The German Shepherd Dog Puppy Information

Brief History

German Shepherd Puppies (German: Deutscher Schäferhund) is a domestic dog breed that was bred as a working dog. They originated from Germany. In the United Kingdom, the canine breed was popularly known as the Alsatian wolf dog until 1977, when it was renamed, German shepherd.

Because of their strength, intelligence, trainability, and obedience, German Shepherds were initially created for herding sheep in Germany.

German Shepherds are now being used for different purposes ranging from disability assistance, search-and-rescue, police and military roles, and acting

They come second place as the most registered breed by the American Kennel Club and seventh-most registered by The Kennel Club in the UK.

German shepherd average sizes and life expectancy (3 months old)

HEIGHT

9-11 inches

WEIGHT

22-30 pounds

LIFE

EXPECTANCY

12-14 years

The breed standard

General appearance of german shepherd

The German Shepherd appears mentally alert and with high physical stamina. They are full of strength, agility, and muscles. Also, they are longer than tall. They have an abounding speed that allows them to cover a lot in a short time while working. Their muzzle is long, their skull is square, and their ears are erect and pointed. They have long, bushy tails and slightly slanted back and rear legs

Head

They have a wedge-shaped head that is huge but proportionate to the body, with a domed forehead; they have an elongated square-cut muzzle with lips that are tight against the teeth and dark, and a large, wide, black nose.

Eyes

Although all German shepherd puppies are born with blue eyes, only a small percentage of adult German shepherds keep the color.

The blue eye changes color as they grow, depending on their DNA.

Ears

When a German Shepherd puppy is born, he or she will have floppy ears due to a lack of strength in the ear cartilage.

Size, Proportion, Substance

Size – The average weight of a 3-month-old healthy German shepherd puppy is 22 to 30 pounds and has a height of 9 to 11 inches

Proportion – The German Shepherd is longer than tall, with a proportion of 10 to 8½ being the most optimal. The back edge of the pelvis is measured from the tip of the breastbone to the rear edge of the pelvis. The proportion is derived from an overall length to height, which is achieved by measuring the length of the forequarter, withers, and hindquarter from the side.

Physique – They are full of strength, agility, and muscles. Also, they are longer than tall. They have an abounding speed that allows them to cover a lot in a short time while working. Their muzzle is long, their skull is square, and their ears are erect and pointed. They have long, bushy tails and slightly slanted back and rear legs.

Temperament

German Shepherds are moderately active dogs, they are always willing to learn. They are curious, overprotective, highly intelligent and obedient, energetic, loyal, and devoted companions.

Forequarters

The Shoulder blades are set at approximately 45° laid flat to the body. The length of the shoulder blade is equal to the length of the upper arms. Their muscles are very thick and attached to their body. They have strong upper arms which are very sturdy and join the shoulder blades at approximately 90°. The forearms are straight when seen from all sides, and parallel when seen from the front. The bones are oval and not round. While on their stance or the move, the elbows must not turn inwards or outwards. The pasterns are firm, loose-jointed, with a slight forward slope. A very long, weak pastern, which would affect a dog’s working ability is to be heavily penalized. The length of the foreleg slightly exceeds the depth of the chest.

Hindquarters

When viewed from a side, the whole joint of the thigh is broad, and the upper and lower thighs are sturdy, forming as nearly as possible a right angle. The upper thigh bone is parallel to the shoulder blade while the lower thigh bone is parallel to the upper arm. The metatarsus (the unit between the hock joint and the foot) is very strong and short. It is also tightly framed. If there are dewclaws on the hind legs, they should be removed.

Coat

The coat is usually soft and fluffy. In the first two years, the puppy changes its coat frequently. After 2 years, the puppy begins to develop to the coarse dense coat of an adult which could be long, short, or medium.

Gait

The gait is outstretched, elastic, appearing effortless, sleek, and rhythmic, covering the most ground with the fewest steps possible. It covers a lot of ground when walking, and has large strides in both the hind and forelegs. At a trot, the dog covers even more distance with a longer stride and moves strongly yet smoothly, well-coordinated and balanced, just like a well-lubricated machine at work. Both forward reach and backward push bring the feet close to the earth. Good muscle development and ligamentation are required for this type of movement to be perfect.

Color

The German Shepherd puppy changes its color as it grows. Its color changes till it’s two years old. After two years of age, it keeps its color

Markings and patterns 

Some of the German Shepherd Markings include the following but are not limited to these:

  • The ‘Black and Red,’ and ‘Black and Tan’

These are the colors of members in the German show line.

  • Bicolor

They could have brown feet, but for them to get in the show ring, they must have black heels as well.

  • Sable

These are more common in the work line than in the show line.

  • Solid Black

This occurs because of recessive genes. Sometimes with white patterns on their chest.

  • Solid White

This also occurs as a result of recessive genes. They are not allowed to participate in the show line but they can take part in agility obedience games.

Neck, Topline, Body

The neck is strong, intelligent, and somewhat long, proportionate to the head, and free of loose skin folds. When the dog is focused or eager, the head is elevated and the neck is carried high; if not, the head is normally carried forward rather than up and just above the tops of the shoulders, especially when the dog is moving.

Topline – The withers are higher than the level back and slant downward. The back is straight, well-developed, and moderately short, with little droop or roach. The body’s entire construction makes it feel deep and solid without being bulky.

Chest- The chest is large and deep, very spacious but not shallow.

Ribs- The ribs are long, and extend down to the elbows.

Tail- The tail hangs in a small curve calmly. The curve is pronounced and the tail is lifted when the dog is eager or moving.

Disqualifications

The German Shepherd is a breed of dog. Dogs come in a variety of hues, and most of them are acceptable.

Colors with a lot of depth are chosen. Pale, washed-out colors, as well as blues or livers, are major flaws.

A white dog must be eliminated from the competition. A dog with a docked tail must be disqualified from the competition.

Soft, silky, excessively long outer coat, woolly, curly, and open coat are all flaws in a coat. Major faults include tails that are too short or have clumpy ends due to ankylosis.

Things You Should Know When Breeding A French Bulldog Puppy

Genetic variability 

In the mid-nineteenth century, public demand for variation in domestic dog breeds arose, and breeds were popular for their novelty value rather than their ability to perform a specific role.

Even traditionally useful breeds are now bred mostly for exhibition, with just a few dogs attaining the role of ‘popular sire’ as a result of their performance at such competitions. Breeding practices used to generate modern breeds are linked to the risk of genetic diversity being lost.

The most sensitive measure of genetic diversity is the number of alleles per locus, and the German shepherd dog populations had about half as many as outbred dogs, with mean HObs, HExp, and PIC values.

The outbred dog population’s values were around three-quarters of the outbred dog population’s. Both German- and South African-bred German shepherd dogs show a slight loss of genetic variation when compared to outbred dogs.

But not enough to label the breed as extremely inbred or prone to inbreeding depression, according to these findings.

This is despite the adoption of a single foundation sire and substantial inbreeding both during the early development of the breed and in modern breeding programs.

Despite the large census population, the widespread usage of “popular sires” and the fact that only dogs and bitches meeting specific minimum breed requirements and qualities are included in the census, included in the breed registry, results in a relatively small effective population size.

Reproductive information of a german shepherd

A German Shepherd can reproduce for the rest of her life once she has gone through her first heat cycle and males have reached sexual maturity.

However, depending on the sex of the dog, it is recommended that you cease breeding your German Shepherd when they reach the age of eight to ten years old.

Around the age of six, your German Shepherd will go through her first heat cycle. This should happen twice a year, six months apart for the rest of her life.

However, there comes a time in the life of your German Shepherd when you should pay special attention to when she is in heat.

From the age of two to eight, you can breed your German Shepherd, taking breaks in between cycles. Breed her once a year, at the most.

At these ages, a female German Shepherd is the most sexually mature and is more likely to have healthy puppies.

However, as a German Shepherd gets older, her eggs grow more delicate, and pregnancy difficulties for both the mother and her puppies become more common.

She may be more susceptible to severe blood loss during the childbirth process or even stillbirths as she gets older.

In addition, the longer your German Shepherd is bred, the less milk she is likely to produce.

This is detrimental to both her puppies’ and her health.

So, while you’re breeding your German Shepherd, monitor how healthy her pregnancies are in between heat cycles.

Male German Shepherds have a slightly longer breeding period than female German Shepherds.

Male German Shepherds can breed for roughly two years longer than female German Shepherds before their sperm becomes ineffective.

Before breeding your German Shepherd, regardless of the situation or gender of the dog, you should always visit a veterinarian.

Health

When you go to purchase a German Shepherd Puppy, these factors are important and you should look out for them.

  • You ought to have concluded if you would get a male or female. They both have some similarities in their features but there are outstanding differences that you should note.
  • Males weigh more compared the females which are lighter. The males are also larger than the females.
  • In the males, the masculine features are pronounced while in the females, fragile and feminine features are present
  • If you choose a female and do not desire more puppies from her, then let her be sprayed.
  • Also, let the breeder know if you want a companion, or a show dog, or a dog for competitive performance.
  • A German Shepherd puppy should have a good temperament. He should be curious, outgoing, and daring as he approaches anything or anyone. He also craves and displays affection without holding back.
  • Sometimes, puppies pick on one of their littermates. This is not to say it is impaired. Simply take the puppy out of their midst and he’ll defend himself in their absence.
  • If a puppy is shy, don’t take it home. You don’t want to be embarrassed when it refuses to portray the traits of a German Shepherd. You would recognize a shy puppy when it runs and hides. It is afraid! Don’t take it home out of pity.
  • For companion puppies, they best adapt to a new home after 8 weeks of age. Hence, they are usually sold within 8-16 weeks old.

Concerning their health, Inbreeding has made them susceptible to some health issues. Some of the health problems occur because of the dog’s weight, some, because of the work they do and some are just because they are dogs.

The most common health issues include:

  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Elbow Dysplasia
  • Bloat
  • Epilepsy
  • Hemophilia

Hip Dysplasia

The most common problem the German Shepherd encounters with its health is Hip dysplasia. While other dogs suffer this health concern, it is incredibly common in German Shepherds. When litters are born in kennels without health care, it is usually a disaster!

Causes

It happens when a dog is overhead or exercised too hard. Also, young animals when injured can affect their hips.

Moreover, due to a familial tendency, some dogs are predisposed to hip looseness or laxity, which can speed up the disease’s progression.

Symptoms 

Generally, when dogs are found to have this problem, they should not be bred. But some breeders go ahead to breed them still, creating another generation of puppies with the same issue. This causes a lot of pain for the dog to bear.

Elbow Dysplasia

This is also a result of breeding diseased ancestors just like hip dysplasia, It causes issues around the elbow joint in this case. Sometimes it is severe, sometimes, it is mild.

Even when it begins as a mild case,  it would escalate as the dog advances in age, this makes it extremely uncomfortable for the dog to walk. Because German Shepherd is highly prone to this health issue, credible breeders ensure that both parents are not diseased with elbow dysplasia before they are bred. In a situation where a dog has elbow dysplasia, the most a breeder or owner can do about it is to ensure the dog is fed with the right nutrition to keep his joints lubricated to get rid of the pain for as long as possible.

Bloat or Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus (GDV)

When your dog eats a lot of food hastily and proceeds to perform intense physical activity, this causes a build-up of gas in his stomach. If the dog is unable to release the gas, as usual, the pressure of the bloat can make it difficult for the dog to breathe and this can result in a shock. This usually occurs in dogs with short and medium-length hair. The long-haired ones can hide it better

If your dog’s attempt to vomit severally ends up futile, or you see it eating grass. It is most likely bloated. This bloating is a life-threatening situation. Hence, the dog should be taken to the vet with immediate effect.

Due to the severity of this condition, prevention is better than cure and The best way to prevent it is by ensuring that he doesn’t eat too quickly and neither does he eat too much at once.

It is also important to ensure he doesn’t do any hectic physical activity after eating. And to feed three small meals a day is better than feeding one large one.

Epilepsy

This is a seizure disorder that many people have discovered in their dogs though it is more rampant among humans. To think that these German Shepherds are usually trained to detect seizures in humans with epilepsy similar cases, it’s quite ironic.

When a dog is epileptic, it requires attention such that it can notify its companion when it’s about to have an attack. When dogs are kept in stress-free conditions and live comfortably with a watchful family

Although epilepsy is incurable and hereditary, some medications can help them manage the situation.

Hemophilia

The German Shepherd breed is offsprings as a result of inbreeding hence, they can be born with hemophilia.

This disease makes the blood unable to clot properly and a cut or bruise can be a serious thing. There is no cure for hemophilia but with proper monitoring and extra care, the dog would live happily for long. Owners of dogs with this disease should conduct regular checks for blood pockets under the skin and exercise them carefully.

Grooming a german shepherd 

The moment you choose to own a German Shepherd, you must invest time in grooming him.

Throughout the year, groom your dog at least twice a week, and every day during his two big shedding seasons in the spring and fall. Your German Shepherd must never be shaved or clipped!

Even if you notice your dog panting in the heat, shaving his thick coat should not be considered an option.

The coat of the German Shepherd would eventually keep him warm in the winter and cool in the summer, and if removed, he would be cold and wet in the winter.

Also, your dog’s skin will be exposed to injury from the sun’s UV radiation in hot weather.

In addition, the dog’s coat will never regrow properly.

A de-shedding or dematting tool, a pin and bristle brush, and a slicker brush should be included in your basic German Shepherd grooming kit.

Exercise 

German Shepherd puppies require exercise to stay active, fit, and even out of mischief!

However, some owners of the German Shepherd breed make the error of believing that a young puppy needs “a lot” of planned activity. But this is not true.

How Much Should a German Shepherd Puppy Exercise?

German Shepherd puppies should only go for five minutes of on-leash, leisurely walking at a time, dependent on their months of age.

So, an 8-week-old dog can go for a 10-minute leash walk, while a 6-month-old can go for a 30-minute leash walk. Low-impact, gentle workouts can be done for longer lengths of time with your dog. You can play video games too.

Off-leash walking and exploring are the finest forms of exercise for your German Shepherd puppy. Activities should be careful and slow-paced until your vet confirms that your dog’s bones have fused (approximately 12 to 18 months of age).

Natural free running is the finest approach to exercise German Shepherds up to the age of twelve months. Your dog is free to run off-leash and can stop or slow down as they please.

When your dog is on a leash, it will want to keep up with your speed even if it is excessive because they want to please you. While your German Shepherd is maturing, limit off-leash hikes and activity.

Allow them to walk freely while on a leash at their own pace.

Training a german shepherd

One of the many reasons the German Shepherd Dog is America’s second-most popular dog breed is because it is easy to live with.

image of a german shepherd puppy

Starting with puppy training, when your German Shepherd is most impressionable, you can ensure that you bring out the best in this magnificent breed.

Eight to Sixteen weeks

1. Socialization

Your German Shepherd puppy, like all puppies, has a key socialization window that closes between the ages of 12 and 16 weeks. Indeed, socialization is especially crucial for German Shepherd puppies, who are naturally protective guardians, so that your puppy learns which strangers are kind and which are not.

GSD puppies are incredibly perceptive, and they will pick up on your signs and emotions everywhere around them.

Having exposure to a variety of people in non-threatening scenarios at this vital period can help your puppy be confident rather than scared or aggressive around nice strangers.

You can socialize your puppy securely even during times of social and physical distance.

The importance of proper socialization for this breed cannot be overstated; as Adams points out, “confidence is the foundation for most training.”

From a young age, the German Shepherd puppy must be thoroughly socialized. It is vital for the puppy’s development to be exposed to new sights, sounds, and smells safe. Confidence comes from good socialization.”

Make sure you reveal yourself throughout this time.

During this time, be sure to expose your German Shepherd to the various aspects of daily life and routines that you want them to be comfortable with as adults.

German Shepherds, for example, require regular grooming to minimize shedding and preserve coat and skin health, especially during the “blow coat” season (which occurs twice a year).

As a result, begin introducing basic grooming instruments, such as combs, brushes, and nail clippers, to your puppy as soon as possible, going slowly at first and making it a joyful experience.

2. Crate Training 

Crate training is also a smart idea. Alexa Hagood, LVMT, a GSD trainer and dog sports enthusiast, agrees: “Crate brea “Even short crate breaks can help the puppy get used to going in the crate and having some alone time.”

She suggests starting with utilizing the crate during feeding times (for five to ten minutes inside the crate) and times when the owner needs to undertake daily tasks to lessen the likelihood of a puppy developing separation anxiety.

3. Housetraining

Crate training is a wonderful method for facilitating house training, which almost all GSDs readily accept.

Many German Shepherd owners will find that this breed is one of the simplest to house-train if they provide consistent monitoring and consistency.

Three to Nine months

1. Obedience training

The German Shepherd is a breed of dog. The work ethic of dogs is famous, and with early and continual training, you can encourage your dog’s best working attributes.

German Shepherds are known for their obedience, so start teaching your puppy basic commands like sit, down and stay, as well as loose-leash walking, when he or she is young. Enrolling in a puppy obedience class can be highly beneficial for both teaching and socializing these commands.

2. Recall 

As soon as possible, start teaching your German Shepherd to come when called. Getting a dependable recall takes a lot of work, effort, and patience.

As soon as possible, start teaching your German Shepherd to come when called. It takes a lot of time, practice, and patience to develop a dependable recall, but it’s a talent that could save your dog’s life in the future.

3. Impulse Control

Learning to regulate impulses is vital for all puppies, but for the German Shepherd, it can be one of the most effective strategies to prevent undesirable behaviors.

If bored, for example, excessive barking, digging, aggressive chewing, and improper chasing.

Getting your dog to focus is the key to impulse control.

This will help with all of your other training efforts, particularly in AKC dog sports like obedience and rally.

Require your puppy to sit before eating, playing with an interesting toy, going outdoors to play, or doing anything else.

You might require more sophisticated instructions or tricks to receive rewards or play with your GSD puppy as his obedience training progresses and he learns more commands.

Nine to Twenty-four months

Different breeds and sizes of dogs mature at different times.

While one year of age is typically considered the end of puppyhood, a German Shepherd Dog may not attain adult maturity until he or she is two or three years old (and males reach this stage later than females).

Working on impulse control, improving obedience skills, and progressing to more focused activities like tracking, scent work, protection work, agility, and herding.

These (and more) are capabilities of this breed—must all be continued during this period and then reinforced as your GSD reaches adulthood.

Keep in mind that this is a breed that thrives on stability and predictability.

Remember that this is a breed that thrives on continual and steady labor and training, and that it enjoys having a job—or several ones!

Both you and your dog will benefit if you can give your German Shepherd treats for their intelligence and flexibility.

Nutrition 

German Shepherds require a minimum of 22 percent protein during growth phases and 18 percent protein as adults.

To meet their energy needs, puppies require 8% fat while adults require 5% fat. Survival also necessitates carbohydrate, vitamin, mineral, and water intake.

These vital nutrients are involved in all the body’s basic activities and must be included in a German Shepherd’s regular diet.

1. Protein 

This is the most important nutrient for dogs. Protein serves a variety of purposes, including supplying energy, repairing and strengthening muscles, producing new skin, hair, and nail cells, and maintaining the immune and musculoskeletal systems.

Puppies and adult German Shepherds require varying amounts:

Adult dogs require a minimum of 18% protein, whereas growing puppies require a minimum of 22 percent protein.

The protein is measured on a dry matter basis, which refers to the amount of protein that remains after the moisture has been removed from the food.

2. Fat 

This is the second most important nutrient for your German Shepherd. Fat is derived from protein and serves as a source of energy. It’s also required for regular growth and development.

Fat is derived from protein and serves as a source of energy. It’s also important for body cells, neurons, muscles, and tissues to form and function normally. Puppies and adult German Shepherds require different amounts of food:

For growing puppies, a fat content of 8% is recommended, and for adult dogs, a fat content of 5% is recommended.

Your dog’s nutritional requirements will vary depending on his or her age, size, breed, amount of exercise, and overall health.

An energetic and growing puppy, for example, may require twice the amount of calories as an adult dog of the same breed.

Elderly dogs may require 20% fewer calories than canines in their middle years.

As an example, my well-trained German Shepherd will require thorough obedience training.

My well-exercised German Shepherd, for example, will require an entirely different diet than a lapdog who prefers to lounge around all day.

Finally, a pregnant or lactating dog will need far more calories than a sedentary “sofa dog.”

Life expectancy 

A healthy German shepherd dog is expected to live for an average of 12 to 14 years.

Mobility issues like hip dysplasia, arthritis, and back problems are some of the biggest factors that affect a German Shepherd’s lifespan. You can, however, help your German shepherds live a long and happy life by:

Get Regular Vet Care 

You should take your German Shepherd to the vet at least once a year when they are young and twice a year as they age for wellness checks.

Because many health conditions are much easier to treat if they are caught early on.

Maintain Your German Shepherd’s Weight

More than half of all pet dogs are overweight or obese, and dogs face many of the same obesity-related diseases as people.

Feed Your GSD High-Quality Food

While most commercial dog foods are labelled “nutritionally complete,” that doesn’t make them healthy. Many dog foods include filler ingredients like corn or meat by-products that have little to no nutritional value.

Consider Supplements

Since German Shepherds are so prone to painful joint problems, you should start them on a joint supplement that contains glucosamine and chondroitin when they are young to help prevent and lessen joint pain.

Give Your German Shepherd Plenty of Exercise

All dogs need exercise to prevent obesity and keep them in shape, but German Shepherds have high energy levels and can turn to destructive behaviors if they don’t get enough exercise.

Keep Their Mind Active

German Shepherds are extremely intelligent and get bored easily. A bored German Shepherd can develop undesirable behaviors, which may not lead directly to a shortened lifespan.

Conclusion

The German Shepherd is a brilliant dog who will not be satisfied with a sedentary lifestyle. He’s an active dog that needs to live with someone who will offer him a task that matches his abilities.

When given early socialization and training, German Shepherds love children and make excellent family pets.

The German Shepherd is commonly thought of as a black and tan dog, however, they can also be sable or fully black. Breeders dislike dogs with white, blue, or liver-colored coats, so don’t believe marketing claims that these hues are “unusual” and command a premium price.

Also, a shy, frightened, or violent German Shepherd should never be allowed.

Article Sources

The Pristen Pets uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.

  1. Nature: Genetic dissection of complex behaviour traits in German Shepherd dogs
  2. GSDCA: What Should I Look for in a German Shepherd Puppy?
  3. Pet Coach: Life with a German Shepherd
  4. Pet Helpful: 17 Common German Shepherd Health Problems 
  5. Word of Dogz: Best Diet for German Shepherds: Nutrition, Types, and More! 
  6. The Happy Puppy Site: German Shepherd Grooming – Your Guide to Caring for Your Dog

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