Your German shepherd puppy has turned nine months- or he is almost hitting that age, right? Thus, you are enthusiastic to know what and what not to do to your 9-month German shepherd puppy.
Consequently, you have ensured everything about this dog breed has been met with every growth stage you have hit with your German shepherd puppy.
And oh my, it’s been a long ride since the first day you received that puppy.
So what are the essential needs of a nine months German shepherd puppy? Is it a daunting task?
To get an answer on that, continue reading more. And learn on the behavior and care guide of a 9-month German shepherd puppy.
The Expectations: How Is a Nine Months German shepherd Puppy?
What do you expect from a nine months German shepherd puppy? At months, the pup is now a teenager.
You will note such a pup resembles an adult. However, much of the growth is yet to come.
Consequently, at this age, pups are already 85% of adult’s weight and height. Nine months male German shepherd will weigh 64-71 pounds. Whereas, the girls will weigh 55-60 lbs.
In a litter, girls will be much smaller and less masculine than the boys.
If your German shepherd is still looking small at this age, you could be having a dwarf.
Another change that you note during this growth stage is teeth development. By now the German shepherd has all set of 42 teeth.
If not so, the dog is in the latter stages of developing adult teeth.
What about the coat of a nine months German shepherd puppy?
Well, by now, that soft to touch puppy coat is no more. Now you will have a furball with a coarse external coat and a soft -dense inner coat.
Be ready to deal with shedding!
By now the German shepherd will be shedding like crazy! However, not throughout. Consult your dog’s groomer on how you can reduce the rate of shedding.
However, if you note that your German shepherd is shedding lots of hair during all seasons, consider consulting your vet.
Ears perk up.
By this age, the ears of the German shepherd puppy have stood up.
If they have not perked up by now, you will probably have a dog with floppy ears.
To learn more about this topic, read this article. When will my German shepherd ears stand up?
Hormones flying around
A nine months German shepherd puppy has reached sexual maturity.
You will note, boys humping on anything around whether it’s a toy, your leg, nothing survives your dog’s wrath.
Also, it’s during this stage that dogs start marking their territory. For the boys, they will use urine to mark their territory.
Also, the males will start exerting their dominance by starting fights with other boys.
Consequently, females are not left behind when it comes to flaring up of hormones. By now, the female German shepherd puppy will experience her first heat cycle (estrus period).
Your lovely German shepherd puppy will also present with imbalanced temperaments, often affected by the heat cycles.
With such age, the female German shepherd may become gloomy as she cannot understand what is going inside her body.
It’s during this stage that nine-month German shepherd may start fathering or nursing their first pups. So be on the look. Ensure your dog is monitored throughout -not unless you want more puppies around your house.
Caring for Your Nine Months German shepherd (Diet Exercise, Grooming)
Diet of a German shepherd Puppy
Is the diet of a nine months German shepherd puppy special? Well, No! Like every other dog breed the diet you give your nine months German shepherd will affect its physical and mental health.
Don’t underfeed or overfeed your dog. Consequently, endeavor to feed a puppy according to its needs.
Give your German shepherd puppy food that will fulfill his nutritional needs and high energy levels.
That said, a German shepherd puppy of this age will require a diet comprising:
- Amino acids and mineral acids
And most of all, plenty of water to keep the kidneys healthy.
Proteins should take 22% of the dog’s food because of the high growth rate occurring during this phase.
Best protein sources for a nine-month German shepherd are beef and fish. Consequently, don’t feed your dog too much chicken as it contains fewer protein levels.
Fats should take 8% of your dog’s daily dietary requirement.
Also, ensure the amount of carbs is low as most dogs like the German shepherd find it hard to digest them.
Type of Food to Give Your Nine Months German shepherd
There are various diet plans that you can give a German shepherd.
- Dry food
- Wet food
- Homemade food
- Raw food
So what about them? Let’s have a close-up view of these types of diet.
- Dry food
This type of food is also known as kibble. Additionally, it’s often recommended for a dog like the German shepherd who requires many calories.
This type of diet has less moisture as compared to wet food. Consequently, because of its high calorific quantity, a dog will need to feed less serving for it to become satisfied.
If your dog finds it hard to crack that kibble, you can add some Luke warm water to moisten and make it more palatable.
- Wet food
Wet food has a high moisture content of 90%. As compared to dry food, wet canned food has fewer nutrients and calories.
So the servings of wet food will be more than that of dry food. If done wrongly, you will always wonder why your German shepherd puppy is ever crying of hunger.
- A highlight of dry and wet food
Weigh out which type of diet your dog prefers
Remember that if you decide to give your dog dry food, the ratio will be different from wet food. Dry food will have high nutrients and calories than wet food.
Also, it will be less costly to maintain a German shepherd puppy on a dry food plan. A 500 grams. of dry food can feed your dog more days than 500 grams of wet food can.
So do your calculations correctly.
- Mixing dry and wet food
You are not limited to give your dog dry or wet food solely. You can mix these foods in ratios. Or even give the dog, wet and dry food in different servings.
For example, you can decide to give your puppy dry food in the morning and wet food in the evening.
Alternatively, you can give your German shepherd puppy a mixture of wet and dry food.
All in all, weigh out which option suits your German shepherd, and it should be in-expensive.
- Homemade food
You can skip all those commercial foods that you have been buying for your dog and decide to use homemade food.
Homemade food is one of the best alternatives to commercial wet and dry food. However, it will not be a walk in the park while starting this kind of diet plan.
The reason being, it is tiresome and demanding. And most of all expensive to maintain.
Another crucial thing is taking note of the servings of homemade food you give your dog.
While giving your dog such a diet, ensure it has enough proteins, fewer carbohydrates and a slight touch of macro-and micronutrients.
Any deviation may lead to digestive and metabolic problems in your dog.
Ask your vet whether it’s good to start the homemade diet on your German shepherd puppy.
- Raw diet
A natural raw diet is another alternative to give your German shepherd puppy.
This raw diet consists of a diet that a dog would probably eat when out in the wild. Such a diet consists of raw meat, fish and vegetables.
Over and above, if you are to go the way of this diet,-ensure it fulfills your dog’s nutritional requirement.
While at that, consider asking your vet whether it is time to start such a diet plan on your lovely Fido.
- Feed your German shepherd according to his / her size and energy requirements. Remember, show line German shepherd puppies will tend to eat less than compared to the working line dogs.
- A German shepherd puppy needs a diet rich in proteins. If need be, you can decide to feed your puppy on raw, dry, wet food.
- The ratio of wet food to give your dog is often higher than dry food.
- For convenience and efficiency, you can feed your dog on either dry or wet canned food.
- Remember to hydrate your dog with plenty of water- ensure consistent provision of clean and fresh water.
- Look for treats with less calorific content.
Point out: Even though there is no concrete research, it’s understood that the diet you give your nine-month German shepherd will affect his behavior.
Exercise Needs of a German shepherd
By the age of nine months, your German shepherd will require lots of exercise session. Physical and mental exercise will prove to be adequate.
Lack of physical stimulation will lead to a host of behavioral problems for your dog. If not exercised appropriately, the dog will have unnecessary barks, digging and destroying anything on site.
How Much Exercise Is Enough for a Nine Months German shepherd Puppy?
A German shepherd will need 45 minutes of less straining exercises. Don’t expose this young dog to long swimming and hiking sessions.
Remember, it’s the quality of exercise that matters, not the quantity!
However, at this age, mental exercise is better.
Let the dog learn new tricks, find hidden treats to ensure his mental health is superb.
By this age, your puppy will be looking fluffy because of its coarse external coat. And thus, be ready to groom this dog frequently to reduce the instances of shedding.
The Coat of Fur
The coat of fur will require lots of brushing to straighten up the inner coat and do away with tangling mats.
Use a comb and brush that is friendly to your dog’s coat.
As a caution, don’t trim your dog’s coat short. Although it may look fancy and good looking, clipping the coat will expose your dog to the harsh environments.
Over and above, ensure you have brushed your dog’s coat thrice a week.
The eyes of a German shepherd puppy need tender care.
Wipe any discharge that may be present.
If you note any discharge that is not normal, consult your veterinary.
The ears have already perked up, hence, will correct many debris and moisture. Ensuring the dog’s ears are clean shall be your responsibility.
Clean the ears with a ball of moist cotton wool weekly. Frequent cleaning will reduce the occurrence of ear infections.
Furthermore, consult your vet if you note an abnormal discharge, foul smell, and abnormal tilting of the head.
The teeth of a German shepherd need care. Regular brushing with a vet-approved toothbrush and toothpaste will be adequate. You can check here on how to brush a German shepherd’s teeth.
Check for any foul smell or any buildup of tartar on your dog’s mouth.
Nevertheless, remember to check your dog’s teeth alignment. While at that, your dog should have a scissor bite, not an undershot or overshot bite.
Trim Their Nails
Trim the claws of your nine months German shepherd twice a month. At this age, the dog will have curved and sharp claws that may tear anything in sight.
Use a friendly nail clipper and watch out, not to cut them too short or else you risk inflicting injuries on your dog.
Training and Socialization
Training and socialization are vital for a nine months German shepherd puppy. By now, your puppy should be through with the house training classes.
It’s also at this point, you can train your puppy with essential commands that will prove to be vital.
Example of commands that your puppy should learn.
How to Teach Your Dog to ‘Sit’.
Let the dog stand in front of you.
Then hold a treat on any of your hand and hold it near the dog’s mouth.
Don’t let the dog become overexcited.
By now, the dog will be looking at the treat, and the next thing you will note is that the dog will sit to have a better view of the treat. By the moment your dog sits, give out a high valued reward. Repeat, till you’re sure you are sure your dog is an adept.
Next, you can phase out the treat and let the dog sit by, only you vocalizing the word ‘sit’.
First, ensure the dog has learned the command ‘sit’.
Place the treat on your palm.
Next, direct it towards your dog nose and then start bringing the treat down towards his legs.
While keeping concentration on the treat, the dog will tend to lie on his stomach with the feet straightened.
Remember to reward the dog whenever he executes such a command with ease.
Also repeat such a process till the dog is an expert.
‘Come’ is another command that is necessary for your dog.
So how do you do it?
Let the dog stand a few minutes from where you are.
Next, call out your dog’s name while you are extending your palm towards yourself.
Use a conversational tone and alter the word ‘come’.
Remember to use positive enforcements when training your dog all commands.
Points to note when training your nine months German shepherd
- Don’t expect the result to be fast- you will be frustrated.
- Don’t use physical strength when training a German shepherd puppy.
- Have short training sessions.
- Be consistent on how you train your German shepherd puppy.
Socialization will bring up a dog that is balanced and equally accepted by the community.
Let the dog become exposed to lots of sounds and sights. You can take the puppy to a people’s park where he will interact with lots of peoples and dogs.
A less socialized dog will display unwanted traits that a German shepherd should not exhibit like fear and aggression.
German Shepherd Behavior and Body Language
By now, the dog will tend to use most of his body parts to communicate. And understanding these body languages will need a detailed eye.
The body languages you should understand
Here is a table to make it simple for you.
|Behavior||Dog body language|
|Aggression||Ears firm and held back, sharp eyes, the dog is often grounded on all his fours, head straight with teeth displayed, growl.|
|Fear||Head lowered down, ears lie down, the tail tucked between the legs, self-urination and defecation.|
|Excitement||Tongue out, tail wags rapidly, eyes wide and bright, jumps up and down while letting out a bark.|
|Confident and alert||Ears perk up, the head held high up, eyes become lively, tail wags slowly.|
Those are some of the dog’s body languages you may come across on your nine-month German shepherd puppy.
Remember, some body languages may be alone or in combination. Lack of deciphering these cues correctly may not need up well for you and your dog.
While at that, ensure you have trimmed any unwanted behaviors by ensuring you have enrolled this dog in puppy class.
Also, the lack of exercise will lead to behavioral problems.
Hoping the above information will help you understand what your dog needs after becoming nine months. And as you can see, it requires lots of dedication to ensure the dog’s needs are met.
Of importance, ensure you have satisfied your nine-month German shepherd puppy exercise, health and nutritional needs.
Also, remember to socialize and weed out any unwanted trait from your dog at this age.