German Shepherd Puppy Behavior & Development Stages

You should not expect German shepherd behavior stages to be fully matured from their birth as the development cycle of these puppies are the same as any other big dog breed you may have. Nevertheless, people who have recently got a GSD pup are very much concerned over German shepherd puppy behavior stages or how the small fluff ball reacts.

The German shepherd is one of the intelligent, efficient, and caring dog breeds that go through a variety of stages on their way to maturity however the first year is the most crucial in terms of social, physical, and mental development. The first six months of German shepherd pups are the foundation of their socializing skills, good behavior, and bonding with place & people.

The German shepherd behavior problems occur due to mishandling and mistakes of pet parents in their first six months.

We will cover the stages of German shepherd behavior in this post to give you a clear idea of what could be your role in it.

Note: This post is based on general information only it is not supposed to be any kind of substitute for expert advice, for professional advice, you must consult to qualified person like the vet.


Growth Stages of German Shepherd Behavior

In general, there are around six stages involved in the development of a German shepherd puppy. The first two stages however completely based on mother parenting while the two stages then polish their social perception and ranking setting. Thenceforth, small dogs will start learning about surroundings, normal things, developing human interaction, as well as becoming physically & mentally strong.

Newborn to Neonatal Stage

Like a newborn human, the puppy is also helpless in its 0 to 2 weeks. German shepherd puppies have eyes and ears sealed, with no teeth in their mouth so they need their mother the most for milking, cleaning, and warmth. They spend most of their time sleeping but upon awakening, they try to stand or move around.

Mother’s milk is best for puppies as the antibodies in it keep the puppy protected from diseases also help them develop muscles and coordination.

What to expect from this stage?

At a length of this period and sometime in the third week you can expect your cute pup to start crawling and opening up ears & eyes.

What should be your role?

You should not separate a baby German shepherd and its mother as it is heavily traumatic for both of them

Make sure you feed the mother dog properly so that she can feed her babies well also she requires enough strength to give them company and warmth

Transitional Stage

The stage consists of 2 to 4 weeks in which you will see quite a change in a puppy, from improvement in motor skills to control of body and temperature management your small dog will start to be able to change rapidly. They practice independently and get familiar with their immediate surroundings to some extent.  They can now start having solid food but the main diet will be soft food or milk.

This is the stage of social interaction when the puppy will start interacting with other puppies furthermore, they start exploring things in their surroundings.

What to expect from this stage?

You can expect them to walk properly also they begin light barking and growling, improvement in interaction, and puppy teeth will be visible when your whelp will be 4th week old.

What should be your role?

You should make your puppy take solid food but keep the milk diet intact as well

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Socialization Stage

From the 4th week all the way 8th week, the period is known as socialization because the socializing skills of the puppies will be further developed and the whole new chapter of human interaction begins.

This is the high time when the pup should not be fully dependent on a milk diet as by the end of the 4th week the milk production of the mother will get slow so the puppy should be weaned on to a soft diet/food. Although the complete weaning takes place by the end of the 8th week but drawing them to a soft/mushy diet will take up a little time.

Your young GSD has now full control over their bodies similarly they have completely grown puppy teeth within 6 to 8 weeks and then the teething process will start.

The remaining half of this stage is considered the perfect time to adopt or rehome younger dogs as the puppies in this age are eager to learn different things and are more drawn to new people, things, and surroundings. You can also start teaching little pup basic commands.

However, between 8 to 11 weeks they might show some symptoms of fear but this is not something to be bothered by as the puppy need to be nurtured well to get settled.

What to expect from this stage?

You may see some adult-like behaviors such as snuffling bums, wiggling tails, etc. Further, you can teach them general dog behavior, bite-inhibition, and how to interact with humans and other dogs.

What should be your role?

  • You should be calm and patient with the young canine as it is also like a human child that needs to be trained well
  • Be positive and be very affectionate with your young German shepherd as he/she will learn social behaviors from you and other dogs
  • If you treat them with love and positivity, they will start to see your guardian.

Juvenile Stage

The 8 to 12 weeks is the stage in a pup’s life when they have already learned social behaviors that are needed to adapt new family/house and environment. They become more independent as well as appreciate dominance whereas they like to explore their place to get the idea of their positioning in the home.

A young canine will lose its teeth and the adult teeth then take their place; teething can be considered puberty for a dog. Most probably the small dog will be sexually matured by the end of this stage while they will have grown to 60% to 70% of their complete physical size both in males and females.

What to expect from this stage?

The heat cycles of female dogs will start in this period likewise you can expect the sexual maturity hits the male dog and have fully upright ears.

What should be your role?

  • If you have any other dog or animals in the home make sure you keep an eye on your canine to stop any physical fights and to check its social skills and interaction behavior with other dogs/animals
  • Spend plenty of time cuddling, patting, walking with your dog, and doing several social, command, and physical training with your dog
  • You need to be extra careful in its status measuring stage
  • But in case you have a dog that belongs to a different or fragile breed separation can be the finest solution

Adolescent & Adulthood Stage

This stage lasts from 8 months to 2 years when your German shepherd behavior stages have developed enough social understanding. However, you cannot leave them be as they are high on energy and still need support, regular training, social improvement training for development. Your female dogs will be physically grown in 24 months while the male takes a little longer in growing at 36 months.

The adulthood stage can be described from 2 to 3 years when mental and physical development has been completed, you will enjoy a great time with your loyal pet that would spend so many years with you.