Does your German Shepherd dog have the correct BMI for his age?
Understanding German Shepherd puppy development not only helps you monitor the height and weight of a shepherd.
But it also helps you predict the dog’s future health pattern.
German Shepherd puppy development helps you understand your Shepherd dog’s height and weight at his age. It also helps you know when to train your dog, spay or neuter them, or when to prepare for their heat cycle.
When should you start weaning your newborn German Shepherd puppy?
What is the best time to potty train or leash walk?
At what month do you start preparing your German Shepherd dog for parenthood?
If you are a proud pet parent to a newborn German Shepherd puppy, here are some German Shepherd puppy development hacks you should know of.
There are 5 stages in the growth of a newborn German Shepherd puppy. They are;
- Neonatal period
- Socializing period
- Juvenile period
- Sexual maturity period
- Adulthood period
2 – 3 weeks Newborn German Shepherd puppy
This is the neonatal stage when the 2 week old German Shepherd puppies are still weak and vulnerable.
The pups depend on their mother for everything which includes feeding, grooming, and relieving themselves.
As the puppy grows, there are notable changes that happen within this period;
- The eyes become fully open within two weeks
- The puppies can hear better within two weeks
- As they get stronger, puppies begin to crawl
- Crawling slowly graduates to walking
- They start going for potty by themselves
3 – 12 weeks Newborn German Shepherd puppy
This is the socialization stage where the 3 to 4 week old German Shepherd puppies depend on their mother for socialization.
A 3 to 4 week old German Shepherd puppy still needs the company of its mother even when it reaches weaning age. Interaction with its mother ensures the Shepherd puppy grows into a well-behaved and sociable dog.
The puppy is not ready for adoption yet.
They need to spend more time with the mother to learn how to socialize beyond the litter.
As the puppies learn from their mother, they are also going through notable physiological changes;
- The puppies can now walk upright
- Puppies are lively and playful within the litter
- Most of the teeth have grown at this point
- Puppy fight or flight responses are checking in
- The ears are becoming erect and alert
12 weeks – 6 months Newborn German Shepherd puppy
This is the period that marks teenagehood for a newborn German shepherd puppy.
Growth is slowing down and the German Shepherd dog has achieved full height.
From here the Shepherd puppy is adding weight and growing bigger.
This is also the period you must start training the Shepherd dog on good behavior.
Notable changes in this phase include;
- All puppy teeth are fully grown
- Adult teeth are forming
- Growth continues but slowly
6 – 16 months Newborn German Shepherd puppy
Puberty kicks in and the 8 weeks old German Shepherd puppy is no longer a teenager.
He has an adult body and is beginning to show interest in the opposite sex.
Growth continues even as the German Shepherd dog prepares to have its litter.
If you do not have plans to raise a new litter, this is the best time to spay or neuter your German Shepherd.
This helps in maintaining control of the dog.
Also, spayed or neutered dogs gain and maintain weight faster.
As you interact with your German Shepherd, you will notice these new changes in them;
- All adult teeth are fully grown
- The ears are fully erect
- Puppies start forming strong bonds with each other
- Females start having their heat cycle while the males become sexually active
16 – 36 months Newborn German Shepherd puppy
By the 16th month, adulthood is kicking in.
The German shepherd dog continues to grow larger as he gains more weight.
For the male, full growth will be achieved by the 36th month.
Female German Shepherd dogs mature faster and become adults by the 24th month.
Even when a German Shepherd reaches sexual maturity, they continue to grow in weight until 36 months.
To guarantee a German Shepherd’s growth within this period, you have to feed them a healthy diet.
Continue feeding them the same brand of high-quality kibble you have been feeding them.
If you want to transition the dog to wet foods, do it gradually and not abruptly to prevent gut issues.
Training should also continue in this period.
This helps the limbs to continue forming and becoming stronger before full adulthood.
Also, teach the dog new and complex commands to keep their minds stimulated.
What is the average weight of a German Shepherd dog?
The full-grown male German Shepherd should weigh between 66 and 88 pounds.
Females are smaller and weigh between 48 and 70 pounds.
Take note that the weight can be higher especially for a spayed or neutered GSD puppy.
Full weight chart of newborn German Shepherd puppy;
|Age in Months||Male GSD Weight (lbs.)||Female GSD Weight (lbs.)|
|1||5.5 - 9||4.5 - 8|
|2||16 - 20||11 -17|
|3||22 - 30||17 - 26|
|4||35 - 40||31 -35|
|5||40 - 49||35 -44|
|6||49 - 57||44 - 49|
|7||57 - 62||49 -53|
|8||62 -66||53 - 57|
|9||64 -71||66 - 60|
|10||66 - 73||57 - 62|
|11||66 - 75||60 - 64|
|12||71 - 75||60 - 64|
|18||71 - 79||60 - 66|
|24||71 - 84||62 - 66|
|36||79 - 88||66 - 70|
What is the average height of a German Shepherd dog?
When they stop growing, a male Shepherd will stand at 24 to 26 inches tall.
Females will stand at 22 to 24 inches tall.
Full height chart for newborn German Shepherd Puppy;
|Age in Months||Male GSD Weight (lbs.)||Female GSD Weight (lbs.)|
|1||4 - 6||4 - 6|
|2||7 - 9||6 - 9|
|3||9 - 11||8 - 10|
|4||11 - 14||10 - 12|
|5||14 - 16||12 - 14|
|6||16 - 18||15 - 17|
|7||19 - 20||17 - 19|
|8||20 - 22||18 - 20|
|9||21 - 23||19 - 21|
|10||22 - 24||19 - 21|
|11||22 - 24||20 - 22|
|12||22 - 24||20 - 22|
|18||23 - 25||21 - 22|
|24||23 - 25||21 - 22|
|36||24 - 26||22 - 24|
It is important to follow a newborn German Shepherd puppy’s height and weight growth until they reach adulthood.
This helps you keep track of their health and notice any health problems that may arise within the growth period.
Also, a German Shepherd puppy development chart helps you know when to wean, train, or neuter your GSD puppy.
Frequently Asked Questions
Because of their growth and development needs, German Shepherds are considered high maintenance. One needs to avail the time and resources to feed, train, and nurture a newborn German Shepherd puppy.
A newborn German Shepherd puppy that is 4 weeks old should be fed 4 to 5 times a day. When the puppy is at least 6 months old, you should feed it 2 to 3 times a day.
Contrary to popular belief, German Shepherds are calm and patient dogs. They are good around children of any age as long as they are properly socialized.
A newborn German Shepherd puppy grows exponentially within the first year. After that growth slows down and continues gradually. A German Shepherd puppy is considered an adult when it reaches the 3-year mark, below that he is still an adolescent.