Researching the Growth Period of German Shepherd Dog? Read on to find out how long it takes for this dog breed to mature...
When the German Shepherd dog puppies are born they are totally dependent on the mother for food, care and protection. As newborn puppies they are by and large immobile. Generally a small part of the umbilical cord is still attached to the puppy and it dries off in a few days.
Baby German Shepherds
Basically from the time it is born until two weeks is the stage of the neonatal period. The body temperature is lower by approximately 8° as compared to an adult dog’s temperature. The heart rate is very rapid, and falls to around 200 bmp. The puppies start curling when they are picked up and in order to eliminate the waste they must be stimulated at the anus by the mother. It is a good idea to handle them frequently at this stage to assist in their development.
By the fifth day they start stretching their legs. As the nervous system strengthens the back will start arching when they are picked up. By the seventh day they start crawling frequently. It is a good time to stimulate them and expose them to different items in order to allow them to gain weight.
Soon they can start opening their eyes, and motor development becomes faster, along with hair growth. By the tenth day the ears and eyes start opening. The eye color is generally blue and it cannot see at this point. By the 14th day the eyes and ears are completely open and a few of them may have the incisor teeth erupting already while they crawl quite frequently.
Young German Shepherds
This is the start of the transitional period and lasts for one week. The majority of the changes in a German Shepherd puppy are seen at this time. The German Shepherd puppy becomes very independent and starts eliminating waste itself. Furthermore, it generally starts walking by the 16th day in a very wobbly manner. From this time onwards it starts socializing and indulges in fighting and tail wagging. By the 21st day the German Shepherd puppy moves from the transition stage into the socialization stage.
In this stage, the gait is more self-assured and adult like. The keen sense of exploration also develops. This is the best time to work on social skills and emotional development. Drastic changes occur in this stage of the German Shepherd puppy’s life. The puppy can actually identify its own species and starts forming bonds with human beings and other animals. Between 6 to 8 weeks is a highly sensitive time because it is also the fear stage and the peak of social development.
By the fourth week the puppy starts playing with humans, the littermates and toys along with enjoying play fighting. At this point it starts eating soft food as it continues to drink its mother’s milk. Since they become fearless by this stage, new items and environments can be introduced while the German Shepherd puppy continues to develop. The body temperature also stabilizes and heart rate goes down to normal levels. They also have a full set of teeth by this time.