribbon which I then looped a couple of these around each door handle that belonged to an exterior door (This is the DIY version of a training aide that sells for about $20 at the pet store). If you want to teach him this method you have to make the correlation that jingle bells=potty. Just teach him that every time he hears that jingling noise the door opens. Jingle, open, say a word that means potty time. I say "business", for example. Make sure you're doing this for about every 30 mins for the first few weeks that your pup is home. It didn't take my puppy too long to learn how to ring the bells herself, ha ha!

May I ask what kind of puppy food you're planning on using? I used grain-free kibble for the first three months with my pup then later switched to Bravo! raw (which is a frozen pre-made and easier for my schedule as a pre-med student). I wish I had done it sooner as I noticed that puppy zoomies were much less extreme on the raw diet. Also I saw healthier coat and stool..just my two cents plus there is a great thread on this forum on the benefits of raw feeding.

I used Zuke's minis on the recommendation of my trainer as they are the right size to keep puppy's attention focused on YOU during brief training sessions.

Do you have any rope toys for tug? I found that this is a very fun game for puppies and you have the chance to teach them to play properly. Also you will get a chance to see what kind of drive your pup has.

I heard bad things about GSDs and wire crates but my pup adjusted to hers splendidly. She now has chew-proof sheepskin bedding though. I learned the hard way about how destructive those little razor teeth are in a determined puppy. ;) I think its all about how you approach the crate training. What did you go with? Let us know!

Good luck!

BensLife 03-05-2014 07:34 PM


And thank you diarmuid957 for the long response and tips!!

Currently Mushu is 6 weeks old and is waiting to get his health certificate and becoming 8 weeks before he can come home to me!

I have looked at puzzle toys and didn't know which kind of puzzle I should get him. I want to keep him busy for a little bit when I'm doing my homework or studying (pre-dent student :P). But I will look into the spring ones like you suggested!

I always thought of doing that way of potty training, teaching him to ring the bell and telling me that he needs to go. How long did it take you to teach your puppy? And do you recommend putting him in the cage after he eats or to watch him and let him go about 30minutes later?

I plan on feeding him the diamond brand food you get from the store I forgot what it's called, to ease my pup into raw. My girlfriend is against raw feeding because she thinks it's bad for the dog and that it'll make the dog viscous and that it's not good because the dog will get sick from eating raw. I'm all for feeding raw, but need to ease him into it so he doesn't get an upset stomach.

I do have tug toys for him when he comes home and I must say his drive is there. The breeder I got him from breeds working lines, he breeds for police so I know the dogs drive will be up there. When I came over to his kennel he kept tugging and pulling on the rope toy with his brother and me.

I read reviews that the wired cages may seem like a bad idea but I'm not sure if I should buy this certain cage or not. I bought the Midwest life cage and saw that the wires could potentially harm my pup so I'm kind of worried about that, what do you think? And I bought him the akc Casablanca round solid pet bed. Let me know if this is good, if not I can just change up my shopping list!

Thanks for the replies!

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mydogs 03-05-2014 09:56 PM

Just 2 more weeks!!
Training treats! I use Natural Balance rolls. Beef flavored. Can even use hotdogs sliced in pieces. Zukes is good too but you get more with the solid beef roll just slice in small pieces. He's adorable congrats!!
I have the wire crate with fleece blankets in it. Never chewed it. Plan on sleeping near the cage a few nights
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mego 03-05-2014 10:57 PM

I heard puppies do really well being switched to raw cold turkey style.

Also Zukes got bought out by a different brand so I don't use those anymore.

Bells were a lifesaver. Took my puppy just a few days to get it down pat

mego 03-05-2014 10:57 PM

Also, that is an adorable puppy. Where did you get him if you dont mind me asking?

BensLife 03-06-2014 12:19 AM

Thanks for the replies! I will try both treats you guys suggested and try and see which one he likes best!

I will try and do the bell potty training, wish me luck!

I got my puppy from Top Guns K9 Training Kennels. They're amazing people. Located in Hollister, FL. If anyone is located around North Florida they're great. He breeds dogs for police work and also make sure his dogs have good hips before breeding!

I was wondering how I should approach training Mushu though, I want to train him in an open field but I'm not sure how to really work with him where he is comfortable and be willing to learn. The living room is fine too, but I want to start training him on recalls and fetching!

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diarmuid957 03-06-2014 11:44 AM

Hey Ben,

6 weeks! He certainly is a big guy! Does the breeder have an idea of his adult size? Sorry for the length of my posts I just feel like there's so much great info to share!

1. I try not to use hot dogs as training treats because of the nitrates and fillers and parts-is-parts. Plus I just don't care for the texture in my hands. Very slimy. I usually turkey bacon from Trader Joe's which my pup does pretty much anything for. It's cheap and healthy. It's great for "leave it" , recall and "find it" games (because it's pungent).

2. For an intro to raw feeding, check out this video: Raw Meat Diet for Dogs and Cats - YouTube

Then this article:Common Raw Feeding Mistakes That Can Be Harmful to Your Pet

I think it might answer a lot of questions your GF has. Have to say that raw feeding will NOT negatively affect your dog's temperament. You can only get GREAT results from a proper, balanced raw diet. That's like saying eating YOU ketogenic (predominately protein-based) diet would make YOU bloodthirsty. :crazy:

Thankfully there are companies who have taken most of the guesswork out of raw feeding, especially at the intro stage. Check out Bravo!..the pre-ground format is really attractive to puppies as they don't have to do a whole lot of chewing. Supplements like coconut oil and plain kefir are a good idea. You can supplement with a raw knuckle or femur for after-mealtime teeth cleaning. As a pre-dent student you should definitely be able to appreciate the pros of pearly whites and the absence of gum disease later on!

I switched my pup to raw right after I noticed her coat was beginning to look dull and her hyperactivity was off the charts. Also she was developing skin allergies.

3. As for the potty training it only took me a couple of days to reinforce the idea that jingles=potty. Just be consistent and hit that darn bell every time you go outside. Make sure Mushu knows what you're doing. Hold a treat by the bell, get him to touch it with his paws or nose, then say "business!" and open the door. Yes, every 30 mins should be fine. If you're playing outside the crate or confined area, you might want to slash that to twenty.

4. might want to start by feeding him in the crate. The crate must be the place where only good things, treats, chews, get the idea. I heard that wrapping a ticking clock (imitating his litter mates' heartbeats) in a towel and placing it in the crate for the initial housebreaking can make the pup feel more secure. I personally didn't get around to trying that one...but it might be an interesting experiment.

5. As for recall in the open better add a 20' nylon leash to your list. This will allow you to work on recall in a space with a lot of distractions (smells, sights, etc) while having complete control of your pup. Training Positive on YouTube has a great series of introductory training videos. Do you have a clicker or are you going to use vocal commands only?

6. Just have reasonable this point with the puppy it's all about playtime and fun and learning the rules of the house. Puppy obedience classes are a worthwhile investment. Look into puppy agility for when he's a little older. I got this idea after watching my pup create her own agility course with the household furniture.

Don't feel pressured to socialize outside of a structured setting such as puppy class. I'm glad I skipped the dog parks. Your little guy is going to want you to keep him safe from bigger, older dogs. Until he his closer to his adult size and mental state, he doesn't need the trauma of getting picked on at the dog park. That being said, he will need guidance from older well-behaved dogs. You might try to get him around stable GSDs with good temperaments. Maybe your breeder or trainer has suggestions?

7. Funny story--I was out at the park on Saturday with Herzen (my pup) and I was approached by a MWD handler whose specialty training is bomb dogs. I don't know why but she goes crazy right now for law enforcement guys and military...she just wriggles her tail off when she see policemen! I think she's trying to go K9 on me. ;) Luckily with these individuals the love is mutual.

Anyway, the MWD guy told me that they don't even start working with GSDs until two years old. This is not the first time I've heard this. True enough, Herzen is a highly-intelligent goofball right now at 8 months. The MWD handler said she appeared to have every indication of a great sniffer. We're already working on upping her SAR game.


Keep researching the interwebs, you sound like you're doing a great job! If you think of anything else to ask just let me know.

BensLife 03-06-2014 02:28 PM

Yeah for 6 weeks he is a big guy! I got to see the father and mother of Mushu and I have to say they are pretty big dogs.

1. I don't mind trying different treats out, but I do not want to feed my puppy anything that can harm him! I never really thought of that about hotdogs, I know some members like to use it but I don't even eat hotdogs so I think i'll try the turkey bacon since there is a Trader Joes down the road from me!

2. I've actually been reading a lot and researching a lot about raw feeding and I know I am going to feed Mushu that. I just have to find the right balance of what to feed him that will benefit him the most. Funny thing is, is that my father owns a market that buys raw meat that I can just bulk order from!

3. I do plan on focusing on potty training him when he gets home, but the thing is I don't know how long he will be able to last in the cage without a potty break. I know some people say an hour per month of age? Not really sure but I won't be gone longer than 4 hours at most.. I know this is a long time but I could also get my girlfriend to take him out in between when I'm gone.

4. Yeah, I want him to feel like that crate is a safe place for him to go into. I have had bad experience in the past with my little dog I have at home.. He doesnt mind being in the cage now but making the cage a safe place for him to go into is what I want to do.

5. I just added that on my list! I think I also have a 20' leash somewhere in the house, I just gotta look lol! I do plan on buying him different toys so he doesnt get bored or using it for different situations like teething or training.

6. I cant wait to start training him.. I am searching all around Gainesville, FL for any obedience classes but I'm not sure if there are any good ones around! Hopefully in these 2 weeks that I have left I can go around and find a good class and trainer that I can go to!

I don't plan on taking him to the dog park because I heard not so good things about that. I will ask my breeder when I go back to him in 2 weeks and ask him about the best way to socialize him.

7. Haha thanks for sharing that story about Herzen! It just makes me feel so excited that I will have this little guy in my home in the next 2 weeks!

Thank you for your response!

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