Walking by a German Shepherd puppy is a development milestone through its growth phase. By understanding the developmental stages of a puppy, you can know the best times to start certain activities.
Having a new puppy is an exciting time. You may want to do many things with them, play or take them for a walk. While it is fun and important to do all these activities with your new pup, you don’t want to put their health at risk because they are still young.
So, when do German Shepherd puppies start walking? German Shepherd puppies start walking at around 2 to 4 weeks of age where they’re able to stand and walk. This however does not indicate the right time to immediately start taking them outside for walks which would put their health at risk.
In this article, we will discuss German Shepherd puppy development to understand the growth stages, when it is safe to start walking your puppy, and how much walking is best.
German Shepherd Puppy Development From 1 to 12 Weeks
Newborn to 2 Weeks
Puppies are born with their eyes closed and cannot hear with their ears. They are toothless and cannot walk.
At this time they are completely dependent on their mother who feeds and cleans up after them.
The puppy’s eyes open after around 10 days as well as the ear canals and they have the sense of smell and touch which they use to locate and remain near their mother for food and warmth.
During this time they mostly sleep and nurse, doubling their weight in the first week.
2 to 4 Weeks
During this time a puppy opens its eyes and becomes aware of its immediate environment. The eyes open followed by their ears.
They start standing up and take their first steps, they can now support their weight and stop crawling on their belly. They also start becoming playful.
A puppy at this time still cannot defecate by themselves so their mum licks their anal and genital areas to stimulate the area to enable them to pass stool.
The milk teeth start emerging at this time and remain until teething begins.
4 to 8 Weeks
Puppies start weaning off their mother’s milk.
Socialization starts where they are exposed to people and other dogs or animals. This is also the period that is important to help them learn behaviors that are expected of them.
Although young and their brains are still developing, they can still learn new things such as potty training. They can also defecate and urinate on their own now.
8 to 12 Weeks
During 8 to 12 weeks the puppy continues to be socialized, continues to spend time with their mother, and playing with their littermates.
At 8 weeks of age, they start losing their baby teeth and start the teething stage where the adult teeth start to emerge.
The teething period lasts up to 6-8months of age where all the adult teeth will have emerged. 8-12 weeks is around the time adoption of a puppy takes place where they get to go to a new home from the breeders.
Once a German Shepherd puppy is adopted and taken to their new home, socialization and training continue.
Recommended Reading: Why does my German Shepherd puppy sleep so much?
How Long Does The Puppy Stage Last For A German Shepherd?
A German Shepherd is considered a puppy from the newborn stage up to the adolescent stage at 5 to 6 months. The beginning of the adolescent or teenage stages marks the end of the puppy stage.
The adolescent stage lasts until the German Shepherd is 2 years old. The adolescent German Shepherds are like teenage humans as maturity begins and rage with hormones. They are alert but emotionally developing as they transition to adults. Their body is fully in the adult form however their brain is still developing.
When should I start walking my German Shepherd puppy?
Wait until your puppy gets all their vaccinations for infectious hepatitis, parvovirus, and distemper which are given through a series of shots. Thereafter wait 10 to 14 days after the last vaccine short that is the last booster shot is provided at around 16 weeks depending on when they went for their first shot.
This waiting period is necessary because puppies are vulnerable to contracting infections and the immune system is still developing. After this time it is safe to start walking your puppy.
How much walking does a German Shepherd puppy need?
The amount of walking a German Shepherd puppy needs depends on their age. There are no fixed rules on how much walking or exercise to provide a German Shepherd puppy, however, the recommendation is no more than five minutes of walking for each month of their age two times a day.
For example, a 6-month-old puppy should have no more than 30 minutes of walking twice a day.
For large breed puppies such as a German shepherd, too much exercise would lead to bone and joint problems therefore they should not be overworked or exercised.
Also, note when your puppy seems tired or reluctant to walk so that you also allow them to rest or take a nap to recuperate.
Always consult your vet on the amount of exercise depending on your puppy’s age whereby they will have different exercise requirements as they mature and grow.
Conclusion: When do German Shepherd puppies start walking?
German Shepherd puppies start walking between 2 to 4 weeks old but this does not mean that they should start being exercised or being taken out for a walk. At this age, they’re still young and it is not safe to expose them to the environment because of being vulnerable to infections as their immune system is still developing.
As a German Shepherd puppy owner, it is essential to know the critical points of a puppy’s development so that you can safely start having activities such as taking them outside for walks.
I hope this article helped you know German Shepherd puppy development to understand the growth stages, when you should start walking your puppy and how much walking is best. By having this in mind, you should be able to safely start exercising or walking your German puppy without putting their health at risk.
If you liked this article, you may also like to learn more from the below resources on German Shepherds.