Just so you know.......
German Shepherds are large dogs and your puppy is expected to be 70-85 lbs or larger. Females are typically smaller/males larger. Females tend to be a bit "moodier" than males. They often whine through their nose as a way of communicating- we like to call it "talking!"
GSDs WILL bark to alert you to something/someone. As they mature their bark will deepen.
There are different types and temperments of GSDs. Do your research. We DO NOT BREED IPO GSDs - ours are intended to be family pets and life long companions.
EARS- Their ears will stand up during the teeth stage. The more they chew the stronger those ear muscles become. Sometimes both go up together, often they go up and down, then finally UP! Try not to pet their ears until standing as petting can relax those muscles. If you are concerned after a few months, contact your vet as there are things they can do to help this.
GSDs SHED EVERY SINGLE DAY. They have a thick undercoat. In Spring and Fall they "blow their coat" but shedding occurs daily. Brushing and proper high quality food helps, but if you cannot tolerate dog hair or have bad allergies, asthma, or are OCD about cleaning, this breed is NOT for you. With this being said, they only require bathing 2-3 x a year.
GSDs require daily exercise. It is possible to own one if you have an apartment but they will need to be walked/run several times a day. A fenced in yard or one with an invisible fence is well worth the money.
GSDs are VERY smart. They learn quickly- often after 1 or 2 repetitions. We strongly encourage getting puppies involved in a training program early (we can refer you to several we like). You MUST be their pack leader from the start. They crave direction and routine. They strongly bond to their families. A good leash and collar are imperative. Basic commands are a must. Trust us, you do not want an 85 lb adult dog who is not behaved.
GSDs are lovingly referred to as "Land Sharks." Especially as puppies they TEETHE. Please be prepared and expect this especially between 8 weeks and 5-6 months. Provide proper teething toys and educate yourself on crate training. Some of our favorite teething toys are buffalo horns, raw frozen marrow bones, and kongs frozen and stuffed with peanut butter. This stage WILL PASS!!!!
Never ever ever hit or physically discipline a GSD. I swear, they remember everything. We believe in positive reinforcement ONLY.
EDUCATE. EDUCATE. EDUCATE. There are wonderful books outs there- we can recommend some of our favorites. The more you know, the better GSD parents you will be. Also, consider joining a german shepherd facebook forum- people who own GSDs are one big happy family- there is so much advice and great tips out there!
Have fun! Consider obedience work, agility, dock diving, and Canine Good Citizen/ pet therapy work. GSDs are a working breed and have amazing potential to do wonderful things. Look online for your local chapters!