German Shepherd Puppies: Pictures, Adoption Tips, and More!

taste of the wild high prairie puppy
© Tap10/Shutterstock.com

Written by Alanna Davis

Published: October 4, 2023

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Have you decided to add a German Shepherd puppy to your family? If so, you’re in for the experience of a lifetime! German Shepherds are known for being fiercely loyal, loving, and incredibly intelligent. These qualities have made this breed very popular. Their incredible intelligence, hardworking personality, and unending loyalty make German Shepherds a standout among other dog breeds. Today, we’ll do a deep dive on how to prepare when planning to adopt or purchase a German Shepherd puppy.

An Introduction to the German Shepherd Breed

German Shepherd Puppy Runs On The Grass

German Shepherd puppies are very high-energy and playful.

©Happy monkey/Shutterstock.com

It is no secret that the loyalty of a German Shepherd extends far beyond that of some other breeds. This is one of their most prominent qualities, and many people seek them for this exact reason. The protection they offer and the companionship they provide is a completely unique experience when compared to other dogs. Because of this, many dog lovers say that the German Shepherd just can’t be bested. Buying a German Shepherd puppy will cost between $1500 and $3000, depending on factors like the pedigree and the breeder’s reputation.

The German Shepherd is highly intelligent and trains well. However, be ready to invest a lot of your time into it. It is best to start training your puppy immediately after you get them. Starting with simple commands like sit, stay, or shake will help prepare them for more complex ones later on. This breed takes instruction very well and excels at learning, so it’s best to nurture these natural gifts.

History of the German Shepherd

taste of the wild high prairie puppy

A German Shepherd named Rin Tin Tin is known as the “most famous German Shepherd.” He was a movie star in the early 1900s and was given a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

©Tap10/Shutterstock.com

Max von Stephanitz began developing this breed in Germany in the 1800s. Initially, German Shepherds were bred to become working dogs, made for herding sheep and working on farmland. However, as time progressed, many people have discovered how useful German Shepherds can be working in different fields. Today, there are many German Shepherds that serve as service dogs for people with disabilities. In addition, it’s common for this breed to work in conjunction with the police, search and rescue task forces, and even during war times.

The intelligence and athleticism of the German Shepherd were great assets to troops fighting during World War II. Following the conclusion of the war, many soldiers took their German Shepherds home and their popularity became more widespread.

The Importance of Finding a Reputable German Shepherd Breeder

how much does a dog cost

Some German Shepherds helped search and rescue efforts after the fallout of the 9/11 attacks.

©Stone36/Shutterstock.com

Finding a breeder you can trust is unarguably the most important step in the process of purchasing a German Shepherd. The quality and trustworthiness of your breeder will directly impact the quality of life of your puppy, and in turn, your life as well. Buying a German Shepherd puppy from a puppy mill or backyard breeder can have serious consequences, such as the risk of genetic disease.

Often, these sketchy breeding operations do not take proper precautions when breeding their puppies, and as a result, many avoidable genetic disorders are passed down needlessly. Because they aren’t going the extra mile and conducting thorough health screenings on the dogs they’re breeding, their puppies are likely to be plagued by these conditions. In a study about hereditary diseases in German Shepherds, the most rampant genetic diseases are reported to be “pancreatic acinar atrophy (PAA), megaesophagus (ME), canine hip dysplasia (CHD), degenerative myelopathy (DM), hemophilia A, and von Willebrand disease (vWD).” These are painful for the dogs, and expensive to treat. Finding a reputable breeder will help you avoid this headache and heartache.

How to Properly Vet Breeders

There are several methods consumers can use to determine if a breeder is reputable or not, the easiest of which is word of mouth. It’s important to connect with people who can directly vouch for the breeder that you’re thinking of purchasing from. If someone you know has experience purchasing one or more healthy German Shepherd puppies from a breeder, the likelihood is that they’re doing their due diligence. In addition, searching online for positive reviews can be helpful. Be sure to steer clear of breeders who are relatively new and don’t have a long history of customer satisfaction.

If you don’t know anyone in your personal life who has bought a German Shepherd puppy, don’t worry. There are many online communities that are dedicated to the appreciation of this breed. Joining a group online meant for discussing German Shepherds will give you an opportunity to connect with other owners and get information. Additionally, they’ll likely be happy to answer any questions you may have. It’s important to remember that reputable breeders will almost always offer a health guarantee on their puppies. This means that if they do receive a diagnosis covered by the agreement, you’ll be eligible for a refund.

How to Prepare

Happy german shepherd puppy playing with a toy

German Shepherds are one of the top three most intelligent breeds of dog.

©Rita_Kochmarjova/Shutterstock.com

German Shepherds are by no means low-maintenance dogs. Before bringing one into your home, you should ask yourself several questions to determine if you’re ready for this commitment. Do you have enough free time to dedicate to training them both mentally and physically? Is your home appropriate for raising a large dog breed? Are you prepared to raise a high-energy and demanding breed? If the answer to any of these questions is no, maybe it’s best to hold off for the time being.

In addition, German Shepherds can be great with kids, but only if they’re properly trained and socialized. If you don’t have enough time to dedicate to training your German Shepherd puppy on your own, taking them to training classes is a great option. Those who hire a trainer can expect to pay roughly $50 per class. The length of training will depend on your personal goals, but on average, owners report taking their German Shepherd puppies to a minimum of 30 classes. It’s also important to set aside a small amount of money to cover medical expenses, such as neutering, vaccination, and an initial health screening. If this is the first dog in your household, you’ll also need supplies such as toys, a leash and collar, a dog bed, and food and water bowls. Try to put aside an additional $500 to $600 to cover these expenses.

Growth and Milestones

Much like other dogs, German Shepherds experience a rapid rate of growth during their first year of life. From their birth to the time they turn six months old, German Shepherds will grow to be roughly 50 pounds. After this, their final weight depends on a few factors, like gender, diet, and exercise. You can expect your full-grown German Shepherd to weigh between 70 and 85 pounds. After about six months of age, you can begin making preparations to spay or neuter them. Doing this sooner rather than later is beneficial for your puppy, as it reduces the risk of ovarian or testicular cancer later on. Once your puppy reaches 18 months of age, these dogs are considered fully grown and can discontinue eating puppy food. For a more detailed breakdown of German Shepherd milestones, you can reference our in-depth guide.

Final Thoughts

German Shepherds make fiercely loyal companions and excellent protectors. Their high intelligence and athleticism make them well-suited for experienced dog owners, however, new dog owners will fare well with this breed with time and patience. Adopting a German Shepherd puppy is a long-term commitment, as they live for 12 years on average, so it’s important to put a lot of thought into this decision. Those who choose to take the plunge will be rewarded with a best friend like no other!

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About the Author

Alanna is a writer at A-Z Animals primarily covering insects, animals, and travel. In addition to writing, she spends her time tutoring English and exploring the east end of Long Island. Prior to receiving her Bachelor's in Economics from Stony Brook University, Alanna spent much of her time studying entomology and insect biology.

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