Should I Get a German Shepherd Puppy?

Two German Shepherd Dogs.Image via Wikipedia
So you are ready to add a furry family member. Thinking about a German Shepherd puppy? If you are considering bringing a new GSD puppy or older dog into your home, there are  a few factors to think about. Getting to know the German Shepherd breed a little before you adopt will help with a fast transition to family life.

German Shepherd puppies grow quickly. By four months old a German Shepherd puppy weighs in at 35 to 45lbs. Full weight for a GSD is 75 to 85lbs; most of which is gained within the first year. Decide if the home can withstand such a growth rate with a rambunctious puppy.

Training and socialization with other animals is essential for a healthy German Shepherd puppy. This is one of the smartest breed of dogs, so training is a must. The owners must be confident in handling and training a GSD or it will assume leadership of the family pack. The puppy must learn at a young age that it is not the family pack leader. German Shepherds are a headstrong, confident breed that love to have a job. This breed does not do well alone. They love to be with their human family.

Walking is another daily must for GSD owners. As a herding dog, they have a migration instinct that must be met. German Shepherd puppies that don't get enough exercise will get restless and destructive. The daily walk must be long and at a brisk pace, with the puppy at the owner's side or slightly behind. This will help instill in the puppy that they are not the leader, the human is. This breed loves to run. Hook up a bike extension to the leash for a great daily workout. German Shepherds are not happy without walking long distances daily.

German Shepherd dogs shed... a lot. This is definitely something to keep in mind if you're considering buying a German Shepherd puppy. The upside is that this breed only needs bathed as needed for odors. They are a relatively clean dog.

Grooming a GSD looks like an easy job. There are not a lot of tools involved.  All you need to groom a German Shepherd puppy is a good slicker brush, a shedding comb, and the dog shampoo of your choice (unless a vet recommends one to you). While you don't need many tools, you do need to groom a German Shepherd dog daily. Not with a bath, of course, but a daily brush out is required to keep shedding in check. You will still likely have dog hair on your floors or furniture.

Crate training is another must for German Shepherd puppies. The guarding instinct is so strong in this breed that a crate actually helps instill confidence in the dog. The puppy will rest easier only having to protect the small safe area of the kennel as opposed to the entire new house. You will feel more comfortable knowing the puppy is in a safe place for the night. Remember to add the cost of a large dog crate when adopting a German Shepherd puppy.

There are certainly other factors to consider before adopting any puppy. For German Shepherd owners: confidence, training, socialization and exercise are the most important. In return you will find a true friend; loyal to the entire household and eager to please.

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