German Shepherds Can Be A Bit Rough
While German Shepherds can be a loving and caring breed, if provoked or trained to, they can attack and use their strong bite. There are similarly sized breeds that you may find to be more gentle than German Shepherds such as Labrador retrievers.
Hopefully, were not frightening you by saying this but it would be unfair not to include. If you play with your German Shepherd and the play gets a bit rough, then they are known to go for the throat.
You can minimize the likelihood of this by starting to train them when theyre young, making sure to be clear that biting is not acceptable. You can also ensure that you give them breaks while playing to ensure that they dont get over-excited.
What About The Chart On Dog Food Bags
Youve likely seen the feeding chart on the back of commercial dog food bags. These charts can seem pretty straightforward at first glance.
However, they dont take into consideration the size, weight, activity level, or overall health of each individual dog.
For that reason, its best not to treat these dog food packaging feeding guides as gospel. Instead, use them as a starting point.
Observe your dog, see how he looks and feels, and note any changes in his bathroom habits, weight, or energy level. Adjust his meals accordingly.
The other problem with these packaging guides is that they arent clear on how to feed your dog. Generally speaking, they talk about daily intake, not per meal.
For example, if the guide says you should feed your dog 3 cups, its not suggesting that your dog eats 3 cups at every meal. It means to split that 3 cups total over the entire day.
If your dog eats 3 times per day, that would be 1 cup at each meal for a total daily intake of 3 cups.
To further confuse dog parents, some manufacturers do list per-meal serving sizes, not the total daily intake! In these cases, if you read it incorrectly, you would end up underfeeding your dog.
To help mitigate some of this confusion, it may be helpful to ask your vet how many calories your dog should be consuming each day. Then you can check the calorie content in the dog food and measure things from there.
German Shepherd Raw Diet
Like homemade diets, formulating a raw diet for German Shepherds requires lots of effort and planning. There is more risk of contamination and nutritional imbalance due to its raw nature.
Raw dog food usually consists of uncooked and unprocessed animal-based products. These include raw meat, bones, vegetables, fruits, eggs with shells on them , dairy products such as butter and cheese made from raw milk without pasteurization or homogenizing. A dog raw diet is supposed to resemble the diet of what dogs ate in the wild millions of years ago.
Raw dog food is a growing trend These diets provide canines more nutrients than cooked foods and help them protect their teeth, coat, digestive functions, among other health benefits. Read our German Shepherd Raw Diet Guide to learn all about raw feeding GSDs and their benefits. We also recommend visiting our best raw dog food article to find the best brands to feed your dog.
Don’t Miss: Can A Pitbull Beat A German Shepherd
Homemade Dog Food Delivery Service
If you are a German Shepherd pet owner struggling to find time to cook for your GSD and wish your dog could eat whole, fresh homemade foods more often, a homemade dog food delivery service might be a great fit.
Nom Nom is one of our favorite options. They deliver fresh, prepared homemade dog food tailored to your pups dietary needs straight to your door. Everything is made from real, human-grade ingredients
Their food is developed with the input of a veterinary nutritionist and following the AAFCO nutritional guidelines. They do all the cooking for you, so you never have to worry about using the wrong ingredients, proper nutrition guidelines, portion sizes, and more.
All their meals are customizable to your dogs unique dietary needs, age, nutritional goals, and other key factors. For instance, if your GSD has food-related health issues like allergies or an illness, they will create a recipe that caters to this.
In our experience, its a huge time-saver, and you can spend time on more important things like walks or training. Plus, you avoid all the hassle of planning, shopping, and cooking. We think its worth the cost after you add up the prices of all the ingredients youll need to cook a recipe.
Our readers have access to save 50% off your first order of Nom Nom, just use this link to get your GSDs first homemade meal.
Check out Canine Bibles GSD Khaleesi trying out Nom Nom homemade dog food. She definitely recommends it!
Training Goal #: Crate Training
This is also a good time for crate training, which Adams recommends as well. GSD trainer and dog sports enthusiast Alexa Hagood, LVMT, agrees: Crate breaks, even when brief, can help the puppy become acclimated to going in the crate and having some alone time. She notes that this can help reduce the risk of a puppy developing separation anxiety, and recommends beginning with using the crate for feeding times , and at times when the owner needs to do daily chores.
Recommended Reading: How To Train My German Shepherd To Protect Me
Consider A Large Number Of Health Issues
German shepherds are famous for their litany of health issues. On a range from more benign to life-threatening , shepherds seem to have them all. The breed even has predispositions to diseases that seem to occur exclusively within the purebred line Its heartbreaking, but its a reality if you want a shepherd. Find a good vet , and start taking measures to keep your shepherd trim and healthy.
German Shepherd Puppy Feeding Guide: Birth To 12 Weeks
All dogs should stay with their mother for no less than eight weeks, ideally up to ten weeks. During this time, the mother will nurse the pups until they are old enough to begin eating puppy mush.
Puppy mush is usually regular dog kibble thats been soaked in water, formula, or homemade puppy milk made with human-grade ingredients.
After the puppies are fully weaned from their mothers milk, they will get all of their nutrition either from puppy mushmade progressively drier every few daysor other puppy-safe foods.
Its important to continue feeding your puppy whatever the breeder started them on, at least for the first few weeks. This will help prevent gastrointestinal distress.
Also, be certain it is food intended for puppies and not adults or senior dogs. Adult dog foods do not have the proper nutrients to support a growing puppy.
Once your German Shepherd puppy is homebetween 8 and 12 weeksyou may begin weaning them off of the breeders food and introducing their new foodif youve decided to switch, that is.
Over the course of the next few weeks slowly introduce the puppys new food into her old food, adding more of the new food each day.
Start with ¾ of the serving of the old food and ¼ of the new food. After a few days, make it half and half. After the first week or so, make it ¾ the new food and ¼ the old food. Then by two to three weeks, your pup should be fully on her new food.
Recommended Reading: How To Calm Down A German Shepherd Puppy
What Is The Best Dog Food For German Shepherds
As carnivores, German Shepherds need to eat a protein-rich diet daily. This helps them grow well and get enough energy to sustain their daily activities. Accordingly, your pet must eat a diet with about 15% to 30% of protein. Of course, that still depends on several factors, such as the following:
- A German Shepherds activity
- A German Shepherds age and
- A German Shepherds weight
Many dog food brands will claim to be protein-rich. However, manufacturers get around it by using cheap fillers to afford cheaper prices. So, as a wise consumer, always check product labels. Make sure that you only buy those that have real animal meat as their protein sources. Excellent sources of protein may include poultry and fish.
Of course, for maximum energy, carbohydrates are also important. The recommended amount of carbohydrates in your pets diet is 5% to 8%.
Now, when we say carbohydrates, the first thing in mind is usually rice and oats. While these ingredients are nutritious, they may not be the best sources of carbohydrates for German Shepherds. So, what can you opt for then? I suggest that you avoid rice and oats because these contain gluten, which causes allergic reactions. As an alternative, you may pick a dog food with potatoes and peas.
Other essential nutrients you have to consider include the following:
- Probiotics and
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.
You May Like: Are German Shepherd Puppies Hyper
Training Goal #: Begin Obedience Training
The German Shepherd Dogs work ethic is legendary, and you can encourage your dogs best working traits with early and ongoing training. GSDs excel at obedience, so begin teaching your puppy basic commands like sit, down, and stay, as well as loose-leash walking, from an early age. Enrolling in a puppy obedience class can be extremely helpful both for teaching these commands as well as socialization, and its not too early to begin thinking about CGC training as well.
Finding A Puppy Who Is The Best Fit For You
Finding a good, ethical breeder is one of the most important ways to ensure you are getting off to the right start in obtaining the puppy who will be the best fit for you and your household. Breeders observe their puppies personalities and drives and can match the right puppy to the right individual or family.
You may also wish to acquire a puppy from one of the breed-rescue organizations listed in the AKC Rescue Network currently, over 40 GSD rescues are listed, a testament to the popularity of this magnificent breed. If you choose this route, be sure to discuss with the breed rescue organization your needs and what you are looking for in a puppy they should also be able to help you find the puppy whose temperament and personality will be the best match for you.
Nadia Adams of Oher Tannen German Shepherd Dogs has been a GSD breeder for 15 years and comments, A well-bred German Shepherd Dog is highly intelligent, thriving on praise and wanting to please the owner. This combination makes them very trainable, which is one of the most appealing qualities of the breed.
This breeds high level of intelligence and strong willingness to work mean your GSD must receive consistent and ongoing training from an early age. A bored GSD is a destructive GSD. That said, states Adams, the sky is the limit, if the owner ca devote a good amount of quality time to the dog, especially during the critical first year of life.
Recommended Reading: Full Grown German Shepherd Weight
Raising And Training A German Shepherd Puppy
When thinking of bringing a German Shepherd pup into your home, it is important to understand the responsibility you will need to take. Giving your puppy the care, love, and training it needs while it is still young is vital so that you have a well-behaved dog in the future.
A German Shepherd is not only a wonderful friend to have in the house but a wonderful alarm, as he is ready to bark at any sign of danger. But German Shepherd puppies must be taught who is in control.
How To Get Your German Shepherd To Love His Crate
- Do not force them in and do not trap them. Crate training is a slow and gradual process that will take time and patience.
- You can try feeding your pup in the crate. Dogs usually like to eat, so he will take a liking to his feeding spot. You can do it in a fun way, such as stuffing Kong toys with his daily meal or treats.
- Reward them with treats for positive reinforcement when they go in willingly.
- Teach them verbal cues that signal you want them to go into the crate and reward them when they do.
- Dont shut the door immediately and do it for small increments at a time. Remember to give your German Shepherd puppy plenty of praise!.
One more very important point about crate training that we must stress is the size of the crate. You cannot potty train a German Shepherd puppy in a crate thats too large, because he will end up going in one corner and sleeping in the other end. The purpose of the crate is to give your dog no room to poop and urinate without laying on it after.
A crate thats too small will be excruciatingly uncomfortable and inhumane for your dog. It will also be very difficult for your dog to like the crate. The best size is a crate that allows your dog to stand up, turn around comfortably and perhaps take one or two steps, and lay down.
Recommended Reading: German Shepherd For Sale In The Philippines
They Need Metal Stimulation
As mentioned above, German Shepherds are highly intelligent. Due to this fantastic trait, they also need plenty of mental stimulation. This comes in the form of regular training to obey commands you want them to learn, obedience classes, advanced classes, and plenty of jobs to do at home.
German Shepherds shouldnt be left alone for too many hours during the day or left to their own devices while you are home. These dogs should not be ignored unless you want your dog to get into trouble for lack of something to do.
German Shepherd Puppy Feeding Guide: 6 Months To 12 Months
At this stage in your German Shepherds development, growth will be considerably slower. Since she no longer needs the extra calories to help support her fast growth period, you can safely reduce her feedings to 2 or 3 meals per day.
Youll still want to watch her weight, health, and activity level, but now you can split her daily total calories over fewer meals.
While she should still be eating puppy food at this point, you may consider purchasing a bag of her eventual adult formula.
You can use individual kibbles from the adult formula for treats or training rewards. This will help her get used to the new flavor and texture.
Around 9 months of age, you can begin slowly adding a small amount of the adult formula into her puppy food, though she should still be eating primarily puppy chow.
Again, its imperative that you speak with your vet before making any changes to your GSDs diet.
Only your vet will be able to tell you when your dog has reached maturity and can be safely moved to adult food.
Some GSDs stay on puppy food for a whopping two years! So, make sure you are in close contact with your vet to be sure that your feeding plan is individualized for your specific dog.
Recommended Reading: How To Train Your German Shepherd Puppy Not To Bite
Extra Tip: Keep It Enjoyable
This is no less important points of good pet dog training. Make certain you enjoy working together. You make errors, the canine makes errors, however the most crucial thing is that you go through this procedure together. Not everything is enjoyable, and not whatever is simple. But as long as you keep good spirits, you prevent a depressing environment throughout the training sessions. Encourage and reward your pet, however benefit yourself too. Eventually, all your hard work will be rewarded, and you will be an unwinded duo, filled with fun and understanding.
German Shepherds: A Fantastic Breed
German Shepherds are a wonderful, intelligent, hardworking breed that is highly intelligent and loves to work. Its important that you give them a job to do and provide plenty of mental stimulation.
These dogs need to work and want to please, making them delightful to train. They are capable of nearly any task they are asked to perform and are incredibly loving around adults and children alike.
While they may not be ideal for first-time dog owners, with enough training, they can be excellent pets. Does a German Shepherd sound like the ideal K9 for your family?
You May Like: 3 Months German Shepherd Size