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How to Choose the Right German Shepherd Puppy From a Litter

How to Choose the Right German Shepherd Puppy From a Litter

Choosing a GSD puppy can be a challenging and overwhelming decision. You will likely be taking one of them home, so you must plan your selection well and methodically. When choosing a German Shepherd puppy from a litter, what usually comes to mind is that we want the healthiest looking dog.

While there is worth in choosing a dog with incredible physical size and an amazing coat, there are some other things that you should think about.

You should consider the puppy’s personality and tendencies. Just like people, German Shepherds are favorably individual. And just like people, some get along with other people and creatures better than others.

The 2-way conversation is important if you want a good match with your puppy. It will need much less training, and your interactions will be highly reflexive and come naturally.

Communication is vital, so it’s essential that you pick the best puppy for you, and not what you think is the best puppy based on any specific physical traits.

The best puppy of a litter may not be the giant and best looking, but the one most suitable for you.

Where should you start?

The first thing that you have to do before you can pick out the best puppy is to pick out the best breeder. It may come easily, as you already have a breeder in mind who you trust and who has a suitable reputation.

But the chances are that you will have to do your research. And there is also a good possibility that you may need to travel some distance to the right breeder.

It’s essential that you do not choose your breeder based on how geographically suitable it is for you to reach them. Getting a new GSD puppy is a significant life commitment. The time and effort you invest in going about this will pay off for years.

Questions for you to ask the breeder

Call the breeder and have a conversation

The first thing to do is call the breeder and have a conversation. A quality German Shepherd breeder will need this. They will not let someone show up, buy one of their dogs, and take it home.

They will ask you questions such as:

  • Where do you live, in a home or an apartment? They just want to make sure that the pup will not be in a cramped area.
  • Why do you want a GSD puppy? They will be asking this to see for what objective you want a GSD – pet/show/protection.
  • Do you have a yard? They want to ensure that the puppy has good room to exercise as it grows.
  • Do you have kids in your home? They will ask to ensure the importance of socialization and training to keep your family safe.
  • What type of work do you do? Does it require you to be away from home for long periods? Because GSDs do not do well alone, they want to ensure that you have adequate time to commit to your dog.
  • Do you have other pets in your home? Ensure that you know how to introduce the puppy to other animals perfectly and whether any other pets you have may be a danger to the puppy.
  • Are you financially ready to take on a GSD? While this may be a bit of a personal question, it is essential to know that you are financially able to manage a GSD. They are costly to care for, and it is fair for a breeder to ask this question.

Questions for you to ask the breeder:

  • How many types of dogs do you raise? If it’s more than one breed, you should likely stay out.
  • Can you tell me which pedigree you have given to your dogs? A pedigree is basically a family tree for your puppy. A good breeder should have a precise pedigree for any dog they sell.
  • Can I meet the puppies’ parents? The breeder should let you have full access to the dogs’ parents.
  • Do you have references? They should give you several without thinking twice.
  • Do you guarantee your dogs’ health? All reputed breeders will give this guarantee in a written contract.
  • Can you give me a detailed medical history of your puppies? Health screenings are important for puppies, and a reputed breeder should be able to provide evidence of these.

Decide whether you want to be male or female

You may have a personal choice for either a female or a male German Shepherd puppy. It is essential, however, not to go with your gut on this one. Instead, take a moment and understand some general differences between the two genders.

Male GSDs

Physicality: Male GSDs are generally larger and more muscular than females.

Very possessive: Male GSDs are generally more possessive than females. They may be possessive over food and bones, toys, and you!

Territorial: Males are inherently more territorial than females. It may give them a tendency to walk off to enlarge their territory.

Dominance: Male German Shepherds tend to be more prevalent than females. It may result in more of a tendency towards aggressive bullying manners to ensure that it is understood that they are the boss. Dominance needs the training to keep it in check.

Singular bonding: Male GSDs tend to bond more closely with one person rather than with a group like a family.

Female GSDs

Physicality: Female GSDs are smaller in size and less muscular than males.

Territorial: Females are therefore more welcoming and less territorial as compared to males. They are also less likely to walk off as they have no wish to expand their territory.

Dominance: Females show less dominant behaviors than males.

Non-singular bonding: Females are more likely to bond with several people in a family than an individual.

Testing the German Shepherd puppy

Testing the puppy

There is no better method to decide whether a puppy is the right one for you than to get hands-on and do some investigating.

You can perform several interactions with a pup that you are curious about. It is better to understand the puppy’s temperament and future behavior.

The tests are:

  • Clap your hands: Does it run away, or does it come? A puppy’s response to this will show how social it is.
  • Make eye contact: If the puppy looks directly at you, it shows confidence. On the other hand, if the puppy does not, it could show that it’s anxious, frightened, or even has a vision problem.
  • Pet the puppy: How does it react to your touch? Again, if it’s warm and loving, this is a good sign.
  • Bring a ball with you to test the puppy: Roll the ball and see what the pup does. Does it follow it and then bring it to you? Or does it take it away for itself?
  • Roll the puppy over: Once it comes over to you, gently roll it onto its back and hold it in place.
  • Pick up the puppy: Physically pick up the pup by gently holding it underneath its chest with an open hand. Check what does the puppy do? Does it struggle, or does it stay relaxed?
  • Hold on to a paw and press it gently: This is somewhat similar to holding it on its back. If there is a response to be had, it will happen immediately.
  • Make an unexpected noise: See what the puppy does; does it show fear, interest, or aggression?

Visit the puppy once a week

Just like you, puppies have theirs on days and their off days. Therefore, you will not be able to get an authentic picture of how your puppy will be on one short visit.

It’s also a good idea to bring along some treats, the kind you will be feeding your pup when you bring it home. These steps support your new puppy positively and will make familiarity and a bond even before you come home.

Read Also: How to Care for a German shepherd?

Ask for your breeder’s help

Nobody understands your puppy better than the breeder from which you are getting it. They will have spent the first weeks of your puppy’s life with it and will have a profound knowledge of everything about the mother and the father.

So by default, this ability allows the breeder to be very good at placing puppies with true personalities.

As you know, choosing the right GSD puppy can be a challenging decision. Remember to stay focused and not lose sight of your primary objective, selecting the right puppy for you and your family.

If you take the time to do your research and ask the right questions, you will come together with the right puppy for you.

So take these steps of choosing the right GSD puppy, and you will have laid the foundation for a loving and rewarding relationship for years to come.

Swati Kaushal is a blogger who loves writing about Dogs. She is happy to amplify her unique knowledge and experience through DogExpress in the hope of helping and educating concerned pet owners. She has two dogs and believes dogs are a source of unconditional love.
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