Unlike other categories of dogs, the German Shepherd is muscular, herding and athletic. They are agile and fast-learner. These dogs are always at the peak of their energy and excel at both play and work. However, they find it difficult to stay alone.
Ever since their birth till the time they grow old, German Shepherds undergo several changes, and the most interesting one is their growth stages. The health of these dogs is usually a result of the nutrition, care and training they receive.
Just like the different colors, German Shepherds also grow into various sizes. As per the American Kennel Club, their breed size usually ranges from 24-26 inches in males. On the other hand, for females, it is 22-24 inches. The ideal weight of a full-grown male should be 65 to 90 pounds, whereas for a female it should be 50 to 70 pounds.
What Does Breed Standard Refer To?
To define “breed standard” in simple words, it is the illustration of an ideal dog belonging to each breed. It forms a parameter against which these dogs are judged at events. For a German Shepherd puppy, one can know about their full size by their genetics.
However, for most parts, the growth stages remain similar to dogs. In the next part of this article, we will discover the developmental stages of a German Shepherd. So, get ready for some amazing information.
An Account Of Different Growth Stages Of German Shepherds
- Neonatal Stage
This usually ranges from birth to three weeks. Newborn puppies are born deaf, blind as well as helpless. They mostly depend on their mother for warmth, elimination and nourishment. This is the time when they experience the following milestones:
- From birth to 2 weeks, they need nursing. The birth weight doubles in 2 weeks under proper care.
- From 2 to 3 weeks, the puppies learn how to stand. Their ears and eyes get fully open and they start leaning to walk.
- Socialization Stage
Prevailing usually from 3 to 12 weeks, the socialization stage is a significant one for puppies. They learn critical skills from their mothers and other puppies at this stage. Also, they get training for their future owners. The milestones which they usually achieve during this period are:
- In 3-4 weeks, their walking improves. Further, they learn how to play with humans and littermates.
- 5-8 weeks is the stage when they start consuming dog food. Reaction to fear and strange objects begins at this stage.
- It takes 7-8 weeks before they start weaning.
- Juvenile Stage
German Shepherds start losing their puppy phase from 4 to 6 months or during the Juvenile Stage. They are now willing to crawl to their new homes and may begin acquiring puppy training. The childhood era lasts from 4 to 6 months along with positive reinforcement and extreme socialization.
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- At this period, they start developing all puppy teeth and get adult teeth at 4 months.
- They are full of energy and life at this stage.
- The Juvenile period enhances their motor skills.
- Adolescent Stage
The adolescent stage starts around 6 months. Moreover, they last for almost 2 years old. As a result, they become extremely energetic. These puppies continue to examine boundaries to experiment with different situations.
- They lose their puppy appearance completely and become rambunctious.
- They can also experience a second fear period.
- The urge for socialization continues in them and they reinforce training.
Usually lasts for 2 to 3 years. By this time, the German Shepherd reaches their complete size but some of them can have a bigger size. They can continue to remain active dogs since they love attention and exercise. Learning new things and relishing new experiences is something new about their adulthood.
- Although they are completely trained, they still undergo training.
- They become capable of being a part of the German Shepherd Bite Force. They now develop a less calm and impulsive.
- An adult German Shepherd becomes a confident family member.
- Even after remaining active, they are no longer hyper.
- Senior Years
On the basis of your care and nourishment, German Shepherds can live up to 9-13 years. Typically, they hit their senior years around 8 to 10 years old. Also, this is the time when their health and comfort become the primary focus areas.
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- Just like human adults, they also become passive. A senior German Shepherd needs more rest and peace.
- Some of them may require painkillers for spine problems, arthritis, etc.
- German Shepherds can benefit from adult food or foods that make digestion easier. They continue to enjoy some exercise but preventing jumping and hard exercises is important.
The Pros And Cons Of Petting A German Shepherd
German Shepherds are intelligent, athletic, and mostly good-looking. They become great pets when you are living with your family and children. Additionally, German Shepherds are protective and they form great guard dogs.
German Shepherds can cost you a lot of money. Also, they have an enormous prey drive and are not very ideal for multi-pet homes.
The Bottom Line
So, this was all about German Shepherd Growth and the benefits of petting them. Thank you for reading this far. Let us know how did you like the article by commenting down below. Also, stay connected and we share a lot of informative content related to dogs.