Tips on Meeting Your German Shepherd Puppy for the 1st Time
(Removing Potential Illogical Thoughts)
The German Shepherd breed, despite early canine socialization or training, is naturally aloof. Generation upon generation of training and breeding has created a natural guard dog out of the breed and this archetype comes with an attentiveness absent in most dogs.
It is natural for a German Shepherd puppy to be watchful when meeting an unfamiliar person. German Shepherds are highly intelligent. I always say, would you want your child to naturally be friendly with a stranger? Probably not. Please view German Shepherds in the same light. Always keep in mind that they do not know you, yet.
It takes time for a puppy to trust and sometimes that makes a potential owner initial think the dog is timid or not friendly. My favorite quote is “Trust is consistency over time.” It is abnormal for a German Shepherd puppy to just be immediately be warm and affectionate unless they are 8 - 14 weeks old. You must earn their trust and form a symbiotic relationship with them which naturally takes time. German Shepherds are a lot of work but all the time and effort that you put into them pays off in dividends.
Every German Shepherd puppy we have brought into our home no matter the age was not overtly friendly. They are cautious and always alert. It takes us between 2-3 weeks for the puppies to be naturally integrated into our home. It is just part of the breed. However, once they are comfortable with you and their new home, they will become the friendly, loving, big protective baby that you wanted.
When we say our puppies are socialized this means they have been around other animals, neighbors, and friends. They have been exposed to the home and living in it. But even when meeting new people, they do not warm up initially. This does not mean they are mean nor aggressive. If someone gets a lick and a tail wag that is wonderful!! German Shepherd puppies are naturally focused, aware, and alert; they are still taking everything in. When you throw one new element at them yes, they are going to become a bit more wary. This does not mean the puppy is not confident or is timid - It's called Sensory Overload! Remember this is a baby!
Tips for a Successful Meeting and Pick Up
When meeting a German Shepherd puppy, if they back up from you, we suggest that you put more effort into getting to know them. This does not mean the puppy is anxious or is nervous – this dog does not know you.
We give new potential owners all the time they need to spend time with the puppy. You can’t expect in 10 or 15 minutes for a puppy to warm up to you. This is not the puppy’s fault this is just uninformed thinking.
We suggest that you sit down at their level and talk to them, give them pets. You can’t act standoffish with a puppy or look down at them. They can read your behavior and body language. But no matter what, our puppies will not bite you – they are not aggressive.
We suggest that you spend some time with the puppy before making irrational decisions because you think “it doesn’t like me” Remember, no, it doesn’t know you. “It’s scared.” – No, this is a new situation!!
When meeting our dogs, you have to actually try. This does not mean just stick your hand out (they probably won’t lick it right away and why should they?). We suggest that you walk them around the yard, bring yummy treats with you, sit with them and talk and pet them, and walk them around the yard, again. Then, continue to do this when you get home and they will rapidly become your best friend.
Side note, if your significant other (or additional family members) are negative don’t bring them along for the visit. German shepherds are highly intelligent and they can tell if a person is negative. They won’t be nice. They will sense that this is not a kind person. We have seen our puppies react very differently around negative people after having a very successful 1st meeting the 2nd meeting went poorly due to a negative person being brought to the visit. So please, come with a positive and kind attitude and they will eventually warm up to you.
Bring as few people to the pick up as possible since it is an overwhelming experience for the puppy! We know you are excited and your entire family is excited but think about how that can affect your new puppy. Lots of unfamiliar people can create a less than suitable environment for the puppy. Come with empathy!
If you want a puppy that is naturally trusting within the first 5 -10 minutes of meeting then, the German Shepherd puppy is not the right breed for you unless you find a puppy between the ages of 8 -14 weeks. It is not the puppy's fault it is your wrong thinking. A watchful puppy doesn't mean that it won't be an amazing once you get it home and spend time with it. However, if you want instant friendliness then, perhaps a Springer Spaniel or Golden Retriever would be better for you.
Many people even if they have owned German Shepherds, they forget what raising a puppy is like, it is not easy. They forget the decade worth of hard work they put into that amazing dog they love/loved so much. Nevertheless, when you make the decision to invite this beautiful breed into your home, train them, love them. You will never be disappointed! They will become family!
We look forward to meeting you, soon!!