Having a new puppy in your house will bring much fun and excitement.
However, besides the excitement comes new chores and responsibilities.
8 week old puppies will need care, and training for them to grow as ideal adult German shepherds.
Furthermore, it’s your sole responsibility to bring up a well-trained and well socialized German shepherd puppy.
Consequently, it can be challenging for new pet owners to cope with an 8 week old German shepherd puppy’s vast needs.
That said, I have compiled some guides on how you can take care and train your 8 week old German Shepherd puppy with ease and love.
How to Take Care of an 8 Week Old German Shepherd Puppy
Handling German shepherd puppies who have been separated from their mothers can be challenging.
Utmost, for the first few days, you will probably have sleepless nights as the puppy is not accustomed to living without its mum.
At first, you can let your pup sleep inside your bedroom but not on your bed. Your pup may fall off or get injured while on your bed.
Vet Care for an 8 Week Old German Shepherd Puppy
After getting a new pup, ensure it has an update of all shots from your vet. Additionally, your vet will be in a better position to give you an update on the puppy’s health.
It will be your sole responsibility to ensure that your 8week old German shepherd puppy is well-groomed. Get yourself a vet-approved puppy brush to keep the coat tidy.
Also Read: Can I brush my German Shepherd's teeth?
A German shepherd at this young age will require lightweight exercise sessions to keep him fit. Additionally, when you are not around, you can get your puppy chew toys or Kong balls to keep him happy and engaged.
Diet for an 8 Week Old German Shepherd Puppy
Puppies need to feed on quality pet food. Worth to note, continue feeding your puppy on a diet she was accustomed to.
If you want to change the type of diet, do it in phases.
An inconsistent diet and diet plan on a puppy’s tummy is harmful. Your puppy may start to diarrhea or even develop other unprecedented stomach complications.
Additionally, don’t feed your puppy all at once. Do it in phases. Instead of one wholesome meal, let your puppy feed-in portions four times a day.
Read More: Best dog foods for German Shepherd puppies
How to Train an 8 Week Old German Shepherd Puppy
It is your responsibility to train your eight week old German shepherd puppy. Even if it seems like a daunting task, be patient so that you achieve better results.
With the right training and the right trainer, your puppy will grow into a well-behaved dog who can easily interact with other dogs and other people.
Also Read: How to train a GSD?
Rules to Follow before You Start Training Your 8 Week Old German shepherd Puppy
Here are some basic golden rules that will ensure that you have a smooth training on your 8 week old German shepherd puppy.
Following up on these rules will not only make the learning session short but enjoyable.
Always Let Your Puppy Know You Are the Leader
Like wolves, dogs thrive in a pack. They will always take directions from the pack leader. Thus, let the dog follow your rules.
Additionally, let your puppy learn that you are the authority, and everything should be done after your command. Furthermore, let your dog seek your consent before doing anything.
No one wants a dog who will go jumping on visitors the minute the door is open or even barking unnecessarily.
Keynote: put yourself as the commander to avoid having an unruly dog.
Use Positive Reinforcements
For training to be successful, always use positive reinforcements. Use high valued rewards for the dog to appreciate the pieces of training.
Start With Basic Commands
A young puppy will need to learn simple commands before advancing on harder tricks.
Consistency is the key to successful puppy training. If you are not consistent, you will not, and you will never achieve any better results.
For example, if you decide it’s a ‘No’! Stick with it.
For example, if a puppy barks or moans after getting caged, don’t be remorseful and get tempted to open the cage.
Don’t expect better results on your first puppy training session. You will be frustrated. Frustration may cause you to lose it all.
Don’t show aggressiveness on your dog whenever he seems not to grasp anything you train him.
Use Short Session
For the dog to understand the complete training, let the pieces of training be short. Always spend 30 minutes of your day practicing a specific cue.
Later you can divide the sessions into 5 minutes. Remember, dogs have a short memory span, so don’t overexert the puppy with long boring sessions.
Now that we have learned some basic rules you should apply, let’s dive in and check on some basic training to teach your shepherd dog.
Training Your 8 Week Old German shepherd Puppy
It’s important to start training your 8 week old German Shepherd puppy with necessary socialization skills.
Similar to human beings, dogs also thrive in socialization.
A well-socialized German shepherd puppy will understand how to respond when faced with different scenarios.
Let your dog socialize with various friendly environments. Take your dog to a park, let it meet up with other animals and other dogs.
A well-socialized dog will always be friendly and confident.
A puppy lacking socialization skills will be very aggressive, anxious, and always afraid.
How To Potty Train Your 8 Week Old German shepherd Puppy
One of the issues that you will struggle with after getting a new puppy is house training. For the first few days, you will probably have sleepless nights and mostly feel frustrated.
Puppies at this age don’t know the difference between right or wrong. They will decide to do their business where they wish, whether it’s on your shoes, your bed. I tell you, it will be a mess.
That said, I have compiled a guide on how you can house train your 8 week old German shepherd puppy.
You will need to be patient and consistent. Also, understand that accidents can happen any time, so don’t show aggression on your dog.
If done correctly and consistently, puppies can be house trained by seven days.
First, you will need to create a routine or schedule.
For example, make it a duty to take your shepherd puppy out first thing in the morning after waking up. Afterwards you can also take them out after every 1 hour. Additionally, you can always be taking them out after they have finished eating.
Have specific meal times for your puppy. While at that, ensure the puppy is feeding on quality food. Consistent feeding times, coupled up with quality food, will ensure that your puppy has consistent bowels.
Be consistent, in that always take your puppy to do its business in one place. Changing places can confuse your German shepherd puppy.
Accidents May Happen
In case you find out that your puppy has done its business inside the house, clean the spot with an enzymatic cleaner to eliminate the odor.
Also, if you find your puppy on the act, interrupt it. Don’t yell or throw objects on it. Immediately pick your puppy up and take it out.
Consequently, if you find the puppy doing its business outside, remember to reward it. The puppy will associate going out with a reward.
Additionally, don’t use puppy pads; although controversial, puppy pads may confuse your puppy. What you might not know is that puppies thrive on a consistent routine.
You can use a puppy pad in case you live in a high-rise apartment or when the conditions outside are unfavorable.
How to Know You Have Succeeded In Potty Training
Don’t be in a rush to potty train your German Shepherd puppy. To know whether your puppy has fully understood house training, he should be consistent with two consecutive months with no accidents.
Crate Training for an 8 Week Old German Shepherd Puppy
Crate training is one of the effective ways that will help you house train your 8 week old GSD puppy.
A puppy crate is more of a den that will house the puppy, whether sleeping or playing.
A crate will also come in handy when you are not around. Worth to note start crate training on a German shepherd puppy immediately after arriving in her new home.
At first, your puppy may be traumatized; thus, he may start whimpering to be let out. But never mind, that’s one of the processes of learning for the puppy.
When to Crate Your Puppy
It would be best if you don’t crate your puppy all thought out.
- You can do it only at night when sleeping; never do it during the day for long when you are around. The puppy may become bored.
- Whenever you have left your house. You don’t want to find damages in your home or at least find that your dog has strangled or choked herself.
- When you have company inside your house.
You can crate train your puppy while inside the house using treats. Let the dog enjoy being in the crate. Close it for a few minutes and open it.
Also, a crate will help to reduce the number of accidents in your house. Most dogs don’t love soiling their sleeping place. Utmost, it will hold up till the moments it gets someone to take it out.
Don’t let the crate be a form of punishment for your puppy.
How to Stop Puppy biting: Bite Inhibition
Biting is one of the natural ways that puppy play. Puppies have needle-like teeth that can cause sharp pain when they bite you. However, if this behavior is not weaned off, the puppy can grow into an uncontrollable pet.
So how do you stop German shepherd from hurtful biting or nipping?
You can first teach your puppy that biting means game over. Have you ever seen puppies playing and noted how they love nipping on each other? Did you see how one of the puppies reacted when it got a hard bite on its body? The puppy that gets the hard bites lets out a high-pitched yelp.
Consequently, humans can also capitalize on such reaction/behavior.
Let your puppy give you a hard bite on your body. Don’t pull out your hand instantly, but let out a human yelp. Like Ouch!! (Let it be loud).
Your puppy will become startled and start wondering what just happened. Next, the pup will stop the biting. Give such a reaction anytime the puppy gives you a hard bite. You can also train your family members to react similarly when the puppy bites.
Also, in case the puppy gives you a hard bite, walk away. German shepherds are intelligent individuals; thus, he will associate biting as game over. You can also ignore the puppy the minute it gives you a hard bite.
What’s more, avoid wearing dangling clothes that will entice the puppy to start the biting games. Additionally, you can give your puppy an alternative, let’s say a toy.
You can also take your puppy out for a walk since some biting may arise because it has lots of energy to use up.
Worth to note, don’t scold or punish the puppy after they give you a bite. It may make your puppy afraid and ultimately fear you.
How to Train a GSD Puppy to Walk On a Leash
Walking on a leash is not an inborn trait in puppies. You will have to train them.
Leash walking is a necessary skill for your dog, as it will help both of you enjoy those long forest walks.
Before introducing your puppy to a leash, let him first learn how to stay on a collar. Additionally, let the whole experience of wearing a collar or a leash to be enjoyable. Let the puppy be comfortable on the leash or collar, we want the puppy to have a positive experience with it.
Let your dog wear the leash for a few minutes around the house. Be calm and give the pup a treat for accepting to wear the leash.
You can keep the leash short to avoid the dog biting or concentrating much on it.
Afterward, you can start training your puppy to walk on a leash around your yard. If the puppy complies, reward it.
Afterward, start training your puppy to walk on a leash around a people’s park where there are many distractions. It’s during these moments you can teach the puppy not to pull the leash.
Don’t let the pup grow with the leash pulling behavior. If you note your puppy is pulling the leash too much, don’t give in but stay still.
Reward the puppy or praise him after he complies.
Don’t reward the puppy when he pulls the leash. Let the dog associate calmness on a leash with treats.
4 Important Commands to Train Your GSD Puppy
Your puppy must learn some of the basic commands. Such basic commands will not only bring up a well-mannered dog, but they will come in handy as you train it more advanced tricks.
Let Your 8 Week Old German Shepherd Puppy Learn Its Name: Identity
Before you train an 8 week old German shepherd puppy any skills, it needs to have an identity.
Ensure that you use a short name for identification. Don’t use offensive words to name your dog or even use crude words.
To make sure the dog understands its name, always use it often. Additionally, when the dog reacts to the call of its name, praise it by calling it a good boy/girl.
Furthermore, use an exciting tone when calling your puppy by its name.
Train Your 8 Week Old German Shepherd Puppy to Come: The ‘Come’ Command
Come is an easy but vital cue to teach your puppy. Start the training when the pup is busy. Next, call out the puppy’s name.
Furthermore, if the puppy starts moving towards you, give it a treat. Sometimes the puppy may be hesitant to come, here you can use a high-value reward that you know the puppy loves to entice him.
Note, don’t let out the word ‘come’ at this point. Hold on. Practice severally. Later is when you can start using the word come.
When the puppy starts moving towards you, let out the word ‘come’ in a high pitched tone. Remember to reward the puppy at the point it responds to this command.
Another way you can train an 8 week old German shepherd puppy come is by using a leash.
First, let the puppy be on a long leash.
Next, gently pull the leash towards you, then let out the word ‘come.’ Afterward, congratulate your puppy the moments it responds to this command.
Practice now and then till the moment you are satisfied that your puppy has mastered this cue.
Train Your Puppy to Sit: The ‘Sit’ Command
Sit is an additional command that you can train your German shepherd puppy.
It can be challenging for a start, but with consistency, you will get the desired results.
First, you can congratulate or praise or your dog anytime you find him sitting. Later you can let out the word ‘sit.’
When it comes to real training, let the puppy standstill. Then, put a treat near his nose, not so close. Ensure the dog gets the treat’s scent.
Next, move the treat around his neck area while ensuring that the dog keeps close eye contact with the treat.
As an instinct, the dog will put his behind down to have a close-up view of the treat.
Immediately congratulate the dog the moments he sits down. Also, at this point, you can let out the word sit.
Day by day, you can phase out the treat and let the puppy sit simply from your command.
Point to note, don’t push your dog’s back while training it on how to sit. You risk injuring it.
Train Your 8 Week Old GSD Puppy to Stay Down: The Down’ Command
Often easier when the dog understands the cue ‘sit’. First, let the dog sit down. Secondly, put a treat near its nose. Then, slowly move it to the ground. The dog should not raise its hind legs or move them.
As you move the treat down, the puppy will naturally lie down. Praise your dog for lying down with a high-value reward.
How to Discipline a 8 Week Old German Shepherd Puppy
Disciplining a puppy does not mean you whack it till it regrets its nasty behaviors. No. puppies are like small children; thus, they need to be corrected with love.
Don’ts of Disciplining a Puppy
Don’t Be Physical
Never take it personal when a dog misbehaves. Remember, previously, dogs were wild animals that had to be tamed by man.
Hurting your dog will not bear results; it will utmost deepen the behavioral problem that the dog has. Also, please don’t deny it food or tie it away in a lonely place.
Also, kicking your dog with an object may awaken its aggressive nature.
Never Yell At Your Dog
Yelling has never been a method of correcting bad behaviors in dogs.
Not even in humans.
Yelling may bring up aggression or fear in your dog.
Never Run a Dog’s Nose on Its Dirt
I have seen guys doing that to their dog, but one thing I tell them is that it won’t change anything.
Whenever you see your dog failing, don’t demoralize it, but rather collect it. For a puppy, do some house training on it.
Proven and Effective Way of Disciplining Your German shepherd
Disciplining your dog using negative reinforcement involves eliminating a treat to enhance the frequency of response of the command you give out.
For example, every time you call out your dog’s name, and it doesn’t respond, don’t issue a reward. Your dog will learn the lack of responding when his name is called out takes away the goodies from him. Only reward the dog the moment it responds to your call rightfully.
Worth to note, withdrawing the rewards helps in correcting undesirable behaviors conventionally.
Also, you can deny your dog tummy rubs or back pats after it has misbehaved.
Why Is My 8 Week Old German shepherd Puppy Indiscipline?
Sometimes your dog may decide to break the rules. What could be the reason?
Here is are the reason that could be making your dog not follow your commands.
Your Puppy Had Inadequate Training
Halfway trained puppies can be indiscipline. Sometimes it occurs when specific behavioral training is done halfway or incorrectly done.
The Dog Is Seeking Your Attention
Sometimes the dog may develop unwanted behaviors to attract your attention. Mostly happens to individuals who spend less time with their dogs, or they are often busy.
Your puppy could also be suffering from underlying health conditions, so he’s probably ignoring your commands to attract your attention.
The Dog Is Suffering From Separation Anxiety
Sometimes puppies who have been separated from their loved ones or their previous owners, can start acting out in an unwanted manner.
Separation anxiety may manifest through self-urinating or defecating.
You Are Inconsistent
Consistency is the key to getting a well-behaved puppy and one that is readily responded to your command.
For example, please don’t give a puppy a treat whenever it doesn’t follow or does what you desire. Remember what I said, a No from You should be a NO! is a no.
You should always be firm with your decision.
Final Thoughts on Taking Care and Training of an 8 Week Old German Shepherd Puppy
An adequately trained German shepherd dog will thrive well in your house. However, as you train your 8 week old German shepherd puppy, always remember that successful results won’t come your way instantly. You will have to be patient and consistent.
That said, for any new German shepherd owner, the above guide will give you a head start on how to take care and train an 8 week old German shepherd puppy.