The German shepherd dog breed was developed by a German cavalry officer in 1899. It was developed to be a working dog with an average lifespan of eleven to twelve years. German shepherds are favored as pets, have smooth curves, athleticl builds, and come in a variety of colors including black and tan, black and cream, solid black, and solid white. German shepherd puppies can be obtained from a breeder, pet store or local pet adoption agency. It is important to take your time and to make careful observations when selecting a pup.
Pay attention to the German shepherd puppy's temperament. He should appear intelligent, happy, friendly, curious, trusting and playful. However, do not necessarily choose the first puppy of the litter to run up to you. According to Your Pure Bred Puppy, the boldest, most energetic puppies of the litter may actually prove difficult to handle at home. Take note of the gentler puppies that may wait in the background. They often make calmer pets. Be wary of overly shy pups because it is a trait that is likely to last and can lead to "fear biting" as they mature.
Observe the German shepherd puppy's physical appearance. His dark, almond-shaped eyes should be bright and clear, his nose and anus clean. His dense coat should have full hair with no bald patches, and he should be full-bodied, but not too fat. His head should be evenly proportioned with pointed ears, often held in an erect fashion. German shepherds' tails are bushy and have somewhat of a curve.
Take note of the puppy's littermates, parents and any available relatives. They should also appear happy healthy and active. Thin, sickly German shepherd puppies and adults may have health issues. Check with the breeder, or pet store staff, to find out if the puppy has received all of its vaccinations and worming treatments. Look at the physical environment of the puppy. The kennel area should be clean and there should be clean water available for the dogs.
Conduct an extensive breeder interview to find out information about the German shepherd puppy's genetic background. Hereditary health conditions to look out for include canine dysplasia, cardiomyopathy, cataracts, gastric torsion and perianal fistulas.
Find out the age of the puppy. German shepherd puppies need to have spent adequate time with the mother. The best time to bring one home as a pet is between eight and twelve weeks. An older puppy, in the twelve- to fourteen-week age range, should have been socialized with people and other puppies before being offered for sale.