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German Shepherd Information


With more than 30 years of experience working with dogs, the experts at Nobleheim German Shepherds have decades of knowledge on how to choose, raise and care for the German shepherd breed.


German shepherds from Nobleheim are guaranteed to be healthy and well-behaved pups, and should become great and beloved members of any family. Known as great companions and even as protection dogs for your home or livestock, these well-tempered dogs are full of their own unique personality and character.


For questions about Schutzhund training to temperament of puppies, the links on this page offer details on a wide variety of common issues and concerns. Our resources can help with house training, providing a safe environment or socialization tips and techniques.


This page contains a wealth of information to help in the decision-making process, day-to-day care and common behavior modification and training techniques. While the resources here are a great start, your experiences and questions may go beyond what can be answered here. Contact us for more information or any questions you may have.

Considering a Puppy

Any breed of dog depends on it’s human partner/owner to care for them and to provide the necessary means to fulfill their needs in any condition and of course to adore and love them for life. This dependency is rewarded many, many times over with your dog’s unquestioned devotion and heart-felt affection not to mention the respect and the love you receive.


A dog quickly becomes a family member and as such it must be able to fit in with the family’s lifestyle. If it is the wrong breed of dog, brought home for the wrong reason, and/or one that fails to meet your expectations, then instead of the animal becoming a beloved member of the family, it could become a burden and an outcast. With careful consideration about the needs and requirements of different breeds and thought as to how this pertains to your own lifestyle, the end result will be four-legged loving companion, a family member that will bring you much joy and happiness for years to come and treasure a lifetime.


There are 147 different AKC recognized breeds of dogs and counting. These dogs come in many shapes, color, type and sizes. Some breeds have longer hair, others are short haired; some need lots of room to run, others just a small yard; some require laps to sit in, others are more independent. Before bringing a dog home to become a part of your family. You should ask yourself the following questions and write down the answers. Then seek a dog that best meets your responses.


  • do you know how big it will grow.

  • do you have enough room, both inside and outside, to meet its exercise needs.

  • do you know how active it will be.

  • will its temperament and personality fit your own.

  • will it constantly need attention.

  • do you have the time to train the puppy.

  • is it easy to housebreak.

  • are you prepared to forego other activities in order to tend to the pup’s needs.

  • can you afford the necessary vaccinations and visits to the veterinarian.

  • can you provide sufficient daily exercise routines for the dog.

  • do you have time to spend taking care of the dog’s emotional needs.

  • are there special dietary needs.

  • are there any health problems that you should consider and be aware of.

  • do you have a safe place to keep the dog when you are not at home.

  • will its coat require special care and professional grooming.

Character Traits

German Shepherd Character Traits to look for when searching for a new puppy:



    • Trainability is a psychological character trait. It is generally seen in one or both of two ways. The first is the spontaneous attempt to perform the will of the pack leader or handler. The second is the number of behaviors that can be learned. Trainability can be described as a willingness to comply and an eagerness to learn new tasks.


    • This trait is both psychological and physiological. It is a physical and/or mental resiliency to unpleasant experiences. Hardness is easily understood when compared with a pain threshold. A dog with a high degree of hardness can receive a tremendous amount of pain and stress with little lasting negative effect. It also means the dog will need stronger corrections when disobedient. Physiologically, hardness is in direct relation to the thickness of the sheathing around the nerve fibers in the dog’s body; the thicker the nerve sheathing, the harder the dog. High arousal levels in a hard dog will increase its hardness to the point that corrections become almost totally ineffective.


    • Softness is the opposite of hardness and is the natural state of the wild dog. Nature has dictated softness as a survival trait. The soft dog perceives pain and stress more intensely than the average dog. A dog with a high level of softness often associates the location of a painful or stressful experience with the experience itself. It may never go back to an area where it received a traumatic experience. For example, if a soft dog stepped on a bee and got stung it may walk around that spot on the lawn for hours if not days before the effect wears off.


    • Simply put, courage is the absence of fear toward real or imagined danger. This trait is psychological and wholly based in genetics. A dog is either born with courage or without. Courage has been bred into some dogs or more to the point, fear has been bred out. Since the natural state of the dog is soft and fearful, the hard courageous dog that we breed for goes against the natural order of things and would not survive long in the wild.


    • Confidence is a psychological trait that is environmentally influenced. It is in essence, brainwashing. Confidence is convincing the dog through training that he is more courageous than he was born to be. We build confidence like we build muscle. Take the dog to a moderate level of stress in training and then let him win. This lets him learn that fighting through the stress will be rewarded by the stress being removed. Over time the dog will believe in himself more and more. The important point to remember is that there is a crisis point where it all falls apart. If the dog reaches a level of stress that is beyond what he has been trained to accept, it will revert to its true character.


    • Sharpness is a trait that is psychological but genetically based. It is the tendency to react to stressful situations with aggressive behavior. An example would be a dog that when startled bites without warning. This same dog would then realize its mistake and return to its normal self. Sharpness is based in fear.


    • Temperament is a trait that is psychological but genetically based. It can be influenced significantly by the environment. Temperament is described by adjectives such as full, moderate or poor. A full temperament means the dog has a zesty attitude and is full of life. A poor temperament describes a dog that is sluggish and lethargic.


    • Threshold Sensory threshold is a trait that is totally genetic. This describes the amount of stimulus that is necessary to elicit a response from a dog. A dog with a low sensory threshold will take very little to stimulate it. It will be more likely to whine and even scream during agitation. It will have a tendency to over stimulate and this can bring out any feral tendency that may be present. A dog with a high sensory threshold will seem somewhat dull and take longer to “warm up.


    • This trait is primarily genetic but can be environmentally exacerbated. It can be confused with rank drive or fight drive. Both of these drives can prompt the dog to engage in combat regardless of the opponent, man or animal. Dogfight tendency focuses on dogs only. It is completely possible to have a dog that is totally safe with its handler or strangers, even infants, but will attack another dog as if obsessed. Normally a male will not attack a female or a puppy; however, Dogfight tendency is exhibited regardless of the sex or age of the other dog. Dogfight tendency differs from rank and fight drive in another way. In rank and fight drive encounters the victorious dog will eventually allow the loser to escape. In an encounter that has a victor motivated by dogfight tendency it will end in the death of the loser.


    • Distractibility is genetically based but environmentally influenced. It describes the tendency to be easily diverted from a task. This becomes a real issue when the dog enters the proofing phase of training where high distraction is introduced. A dog with a high level of distractibility requires an abnormal amount of training to maintain competency.


    • Agility is a trait that describes the natural speed, surefootedness and coordination of the dog. An example of agility is the dog that pursues at breakneck speed and can turn on a dime if the suspect tries to sidestep its pursuit.


    • This physical trait describes the tone and general muscle condition of the dog. A dog with good physical endurance expends less energy as it works, thereby enabling a greater quantity of work in a given time. Physical conditioning or exercise will increase physical endurance.


    • This is the desire to bring prey back to the pack leader. This is often exhibited in the dog that will bring the stick or ball back to the handler over and over and often just drop it at the handler’s feet. This dog gets its satisfaction from the delivery of the prey. The dog that brings it back and doesn’t want to give it up is not showing this drive or is conflicted in some way. Retrieve drive can be very useful in motivating training, especially detection work.

Picking a Puppy

The “Pick of the Litter” is very important in determining what type of dog your looking for and what purpose the dog will serve for you and/or your family?Those with some knowledge most likely know that it means “the first pick puppy”, it does not however mean the best puppy in the litter for YOU.


Please be certain and consider wisely for what purpose will your dog have in his new home and environment. If you are not looking to show your German shepherd dog or use him/her in your breeding program  then your chances are far better in choosing the right puppy that best fit your needs and your lifestyle, this would be the PICK puppy for you and the best puppy as well.


No need to worry which pick order you have, simply tell your breeder your intension in reserving your puppy and your over-all plans with your puppy and let the breeder pick the right puppy for you. After-all the breeder of the litter has first hand knowledge on the over-all characteristics, drive and personality of each puppy and he can determine the “pick” puppy for you (your pick puppy).


It is in the best interest of the breeder to provide you with the correct puppy for your need and for what you  requested, as this procedure will make everyone happy and happy customers will refer the breeder to new future customers. This is GOOD for everyone.


If for some reason you do not feel that the breeder has your best interest at heart and you do not trust him/her in picking the “pick” puppy for you as requested, then you should never do business with that breeder. As the breeder/client relationship is crucial for you and your new puppy’s future because you will have many questions and your breeder will have many answers.

  • A family pet may be the one who is most laid back, does not lack confident with an excellent “sound” temperament.

  • A competition quality dog (show or schutzhund) must have balanced temperament, with show conformation and breed standards on both parents. Should possess strong character and drive. Alert and willing to please attitude.

  • A breeding quality dog should have an excellent pedigree with dam and sire in the champion position. The genetics of this litter should have an excellent health records. The puppies should have a confident character, both drives, positive aggression and super sound temperament. The parents should be within the breed standards with rich pigments (even at an older age).

  • The grand parent are the key in breeding super dogs. Obviously, you would want to know who the grandparents are as-well.

Bringing Puppy Home

When you bring a new German Shepherd puppy home, you need to start out with the right attitude. The first few weeks of your new German Shepherd puppy’s life with you will be very busy and demanding. There may be times when you wonder if getting a new puppy was such a good idea. Things will go better if you have patience and keep your sense of humor. Remember that puppyhood only happens once. The extra effort you put into it now with your German Shepherd puppy will pay off in the future.

Supplies for your German Shepherd puppy that you will need:

  • Wire or plastic dog crate.


  • Stainless steel food & water dishes (4-5 cups size).


  • Buckle puppy collar & leash.


  • ID Tag with your phone number to wear on the collar.


  • Slick wire brush (Furminator brush after 8 months old.


  • ORIJEN Large breed puppy food


  • “Bitter Apple,” a safe spray-on product to discourage chewing.


  • A wire, wooden or plastic baby gate for blocking doorways.


  • Books on puppy care & training. Read through them before bringing your German shepherd puppy. Check out several of them for free from library.

Puppy Proof Your Home

Raising a German Shepherd puppy is a lot like raising a small child. They get into everything and anything you can’t think of!


Some of what they get into can be hazardous to their health, like electrical cords, or damaging to your possessions, like shoes and clothes.


You can make life safer for your  German Shepherd puppy by getting rid of hazards and temptations ahead of time. To a puppy, the world is brand new and fascinating! He’s seeing it all for the very first time and absolutely everything must be thoroughly investigated.


German Shepherd Puppies do most of their investigating with their mouths — “Look at this! What is it? Is it something to eat? Is it something to play with?” Murphy’s Law says that a puppy will be most attracted to the things he should least have — electrical cords, the fringe on your expensive oriental rug, your brand new running shoes, etc. Preventing destructive and dangerous chewing is easier than trying to correct the puppy every second.


Look around your home. What objects could be put up out of the way of a curious puppy? Bitter Apple spray can be applied to furniture legs, woodwork and other immovable items. Are there rooms your puppy should be restricted from entering until he’s better trained and more reliable? Install a baby gate or keep the doors to those rooms closed. Take a walk around your yard looking for potential hazards that your German Shepherd puppy.


If your yard is fenced, check the boundaries and gates for openings that could be potential escape routes. German Shepherd puppies can get through smaller places than an adult dog. If your yard’s not fenced, make a resolution right now that your puppy will never be allowed to run off lead without close supervision. He won’t ever know enough to look both ways before crossing the street to chase a squirrel. Keep him safe by keeping him on leash!

Keep Your Puppy on a Schedule

Work out a schedule for you and for your puppy. House training a German Shepherd puppy is much easier when the puppy’s meals, exercise and playtimes are on a regular schedule throughout the day.

German Shepherd Puppies Own Place

Decide where to put the dog crate, and have it set up and ready for your puppy’s arrival. Where to keep the crate will depend on what’s most convenient for you as well as the puppy’s response. Many German Shepherd puppies don’t like to be isolated in one part of the house while their family is in another but some puppies won’t settled down in their crates if there’s too much activity going on around them. You might have to experiment with different locations until you learn what works best for both you and the puppy.

House Training Your New German Shepherd Puppy

Baby puppies, under three months of age, have limited bladder control and reflexes. They usually don’t know they’re going to go until the moment they do! It’s not realistic to expect them to tell you ahead of time. If you’re observant, you’ll see that a puppy who’s looking for a place to go potty will suddenly circle about while sniffing the floor. The sniffing is instinct he’s looking for a place that’s already been used. If he can’t find one, he’ll start one! By preventing accidents in the house, you’ll teach him that the only appropriate bathroom is the one outside!


Ideally, you’re reading this before you’ve brought your new puppy home. If you already have your puppy, just pick up the schedule at an appropriate place.


Set up a dog crate or small, confined area (the smaller the better.) Using a dog crate will be more effective. The size of the crate is important because if it’s too large, the puppy will have room to use one end as a bathroom.


If you’ve bought a crate for him to grow into, you can also get dividers to reduce the inner space while he’s small. If he must be left alone while you’re at work, then a larger crate is okay. Put a stack of newspapers at one end for him to use when you can’t be home to let him out.


Also in the crate should be a water dish (you can get one that attaches to the side of the crate and is harder to spill), sleeping pad and a bone or chewing toy. Put the crate where he isn’t far away from the family. If you’re using a confined area instead, a baby gate across the doorway is preferable to closing the door and isolating your puppy.


Your puppy might not like the crate at first. Don’t give in to his complaining or tantrums! If you’re sure he isn’t hungry or has to go potty, ignore his yowling.Eventually your German shepherd puppy will settle down and sleep which is what crates are for! If you give a tempting treat every time you put the dog in his crate, he’ll soon look forward to going in.


The crate is intended to be his sleeping and feeding place and is where he should be when you can’t keep a close eye on him. If you give him the run of the house at this age, you can expect accidents! Dogs instinctively keep their sleeping areas clean. If you’ve allowed him to go potty when he needs to, he won’t dirty his crate if he can help it. Once he’s developed better control, he won’t need the newspapers unless you’re going to be gone all day. Change the papers several times a day if they’ve been soiled.

Your Puppy's FIrst Night Home

Get off on the right foot at the beginning! Carry the puppy from your car to the yard. Set him on the grass and let him stay there until he potties. When he does, tell him how wonderful he is! After bringing the pup inside, you can play with him for an hour. Plan on taking the puppy outside every two hours (at least) while he’s awake. Don’t wait for him to tell you that he has to go!

Feed your German Shepherd puppy in his crate

Don’t let him out for half an hour and when you do, carry him outside to potty before you do anything else. Wait for him to have a bowel movement before bringing him back in. Some pups get their jobs done quickly; others may take half an hour. If he’s being slow, walk around the yard encouraging him to follow you. Walking tends to get things moving, so to speak!


Always take your German Shepherd puppy outside first thing when you let him out of the crate and always CARRY the puppy to the door!! This is important. Puppies seem to have a reflex peeing action that takes affect the moment they step out of the crate onto your carpeting. If you let him walk to the door, he’ll probably have an accident before he gets there. Part of this training method is psychological you want the puppy to feel grass under his feet when he goes to the bathroom, not your carpeting!


After another short play period, take the pup outside before bedtime, and then tuck him into his crate for the night. If he cries during the night, he probably has to go out. Carry him outside to potty, and then put him back in the crate with a minimum of cuddling. If you play with him, he might decide he doesn’t want to go back to sleep! Puppies usually sleep through the night within a few days.


Establish a regular schedule of potty trips and feedings for your German shepherd puppy.


This helps you to control the times he has to go out and prevent accidents in the house. First thing in the morning before you have your coffee carry the puppy outside. He can then come in and play for an hour. Feed breakfast in the crate and don’t let him out again for a half hour. Then carry him back outside for potty. Puppies usually have a bowel movement after each meal so give him time to accomplish it.


Now he can have another inside playtime for an hour or so. Don’t give him free run of the house, use baby gates or close doors to keep him out of rooms he shouldn’t go in. (Puppies are notorious for finding out of the way corners to have accidents in keep him in an area where you can watch him). If you give him too much freedom too soon, he’ll probably make a mistake. After playtime, take him outside again then tuck him into his crate for a nap.


Read below for creating a "Safe Enviroment" for your German Shepherd pup.


For the first few months , you’ll be feeding your German Shepherd puppy two meals per day.


Repeat the same procedure throughout the day: potty outside first thing in the morning, one hour playtime, potty, meal in crate, potty, playtime,then second meal,potty, etc.


The playtimes for your German Shepherd puppy can be lengthened as the puppy gets older and is more reliable. Eventually the puppy will be letting you know when he needs to go out but remember if you ignore his request or don’t move quickly he’ll have an accident!


I know this sounds like a lot of work and it is! The results of all this running’ in and out will pay off in a well-housebroken puppy and clean floors.


A word about paper-training:


It seems harmless to leave papers about just in case and for us who work all day, it’s a necessity. However, paper-training your pup will make the overall job of housetraining that much harder and take longer. By only allowing the pup to relieve itself outside, you’re teaching it that it’s not acceptable to use the house. Using newspapers will override this training. Also, be aware that many puppies get the notion that going potty NEAR the papers is as good as going ON them! If you must use newspapers when you’re gone, keep to the regular housetraining schedule when you’re at home. Get the puppy outside often enough and don’t leave papers out just in case.


Keep your dog’s yard picked up and free of old stools. Many dogs choose an area to use as a bathroom. If left to become filthy, they’ll refuse to use it and do their business in the house instead! If your dog has to be tied up when he’s outside, keeping the area clean is even more critical. If you could only move about in a small area, you wouldn’t want to lie next to the toilet, would you? Picking up stools helps you keep tabs on your dog’s health as well. Your German Shepherd puppy stool should be firm and fairly dry. Loose, sloppy stools can be an indication of Overfeeding , worms, health problems, stress or digestive upset after chewing something.


For more information read below on "House Training."

Ready to be Pack Leader for Your Puppy?

If you’ve decided to bring home a new German shepherd puppy, you have to be the pack leader. If your puppy is going to develop into a well-mannered new addition to your family, instead of a burden you need to be a pack leader.


Dominance, and German Shepherd puppy pack leadership are important concepts that every puppy owner has to comprehend in order for you to be a successful owner. Puppies are animals, not human beings. They are pack animals by nature. Every pack has a leader, known as the alpha, who dominates and leads the other members of the pack.


The German Shepherd pack leader is the boss who makes all the decisions for the entire pack. Usually the pack will have an alpha male and an alpha female. All the other members of the pack form a hierarchy of dominance and submission where everyone has a place.


In your home, you and your family become your puppy’s pack, as do any other dogs you may have. It is your responsibility to establish yourself in the alpha position. If you fail to do this, your German Shepherd puppy or dog will do it as a natural behavior. Many people assume that they are automatically in charge just because humans are superior to animals. But are you really the pack leader? Does your dog know it?


Being the pack leader does not mean you have to be big and aggressive, Nor does it mean that there has to be a battle of wills after which you are the victor. Anyone can be the pack leader. It is an attitude an air of authority. It is the basis for mutual respect, and provides the building blocks of communication between your German shepherd puppy and you.


A pack animal becomes a full fledged member of the group by a process called subordination.


With dogs, subordination begins shortly after the third week of life and continues throughout early development. Most normal, healthy puppies are basically pushy animals, and will try to advance as far as possible within the social order of the pack. The key to successfully rearing a puppy is to establish yourself as the pack leader and then maintain that position for the life of your dog.


So how do you become the pack leader? In the wild, the adults of the pack begin early to teach the cubs the rules. The adults grab pups around the head or neck and gently, but firmly, pin them to the ground. The cubs learn to greet the adults with respect by approaching them using a slightly crouching posture, with ears back, tail down and wagging, and they lick the adults’ muzzles. The cubs do this as a sign of respect and affection, not out of fear. It is called the submissive display, and its function is to keep peace and harmony within the pack.


Leadership exercises can confirm humans as the pack leader of the family pack. Once you establish this relationship, your puppy will seek you out. He will want to be with you and will treat you with respect and affection and will obey you.


After he learns to submit to handling, all other tasks such as grooming, nail clipping, cleaning ears, and medicating will be easier to accomplish. But first he must learn that you have the power to handle him, and that handling will not lead to any harm. He must come to trust you entirely. These exercises will help establish leadership but should not be used with an older dog who has learned to use his teeth to get his way. Exercises one and two are recommended only for small puppies up to three months of age. Exercises three and four are suitable for pups up to six months of age as long as there’s no problem with aggression. Be gentle but firm with all exercises, as you would with a baby human.


There are many German shepherd puppy pack leader activities you can use as part of a daily training routine.

Probably the single most important command your dog can learn is “sit.” You can incorporate “sit” into everyday situations as a reminder that you are in charge of things. Tell your German Shepherd puppy or dog to “sit” before you feed him, play, or he goes out the door.


This shows the dog that he must respond to you before indulging in his own pleasures. If he is obedience trained, put him in a down-stay while you prepare his dinner. Your dog will accept you as pack leader as long as you are consistent and fair in your demands.


If he does, a scruff shake is necessary, followed by no attention from you for 10 to 15 minutes. The scruff is the loose skin around the dog’s neck. If your pet growls or snaps and you are not afraid to handle him, grab him firmly by the scruff with both hands, stare him in the eyes, and shake him. Then put him in his crate for 15- 20 minutes and ignore him. When the issue is settled immediately, it usually ends the matter.

Crate Training for your German Shepherd puppy

Most important for your dog to be well behaved, is to get him to exercise everyday; tossing his favorite chew toy for a few minutes will burn some energy and make him a happier dog.


Crate training can be a great solution for German shepherd puppies before they become housetrained, suffer separation anxiety, misbehave when they are left alone or just need a safe, secure environment that they can go to when they need to seek comfort.


When a dog becomes used to their crate, they will go there to “escape” from activities in the house. Dogs are den animals by nature, and it is important that they are not bothered when they are in their crate. Training should be done in a series of small steps.

Puppy Behaviors

Information on German Shepherd Puppy Behavior:




    • This is the desire to have physical contact with the handler, family, or even other dogs. This behavior is mostly seen is younger dogs but can follow a dog through life. If a dog is properly socialized as a puppy it will retain this quality well into adulthood. . You can usually tell when two dogs are about to play by a specific signal that they use. It’s called Beckhov’s bow. Once a dog bows and the other accepts, the rank order is put aside and this allows for aggressive play that is understood by both parties to be just play. This drive can be used for motivating many forms of training.


    • prey drive is shown when dogs stalk and then pounce on imaginary prey such as twigs and rocks. They will pick things up and shake them, then carry them around so proudly. Other examples are “I’ll chase you then you chase me” and tug o’ war, often used to motivate obedience.


    • To the untrained eye rough play can sometimes be viewed as aggression when it is really just Puppy fight drive. Dogs prepare themselves for potential future battles by wrestling around as pups. They learn to dodge and spin and jump and roll. And all the while they are learning to inhibit their bites and control their aggression.


    • In Puppy guard drive a dog will get a prey object and tease another dog with it in order to get a game going and then make a great big deal out of ferociously guarding said object. All of these mock-drives prepare a dog for adulthood by allowing the pup to try these behaviors out.


    • This is the desire in the dog to raise his stature within the pack. A dog that has a high rank drive will try to work his way into the alpha position. The term alpha is a relative term. In any group of dogs one of them will be the alpha. That is the dog within that group with the highest rank drive combined with the most physical ability. This is the desire in the dog to raise his stature within the pack. A dog that has a high rank drive will try to work his way into the alpha position. The term alpha is a relative term. In any group of dogs one of them will be the alpha. That is the dog within that group with the highest rank drive combined with the most physical prowess. You could take that dog and put him in a group with dog’s that have yet even higher rank drive and he would not be alpha. Dogs with high rank drive are prone to trying to dominate every dog they come in contact with.They will have a tendency to fight for this dominance. A rank dog will in some instance also challenge the authority of the handler. This will most likely occur during corrections or when the dog feels it is being forced to do something against its will, especially the down command. The behavior will manifest itself as growling, snapping and even biting the handler when the handler presses these issues. The strange thing is that a dog can have fairly high levels of both a rank and subordinate drive.These dogs are driven to lead but willing to follow if a stronger leader is available.


    • This is the desire to accept the authority and will of the pack leader. This dog willingly obeys and is most comfortable when someone else is in charge. A dog with a high drive to subordinate could become an omega dog. The higher this drive the more submissive the dog will act. Extremely high levels could lead to submissive urination. This dog may seem to have been abused.


    • This is the desire to have social contact with the pack members. It is the mental aspect of the social drives. The dog seeks the company of others. This dog wants to hang out with anybody, other dogs, other people, and especially its handler. In higher levels this dog would follow you everywhere, be underfoot constantly, even waiting outside the bathroom door.

GSD Temperament with Cats

The thought of cats and dogs living together almost immediately elicits comic images of a “dog chasing cat” scenario. Although we have all seen the cartoons for decades, that isn’t necessarily the true nature of the relationship. According to the American Kennel Club’s 21st Century Dog Owners Study, 38% of dog owners also own cats. Despite being known for their differences, cats and dogs actually have quite a few similarities. They both mark and defend their territory and are natural predators. Cats and dogs can, however, coexist peacefully.


If a puppy and a kitten grow up together, the chances of them getting along are much higher than if they are introduced to one another at different life stages. Growing and maturing together teaches them to automatically accept the other, and live peacefully in the same household since neither of them knows it to be any different. They will learn to respect each other immediately and will most likely become the best of friends!


If getting a puppy and a kitten at the same time is not an option, don’t fret! Pets can still learn to coexist with one another. The initial introduction process must always be under supervision and should be very gradual so as to minimize the initial fear of each other as well as place less stress on each animal.


A good place to start is to confine the current pet, and allow the new one to wander the house at will.  This procedure introduces a new scent throughout the house. Then confine the new pet, and allow the current one to then wander to get used to the different scent in the house. Alternate turns, letting the one pet get used to the scent of the other. This will help train the original pet to accept the new pet as a part of the household.


Once this has been done, try confining the dog behind a fence or a baby gate (cats would simply jump over the confining gate) so that the two can approach and sniff each other as they wish.  If they choose not to get too close to each other, do not force the issue.


A cat will simply find a place to hide if it feels threatened.  The cat’s food and litter area should not be accessible by the dog. This must be an area that the cat feels safe to use without disturbance.


To prepare the dog for the cat, obedience training is critical since the dog is usually larger and stronger. Properly train the dog to learn basic commands and consider enrolling him in a training course like the AKC Canine Good Citizen program. If the cat happens to take the dominant role, the dog will quickly learn to avoid it.


Socialize both the cat and dog to things such as loud noises, guests and common household activities so they are less skittish around each other and are used to sudden movements and noises.


When the dog and cat feel comfortable with each other, they will make approaches to one another.  This should always be supervised to begin with, and it’s best that the dog be on a leash or held by the collar to maintain a certain distance between the two. Pay close attention to body language of both the dog and the cat.  If the cat is feeling threatened or scared, it will growl or hiss, swish its tail and possibly raise the fur on its back.  A dog will growl or snarl, and may raise the hair on its back or neck. If one of the animals seems overly frightened, take them both out of the situation and try again later.


Make sure that cats and dogs have plenty of time to become accustomed to each other. Never leave a dog and cat together unsupervised unless certain they are comfortable with each other and will coexist peacefully. Respect each animal’s desire to be alone.


If there is already an adult cat in the household, it may be easier for the cat to accept a more mature dog, since a puppy’s energetic antics could be overwhelming for the cat. Be sure to ask the breeder if the dog has shown a prey drive toward smaller animals such as cats, birds or other dogs; some breeds have a stronger prey drive than others. Think carefully about getting more than one dog since multiple dogs are more likely to gang up on and harass a cat. Ultimately, it may take a lot of time and training for cats and dogs to coexist peacefully. While they can certainly coexist, adequate research and consideration should be done prior to making the decision to add another pet to a household

GSD Temperament

The temperament is a term which describe a puppy/dog behavior. The temperament reveals the specific mental and emotional individuality of the puppy or dog. The temperament of a puppy behavior is likely to be inherited from it’s parents. Naturally, it could be improved and/or stimulated with the atmosphere, social events, hormones, distinctiveness of its breed, the attitude of its owner and many other factors. To evaluate the temperament of a German shepherd puppy you should focus on the parents first.



The dam (mother) and sire (father) must feel comfortable around you without posing aggression or shyness. If the puppies are fairly young, it is normal for the dam to show her protectiveness to protect her pups “only” if there is a threat from strangers – but if there is no danger present and the dam is barking, showing aggressiveness and/or demonstrates an unstable character with ready to attack violent behavior, this is an unstable female and most likely some of her puppies will inherit this not-so-clear in the head temperament with unpredictable character!



You should spent some time with both parents separately if possible. If you like what you see in the parents, you should then take some time evaluating which puppy you want and/or ask the breeder for a puppy profile form in which you can request certain temperament, drive and characteristics that you prefer in your new puppy. Your best bet is to pick a puppy that is a very close match to your request and who’s neither shy or overly confident (bully) as well. Pay attention to the breeder on how he/she interacts with the puppies.

Early Exposure

A German shepherd puppy should NOT be removed from its mother and littermates before 8 weeks of age (THIS IS THE LAW IN  ALL 50 STATES). If you get a puppy earlier then 8 weeks old, then you’re robbing your puppy of the most important socialization building period with the mother and siblings. Yes, the pup may be capable of leaving at 6 weeks old but if you want a well socialized puppy then it should remain with mom and littermates for another 2 weeks for a better dog social skills throughout the dog life. That’s when dog socializing goes on – during these weeks and with its littermates and other attending adult dogs, not with strange dogs from outside the pack during the next 2 months. There is no reason or need to trust other dogs at this point.


This leaves you with a total of 8 weeks that the puppy must be kept from other dogs (between 8 weeks and 16 weeks). This isn’t a very long time to “ruin” a dog in terms of dog socialization. This, as a matter of fact, is the most important time in bonding with YOU, not other dogs. The nice side effect of keeping your pup away from other dogs at this point is that it makes you spend more direct time with the dog. If you feel that you absolutely must have the pup socialize with other dogs during this period, reunite the pup with its littermates, its dam, or other members of its direct pack. If this isn’t possible, any other dogs in your own house will be sufficient. If you don’t have other dogs, then you shouldn’t go any further.


Pet fairs, dog events, contests, and doggie parks are the worst place to bring your pup before 16 weeks of age precisely because they have so many other dogs. I cringe every time I see a young one at any of these events. These are prime places for the communication of nasty diseases and increase the pup’s exposure 1000-fold. (Remember what happened when one kid in school got chicken pox?). There is almost always no vaccination requirement for these events. Infectious diseases such as kennel cough and the like run rampant at these places. Ask regular pet-event travelers how many times their dogs have “picked up” some cough or diarrhea at one of these affairs. For an adult dog, kennel cough is merely a nuisance. For a young pup, it may be life-threatening.


Just because any particular dog is vaccinated doesn’t mean it isn’t a carrier of a serious canine disease. The dog may be an asymptomatic carrier. Or, remember, disease agents can travel on, in, or with a dog, immunized or not.


An immunization prevents a dog from getting a disease – it doesn’t prevent it from carrying it. My dog may be vaccinated for parvo but still may harbor it in its feces, intestinal tract, in its paws, on its coat, wherever. Vaccinated dogs tend to go everywhere – especially where other non-vaccinated dogs roam.


Your neighbor’s dog may seem safe but when you consider that it goes down to the local park where all the non-vaccinated dogs wander, and defecate, and sneeze, etc. and then comes back to your house, your pup isn’t safe at all. Even people can bring parvo in on the bottom of their shoes or on their hands. This is why very few outside visitors should be allowed in the house when there is a litter present – you never know where they’ve been.

Importance of Dam

The German shepherd dam (mother) should be absolutely clear in the head (excellent temperament) and should have outstanding qualities in character and personality as she spends more time with her pups then anyone else prior to weaning the puppies. The dam (mother) plays an enormous role in the proper development in teaching her puppies these crucial lifelong imprinting in building of their confidence, bravery, alertness and human trust!


Before considering a German shepherd puppy, you should meet both parents (sire and dam) if possible, but if you could only meet one parent, it should definitely be the dam. Make sure she is clear in temperament (sound) and friendly, greets you with confidence, kindness and shows affection with trust towards you and your family. This is the real German shepherd mother.


If parent/s is barking in an aggressive manner to you or your family, start WALKING AWAY immediately. This is not the litter for you. Of course the breeder will tell you that the parents are being protective as you are strangers and she has puppies that she must protect. THIS IS NOT TRUE unless you or someone in your family is demonstrating and aggression towards her or her puppies, naturally the dogs must protect but if this is not the case, the barking parents is unclear and unsafe, which she will imprint this unwanted and undesired characteristics into her puppies.


I cannot emphasize how important the dam is to any breeder, as she contributes her absolute clear in the head character into her offspring’s.

Safe Environment

A German shepherd puppy is a very curious pup. He is an explorer and there-fore is looking to investigate his new surroundings. His mission is to smell, bite and taste any object that stimulates his curiosity. You must be very cautious and keep harmful objects and hazardous material away from your puppy. As a responsible dog owner, it is your responsibility to provide a safe and hazard free surrounding.


To make your home safe for your new German Shepherd eliminate potential hazards around the house and pay attention to the following items:


  • Keep breakable objects out of reach from your puppy.

  • Deny access to electrical cords by hiding or covering them.

  • Make outlets safe with plastic outlet plugs.

  • Safely store household chemicals away from the reach of you puppy.

  • In your garage be sure that engine lubricants and other poisonous chemicals (especially antifreeze) are safely stored.

  • If you own a pool or hot tub please, check the cover or the surrounding fence area to be sure they’re in good and safe condition.

  • If you provide your puppy with an outdoor kennel, you should position it in an area that provides plenty of sunlight and shelter.

  • Be sure the kennel is large enough to comfortably accommodate your puppy’s size (NOT ADULT SIZE).


Keep these AWAY from your puppy:


  • Poinsettias

  • Azaleas

  • Rhododendrons

  • Dumb Cane

  • Japanese Yew

  • Oleander Ivy

  • English Ivy among others.

House Training

House breaking you German shepherd puppy can be an easy process or difficult depending on the method you use. Prior to bringing home a new puppy you should have everything necessary to make house breaking easy and successful.


  • Purchase a small crate with a latching door (one crate per puppy). The crate will be used to limit the puppy when not (training) house breaking.

  • Buy a bag of small biscuits that can be broken into tiny bites (the size of an M&M peanut candy). Place inside a plastic bag or in a basket.

  • Have plenty of Dog Urine and Stain removing liquid. Liquid Enzyme products like Natures Miracle do not work at removing the marking scent left in a puppies urine accidents. It does remove stains on carpet thanks to the Isopropyl alcohol it uses. Something you can buy at the store for pennies. Make certain you use a product containing bacteria or active enzymes that are bacteria in a friendly name. Like Life’s Great Products, Bad Pup’pee Scent Retraining Aide.

  • Place a ding-ding (Christmas type) bell on a rope hanging from the door knob of the door where the puppy will use to go outside.

  • Make certain you have a long leash to attach to the puppies collar.

  • Have a Walkman style radio for you to listen to music while waiting for the puppy to go potty. Warm clothes, gloves, umbrella ready if necessary.

  • Decide on command words for the puppy. Single words to represent: Go Potty, and praise.


The following house breaking approach will house break most puppies (5-9 weeks old) in three to four days. You must be diligent for this method to work. Using the steps for a few hours and skipping a day or two will not lead to a house-broken puppy in a short period of time. The age of the puppy and breed can also alter the time necessary to house break a puppy.


Do not attempt to paper train a puppy. This approach confuses a puppy when it is time to outside train. From the moment the puppy comes home you have to begin the outside training process. Select a door where the puppy will go to be let outside. This door must be where someone in the family will hear the dog. A door far from where the family spends its time will not work. You have to hear the dog request to go outside. Whether using a bell or the dog scratching you must be able to hear the puppy. Place the crate in a location where the dog will sleep at night. A warm location where it will not see you when not being cared for. It is your choice to place a pillow or towel inside the crate. Normally puppies’ will not soil their sleeping area. But this is not always the case. A chew toy may be the best thing to place inside a crate and nothing else to save on clean up of messes.


Immediately upon bringing a puppy home, you take the dog on a leash to its spot to go potty. Never carry a puppy to its potty spot. When the puppy has reached the location where it is to go potty, use the command word selected and do not say any other word. Say, (example) “Poop! .” Then wait for the puppy to do something. Either urinate or fecate. This may take sometime. Wear the Walkman and listen to music while waiting. Immediately upon seeing the puppy complete its dropping or urinating, bend down and give the puppy a biscuit treat. Say a word selected for praise, (example) “Excellent!” Then wait for the puppy to complete the other half of its droppings and praise again with a treat. Only one treat per dropping and single word praise.


When finished, on its leash lead the puppy into the house through the door it will use to go in and outside. Do Not carry the puppy. Only use the leash. Inside the house play with the puppy for no more then five or ten minutes. Walk the puppy to its water and food dish. Allow the puppy to drink water. Play with the puppy for a few minutes and begin the house breaking method: Take the puppy on the leash to the door with the bell or door where the dog will scratch. Lean over and lift the puppies front paws to the bell or door and scratch the paws against the bell to ring or make a scratching sound. Praise the dog with its one word, “excellent!” Give the puppy a single treat and open the door. On its leash take the puppy to its potty spot and wait for it to urinate. After it does good, give the puppy a treat with its one word praise and walking the puppy, take back inside the house. Repeat this process for the next two to three hours. Placing the puppy in the crate after an outside inside play session is okay if the puppy must be left temporarily until you can complete the process. Never leave the puppy to roam the house when not engaged in house breaking. Always place the puppy in the crate without water or food when not house breaking. A chew toy is okay in the crate.


Immediately after removing the puppy from the crate, attach the leash and walk to the door. Lift its paws and use a one word praise, give treat and walk outside. If the puppy has an accident on the way to the door do not discipline. Take the puppy back to the crate and clean up the mess with Bad Pup’pee Retraining Spray. Never let the puppy see you clean up its mess, and this means never. Do not scold the puppy for having an accident. Do not use a newspaper to discipline or another punishment tool. Make certain everyone in the household and any friends or guests understand not to punish the puppy for an accident. Just place the puppy in the crate away from the accident. If the accident were inside the crate, then place the puppy in a bathroom while you clean up the mess inside the crate. Follow the directions on the bottle of liquid products. Do not wipe up immediately after applying as this will prevent the liquid from removing all traces of urine and pheromone’s left in an accident.


The steps again are: Take puppy outside after being in crate. Wait for potty then give treat and praise. Bring inside house to drink water and play for a few minutes. Take to door and repeat process. Do this non stop for the entire day. Do not get bored with process. Three to four days will likely have a house broken puppy. This will save you many dollars in urine and stain removing liquids and the mental anguish associated with house breaking a puppy.


Puppies have to fecate approximately twenty minutes after eating solid food or drinking water. Time your outside trips around this knowledge. Do not feed your puppy and take right to door and outside spot. Give them time to digest and process food. Play with them right before taking outside after eating. Always do repetitive treat-praise at the door. Ringing the bell with paws and using single word praise. Wait outside while they do their potty. Do not leave the puppy alone outside. Wait for them and observe that they have completed their steps. Give them a treat and word praise.


This process should take place for the entire next three to four days after bringing home a new puppy. At night right before going to bed, you take the puppy out for the last time. Inside the house place the puppy inside the crate without food or water. Close the crate door and go to bed. Do not let the puppy train you with moans and whimpering at night. Leave the puppy to adjust to its new environment. In the morning, go to the puppy and put the leash on the collar. Walk the puppy to the door quickly and begin the house breaking process again. Following all the before mentioned steps. If the puppy soiled its crate, cleanup the mess without bringing attention to the puppy that it had an accident. Remember to place the puppy someplace where it cannot see you clean up its mess. Ignore all accidents by getting frustrated yourself. Never scold the puppy for accidents. Just remember to remove the puppy from the area of the accident so it does not see you clean up the mess.


After a month or more when the puppy always goes to the door to go outside, begin to wean the puppy off treats. Skipping a treat every once in awhile. When the puppy is completely house broken you can wean them off the treats completely.


This approach violates many preconceived ideas of house breaking puppies’. Long time approaches to house breaking have proven to take weeks or months and even years to completely house break a new puppy. We have proven that this approach worked in just days or a week depending on the age and body development of the puppy. Some small puppies have bladders that cannot hold liquid for a long period. You have to gauge the right time for your new puppy to go potty. Twenty minutes may not be the right time to wait. Your puppy may go potty in twenty-seven minutes or fifteen. Work out in time what works best. Just remember to not give up on training the new puppy to follow a set procedure to let you know it wants to go outside. Do not use dog doors until the puppy knows its proper spot to go potty and not to go inside. If the puppy marks the inside of the house with accidents that are not cleaned up completely, it will use the pheromone in these accidents as the indicator of where it should leave its droppings. A puppy from birth use its mother’s pheromone scent in her urine as a method of finding its way home and the correct spot to go potty. Pheromone’s are like sticky mucous. Very difficult to remove and impossible to see. You have to use products specially developed to remove this sticky substance. Nearly all the stain and odor products sold in pet stores, grocery stores and janitorial companies do not remove the pheromone’s left in the puppies accident. Most of these products do a poor job permanently removing the urine and odors left in the carpet and floor after an accident.


You can use a Black light to find old urine accidents. This will at least give you the opportunity to find the source of smells inside the carpet. Remember even after a carpet cleaning by professional carpet cleaners, the pheromone’s are still in the carpet pad and flooring and on the back of the carpet. Carpet cleaning top treats carpet. Pheromone’s are like chewing gum in hair, and it sticks really well. Removing it is a specialized process. Puppies’ smell the pheromone’s left after a carpet cleaning and will go potty when they smell the scent.


Be diligent and your new puppy will be house broken in a short period of time.

Schutzhund Training

In all breeds, the dog’s pedigree is the main ingredient on determining the potential of the puppy. Schutzhund is working lines. The generation of dogs that have proven it-self and produced a similar quality in their offspring. These qualities include the physical structure, which is very important and naturally the temperament.


Choosing the correct bloodlines from which you want your puppy surely will require knowledge in the study of the dog’s pedigree. The breed surveys may help but it should not be the main focus of your selection. You should contact a reputable and experienced Schutzhund handlers or breeder to help in this process.


Once you have selected the preferred bloodlines of the potential dam and sire, you should study the parents, the mother in particular. The mother will guide the pups in the early stages between 4 to 6 weeks of the puppies early life stage. This is a crucial start in the characteristics of the puppies personality and the character in the years ahead. If the mother is unstable and nervous, the chances are this negative habit will show up on the offspring’s.


If you are able to observe the litter, evaluate the puppies together and separately. This will help you to determine which are the superior puppies from this litter.


Study the alertness, chasing an object (ball) with the instinct to hunt it’s prey. Shows some aggression towards it’s litter mates, fearless and obviously active, playing with objects that are in it’s surroundings. Should be the leader of the pack.


  • Isolate the puppy and you, get the puppies attention. Once the puppy is focus on you, simply walk away. The puppy should follow without any hesitation. Keep walking with the puppy and increase your speed. The puppy should follow comfortably.

  • Throw an object (ball) away from the puppy and watch it’s chase and retrieving ability.

  • If possible, run away and hide. (remember it is a puppy don’t make it too complicated for him/her to find you). If the puppy gets distracted make some sounds to motivate it.

  • Test it’s tracking ability by placing pieces of hot dogs on the ground, four feet apart, the puppy should be able to locate without any problems.


A puppy will learns from its experiences, so you should provide only positive ones. Allow your puppy with opportunity to explore and investigate new situations and surroundings (people) remember, always in a non-threatening manner. The objective is to build confidence with dominance for the sport.

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