LOCATION: Virginia Beach, VA
This may seem like a silly thing to have on a bucket list, but I’ve been interested in the German Shepherd breed for a very long time, and have prepared for this dog for the last two years. Bucket list worthy indeed! When I think about the type of character I am; loyal, determined, enjoys routine, protective, and smart, it only makes sense that a German Shepherd is the breed for me based on those same qualities. For the last two years I researched a ton and saved money to cover the cost of a puppy to include breeder fees, training, and dog walking care while I was at work. I felt more than ready! I decided to go with a breeder so that I could be in the puppy’s life from the start and shape her into the dog I truly wanted: one that plays, cuddles, and works when the time is needed. Eventually I hope to train this dog to do therapy work, search and rescue, as well as just be a well-rounded companion.
Marvel (name derived from my fondness of superheroes) was born on August 11th, and I picked her up on October 7th. I took a week off work to bond with her and get her potty and crate trained. Can I just say I needed more than a week! Holy sleepless nights!
The crate training proved to be the worst as she just wanted to be near me all the time. I would put her in and she would wail like crazy. After a week, she slowly got better with it thankfully. The potty training could use some more practice, but that got better over time as well. It’s amazing what can happen in just a week that it makes me hopeful for what the next few weeks entail as well.
Introducing her to my 15 year old beagle was not fun. Daisy has never been much for other dogs or playing, but she tolerated her and let her know when the play time was way too much. Marvel, of course didn’t respect it at all, but is learning to get nipped at and stop. Marvel and my parent’s dog had a lot of fun chasing each other in the yard. It made me happy to see she enjoys other animals so much.
At 8-9 weeks old, Marvel has learned how to sit, lay down, fetch and bring, the word “go potty”, and how to stay in a crate. That’s a lot of work in a week! I also took her to puppy classes for socialization and playing. She loved every minute of it and was taught clicker training in the process. I am clicking EVERYTHING it seems. Haha. Weight at 8 weeks was 9lbs. Weight at 9 weeks is 12lbs.
9 weeks to 10 weeks: Activating Landshark mode!!! Wow, where did my sweet little puppy go?? She has turned into a biting machine and nothing to stop it seems to be working. When you’re taking care of a puppy alone, it is a lot to handle for sure. This week we are working on perfecting our sits and downs and I started taking her on a 10 minute walk around the neighborhood. She doesn’t pull on the leash, but can’t seem to decide what side to walk on, which is fine. She seems to enjoy the walk and exploring. So far nothing seems to scare this little girl! I have to say that BULLY STICKS are my new savior. When I need to shower, get ready, cook dinner, or whatever to get some time I use these things to keep her occupied and chewing what is appropriate. SO AMAZING
10 weeks to 11 weeks: This week we are working on lots of socialization. She is meeting a lot more people in the neighborhood on our walks. She loves to walk Daisy around the neighborhood too, which is super cute. I also took her to a brewery. There were so many people at the brewery and she loved all of them. She also sat at my feet calmly the entire time I was there which made for a nice way to enjoy my night, and have her with me. She is growing SO fast. In fact, seeing a cuddle picture from 8 weeks and now 11 weeks was eye opening! It’s also Halloween this week and she had a shark costume since she’s my little landshark biter. OUCH! This week we perfected sit and down and are working on stay and touch (currently just touching my hand). Also, towards the end of this week, HER EARS POPPED UP!!!!!!!!!
11 weeks to 12 weeks: This week I’m focusing a lot on training. So far, she has learned sit, down, stay (sort of), shake, touch (a hand so far), crate (go in and sit inside), outside, potty, leave it (sort of), come here, and fetch. Not bad for 12 weeks! We had a rough week this week with Daisy having major surgery and keeping them separate. However, can’t believe I have a 3 months old now!
I plan on updating this monthly to determine her progress into a well-rounded pup. Stay tuned!