About Western Shepherd puppies
What to expect
The Western Shepherd puppy is a high energy, high drive working dog. Left to themselves they will chase and nip at anything that moves but with guidance and a little work they quickly realize what is for biting (toys and tugs) and what isn’t (hands, shoes, pants). As they grow they settle into a dog that is ready to work hard but knows how to be ‘off duty’ and part of the family.
Feeding your puppy a high quality diet is essential for proper growth and development. A lot of energy and nutrients go into building strong bones and muscles. We also suggest making sure you feed the right amount of high quality food. Resist the urge to over feed trying to put weight on your pup for size, that will come.
Socialization is very important and we want to encourage all our Western Shepherd owners to know how important socialization really is. In the first 12 weeks of life puppies are open books, learning how to live in this world, and in their packs. From 12 – 16 weeks that focus on learning starts to shift to survival and anything not normal can stress a dog. Socialization helps lay a foundation for the puppy to ensure it is ready to cope with everything life will have for it. Clearly we cannot introduce a dog to every sight and smell it might experience in its entire life but we can show them that new things are fun and that lots of things exist that are not a threat. So we encourage people to try and provide their puppies with as many sights and sounds and smells as possible from 8-12 weeks, continuing in weeks 12-16. Socialization comes in 3 forms, each important: people, animals, environment.
Some examples of how to accomplish socialization are:
Pet friendly places where the pup will meet many different types of people
Walks in different properties – parks, walking trails, woods, fields, etc.
And don’t miss the adventures you can have in your own back yard, with a bit of creativity and some basic supplies you can provide obstacles for your pup to explore and conquer right at home.
Western Shepherds are smart and eager to please, which makes for the perfect recipe of ‘easy to train’. There are many dogs that are smart but self willed and therefore can be challenging to train. On the opposite side you have dogs that take direction well but cannot work on their own or generalize concepts they learn in training. The most trainable dogs are those that are intelligent but also very handler oriented – which is exactly what Western Shepherds are. Using positive reinforcement they will quickly pickup any task you set for them. However, if you need help with training or a desire to help your Western Shepherd accomplish great things, check out the “Board and Train” options at Cappel Canine. Western Shepherd owners receive 30% off all training services.