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Have a new puppy or on the way? Here you will find everything you need to know to get started with this new friend by your side

  • Have a fully fenced area for your pup, where he can stay safely without escaping

  • Collar and Lead - An adjustable collar 20-30cm with a clip (click-close) will fit most puppies. After 3 months, a harness is a useful when walking your puppy.

  • A dogbed or mat, which will be a safe and quiet place for your pup. Start with an inexpensive dog bed as most puppies will chew on it and damage it.

  • Dog bowls: one stainless steel bowl for food and one heavy stone bowl for water (that can’t be picked up or tipped over by puppy)

  • Puppy toys: strong, good quality dog toys like kong, solid ball, tug rope

  • Wire training cage: it’s not a must but it is very handy to have a cage where the pup is safe and can be left unattended, it is also a great help towards toilet training. Buy one as large and as sturdy as possible as your pup will grow very fast

  • Toilet area: think of an area where it is ok for your pup to go toilet, once you have appointed a place you can not blame him for going there, so think hard for a place that is also ok when your pup has become an adult dog

  • Teeth cleaners: dried pigs/beef/lambs/deer ears are perfect for cleaning your pups teeth. Meaty soft bones, such as brisket bones large enough so your puppy can not swallow them whole, are also good teeth cleaners and will keep your puppy occupied for a while. As well as deer antlers, bull sticks and dried skin pieces. This is also excellent to get your puppy chewing on the right things instead of your furniture.

  • Food: Start with the same food that we are feeding to prevent an upset tummy. We are feeding all our puppies Black Hawk Puppy Ocean Fish biscuits, mixed with some raw meat available at pet stores and online shops. Have the food ready before your puppy arrives. If you wish to transition your puppy to a different diet, slowly mix the new food in, starting with very small amounts. You should only do this once your puppy is full settled in his/her new home.

  • Treats: when you want a pup that listens to his name and loves to learn, you will need treats to reward good behaviour and reward all attempts to get toilet trained.

  • Bio-degrable Poo-bags to clean up after your pup

Preparing your home before the puppy arrives

What to bring when picking up your puppy

  • Collar and lead - An adjustable collar 20-30cm with a clip (click-close) will fit most puppies.

  • Wet wipes/tissues, bottle with water and plastic bag, in case your pup gets sick in the car

  • Car harness, travelcage or towel to put on your lap, for the pup’s transport

  • Old towels or bed sheets for under your puppy in case the puppy gets car sick

  • Poo-bags to clean up after your pup when he goes for a toilet stop

  • Dog bowl and water when the trip home is longer than an hour

  • Airport pick up: bring Photo ID and reservation number

  • Airport pick up is at National Cargo

The first days in the puppy's new home

When the pup is leaving his place of birth at the age of 8 weeks it is important to realize a few things.

A pup is in desperate need of warmth and comfort to avoid stress. He wants to be with you, as he has never been alone so far. Understand why he is crying and don’t get upset when he does so the first nights. Set your personal boundaries and be consequent and clear in your instructions towards your puppy but also be reasonable and caring.

I hope you all have chosen to have an inside dog, a wire training cage is a great way to start his new life. The pup can live in the new family environment but will not spoil the carpet or eat your slippers. Make sure you only put the pup in his training cage if you do not have the time to watch him and when you put him in the cage always give him a treat. It is a myth that you spoil your pup if you put the training cage next to your bed the first days. We have done that with our pups and they were perfectly fine to sleep elsewhere after a week or two.

If the dog becomes an outside dog, have an insulated drought free kennel with enough room for the dog to walk around when he is fully grown. We rather see a dog in the garage or laundry, which is less cold and closer to human contact. Only put him in his kennel if you don’t have time for him. A Shepherd is not a dog that you can put in a kennel all day!!

When leaving your pup alone, make sure he is safe and has water. When inside, you can turn on the radio or tv to make him feel less alone.

What to feed your puppy

We feed our puppies Black Hawk Ocean fish Puppy biscuits, mixed with some raw meat bought from the pet store or online shop.

For teeth cleaners and chewing stimulants we give brisket bones large enough so the puppy can not swallow it whole, dried cow/pig/deer ears, deer antlers, bull sticks and dried skin pieces. All items are available in pet shops and online stores.

Where to buy?
Biscuits can be bought online at but it is available in most pet shops.

We feed twice a day.

Whatever you want to feed your dog, remember a few things: a White Swiss Shepherd pup should be growing slowly and even. If you overfeed your pup, it might end up with hip and elbow problems.

An adult White Swiss Shepherd male should weigh 30 – 40 kg, an adult White Swiss Shepherd female should weigh 25 – 35 kg.
So when looking at your pup, it should be lean, not skinny and definitely not fat.
We recommend feeding your pup and adult dog, twice a day.

ocean fish puppy food.webp

Coat and nail maintenance

When your pup is young and has a puppycoat, there is not a lot of maintenance on the coat. But it is important that you brush your puppy regularly to make him confident with grooming. Also check his ears, paws, eyes and open the mouth to check teeth. This is just to make it a normal procedure and could come in handy when going to the vet later on in life.
See picture for puppy slicker brush with protection knobs on the ends.

A growing puppy often has very soft and long fur around his ears. Use a comb to groom this very regularly – every other day – or it will become knotted or matted.

When the puppy coat has made place for the adult coat, regular grooming is needed to keep the coat neat and without mats. Especially the long coated dogs need a good brush at least twice a week. Check for knots behind the ears regularly.

For regular use, we use the ‘large slicker brush’.

The rake is used for the non-sensitive parts: body but not the belly, tail but not the legs. The comb is used for around the ears.

When the dogs change coats, twice a year, and loose their undercoat massively we actively use the ‘double rake’. The rake deals easily with the undercoat. We brush our dogs daily for two weeks with the double rake when they change their coats into summer or winter coat.

large slicker brush.jpg

Yours drooly - Large slicker brush

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Yours drooly - puppy slicker brush


Yours drooly - double rake brush


How to exercise your puppy

A young pup only needs a short walk. The rule is: weeks in minutes, so 10 weeks old is 10 minutes walk. The same rule applies for playing: 10 weeks old, no more than 10 minutes playing with people or other dogs. Of course you can walk your pup several times a day. 


Please no jogging, jumping up, walking stairs, jumping in/out cars, playing fetch with a discuss/ball thrower (anything that encourages extreme twisted body moves), until he is at least a year old, preferably 18 months old. The pup is growing at this stage and can easily damage hips and elbows when he does the things stated above. At 18 months and older they can walk and run and jump as much as you like.

How to train your puppy

Puppy training is about socializing and learning basic obedience.

Learn how to gently control your pup and have patience if he does not understand what you are asking. The time you spend gently training your puppy now, will save you triple the time later!

We expect every new puppy owner to complete a puppy course of at least 6 weeks. In every town there will be puppy training available. 

Puppy training is just about learning the basics and we do stress the importance of continuing to train with your dog. Whether you would like to show, do agility, obedience or want a nice family pet, it is important to have an obedient and well socialized dog.

One of the easy things is to teach your pup how to sit. Before he gets his food, ask him to sit, don’t touch him just stand up straight and wait with the food bowl in you hands until he sits. When he sits, say “good sit” and give the food. It takes only a few meals before he will know what ‘sit’ means.

Whatever you want to teach your pup, remember to always reward and give treats when he does what you asked him to do. Especially when the pup is young, have tiny little treats in your pocket all the time. When you call him and he comes to you: treat. When he is munching one of your slippers and he lets go after you tell him ‘leave’: treat. If you don't have treats available, or you don't want to overfeed your puppy, using your voice to praise is one of the most important things you can do to create a bond with your pup and please keep doing this throughout the dogs whole life!

Another way of rewarding a pup while training new things is making use of their play drive. If the pup has a favourite ball or toy, play with the toy and pup every time he has done something you asked him to do.

training puppy.jpg

How to toilet train your puppy

Start with toilet training the minute you get your pup. Take him outside to a place where you want him to do his business, always the same place. If you don’t want your dog to do it on your lawn, do not toilet train your puppy on your lawn. What you teach your puppy to do the first 4 months of his life will be hard to change in later life.


Take your puppy outside every hour especially after eating and waking up and praise with food and cheering words if he does something outside. Make sure you praise him as soon as he is ready doing what he was doing, not before (otherwise he will stop) and not too late (otherwise he will not make the connection peeing outside & praise =good).

Take the pups water bowl away during late evening and night, to prevent peeing inside during the night. During the night you could put a newspaper on the laundry floor, they will often do it on the newspaper.

A trainingcage is perfect for toilet training, he will not like to spoil his cage/bed. As long as you take him outside as often as possible, he will be able to learn that he can wait until you take him outside.

Always take your puppy outside after feeding and waking up and wait, be patience, it takes time but they nearly always need to poo after feeding.
Some pups are toilet trained when they are very young and some are 6 months and still have accidents inside. Remember in the end they will all be toilet trained!

When we are visiting people and bring a young pup, we always bring wet baby wipes and a few plastic bags to clean up after accidents.

How to socialize your puppy

Once your pup has settled (give it a few days) the most important thing is: socializing your pup. When done properly in the first two years (not only the first 16 weeks), it will settle for life. Socializing means gently and slowly getting your puppy used to people, other dogs and new things. Don’t overstimulate your puppy but take very small steps.


Every time he does something he has never done or seen before, he is being socialized. Your puppy needs to be exposed to the world outside so he can learn how to live happily with all that goes on around him. He will decide for himself what’s safe and what isn’t, but he needs your steady guidance. With you there to help him, he will be introduced to a non-threatening world and will grow up confident and outgoing.

Taking your puppy with you when you visit a friend or neighbours socializes him. So does meeting strangers at home or while on a walk, playing with a friendly dog or examining a rugby ball. If you don’t have children make sure your pup spends time with children of friends.  He needs to learn to get used to cars and trucks and to ride contently in the car.

Start with socializing your pup right away and don’t wait until he has got all his vaccinations. If he isn’t fully immunized yet go to friends with fully vaccinated dogs and go to places were he can meet people.

And remember: socialize slowly, better 2 good experiences in a week than being overwhelmed every day. Shepherds are very sensitive and alert dogs and are easily overwhelmed. They need lots of home-time to process new impressions. Over stimulation and bad experiences do more harm than good. Just do it slowly, step by step and continue for at least two years, guiding your dog through the multiple fear periods they have during this important period in their life.

How to keep your puppy healthy

Vaccination: we vaccinate our pups around 7 weeks. The first vaccination will be done by us, the second and third vaccination is done by the new owner.
If you are planning your pup in a doggy daycare or boarding kennel, he has to be vaccinated for Kennel cough.

Vaccination scheme in Aotearoa - New Zealand recommended by the Veterinarian Association:

7-8 weeks old -  1st vaccination DHP

11-12 weeks old -  2nd vaccination DHP & Lepto

15-16 weeks old - 3rd vaccination DHP & Lepto


After this your puppy is fully vaccinated. Please do not over-vaccinate your puppy, as this can have a lifelong effect on the immune system.


You can repeat the DHP & Lepto vaccine once every 3 years. (not yearly, that is an outdated vet practice no longer recommended by the NZ Vet Association and can cause immune and allergy issues).


Or you can titre test before repeating the vaccination to see if your dog still has enough protection.

When your puppy arrives at your home, after a vaccination or ever has diarrhea, you can help your puppy by giving him/her dog pro-biotics for 10 days with his/her food.

Worming: puppies and young dogs need to be wormed regularly, we worm the pups every 2 weeks until they leave for there forever home. Worming once a month until they are 6 months of age and thereafter once every 3 months. Adult dogs need worming at least twice yearly. Use a proper wormer like Drontal or if you like there are also natural wormers available, like apple cider.

Flea-treatment: when you live in urban area or when you know there are fleas around, you can use frontline or advocate which can be bought at the vets. We use natural flea treatment made out of Tea tree oil, Rosemary, Mint and Lavender as we don’t have fleas and this keeps them on a distance when we go out with our dogs.

Important: when your pup has worms or fleas, it is essential to treat all dogs and cats in the house.

How to travel with your puppy

Getting used to car rides is very important, often pups are a bit motion sick and get better by doing short trips often. Don’t forget to bring:


  • Collar and lead

  • Wet wipes/tishues, bottle with water and plastic bag, in case your pup gets sick in the car

  • Car harness, travelcage or towel to put on your lap, for the pup’s transport

  • Poo-bags to clean up after your pup when he goes for a toilet stop

  • Dog bowl and water when the trip is longer than an hour

When to de-sex your puppy

In the legal binding contract signed before taking the pup home, you declare that you will have the pup neutered or spayed. Female pups spayed between 9 and 18 months of age. Male pups neutered between 10-18 months of age, with a possibility to postpone to 24 months of age (through mutual agreement with us.)
DO NOT let your vet talk you into spaying or neutering your puppy before 9 months of age for females and 8 months for males!!
The chances of your dog getting hips or elbow dysplasia will increase greatly when de-sexing too early. Females generally come into season for the first time between 9 and 12 months. You will have to keep her inside the property and can't walk her in public for 3 weeks. Please conact us for guidance.

Council registration and microchip

When the puppy leaves us, he already has been microchipped. You will need to show the council the microchip number and register your pup before 3 months of age. Make sure to keep contact details up to date with your council.
The microchip needs to be registered to your name and contact details in case your pup or dog gets lost.

You can do this in the National database see website:


At the vet (when you go to the vet for the second vaccination ask for the register form). Again make sure that your contact details are up to date at all times!

Registration with DogsNZ (NZKC) - Pedigree papers

We will send you a DogsNZ registration form for you to fill out and send back to us. We will pay and organise the registration.

DogsNZ (NZKC) will process the registration and send the Pedigree Papers of your puppy directly to you.

We will give lifelong breeders support to all our pups and dogs!
Please update us with pictures and stories.
Let us know when you have run into a problem.
Keep us updated when contact details like phone number, address or email address are changing.
And please ALWAYS contact us first if you ever need to re-home your dog!!

Lifelong breeders support

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