Not surprisingly, German shepherds are one of the most popular breeds of dogs in the U.S. With their physical and mental stamina, this celebrated animal is appreciated by many. With German shepherd puppies, however, their “guard dog” instincts haven’t kicked in yet. Instead, these pups want to play all day, every day. These adorable animals love learning, affection, and bonding closely with their humans.
German shepherds come from, you guessed it, Germany! A relatively new breed, they didn’t come on the scene until the late 1800s. A German cavalry officer, Captain Max von Stephanitz, spent his life promoting this breed because he loved how versatile and intelligent they were. From their popularity throughout the decades, famous German shepherd puppies like Rin Tin Tin from the 1920s became part of pop-culture history.
German shepherds aren’t just in the limelight. They make great seeing-eye dogs due to their patient and determined nature. In fact, Buddy, a female German Shepherd was the first seeing eye dog ever, starting a worldwide movement in 1928.
German shepherd puppy facts
German shepherd puppies are very inquisitive. Due to their curious nature, they love being trained for many different tasks and tricks. They are a highly intelligent breed that loves to show off when they get the chance. Here are some interesting facts to take home before your new puppy arrives.
|Size||Large. Male German shepherds weigh 65 to 90 pounds and females weigh 50 to 70 pounds. They measure 22 to 26 inches tall from the shoulder.|
|Breed Characteristics||This breed is known for its iconic muscular stature. The thick, double-coated, medium length fur is usually a mixture of light to dark browns.|
|Temperament||German shepherd puppies are playful. They’re quick learners and love having a job to do (even if it’s chewing through a delicious bone). They’re loyal to their humans and naturally confident in their abilities. They’re also destined to become great protectors for their homes.|
|Grooming and Health Needs||German shepherd puppies require minimal grooming attention, with the occasional bath and brushing. When they grow, they shed large amounts once or twice a year. They will need a brush through every few days to get rid of loose fur.
In general, German shepherd dogs are a healthy breed, however, this breed has been known to suffer from bloat, which can be life-threatening. It’s also recommended to get both hips and elbows checked as they get older.
|Training||German shepherd puppies are eager to please and would thrive in puppy training classes. Due to their size, German shepherds need to be socialized quickly with other dogs. Positive, reward-based training works best. GSD pups are quick to learn impressive tricks. Because of their disciplined nature, they can eventually be a great guard, family, and service dog.|
|Energy Level||German shepherds are a very athletic and energetic breed. They love to run and do high-energy activities. As a puppy, having a fenced-in area where they can socialize with other dogs is ideal. Learning agility, herding, and tracking is what this dog was bred for!|
|Life Span||German shepherds live between 7-10 years on average.|
Who is the best human for a German shepherd?
German shepherds love being a part of a high-energy family or with someone who leads an active life. A sedentary lifestyle doesn’t work for this herding breed, as they love to learn, play, and be a part of their human pack! German shepherd puppies can get distracted easily. Even though they love children and family life, while training, it’s best to have them focus only on the task they’re learning so as to avoid sensory overload.
German shepherds are a tried and true family dog. They love swimming (even with their humans!), running, and romping in a big backyard. They’re highly social and friendly dogs, so a busy household works well for them. They also need plenty of affection and snuggles. Due to their hunting heritage, they love to play fetch!
Getting a German shepherd puppy
Choosing to adopt or go through a breeder for your new German shepherd puppy is a personal choice that requires research. Thankfully, there are many resources out there to help you find a rescue or breeder that offers healthy, ethically-sourced German shepherd puppies.
Knowing what you’re in for when you get a German shepherd puppy is an important step in being a responsible pet owner. Whether you find a responsible breeder or are planning on adopting, it’s up to you to be prepared for an energetic and friendly addition to your household.
Adopting German shepherd puppies
According to the AKC, most breed rescues report that a majority of their rescue dogs come from individual owner surrender, with the most common reasons being a change in lifestyle or the breed not being a good fit. This means that there may be many dogs and puppies out there that are looking for a new forever home.
The main difference between a breeder and a rescue is that a rescue may not always have young puppies to choose from. The benefit, however, is that most are mandated to only adopt out dogs that have been microchipped and spayed/neutered. This means you may end up with a dog that’s already been housebroken, and doesn’t need these common medical procedures. You may also find a German shepherd mix that has all the traits you want from the breed, but with a little extra thrown in.
Finding a German shepherd rescue can be as simple as searching the internet. The AKC also has an excellent list of German shepherd rescues on their site.
Finding a German shepherd breeder
The first step is to do your research. Sadly, there are many puppy mills posing as reputable breeders along with many online scams. Be aware, and reach out to different online forums for conversations about getting your future furry family member.
Be sure to ask questions, make arrangements to meet the parent dogs or mother, and follow your gut. If something seems wrong at a breeder you visit, or the German shepherd puppy seems too good to be true, there’s likely something going on. The AKC also offers resources for finding a breeder, with fairly strict guidelines on who they let participate.
German shepherd puppy resources
After you find the right German shepherd puppy, it’s time to prepare your home! Here are a few resources to get you started: