Shiloh Shepherd Dog

12 Things I Wish I Knew Before Getting My Shiloh Shepherd Puppy

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Before getting my first dog I did A LOT of research on different dog breeds that would be right for me and my family. I read tons of books on how to prepare myself but Shiloh Shepherds are relatively a new breed and I felt like there was not much information that I could find to prepare myself.

Shilohs are calm, intelligent, great companion dogs. Their large size and loud bark make them great guard dogs without being aggressive and most important for me was that they are great family dogs.


On that note, here are my top 12 things I wish I knew:


 Shiloh Shepherd puppy

Before bringing Hazel home we made sure to set up her crate, and play area and had all the baby gates up. However, with 2 little kids running around and leaving their toys all over I constantly felt like I was running around after my Shiloh getting little toys out of her mouth to prevent choking. Also, if you have a yard, be sure to secure the fence and check for any plants that may be poisonous to your dog.

Common plants in your backyard that may be poisonous to your dog are: Crocus, Azalea, Chrysanthemum, Daffodil, English Ivy, Lily of the valley, Oleander, Sago Palm, Tulip, Hyacinth, and Yew - (Source: Dr. Buzby)

Be sure not to leave any food on the table until your dog is properly trained because it will be stolen. I made the mistake of leaving my family-size chicken to defrost on the kitchen counter, and when I came back to the kitchen my frozen chicken was gone most of the packaging was gone too. Luckily, she didn’t need to go to the ER, that day.

And speaking of urgent care, when your dog is outside watch out for spiders and bees that she might swallow. This happened to me recently she was just relaxing in the yard and when she came back inside, I noticed that she kept rubbing her nose and her whole face was starting to look swollen. Turns out she was jumping around catching bees with her mouth.


Shiloh Shepherd Dog

I have to be honest; I struggled the first few weeks. I knew bringing a puppy home was a lot of work, especially since this is my first dog so I kind of felt like I didn’t know what I was doing, even with all that research I did before getting my dog. I work and have 2 little kids so finding time to train and socialize my puppy while taking care of my family was rough. In the beginning, Hazel was too scared to go in the yard by herself so I constantly had to drop what I was doing and run with her outside because I was scared that she would have an accident in the house, while at the same time, my kids needed me to go and help them. So be prepared to feel overwhelmed in the beginning, it will get easier as you figure out your routine.


Shiloh Shepherd Dog

Around 4-8 months Shiloh Shepherds, like many other breeds, enter the "teenager" phase. Around this time your puppy might start testing boundaries to see what they can get away with. They might start to push limits and ignore your commands all of a sudden. My biggest struggle around this stage was her trying to run away from me, mostly because she wanted me to chase her and then when I would call her, she would just ignore me, even though she knew her commands well by 4 months. Staying consistent and continuing positive reinforcement helped me. Provide a lot of exercise and mental stimulation.  Regular walks, play sessions, and engaging toys can help burn off that excess energy.


Shiloh Shepherd Dog training

Start training your puppy as soon as you bring them home. And make sure to Stay consistent. Practice 5-10 minutes of basic command training several times a day to maintain focus. Your Shiloh Shepherd will need to be socialized early on. I enrolled Hazel in obedience school and we did many puppy play sessions with other dogs. I started to expose her to different environments early on so she would get to socialize with other dogs and kids, and we would do short hikes to build confidence and prevent behavioral issues.

Use consistent commands, for example, if you want her to sit use the word "sit," stick to this command rather than using variations like "sit down" or "take a seat." During training, use high-value treats that your Shiloh Shepherd finds especially rewarding. If you have a picky Shiloh like I do, regular dog treats will not motivate her much. You can try small pieces of cheese, chicken, or hot dogs.

Shiloh Shepherd Dog socialization


Shiloh Shepherd Dog Nutrition

This one is still a huge struggle for me. My Shiloh is almost 3 years old and some days I still have a hard time getting her to eat. She hates kibble, pretty much any dog food she will not eat. So, if you have a picky Shiloh, you can try adding some chicken to kibble and mix it with some water or chicken broth,
warm up the water or broth a bit and experiment with different textures to see what your puppy likes.

Shiloh Shepherd Dog nutrition


Shiloh Shepherd Dog shedding
Shiloh Shepherds have a thick double coat so they do shed quite a bit, especially during the shedding season. usually around spring and fall, they will have chunks of fluff flying around everywhere. Invest in a good de-shedding brush to remove all the loose fur from the top coat and dense undercoat.

Frequent bathing for this breed is not necessary but if your puppy gets dirty you can use dog-friendly shampoo that helps reduce shedding and promotes a healthy skin and coat. Talk to your vet about adding omega-3 fatty acid supplements to your Shiloh diet. These can help improve coat health and reduce shedding.

Also, be sure to give your puppy a balanced and nutritious diet that supports coat health.
Some of the foods that I add to Hazel’s kibble to promote healthy skin and coat are: fish, eggs, chicken, turkey, beef, liver, and nuts (avoid Macadamia nuts, Black walnuts, Pistachios, and raw cashews)

Shiloh Shepherd Dog best de shedding brush


Shiloh Shepherd Dog walking
As a first-time dog owner, I had a hard time walking my Shiloh in the beginning. I always would joke around saying that she’s the one walking me because she just kept dragging me along and I had a hard time controlling her during the early puppy years. I would say do more research on different types of leashes that will work best for you and your pup. When I brought my puppy home everyone had advice for me on different types of leashes I should try. After trying out a bunch, the prong stainless-steel no-pull collar worked best for us. But just make sure if you use that collar, you get the one with a quick quick-release buckle. It’s much easier to remove the collar with a buckle.

I know some people will disagree with using the stainless-steel collar, and would recommend the gentle lead collar instead, but for us, it didn’t work. Hazel hated having the collar around her nose. So just try out different types and see what works best for you and your dog. Also, teaching my puppy basic commands like “wait” and “easy” or “no pull” definitely helped.

Shiloh Shepherd Dog best dog collar

Shiloh Shepherd Dog
I know it’s normal for puppies to get excited and jump on everyone they see to give kisses.
But these puppies get big pretty quickly. So be careful with Shiloh jumping on kids because she will knock them over. Start training “no jump” or “down” commands early on. Also, another trick to teach your puppy not to jump on everyone who comes in the house is simply to ignore your puppy for a few seconds when you come in. Teach your puppy to go to “place” so when you come in, you want your puppy to go to their place and then you show them attention, once they sitting in their place.
Make sure everyone in the family stays consistent with this and eventually your Shiloh will learn not to jump on everyone.


Shiloh Shepherd Dog cost
Of course, everybody knows that puppies are expensive and you have to be prepared for the unexpected costs of vet bills and emergencies. But make sure before you get your puppy you calculate what your spending is going to be and have a budget left over for those emergencies.

We had multiple visits to the vet and urgent care in the beginning. Yes, your puppy will most likely eat something they weren't supposed to, they could get stung by a bee, they will be vomiting, have diarrhea get eye infections, ear infections, urinary tract infections, tick, and spider bites, will bump into something, you name it, we probably had it. So definitely be prepared to have some unexpected costs. No matter how much you puppy-proof your home, accidents can still happen.


Shiloh Shepherd Dog teething
Yes, I know every puppy goes through this stage but I was not prepared for all the furniture chewing. I would come home to pieces of my chairs missing, and parts of the staircase chewed up.  Looking back, I would have provided her with better chew toys and more mental stimulation.  We tried bitter apple spray, but I feel like that didn’t work well for me, I didn’t like the smell of it and it stopped her from chewing everything.

 Shiloh Shepherd Dog teething


Shiloh Shepherd Dog behavior

As a puppy my Shiloh had some separation anxiety, I would leave her home for an hour or two and then I would come back to find that she chewed up my books, replanted all my indoor flowers by throwing them on the floor, and ripped out the roots, she would rip apart pillows and ate all the barbie doll legs.
I would leave different toys for her to play with, and prep puzzle toys with treats inside but she didn’t touch any of those while I was gone.

The best thing that worked for us was a lot of physical and mental stimulation before leaving the house. So, I would take her a long walk, practice a bunch of commands and we would play fetch and usually that would tire her out for a couple of hours while I was gone. I know everyone is going to say, that I should have trained her to stay in her crate, and we did have a professional trainer introduce her to the crate but I found that she would be more anxious staying in there and always found a way to escape. So, for us, it just didn’t work. When she got closer to 1 year of age, the destructive behavior and separation anxiety drastically improved. So, just see what works best for you.

Shiloh Shepherd DOg


Shiloh Shepherd Dog behavior
I knew that getting a dog would make traveling a bit more complicated but I didn’t realize that a lot of the hotels have size restrictions. So, if you are planning to bring your Shiloh with you on vacation, definitely do some research on hotel restrictions first. Many hotels don’t allow you to bring dogs over 100 pounds and Shiloh’s are usually over the weight limit. So, finding a place to stay with your dog is pretty difficult, the same goes for airline policies. Traveling by car is your best option, but it requires a lot of prep work. Shilohs need a lot of space, and if you have a bunch of suitcases and car seats in the car, your Shiloh might not be so comfy. Also, car anxiety is still a big issue for us. I try to take Hazel for car rides frequently but she still gets sick and usually throws up. Keeping the windows open and setting the fan on cool does help a little. But talk to your vet, if the anxiety and motion sickness persists.

Shiloh Shepherd Dog traveling


Shiloh Shepherd Dog

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My best buys as a new dog mom:

De-shedding brush

Prong Quick Release No Pull Collar


  **All photos and videos of Hazel Shiloh Shepherd are COPYRIGHT and may NOT be used without our consent**

Source: Dr. Buzby


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