8 Week Old German Shepherd (Routine, Feeding, Behaviour)

Knowing how to train an 8-week old German Shepherd is important if you are interested in adopting a German Shepherd. This loyal dog breed is intelligent, and the sooner you train them, the better. You can still teach old dogs new tricks, but puppies are more likely to retain information. Teach your German Shepherd early on to prevent behavioral issues later.

When training your 8-week old German Shepherd, use positive reinforcement and remain consistent with your expectations and routines. German Shepherds are obedient and loyal dogs, but inconsistent punishment can cause behavioral or relationship problems. 

German Shepherds are an active breed that can be especially unruly when they are 8-weeks old. Without attention, German Shepherd puppies can easily get separation anxiety. Separation anxiety makes training your German Shepherd difficult because they may develop resentment toward you and resist your commands.

What Should You Expect From An 8 Week Old German Shepherd?

Every German Shepherd puppy is different, but generally, the temperament of German Shepherds is loyal, determined, and hyperactive. These puppies are eager to learn new things and ready to form close relationships with their human companions.

These puppies also require a lot of socialization. German Shepherds easily develop social anxiety if they do not get enough time with their human companions. Spend a lot of time each day with your German Shepherd puppy by playing with them, cuddling, and taking them on adventures with you. 

German Shepherd Puppies Have Behavioral Issues

Puppies are prone to behavioral issues, with some pups experiencing more severe problems than others. The main reason that German Shepherds experience behavior issues as puppies is because they do not know how the world works. 

Common behavioral issues include: 

To prevent serious behavioral issues that carry into adulthood, train your puppy in proper behavior. With proper training, you can fix any German Shepherd’s behavioral issue, and your dog can learn how to act responsibly. 

Positive reinforcement is the most effective way to influence your puppy to behave well. 

German Shepherd Puppies Have Destructive Issues

German Shepherd puppies sometimes go through some destructive issues like chewing and digging. Solve destructive issues by addressing what is causing the problem. Intervene when your puppy is chewing or digging and give them an alternative to this misbehavior.

Never punish your dog for these “destructive” issues. They are normal, and by offering your German Shepherd alternatives, you can re-train them to act healthily.

German Shepherd Puppies are Hyper 

German Shepherd puppies have lots of energy, so be prepared to give them plenty of daily exercises. An eight-week-old German Shepherd will be excited to tag along on all your adventures. 

The more exercise your puppy gets during the day, the better. German Shepherd puppies need to expel their energy, or they will stay up through the night. As a puppy, learning to sleep through the night is crucial.

Avoid adopting a German Shepherd puppy if you have a low-activity lifestyle or are out of the house often. This dog breed requires a lot of physical activity, so you must consider the physical expectations of the German Shepherd ahead of time.

What Schedule Should An 8 Week Old German Shepherd Puppy Have?

German Shepherd puppies require a consistent schedule to thrive. A daily routine that sets expectations for adulthood is the best way to set your German Shepherd puppy up for success in adulthood!

The first few weeks with your German Shepherd puppy should revolve around socialization and housetraining. The first few weeks after getting to know your puppy are critical because they can monumentally impact the strength of your bond. Spend time socializing with your puppy to form the best relationship with them. 

Housetraining is another important part of the first few weeks together. Puppies cause accidents and cause destruction all through the house. As their companion, you must be patient and take the time to train them properly.

The best schedule for an 8 week old German Shepherd puppy is the following:

Early Morning

Take your puppy outside first thing in the morning to use the bathroom. When your German Shepherd is a puppy, they may have difficulty holding their bladder through the night. Being unable to hold their bladder can result in accidents if you do not take them out early enough.

Teach your puppy to hold its bladder by making bathroom time the first part of your dog’s morning routine. Ringing bells is a form of classical conditioning proven to work with puppies, especially with potty training and breakfast time. 

If your puppy needs a quick nap before breakfast, let them get some sleep. Puppies can sleep up to 20 hours per day. It should not come as a surprise if they doze off as soon as you return inside. 

Morning

Feed your puppy a nutritious breakfast after they have woken up from their snooze. Breakfast is one of four important meals in your puppy’s diet, and the more nutritious, the better! After breakfast, wait a few minutes and then take your puppy out to use the restroom again. Let your puppy get some exercise and play with them before returning inside.

Late Morning

Feed your German puppy again in the late morning. Puppies need multiple meals per day even though they spend most of their time sleeping and cuddling.

Through most of the late morning after eating, your puppy will sleep. Feel free to place your puppy on your lap and cuddle them at this time but let them sleep through the day.

Afternoon

You may have to wake your German Shepherd puppy up to eat their lunch. Be sure you feed them the correct amount for their age, 1-1.5 cups, to avoid gaining too much weight. After eating lunch, take your puppy outside to relieve themselves. Give your puppy time to exercise and get the energy out. 

Day

Midday is the perfect snooze hour. It is normal for your German Shepherd puppy to sleep through most of the day. Do not try forcing them to stay awake but feel free to keep them quietly on your lap. 

A little playtime and physical exercises like tug-of-war or fetch are encouraged between naptime to get out energy, promote physical activity, and form a close relationship with your German Shepherd.

Evening

Feed your puppy their fourth and final meal during the evening. Let your puppy’s dinner settle for a few minutes before taking them outside to potty and get exercise.

Go for a short walk in the yard and let your puppy explore with close supervision. The evening is a good time for burning off excess energy and may call for more rigorous activity. Have your puppy use the restroom before returning inside and spending some time together on the couch.

Night

Take your puppy out to relieve themselves one more time before showing them to their bed. Set the expectation that your puppy will sleep in the same place every night. Also, set a reasonable bedtime for your puppy early on. 

In the first few months with your puppy, they may need to relieve themselves multiple times through the night. Always listen to your puppy and let them go potty.

What Are Some Common Behavior Problems From An 8 Week Old German Shepherd (And How Can You Stop Them)

As German Shepherd puppies learn the ropes, they are bound to develop “behavioral issues” like chewing or biting. With their mothers and littermates gone, it is your job to teach them appropriate behavior.

Do not scold or punish your German Shepherds puppy for “bad behavior,” teach them new behavior and praise them when they get it right. 

There are numerous ways how to re-train an 8-week old German Shepherd, like using Chew toys for puppies in their teething stage. Give a German Shepherd with chewing problems a teething toy to distract them from shoes or other household items. Promoting good behavior in puppyhood develops a well-trained adult German Shepherd.

German Shepherd Puppies Dig

Digging is a common canine behavior that can occur for many reasons. Letting your German Shepherd puppy dig in moderation is encouraged but can become problematic when they begin digging in the wrong places.

Discourage a German Shepherd puppy from digging by solving the root of their issue. Observe the emotions and events surrounding your puppy’s digging to figure out what is causing your puppy to dig.

Hiding food in holes shows your puppy is saving food because they cannot eat comfortably. In other words, movement or competition may be impeding its ability from eating how they want. To fix this, move your puppy’s food to a less high-traffic location or feed your puppy separately if there are multiple pets in the household.

Puppies digging when they are afraid do not have a place to go for comfort. Fearful digging means that your puppy has nowhere to go when they are scared. You must purchase an outdoor dog igloo or another form of shelter that your German Shepherd puppy can go to when they feel unsafe. Do this early, so your puppy becomes accustomed to its safe space. 

Digging to escape or without any reason means your puppy is bored. Without any entertainment, your German Shepherd puppy will grow restless. Digging a hole in the ground may be their only way to escape under the fence, through the glass door, or out the front door.

Stop by the pet store and pick up a variety of new toys. A large selection will better help you understand what entertains your puppy. Choices also keep your pup from getting bored! They can jump from one thing to another and explore different options for hours.

German Shepherd Puppies Like to Jump

A common behavioral problem that many German Shepherd puppies show is jumping. Jumping behavior usually occurs because a dog is excited but has no other method of expressing its excitement. 

A jumping puppy is cute, but it can make your German Shepherd think jumping is okay later. Teach your puppy healthy ways to express their excitement, so they still get to express their emotions without needing to jump!

German Shepherd puppies often jump because: 

  • German Shepherd puppies want attention
  • German Shepherd puppies are excited

There are healthier ways to train an 8 week old German Shepherd puppy how to express their excitement. For instance, puppies can greet guests by lying down at their feet or bringing them a toy. This calm alternative is fun because it shows the guest your dog is friendly and ready to play!

German Shepherd Puppies are Hyperactive

Puppies have a lot of energy, especially German Shepherds. German Shepherds are natural herding dogs with the instinct to run.

Restless and anxious behaviors are very common for a German Shepherd who is not getting enough exercise. German Shepherds who are not getting enough exercise may also develop separation anxiety or other behavioral issues because they cannot exert pent-up energy.

You can reduce hyperactivity in German Shepherds with training, daily exercise, and attention. A puppy who must be left at home alone during the day and given plenty of exercises before and after you return home. Give your dog plenty of toys to play with and space for them to roam throughout the day.

German Shepherd Puppies Get Separation Anxiety

German Shepherd puppies can get separation anxiety easily. Pups are adjusting to living without their mothers for the first time. If you are the only person your German Shepherd knows, it can take a toll on them when you leave home. 

Avoid leaving your German Shepherd puppy home alone for long durations to prevent them from experiencing separation anxiety. Socialize your German Shepherd puppy often and treat separation anxiety by providing plenty of toys and bonding time.

If you know that you will be gone for a long time, plan on hiring a dog sitter or a house sitter who can dedicate time to your puppy. Puppyhood is an important time for socialization, and a German Shepherd puppy who does not receive enough socialization in their youth will develop increased social anxiety in adulthood.

Avoid adopting a German Shepherd puppy if you work long hours or are not home often. German Shepherd puppies are social dogs that need a lot of attention from their owners. This dog breed forms long-lasting bonds with its owners and will easily feel neglected when left alone for long periods.

Those unable to provide their puppies with the proper love and attention they deserve can damage their emotions severely.

German Shepherd Puppies Nipping and Biting

Nipping and biting are common for puppies not trained in appropriate teething tactics. This behavioral issue goes hand-in-hand with chewing problems and can be bothersome during playtime with humans and other canines.

Canines that do not get biting resolved immediately will nibble too aggressively at inappropriate objects—for instance, nibbling at hands, ankles, feet, personal items, and more.

Luckily, biting and nibbling are easy to detect and intervene. Puppies often bite on hands or legs when they do not have any toys. Puppy bites are painful, especially from the German Shepherd, whose teeth are as sharp as razor blades. 

Provide a biting or nibbling puppy with toys. Chew rings and other toys will entertain them and keep their teething mouth from using your hands as a chew toy!

German Shepherd Puppies Chew Things Up 

It is common to find a German Shepherd puppy chewing on random household objects as they teeth. The teething period begins at around six weeks old. When teething is unnatural, you should immediately address it before it becomes permanently destructive.

Give alternatives to any puppy caught chewing on the TV remote or other items. Chewing alternatives encourage their natural teething behavior healthily.

Common teething alternatives include: 

  • Frozen fruit
  • Commercial teething toys
  • Frozen cloth
  • Frozen carrots

Many owners grow frustrated with this destructive behavioral problem. Meanwhile, they continue to leave objects lying around the house and refuse to purchase teething products. Chewing should be no problem if you provide your puppy with various teething items and pick up your belongings from the floors. 

Reacting immediately to a chewing dog is the best way to stop chewing behavior. Puppies must have teething behavior corrected, or it will continue into adulthood.

What Are Some Other Training Tips For 8 Week Old German Shepherds?

Training a German Shepherd puppy can be intimidating. Luckily, German Shepherds are obedient, loyal dogs who are eager to learn. There should be no problem training your 8-week old German Shepherd to become the dog of your dreams if you have the right tools to do so.

Proper routine is important when training a vigilant and highly intelligent dog like the German Shepherd. Remember, these pups are always picking up on your behavior and actions. 

If you send your puppy confusing messages, then they will not learn. Be as clear with your training commands as possible, so your puppy understands you.

The following tips are helpful when training your German Shepherd puppy:

Use the Same Routine to Train German Shepherd Puppies

Enforcing the same routine each day is the most effective way to set good habits with your German Shepherd puppy. German Shepherds pick up on things quickly, and that includes your habits and expectations from them.

A well-established routine includes consistent feeding times and bathroom breaks. Feed your puppy every morning, afternoon, and evening at the same times and in the same location. It is helpful to use the same alert to signal your dog when calling them to their food.

Bathroom breaks should also be a consistent part of your puppy’s routine, either before or after food. German Shepherds are intelligent animals and will remember this part of their daily routine once you implement it.

A consistent routine also includes the kind of punishment you give your puppy. Inconsistent punishment can be confusing to your puppy. If you scold your puppy for something one day and let it slide the next, your puppy will not learn from the punishment. Instead, establish one healthy way of punishment that works. 

The more consistent your German Shepherd’s routine is as a puppy, the more stable their routine will be as an adult. Solidify their routine at a young age as close to yours as possible, and you will have a lifelong companion ready for any adventure.

Use Positive Reinforcement to Train German Shepherd Puppies

Positive reinforcement is typically the most effective way to train your German Shepherd puppy. This training method rewards your pup for its good behavior. Rewarding your puppy for behaving in a good way encourages your puppy to behave appropriately! Can it get any better than that? 

The best reward is a healthy treat.  

Avoid using phrases like “no” unless necessary. Instead, praise them for doing things right. Eventually, your German Shepherd pup will begin doing good behavior on their own without the need for a treat.

Set Expectations Early with Your German Shepherd Puppy

Human companions should set important expectations with your puppy early on. Doing this will help avoid confusion.

For instance, avoid letting your puppy on the couch if you do not want them to get on the couch when fully grown. There are many other common examples of setting expectations for your puppy early on. 

Common examples of expectation setting for your German Shepherd puppy include: 

  • Sitting on the couch
  • Sleeping in bed together
  • Begging at the table
  • Eating human food
  • Lingering around the dinner table

The expectations you set early with your German Shepherd puppy will carry into their adult life. Allowing behavior to occur as a puppy enforces that the behavior is okay forever. 

Begin Training German Shepherd Puppies Young

The younger you begin training your German Shepherd puppy, the better. These intelligent canines are great at retaining information which is why they often become professional dogs for the military, police, people with disabilities, and more. 

By training your eight-week-old German Shepherd early, you are guaranteeing that they will retain the most information possible. This training includes obedience training, potty training, training your puppy to do tricks, and much more. 

Puppies trained at young ages are more likely to retain the information.

How Do You Potty Train An 8 Week Old German Shepherd

Potty training your German Shepherd can be intimidating, but the younger you begin training your German Shepherd puppy, the better. 

The Potty Training Schedule

Establish a strict potty training schedule that allows your puppy to relieve themselves at least once every 2-3 hours. To avoid accidents, take your puppy outside before they need to go. Taking your puppy to go potty before they have an accident sets the expectation that they need to use the restroom outside.

A potty training schedule also shows them that there are pre-determined times throughout the day that they will use the restroom. Your puppy can schedule their day around these times, making things more convenient for them as they grow up!

A basic outline of when to take your puppy outside is:

  • Early morning (2 AM)
  • Morning (5 AM)
  • Breakfast time (8 AM)
  • Afternoon (11 AM)
  • Day (2 PM)
  • Evening (5 PM)
  • Late evening (7 PM)
  • Night (9 PM)
  • Midnight (12 AM)

This relief schedule will extend over time as your puppy gets older. Following the above schedule will help set the ground rules that your puppy can only use the restroom outdoors early.

Teach Your Dog Signaling Methods

When house training, teach your dog to ring a bell that they need to go outside. This signaling method is a great alternative to barking. 

Reward your puppy when they use signaling methods to go outside. You may also bring the bell or other signaling item outside to have your dog use when they are ready to return inside. 

How Old German Shepherds Must Be to be Potty Trained

At eight weeks old, your German Shepherd puppy is the perfect age to begin potty training. The younger a German Shepherd puppy is for potty training, the better. 

Setting a strict schedule for potty training better enforces how quickly your German Shepherd puppy will learn. Important times to use the restroom that should always be enforced include after meals and before and after sleeping.

FAQ

How Big Is An 8 Week Old German Shepherd?

The average 8 week old German Shepherd is around 20 pounds. 

What Size Harness For An 8 Week Old German Shepherd?

The size of your puppy’s harness varies. For the safest results, measure your puppy around their chest and then check which size your puppy fits under according to the harness brand. 

How Much Food For An 8 Week Old German Shepherd?

An 8 week old German Shepherd should eat around 1 to 1.5 cups each day. As your puppy gets older, the amount should increase. 

How Much Does An 8 Week Old German Shepherd Eat?

8-week old German Shepherds eat around 3 to 4 small meals per day. If your puppy misses two meals, take your puppy to the vet.

How Much Does An 8 Week Old German Shepherd Sleep?

An 8-week old German Shepherd can sleep almost 20 hours per day. They will not sleep for twenty hours straight. Instead, your puppy will take long naps followed by short bits of energized play.