German Shepherd puppies are small in their size but did you know that they have a specific weight that they are born with.
So, how big are German Shepherd puppies at birth?
Healthy German Shepherds will weigh between 0.8 to 1.3 pounds by the first week. However, they double their weight by the end of the first week to be 1.6 to 2.1 pounds.
By weighing your puppy every day, you can identify if they are losing weight or gaining weight.
German Shepherd puppy development
Neonatal period: From 0 to 3 weeks
During this period, your German Shepherd puppy can’t do everything on their own so their mother will take care of them by feeding them, keeping them warm, and helping them eliminate waste.
Some of the development that your German Shepherd puppy goes through are :
- Beginning to crawl at their first week
- Eyes and ears open after first 10 days
- Eyes and ears are fully open after 2 weeks
- First baby teeth develop after 2 weeks
- Begin to eliminate on their own after 2 weeks
- Start walking after 2 weeks
Socialization period: 3 weeks to 12 weeks
This period is essential to happen so your German Shepherd puppy gets used to other humans and dogs.
Throughout this period, your puppy should stay with their mother the entire period even when they are weaned because the mother teaches the puppy important dog social skills.
If your puppy is taken from their mother at a very early age, they will have trouble socializing with other dogs in the future.
Here are some of the development actions that a German Shepherd puppy goes through:
- Walking well after 3 weeks
- Develop most of their teeth by week 4
- Play with littermates and other humans at week 4
- Greet other dogs by sniffing their tail
- Fear response in which it happens from a period of 6 to 8 weeks of age.
- Can learn potty training at the age of 7 weeks
- Ears begin to stand up at week 12
Juvenile period: 3 months to 6 months
Puppy development begins to slow down as your puppy has developed mostly and they just continue growing.
This is the best period to enroll your puppy in a puppy class and train them.
In this stage, your puppy will:
- Have all puppy teeth at 3 months old
- Have improved fine motor skills at 3 months old
- Begin getting their adult teeth at 4 months old
Adolescent period: 6 months to 16 months
This is the stage that your German Shepherd puppy is developing into adulthood; by the end of this period, your puppy will become an adult.
Some development happens to a German Shepherd which are:
- Having all adult teeth by 6 months of age
- Ears are standing up by their own by the age of 6 months
- Strong pack bonds are formed at 16 months
- Female German Shepherds go into heat at 6 months
- Males reach sexual maturity at 7 months
Transition into adulthood: 16 months to 36 months
At this stage, your German Shepherd dog has developed all the milestones that they have.
However, they will continue to grow during this period.
Female German Shepherds are considered full adults when they are 24 months while male German Shepherds are adults when they are 36 months.
Throughout this period, you have to feed them high-quality foods so they can grow healthy.
By the end of the period, they will reach their adult weight.
The average weight of an adult German Shepherd will be for males 66 to 88 pounds while for females 48 to 70 pounds.
Supplies that you will need to keep newborn German Shepherds warm
- Whelping box
- Washable vet bed
- Cardboard box
- Heat pad
The area for which your German Shepherd puppy sleeps should have lots of space and be clean.
You could buy a whelping box and a washable vet bed. However, you can also use a cardboard box.
Also, you can keep your puppy warm by adding a heating pad and a lamp.
To make it a more comfy and warm area, add a blanket, pillows, towels, and a heating pad.
Other Supplies that you will need
- Puppy milk replacer, feeding syringe or baby bottle
- Weighing scale
- Cotton balls or washcloth
Puppy milk replacer, feeding syringe, or baby bottle
If the puppy that you get is abandoned or orphaned, you can consult with your vet to prescribe to you a safe milk that is formulated for your puppy.
You can then use a feeding syringe or baby bottle to feed your German Shepherd puppy.
It is needed when your German Shepherd puppy can’t get milk from their mother because she couldn’t produce more for all puppies or your puppy have poor suckle reflex.
You got to also monitor your puppy’s weight by using a weighing scale. When you weigh your puppy, you can get to know their exact weight.
This can be done 4 times a week. If puppies aren’t gaining weight, it may be because they aren’t getting enough nourishment or enough milk.
If this happens, go to your vet right away so they can help your dog gain weight.
Cotton balls or washcloth
A mother dog stimulates their littermates through licking them so they can eliminate.
However, if their mother isn’t with them, you have to stimulate them so they can go potty mainly in the first 2 weeks of their life.
Use a cotton ball or washcloth to massage their anal area so they can eliminate.
How to take care of newborn german shepherd puppies?
Prepare a whelping box
When your dog is a newborn, they are very vulnerable so before you do anything, consult with your vet especially if its a new experience to you.
Before the puppies arrive, you got to prepare for them a whelping box. the box has to be big enough for the mother and the puppies to easily move around.
You could also use towels and blankets on the box that can keep your puppies and their mother warm.
Monitor the birthing process
Mother dogs go on labor for an average of 6 to 18 hours and can get 5 to 15 puppies.
After your puppies are born, let them nurse immediately from the mother so they can get all the nutrients that they need.
Check your puppy’s breathing
As your puppies are born, check to see if they are breathing properly.
Just stimulate a puppy by swinging it on a downward motion while keeping a firm hold on their shoulders and head or by rubbing them with a coarse towel.
Provide a heat source
Get a heat source that can keep your puppies and their mother warm. Newborn puppies are unable to maintain their body temperature.
So, it’s necessary to put a heat lamp that will keep your puppies and their mother warm.
For the first two weeks, it is preferable to make the temperature at 85 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit.
However, by the end of the third week, you can reduce the temperature to 65 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
Keep track of your puppy’s growth
Using a baby scale, weigh your puppies after birth immediately to know how much they weigh.
Usually, their weight will double after the end of the first week.
To identify a puppy, you tie gently a different color of the length of yarn around the neck of each.
Watch out for problems
Healthy puppies eat every 2 hours and their stomach becomes round.
If you want to differentiate between a well-fed puppy and a puppy that swallowed lots of air, watch their behavior and sleeping patterns.
If puppies sleep very well and quietly, they are well fed. Those who aren’t well fed will cry and move around a lot.
Also, check out for your puppies dehydration by pinching their skin.
If their skin bounces back quickly, they are hydrated while if their skin takes time to bounce back they are dehydrated.
Keep your puppy’s bed clean
Even though mother dogs will keep their puppies clean by licking them, you still need to keep them clean by changing the bedding daily.
Frequent changing of bedding is important while they grow up because they can spill food over the bedding when they eat.
If you want to know more about how to take care of German Shepherds puppies in more detail, check How to Care for Newborn German Shepherd Puppies so They Can Grow Healthy
1.) How many puppies do German shepherds usually have?
On average, a German Shepherd mother will have up to 8 puppies.
Some larger female German Shepherds can have up to 15 puppies while smaller sized females can have fewer than 8 puppies.
2.) What color are German shepherd puppies when they are born?
All German Shepherd puppies are either born black, white, or gray and can change color as they grow.
The true color of a German Shepherd can be determined at 8 weeks of age.
When they are born, German Shepherd puppies are very small. However, they do gain weight very fast.
It’s very important to monitor your puppy’s weight to know if they have any health condition or not.
Share your experience. What was your German Shepherd’s weight when they were born and how do you take care of them?