Tips & Tricks

Your questions
... our answers!

We will answer questions about walking your dog here. They should serve as a guide.

You have decided to get a puppy – wonderful! This is the beginning of a fantastic partnership. In contrast to an adult dog, there are some additional things to consider. Be prepared to invest a good amount of time in the relationship during the first few months.
There are only a few rules, which you can find in the GoGassi app. Your new dog will thank you with health and lots of love!

  • Don’t leave your little puppy alone for long periods of time during the first few months. Keep an eye on him. You are now his new pack, his new family!
  • Take the puppy out for a walk more often in the beginning. Every 30 to 60 minutes. After his nap is the perfect time to go out briefly.
  • Do not go too long! In the first month of life, 5 minutes are quite enough.
  • Increase the intervals carefully. As a rule of thumb, by 5 minutes every month.
  • Your puppy should not climb stairs! Always carry him/her up and down the stairs during these early months.
  • Puppy school is perfect for your little pooch. Playing with peers is allowed – but be careful with larger dogs.
  • Achte darauf, dass Kleinkinder nicht ganz so „dolle“ mit ihrem neuen Spielgefährten toben und spielen.
  • Make sure toddlers don’t play too roughly with their new playmate.
The little puppy will need to go out every hour in the beginning to be housebroken. Keep an eye on him when he wakes up after a nap. If he seems restless, grab him and take him outside. He will be housebroken very quickly. Please don’t poke his nose in his pee after accidents. Unfortunately you can still read this sort of training advice on the internet. It does not help and is really unpleasant for the little puppy. With time the intervals where your puppy has to go out will become longer and longer.
Avoid long walks during the first months of life and do not overtax your little sweetie. This is especially true when temperatures are very high in the summer. Attention: If you do not live at ground level, it is better to carry your pet down or up the stairs during the first few months. Since the bones, ligaments, and joints are still growing and quite soft, there is a risk of permanent elbow or hip damage (ED/HD) from constant stair climbing.

According to the German Road Traffic Regulations, children under the age of 14 are not allowed to walk a dog on a leash. This also applies to very well behaved dogs, because even they could react unpredictably while walking.

As a puppy, your little sweetie has yet to learn to walk on a leash. If the breeder has not yet familiarized the dog with the leash, patience is required. Through positive reinforcement and reward (treats) you can get your little pooch on the right path.
Attention: He must not be successful at pulling. Do not follow the dog when he pulls. Not when he sniffs, and not when he needs to do his business. The goal must be to never have to pull the leash while walking. Practice makes perfect. This is true for your dog and for you. On longer walks, you can repeat the training every now and then. A dog trainer or a dog school can support you in your efforts.

Our dogs got their food twice a day and always after the walks. Putting the feeding time after the walk lowers the risk of gastric torsion (gastric dilatation volvulus) – but you cannot always avoid it. Gastric torsion is life threatening and must be treated immediately.
During feeding, dogs should be left alone. If you feed more than one dog at the same time, there should be enough space between the feeding places; otherwise, it can quickly cause competitive eating, and the winner may consider it a reward to be able to eat from the bowl of the loser. Out of reach of conspecifics (same species), other pets, and small children, the dog can peacefully eat at his own pace. Every dog eats differently: Our Lab just gobbles down his portion. Our terrier mix is more of a gourmet and has been known to leave some food behind. When that happens, we put the food in a safe place so that our Lab doesn’t get an unplanned second helping ... I know, we are real killjoys! Dogs are creatures of habit. It is best to keep the same feeding times once established. Special circumstance: Puppies need to be fed several times a day. It is best to follow the recommendations of the breeder.

Using treats as a reward system can work really well to teach the dog some useful commands. However, we often observe far too generous use of treats. It should remain something special. Giving a treat for every adorable look is not the right way. Every once in a while, cuddling the dog or exuberantly praising him with a bright voice can have the same effect. If you never had a dog, you might we’re crazy, but it works very well.
When our Lab wanted a treat, he brought a ball as a bribe. So, it also works the other way around with the treat! Be careful when you are using treats to train puppies. You should definitely include the amount of treats in the daily calorie count. Otherwise, you will have an overweight puppy very quickly.

Don’t train when your dog is distracted (by other dogs) or unfocused (over-excited or too tired) ... or right after his main meal. The dog should really focus on his training. The best time is when your dog has loosened up, he’s been playing, and he’s let off a bit of steam. Remember to reward the dog with a treat only when he has fully executed the command.
Do not repeat the command (all the time). Do not hold the treat in your hand during training, but rather miraculously produce the treat. The treat in your hand can distract your dog quite a bit, because your pooch has a really great sense of smell.

Of course, there are breeds that do not like to go out in the rain, cold, or dark. Even older dogs no longer want to go out at any time and in any weather. All our “adult” dogs (Boxer, Labrador, mixed breeds, small and large) always wanted to go out! It was never a good sign if one of our dogs did not want to go for a walk spontaneously and voluntarily. Usually the dog then felt unwell, had eaten something bad on the last walk, or was seriously ill. If you are unsure, call the breeder and just ask how the dogs behave with him, or consult a veterinarian.

There are many remedies for ticks. Some you can get from the vet and pet stores. Many of them are chemical and are given to the dog directly or administered through the skin. We have had great experiences with a natural remedy: Black cumin oil.
The oil is administered through the food or drinking water. There are no side effects. If you are not sure, ask your vet. He will be able to give you specific instructions for use and dosage.
Attention: If cats share your home with your dog, please be careful. The application of black cumin oil against ticks and fleas is not suitable for cats! Cats lack the enzyme to break down the plant substances contained in the oil – so it can lead to poisoning and liver damage in them!

Depending on breed and gender, your dog goes through his teenage years around the age of 7 to 12 months. This is when you need strong nerves and consistent action without “overdoing it”! The good news: Everything passes ...

Your female dog is in heat for about three weeks – usually in the fall and spring. During this time, she smells irresistible for male dogs. You must be careful and lead your dog more often on the leash than usual. We have learned from experience that if two dogs are willing to mate, things happen rather quickly, and 2 months later, you may have to call your “little one” Mom. It varies from state to state.

You can find out the exact regulations at your city office or municipal local authority and on the internet.
Why do I have to leash the dog at all? First of all, it contributes to the safety of your own dog. This way, he cannot accidentally run into the street and get hurt. It also prevents quarrels with other four-legged friends. Secondly, some people feel irritated by dogs, for example, young mothers with small children. She can’t possibly know that your dog is actually totally sweet ... and only wants to play! But even in that case, the child could get scared, fall, and hurt himself. Be considerate of your fellow human beings, so we can all relax and enjoy nature.
In most German forests and nature reserves, leashing is mandatory during the breeding and rearing season of wild animals. This is approximately from the beginning of April to mid-July. If you do not comply with the regulations, you may be warned or even fined. In some hunting areas (Bavaria), hunters are allowed to shoot hunting dogs!
Typical places for basic leash requirements are: Public parks, pedestrian zones, crowded areas, bus stops, and sports fields, and a few more.

Whether you have a large or small dog, it’s best to introduce them to exercise slowly. Start with short walks at a slow pace. Once your dog is used to it, you can move on to increasing the time, pace, and distance of your GoGassi routes. Soft surfaces such as dirt, sand, or grass are ideal for your dog’s paws and joints.
You shouldn’t take your pet on longer hikes until he’s past puppyhood. And the same applies here: Start slowly and then increase at an appropriate rate!

You should bring this along on every walk: Leash, treats, poop bags, dog toys, and a towel in the car to clean the dog. It’s always an interesting experience when a wet dog shakes himself in the car. Then you also need the towel for the interior of the car.
For longer walks: Do not forget to bring a bowl and water!

Since dogs understand quite quickly, which way leads home, you can also get a clue from the fact that the dog had enough, if he starts to walk back on his own. These signals should not be ignored by the dog’s master. If you force your small dog to keep walking, even though he obviously had enough, you may potentially harm the health of the dog.

Try to avoid extremely strenuous and intense GoGassi rounds, especially for young dogs. The dog is a pack animal and naturally wants to stay with his pack at all times. Consequently, your pooch can also quickly overexert himself out of pure affection for you. Especially with very athletic dog owners, who believe to have found a perfect exercise companion, there is a risk to do too much in the beginning, which can harm the health of the dog. Of course, this varies from breed to breed.
Lead your sweet dog slowly to the big tour. In the long run, a dog can master long distances very well at a moderate pace. Be careful, however, if you are riding your bike or inline skaters. It forces the dog to walk a lot faster than usual. That would be like “sprinting continuously”. Before attempting such sporting ventures, get the OK from your vet. For smaller dog breeds or very young dogs (puppies) excessive GoGassi rounds are completely prohibited. Of course, older and sick animals should also not be forced to follow the overly athletic owner at every turn.

First, your dog should learn to walk next to the bike. It’s all very new – take your time. If you recall, you didn’t learn to ride a bike overnight either. Your dog should definitely be full grown (adult) to run next to a bike. If he is not, the strain can cause permanent musculoskeletal damage! If your dog is not used to running next to a bike, it can be dangerous for you too.
Basically, not every breed of dog is “made” for running next to a bike either. Heavy dogs should never run next to the bike. They can quickly overexert themselves – this is especially true in the summer.
As already described, bicycle tours, long jogging, and climbing stairs are taboo for puppies anyway. Until the dog is fully grown, the skeleton of a dog is still growing, and the bones are very soft. Large dogs (e.g. German Shepherds) and very large dogs (e.g. Great Danes) take longer to be considered “full grown”.

Rain or snow does not bother most dogs in the slightest. However, dog breeds without undercoat, such as Havanese, should be kept warm with a dog coat in sub-zero temperatures. Just ask the breeder what protection is necessary.

Our dogs have always slept a lot. At night anyways, but during the day they also allowed themselves a lot of time to rest. I remember how amazed I was in the beginning at how long our Labrador bitch slept. Our dogs always had their very own place. This could be a dog basket or just a blanket next to the couch. We always made sure that the dog places were close to us. As a pack animal, the dog wants to be with the pack, meaning with the family. However, our mutt had a different idea; he laid down in the hallway on the bare tiles every night and could not be dissuaded.

The dog needs his own fixed place where he can eat in peace. With two or more dogs, this is especially true. We made sure that there is enough space between the dogs – preferably they do not see each other – so that eating does not become a competition!
The ideal time is after going for a walk. For adult dogs, this can be in the morning and at lunchtime if you want to feed twice, or just at lunchtime if the dog only gets food once a day.
Puppies get smaller amounts to eat more frequently. It’s best to check with the breeder or vet.

New paths or routes provide variety for humans as well as their best friend. They discover new ways and new smells: Dogs love that! It’s best to try new routes regularly, so you and your dog won’t get bored

If you go on vacation with your dog in Germany, you should inquire about a potential leash obligation at the destination.
This also applies abroad. It is advisable to comply with the applicable regulations. Non-compliance can result in warnings or even fines. In Bavarian hunting grounds, hunters are also allowed to shoot hunting dogs.

We are Ulrike and Steffen, founders and developers of the GoGassi app. We have always had dogs in our lives. The basic motivation for this app was to make the life of our four-legged friend in our modern and often hectic times easier, more predictable, and therefore a bit better. With the GoGassi app, our pets finally take the place in our busy lives that they deserve. No more “important” appointments that stop the little pooch at home from doing his business in the truest sense. But besides organizing appointments, it was important to us that the dogs are also handled in a species-appropriate and healthy way. Far too often we saw puppies with their proud owners much too far from the parking lot. Or Golden Retrievers passed us sluggishly and yet obediently in peak summer next to their masters on the bicycle. We are sure the owners often simply didn’t know any better and were often grateful for a hint here and there.
The GoGassi app wants to make things better for dogs. But we are at the very beginning with version 1.0 and have a lot of plans for the benefit of dogs. We would be happy if you enjoy the app and it can make your daily life with your best friend easier. Share your experience with us, recommend us, and have fun together!

P.S.: Our tips and tricks are based on personal experiences and are definitely not exhaustive – we cannot and do not want to claim that! Also, the focus of the topics always refers to walking. If you are missing something or if you have a completely different opinion, just write to us. We are looking forward to your feedback! We also learn every day with and through our dogs. On public streets and squares, children must be a certain age before they are allowed to walk the dog.