A 3 month old German Shepherd puppy is still cute but not the tiny little fluff ball it was just a month or two earlier. Its already went through some major changes. At this stage, the juvenile delinquents are almost a foot tall and “pawsibbly” getting into some trouble.
Hide your socks and shoes because these little guys will be chewing anything they can get their little paws on. You’re going to need plenty of chew toys, lots of patience and consistent training to keep these guys under control. Here are some helpful tidbits on their behavior and changes along with some care tips to prepare you along the way!
At 12 weeks old, German Shepherds have been through the neonatal stage, started the socialization period and are now officially juvenile dogs.
This stage begins at 3 months old and lasts until they are 6 months old. This stage of development will test your patience the most. This is probably the most important time to address any behavioral issues with the proper training.
While they will definitely look more grown up than the previous months, their puppy nature will still be in full force. They will likely be getting into trouble especially when it comes to biting and jumping on people.
Patience is key, but they will need to learn that “no” means that they cannot bite you or anyone else. There are different methods for accomplishing this. You can use a clicker or praise them with a toy or treat when they abstain from biting.
One of the best methods mimics what a mother GSD will do to stop her puppies from biting her:
Training a puppy this young won’t be simple. They will need to be consistently trained in obedience to avoid any future temperament issues.
If you can’t do it on your own, find a professional trainer in your vicinity. You don’t want any negative habits to affect them in the future.
At month 3, they are growing fast and almost a foot tall. Males will be in the range of 9 to 11 inches tall. Females won’t be far behind, standing approximately 8 to 10 inches tall.
They have packed on some pounds at this point with males weighing in between 22 and 30 pounds. Females are a few pounds smaller weighing in the range of 17 to 26 pounds.
Some big changes will be taking place at 12 weeks. Since they now have all of their puppy teeth, they will begin the teething stage. This will last for several months as their adult teeth replace their milk teeth.
Another significant change will be their puppy coat. At this age, their puppy fuzz will start to fade as their adult hair starts to grow in. A racing stripe on the spine is a good indicator that their coat is changing.
At this stage, a young German Shepherd should be on a healthy diet of high-quality puppy kibble or homemade food.
We recommend feeding them an all-natural raw diet when possible. Avoid any toxic foods and go easy on the treats. You want to keep them lean. Obesity can lead to a lot of health conditions.
Feed them two cups of food, three times a day. Make sure you stay consistent with your schedule.
A 3 month old GSD should be healthy and growing pretty rapidly. Check their size to make sure they are on par with the average height and weight for their age.
They should have received their second set of vaccinations at this point. Their 10-12 week vaccines should include distemper, hepatitus, parainfluenza, and parvovirus.
A clean and lean healthy diet should keep them thriving and you shouldn’t have to worry about any major diseases at this age. Normally they don’t surface until they are at least 5 years old.
To get an idea of any health conditions that run in the family, you can get a DNA test. They are able to tell if your dog has certain genes that cause degenerative myelopathy.
In general, you always want to watch out for any possible sickness at this age. There are several symptoms to look for that might indicate your puppy isn’t feeling well. Here are some things to look for:
- Can’t urinate easily
- Change in personality
- Coughing, gagging and sneezing a lot
- Decrease in appetite
- Dry and or itchy skin
- Losing weight that can’t be explained
- Excessive urination or extreme thirst
- Eyes and nose are runny
- Gums become red or swollen
- Hard time breathing
- Sleep patterns change
- Throwing up
If you notice anything out of the ordinary, contact your local veterinarian for assistance.
This is a critical time in their development and they are no longer dependent on their mother for food or socialization.
They are likely in their forever home and need proper care and training to learn obedience and socialization.
Continue to let other people handle the puppy when possible. The time frame for socializing is a small window, usually closing at around the 15 week mark.
This means you have around 3 more weeks to have the greatest impact on their future temperament.
Caring for a puppy this young, will be a handful. Make sure you have a plan in place for training.
Here are some care tips to help you along in your journey from 3 to 4 months:
- Provide them with a dog crate and a blanket for a cozy warm sleeping retreat.
- Feed them a high-quality puppy kibble or a healthy homemade diet three times daily on a regular schedule.
- Give them plenty of water to drink.
- Keep track of their height and weight based on their growth stages.
- Make sure they have had their 10-12 week vaccinations.
- Continue to train them in bite inhibition, obedience and socialization.
- Keep them away from any stray dogs in the neighborhood.
Important: These are only recommendations. Contact your local veterinarian for specific diet and health plans.
A 3 month old German Shepherd puppy is a huge responsibility. The cute little buggers will be getting into all kinds of trouble. Patience is key during this period. They need to learn that you are in charge. Stay consistent with your training. There will be ups and downs along the way but in the end, you will have a loving and loyal companion that will protect your family.
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Have you ever had to take care of a German Shepherd dog this young? Let us know! We would love to hear about your personal experience!