German Shepherd Puppy Feeding Guidelines
Here are some general German Shepherd puppy feeding guidelines that may be helpful to consider as you plan your puppys menu:
- Puppies typically need to eat more than adult dogs.
- The puppy diet is usually higher in fat and protein than the adult dog diet.
- A good puppy food will always meet these two criteria: it is formulated for large breed puppies AND it offers complete and balanced nutrition.
- Do not provide extra vitamins and minerals unless your veterinarian advises otherwise.
- Puppies generally eat at least three times per day, whereas adult dogs may eat twice or even just once per day.
- Puppies always need access to plenty of fresh water during and in between meals.
- A common age to switch GSD puppies from puppy food to adult dog food is 12 months.
Other Adolescent Period Physical And Behavioral Developments
During the adolescent period of German Shepherd development, you can expect your dog to challenge you more as they find their place in the pack and settle into their role. It is important at this stage that you reinforce your position as the pack leader or alpha.
They will also try to move up the ranks in your dog pack, so if you have more than one dog, your pack may temporarily destabilize, with more fighting and disagreements among your dogs. T
his is normal, but you will need to be careful and watchful to ensure that nothing gets out of control.
As adolescents, German Shepherds also start displaying sexual behavior if they are unsterilized. Females can go into heat from 6 months old. Males will begin cocking their legs while urinating and can start to mark around your property. You will need to stop marking behavior if they start trying to do this in the house.
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You need to watch out for your shoes and furniture because German Shepherds can enter a second chewing phase at 7-9 months old.
If you have not already started obedience training, it is important that you begin in earnest during this period. German Shepherds are large, active, and protective dogs; it is important that you have rules in place and that they know what and when you are asking something of them.
Related: German Shepherd Training Guide: All You Need to Know
German Shepherd Puppy Feeding Schedule
While some breeders and puppy owners believe in free feeding, where your puppy always has access to dry kibble, this is not advisable because it makes it quite difficult to figure out how much your puppy is really eating!
Rather, work with your breeder and veterinarian to develop a set, fixed feeding schedule that supports slow, steady growth.
It helps with housebreaking as well.
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Size Weight Height And Ears
Physical development of your dog is as important as mental one. We suggest you to look at the main features at the age of seven weeks that you can measure and analyse how your dog grow.
If there are some departures from the norm, go to a specialist and show your pet to get an advice. So:
- The height of the dog should be about fifty-three or sixty-three centimetres.
- The weight of a German shepherd must be from twenty to thirty kilograms.
- The norm of the chest size is about sixty-nine or seventy-five centimetres.
- The special attention should be given to the ears of your dog. At the age of seven months they should firmly be up.
Look at your dog carefully!
Average Male German Shepherd Height And Weight
An adult male weighs, on average, between 66 and 88 pounds, or 30 and 40 kilograms. To measure a shepherds height, measure to the top of their withers or right at their shoulders. Males are typically between 24 and 26 inches, or 60 and 65 centimeters tall.
For the average person, a male German Shepherd will come up to at least their hip. If one of these dogs were to jump up, they would be at least as tall as the average person. They are not so large that they cannot also be fast. Their size supports their bite strength and gives them enough speed to effectively chase down criminals or fend off wolves and other predators.
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Puppy Growth Chart By Breed Size
Every fur parent wants to assure that their little pup is growing and weighing just right. Now, not all puppies are the same, especially if you compare a Chihuahua to a St. Bernard! This 2004 study shows Body-Weight Changes during Growth in Puppies of Different Breeds. Heres a handy dog weight chart for the toy, small, medium, large, and giant breeds so you can quickly check if your puppy is on the right track concerning ideal weight.
German Shepherd Puppies Vs Adults Guidelines
Our last topic involves the difference between a puppy and an adult.
This is an important subject as it will help you figure out the best way to take care of your dog depending on whether theyre an adult or a puppy.
The following are some of the facts that recent studies have proven:
- Puppies have higher energy levels than adults. This means they need to eat more than adult German shepherds.
- German shepherds will need higher protein and fat content in their early age. The amount of fat and protein will decrease as they grow older.
- Puppies cannot tolerate too many nutrients. Ingesting extra minerals and vitamins may lead to serious health disorders. Meanwhile, adults are only risking being overweight when taking in more than intended.
With this German shepherd feeding chart, you can now decide on your dogs feeding plan, However, Id suggest seeing your vet first so you can confirm if your plan is actually effective.
Many owners simply feed their German shepherds without second thoughts of the dogs needs. But since youve read this blog post, you are now aware of the needs of your German shepherd.
After talking about the feeding amount, frequency, and lengths of a German shepherd, you can now easily plan how much, how many times, and how long you feed your dog. You even learned how to hydrate your German shepherd the proper way.
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Socialization Period: 3 Weeks 12 Weeks
Now that puppies can interact with the world and creatures around them, they begin to do so. Its vital to begin socializing puppies at this point to become accustomed to humans.
Puppies should remain with their mother during this entire period even if theyre already weaned. There are dog social skills that the mother teaches her puppies during this stage. If they are taken from their mother too early, they may have trouble interacting with other dogs later in life.
Here are some of the milestones of this period:
- Walking well
- Begin playing with littermates and humans
- Have most if not all of their teeth
- Demonstrate adult behaviors including mounting and greeting by sniffing tails
- Fear response
- Can begin housebreaking
- Ears begin to stand upright
Hector Von Linksrhein Alias Horand Von Grafrath
Stephanitz had resounding success with the male Hektor von Linksrhein, which he renamed Horand von Grafrath after his purchase in 1898.
Horand was the first dog to be entered in the stud book of the newly founded Verein für Deutsche Schäferhunde .
Stephanitz put all his breeding efforts on him and on his brother Lynx von Sparwasser.
Horand von Grafrath and Lynx von Sparwasser as well as the bitch Mari von Grafrath are today considered the ancestors of the German Shepherd.
Most of the German Shepherds go back to their line.
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German Shepherd Feeding Guide: Adult Years
Once your German Shepherd has ended his puppy stage and transitioned into adulthood, hes ready to eat a balanced adult diet.
Adult dog food will have a different ratio of calcium, protein, phosphorus, and other nutrients than puppy food does.
Feeding an adult dog a puppy formula can cause obesity as well as put too much strain on kidneys and other vital organs. Long term use of inappropriate food for an adult dog can have catastrophic consequences.
That said, there is no need to panic if your adult GSD eats a bowl of puppy food now and then.
Adult German Shepherds should be fed twice a day. They can get by on once per day, but its always better to split daily caloric intake between smaller meals instead of feeding it all at once.
Again, bloat is a real problem for large breed dogs, and large meals seem to be a big cause of this.
If youre not home for twice-daily feedings, you can use an automatic feeder. These will dispense the proper amount of food at set times each day so your dog isnt left waiting for meals.;;
Throughout the years, Ive fed a number of different high-quality dog foods to my German Shepherds.
One of my consistent go-tos is Royal Canin Adult Breed German Shepherd dry dog food. I feed my adult dogs this particular blend for a number of reasons.
In addition, this blend also uses optimal levels of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids to make a GSDs coat pop, so to speak. You really can see the difference.
What Nutrients Should A German Shepherd Puppy Have
Puppies require a proper diet to grow big and strong. One of the most important components of a newborn German Shepherds diet is Calcium so your dogs bones and joints can grow strong.;
Without strong bones and joints, your German Shepherd is even more prone to developing hip issues.;
Other important nutrients that a growing German Shepherd puppy should have include:;
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How Many Daily Calories Do German Shepherd Puppies Need
The age of your German Shepherd determines the number of calories they need to consume. You will notice as your dog gets older the demand for a high-calorie diet lowers. The reason the demand for a high-calorie diet decreases is because your dog is no longer as active as they were in their youth.;
Cutting back on food intake is important so you are not contributing to potential health problems like obesity. Obesity can be problematic for your dog because it puts pressure on the joints. German Shepherds are already known for their weak joints.;
Extremely Small 6 Month Old
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Edpez said:Hello all! Im new to the forum and have been digging around and cant quite find anyone else in my situation. I am very worried about my pup. His name is Bandit and is just over 6 months. I believe he is bi-color but correct me if Im wrong. He hit 33 pounds as a 5 month old and has only gained 2 pounds since. Im having second thoughts about his vet saying this is normal. From what Ive seen this is definitely not normal. There are a few owners on here worried about their 50 pound pup thats the same age! I switched vet and he says that hes normal weight for his age. Im not gonna stand there and argue with someone who specializes in this but my concerns are only growing. Im looking for advise, past experiences or someone going through a similar situation. Forgot to mention his parents were both over 90 pounds and he is pure bred. Thanks for any information!:frown2:View attachment 468082
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The Body Weight Remains Important Even In Adult German Shepherds
Until the dog is 18 months old, its weight should be kept at the lower limit in any case.
Of course, it must also be ensured afterwards that the dog does not carry excess weight.
For this purpose the ribs should always be well palpable.
For a weight reduction it is important to know that this takes place to 90% via reduced food and only to 10% via increased activity.
In addition, it would be extremely unfavourable to spend hours on a bicycle with an overweight dog, as this would put a massive strain on his skeleton.
Start With The Dog Breed Standard
According to the German Shepherd Dog Club of America, the German Shepherd as a breed typically stands between 22 and 24 inches tall for female adult dogs and 24 to 26 inches tall for male adult dogs.
No weight range is given for the official dog breed standard. However, the standard does say the dog typically measures between 8.5 and 10 inches from the dogs breastbone to pelvis .
So these can give you some good starting measurements.
The American Kennel Club gives a weight range of 50 to 90 pounds, with about 10 pounds difference between adult females and adult males.
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German Shepherd Puppy Feeding Amount
Figuring out how much to feed a German Shepherd puppy is not an exact science because your puppys genetics and environment also factor in to how hungry your puppy is and how much he or she eats.
For example, canine researchers now know that male German Shepherd puppies typically grow up to be quite a bit heavier and taller than female GSD puppies.
So if you are caring for a boy puppy, your pup may eat more and grow faster than if you were caring for a girl puppy!
Also, your puppys parents can influence adult size regardless of sex.
As well, your choice of when to neuter or spay your puppy can influence appetite and development.
If you spend a lot of time playing with your new puppy, he may burn more calories than if your pup is more sedentary, and this can influence mealtime hunger and overall growth.
German Shepherd Height Chart
|24 26 / 60 65 cm||22 24 / 55 60 cm|
When looking at the German Shepherd height chart, you will get a good idea on how quickly they grow and what you can generally expect as far as their height goes.
Looking at the German Shepherd height chart, you will notice that the puppies double in height between months 1 and 3 and again between months 2 and 4.The first 4 months of your puppys life is when you will see the largest amount of growth.
The height growth rate will slow down by 6 months. While your dog is nowhere near his final size, the amount that he grows each month will gradually reduce, so he will be growly less dramatically, while still growing.
This will help especially with feeding since you will be able to get him on a fixed amount after he has done his largest growth periods. You will notice on the charts that they keep going up until 3 years, taking into account any last bit of growth.
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Why Is My German Shepherd So Small
We recommend that owners of German Shepherds practice a lot of patience with their dogs growth. German Shepherds all grow in a unique fashion, similarly to people. For this reason, a German Shepherd may not seem to be growing much at all, only to hit a growth spurt. It is also important to understand that there is a large range of normal for German Shepherds. Your dog may seem small compared to other German Shepherds while still being in the normal range.;
You shouldnt feed your puppy extra to make them grow bigger or faster. This increases their risk for many health problems, including hip dysplasia. The dog needs to grow at their natural rate.;
If you are particularly concerned with your dogs size, we recommend visiting your vet. They will likely weigh your dog and look at their body condition, which is a better indicator of the dogs health than the number on the scale. A dog can simply be smaller than normal but completely healthy. If something seems off, your vet may ask to monitor your dogs growth over a few months to ensure that they are growing appropriately.;
Some German Shepherds have been crossed with other kinds of shepherd these dogs are likely to not grow at the same rate as their pure-bred peers, too.
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What If My German Shepherd Is Over Weight
If your German Shepherd is overweight, he is at risk of developing serious health conditions, like diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. It will also put too much pressure on his joints, causing arthritis and immobility. The heavier he is, the harder it will be to move and to lose the weight.
Look at his food It should be high in lean protein, low in fillers and fat. Then, exercise your dog. Do not over-exercise or starve him to get him to lose weight. It will take time and patience to get him to a healthy weight.
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When Is The Right Time To Neuter Or Spay A Gsd Puppy
This is a question that is best discussed with your dogs veterinarian.
Many German Shepherd breeders recommend waiting until at least the age of one when the dog has completed the majority of growth and the growth plates in the long leg bones have closed for good.
The key is to wait until those growth plates have closed, which may mean waiting longer than 12 months to do the spay/neuter surgery and having to endure a restless, sexually mature dog for a few months.
But this can prevent potentially disastrous and financially devastating veterinary care later in life, so it is worth talking this over with your dogs veterinarian.
In some cases, a dogs growth plates may close before 12 months of age.
In this case, youll want to talk about how the timing of the spay/neuter procedure can affect the incidence of other known GSD health issues such as cancer and incontinence.