You are now a proud owner of a German shepherd, and you have been monitoring every growth stage of your German shepherd puppy. Right?
From every growth stage, you have ensured that you have adhered to every veterinary advice. Now on to the next phase, your German shepherd puppy is six month old.
It’s quite a journey you have had with your dog.
So, with this new challenge, how do you take care of a 6 month old German shepherd puppy? Is it different from other phases that you have gone through effortlessly? Which behaviors should a German owner be ready to face?
Don’t skip, continue reading more to learn more on how to take care of a 6 month old German shepherd puppy.
What to Expect from 6 Month Old German Shepherd Puppy
At this stage, your 6-month-old German shepherd puppy resembles a big dog. Right? Yes, it has a masculine chest, and the bark is almost deafening.
However, the puppy is not yet full grown.
The puppy is yet to fulfill the 100% potential of being a complete adult. At this stage, the German shepherd is 70% of the adult height and weight.
At this phase, most of the growth is happening inside the puppy’s body, of which you may never note.
It is at this phase you can measure your dog’s weight and height weekly, and monitor any changes.
How to take care of a 6-month-old German shepherd puppy
So, how do you take care of a German shepherd puppy? Is it troublesome? Is it another chore that I have added into my bucket list?
Well, I know you have such questions that you need answered.
Well, depending on how you do it, the responsibility of catering for your puppy’s needs can either be annoying or enjoyable.
Nevertheless, it is your responsibility to ensure that your German shepherd puppy receives optimum service and care.
What you feed your 6 month old German shepherd puppy will utmost affect its adulthood.
Remember, like every other dog, a poor diet will cause a host of metabolic disorders like obesity.
The German shepherd is often carnivorous. That is, its diet comprises meat.
However, with its domestication, this canine can now welcome greens in its diet plan.
Consequently, a diet full of proteins is vital in masculine and energetic dogs like the German shepherd.
According to its age bracket, this dog will thrive in puppy formula rather than adult formula.
It’s during this phase that dogs have accelerated growth. So ensure you give this puppy food according to its age bracket. Giving the German shepherd puppy adult food will offer no nutritional value.
How Many Times Should I Feed a Six Month Old German shepherd Puppy?
It can be challenging to novice GSD owners, on how many times it’s appropriate to feed a German shepherd puppy.
A German shepherd at this age should eat 2-3 times a day. Let the puppy eat its food in various portions. Dividing the food into small parts will help this dog get consistent bowels. Also, spaced meal times ensure that the digestion process is smooth.
Note: the type of food you give this puppy will depend on its energy levels and size.
Type of Food to Give a German shepherd Puppy
Depending on your preference, you can decide to give your dog a diet comprising wet food, raw food or dry food.
Often, dry food contains high calorific content more than wet food. So if you are to give your dog wet food, note that the ratio of wet food will be higher than dry food.
Of the two, i.e. wet and dry food, none is superior to the other. It all depends on how your dog reacts to each type of diet. If dry food causes gut discomfort on your dog, you can transition to wet food.
And the vice versa is true.
Also read: Can German Shepherds eat Apple?
Most dog owners have opted for a raw diet plan for their dogs. The adulteration and lowering of production standards of processed foods has led to most people migrating from processed food to raw foods.
So what’s a raw diet?
A raw diet comprises food that the dog would probably eat while in the wild- Just like the dog’s cousins in the wild.
Often this diet has meat as the primary ingredient. Or meat with a few servings of vegetables.
A raw diet will cause your German shepherd puppy to develop natural immunity, which is often vital for this dog.
Also read: Can German Shepherd puppies eat raw meat?
Treats on a German shepherd Puppy
Treats are perfect for every pet, as they often become useful when training these buddies. However, treats should never substitute your dog’s diet.
Also, always remember to check on how much calories the treats give your dog.
As a rule of thumb, treats should not take over 10% of your dog’s daily calorific need.
Also, if possible, normalize giving your dog natural treats rather than processed treats. The reason being most processed treats contains fillers and other hidden ingredients.
Be on the lookout! Feed your 6 month old German shepherd puppy healthy treats.
The Transition from Puppy Food to Adult Food
It’s at this age that most pet owners opt to introduce adult food. So how is it done? Introducing adult food requires no hurry.
Patience and moderation are vital virtues to uphold when switching from puppy food to adult food.
Do it in bits to enhance gut comfort.
First, introduce the puppy to 90% of its original food and 10 % of the food you intend to start.
Follow the routine for the next 2-4 days.
Then, continue increasing the percentage of new food gradually and follow the routine for a few days.
By the time you are halfway, you’ll have noted whether the dog is readily accepting the new food you’ve just introduced or not.
Follow the same procedure till you are sure that the puppy is readily taking the food. Furthermore, monitor any change of bowel movements and gut discomfort that may hit your 6 month old German shepherd puppy.
Water and Hydration
Dehydration may kill your dog faster than hunger. So ensure your German shepherd puppy is quite hydrated often.
However, don’t let your puppy take water at a go. Least it will become bloated. Remember, no other breed is much susceptible to bloat like the German shepherd.
Over and above, on the dieting topic, ensure you consult your vet on the best feeding guideline you should follow for your lovely puppy.
Ensuring that your puppy receives the best healthcare is the best gift you can give your puppy.
First, ensure that your dog has accessed all necessary shots and booster vaccines.
Also, take your German puppy to your vet for deworming and heartworm test. Some localities and puppy classes don’t allow puppies who are not heartworm free.
Your vet will also be in a better position to check for any underlying health condition.
Neutering and Spaying
Is it okay for me to neuter or spay my 6 month old German shepherd puppy? It’s often quite a debate whether it’s perfect to neuter or spay a dog at such an age.
As from most vets, the best time to spay or neuter a German shepherd is when he/she hits 1 year. Other experts say it’s best when the dog has successfully undergone the first and second heat cycle.
Over and above, it’s not right to neuter or spay your German shepherd puppy too early. The reason being you subject such a dog to a host of other health conditions.
For example, females who get spayed early are at risk of mammalian cancer than intact females. Consequently, males who get neutered early are more susceptible to severe muscle-skeletal conditions and prostate cancer.
As a rule of thumb, ensure that your German shepherd puppy is neutered or spayed after hitting the first birthday.
Hygiene and Coat Brushing
At this age, the German shepherd puppy will have a magnificent coat that will need frequent tendering.
Frequent brushing with a smooth bristled brush will help stop the shedding, especially during winters.
Brushing will also help in spreading the natural oils on your German shepherd coat.
What about bathing?
Bathing will reduce the instances of dander on your German shepherd puppy. However, make the bathes infrequent.
The more you bath your dog frequently, the more your dog’s coat of fur becomes flaked and dry.
Brushing Of Teeth
The dentals of the German shepherd puppy need tender care whilst the dog is still young. It’s at this age the dog ought to adapt on how to get its teeth brushed.
Familiarize your dog at this age that toothbrushes mean ho harm on its gums.
If introduced early to this grooming session, the better.
Physical and Mental Exercise
It’s at this age that physical and mental exercises will be crucial.
However, be cautious about the exercise you give to a 6 month old German shepherd puppy. Remember not to overexert its weak growing joints.
Don’t go for long walks or involve your dog to strenuous exercise activities. It will cause more damage to the joints.
GSD’s should not start strenuous exercises before they become one and half years old.
So by this age, there is still a long way to go.
During this stage, mental stimulation is more vital. You can play with your dog hide and seek or puzzle games that involve the dog’s mind.
Also, remember to give your dog a large space where it will flex up its muscles. Additionally, you can provide safe toys that will not strangle or choke the German shepherd puppy.
Over and above, consult your vet on the best exercises for a 6 month Old German Shepherd puppy.
6 Month Old German shepherd Puppy Behavior Guide
As a responsible pet owner, you should be aware of some behavior issues you will probably face as your puppy becomes 6-month-old.
Here are some behavioral changes and problems to watch out in 6 month old German shepherd puppy.
Puppies at this age will tend to bark a lot.
Barking is often a way of presenting excitement, anxiety or hunger.
However, it reaches a point this barking becomes nagging, and such is what we don’t want.
Learn how to control the excess barking without overreacting.
If the barking is behavioral, you can decide to ignore it or reward your German shepherd puppy whenever she/he stops whining.
In that way, the dog will learn that silence brings up some yummy treats.
Refrain from shouting as it may entice the puppy to bark more.
Biting and mouthing are some behaviors you will note from your six month old German shepherd puppy.
Sometimes the biting may be fun.
However, if the biting becomes excessive and almost causing injuries, it’s time to stop such a bad dog’s behavior.
Learn how to control the biting by letting out a loud yelp and removing your hand slowly. You can also turn away to signify discontentment with your puppy’s actions.
In that way, the dog will learn there is something wrong.
It will be fun when your German shepherd puppy jumps on you now and then. However, what will happen when he turns 3 years old and weighs over 70 lbs.?
The dog may even pin you down with its weight! Thus there is an urgent need to stop that behavior now!
In a litter, you may note some puppies will try becoming the pack leader. They will start dominating and nibbling each other’s ears.
It’s all in an effort to exert dominance in the pack.
For male dogs, they may start marking their territory and challenging other male dogs.
Other behaviors to watch out at this age
- Separation anxiety
Training and Socialization of a 6-Month-Old German shepherd Puppy
Learning never stops for this intelligent, loyal canine, the German shepherd puppy. It is while at this age that German shepherds require plenty of training and socialization.
Important training session they you should give your puppy.
Training of a German shepherd Puppy
It’s never late to potty train your six month old German shepherd puppy.
Ensure the dog can potty outside and not inside the crate or the house.
If possible, you can crate train your German shepherd as it helps in potty training. Crate training will also stop with unnecessary destruction that may happen when you are around.
Over and above, ember to reward your German shepherd puppy whenever you find it potty outside.
Not to Pull a Leash
A leash is handy equipment that will help you have smooth walks around the parks with your dog. So, it’s crucial to teach your dog on how to walk while not pulling the leash.
Come is one of the vital command necessary to train your puppy.
Such a command will help control your dog when it’s faced with danger.
Socialization of a 6 Month Old German shepherd Puppy
A 6 month old German shepherd needs plenty of socialization. The dog needs to know what’s beneficial and what’s harmful whilst still young.
So, expose this dog to lots of sights, sounds, environments and humans. Let the dog know how to react to different environmental setup.
To enhance socialization, enroll this dog in obedience classes or puppy classes. Let the puppy interact with other puppies.
It’s time to open the mind of the pup up.
If you follow such sessions diligently, you will have a well-mannered and an all-round pet who will be acceptable by the general community.
Remember to update your puppy’s shot while introducing it obedience classes as you are not sure of which kind dogs are there and whether they have all they vaccination shots updated.
How to Discipline your 6 Month old German shepherd Puppy
It will reach your point your German shepherd puppy will anger you. Yeah, that’s true. It won’t be merry every time.
So do you whack the dog till it swears never to repeat such a problem? No! Kicking your dog will never solve any behavioral issue.
Use Positive Reinforcements
Positive reinforcement is the best way to enforce the behavior you desire. For example, if you find your dog pooping out. Reward it and call it all sweet names of this world.
Reward your dog when she responds to your command. By that way, the dog will associate good deeds with appreciation. To enforce the behaviors, use high rewards that the dog loves.
Consistency is the best way to teach your six month old German shepherd puppy.
For example, if yesterday you rewarded the dog for being silent, why are you rewarding her barking today?
If you decide to reward silence, let it be.
Don’t confuse the dog by doing the opposite of what you did yesterday.
Punish the puppy the moment you catch it on hand. Don’t punish the puppy 10 minutes after the action. It will bear no fruits.
What not to do.
- Don’t shout or reprimand your 6-month-old German shepherd puppy.
Similar to human beings, reprimanding a puppy will bear no fruits. It will often give forth to other behavioral problems.
- Kick your dog
Don’t become physical when punishing your puppy.
- Never discipline your puppy by kicking her as it may cause physical damage and also emotional affect.
The puppy may fear or turn aggressively on you.
That’s how you can take care of your 6 month old German shepherd puppy. Remember to fulfill all your puppy’s dietary requirements as advised by your vet.
Also, be keen on updating your puppy’s vaccination shots.
Nevertheless, train and socialize your dog early. As a result, you will get a dog with less behavioral problems.