Congratulations on bringing home your adorable 10-week old German Shepherd puppy! As a new fur parent, you’re probably filled with equal parts excitement and nervousness. German Shepherds are incredible dogs, but raising a puppy properly takes time and dedication.
That cute little fluffball nibbling on your shoelaces may seem small now, but they grow up fast. In just a few short months your pup will transform into a large, powerful dog capable of great feats – if trained and socialized properly.
Don’t worry though, I’ve got you covered! In this guide, I’ll walk you through everything you need to know about caring for your 10-week old German Shepherd puppy.
We’ll explore important topics like:
- Proper nutrition and feeding
- Vital supplies for your pup
- Housetraining and crate training essentials
- Sleep and exercise needs
- Socialization and training best practices
- Grooming tips for that cute puppy coat
- And much more!
By the end, you’ll feel fully prepped and ready to give your German Shepherd puppy the best possible start in life. Let’s dive in!
Getting the Proper Supplies
Before bringing home your bundle of furry joy, it’s vital to puppy-proof your house and get all the necessary supplies. Your curious pup will want to explore and chew everything in sight!
Here’s a checklist of must-have items:
Essentials for Your 10-Week Old GSD Puppy
🥣 High-quality puppy food and treats
💧 Stainless steel food and water bowls
🧺 Comfy crate with bedding
🐶 Puppy safe toys for playing and teething
🧽 Dog shampoo, nail clippers and brush
🔌 Pet-proofing supplies like gates and pen
🗄 Pet carrier for car travel and vet visits
With the gear taken care of, you can focus your attention on helping your pup adjust to their new home!
Paying Attention to Proper Nutrition
At 10-weeks old, your rambunctious German Shepherd puppy is growing fast. Feeding them high-quality nutrition tailored for large breed puppies supports healthy development.
On average, a GSD puppy will eat about 1 1⁄2 – 2 cups of food spread out over 3-4 meals each day. However, amounts can vary based on activity level, metabolism and parents’ size.
I recommend choosing a premium puppy kibble made especially for sensitive skin and stomach. German Shepherds tend to have more digestive issues. Pairing some nutritious wet food with kibble also helps keep your pup hydrated.
And don’t forget the treats! Healthy training treats in moderation help reinforce good manners. Who can resist doling out a few to that adorable face?
Establishing a Good Housetraining Routine
No one enjoys messy accidents around the house. The good news? With consistency and positive reinforcement, your 10-week old German Shepherd can master housetraining.
Take your puppy outside frequently, at least every 1-2 hours. Immediately reward them with enthusiastic praise or a treat when they go potty outside.
During the process, confine your puppy when you can’t actively supervise them. Their crate makes an excellent, cozy den. Limit access at first until they learn bladder control.
Patience and consistency are key! Accidents will happen in the learning process. Resist scolding; it often does more harm than good. Stay positive and be prepared with some pet odor eliminator for quick clean ups.
With time and positive associations, you’ll have a fully housetrained GSD before you know it!
Crate Training for Happier Naps
Crate training offers immense benefits for both puppy and owner. When introduced positively, a crate provides your rambunctious pup a secure space to settle down for naps and quiet time. This helps prevent accidents around the house and destructive chewing.
Plus, having a place they can retreat to builds confidence and reduces separation anxiety down the road.
To crate train your 10-week old GSD successfully:
- Choose the right size crate so your puppy can stand up, lie down, and turn around comfortably. Upgrade as they grow.
- Make it cozy with a soft blanket, some favorite toys, and a soothing toy to mimic a heartbeat. Consider a snuggle puppy!
- Use treats and praise to reward your pup entering the crate and quietly relaxing inside it.
Take it slow, don’t force them in. You want your pup to have only positive associations. Over time, the crate becomes their special retreat.
Zzzzz, sweet dreams little fuzzy buddy!
Understanding Your Puppy’s Sleep Requirements
Puppies spend a huge amount sleeping and with good reason. All that playing, exploring, and growing is exhausting work! Your 10-week old will easily sleep over 18 hours per day.
Make sure you provide a peaceful area for regular naps and overnight sleep. Ideal sleeping zones include a cozy crate, pen area, or dog bed in your bedroom. Some white noise from a fan or sound machine can drown out distractions.
Don’t worry, they won’t sleep through the night right away. Expect potty breaks! With maturity, they’ll sleep longer stretches.
Establishing set nap times and overnight routines brings security and helps avoid pesky puppy crankiness. An overtired GSD puppy means play biting and zoomies at 3 AM! We don’t want that.
The importance of proper exercise
Exercise is essential for your growing German Shepherd puppy on multiple fronts. Physical activity builds strength and coordination, provides mental stimulation, and prevents problem behaviors caused by boredom and excess energy.
At 10-weeks old, exercise in small doses. Start with short 10-15 walks around the neighborhood. Let your puppy explore and sniff but don’t allow pulling on leash. Bring tasty treats to motivate and reward good loose leash walking habits.
Indoor playtime also counts as exercise! Engage their mind and body with interactive puzzle toys stuffed with puppy kibble and treats. Fun, mentally stimulating games prevent boredom.
Avoid strenuous hiking or jogging right now, as those high-impact activities can damage developing joints. Stick to puppy-safe exercise tailored to their age and energy level.
An overtired GSD puppy means play biting and zoomies at 3 AM! We don’t want that.
Socialization for a Confident, Balanced Pup
Raising a confident German Shepherd puppy requires plenty of positive socialization during the early months. Socialization involves intentionally exposing your puppy to new sights, sounds, animals, people, and environments in a calm, structured way.
Between 10-16 weeks is vital for proper social development. Attend supervised puppy playgroups or training classes. This allows your German Shepherd puppy to interact safely with other pups and practice good manners.
Introduce your puppy to friends, neighbors or relatives too. Meeting all sorts of people while young prevents overprotectiveness and aggression later on. Always supervise interactions and don’t flood your puppy. Keep things upbeat and end on a positive note if they seem overwhelmed.
Proper socialization builds nerve, confidence, and appropriate reactions to novel things. It’s truly a gift that keeps on giving throughout your dog’s lifetime.
Basic Training Techniques for Your GSD Pup
Your adorable German Shepherd puppy is highly intelligent and eager to learn new things. Harness that energy through positive training techniques right from the start. This establishes respect, communication and expands the human + dog bond.
At 10-weeks old keep training sessions very short, around 5 minutes or less. Their attention span is tiny but their enthusiasm is huge!
Focus initial training on basics like:
- Leash walking skills
- Gently taking treats
Use high-value bits of kibble or tiny treats to motivate your puppy during training sessions. Provide tons of verbal praise and pets too. Your pup will quickly learn that listening and responding to you leads to great things!
Avoid punishment like yelling or scolding. This damages trust and can inhibit learning. Instead, redirect gently to what you want them to do. Setting your German Shepherd puppy up for success leads to a confident, well-mannered companion.
Grooming Basics for Your Fuzzy Little Friend
While your 10-week old German Shepherd puppy is still oh so fluffy and adorable, don’t let that puppy fuzz fool you. Proper grooming right from the start prevents painful matting as their adult coat grows in.
Invest in a slicker brush and metal comb suited for double-coated breeds like the German Shepherd. Get your puppy comfortable being gently brushed and combed often. This removes dead hair and redistributes skin oils for a healthy, shiny coat.
Introduce nail trims gently too, even if they just nibble a treat while you handle their paws at first. Adding a dremel tool to your grooming routine makes easy work of nail upkeep.
Bathing should happen just when truly dirty. Over-bathing strips the coat of protective oils leading to dry, itchy skin. Avoid harsh shampoos; high-quality puppy or oatmeal formulations work well if needed.
Regular at-home tooth brushing prevents painful tartar buildup down the road. Start slowly and reward your puppy for tolerance. Soon it’ll be part of their routine and dental health routine.
By establishing a thorough yet gentle grooming routine early on, your German Shepherd will take it all in stride for years to come. Positive experiences ensure grooming stays stress-free.
Common Questions From 10-Week Old GSD Owners
I’m sure you have plenty of questions about your fuzzy new family member. Here I’ll tackle some commonly asked questions by new German Shepherd puppy owners.
Is my puppy growing fast enough?
Monitor your puppy’s weight weekly for the first few months. The average 10-week old German Shepherd puppy weighs between 15 – 25 pounds. Growth rates vary quite a bit based on lineage, nutrition, exercise routine and gender. Lean, lanky growth is preferred over rapid weight gain during these months. Ask your veterinarian for the ideal weight range tailored to your puppy’s size and build.
Why does my German Shepherd puppy nip and bite so much?
Mouthing and gentle biting during play is completely normal puppy behavior. They learn appropriate pressure and bite inhibition through interactions with litter mates. Redirect your puppy’s shark-like tendencies onto suitable chew toys instead of hands and ankles. Say a firm “NO”, withdraw attention, and reward them with praise and play when they grab a toy instead.
My GSD puppy has diarrhea and loose stools. What should I do?
This signals an intestinal upset. Try bland foods like boiled chicken and rice for a day or two. Ensure your puppy has constant access to fresh, clean water as well. Diarrhea leads to dehydration quickly in puppies. If it continues more than a day or your notice lethargy, vomiting or loss of appetite, call your veterinarian right away. Puppies can decline rapidly.
How much exercise does my German Shepherd puppy need daily?
At 10 weeks, your German Shepherd puppy requires shorter activity periods interspersed throughout the day. Take them on 15-20 minute leisurely walks plus indoor play sessions a few times daily. Mentally stimulating games and toys are great too. Avoid excessive running or jumping on unstable surfaces, as this stresses developing joints. Scale activity as your rambunctious puppy ages!
Why does my puppy growl at their food bowl or high value chews?
Resource guarding develops from fear and insecurity over losing something valuable. Rather than scold growling, focus on building confidence through predictable routine and teaching willing surrender behaviors. Hand feed meals frequently and pair your approach with something even better, like a tasty treat. This prevents fearful reactions.
And there you have it – a comprehensive guide to everything involved with raising your 10-week old German Shepherd puppy! By focusing on the main pillars of health like nutrition, socialization, training and veterinary care early on, you set your puppy up for success as they mature.
Sure there are challenges, but the snuggles and companionship of a GSD are so worth it. Before you know it, that tiny fluffball will transform into a poised, loyal dog at your side.
Now grab those leashes, stock up on treats and get ready for the adventure! Your precious German Shepherd puppy is counting on you.