German Shepherds didn’t become one of the most popular dog breeds in the world for no reason. They’re smart, they’re loyal, and they’re absolutely beautiful.
Taking care of a German Shepherd puppy isn’t easy. They need plenty of exercise and socialization.
But if you’re up for the challenge, we’ve got some tips to help you take care of your 8-month-old German Shepherd puppy.
We’ll cover their physical and behavior changes, exercise, training, diet, grooming, and more. Read on to learn everything you need about caring for your furry friend.
Average Size and Height
German Shepherds typically grow to be between 20 and 22 inches tall at the shoulder and weigh between 62 and 66 pounds.
However, there is some variation within the breed, and some German Shepherds may be larger or smaller than average.
Generally speaking, a male German Shepherd is larger than a female German Shepherd.
An 8-month-old male German Shepherd grows approximately 20 to 22 inches tall, 62 to 66 pounds, while a female German Shepherd grows about 18 to 20 inches tall, 53 to 57 pounds.
German Shepherds can keep growing until they are two years of age or older. Depending on their parentage and individual German Shepherd growth rates, some may be larger or smaller.
Nutrition for an 8-Month-Old German Shepherd
German Shepherd puppies need a diet with the right mix of protein, carbohydrates, and good fat. Some of the good foods for your GSD are whole grains, lean meats, and vegetables.
However, avoiding giving them too much food at once is essential, as their delicate stomachs can’t handle large meals. You can divide their puppy food into more frequent, smaller meals throughout the day.
Always be mindful of how much food your dog is eating. Too much food can result in weight gain and obesity.
If you’re unsure how much to feed your dog, talk to your veterinarian or consult a pet nutritionist. They can help you create a feeding plan that will ensure your dog stays at a healthy weight.
Physical and Behavioral Changes
By eight months, your puppies will start to look and act like adult German Shepherds. He will be more independent and will want to explore his surroundings.
Your German Shepherd will also be more aware of other dogs and people and may start to show signs of aggression.
Moreover, your German Shepherd puppy will become more active and playful at eight months.
He may become more independent and assertive and even challenge you for alpha status. He may also start to test boundaries, challenge rules, and have some behavior issues.
The most challenging part of raising 8-month-old German Shepherds includes dealing with their excessive chewing on everything like shoes, clothes, and furniture.
Your German Shepherd will also dig huge potholes, bark excessively, and have aggressive tendencies around other people.
Try to control this destructive behavior by walking him to the dog park or outside the house whenever possible.
Plus, ensure that they have chew toys so your German Shepherd dog doesn’t turn to the furniture when he is feeling bored.
It is part of their natural development, so it’s important not to punish them. Instead, provide your GSD pup plenty of opportunities to exercise and train so he can learn good behaviors.
Physically, your German Shepherd puppy will be almost fully grown, although his bones will continue to harden for another 6 to 12 months. His coat will also continue to thicken and become more lustrous.
Training Your 8-Month-Old German Shepherd
Training your 8-month-old German Shepherd puppy can be a fun and rewarding experience for you and your dog. There are a few things to keep in mind when teaching your dog, and here are some of them.
Establish Rules and Limits
An 8-month-old German Shepherd will likely be full of energy and curiosity. Provide him with structure and discipline, or else he may become unruly.
Establishing rules and limits does not have to be complicated. For example, you may want to set a rule that your German Shepherd must sit before you give him his food. It will help him learn patience and self-control.
Be Consistent With Basic Commands
Consistency is vital when it comes to basic training. It is especially true for German Shepherd puppies, who are intelligent, eager to please, and quick to learn.
However, keep in mind that an 8-month-old German Shepherd is still working on mastering basic commands.
If you give a command once and then don’t follow through, your dog will soon learn that they don’t have to listen to you.
However, if you’re consistent with your commands and the rewards you offer, your German Shepherd puppy will quickly learn what you’re teaching him.
Provide Positive Reinforcement
Positive reinforcement means rewarding your dog for good behavior with treats, praise, or petting. Remember, puppies have short attention spans, so keep the sessions short and sweet.
If your pup is having trouble paying attention, try breaking up the session into smaller intervals throughout the day.
With patience and positive reinforcement, you can teach your basic dog commands such as sit, stay, come, down, and off. You can also begin teaching your dog tricks like rolling over or playing dead.
Do Recall Training
Recall training is an essential skill that every dog should know. Recall training teaches your dog to come when called, even when there are distractions.
It can be a lifesaving skill if your dog ever gets loose from their leash or yard.
Toys for 8-Month-Old German Shepherds
If you’re a proud owner of a German Shepherd pup, you’re probably looking for the best toys to keep your furry friend entertained.
Here are some of our top picks for toys for 8-month-old German Shepherds.
Rubber Chew Toy
To find the perfect rubber chew toy for your 8-month-old German Shepherd, look for one made of durable rubber and sized appropriately for your dog.
A rubber chew toy will not tear easily and is less likely to be ingested. Additionally, chewing can help reduce anxiety and provide a sense of calm for your pup.
Avoid toys with small parts that could pose a choking hazard. Instead, opt for a solid toy that your dog can enjoy for months.
Your German Shepherd puppy needs interactive play to avoid boredom. This toy may have light, motion, or sound to trigger your dog’s engagement and curiosity.
Good engaging toys keep your dog occupied, interested, and happy for long hours.
A rope toy is perfect for playing tug-of-war or fetch with your German Shepherd. Fetch is a classic game that dogs of all ages enjoy.
When selecting a rope toy for your German Shepherd, you must consider the following:
- Size – Make sure the rope toy is large enough for your dog to carry in his mouth comfortably. If it’s too small, he may have trouble picking it up, and if it’s too large, he may not be able to hold onto it.
- Material – Ropes made of natural fibers like cotton or wool are usually best for puppies, as synthetic materials can be harsh on their tender gums.
- Durability – Because German Shepherds are known for their powerful jaws, the rope toy must be durable enough to stand up to heavy chewing. Look for toys made of multiple strands of rope, as these are typically more difficult for dogs to destroy.
8-Month-Old German Shepherd – Health Issues
German Shepherds are known for their strong bodies, but there are a few health concerns you should keep an eye on.
For starters, they are prone to elbow and hip dysplasia, which happens when the joints don’t form properly. It can cause a lot of pain later in life and make it hard for your dog to get around.
German Shepherd dogs are also known for having sensitive stomachs, so watch what you feed them and how often. Some may do well on one food, while others might need a more sensitive option.
Moreover, German Shepherds are prone to something called bloat. Signs of bloat include restlessness, drooling, and trying to vomit with no results.
It happens when the stomach twists and traps gas inside, which can be very dangerous.
Finally, German Shepherds are also prone to allergies, so if you notice your dog scratching too much, it might be time to visit the vet.
By familiarizing yourself with these common health concerns, you can help ensure that your German Shepherd puppy stays happy and healthy for years to come.
How Much Exercise Do 8-Month-Old German Shepherds Need?
At eight months old, German Shepherd puppies started to grow into their adult size! They’re still full of energy and enthusiasm for life, so they need enough exercise to stay healthy and happy.
A good rule of thumb is to provide at least one hour of exercise per day, divided into two or three shorter sessions. It can include walking, running, playing fetch, or any other activity that gets them moving.
German Shepherds are also intelligent and energetic, so mental stimulation is just as important as physical activity.
Try giving them simple obedience training, playing interactive games, or providing puzzle toys to keep their minds challenged.
Sleep Requirements for 8-Month-Old German Shepherds
German Shepherds need between 15 and 20 hours of sleep per day. It means they should ideally get around two to three hours of sleep during the day and the rest at night.
German Shepherds are usually pretty good at sleeping through the night, but young puppies may need to wake up for a potty break once or twice.
If you have an 8-month-old German Shepherd, ensure that he gets enough rest by providing a comfortable place to sleep and avoiding too much excitement before bedtime.
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German Shepherds are a unique breed with their own set of needs. They’re playful and energetic but need plenty of exercise. They love to learn and are very intelligent.
They can be destructive sometimes but can be great dogs with proper discipline.
Taking care of an 8-month-old GSD puppy can be difficult, but with practice, you will get used to it.
As the dog owner, ensure to provide your dog with the right food, water, shelter, exercise, proper training, and playtime. Always remember that happy dogs are usually healthy dogs.