My Shepherd BFF

9 Month Old German Shepherd: Everything You Need To Know

9 month old german shepherd is sitting on the grass

As a 9-month-old German Shepherd enters the adolescent stage, they undergo significant physical and behavioral changes that require careful attention from their pet parents.

At this point, these dogs are in the midst of a crucial stage of development, both physically and mentally. 

As such, it is important for you to understand the specific needs of your German shepherd puppy, and to provide him/her with the proper care and training they require to become healthy, well-adjusted adults.

An Overview of a 9 Month Old German Shepherd

9 month old german shepherd dog is stianding

Male vs Female German Shepherds Size

German Shepherds are a large dog breed that can weigh anywhere from 50 to 80 pounds (23-36 kg) by the time they reach 9 months old.

Males tend to be larger than females, with an average weight of 65-80 pounds (29-36 kg) with a height of about 24-26 inches (61-66 cm) tall at the shoulder. 

Females, on the other hand, typically weigh between 50-70 pounds (23-32 kg) and stand about 22-24 inches (56-61 cm) tall at the shoulder.

It’s important to note that while these are average sizes for a German Shepherd at this age, there can be variations depending on genetics, diet, exercise levels, and overall health. 

Some dogs may be smaller or larger than these averages.


The coat of a nine-month-old German Shepherd is typically thick and dense, with a double-layered coat consisting of a soft undercoat and a coarser outer coat. 

This dual-layered coat provides excellent insulation and protection from the elements, making it ideal for German Shepherds that were originally bred to work in cold and harsh climates.

At this age, the puppy coat is in the process of transitioning to an adult coat, which is typically longer and thicker. 

During this transition period, some shedding may occur, and owners may notice a change in the texture and color of the coat. 

It is essential to maintain proper grooming during this time to ensure a healthy and lustrous coat.

Adult Teeth Development

By nine months old, a German Shepherd pup will have most of their adult teeth. 

They may still experience some mild teething discomfort as their remaining baby teeth fall out. 

During this time, it’s essential to provide appropriate chew toys or bones to help alleviate any discomfort.

It’s also important to maintain good dental hygiene by brushing your dog’s teeth regularly. 

Neglecting dental care can lead to periodontal disease, which can cause pain and tooth loss in dogs.

Pointy Ears

The ears of a nine-month-old GSD are typically fully developed by this age, standing upright and alert. 

German Shepherds are known for their distinctive ears, which are erect and triangular in shape, and positioned high on their heads.

However, it’s not uncommon for some German Shepherds to have floppy ears at this age, especially if they come from working lines.

Floppy ears are not necessarily a cause for concern, but if your puppy’s ears have not fully uprighted by 10-12 months, it’s important to consult with your veterinarian. (Source)

Personality of a 9 Month Old German Shepherd

9 month old german shepherd with a child

Increased Energy Levels and Playfulness

As your 9 month old puppy enters adolescence, you may notice a significant increase in its energy levels and playfulness. 

While this can be an exciting time for both you and your furry friend, it’s important to keep in mind that this newfound energy can also lead to more boisterous behavior.

Your dog may start jumping up on people or furniture, nipping at hands or clothing during playtime, or engaging in other unwanted behaviors

It’s essential to address these behaviors early on to prevent them from becoming ingrained habits.

Managing Your Dog’s High Energy Levels

One effective way to curb unwanted behavior is by redirecting your dog’s attention towards more appropriate activities.

For example, if your dog starts jumping up on people when they greet them at the door, try having them sit and stay instead. 

Reward them with treats or praise when they exhibit positive behavior.

Another approach is to provide plenty of physical exercise and mental stimulation throughout the day. 

Take your dog for long walks or runs, engage them in games of fetch or tug-of-war, and offer puzzle toys that challenge their problem-solving skills.

Intelligent and Trainable

One of the most notable characteristics of German Shepherds is their intelligence. At 9 months old, these dogs are highly trainable and excel in obedience training. They are quick learners who thrive on positive reinforcement techniques such as treats or praise.

Training your German Shepherd is not only important for teaching them basic commands but also helps establish a bond between you and your furry friend. Consistent training sessions can help build trust and respect between you and your dog.

Protective Behavior

German Shepherds may exhibit some protective behavior towards their owners and territory at 9 months old. 

This behavior stems from their natural instincts to protect their pack members from perceived threats.

While this protective instinct can be beneficial in certain situations, it’s important to socialize your German Shepherd early on to prevent aggression towards strangers or other animals. 

Proper socialization includes exposing your dog to different people, places, sounds, smells, and experiences in a positive way.

Strong Prey Drive

Another characteristic of German Shepherds at 9 months old is their strong prey drive. 

These dogs were originally bred for herding livestock but have since been used in various roles such as police work or search-and-rescue missions.

Their prey drive means that they may chase after small animals or objects, which can be dangerous if they are off-leash in an unsecured area. 

It’s important to keep your German Shepherd on a leash and under control when outside of your home.

Loyal and Affectionate

Despite their protective instincts and strong prey drive, German Shepherds at 9 months old are loyal and affectionate towards their owners. 

They form strong bonds with their families and enjoy spending time with them.

German Shepherds thrive on attention and love to be close to their owners. 

They make great family pets because of their loyalty, protectiveness, and affectionate nature.

Common Behavior Problems

9 month old german shepherd playing

As your puppy enters adolescence, it may exhibit certain behavior problems that can be challenging for you to address. 

It is essential to understand these issues and work on correcting them early on to prevent them from becoming ingrained habits.

Your Dog May Start to Test Boundaries & Display Stubbornness

As your puppy grows older, it may begin testing boundaries and displaying stubbornness. 

This can manifest in a variety of ways, such as refusing to follow your command or trying to assert dominance over other dogs or people.

To prevent these behaviors from escalating into something more serious, it’s crucial to establish yourself as the pack leader early on. 

Consistent training and reinforcement of positive behavior are key here.

When giving a command, make sure you use a firm but calm tone of voice. 

Avoid yelling or using physical force as this can cause fear or aggression in your dog. 

Instead, focus on rewarding good behavior with treats or praise while ignoring bad behavior whenever possible.

Separation Anxiety May Become More Pronounced

Separation anxiety is a common issue among dogs of all ages, but it can become more pronounced in 9 month old German Shepherds. 

This can lead to destructive or unwanted behavior when left alone, such as chewing on furniture or barking excessively.

To prevent separation anxiety from taking hold, start by gradually acclimating your dog to being alone for short periods of time. 

Leave them with a favorite toy or treat and make sure they have access to plenty of water.

You can also try desensitizing your dog to departure cues such as putting on shoes or picking up keys. 

Practice these actions without actually leaving the house so that your dog learns that these cues don’t always mean you’re leaving.

RELATED: Do German Shepherds Drink a Lot of Water?

Check out this article that can guide you on how to help your GSD with separation anxiety.

Here’s a training video of an adorable 9-month-old German Shepherd…

9 Month Old Male vs Female German Shepherd

Size and Agility

Male German Shepherds tend to be larger and heavier than their female counterparts. This is due to the fact that males have a higher muscle mass and bone density.

On the other hand, females are generally more agile and quicker than males. This is because they have a lighter frame and can move around more easily.

Dominance and Nurturing

Males can be more dominant and territorial than females, which means they may exhibit more aggressive behavior towards other dogs or people. 

They also tend to mark their territory more often by urinating on objects or areas that they consider theirs.

Females, on the other hand, are more nurturing and protective of their family members. 

They are less likely to display aggressive behavior towards others unless they perceive a threat.

Maturity and Elimination Routine

Females tend to mature faster than males both physically and emotionally. 

By 9 months old, a female German Shepherd will typically be fully grown in terms of height and weight, while a male may continue to grow until he is around 2 years old.

In terms of emotional maturity, females tend to be more stable earlier on in life compared to males who may take longer to develop this trait.

Females are generally more consistent with their bathroom habits compared to males who may mark their territory instead of sticking to a particular routine.

RELATED: 10 Month Old German Shepherd: Complete Care Guide

Sexual Maturity in 9 Month Old German Shepherd

Male German Shepherd

Physical Changes

One of the most noticeable changes is an increase in muscle mass. 

This is due to the production of testosterone, which promotes muscle growth and development. 

Along with increased muscle mass, male German Shepherds may also develop a deeper bark as their vocal cords thicken.

Dominant Behaviors

Along with physical changes, male German Shepherds may also display more dominant behaviors during this period. 

This is due to the surge in testosterone levels that occurs during this time. 

A Male German Shepherd may become more territorial and protective over their belongings or family members.


To prevent unwanted breeding and potential aggression, it’s recommended that male German Shepherds be neutered around 6-9 months of age. 

Neutering can also have health benefits for male dogs such as reducing the risk of certain cancers and infections.

However, it’s important to discuss the decision to neuter with a veterinarian as there are potential risks associated with surgery and some studies suggest that early neutering may have negative effects on bone growth and joint health.

Female German Shepherd

Foul Smell and Increased Urination

As a female German Shepherd (GSD) approaches puberty, pet owners may notice changes in their behavior. 

One of the most noticeable signs is a foul smell. This odor is caused by the release of pheromones, which are chemicals that signal to male dogs that the female is ready to mate.

Another sign of sexual maturity in female GSDs is increased urination. 

This behavior is also related to pheromones, as females will often mark their territory with urine during this time. 

While these behaviors can be frustrating for pet owners, they are normal parts of a female GSD’s development.

Spaying Your Female GSD Before Her First Heat Cycle

It’s important to spay your female GSD pup before her first heat cycle, which typically occurs around six months of age. 

Delaying spaying can increase the risk of health issues such as mammary tumors and uterine infections.

Spaying your female GSD pup can also help reduce aggressive behavior and territorial marking. 

Without the hormonal fluctuations associated with heat cycles, your dog may be less likely to exhibit these behaviors.

RELATED: German Shepherd Heat Cycle Explained

Consulting with Your Veterinarian about Spaying Timing

While it’s generally recommended to spay your female GSD before her first heat cycle, every dog is different. 

Consulting with your veterinarian can help you determine the best timing for spaying based on your pup’s individual needs.

Your veterinarian may recommend waiting until after your pup’s first heat cycle if they believe it will benefit her health or well-being. 

Alternatively, they may recommend an earlier spay if they believe it will be more beneficial.

Feeding your Dog

Nutritional Needs of Your Pup

At this age, your German Shepherd is still growing and developing, so it is important to ensure that they receive proper nutrition.

Dry food is a popular choice for feeding 9-month-old German Shepherds due to its convenience and balanced nutritional content. 

Dry food comes in different varieties, including puppy-specific formulas that cater to the specific needs of young dogs. 

These formulas contain higher levels of protein, fat, and calories than adult dog food.

Wet food can also be an option but should be given in moderation as it contains more calories than dry food. 

Wet food can provide additional moisture to your dog’s diet which can help keep them hydrated. 

However, too much wet food can lead to weight gain and other health problems.

RELATED: How Much To Feed a German Shepherd: GSD Feeding Chart By Age

Homemade Food

Homemade food can be a good alternative to commercial dog food, but it is important to ensure that the diet is balanced and meets the dog’s nutritional needs.

Homemade diets require careful planning and preparation to ensure that the dog receives all the necessary nutrients in the right proportions.

It is advisable to consult with a veterinary nutritionist before starting a homemade diet for your 9-month-old German Shepherd.

Natural Raw Diet

Raw diet consists of feeding the dog raw, uncooked meats, bones, fruits, and vegetables.

Proponents of the natural raw diet claim that it provides a more natural and biologically appropriate diet for dogs, as it mimics what they would eat in the wild.

Raw meats, bones, and organs are high in protein, vitamins, and minerals, and they contain natural enzymes that can aid in digestion. Fruits and vegetables provide fiber, antioxidants, and other essential nutrients.

Feeding Schedule

Generally, young dogs require more frequent meals than adult dogs because they have smaller stomachs and faster metabolisms.

It is recommended that you feed your 9-month-old German Shepherd two times per day

However, some dogs may require more frequent meals due to their activity level or health conditions.

The quantity of food your 9-month-old dog needs will depend on their size, activity level, and metabolism

It is important to follow the feeding guidelines provided by the manufacturer of your dog’s food.

Overfeeding can lead to obesity and other health problems, while underfeeding can lead to malnutrition and stunted growth.

Method of Feeding

The method of feeding your dog will depend on their individual needs and preferences. Some dogs prefer to eat from a bowl while others prefer to graze throughout the day.

Free-feeding or leaving food out all day is not recommended as it can lead to overeating and weight gain. Scheduled feedings at regular intervals are recommended for most dogs.

You may also choose to use puzzle feeders or slow-feed bowls to help slow down your dog’s eating speed and promote healthy digestion. 

These tools can also provide mental stimulation for your dog as they work to get its food out of the puzzle feeder or bowl.

Training Your GSD

Training your dog is an essential part of ensuring that they grow up to be well-behaved and obedient companions. 

At this age, your pup is entering adolescence and may become more stubborn and independent, making training more challenging.

House Training

House training is one of the most important aspects of training your doggy. It requires patience, persistence, and positive reinforcement. 

Potty training should start as soon as you bring your puppy home.

Establish a routine for taking them outside to go potty and reward them with treats or praise when they do their business outside.

It’s also important to supervise your puppy at all times while indoors until they are fully trained. 

Keep them in a crate or confined area when you’re not able to watch them closely. This will prevent accidents from happening and help establish good habits early on.

Basic Commands

Start with basic commands such as sit, stay, come, and heel before moving on to more advanced commands like “rollover” or “shake hands”.

Use clear and concise command when training your pup to ensure they understand what is expected of them.

Positive reinforcement such as treats or praise can be used to encourage good behavior during training sessions. 

Consistency is key so make sure everyone in the household uses the same words and techniques during training sessions.

Exercise Needs of a 9-Month-Old German Shepherd

Daily Exercise Requirements

German Shepherd dogs are an active breed that require regular exercise to maintain their physical and mental health. 

At nine months old, they need at least two hours of exercise daily to keep them happy and healthy.

This can include a combination of walks, runs, and playtime in the backyard or at the park.

It’s important to note that every dog is different, and some may require more or less exercise than others. 

Factors such as age, weight, and overall health should be taken into consideration when determining how much exercise your doggy needs.

RELATED: How Much Exercise Does a German Shepherd Need Per Day?

Gradual Increase in Intensity

When exercising your 9-month-old doggy, it’s important to gradually increase the intensity and duration of their activity. 

This will help prevent injury and ensure that they don’t become too fatigued during their workout.

Start with short walks around the block or playtime in the backyard for about 20-30 minutes per session.

 As your doggy becomes more comfortable with this level of activity, gradually increase the duration by 5-10 minutes each week until you reach the recommended two hours per day.

Mix Up Their Exercise Routine

To keep your doggy mentally stimulated during their daily exercise routine, it’s important to mix things up from time to time. 

Instead of taking them on the same walk every day, try exploring new trails or parks in your area.

You can also incorporate games like playing fetch or hide-and-seek into their playtime routine to keep things interesting. 

Not only will this help prevent boredom for your doggy but it will also strengthen your bond with them.

Exercise Prevents Destructive Behavior

Regular exercise is not only essential for maintaining a healthy weight but it also helps prevent destructive behavior in dogs. Without proper stimulation and activity, dogs can become bored and restless which can lead to chewing on furniture or digging holes in the yard.

By providing your doggy with regular exercise, you can help prevent these destructive behaviors and keep them happy and healthy.

Sleep requirements of your PUP

Providing a comfortable sleeping area for your doggy is essential to ensure that they get the right amount and quality of sleep. 

Just like humans, dogs need adequate sleep to maintain their physical and mental health.

Recommended Sleep Requirements

A 9 month old doggy needs around 14 to 16 hours of sleep per day. This includes both daytime naps and nighttime rest. 

However, it is important to note that every dog is unique and may have different sleep requirements based on their individual needs and activity levels. 

Some dogs may require more or less sleep than others.

RELATED: How Long Do German Shepherds Sleep?

Creating a Suitable Sleeping Environment

To provide your doggy with a comfortable sleeping area, it is best to choose a quiet and cozy spot in your home where they can rest undisturbed. 

A crate or a designated bed can be used as their sleeping space.

Make sure that the bed is big enough for them to stretch out comfortably but not too large that it feels overwhelming.

You should consider using soft bedding such as blankets or pillows to make the sleeping area more comfortable for your doggy. 

It is also important to keep the area clean by regularly washing the bedding and cleaning up any accidents immediately.

Health & Wellness 

Providing proper healthcare for your doggy is crucial for ensuring their long-term health and well-being.

Regularly Visit a Veterinarian for Check-Ups

These visits will help detect any potential health issues early on, allowing for prompt treatment and prevention of further complications. 

Your vet will also be able to provide you with valuable information on how to properly care for your doggy.

During these check-ups, your veterinarian will perform a physical examination of your pup, checking their eyes, ears, nose, mouth, teeth, skin, coat, weight, and overall body condition.

They may also recommend blood tests or other diagnostic procedures if they suspect any underlying health issues.


In addition to regular check-ups, it’s important to keep up-to-date with your doggy’s vaccinations. 

Vaccines protect against common diseases such as rabies and distemper that can be fatal if left untreated.

Your vet will be able to advise you on which vaccines are necessary for your German Shepherd puppy based on their lifestyle and risk factors.

RELATED: German Shepherd Puppy Vaccination Chart

Provide Proper Care by Feeding Them a Balanced Diet

Feeding your 9 month old german shepherd puppy a balanced diet is crucial for their overall health and well-being. 

A balanced diet should include high-quality protein sources such as meat or fish, complex carbohydrates like brown rice or sweet potatoes, healthy fats like fish oil or flaxseed oil, and essential vitamins and minerals.

Maintain Their Hygiene

Proper hygiene is essential for maintaining the health of your German shepherd puppy. 

Regularly brush their teeth to prevent dental problems and bad breath, bathe them occasionally using gentle dog shampoo, and trim their nails regularly to prevent overgrowth.

It’s also important to regularly clean their ears to prevent infections and check their skin for any signs of irritation or parasites such as fleas or ticks. 

If you notice any abnormalities during grooming sessions, consult with your veterinarian for proper treatment.

Common Health Issues for 9 Month Old German Shepherds

As a responsible pet owner, it is important to be aware of the common health problems that your doggy may face. 

While these dogs are generally healthy and robust, they can still be prone to certain issues that require attention. 

Here are some of the most common health concerns for 9 month old German Shepherd dogs.

Hip Dysplasia

Firstly, hip dysplasia is a genetic condition that affects many large breeds, including the German Shepherd. 

This occurs when the ball and socket joint in the hip do not fit together properly, leading to pain and mobility issues. 

It is important to have your german shepherd puppy screened for this condition early on so that any necessary interventions can be made.


Another common issue is bloat or gastric torsion, which occurs when the stomach fills with gas and twists on itself. 

This can be life-threatening if not treated promptly, so it’s important to recognize the signs such as restlessness, drooling, and vomiting.

Dental Care

Dental problems are also quite common in 9 month old German Shepherds. These dogs have powerful jaws and love to chew on things which can lead to tooth fractures or even gum disease if proper dental hygiene isn’t maintained.

Fleas & Ticks

Parasites such as fleas and ticks can also cause serious health problems for your German shepherd puppy if left untreated. 

These pests can transmit diseases such as Lyme disease or Rocky Mountain spotted fever which can lead to long-term complications if not caught early on.

Degenerative Myelopathy

Degenerative myelopathy (DM) is a progressive disease of the spinal cord that can affect German Shepherds and other breeds. 

While it is more commonly seen in older dogs, some cases of DM have been reported in dogs as young as 9 months old.

DM is a genetic disease, meaning it is inherited from a dog’s parents. 

It is caused by a mutation in the SOD1 gene, which leads to the degeneration of the myelin sheath that surrounds and protects nerve cells in the spinal cord.

Symptoms of DM may include weakness in the back legs, difficulty standing or walking, and a loss of coordination. 

As the disease progresses, dogs may become paralyzed and lose control of their bowel and bladder.

Unfortunately, there is no cure for DM, and treatment options are limited to managing symptoms and providing supportive care. 

Physical therapy, mobility aids, and medication may be used to help manage symptoms and maintain quality of life.


Epilepsy is a neurological disorder that can affect dogs of all breeds, including German Shepherds. 

While epilepsy is more commonly seen in older dogs, it can also develop in puppies as young as 9 months old.

Epilepsy in German shepherds is characterized by recurring seizures, which are caused by abnormal electrical activity in the brain. 

Seizures can manifest in various ways, including convulsions, muscle spasms, and loss of consciousness. (Source)

Some dogs may exhibit warning signs before a seizure occurs, such as pacing, whining, or acting disoriented.

Skin Allergies

Lastly, skin allergies are another concern for many German Shepherds. 

These dogs have sensitive skin which can become irritated by environmental allergens such as pollen or dust mites. Symptoms include itching, redness, and hair loss.


In conclusion, raising a 9-month-old German Shepherd can be a challenging but rewarding experience. 

By understanding the breed’s characteristics, milestones, and nutritional requirements, you can provide the best care for your furry friend.

Regular exercise, grooming, and vet visits are also important for your puppy’s health and well-being. 

Remember to train and socialize your german shepherd puppy, and address any behavioral issues as they arise. With proper care and attention, your doggy will grow into a loyal and loving companion for years to come.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What does a 9-month-old German Shepherd look like?

A 9-month-old German Shepherd is typically lean and muscular, with a thick, medium-length coat. They have a wedge-shaped head, pointed ears, and a long snout. Their coat color can vary, but it is typically black and tan, black and red, or sable.

How big is a 9-month-old German Shepherd?

A 9-month-old German Shepherd can weigh anywhere from 50 to 75 pounds, and their height can range from 21 to 26 inches at the shoulder.

How far can a 9-month-old German Shepherd walk?

A 9-month-old German Shepherd can typically walk for up to an hour at a moderate pace.

What to feed a 9-month-old German Shepherd?

A 9-month-old German Shepherd should be fed a high-quality, age-appropriate dog food that is rich in protein and other essential nutrients.

How to train a 9-month-old German Shepherd?

Training a 9-month-old German Shepherd requires patience, consistency, and positive reinforcement. Start with basic commands such as “sit,” “stay,” and “come,” and gradually move on to more advanced training. Use rewards such as treats and praise to reinforce good behavior, and avoid using punishment or negative reinforcement.

Why is my 9-month-old German Shepherd limping?

There are several reasons why a dog may be limping, including injury, joint problems, or an underlying medical condition. If your German shepherd puppy is limping, it’s important to take them to the vet for an examination to determine the underlying cause and receive proper treatment.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top