Your German Shepherd puppy reached 5 months, now, according to the growth chart, a male pup should weigh around 50,5 lbs. and a female should be about 45 lbs. How to take care of him and what is he ready to learn?
Average Size and Height
First, let’s talk about your puppy’s health. Many owners are worried if their dog is reaching the proper average size and height. Usually, the puppy will be about 21-25 inches by now, but if he’s not there yet there could be reasons for that.
Most importantly, check the parents, maybe they are a bit smaller than average – then you have nothing to worry about. Otherwise, check with the vet that his diet has all the nutrients he needs. Remember, that too fast growth at this age is also not that good for the dog as it weakens the bones.
At 5-month some of the puppies might start having one mysterious adolescent problem – panosteitis. This is a bone inflammation that normally hits some dogs at a bit later age. One sign of it is if your puppy starts limping, for example, standing up after a nap.
Worse symptoms are whining in pain, lameness, and anorexia. If you see any of these signs – get the dog to the vet. First, he will need to do some scans to make sure it’s “pano” and, if this is the case, he will prescribe the dog some painkillers and steroids, to cease the pain.
Some puppies pass this condition in a few days, for others, it might last for weeks. Try to make them run and exercise a little bit less at this period and take care that they eat and drink properly, then panosteitis should pass without a trace.
Another common problem at this age is drooping ears. First of all, don’t start any treatments to make the ears stand before 5 months, droopy ears at 3-4 months are perfectly normal, and interfering with a natural way of things can damage the dog’s health.
But if you’re already closer to 6 months and it doesn’t look like any change is coming, you can start doing some things:
- Try to add some supplements to the puppy’s diet. Some calcium or glucosamine might help.
- Try to change the feeding way. Give them more raw meat and less commercial food, for example.
- Buy some chewing toys. They are not only helping to scratch the gums but let the dog exercise jaw, head, and neck muscles, which are very important for perky ears.
- Make sure there’s no trauma, from playing with other dogs. And be careful yourself – don’t pull or rub the puppy ears before full development.
- The last resort is taping the ears, better do it with vets’ help, so you don’t cause unnecessary discomfort to a dog.
Training Pupers Not to Bit
At 5-month age, the puppy is strong and clever enough to start all the necessary obedience exercises. Biting can still be a problem while the pup is teething, but this can be solved with special toys and training.
Generally, this is the time to start firmly controlling your dog’s behavior, because now his character is still very flexible and can be bent either way. Give your German Shepherd a feeling that you’re the Alfa in this pack and he will be happy to understand the hierarchy and his place in it.