The German shepherd is a dog famous for its bravery, loyalty and intelligence.
Few pooches have such characters on their paws.
Other than that, the GSD (German Shepherd Dog) claims the third position, after the poodle and the Border collie, when it comes to the Einstein of dogs.
Besides having such characters, the German shepherd is not for everyone. For example, a German shepherd dog should not be your popular choice of pet in case you practice a sedentary lifestyle. This breed has high energy levels, thus requiring regular exercises.
However, there is one question, not even the fairest of all pet owners can answer. How many puppies do German shepherds have?
How Many Puppies Do German Shepherds Have?
From my experience I have with the GSD, the number of puppies a female German shepherd can have is not fixed as it can vary between 1-15 puppies.
However, after a gestation period of 63 days, most female GSDs bear an average of eight puppies. The male puppy is always the first to pop out (sorry ladies, men first).
What’s more, the puppies are born helpless, and they solely depend on their mothers. Did you know that the puppies are born with their eyes closed? Yes, however, they re-open their eyes when they reach the age of one week. Later, the teeth start developing when they become two weeks old.
Additionally, German shepherd dogs make wonderful mothers. I can attest to this statement. As a GSD owner who has also lived with other breeds, The GSD takes the day when it comes to its nurturing abilities.
What Determines The Number Of Puppies In A Litter?
Key: a group of kitties or puppies are known as a litter,
The number of young ones produced by one German shepherd to another can vary depending on various reasons.
Age of the Bitch
Age is one determinant of how many puppies a German shepherd can have. Bitches between the ages of 2 to 5 years have a high chance of siring many puppies. Consequently, older dams beyond the age of seven don’t produce many puppies.
Key: The best time to breed your Female German shepherd is when it’s on the second heat period. This period occurs between the ages of 18-24 months. For me, I always breed my female dogs when they reach the age of 20 months.
During this period, the bitches are fertile, consequently increasing the chances of having many puppies.
Amazing Facts: A dog by the name Bluey from Australia holds the world’s oldest dog record. Bluey lived for a record 29 years.
Age of the Gun
The age of the stud plays a part when determining the number of puppies. Did you know that? Perhaps yes. A Stud at its prime has high chances of producing many puppies compared to an old dog.
Reason being, the quality of sperms in a hound diminishes with age.
That said, the best siring age of German shepherd is when they are between 2 to 5 years.
The Health of the Fido
Does health determine how many puppies German shepherds have? Yes, it does. A sick or a genetically unsound dog will produce few puppies.
Additionally, obese or overweight dogs have little chances of producing many puppies.
Unhealthy studs have a low sperm quality, and this can determine how many puppies your German shepherd has. Be cautious, don’t let your hound mate with its partner while unwell, you will probably get fewer puppies, which also may be weak.
Tips: Don’t let your puppy live with a smelly mouth, thus remember to brush their teeth twice a week.
Diet of the Bitch
A poorly fed or malnourished bitch will out-rightly produce fewer puppies. Reason being the body can’t get enough energy to hold many puppies.
What’s The Best Diet for a Pregnant GSD?
Proper care and feeding are essential to a pregnant bitch. Here is what you can give your hound to ensure all nutritional aspects are covered. I always recommend such a diet when your lovely hound is pregnant.
- Chicken wings and neck
- Raw egg, at least four times a week
- Baby carrots
- Meaty bones
However, as a responsible dog owner always feeds your dog irrespective of its status.
Point to note:
- Leftovers, grapes or onions should not be a part of the menu for your German shepherd.
- Dogs don’t love canned food, as most cost a fortune, and often they cause loose stool.
Understanding Your German shepherd Puppies
How the female GSD nurture its young ones can be a determinant how they grow.
I always advice other GSD owners to ensure the dam breastfeed its pups for four weeks before translating to solid food. Also, the best time to separate the puppies from their mother should be after 12 weeks.
Feeding Your Puppies
Puppies require quality nutritious food as they grow. Below are the foods you can feed your puppies.
Most vets recommend dry food. Dry, abrasive food is vital for your puppy’s oral health.
- Fresh raw grated vegetables, for example, Spinach, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower.
- One egg at least twice a week
- A heap of fresh bones; makes their teeth durable.
Note, never rely on commercial foods. However, you can source for food supplement, for example, fish oil as it helps keep the fur healthy.
Doggie Facts: Did your puppies dream? Yes, they do. Puppies while asleep can have 2-3 dreams in one hour.
Puppies’ Health Care
Don’t let bugs get home inside your puppy’s tummy. Ensure you deworm your German shepherd puppies. I always deworm my puppies after every 3 months.
Also, fleas can be a nuisance on your little pouch. To eradicate the fleas, wash your puppy with flea shampoo and keep the bedding clean and aired.
Additionally, ensure you keep your puppy fit by exercising regularly.
Puppies are high shedders, groom your puppy at least twice a week and also keep the hair trimmed to avoid matting.
German shepherds puppies are intelligent and always eager to learn. That’s a plus.
Additionally, having a trained Fido is one trait that makes one a responsible pet owner.
Serious training of German shepherd puppies should not start before the age of 8 weeks. First, you can train your puppy with simple one-word cues, for example, sit, come, and walk.
Don’t take your puppy to a training unit since home training can also do the job.
However, the process of training your young furry friend should be continuous and don’t ignore failure. Successful training won’t happen at once.
For me, I learnt the hard way when I was training one of my puppies. It took the puppy a full month to understand and practice the cue “sit”.
Thus I advocate for patience when training your pet.
What’s more, don’t punish your puppy in case of fails.
Fun and Games for Your Puppies
German shepherd puppies love toys, and they can make fun out of anything, be it your phone, belt or socks. To save yourself from such troubles, give your German shepherd toys.
Toys are vital for their physical and mental health wellbeing. Additionally, abrasive toys soothe pups’ gums during the teething process. Hard toys make the teeth firm as well as keeping the teeth clean.
Other toys you can use include Kong balls, squeaky toys and tug ropes.
You can also play tug of war with your puppy to strengthen your relationship.
Puppies should not do their business on your bed, neither should they be destructive. Correcting any unbecoming behaviour is necessary as they grow.
Additionally, correcting bad behaviour should be done immediately.
What’s more, eradicating harmful behaviours from your German shepherd dog should be done more conventionally.
Don’t be aggressive or violent when collecting your pup. Reason being, it can also nature other unbecoming behaviours, for example, aggressiveness or fear.
In extreme cases, shout or clap to caution your puppy. Important to note, don’t throw an object on your puppy.
Cool names to name your German shepherd puppy
No breed can match the German shepherd dog when it comes to its loyalty, intelligence and protective nature. People who have owned German shepherd can attest to the above statement.
As learnt, various reasons determine how many puppies German shepherds have.
A litter can have 1-to 15 puppies.
Also, the puppies require all-round care as they grow, be it their diet, behaviours and health.
In case you need a German shepherd, consider adopting rather than buying from a pet shop. Several pet shops source their dogs from pet farms where these dogs get mistreated. Adopt a German Shepherd Puppy don’t shop.