Signed in as:
Signed in as:
Congratulations you have carefully researched breed choice and have chosen a reputable breeder (or rescue) to welcome home your new family member! It is a really exciting time while you await your pup. The “Timeline Section” that explains to you the development they go through and what you can expect for as they grow. Here is a checklist of what to prepare and consider BEFORE your little bundle arrives.
1. Get your finances in order so that your deposit and subsequent payment for the dog are prepared and on time. Save up not only for purchasing costs, but for all the supplies and care you will need when you first get your puppy.
2. Puppy proof your home. Check the fencing that it is secure and no gaps, get in the habit of keeping items off the floor and cords/hazards out of the way. Review if you have any plants/animals in the area that could be a danger to puppy. Establish where puppy will sleep and eat etc.
3. Familiarize yourself with the standard of care for your dog (general care, nutrition, training, ear posting, etc) Beyond what you consider basic pet ownership, there may be a few things your puppy or breed of dog may require. (For example: frequent grooming for Giant Schnauzers Socializing extensibility for Giants and German Shepherd dogs. Consistent nail care for all dogs. Specific nutrition requirements etc.) Ask your breeder and research if there is anything beyond the basics that you should prepare.
4. A really fun part.. shopping! Get all the needed supplies. (Collar, leash, food, bowls, bed, crate, toys, etc) We have an amazon list that is updated often: https://www.amazon.com/hz/wishlist/ls/3MWO8P6V2UFJU?ref_=wl_share
5. If you don’t already have a trusted Veterinarian, find a good vet near you that is accepting new clients. When you have dates available, schedule the first wellness exam within 72hrs of receiving your puppy, and from there schedule for vaccine updates. Ask them about flea/tick/parasite prevention specific to your area. …besides a day veterinarian, have on hand an emergency vet’s number just in case.
6. Find a good club, class, or trainer to do your puppy socialization and basic obedience class. Time it so that puppy has had all his/her vaccines before enrolling. We recommend to use the AKC.org site to search for AKC clubs in your area. The classes are positively oriented with knowledgeable instructors. They can teach basic obedience that will also be the best foundation for the future if you decide to try out some competitive obedience or agility courses. Those classes are also usually the most affordable, and get you connected with a whole community of dog lovers. If that is not available, your local parks & rec dept. may host classes or PetSmart/PetCo/pet specialty store. Just be certain that the training is positive based.
7. Determine right away where/who puppy will stay with if you have to leave unexpectedly or planning ahead for daycare or vacation stay needs.
8. Consider if you will have pet insurance for your dog. Check with the breeder if there are any they work with or recommend. Arrange this early because there are usually perks and discounts for puppies enrolled by 8 weeks of age. Our pups and kittens come with 30 days free insurance through TruPanion.
9. Have your record book all ready to go.
10. Discuss with family/household members expectations of care, responsibility, and “rules” for the new dog. Think about names too!
11. Schedule time off of work for when you first get your puppy so that you can acclimate them to their new home and be very close the first week or two. Arrange for a babysitter if needed just when you first pick up puppy. Have two people so that one can drive and the other can hold puppy. Bring a towel to hold them on in case they have an accident, but give them opportunity to bathroom before you take them home and first thing when you get them home.
12. When you get your puppy, don’t forget to follow up with the breeder! Let them know of any questions or concerns as they arise. Thank them as you develop a bond, love, and appreciation for your new pet. Share photos and milestones and new accomplishments! …if part of the Elegy Family, take a look at current news and events and welcome other new family!
As you are anxiously waiting, prepare all those things and get excited by connecting with other puppy owners through social media, visiting informative websites, reading/viewing articles or videos!
They are born with eyes shut and ears tightly shut too. They have dewclaws on their feet, flopping ears, and long tails - I think it looks like an "otter pup" with the tail! They nurse a tiny bit every one to two hours and grow very quickly at this stage. Between 3-5 days old the we will dock the tails
Not a whole lot has changed from birth but they do weigh a little more and can squirm around pretty good to find the best nursing. They are palm sized and can fit in your hand. The breeder should be interacting with them a lot from here on out, it is called "imprinting" when they handle the puppies from early age to get them used to human touch.
We handle feet, flip them gently and get them used to human interaction, as well as checking pups of over for issues.
By this time the eyes start to open, it will take awhile too for the ears to open up. They are just bigger than your hand, weighing a couple pounds by now usually. They can push up on their legs and almost "stand." This is the age when most breeders start the first set of deworming for mom and puppies.
This age they are now gaining mobility and can scoot/crawl around. They are gaining better vision and can recognize when mom is near. They are starting to get curious and explore, but still mostly sleeping/eating only. We add items to their whelping box to help them explore and get used to different textures.
The personalities are starting to show as they learn to walk and start to play a little with each other and their surroundings. Mom may start tapering off their nursing in preparation to be weaned. The breeder will introduce them to feedings now. A large pan of ground beef, milk (puppy formula)/water soaked dog food is placed on the floor a few times a day and they are encouraged to try some. This is called Gruel and the formulas we use depend on the nutritional needs of each litter. Also water dishes are put out for them to start drinking water on their own too. To this point mom has helped them poop and pee and cleaned it up but they are now doing it all on their own, the breeder has to step in and clean much more as we introduce a litter box and play items. Second dose of deworming for the puppies at this time as well.
The puppies are quite mobile and getting more interactive. Some toys and new objects are placed in the whelping box and they come out for play time during the day. They are being weaned by the mom in this stage so she may only come to check on them and nurse once or twice during the day, but is still usually staying through the night. They are eating their "mush" and drinking water. Weather permitting, they will start their first adventures outside and getting to see the world around them. We see their temperaments, structure and personality shine as they grow to this age. We introduce a crate in their pen that we encourage them to sleep in.
This week the puppies are fully weaned and eating food and drinking water all on their own several times a day.
They are now becoming quite needy for attention and interaction. They play, tussle, run, and hop about. At night they will wake and cry because they are just getting used to the new schedule of not having mom around for night feedings. A "babysitter dog" may step in throughout the day to interact with the puppies but who does not tolerate nursing advances, so that the puppies learn not to nurse on adult dogs anymore and also for socialization. They have their first vaccine as well, along with another deworming dose. We perform our first temperament test and do initial evaluations at this age.
Normally this is when the breeder will do formal temperament evaluations, such as the Volhard Puppy Aptitude Test. Each puppy is individually evaluated and then the notes and observations from the breeder compiled from the last 7 weeks. This will help determine personality and working aptitude for placement in their future families.
Week 8 is when the breeder will do a formal physical or conformation evaluation. This will help determine which puppies may have show potential and placement in their future families. They have their second vaccine and should weigh at least 10lbs for surgery, but most likely will be 12-20lbs.
Between 7-9 weeks they will have their ear crop scheduled, usually after each puppy has been designated to the best fitting home, that way the breeder knows which ones will have a show crop and which will have medium/pet crop for our Giant Schnauzers.
WEEK 9 - SIX MONTHS OLD
After 8 weeks old and after their ears are cropped, your puppy is ready to go home to you! This may be between 8-10 weeks (up to 12 weeks for puppies not placed yet) of age depending on what is arranged with you and the breeder. By this point they are eating, drinking, running, playing, etc and all are all ready for a home of just their own. They have gone in car rides, to the vet, outside and inside on different footings, had interaction with breeder's friends/helpers to socialize them, lots of toys, a bath as needed, and some crate exposure.
Basic obedience, potty training, and crate training begin!
The first few nights puppy will cry. It is his/her first time all on their own! Read more about training in the TRAINING section, but it is important to know when to comfort them and when to let them "cry it out." They will need lots of supervision so they don't get into mischief, and lots of attention. Puppy will start learning their new name right away. They will bond very quickly and become attached to their new family. They will need to eat at least three meals a day and go outside frequently for bathroom. There will be ear care required to re-post the tapes on the ears about every 3-5 days (or immediately if they come loose or get wet) for several weeks to come.
There will be a couple more vaccines required including the rabies vaccine at 12 weeks or older. Do not take them to public places (especially pet stores/parks/areas where other dogs have been) until the vaccine set is complete, otherwise they risk getting sick, even fatally sick.
The household routine and rules they start to get the hang of. Teething, when they loose their baby teeth and the adult teeth grow in, starts and they will want to chew. Provide acceptable chew toys and appropriately redirect when/if they go after something not desirable. You will probably find "little shark teeth" around the house.
By 6 months old they will have most if not all the adult teeth in, the ears will be standing or very close to (unless they have a longer crop), and they will be eating two meals a day, sleeping through the night, potty trained, and starting on their obedience. At this age it is very important to enroll them in socializing/obedience classes. Even if you are very experienced in training dogs, the puppy really needs the public interaction and exposure. Since they are fully vaccinated and immune system in good condition by this point, they are ready to go to class and on as many public outings as possible. Be careful when you introduce them to other dogs and people. Some puppies may need slow introduction. They should be confident and eager, but take care with the ones who need a little reassurance. You do not want to push your puppy into anything they are frightened or uncomfortable with. If you do, they will lose trust and security in you. Encourage and reward them for venturing out. Be extra careful when introducing to other dogs or animals. If the other dog/animal reacts unexpectedly and growls/bites/lunges toward your puppy, it could be a life scarring and traumatic experience. Just keep close eye and stay near so you can pick them up if needed. Puppy class is a safe environment and the instructor will monitor the interactions with you and also help with any questions on the upbringing and development of your puppy.
SEVEN MONTHS - 1 YEAR OLD
The next several months your puppy will continue to grow and mature. Females are near their adult full height and will continue to fill out over the next year. Males will grow and mature over the next year not reaching full height until 18mos approx.
They are mature and old enough "technically" for spay/neuter by now, discuss with the breeder and your veterinarian what is best in your dog's individual case. Spay/neuter is a "hot topic" of debate. We have gone well out of our way to read medically based research papers and statistics and to discuss with vets, other breeders, and specialists at the University. From my research I can only conclude that it must be on individual basis, it would not be healthy or ideal to spay/neuter prior to 6mos of age, and that as long as the behavior is manageable and there is no risk for accidental matings/pregnancies - let them develop as long as they can even up til 12-18mos of age if it is possible. If mating/pregnancy is a risk, or hormonal behavior becomes a problem, have them fixed sooner rather than later. Keep in mind females will have their first heat cycle usually between 6-8mos but many and for larger size it is more like 8-12mos of age. There are pros and cons to the decision so discuss with the breeder and your veterinarian.
1 YEAR OLD AND ON..
Happy Birthday! One year old is a special milestone, your puppy is now considered an "adult." They still have some physical and mental maturing. Enjoy the "prime years" of your dog. They may participate in show/working/performance venues and keep up with their family in all the activities. They will become very reliable and loyal companions. They will love and always desire to be near you and they will protect you. Make sure you give your Pup plenty of attention and exercise, good vet care, quality food, fresh water, toys and mental games like training or tricks.
At age two they may complete their health screenings. Each year thereafter requiring the annual updates. If the dog may be bred, this is a must. If the dog is a companion only, consider if you will do some/all of these tests so that you are fully aware of your Dog’s health.
At seven years old, by show standards they are in the "Veteran class." They might slow down a little physically, but usually stay young in heart and spirit. Heart problems and cancer are a concern for the aging Golden, and Giant Schnauzer. Cherish your years with those graying faces!
Bitches come in heat twice a year, approximately 6mos apart. The breeder will have a rough estimate when the heat cycle is expected and plan the breeding around that time. Some females are more predictable then others. The heat cycle lasts about a month. Mating is carefully planned around hormone testing involving progesterone and/or thyroid tests which will indicate when ovulation occurs.
The breeder will mark their calendar for approximate due date 62-63 days from the day of the first and last mating. At approximately 30 days an ultrasound to confirm pregnancy may be available.
Over the next weeks she will gain weight and begin to show, appetite increase, and frequency of urination will increase too. It is important to keep the mommy dog comfortable, well fed, and as little stress as possible. She should start sleeping and resting in her whelping box at this time so that she feels accustomed to it.
The puppies' bones will not be calcified enough to show up on an X-ray until day 55. At that time it is ideal for the breeder to have an X-ray taken so that they know approximately how many puppies to count for at birth (whelp) and if any are a risk in size/positioning.
The week of the due date the breeder will be watching 24/7, have all the whelping supplies on hand, and vet on call just in case. They will take her temperature every day that last week, and getting closer to the due date taking the temperature multiple times a day. It is not confirmed by formal scientific research but most breeders can use a drop in temperature as a fairly reliable indication that labor is coming. Normal dog's temperature is about 101.5, due to hormone levels the mommy dog will usually have a temp around 100 in the last trimester of pregnancy. When the breeder notices a drop to 98 degrees or lower, labor should start in 24hrs or less.
Whelping (birth) could start at any time of the day, but often at the most inconvenient hour. Signs of labor: pacing, dilated pupils, digging/burrowing/nesting, hiding in secluded/dark areas, panting, etc. The breeder will watch for these signs and when they begin will confine her to the whelping box area. It is handy to have a notebook and pen in the whelping area so that all activity can be recorded, including exactly what time each puppy comes. If any problems arise it will help the vet greatly to know where she is at. She will have contractions, they are visible in the abdominal area. The breeder should interfere as little as possible so that the "full mommy instincts" can kick in, but be prepared to assist as needed.
Puppies may be born with or without the sac, they need stimulated and mouth/nostrils cleared right away so that they start breathing. The mom will lick them lots and if she does a good job with the umbilical cord then the breeder should allow her to. Some moms need a little more assistance or are too rough with the cord so need the breeder to do it for them. Puppies can come quickly depending on contractions or they may take up to three hours in-between. If it is a large litter of 10 or more puppies, this could be a very long process! The breeder will watch to make sure each puppy is cleaned and nestled in, sex/color/markings/weight etc may be identified and recorded and each puppy marked with a colored ribbon collar. Having a puppy warming box is helpful to keep them cozy but separate from mom while she starts contractions and the next puppy arrives - that way they don't get squished if she moves around a lot and so they can stay cleaner. They will need to nurse every hour or two and as soon as they can nurse after birth the better, so the breeder will rotate them all and gather them back up before the next puppy is born usually.
Congratulations! The puppies are all born and mom and pups are safe and well. Of course we all want pictures/video/news but both breeder and mom are exhausted by this point, some rest and bonding time is in order. Some moms are more concerned and protective over their babies, while others readily accept the breeder to handle/remove puppies at will. It is important to keep watch over them all for the next critical 3-5 days making sure there is plenty of nutrition to mom and babies and warmth. There should not be any visitors yet and handling of the puppies kept at a minimum just to check weights/vitality.
A newborn puppy weighs on average between 5-20oz. They are born with eyes shut and ears tightly shut too. They have dewclaws on their feet, flopping ears, and long tails - I think it looks like an "otter pup" with the tail! They nurse a tiny bit every one to two hours and grow very quickly at this stage. For MAS and Giants Between 3-5 days old we will dock the tails at the second vertebrae and stitch it up, and closed with surgical glue.
Basic training & socialization is very important for any dog. Especially the breeds we work with. They are super smart so they learn all of this very quickly, they will also learn to "work the system" if you let them get away with bad/sloppy behaviors. Be firm, be kind, be consistent. Part of the daily exercise needed for any dog, is mental exercise, they LOVE to train!
"A trained dog is a happy dog!" and "There is no such thing as a bad dog, only bad handlers." You can tell a Dog’s mood by their tail. When the tail is up, they are up, they are happy/focused/alert. When the tail is down they are scared, unsure, or bored.
Training dogs is very simple when you think of it this way: Yes & No. That's it.
Only train when you are in a good mood to work with your dog. Remember that dogs can have good days and bad days, they're not robots. If your dog is having a "bad day" and struggling in their exercises, consider if they are feeling ill or hurt, if there is something new distracting them (a dog in season that has urinated on the training grounds, a stranger around the corner), if your energy/demeanor is too much pressure/intimidating or likewise too relaxed/no expectations. Just be in a good mood, be understanding, and use rewards and corrections to communicate. Keep training sessions short, 15 min twice a day is perfect. You can increase the time as the dog matures and progresses. But always keep it fun and engaging.
**Hitting, kicking, screaming, shoving, dragging, choking, withholding food, locking them away, etc are NEVER AN OPTION!! DO NOT HURT YOUR DOG, emotionally or physically, ever! The Doberman is so attached to you, they do not need extreme correction. They will lose trust in you, fear you, have low
self esteem, and may eventually react as any dog would. Regardless, it is just not kind. Also, do not ever use your dog's name as a negative correction.**
FOR DESIRABLE BEHAVIOR: When you start training something new, like sit for example, show them how to do it and IMMEDIATELY when they do or get close then mark the desirable thing by saying YES! and reward (treat or toy). In the beginning, before they know what the command is, reward them for any small improvement. Slowly increase your expectations to the point where you are only rewarding for the full command and not part of it. Do not scold them for not doing something they don't know yet. When they figure it out, "ah hah moment," REALLY praise them (extra treats, lots of praise). When they show many times that they know the command, try it in a new place or with one added distraction. Try not to overload them but just change small things in small progression. Expect to "re-learn" it. It is like a whole new exercise. Keep doing this until they can reliably do the command anywhere, any time, repeat repeat repeat. After that, THEN they really "know" the command.
FOR UNDESIRABLE BEHAVIOR: When your pup does something you do not want them to do, you have a few options to teach not to do it. It will depend on the severity of the offense, what else you are doing, and the character of your dog if they are really sensitive or if they are a bit hard headed. To correct undesirable behavior you can either ignore it (no treat, praise or reward), redirect it (immediately divert their attention toward something else good), or correct it (say NO, ah ah ah). Usually if you are working on a training session and they do the wrong move or don't do the command, that would be a time to ignore the behavior. They are still trying, they are unsure, they are doing other DESIRED behaviors just not the right one, so do not use NO. Just ignore it. They will see that gets them no reward so they will try something else. If you are playing with your dog and they start biting on your hand in play, this is a good time to redirect it. Give them a toy or rag, something that is desired to bite on, and praise them for biting the correct object. If your dog does a serious no-no, or something they know better, this would be a time for correction to say NO! Like if they jump on the counter, that is not ever allowed so say firmly NO! Dogs learn very quickly the NO word, don't overuse it or it won't mean anything. So depending on the situation and the dog, you might ignore, redirect, or correct. These are "negative" consequences that discourage the dog from repeating.
THE KEY IS TIMING: you have a very small window, less than a second, to show your dog that what they are doing RIGHT at that instance is either correct or wrong. If you are teaching your dog to sit, and they touch their behind to the floor for a quick second - they have just demonstrated sit. You want to tell them yes good job so they know they have done it. If you IMMEDIATELY say YES and reward as they do it, they will make the connection between their behavior and the reward. They will do that again. Whatever they are doing when they get the reward is what they think you want them to do. If you say YES and reward them after they have sat and stood up and are waiting, then you are rewarding them for standing and waiting. Another example.. if your dog has an accident and minutes later you find it, then you call the dog to you "Fido come!" They hesitantly come toward you and you say "Bad, No!" You have just scolded them for coming to you. They will not want to come to you again if the reward for their coming is a "bad dog." Instead, if they have an accident, they must be caught IN the act and corrected. If you try to give consequence at any other time, they will not make the connection. Again, timing is key.
A WORD ABOUT "WALKS"
One of the best training advice I ever got was to not train my dog on a walk "in the beginning." A walk is leisure time for your dog. They can sniff and look all directions etc. This does not excuse them from basic manners (no pulling, barking, jumping, unruliness), but the point is - work time is work time, and play time is play time. To a puppy and young dog, a walk is a whole new world with so much to see and smell and check out. There are so many distractions that it is not a good environment to start brand new things and expect a lot out of them. So in the beginning, keep walks for walking. As they mature and learn to focus in different settings with different distractions - they will progress to the level they can start training here and there on a walk. The idea is to define when it is training time and when it is relaxing time. It takes a lot of mental energy and work for your dog to focus on you, in time they can do this on a walk and in public and it is highly encouraged to train in those places to get them reliable. But in the beginning.. a walk is just a walk.
Socialization is VERY important to the development of a reliable dog and especially for GSD, and GS. Socialization is acclimating your dog to society. Basically so he/she can be comfortable around different people, new people, new environments, sights, smells, sounds, animals, and other dogs. If your dog lives a sheltered life as a young dog, with little to no exposure, normal experiences will be alarming to him/her. Going to the vet, on a trip, on an errand, guests coming over, anything like that could be a disaster. So continue your breeder's good efforts to have positive socialization experiences! Here is an AWESOME article detailing how to go about it, as this is a critical stage in the dog's development.
*Dog should be fully vaccinated before going out in public.
Please enroll in a credible dog class in your area! This is an invaluable experience of socialization, working under distraction, structured learning, objective evaluation, and a place to ask questions and learn! Even the most experienced of handlers and breeders will attend dog class. Practice makes perfect!
Usually the course consists of:
Our top recommendation is AKC clubs that offer courses. Find them here: http://www.apps.akc.org/apps/clubs/search/index.cfm
If an AKC club is not available, your city/town will most likely have a class offered through their Parks & Recreation Department. There may be private dog training facilities not affiliated with the AKC. And commercial pet retail stores like PetSmart or PetCo will offer sessions as well.
Basic obedience should be taught from the beginning. The basics are simple commands and simple manners. This is the foundation for your dog.
*Watch is a basic command that you will find invaluable for training. It is eye contact/focusing attention from the dog. When your dog knows the "watch" command, at any time in any place you can regain their focus.
CANINE GOOD CITIZEN - CGC
The Canine Good Citizen test, CGC, should be the minimum basic goal of any dog owner for the training of their dog. Most obedience dog classes are centered around this test and the final exam is to pass the test. It covers:
It is our hope, desire, and plea that ALL our puppies receive this minimal level of training. We do not require all our puppies to attain the actual certificate or title, but to be at this level so that they are a respectable member of their community and represent our "kennel" and the breed well.
Link to AKC's CGC site for more info: https://www.akc.org/dogowner/training/canine_good_citizen/
Mini American shepherds 36-42”
Giant Schnauzer 42-48”
Crate or kennel training is a MUST. Even if you plan to let your dog have free run of the home at all times, they need acclimated right away to a crate or kennel for the following benefits:
If a puppy is not introduced to the crate and properly crate trained from the beginning, they will most likely panic if suddenly put in a crate later on.
How to crate train: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wGHxYlvgubM
Luckily, potty training a dog is fairly simple. Giant schnauzers (big drinkers) and MAS (smaller bladders) tend to pee more frequently, so be sure to track water intake. Using the basic principles in the section above "Training Overview," just use Yes and No to guide them toward appropriate bathrooming. Remember that puppy bladder and bowels are small! When they eat or drink they will bathroom immediately or shortly after. The biggest keys to success for potty training: