In this article, we will be taking a look at how to take care of your german shepherd puppy. We all want the very best for our pets and these tips and tricks will help you ensure your new puppy is in the best of health.
These tips and tricks will serve as general guidance for any new puppy owner. They have been chosen as they are easy to implement while offering the owner the maximum results for the smallest possible time and cash investment possible.
How To Take Care Of Your German Shepherd Puppy
Research The Breeder
At the time of writing, german shepherds have been the most popular dog breed in the USA, Canada, and the UK for three years running. They are also very popular dogs for police, military, and private security work. Due to this, a small minority of breeders have taken to breeding german shepherds as a way to make money rather than for their love of the breed.
Although unfortunate, these people are definitely out there. Always try to research the breeder that you plan to buy from as best you can. If your puppy has been abused at an early age it can lead to a number of issues down the line.
These resources may be able to help you find a reputable breeder in your local area:-
Ensure Your Puppy Always Has Access To Water
It goes without saying that your puppy is going to require water each day. Investing in a high-quality doggy water fountain can give you peace of mind that your puppy has a constant supply of clean cool water while you are out at work during the day.
If you have a long-haired german shepherd puppy then we highly recommend that you ensure your pet has a constant supply of water. Their additional fur can means they can be susceptible to dehydration during hot weather. A constant water supply ensures they have a way to stay both cool and hydrated.
Spend Time Bonding With Your German Shepherd Puppy
The majority of dogs, especially while puppies have a strong pack mentality and want to be social. As far as your puppy is concerned, you are its new mother or father with other members of the household being other members of the pack.
Ensure you spend time bonding with your puppy, this will help keep it well behaved but also make it feel involved and rescue the chance of negative behavior occurring. You can use a number of activities as a bonding exercise such as training sessions or even just games of fetch.
The more bonding time your puppy spends with “the pack” the more likely it is to understand its place within the social group of the house. Once this happens it is more likely to respond positively to training sessions as well as come when called.
Our articles linked below may offer additional assistance with this task:-
- How To Train Your German Shepherd Not To Pull On A Leash!
- The Best Puppy Chew Toys For Teething!
- How To Get Your Dog To Play With Toys Easily!
- How To Get Your Dog To Come Back When Called!
Make Sure You Are Providing A Healthy German Shepherd Puppy Diet
Without a doubt, one of the most important elements of your new puppies life is its diet. Giving your puppy a sub-par food can affect its growth rate as well as cause problems with its eye, skin, bone, and coat development. Additionally, some puppies can have digestive issues if they are fed either lactose or gluten.
Finding the correct food for your puppy can be such a minefield that we published a dedicated article on it to help our readers make the best choices. We highly recommend that you read our article on the best food for german shepherd puppies.
Although many people advice you feed your puppy twice each day, this depends on the food you choose as well as your puppy. Different foods have different calorie contents so always try to feed the recommended portion sizes suggested on the back of your chosen foods packaging. If your puppy struggles to eat a full meal at once then it may be an idea to look at reducing the amount of food you offer your puppy in each meal but increase the number of meals of you offer each day.
Try To Have A “German Shepherd Puppy Starter Kit”
We have lost count of the number of people who go out and purchase a puppy as a spur of the moment thing. Taking on a puppy is no small commitment, you should ensure that you are prepared and have the correct equipment before bringing your bundle of fur home.
Here is a basic list of items that we recommend that you already have at home before getting your puppy:-
- A Dog Collar
- A Dog Leash
- Dishes For Food And Water
- A Number Of Different Chew Toys
- A Dog Crate
- A Dog Bed
Make Sure You Have Plenty Of Space
This doesn’t have to be space in your house or yard, a nearby beach, park or field will serve just as well. German shepherds are a large active dog breed that enjoys having fun. Try to make sure they have the space to run around or chase a ball and play with other dogs as often as possible.
German shepherds are usually a social breed with both humans and other animals so a trip to the local park should not cause any unwanted issues for you.
Give Your Dog Regular Baths
Remember to give your dog a bath! Although the required timeframe between baths changes per breed, we usually recommend no more than one bath per month. This should not cause any issues with their naturally occurring fur and skin oils while also keeping your dog as clean as possible.
Human shampoos are usually too strong for your dog and can also have an effect on their fur and skin oil production. Over time this can lead to sensitive skin and excessive itching which, in turn, makes the problem worse. Always try to use a high-quality doggy shampoo during bath time to reduce the risk of this happening.
Our other articles below may help with getting your dog to enjoy bath time:-
Keep Up With Vet Checkups
Although not essential, and many dog owners do without, we recommend that you keep up to date with your local veterinarian checkups. Not only can they make observations and offer advice on how your puppy is aging, they can also keep an eye out for the following conditions:-
- Hip Dysplasia (Common In German Shepherds)
- Check For Ear Infections
- Check For Yeast Infections
- Clip Your Dogs Nails Correctly
- Correct And Working Issues
- Monitor Weight Gain
Be Prepared For Nighttime Potty Breaks
One thing all new parents and new puppy owners always underestimate is the number of nighttime potty breaks that are required. Your puppy will quickly learn to signal you during the night by either crying, scratching at your bedroom door or jumping on your bed.
If you hear your puppy crying during the night, it’s usually best to just presume that it is crying because it needs to potty rather than that it wants attention. It’s better to get out of bed for a few minutes than have a cleanup operation on your hands when you wake up in the morning.
If you do get out of bed and your puppy only wants attention then be sure to scold him verbally then return to bed. If your puppy does require the bathroom, be sure that’s all it gets. Don’t allow your puppy to turn it into play time as it may develop a middle of the morning playtime habit.
Our articles linked below may help you further with potty training:-
- How To Potty Train A Dog In An Apartment!
- How To Get Your Dog To Poop Outside!
- How To Get Your Dog To Use A Doggie Door!
Make Sure Your Puppie Is Getting Plenty Of Exercise
Excercise is an essential element for your puppy to lead a healthy lifestyle. Without the opportunity to exercise regularly your german shepherd puppy may turn its excess energy towards chewing or destroying household items.
A ten-minute potty break walk is not enough! German shepherds were bred as working dogs to assist shepherds tend their flocks and thus have high amounts of energy that requires an outlet. Even a long game of fetch in your yard can help burn off this excess energy. By getting your puppy to run at high speeds for short periods of time repeatedly, you are essentially giving it a HIIT workout that can be very effective.
A lack of exercise has been directly linked to german shepherds developing problems such as joint diseases later in life as well as displaying negative types of behavior.
Our other articles linked below may help you with keeping your puppy fit:-
Groom Your Puppy Regularly
Although not essential, grooming can act as a good bonding activity between you and your puppy. Depending on the season it can also massively reduce the amount of hair that your puppy will shed, especially if it is a long-haired german shepherd!
Initially, many puppies and adult dogs hate being groomed. Our article on how to get your dog used to being groomed can help you with this issue. Its methods have proven successful time and time again with multiple dog owners the world over.
You should aim to groom your puppy around twice each week as german shepherds will have light non-stop shedding. During the spring and fall of each year, your dog will fully shed its seasonal coat and you may have to increase the frequency of grooming during these periods.
During each grooming session, do your best to clean your dog’s ears. This is usually a challenge, especially if you are alone but do your best. As german shepherds are an alert dog breed they will often have their ears propped up listening to their surroundings. This allows things such as dirt, dust, and bacteria to get into their ears. Although rare, this can result in an ear infection.
Show Your Puppy Affection
As touched upon earlier in the article with the bonding phase, your puppy sees you and your family as its new pack, make sure it feels part of it. Your puppy will offer you, unconditional love, although not really a problem for most animal owners, try to show that you love it too.
How To Care For Newborn German Shepherd Puppies
If you currently own a pregnant german shepherd then you may be looking for advice on how to take care of the pups once they arrive. The advice is slightly different from above as they require a different type of care before the six to eight-week-old mark as they have their mother to help care for them.
The puppies will be born completely toothless as well as deaf and blind so can rely on both you and their mother at times. Their natural instinct will be to seek the warmth of their mother and suckle as much as possible. If mommy has a large litter it’s usually the case that you will be looking after her more than the pups as she will get tired quickly. Even if your pregnant dog is an experienced mother, she will still usually require a helping hand at times.
This is the best article we have managed to find covering how to take care of newborn german shepherd puppies. It goes in depth and offers plenty of tips and tricks from an experienced dog owner. We saw no need to publish our own article on the same subject when there is such a high-quality one already online that we feel will be able to meet all of your needs.