Has your adorable German Shepherd puppy turned into a shoe-destroying, furniture-ruining chewing machine? Don’t panic! It is just a teething phase.
Just like human babies, dogs lose their milk teeth too. While a dog’s teething phase can get really overwhelming for you as a pet owner, you can rest assured that this phase will end soon.
You need to understand the teething process to help deal with it effectively. Here’s what you need to know:
- When Does a German Shepherd Start Teething?
- Teething Timeline for German Shepherds
- How to Tell If Your German Shepherd Puppy Is Teething
- What Can You Do for Your Teething German Shepherd?
- Can I Train a Teething German Shepherd?
- When Do German Shepherds Stop Teething?
- How to Protect Your Home from a Teething German Shepherd
- How to Stop Your German Shepherd from Chewing Something Inappropriate
- Wrapping Up
When Does a German Shepherd Start Teething?
German Shepherd puppies start growing their milk teeth when they are around 3 weeks old. By the time they are 9 weeks old, they have a full set of puppy teeth.
The timeline can vary from puppy to puppy. Some German Shepherds start growing puppy teeth as soon as they hit 2 weeks.
If you start noticing small splatters of blood on your German Shepherd’s toys or any other objects, it is likely that they have started teething.
You do not need to worry about the bleeding. It is completely normal for puppies to lose a little blood when their milk teeth fall out.
Teething Timeline for German Shepherds
It might help to have a clear idea of a German Shepherd’s entire teething process.
When German Shepherd puppies are about 9 or 10 weeks old, they have a full set of milk teeth. They only develop 21 puppy teeth at first.
These teeth stay for 4 to 6 weeks before they start falling out. This is the period when you might see some light bleeding.
The teething period starts when the puppy starts to lose its milk teeth and starts growing new adult teeth.
The teething phase can last up to 4 or 5 months. Your puppy will grow most of its adult teeth by the time it is 3 months old.
The canine and incisor teeth come in first, followed by the molars and premolars towards the end of the teething phase.
When the teething phase ends, your German Shepherd puppy will have a full set of 42 teeth.
How to Tell If Your German Shepherd Puppy Is Teething
With all the various phases your German Shepherd puppy goes through, it can be hard to keep track of all their developmental growth.
Here are some surefire signs that your German Shepherd puppy is teething:
- Milk teeth are visible and you often find them on the floor, in their food bowl or near their toys.
- Your German Shepherd is drooling a lot more than usual.
- You notice little spots of blood on the carpet, their toys or on anything they’ve been chewing.
- The puppy’s gums are red or inflamed.
- The puppy keeps chewing on anything it can get its paws on. This is not a discipline problem. Teething is a difficult time for puppies. Chewing helps them deal with the pain of teething.
- The milk teeth in their jaw look wonky or misaligned.
- The puppy is in a little pain or seems physically distressed.
- If your German Shepherd chews on any harmful objects, it might develop a fever or get stomach issues like diarrhea or vomiting. It is best to consult your veterinary doctor if this happens.
Also Read: 5 Different Types of German Shepherds
What Can You Do for Your Teething German Shepherd?
Teething can be a distressing phase for both you and your German Shepherd puppy. There are a few things you can do to make it easier for both of you.
German Shepherd puppies love chewing during their teething phase.
Teething toys are a great idea for teething puppies. They get something to chew and you save your furniture and shoes.
Toys designed for teething puppies are very durable and will save you a lot of money in the long run.
Say No to Rawhide
A lot of companies sell rawhide chews for teething puppies. These treats keep your puppy busy for a long time.
It might be tempting to get a product that is both a treat and something to chew on for your German Shepherd. However, rawhide treats are dangerous for dogs.
They do not offer any nutritional benefits. They are also a choking risk for your German Shepherd. While chewing, the puppy may swallow chunks of the treat. These can get lodged in their throat pipe, choking them.
German Shepherd puppies have a lot of energy. They can get downright destructive in the teething phase. Make sure they get a lot of exercise to keep their mind off teething.
If you keep them entertained with plenty of toys and a lot of outdoor activity, they won’t even think about chewing on household items.
There are many teething treats you can make at home. If your puppy seems to be in pain, this will help provide relief. Pour chicken or beef broth into ice trays and freeze it.
Offer these ice cubes to your puppy as treats. You can also make ‘pupsicles’ with fruit. They make great treats for teething puppies, especially in the summer. They soothe the gums too. You can also freeze some baby carrots for a nutrient-rich teething snack.
If your German Shepherd puppy is in a lot of pain because of teething, teething gels might help them.
Teething gels have ingredients like chamomile or peppermint that soothe teeth and gums. Always check the label for harmful ingredients before purchasing a teething gel.
Also Read: Do German Shepherds Like to Play Fetch?
Can I Train a Teething German Shepherd?
A lot of people think that teething means they should stop training their German Shepherd puppy. This is not true at all!
Consistency is the most important part of training your German Shepherd. Do not stop training them during the teething phase.
During this phase, German Shepherds have a strong urge to bite or chew. This is not an excuse for them biting you.
It might not hurt now, but allowing them to playfully bite you or chew your hands will create a problem for you in the future.
Your German Shepherd needs to see you as a leader. This means that you need to control their behavior.
However, it doesn’t mean that you should punish or yell at your puppy. Dogs don’t understand why they are being punished.
Positive reinforcement always works wonders with dogs. Always encourage them with treats for good behavior.
If they stop biting when you say ‘no’, give them a treat to enforce the behavior. This works for teaching tricks too.
When Do German Shepherds Stop Teething?
There is no exact time period, as this differs from dog to dog.
In most cases, German Shepherd puppies finish teething by the time they turn 7 or 8 months old.
Sometimes puppies finish early, around the 6-month mark. However, this is quite rare.
How to Protect Your Home from a Teething German Shepherd
Even with plenty of training and extra care, your puppy might still end up chewing on something around the house.
While your German Shepherd deals with the teething phase, you need to puppy proof your house.
This keeps your belongings safe and protects the health of your puppy too.
Keep all cleaning supplies and medicines well out of your puppy’s reach. Also, secure all wires and cables.
Many food items like chocolate or grapes are poisonous for your German Shepherd. Here is a list of everyday items that are dangerous to dogs.
Make sure your German Shepherd does not have access to any of them.
There are many sprays that can help keep your furniture and other belongings safe from your teething German Shepherd.
They deter dogs from chewing and are not harmful to them in any way.
How to Stop Your German Shepherd from Chewing Something Inappropriate
Even if you take every precaution, there still might be times when you walk in on your German Shepherd chewing on something inappropriate or even harmful for them.
Always keep your calm in these situations. Even the best-trained puppies make mistakes sometimes. Being a pet owner requires a ton of patience.
Never resort to yelling or physical punishment. It simply does not work—dogs don’t know what they are being punished for.
If you want to discourage your German Shepherd from chewing on a particular object, you need to catch them in the act.
Once you see them, distract them with a toy—something they are allowed to chew on. This teaches the puppy what they should do when they feel like chewing something.
It will be much easier to teach your puppy what to chew on rather than trying to teach them what not to chew on.
If you choose the right toys and treats and encourage positive behaviors, your life will become much easier.
It will also provide a good environment for your German Shepherd to grow up in.
Also Read: Can German Shepherds Swim?
Taking care of a teething German Shepherd can be a tough job. However, with the right methods, you can make this phase easier for both of you.
Get your German Shepherd puppy plenty of toys and treats to relieve them from teething pain.
Training during this phase is very important—make sure to encourage positive behaviors.
With the right amount of care and discipline, you will sail through this pesky phase in your pup’s life easily.