Before picking up your new puppy and bringing him/her home there are some things that you are going to need to take care of the basic needs of your new little furry family member. Below is a list of the things you will need (besides Love, Love, Petting, and most important...Love)
Good Quality Puppy Food Growing pups should be fed puppy food, a diet specially formulated to meet the nutritional needs for normal development. Feeding adult food will rob your puppy of important nutrients. Water Bowl and Food Bowl To start off saving a lot of time and messes, consider investing in a few no-tip stainless steel bowls. Trust us... you'll be thankful you did. These bowls make for an easy clean up as well. Be sure to wash out daily to prevent the growth of bacteria.
Collar and Leash For your pup’s first few collars, pick up an adjustable nylon type(soft). The collar should fit snugly so it won't slip off, but should not be too tight; you should be able to fit two fingers between the collar and the pup's neck. As your puppy gets older, you can expect to buy several collars as he/she outgrows them. Plan to use a 4-foot leash with your puppy at first; this makes obedience training much easier, as they advance in their training, you’ll use longer leashes.
Crates/Puppy Pens When choosing a crate or carrier, make sure that your pup can stand up, lie down, turn around, and stretch inside. Though dogs prefer to have a close-in den-like space, they also need room to feel comfortable.It is all up to you what size you initially buy for your puppy, but always consider the size your pup will be when full grown when buying a crate, unless you plan on upgrading to a larger size later on. A crate/puppy pen makes a great place for your puppy to be safely contained while you can't watch him. A wire crate offers your puppy a good sense of security while still being in the thick of things going on around him. If you buy a wire crate, you may also want to buy a crate cover and soft bedding to go inside. A crate cover gives your puppy the feeling of being safe.
Doggie Gates These are extremely useful and will keep your curious little pup out of rooms that you do not want him/her in.
Dog Bed The first night your puppy comes home, he/she’ll need a comfy bed to lay her head. While you’re house training him/her, you will have him/her sleep in his/her crate or kennel. If your pup tends to chew on their bedding and ingest some of the foam or stuffing, remove it immediately to prevent possible intestinal blockage. Offer her a blanket or towel to sleep on until s/he gets over their chewing phase.
Bristle brush-Even though s/he’s still young, your puppy will need to be groomed and learn how to behave during the process. His/her coat will need regular washing, combing and brushing. Make sure to be gentle, your puppies skin is sensitive.
Shampoo-You should look for a shampoo that is specifically designed for younger dogs. Puppy shampoos are typically gentler, and made with a no-tear formula that won’t irritate if it gets in the eyes.
Nail Clippers-A good quality nail trimmer is crucial. Puppies nails grow very quickly and need to be trimmed often. Buy a nail trimmer that is designed for puppies and dogs and be very careful when trimming your puppies nails as to not clip into what is known as the quick. If you cut into the quick it will be very painful for your dog and they may become afraid of getting their nails trimmed in the future. If you are worried about trimming your pups nails on your own then try taking him to a licensed groomer, most will trim them for $10 or less.
Treats for Training Do not buy your puppy store bought treats. Report's show that many puppies get sick and sometimes die from processed treats. Instead give him the real thing. Bacon, chicken, meat, cheese, vegetables, etc. But don't over do it, this can lead to obesity. Our favorite treats to use are bacon pieces and dried liver. (These make excellent tools for training)
TOYS TOYS and even MORE TOYS We recommend buying at least 2 chew toys for your puppy. The more you buy the better and the less likely your new pup will be chewing on the furniture, shoes, etc.. Always make sure you give your puppy safe chew toys. Despite all the toy choices at your local pet store, you should only offer your puppy strong, durable, well-made toys that are sized appropriately for him. (ropes, REAL rawhide, hard rubber toys, fetch balls are some we recommend) If your puppy does destroy a toy (and he probably will!), remove the damaged toy immediately. Exposed squeakers can be dangerous, as are stuffing, frayed rope toy strands, and small torn-off pieces that can be ingested.
As another recommendation... we like deer antlers, they are highly durable, organic, and great for a dogs teeth. (Please note, we said DOG-not puppy... don't give your puppy antlers till they loose their baby teeth and grow in their adult teeth)
VERY IMPORTANT-PLEASE NOTE: Unless you are using your dog to hunt, we HIGHLY suggest against squeaky toys. They are a big no-no since they make noise similar to the sounds of an animal that is hurt. This will nurture our puppy's prey instinct as well as teach him/her that any squeaky, high pitch sound needs to be bitten and played with. (EX. your baby, child, or small animal-cats, chickens, kid goats, squirrels, ect.)
Where are you located? We are in the process of moving! (Not too far away, right outside of Lockhart) Currently, we are conveniently located just 30 minutes out of Austin, TX in Lockhart, right off of HWY 183.
Should I get a Male or Female? This is strictly a matter of preference. Although German Shepherds make wonderful dogs and amazing companions of either gender, here's a little incite that you might want to take into consideration. I'm not saying this is rule of thumb, but it's information to take in before choosing a male or female. Both genders are protective and loving, but generally males are more "territorial" and protective of the home/property, while females are generally more protective of "her pack" the individuals in the family, as well as more affectionate. German Shepherd Males:
Generally, the German shepherd male is larger in size and more masculine in structure.
The size and the masculinity of the male, most often is intimidating to strangers.
German shepherd males are generally more territorial of their location. The marking of the territory can be a problem. How-ever, if trained properly, the problem can be controlled.(Neutering sometimes helps lighten this problem)
German shepherd males will go further to explore their territory when scent of female in heat is near. (Which is why if he is not going to be used for breeding, he should be neutered)
German Shepherd Females:
The female German shepherd should be smaller in size and feminine in structure.
Female German shepherd have the "pack" instinct. They will be protective of their family more so then males. (This instinct will sometimes cause her to be jealous among the other dogs in the household)
If the female German shepherd is not intended for breeding, she should be spayed.
The female dog is ideal for a family, will protect her family (her pack)with a much stronger desire then the male.
What do you recommend with a family of small children? Female. I'm not saying a male is out of the question, but females have more of the mothering instinct (to tolerate more from young children). However, Male puppies are good with small children too. Especially if they are brought up with small children at a young age.
How much are your puppies? That will vary slightly from litter to litter with several things that we have to consider. (Pedigree, personalities, size, intelligence) Generally, our puppies range currently from $1,500-$4,500.
Can I get a discount? I don't want to breed or show my puppy. We are more then happy to place your quality puppy in a loving home where their job is strictly to be a beautiful, intelligent companion. However, it does not change the quality of the puppy, and the price remains the same.
Why are the prices they way they are? Now is NOT the time to look for "a bargain" you are investing in a 10-15 year comment on a new family member. Justifying the cost: If you are looking for cheap quality or a cheap puppy, unfortunately you've came to the wrong place. We do NOT want our puppies to end up at the pound or abandoned. Us as humans have a natural tendency not care for something we get at a "good deal" on (cheap), so when spending a little more on something, it proves we care and will take care of our investment more. We at Big Red Texas German Shepherds Ranch want forever loving homes for our puppies. Which is why if for some reason you are no longer able to keep your puppy/dog, we ask you give him/her back to Big Red Texas German Shepherds Ranch. We breed only top quality dogs. If you look into our dog's pedigrees, you will see many VA, V, SG, IPO, Schutzhund titles in their pedigrees. What does that mean? It means all of these dogs have proven themselves of sound temperaments and superior intelligence. We spend a lot of time striving to produce our clientele with the best of the best. We want to provide you with peace of mind that you and your family are safe and happy being guarded by the finest German Shepherd, insuring your investment is well worth the cost, with lasting quality for many years to come.
Do you ship? Absolutely! Although we have German Shepherd puppies for sale in Texas, arrangements can be made to ship and sell a puppy to any state within the 48 contiguous states. Please visit our "Puppies For Sale" page to see what German Shepherd puppies we have available now. $500 shipping a puppy $800 shipping an adult (PLEASE NOTE: Prices are subject to change due to airline fee increase)
What is included with my puppy purchase?
2 Year Hip Guarantee
First Puppy Vaccinations
AKC Registration Papers
What do you feed your dogs and puppies? For Adults: Victor Dog Food "VICTOR SELECT PROFESSIONAL FORMULA" For puppies we use and recommend "VICTOR GRAIN FREE ACTIVE DOG & PUPPY"
How much should I feed my puppy? Puppies need to eat a lot–but no too much. You should be able to feel but not see their ribs, and they should have a visible waist when you look down at them. In general, you should follow the guidelines on the back of the bag of dog food, and adjust up or down depending on your puppy’s appetite and body condition. A good rule of thumb: Watch the dog, not the bowl.
8 weeks - 6 months of age, your puppy should be eating three to four times a day. Although it's better for your puppy to eat 3-4 meals a day, your puppy doesn’t have to eat that many times. So if you have a hectic schedule, feed him only twice a day, just divide the amount of food you’d normally give into two meals instead of 3-4.
6 months of age you should reduce the number of meals to 2. Following guidelines provided by the food manufacturer, (as there is a different calorie count in every dog food formula) adjusting as needed. If you’re feeding too much, most dogs will let you know by not finishing their meal portion, leaving some food in their bowl.
When can I switch my puppy over to adult food? Start gradually(about 7-10 days) changing over your puppies' diet at about a year. (There is a lot of different opinions on this matter, if you ask 10 different breeders, you'll probably get 10 different answers, but 1 year has worked well for us) Once your German Shepherd puppy has reached the stage to change him over to adult food, gradually begin changing his diet over the course of a week. Below, is not strict rule, but a helpful guideline.
1/4 adult food and 3/4 puppy food for several days (about 2 to 4 days).
1/2 adult food and 1/2 puppy food for several days (about 4-5 days).
3/4 adult food and 1/4 puppy food each meal (5 to 7 days or so).
Once above steps are completed, you can give your puppy nothing but adult food.
Don't start feeding your puppy adult food in just one meal or so. That's just asking for trouble. Here's why.. there's a really good reason for this slow transition from one type of dog food to another - to avoid upsetting your dog's intestinal tract or causing diarrhea.
When can I take my puppy home? Any time after puppy is 8 weeks of age, and puppy has been paid in full. This insures puppy is fully weened, no longer needing to rely on Mama's milk nutrients.
Can you guarantee that my puppy won't have hip problems? We offer a two year guarantee for crippling hip and/or elbow dysplasia. We do not require that you return your puppy or have him/her put to sleep. We do, however, require that the puppy be spayed/neutered if not returned before receiving replacement puppy. No breeder in the world can guarantee that the puppies won't develop dysplasia, and if they do... beware. Hip dysplasia is considered to be polygenic and is also influenced by environmental factors. That means that it's caused by a combination of genes that may not show up in any litter previously. No matter the certifications in the pedigree it is possible that your puppy could be predisposed to hip dysplasia. Treatments (both surgical and drug) can be done early to alleviate problems down the line. If in doubt, find an orthopedic specialist. Be wary of a breeder that says their puppies will definitely not have hip problems. It's rare, but a possibility.
Why are my puppies ears not standing? Although some puppies' ears stand as early as 8-10 weeks, don't be concerned if your pup's ears don't stand until 6-7 months (especially pups with large ears) after teething. Some cases up to 1 year. Don't excessively pet or massage your puppies' ears backwards before they stand. Although people often do this by nature, it can damage the cartilage in your pup's ears which can affect the ear carriage. Leave your puppies' ears alone, and they will stand up on their own.
Do you socialize your pups? Absolutely! Socialization is the process of exposing puppies to new environments and situations. Why is that important? Well socialized puppies are typically friendlier, more predictable and able to handle stress better than a puppy who is not socialized, often times becoming shy, anxious, because of lacking the skills to cope with new situations. We introduce our puppies to a variety of different new experiences. Some examples include... Kids (ages ranging from babies to early teens) Parks & Rivers Other dogs (young and old) Larger animals (horses and donkeys) Car rides ...and the list goes on. This helps him/her to be an overall happier, confident, more balanced companion for their new family.
When should I Spay/Neuter my puppy? There are a lot of different opinions on this subject. We recommend AT THE VERY LEAST after 12 months(1 Year), preferably later(14-16 months). This gives your puppy time to grow and develop, physically as well as with hormones in a young dog. It has been known to stunt a puppy's growth by early spaying/neutering.