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Discussion Starter #1
Good morning. I found this forum while seeking some answers to questions, and it's been very helpful. So I figured I'd join!

I got my first GSD, and my first puppy, just over two weeks ago. I named her Freya, after the Norse goddess, as I wanted a female name that represented both strength and beauty, things I believe she will grow to have.

I've wanted a German Shepherd pretty much my entire life. While I grew up with dogs and cats, I didn't have the ability or opportunity to have one of my own really until the past few years. I found Freya for a great price and nearby, and with working from home for a while, I felt it was a good opportunity to spend a lot of time socializing a new puppy (and myself) to being together. Admittedly, I should have done my homework...I found out after the fact that my "breeder" had been hauled before Judge Judy a couple of years ago for the horrible conditions of his dogs. That revelation made a few things make sense, and not in a good way. Additional research found multiple names of his business over the past few years, which is never a good sign.

First, Freya was 16 weeks when I picked her up. Over text, the breeder said she was 20 pounds. When I picked her up, she was nowhere near 20 pounds. Two days later at the vet appointment, I find she was 12.8 pounds. At 16 weeks, that had everyone in the room concerned. While the breeder had mentioned that the dam had begun protecting food, he told me he had been feeding the pups separately. But...wow, though I realize GSDs grow at different rates, she was so small.

Second, the vet found she was covered (~15) in ticks, many of which were very large. I know, I know--I should have examined her thoroughly upon picking her up, but I didn't. I wasn't as prepared as I should have been. But the vet took care of them, though he was very concerned that the ticks had surely been on her for some time (much longer than the two days I'd had her), so she's currently on 30 days of meds to stave off any possible communicable diseases.

Third, the breeder mentioned she had been treated for ear mites in mid-March. The vet found significant mite presence in Freya's ears, so he cleaned her up, treated her, and sent me home with Animax.

Here I am, over two weeks later, with a much healthier pup. Her skin is pink instead of pasty, she weighed over 17 pounds four days ago, and she plays and jumps like a happy puppy should. We're working on house and crate training and some simple commands, and I've gotten to the point where I can have her off-leash in my large yard and she'll return to me when I call her. We'll keep working on that, plus the basics. And we've have a few puppy play dates with an 11 week chocolate Labrador, including exposure to a couple of younger kids, and after her initial fear and bark, she's very good with them, though she's still very timid.

Long intro. But thank you for this great forum. I hope to be around for a while and learn a lot. Pictures will be forthcoming, too.
 

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Welcome! It was pretty rocky road at the start for our puppy too. He was way too small and had leg problems, but he pulled through! Anyway, this is great forum and I hope things work out for you and your new addition! Good luck. :)
Oh yes, and I would love to see a pic!
 

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Such a difference in just two weeks. Freya is a beautiful young pup and she will grow up to be a stunning dog.
She already has the look of intelligence and attention.
You will really appreciate the brain of the GSD as they're fascinating to train and oh so smart. Sometimes they outsmart
us when we're training them, LOL. The sky's the limit on what you can teach her. I like to use words for many things and
they pick up on it so fast.
Congratulation on your new friend and do keep the pictures coming as they grow up too fast.
And Welcome to the forum, it's a great group.
 

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What a difference two weeks and proper care makes, sweet looking girl! She's lucky to have found her way out of a bad start in life.
 

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Look at the difference your care and love makes! That gives me the awws, she's beautiful and it sounds like she's settling well.
 
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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks, all. :) She's over 25 pounds now, and we're almost at the end of the doxycycline treatment.

As before, she loves to run around. I have a large, open yard, and she just runs and runs and runs. She even occasionally fetches the ball I throw. I'm excited for the future, but I really wish I could take her to work with me. :LOL: I still think I have to pinch myself when I realize I have a German Shepherd finally.
 

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beautiful pup! If I can be permitted to offer some advice, make sure you thoroughly socialize her if you want her to be able to be around people and go out into the world. 16 weeks is already the end of the most important socialization period, so she's a bit behind and this is a vital period. By socializing I don't mean playing with other dogs, but getting positive or at least neutral exposure to all of the things she will be expected to tolerate in her life--other people, garbage cans, vacuum cleaners, cars, bicycles, concrete floors, sliding doors, stairs--that kind of thing. I'd highly Patricia McConnell's puppy book for a good roadmap of what she should be doing.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Much appreciated! Yep, I've been working on all of that, from waiting outside the vet's office for over an hour (right on a vehicle lane, plus multiple strangers with multiple dogs she was able to check out from afar as well as up close), a four+ mile walk on a paved trail where she saw multiple bicycles (and didn't bark) as well as children and other dogs (one barked a lot and scared her, but the owner took good care), as well as some semi-regular puppy play dates with adults and children. She's spent some time with them as dogsitters, too, with more neighborhood walks while there. We've covered the vacuum, a motorcycle, trips in the Jeep (where she's crated), and I'll be getting her downtown for additional exposure as the months wear on.

I know she's behind in the overall game, but I've been getting her exposure as much as possible. She and I have been able to hit all the things you mentioned above and more over the past eight weeks, and we'll continue for the foreseeable future. I also have a couple of friends with older GSDs whom I hope to meet up with later in the summer or into the fall to get some additional exposure and socialization.
 

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That is great. My pup also struggled at first.

We went on a ton of puppy-sized adventures to explore new places, meet new types of people, and generally experience life. If you go early in the morning before the kids get there, a curious pup can spend an impressive amount of time climbing and exploring playground equipment before they zonk out :)
 
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