Some Information and Links to Help You Raise a Puppy to Become a Healthy Adult

Information Regarding Age and Effects of Spay/Neuter
For the health of your dog, we strongly suggest you do some research, if you haven't already, regarding the age to spay/neuter your dog. The link below will bring you to a 25 minute video by Dr. Karen Becker, a veterinarian. It is very informative.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=enPCZA1WFKY

Besides the above video, below are two more links to learn more:
https://www.dogsnaturallymagazine.com/health-risks-of-early-spay-neuter/

   
http://veterinarynews.dvm360.com/reexamining-early-spay-neuter-paradigm-d o gs

 What We Feed Our Dogs
Because our dogs are very healthy, we often get asked what we feed. They do not have chronic skin problems, do not suffer from allergies, have healthy ears (no yeast infections, etc), and strong stomachs. In 20+ years of owning dogs, we have never personally owned a dog that got cancer. Some of that comes from genetics, but most of it (in my opinion) has to do with what we feed our dogs (as well as the lifestyle and vaccination protocol we follow. More on the recommended vaccination protocol below).
Over the years I have done a lot of research regarding all aspects of dog ownership, including feeding. For those who are interested, this is what our dogs eat (and thoroughly enjoy):
3 days/week our dogs eat raw meat and bones, along with some innards. 3 days/week they are fed cooked sweet potatoes, peeled, to which I add some coconut oil, generally 1 TBSP per dog if I feel the dog could use the extra bit of fat, the correct amount of food grade diatomaceous earth, as well as a teaspoon of kelp powder that was sourced from a clean part of the ocean. One day/ week, our dogs fast ( do not eat anything and only drink fresh water as they wish). Fasting is a natural part of health.
They get raw, fresh meaty bones for gnawing on a couple of days/week.
Once in a while I give our dogs a good quality kibble just to keep them familiar with it for the times that I go away and have someone else care for them.
We never give any kind of vitamin supplements. The only supplements we give are whole food types, of which kelp is a good example.

If you will only be feeding kibble, be sure that it is a grain-free kibble with the protein being meat-based and the first ingredient. (Ingredients are listed in order of most to least on all packaging.) Dogs are not anatomically designed to eat grains.

Regarding Vaccines
If you haven't already done so, please do your research regarding vaccinations. There is a lot of information online. We personally recommend following Dr. Dodds' protocol shown in the link below:
https://drjeandoddspethealthresource.tumblr.com/post/147595920886/dodds-vaccination-protocol-dogs-2016#.XUsEBkcpDIU

Below are a couple of more links to help you learn more about vaccinations:
https://topdogtips.com/over-vaccination-in-dogs/

https://healthypets.mercola.com/sites/healthypets/archive/2012/08/20/pets-over-vaccination-disease.aspx

Effective Obedience Training
We cannot emphasize enough the importance of obedience training and to start it at an early age. German Shepherd dogs appreciate and thrive in an environment that has a strong sense of boundaries and order. Obedience training helps to give the dog that sense.

The Importance of Socialization
GSDs are by nature a bit of a suspicious breed. In order to help them stay relaxed and calm around people not part of the house they live in, it is important to socialize the puppy right from the start. It is how a dog learns to discern what is normal behavior in people and what isn't. A well socialized dog will remain calm and collected when around other people and dogs. A not well socialized GSD can become overly protective and start exhibiting inappropriate behavior in social settings, both toward people and other dogs. Solidly socializing a puppy means taking him/her out to see people at stores, downtowns, sports games, etc., at least 3x/week for the first 10 or more months of the puppy's life. Be sure you have the time and are dedicated to this important aspect of raising a well balanced GSD.