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Old 04-15-2010, 05:36 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grannynancy View Post
I am afraid you may find that cheap does not necessarily mean you got a bargain. I have owned GSDs for about 40 years.

I imagine you have some show stock in the dog if its rear legs are a bit wobbly - as puppies from some of the GSDs with a lot of rear leg angulation can be very goofy and the showlines are more common source of dogs...so I would not worry about it until older.

Some things you can do though.

[1] Feed a good quality food but NO puppy food or at most 1 bag before you switch to adult - that is unless the puppy food is formulated for big breeds.
[2] Keep the puppy thin. I mean a good weight for a GSD puppy is "too thin" in most people's minds - you don't want bones sticking out but you want no extra fat
[3] No jogging or forced walking for long distances - puppy can run and play in the yard but don't stress the bones/joints
[4] No jumping over things - once again - normal play but no encouraging the pup to jump until it is really grown, like 18 months. This is particularly true for going in and out of cars.
[5] There is no OFA in England - but I am sure there is some sort of hip registry - do you have any sort of papers on the puppy? If you do, I can help you maybe find out something about its background - but if it came from good parentage, odds are the breeder would have taken it back from the owners gladly, especially at 8 weeks.
+1 to feeding quality "large breed" puppy food and not allowing jumping trauma. Jumping down or off of things is much more problematic than jumping up. Frisbee is another bad choice as it tends to induce back & hip problems.
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Old 04-15-2010, 06:32 PM
 
Location: Massachusetts
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I actually do believe that she is a purebred Alsatian. Her coat looks exactly like my GSD's did when she was that age; people often commented that she looked more like a bear cub than a puppy b/c of her fluffiness Her nose is the only difference but I think that is an Alsatian nose (i.e. she might be more "european" than her U.S. counterparts. She has quite the schnozz on her but then, most of them--especially the purebreds--usually have quite distinguished looking noses*lol*)

I am not sure about the large breed puppy food as (depending on the brand) it just reduces protein intake and thus prevents them from getting as big as they normally would. While that might increase longevity (b/c smaller dogs tend to live longer) and reduce growing pains such as panosteistis, you are essentially stunting their growth.

I would feed a high quality, regular dog food (no large breed formulas) and I would allow the pup to free-feed (i.e. always leave food out for her rather than dole it out to her at certain times). I would also do a preliminary vet check for worming and vaccinations. You can ask the vet more about hip dysplasia--they are usually the best sources and can recommend supplements if there is suspected dysplasia. However, it is difficult to diagnose this early on, especially without lineage/papers.
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Old 04-15-2010, 06:47 PM
 
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I would NOT free feed the puppy - bad habit and will make housebreaking a nightmare.

At this age the puppy should eat 3-4 times a day. Take out to potty immediately after every meal. I would even restrict water but offer a lot more frequently same thing with potty trips.

No playing right before or after feeding.

I would talk with some GSD folks in England about what to feed the puppy as brands are different. Go on www.germanshepherds.com and I am sure you can get some breed specific help. I imagine there is a lot of good stuff because the Brits have the neatest dog things.

I would also recommend the puppy learn that roughousing is for outside, not inside. The nice thing about a GSD -maybe collie mix - is they can learn to settle in the house while having all day energy outside. This is hard to say for some of the other herding breeds. Yes she could be pure - maybe a longcoat - the nose is a bit long though. particularly for a puppy. The ears do not look hopeful that they will go up without help based on the current set, but she is a cutie and has nice heavy bone it appears.
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Old 04-15-2010, 08:06 PM
 
Location: Massachusetts
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grannynancy View Post
I would NOT free feed the puppy - bad habit and will make housebreaking a nightmare.

At this age the puppy should eat 3-4 times a day. Take out to potty immediately after every meal. I would even restrict water but offer a lot more frequently same thing with potty trips.

No playing right before or after feeding.

I would talk with some GSD folks in England about what to feed the puppy as brands are different. Go on www.germanshepherds.com and I am sure you can get some breed specific help. I imagine there is a lot of good stuff because the Brits have the neatest dog things.

I would also recommend the puppy learn that roughousing is for outside, not inside. The nice thing about a GSD -maybe collie mix - is they can learn to settle in the house while having all day energy outside. This is hard to say for some of the other herding breeds. Yes she could be pure - maybe a longcoat - the nose is a bit long though. particularly for a puppy. The ears do not look hopeful that they will go up without help based on the current set, but she is a cutie and has nice heavy bone it appears.
I have free-fed my dog her entire life and I have found it quite beneficial, especially b/c GSD's are not exactly prone to obesity or excessive weight gain. There are many people who free-feed and find that it works very well for them and their dogs.

Moreover, ears flop all over the place; you really cannot tell at this early stage whether or not they will come up.

Finally, my dog is not a longcoat and looked exactly as this puppy did; my GSD's nose is also quite prominent. She is from an American mother and a Czech father. This puppy probably has more European characteristics than one is used to seeing in American GSD's; their temperamants are also very different.

My GSD has done well with tons of attention, frequent exercise (swimming is a favorite) and being able to eat high quality food whenever she is hungry.
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Old 04-15-2010, 08:33 PM
 
Location: Mississippi
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I've read that ears can take up to 5 months to rise, so there's no predicting.

My family used to have a pureblooded shepherd...we had no problem with the free-feeding thing. She never overate, was housebroken easily...but maybe it varies from dog to dog.
She never experienced hip dysplasia, but when she was about 10 yrs. old she developed a neurological disorder. We took her to the vet weekly for shots to stave off her disease and that gave her about 6 more months. But eventually had to put her to sleep when she started to experience paralysis in her back legs. We had always heard alot about hip dysplasia but she ended up getting this disease instead. And there was no sign of it...literally one day she was playing fetch in the back yard with me and going for mile walks, the next day she was limping and acting strangely.
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Old 04-15-2010, 08:46 PM
 
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Degenerative Myelopathy. Yes it is debilitating and there is now a genetic test for it. A dog can usually live a pretty decent life with HD but DM and other back problems are far more insidious. Inbreeding has also brought von willenbrands to the breed, formerly something you mainly heard about with Dobermans.

--------

No point arguing the free feeding thing, but I think that it is pretty common puppy advice NOT to do it that way and a fat puppy is a bad thing.

Usually by 8 weeks the base of the ear has started to lift a bit - but then I have Euro working lines and you tend to see slower ears and longer thinner noses in the show dogs. Once again not important.

This puppy looks like a sable longcoat - if so it will have some very interesting color changes as it matures.
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Old 04-15-2010, 11:51 PM
 
Location: Bristol, England, UK
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Thank you all for the advice... I must say I do agree with the feeding times and i feed her about 3x a day. However i was always lead to believe to always keep fresh water down (but i will definitly say it does mean you have to be on the ball with potty training) so when ever i see her take a drink i take her outside.

Do you think her getting down a couple of steps (and i do literally mean just two steps) will that affect her in anyway or should i carrry her outside at this stage?

Im not really playing all that much with her, but she will run around the garden with my dog n try and catch her tail!
Shes alot more confident as a puppy than mine was, even when baker was about 10mnts, she was scared of her own shadow, so consequently, we took her to lots of puppy classes to boost her confidence and she still is very submissive with all dogs... So i suppose not the best of roll models! She lets the puppy get away with blue murder!! Her poor tail n ears... Shes tried to give the puppy a nip on the ear (inwhich she gave a lillte whine) but the pup still didnt take the hint! I hope baker doesnt get rough with her... Shes never been rough in the past...
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Old 04-16-2010, 09:19 AM
 
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It sounds like you have a pretty good handle on it.

IF the puppy can go a few years without being beaten up [not just rough play] by another dog it is pretty smooth sailing - sounds like she is good and confident.

A few steps not a big deal - some folks take wee puppies jogging, etc and that is the kind of thing that causes problems but she can free play until she drops. The advice on not throwing toys and the dog jumping is also good...I try to skim the toys along the ground.
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Old 05-04-2010, 02:20 PM
 
Location: Bristol, England, UK
158 posts, read 438,632 times
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Sorry, forgot to mention, my father inlaw took Tara to the vets to have her checked over... And all is brill D shes definitly an alsation! Woohoo (sigh of relief!!) n shes in perfect condition and no problems!! So Im thrilled we got him a super dog!!! Cant wait to see her soon! Il post up some pics when I see her next! Shes gona be a beauty!
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