German Shepherds are the most recognizable and loved dog breed. They are known for their intelligence, strength, courage, and loyalty. However, a 6 week old German Shepherd puppy differs a lot from an adult dog.
These puppies are born blue-eyed and black-coated. All of them are cute and clumsy when they reach six months. They require a lot of attention from a breeder or new owner.
This guide will tell you how to deal with such a puppy if you adopt it at this age. You need to be aware of giving care, feeding, exercising, and training. You will find all this information here to raise a healthy dog and enjoyable companion.
Size and Appearance
If you compare a 6 week old GSD to an adult dog, it is very small. Though, it grows and gains weight very quickly. In general, such puppies are 10-12 inches (25-30 cm) high.
The six-week-old German Shepherd weight may differ between genders. Male puppies can approximately weigh 3.5 pounds (7 kg) and females are 3 pounds (6 kg). It is about 10% of the total weight of a grown-up dog. The growth speed is the fastest at this time in the entire puppy’s life.
However, you need to know that every individual doggy is different, so the growth and weight gaining may differ too. The main factors that influence growth are genetic ones. They depend on the puppy’s parents’ characteristic features and breeding history.
Your 6-week-old pup resembles a tiny ball full of curiosity and energy. At this age, the puppy is completely weaned from its mother. Its ears are soft and floppy. It has almost all its baby teeth now. So, it can feed on more solid food.
Since Shepherd’s coat is double-layered, the undercoat has already started forming. The puppy is still dark, but its natural color begins to appear. The puppy can start shedding, so you need to groom and brush it regularly.
Activity & Behavior
Normally, at this age, a puppy should remain with its mom. However, you can adopt it now if you know properly how to take care of such a young baby.
While staying with its mom and littermates, the puppy socializes and learns canine etiquette. The breeder may start to introduce new people to it, and you can play with the puppy you have chosen for a while. It prepares the doggy for meeting and accepting a new owner.
However, if you have adopted the pup at this age, you need to be very careful, especially during the first days in your home. The puppy is very playful and curious, so it can get into trouble.
GS puppies need a lot of sleep when they are 6 weeks old because they grow fast. The required amount of sleep is 18-20 hours per day. The little one will sleep, eat, and play all the time, so organize a quiet, safe, and peaceful place for it in your home.
The first thing to know is that a puppy needs a safe and warm place to sleep and rest. It should be a special space of its own. You can put it in a crate next to your bed for the very first nights in your house. However, you have to teach it to sleep in another room soon.
Follow these tips to arrange a sleeping place for your little doggy:
- Think about a special area in your house without loud noise and heavy traffic around.
- Locate the bed in the corner of the room and place a warm blanket or pad in it. Don’t let your puppy chew them, though.
- Invite the doggy to sit on its bed for a while and then praise it and give it a treat.
Crate training is essential at this age because even if you are not going to keep your dog in a crate, there may be special situations, such as veterinary care or grooming, when they will need to stay in a crate for some time.
A 6 week old GSD cannot walk outside at this age because they have not been vaccinated yet. They can easily catch a severe virus or infection. So, take your puppy outside in your arms and let it do its business in a completely clean area somewhere in your backyard away from other dogs and strange people.
Long walks are not for puppies at this age either. Walks can last only for 5 minutes. Two sessions can be enough. Take care of exercising. Do it smoothly, never run or jog, and let your pet take its own pace. If it stops to sniff something or for a rest, let it do it. Sniffing is very good for brain development. Never let your puppy climb stairs because it has poor coordination and can fall and injure itself.
You can use some other ways of exercising instead of walking a lot. Play fetch with it indoors or in the backyard. Use a soft toy for this. Never pull your doggy or jerk it to prevent neck injuries. You can also hide a treat in the grass and ask your pup to find it. The doggy will do it eagerly, and this will help it to develop balance and coordination. Never make it go on far walks. Let it explore the environment slowly and comfortably in a safe and entirely secure area.
How to Take Care of 6 Week Old German Shepherd Puppy
The basic six week old German Shepherd puppy care consists of grooming and brushing. There is no need to wash your dog or give it a bath. It is even dangerous for health because bathing can wash out the oils protecting the skin from unfavorable external conditions. That can lead to infections or severe itching.
If your puppy really needs a bath, use soft bath wipes to remove dirt. The advantage of the wipe is that you won’t need to spend much time grooming after it. Try not to use shampoo. If you want to do it, utilize only hypoallergenic shampoo for puppies. Don’t expose your puppy to cold drafts when it is drying out from the bath. Never let water penetrate its ears or be splashed on the face because your little doggy is very sensitive to ear infections. Use soft puppy wipes or a piece of cotton cloth to wash their face. Do not pour water on the face because there is a risk of inhaling it and developing respiratory issues.
At first, your puppy may not like bathing or grooming. Make grooming sessions short and be patient and positive. You can extend the sessions if you need them later on when your puppy grows older and does not oppose them.
You will need a soft and safe brush at this age. The best solution is a brush glove. Your doggy will love it. You can make up a special brushing schedule and go step-by-step like this:
- Apply brushing gloves for a few minutes.
- Touch different parts of the puppy’s body with the gloves to let it feel comfortable.
- Do brushing for 5 minutes 3 times per week.
- Offer a treat if your puppy behaves well during the brushing.
- Try to establish bonds with your puppy while brushing.
You can follow the same routines when your pup grows older.
Health and Vaccination
Responsible breeders recommend finding a good vet as soon as you take a puppy home. Do not postpone the first visit to the vet for a long time. You can do it on the second or third day after you get the puppy. The first thing to do is to measure and weigh your doggy. Make it a routine because you and your vet will need to follow its healthy growth and weight gaining.
The primary vaccination is usually given at the age of 8 months, but you can do it earlier. The schedule can shift depending on the state of the teeth, heart, and coat. So, a thorough examination is necessary.
Before your pup is vaccinated, do not take it outside and communicate with other animals and people. There is a risk of infections.
Your veterinarian will also advise you on brushing and grooming, cleaning ears, teeth, and anal sacs, trimming the nails, and checking paw pads.
If you see that your pup has stopped growing or gaining weight, you need to show it to the vet immediately.
How to Feed a 6 Week Old German Shepherd Puppy
Feed your six week old GSD with the kibble soaked in goat milk. It grows and needs a lot of energy, so a ½-¾ cup is necessary for one meal. There should be at least 3 meals per day, but 4 meals are ideal. Look at the package attentively. The number of calories in the kibble depends on the brand.
Don’t forget to give your pup healthy treats occasionally. Remember that the number of calories in them should not exceed 10% of all daily food because the 6-week-old German Shepherd puppy food should be well-balanced.
If your dog likes goat milk, you can continue giving the milk to it throughout the entire life. It is full of nutrients, so your puppy will grow strong and healthy.
A bowl of fresh water should always be placed near the puppy’s food bowl. Your dog needs a lot of water. Unlike the food that should be offered at certain times of the day, water can be poured into a bowl continuously.
If you need to make any changes in your six week old German Shepherd puppy feeding, do it gradually because any abrupt change can lead to stomach upset.
If your GS puppy refuses to eat, there may be some health problems. If you notice stumbling, vomiting, lethargy, and any inability to deal with food go and see a vet.
How to Train a 6 Week Old GSD
When you bring the little puppy home, your first idea may be to get it settled and accustomed for several days and then start home training. It is a mistake. You can start potty training, crate training, and socialization right away. This will help you establish closer bonds with your pet.
Remember that your puppy has arrived from the well-set environment created by its mother-dog and littermates. Now, it needs to get used to something completely new for it. So, make slow and gradual adjustments to your pet’s schedule.
Potty training is essential from the first days. However, such little puppies may not succeed very much at first. They are more confident about potty walks at the age of 7-8 weeks. Their bladder will be much stronger at that time.
However, you have to start now. The first thing to do is to establish a set potty schedule. It will be helpful for your doggy to let it know when it’s time to eliminate.
The schedule and main principles of potty training may look like this:
- Take the puppy outside early in the morning.
- Take it out late at night before it goes to bed.
- Go on a potty walk 10 minutes after it eats or drinks something.
- Don’t forget to take it outside after you finish playing with your pet.
- Always praise and treat your doggy after it does its business.
- Never scold or punish your little one if it has an accident inside.
If you watch your puppy attentively, you will learn to notice when it needs a potty. It is a great way to prevent potty accidents. It may look exciting, go around in circles like looking for something and keep its nose close to the ground. Or it may start looking at the corner of the room as if it wants to find the right place for its needs. If you have noticed any of these signs, take your pet out immediately.
You can start the obedience training too. However, at this age, your puppy’s attention span is very short. That is why it will not be able to follow all your commands successfully. However, you can start teaching it the name and such things as ‘sit’ or ‘down’. You need to be patient enough to never shout at your doggy if it fails to do what you want it to. It is too small, and its intelligence will be revealed a bit later.
You can start with the two basic things to teach your pup, and then, only after it succeeds, continue with something more. Do not make training sessions too long – 2 minutes is enough. Though, you need to practice them about 4-6 times per day. Do not utilize a training collar yet.
If your pet does not display any interest in the commands, do not force it to follow them. You can try later when its attention span develops.
How big is a 6 week old German Shepherd?
Your little puppy does not look like an adult dog. It is too small. However, it is much bigger than puppies belonging to other breeds. Its height is 10-12 inches (25-30 cm). However, it may vary depending on some genetic or breeding factors.
How much does a 6 week old German Shepherd weight?
Males grow a bit bigger and at 6 weeks they can weigh 3.5 pounds (7 kg). Females are smaller – their weight is about 3 pounds (6 kg). Your pup is 10% of the entire adult weight only.
How much should a 6 week old German Shepherd eat?
A 6-week-old GSD puppy grows very fast. So, it needs a lot of energy because its skeleton strengthens, teeth grow, and it needs a lot of energy. So, feed it with ½-¾ cups of kibble soaked in goat milk per every meal.
How often do I feed a 6 week old German Shepherd?
The puppy’s stomach is very sensitive at this age, so overeating may cause digestion issues. That is why divide the daily amount of food per 3-4 meals. 4 times is ideal, but 2 times per day is unacceptable.
Can I give my 6 week old German Shepherd puppy a bath?
There is no need to give your doggy a regular bath at this age. Water can remove natural oils that protect the puppy’s skin. If your pup got extremely dirty, you can bathe it with warm water. However, do not use any shampoo.