GSD training2 by filarska

German Shepherd full grown age

The German shepherd dog is America's iconic model of heroism.The German shepherd dog is America's iconic model of heroism.

German shepherds are intelligent, capable and loving dogs, that go through many stages on the road to maturity - five distinct stages in their first year alone. The long adolescent period that ends the puppy years is highly individual, but most dogs mature somewhere before 3 years of age.

The Neonatal Stage

This is the very earliest stage your German shepherd will pass through. Simply put, this is the helpless baby stage when your puppy's eyes will still be closed and he is completely dependent upon his mother. She will feed him, wash him and clean up after his accidents for the first two or three weeks. His eyes will open at around 10 days. At this time, your puppy is little more than an eating machine - filling his belly to help his tiny body grow and develop.

The Transitional Stage

Though it is short and indistinct, the transitional stage from the neonatal to the socialization stage is important to your pup's development nevertheless. This brief phase - lasting only about a week after his eyes open - marks the period when your German shepherd begins to notice his environment. He will start to look at things curiously and be aware of sounds around him. Prior to this he has been in his own little world with no sights or sounds beyond his own body and that of his mother. When his eyes open, the immediate environment - with other living beings - is suddenly a part of life that he must face.

The Socialization Stage

At around 3 weeks, your puppy begins to learn how to interact with others - both animals and the humans around him. He has already had some practice with dogs through the daily contact with his mother and litter mates, but now he begins to expand his circle of acquaintance to other dogs or cats in the household and to the family of humans around him. This is the most critically important phase in your German shepherd's development and helps decide his later suitability for work in rescue, service or as a family dog. At this time, he should have opportunities to meet as many new animals and faces under differing circumstances as possible, so he becomes comfortable with meeting people and other animals in a variety of situations when he grows up. This stage lasts to about 3 months of age and is the period when puppies are at their most impressionable and playful.

The Juvenile Stage

From 3 to 6 months old, your puppy will begin to look beyond the biological world of dogs, cats and people to the larger world around him. He will want to explore new places more than new faces at this point - which may often get him into trouble. This is an active and trying age for puppy parents. Your puppy looks like a mostly grown-up dog but behaves entirely like a pup. His attention span is about as long as that of the average teenager, so this is not a particularly easy time for obedience classes. Your shepherd will have other things on his mind, but pet parents should continue to persevere because this is the best stage to resolve any obvious aggression or anxiety issues your pup may display. If those issues are not addressed early, they could become larger problems later on. To make things a tad more difficult, at around 5 months of age, your German shepherd starts to mature sexually.

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