German Shepherd Family Dog: Male Versus Female Debate
Is this your first time getting to know the German Shepherd breed and trying to figure out are German Shepherds good family dogs?
You need to know there are some differences between male and female GSDs.
For this reason, depending on who you ask, you will find that different breeders, trainers and owners have many different opinions about whether a male or a female German Shepherd dog will make a better family pet.
In fact, evidence exists to show that both female and male German Shepherd dogs can make great family pets!
Generalizations about personality and temperament can help you make up your mind.
But the truth is that training and socialization can also have a noticeable effect on how well a GSD of either sex fits in as a family pet.
Lets take a look at the major generally acknowledged differences between male and female German Shepherd dogs.
NOTE: Ultimately, these gender-specific observations are just generalizations and are not meant to pigeonhole any GSD into a strict gender role. However, learning what breeders have to say about gender differences in German Shepherd dogs may offer some insights as you get to know the parents of any puppy you are interested in adding to your family!
What Do German Shepherds Like To Do
German Shepherds need to be kept occupied and be kept mentally stimulated because they are so intelligent they need to be playing games or doing tasks that keep them challenged throughout the day, this is also so they dont become bored and depressed. They need an owner who can give them plenty of time and able to have a firm but gentle hand when it comes to training.
German shepherds are used a lot in the police force and army, their intelligence as well as amazing ability to sniff has given them a highly rewarded job roles. this breed loves nothing more than pleasing and being heroic so saving the day brings them nothing but happiness.
These dogs also love exercise and need at least two hours of walking a day. They also love working so being out on a farm all day running about is also another role well suited for this dog.
Want To Train Your German Shepherd With Peace Of Mind
If you havent trained your German shepherd properly, then this is the perfect time to start. Whatever bad behavior your shepherd has, whether its barking at night or other bad behaviors, using the right training program is the key to having an obedient and happy pup.
The training program I love and highly recommend is Brain Training For Dogs.
With Brain Training For Dogs youll save yourself a ton of time and effort. Instead of banging your head against the wall trying to figure out why your dog wont listen, youll follow a path that has been tried, tested, and most importantly, thats given proven results. Not to mention the fact, youll be able to fit the course around your schedule, not fit your schedule around a trainer or obedience class.
So instead of worrying about whether theyre going to be well-behaved or not, youll only have to worry about how much fun youll have with them!
And in most cases its still going to be:
- Cheaper than hiring a professional.
- Cheaper than replacing everything they might break.
- And definitely cheaper than a lawsuit against you, if they decide to bite someone.
Just imagine how great it will feel to finally be able to trust your German Shepherd completely and never worry whether theyll be naughty or not. Instead, youll have the peace of mind that you have a well-behaved pup, and the boundaries you set for them, will always be there, EVEN IF YOURE NOT.;
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How To Introduce A German Shepherd To Your Family
When you introduce your german shepherd to your family for the first time, it could affect your whole relationship from thereon.
So make sure youre doing the best you can to make them feel at home. Here are some of the things you can do.
Offer Them Food
One of the best things you can do is offer your german shepherd some food when they come into your home.
At first, they may not eat it, but showing them theres food, is going to help cement the idea this is a safe place for them.
It will make the house feel more like a home, and theyll see the food giver as a source of positivity.
Make Sure Youre Giving Them Lots Of Love
When your german shepherd first comes home, its important to make sure youre giving them lots of love.
Its important to remember that your german shepherd may cry for the first few days there home. Theyve just been taken from their first home, as well as their brothers and sisters, so theyre going to feel lonely.
Teach Young Children How To Act Around Your Dog
One of the most important things you can do is teach young children how to act around their dogs.
A lot of kids see dogs as toys and may end up pulling them around or mistreating them. Before you get your german shepherd home make sure youve taught your children exactly how they should act.
If they act the wrong way then your german shepherd could end up becoming aggressive as well as repressing other negative emotions.
Make Sure You Create A Space For Them
A Brief German Shepherd Family Dog History
The German Shepherd dog breed was not originally developed to be a family pet.
It is vital to emphasize this as we explore the question, Are German Shepherds good family pets?
All GSDs alive today can trace their lineage back to a single dog owned by Captain Max von Stephanitz.
Von Stephanitz began his breeding efforts in 1889.
German Shepherds distinguished themselves in military work during both World Wars and then continued to work in military and civilian service.
In 1932, a wildly popular movie called Rin Tin Tin introduced a new role for the GSD a family pet!
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They Can Entertain Kids For Hours
What do German Shepherds and children have in common?
Energy! Lots of it.
That makes your German Shepherd great with kids. They can entertain your kids for hours!
Thats because your German Shepherd is a tireless dog. They can play for hours and hours and not get tired easily. And young children have the energy to match!
What better way to spend time than to play games that your German Shepherd loves. Playing fetch, catching a frisbee, or learning new tricks. They wont have a shortage of activities to do.
They can even play treasure hunt. Your kids hide the treats and your German Shepherd will find those. And with their excellent nose, they can easily find those treats!
Caution:;Watch out how many treats you give your dog. You dont want them to get overweight.
If they get tired of treasure hunting, they can run around all day. This is good for your dog since they need lots of exercise. And this is good for you, too. Tired children means you have more time to rest.
Caution:;Keep an eye on your kids and dog while theyre playing together. Your child may get hurt during a roughhouse.;
Exercising A German Shepherd
The German Shepherd is an active breed that once worked herding flocks of sheep.
So it should come as no surprise that they need plenty of daily exercise.
Dogs who are frustrated and bored can be more prone to aggression.
They can also turn to unwanted behaviors like chewing, digging, and barking.
An adult German Shepherd should get about two hours of daily activity to ensure their physical and mental well-being.
These exceptional dogs will shine at canine activities such as agility, herding, and tracking.
Read Also: German Shepherd Beagle Mix Size
How Much Do You Feed Your German Shepherd
Feeding German Shepherds;2.5 to 3.5 cups;of quality kibble twice a day is an excellent beginning point for adult dogs. Adjust the amount of food supplied according to your dogs size, weight, age, and daily activity level. Feeding a calorie-rich, high protein grain-free kibble like Origen will require you to feed somewhat less.
How Long Do German Shepherds Live Are They A Healthy Breed
German Shepherds typically live 10-12 years. Some do live to 13 or 14, but usually with chronic health issues such as arthritis.
And sadly, many don’t even make it to age 10.
As a long-time German Shepherd owner, I know first-hand how many health problems this breed suffers from. Crippling joint diseases, autoimmune diseases, digestive diseases, skin diseases, heart and eye diseases…. truly a breed with serious health problems.
It’s a good idea to have pet insurance when you own a German Shepherd.
Here is a complete list of health problems in German Shepherds.
See my advice on keeping;your;dog;healthy.
The most common color in German Shepherds black and tan, in the saddleback pattern
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The First Months Are Going To Be Tough
In the first 3 months of their life, your German Shepherd puppy is going to need you the most.
There will be lots of adjustments as you get to know this furball. And your dog is familiarizing themselves with the new environment.;
This could be a stressful moment for your dog. Even for you.
It may even feel like having a baby. You will constantly supervise them, especially if theyre only starting their training. And youll keep cleaning after themselves.;
You may even find yourself consoling a crying puppy in the middle of the night.
However, its important that you make the transition smooth from breeder to your home. You can achieve this by letting them explore their designated spot. Let them get used to this area before exploring other parts of the house.
Socialize At A Young Age
Its best to start socializing GSDs when theyre puppies not only because they havent grown to their full size and weight but also because they havent formed any bad habits.
While theyre puppies, give them tons of exposure not only to young kids and babies but to all sorts of people, animals, and environments.
Recommended Reading: German Shepherd First Litter Size
Is It Ok To Let A German Shepherd Puppy Go
However, that doesnt mean you should let it go. What might be cute in your small puppy will get harder and stronger as your dog grows up. Training your dog not to chew your hand or the furniture is essential with this breed. Teach your German Shepherd to channel those instincts safely and appropriately.
Between 12 months of age and 24 months of age, each month is equivalent to 0.75 human years. So, an 18 month-old German Shepherd dog is about as mature as a 20 year-old adult, and a 24 month-old GSD is as mature as a 24 year-old adult.
In truth, German Shepherd owners are never lonely because their loyal canines are always by their side. Although GSDs are sometimes slow to warm to strangers, they are gentle and loving with their families. Their affectionate and dedicated personalities are a bonus of the breed, and they can be particularly fond of children.
They Protect Your Family And Home
Home and family are everything to us. We have a reason to persevere, knowing we have someone or something to go home to.
But knowing your German Shepherd can protect your family and home? That is simply reassuring.
Your German Shepherd is not just a dog. They are an important part of your family. Whats more, they could serve as your protector.
Depending on the situation, your German Shepherd can be a watchdog or a guardian. They possess this natural protective instinct. And it kicks in when the situation demands it.
What makes them ideal protector material is that theyre fearless and self-confident. In fact, they will not hesitate to put their lives at stake to protect their family YOU!
Did you know that German Shepherds were originally bred as herding dogs? These days they no longer herd animals. But the instinct is still there. You are the herd that they protect.
Caution:;Prevent your German Shepherd from becoming overprotective by proper socialization and training.
Also Check: What Age Do German Shepherd Puppies Ears Stand Up
A Small Dog May Cause Your Gsd Anxiety
Just like people, German Shepherds can suffer from anxiety.
Bringing home a new dog means a change in your GSDs environment, which can actually trigger anxiety in your GSD.;
Consider all of the changes that your German Shepherd may possibly experience by adding a new doggie family member.
You can do your part by helping your GSD stick to his routines by following these guidelines:
- Make sure to keep your dogs feeding schedule consistent. Do not deviate from his regular schedule.
- Stay with your dogs current walking schedule. Gradually include your new puppy on walks with your adult GSD.
- Do not focus all of your attention on your new puppy. Make sure to shower your adult GSD with affection so that he doesnt feel neglected.
Even the slightest change in your German Shepherds environment can lead to anxiety and, ultimately, aggression towards your new small pup.
Remember that your German Shepherd is used to a specific way of life, and your new little friend doesnt know the difference.
Things are bound to change when you bring home a new family member, but try to stay on the same routine with your German Shepherd to ensure he does not feel threatened.
They Need Continuous Training
German Shepherds are truly amazing dogs. They are smart, obedient, and learn tricks in several repetitions.
As such, training them is very important. They can learn valuable commands and tricks that they can carry with them to adulthood.
Without proper training, your German Shepherd will end up learning bad behaviors. They could jump at or try to bite your visitors.;
Or they could resort to excessive barking when they want something.
But all these can be prevented through training. According to;AKC, continuous training will help your German Shepherd to become a well-mannered adult.
They can begin with obedience training, which includes the following:
- Leash training.
- Basic commands.
All of these are doable by a novice owner like you. But if you need help, then enroll your dog in training classes.;
Note:;Seek help when you need it to avoid your dog from developing aggressive behavior.
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German Shepherd Good And Bad
The AKC Standard says the German Shepherd has a distinct personality marked by direct and fearless, but not hostile, expression, self confidence, and a certain aloofness that does not lend itself to immediate and indiscriminate friendships. Thats a great description of an ideal German Shepherd.
Unfortunately, its very difficult to find an ideal German Shepherd today. Nowadays, this breed is all over the map in temperament. Lines that are bred for protection work and the sport of schutzhund tend to be hard-tempered and businesslike. Show lines range from mild and mellow, to hyperactive and skittish, to downright dumb and dopey.
And many German Shepherds bred by backyard breeders have risky temperaments and suffer from a host of health problems.
Energy levels vary from vigorous to laid-back, but all German Shepherds, to maintain their athletic shape, need brisk walking every day and all-out running in a safe, enclosed area as often as possible. Mental exercise is even more important for German Shepherds.
This is a smart, thinking breed and his intelligence is often wasted in a home that simply wants a casual pet.
- If you want a dog who
- Is strong, athletic, and natural looking
- Thrives on challenging activities and exercise
- Looks stern and imposing, so makes an effective deterrent
- Is exceptionally intelligent, loyal, and versatile when well-socialized and well-trained, can learn and do almost anything
A German Shepherd may be right for you.
2. Serious health problems
Lucy Pet Formulas For Life
Lucy dog food has been specifically designed to help dogs with their digestive health and stomach problems. Antioxidants included in this dog recipe assist in improving the overall immune system of the German Shepherd dog. This dog food is recommended by Dr. Fahey, a renowned veterinary dog expert.
This dog food recipe is designed to solve the dogs general health problems, focusing on maintaining the dogs gut health, which leads towards the overall health of the dogs.;
This nutrition recipe includes real ducks that are specially imported from France, which are a great source of protein for dogs. The duck meat also helps to keep their muscle strength and maintain their skin and hair.
The dietary supplements such as;Taurine and L-Carnitine;include in this food recipe helps to maintain your dogs heart health and stress reduction.
The omega-3 and natural fatty acids elements in this formula help enhance coat health and shine and decrease many kinds of canine skin allergies.
The manufactured, designed each food packet, keeping in mind the nutritional needs of the dogs of various ages and the types of breeds, and the prebiotic supplements included in that formula helps to improve the stomach and strengthen the dogs immune function.
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Health Issues And Lifespan Of German Shepherds
Because German Shepherds are prone to health problems, you need to prepare yourself mentally, emotionally, and financially with the thought of your German Shepherd getting sick in her later years.
Possible causes of these health problems are their large size, body shape, genetic characteristics, and careless breeding practices.
Some of the health problems commonly seen in GSDs are the following:
GSDs also have a relatively shorter lifespan than smaller-to-medium-sized breeds, likely due to the presence of these health conditions.
According to the American Kennel Club, their average life expectancy is around 7 to 10 years, although many GSDs will live longer than that.
While there is still debate around the idea that purebred dogs have more health problems than mixed breeds, vets unfortunately observe this to be true.
Inbreeding and the lack of diversity in the gene pool increases the chances of the same genetic diseases to appear in purebreds.
Of course, you can minimize the chances of these diseases from appearing early and ensure that your GSD will live a full, healthy life by adopting the following measures:
With these points in mind, your GSD companion will stay by your side for a long time.