Help needed please... - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-13-2012, 06:57 AM Thread Starter
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Help needed please...

Hello!
My dog passed away 2 years ago at age 15 and for the last year I was thinking about getting a GS puppy. For the last two months I have been saving money to buy one from a respectable breeder in my country. One week ago at my name day, my mother bought a puppy for me as a present, from a byb unfortunately! He told her that the puppy was born on 18th March and that he was a little afraid because he was bitten by an adult GS dog. I have three questions for you.

1. The next day I took him to the vet and he said that the dog was suffering from rickets. He recommended feeding him "royal canin pediatric food" and 2 supplements of Glucosamine+Chondroitin daily until the dog is one year old. He said that if I insist on this diet the dog will probably fully recover by that age. Did any of you had to deal with your dog's rickets problem and did it work out?

2. The dog gets along great with people, even strangers and I take him every day to places full of people, noises etc to work on socialization. The problem is when he meets other dogs. He puts his tail under his legs and he is really afraid. Sometimes he even growls. What is the best way to help him overcome his fear and not to become aggressive towards other dogs?

3. Although the man who owned the dogs said his date of birth was 18th March which makes the puppy almost 4 months old, the vet told me he looks like 5 months old to him. I don't mind that, but if he is older I have to increase the amount of his daily food. I don't want to make any mistakes considering his nutrition. His weight is 39 lbs. Both of his parents were 100% healthy and quite large. I will post a photo of him. How old does he look to you?

I am sorry for the long message but I really could use your advice. Some people told me to give him back due to his health and fear of dogs problems, but I love him and really want to do the best for him.

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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-13-2012, 07:31 AM
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As far as the feeding...adjust the feeding to what you feel. The bag is just a guideline. He is a cute puppy

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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-13-2012, 07:50 AM Thread Starter
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As far as the feeding...adjust the feeding to what you feel. The bag is just a guideline. He is a cute puppy
thank you!
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-13-2012, 08:18 AM
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Can't see pic, too bad. Props to you for helping a pup in need. In regards to the diet I agree to adjust as you see fit - many variables here such as pet's age, weight, and activity level. Unfortunately I don't know much about rickets but it sounds like it may not be a permanent issue. My pet is a GSD mix and was extremely skittish but with much socialization he has really come around. The best thing you can do to your pet is expose him to as many other pets and people as possible; Mine seem to improve as he began to age. Best of luck with your new friend!
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-13-2012, 08:33 AM
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oh he is a cutie!
i would say he is 4months..by 5 all my shepherds ears were up..he still has the floppy young puppy ears. thats just my opinion.
sorry, never dealt with rickets
do you have a petsmart or petco by you? sometimes on saturdays they have free puppy socialization.....even dog clubs have it... I would suggest calling around...help him build up his confidence alittle.
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-13-2012, 08:40 AM
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The little I've read say rickets is curable with proper nutrition. I'd check with vet see about supplements as well as feeding the best quality food you can find locally.

He's very cute and I'm betting those ears will stand soon.

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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-13-2012, 08:46 AM
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For the socialization, get with a reputable trainer. You dont want him to be put into a situation where you cannot control it (i.e. pet store). It is critical that he has possitive experiences with other dogs. A trainer will be able to expose him to socially appropriate dogs for him to gain confidence when meeting other dogs. Please add your location to your profile so we know where you are located and can recommend good trainers in your area. That is a start.

The rickets is from improper nutrition:

Merck Veterinary Manual

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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-13-2012, 08:48 AM
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Hello!


2. The dog gets along great with people, even strangers and I take him every day to places full of people, noises etc to work on socialization. The problem is when he meets other dogs. He puts his tail under his legs and he is really afraid. Sometimes he even growls. What is the best way to help him overcome his fear and not to become aggressive towards other dogs?

When he is acting fearful, don't coddle him ie petting him saying it's all right etc. That would be telling him his behavior is acceptable.

Begin working with him, exposing him, at a distance, to other dogs. Avoid flooding him with large groups of dogs, could be overwhelming and cause even more fear. Avoid going in dog parks, possibly sit outside a distance away to begin with. If he reacts, tucks tail, growl etc, you are to close, move back a few feet. Play, work on obedience and just sit and watch the other dogs. Have treats and keep it happy. As he grows relaxed and focusing on you, move a bit closer and repeat. Play tug, let him win - confidence builder.

If you haven't started training yet, get started soon. It will help build the bond between you, help him trust you and aid you on handling him. A group class may or may not work for him, possibly with a panel to block his view of the other pups. Talk with the trainer about his behavior and history. Be sure the trainer is experienced with GSD. Focus on getting his recall, stay and watch commands solid.

Take a look at these links:

BAT Ahimsa Dog Blog

Behavior Adjustment Training (BAT) | Official site for BAT: dog-friendly training for reactivity (aggression, fear, frustration) by Grisha Stewart, MA

Look at That! A Counterintuitive Approach to Dealing with Reactive Dogs Dog Training for Dog Lovers Blog

Remember when working with him and walking him to keep the leash loose. You have to stay calm, what you feel travels the leash and he could react to your emotions.

This won't be overnight and may be frustrating at times
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-13-2012, 09:23 AM
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Bubba takes Gucosmaine Condrotant (sp?) after he was hit by a car 2 months ago and it's helped him a TON! Swelling decreased by half the first month. The vet said that with show strain breeds such as mine that it's recommended that they're on a daily supplement like that anyways.


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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-13-2012, 11:15 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you all so much for your answers!
I live in a small town in Greece, where there is only one dog trainer. He suggested to take the puppy to a dog park, but I think this would be too much for him.
I already started training him and I am amazed by his cleverness! I personally trained my two other dogs (husky mix and labrador retriever) with success. They both were really obedient and loyal. I did a lot of reading about the GS dog breed and the need of a good training and will definately meet with a professional if I see that I can't handle him properly.
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