Interesting German Shepherd Facts
German Shepherds are soon to become even more popular in the country. Find out why and learn interesting and notable facts about these canines.
A rescued German Shepherd is about to become the First Dog of the United States for the first time ever with President-elect Biden moving into the white house in January. The Biden family adopted a GSD named Major from the Delaware Humane Association in 2018. The family has another German Shepherd named Champ.
Canine movie and TV stars like Rin-Tin-Tin and Strongheart solidified the GSD popularity in the United States. Stronghearts film debut took place in 1921 in an outdoor adventure film, The Silent Cal. Rin-Tin-Tin was not only one of the most famous movie stars who appeared in several movies between 1922 and 1931, he was also famous for being rescued by an American soldier during WWI.
More recently, Sam in I am Legend, became the star of the apocalyptic sci-fi movie featuring Will Smith.
During WWII, German Shepherds helped by transporting messages, locating wounded soldiers, and patrolling alongside officers.
A majority of seeing eye dogs currently are Retrievers and Labradors, but the first dog to help the blind was a German Shepherd. The Seeing Eye, was founded by Mrs. Harrison Eustis and a 20-year-old blind man named Morris Frank in 1928 for the purpose of providing trained dogs to guide the blind.
Theyre A Little Needy
You desperately want to spend time with your dog right now, but the German Shepherd tends to take it to the extreme, and they can become quite clingy, even following you to the bathroom!
When they feel as if theyre not getting enough attention from their family members, they tend to do whatever it takes to get that attention from you, as found in a recent study.
During this study, researchers believe German Shepherds are one of the breeds that have become needier due to breeders attempting to make the dogs more affectionate as pets.
The thing is, owners are often also to blame for this clingy behavior, especially if they are constantly petting, cuddling, and praising their German Shepherd!
Another thing to consider is that German Shepherds dont like to spend long periods alone and may suffer from separation anxietyif left for too long. My German Shepherd is never left alone for longer than 4 hours, and she is always well exercised before I leave the house. If your dog is prone to separation anxiety, dont worry as I have a great article German Shepherd Separation Anxiety: Training, Help & Treatment.
German Shepherds Are Intelligent And Hence Easy To Train
To be part of a family, dogs need to learn certain behaviors as per the expectation of their new owner. For the owner, this means investing precious time to train their pet in these behaviors. If your dog is not smart, you will need more time to get him to learn simple commands and skills. Instead, an intelligent dog will save you the trouble by picking up these skills and commands quickly.
German Shepherds fall into the category of intelligent pets. In a book titled The Intelligence of Dogs written by professor emeritus, Dr. Stanley Coren of the department of psychology at the University of British Columbia, the German Shepherd is ranked 3rd among the brightest dogs.
What this means is that your GSD will understand new commands with less than five repetitions and also obey them without requiring you to repeat them 95% of the time. You would want a pet dog who saves your time by learning commands and skills fast, wouldnt you?
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What Were German Shepherds Bred For
German Shepherds a large-sized breed that originated in Germany in 1899 was part of the Herding Group. Known for their courage, loyalty and guarding instincts, their history of herding has meant they are great guard dogs, police dogs, military dogs, search and rescue dogs, and guide dogs for the blind.
“As the name suggest, German Shepherd dogs were originally bred to help shepherds herd animals, but have since become a versatile working dogs, often in the military, police and other emergency services, as well as guide and assistance dogs,” Bill tells us.
Are German Shepherds Good With Babies
German Shepherds are also generally good with babies and present no harm.
They may not always know of their own strength and size compared to younger children so as a precaution they should be supervised around children and must receive the proper training to socialize them for good behavior.
Remember regardless of what dog breed you bring to your home monitoring of dogs around children should always be done.
Always approach any dog individually no matter the breed as behavior is dependent on his/her upbringing as well as the training they receive as they grow.
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Is A German Shepherd Suitable As A Family Dog
The German Shepherd’s reliability and loyalty towards humans has made it a popular family dog too. As long as they are well trained and stimulated, these dogs in fact make excellent partners and companions very well suited to family life. Well-socialised German Shepherds are very fond of children and compatible with other pets too. However, the requirement for life as a family dog is that they are mentally and physically stimulated. Dogs that do not get enough activity and whose urge for exercise and will to work is ignored develop bad habits, which are alien to this essentially easygoing pedigree breed. They get nervous and overly watchful and are difficult to control in day-to-day life. On the other hand, physically and mentally stimulated German Shepherds enrich any family as playmates, sporting buddies and incredibly loyal guardians.
Which Breeder Is Right For Me
Before you choose a breeder, you should be clear on the purpose for which you wish to buy a German Shepherd. Most breeders are specialised in different lines and encourage different qualities amongst their breeding animals. After all, the prominence of their protective instinct or urge to work depends not least on the breed. Find out in advance if the breeder is offering an aesthetic or purely performance breed and choose the breeding site best suited to your expectations and requirements. If you want to keep your canine purely as a family dog though, you should be aware that even German Shepherds from purely aesthetic breeds are still very willing to learn, have a strong urge for activity and definitely won’t be satisfied with short walks around the block.
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Are German Shepherds Easy To Care For
As youve probably noticed by now, German Shepherds require a fair amount of training to ward off any aggressive behaviors, etc., which means you will need to dedicate a lot of time to them. Because they are active dogs, youll also need to spend time each day to exercise them a long walk or run or a few games of fetch, plus challenging games to stimulate them mentally. Too little activity and your dog will become bored, which could lead to behavioral issues. Its important to have plenty of time to devote to your German Shepherd.
As for grooming, these dogs shed constantly. Giving them a good brushing each day can help, but be prepared to break out the vacuum cleaner a lot. On the plus side, you wont need to bathe your dog much since their coats are reasonably dirt-resistant in fact, if you do bathe them too often, you can end up depleting essential oils from the skin leading to the appearance of issues such as eczema. You should also regularly brush their teeth and trim their nails.
Are All German Shepherds Good Guard Dogs
Although German Shepherds are historically known to be good guard dogs, this isnt the case for every dog. For one thing, breeding can play a significant role.
German Shepherds fall into one of two lines working dog lines and show dog lines. Dogs from the working line have been bred with the same traits that the original German Shepherds had. As such, these dogs will be a better fit as guard dogs.
Dogs from the show line, on the other hand, are mostly bred for their looks head shape, physique, coat, etc. Due to this, breeders arent overly focused on the same traits as working dogs. These dogs are less likely to work as guard dogs.
Temperament matters quite a bit as well. Each dog is different. Some may be more assertive, while others may be shy. Whether or not a particular dog will be a suitable guard dog can depend on what kind of personality they have as well.
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What Makes A Good First Dog
Any dog can be your first dog. There is no such thing as a bad dog as it usually comes down to poor training and socialization by the owner, right from puppyhood. Some breeds are easier for first-time dog owners, while others require a little more time and patience whilst training.
It really does all depend on you and whether the breed is suited to your lifestyle. For example, if you are inactive and live in an apartment, then a toy dog such as a chihuahua will be more suitable than if you were looking for a loyal and protective dog that requires a lot of exercise, such as the German Shepherd!
You must be able to provide your dog with all of his exercise needs, play, and care as this will prevent any future behavior problems, for example, destructive chewing.
So, what makes a good first dog, anyway? Well, the best breeds for good first dogs are those that are considered easy to train, highly intelligent, get along well with other dogs and people, are loyal and protective, and have good general health.
Keeping Your Child Safe With A German Shepherd
Many problems between children and GSDs develop when neither understands the body language of the other. Small kids get over-excited, move rapidly and unexpectedly and scream in high-pitched voices.
GSDs may interpret these actions and noises as invitations to play. When infact the child might consider the dog interacting as a fearful event.
A GSDs attempts to befriend and play with a child might appear as an attack by the child, causing long-term mental trauma to the child.
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History Of The German Shepherd
The ancestors of German shepherd dogs acted as both servants and companions to humans for hundreds of years. Developed from old shepherd and farm dogs, the GSD we know today was first introduced in Germany in 1899. Captain Max von Stephanitz is credited with the breed’s beginnings.
During World Wars I and II, the word “German” was dropped, and the breed was referred to as the shepherd dog or the Alsatian .
Worldwide interest in the breed began rising in the early 1900s and the GSD was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1908. In modern times it remains as one of the most popular dog breeds, currently ranking second in the AKC listings. Cross-breeding these dogs with Shiloh shepherds resulted in king shepherds.
There is recent controversy over the breeding of show dogs to have a sloping back rather than the straight back seen with working dogs. This practice has been criticized as leading to poor gait.
Do German Shepherds Make Good Family Dogs: Pros And Cons
German Shepherd dogs are so popular as family pets today that only the venerated Labrador Retriever outranks them!
Having said that, there are distinct pros and cons to consider before making a decade-long commitment to sharing your family with a GSD.
Are German Shepherds good family dogs for your family?
Studying these pros and cons may help you decide!
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What Small Breeds Can Live With German Shepherds
Now, small dogs mixed with a high-energy German Shepherd may result in injury, so keep that in mind before purchasing a German Shepherd if you have a smaller breed.
Surprisingly, many people report owning both a corgi and a German Shepherd. It could be that the two just naturally get along since they are both social animals with a lot of energy.
But, try to be wary if they start to fight, or try to establish dominance. Corgis like to play, and so GSDs, so, naturally, someone might get hurt.
Brave, high energy, and handsome at that, a Belgian Sheepdog makes a great friend for a GSD because of their mutual interests in herding, running, and generally being outdoors. Since theyre both made for herding sheep, cows, and at times, people, these two breeds will most likely get along.
This can vary from dog to dog, as some poodles might not enjoy the German Shepherds high energy level, but if youre lucky, or just good at rearing dogs, you might get a pair that will heartily enjoy each others company.
Theres a better success rate if you raise both from a young age, though keep in mind that training will likely be necessary to keep both of them under control.
Now, these two couldnt more different. One is big and handsome, the other small and pretty. But, just like any good friendship, these two breeds do have a few things in common. For starters, they are both social, energetic animals that love to walk.
Can German Shepherds Be Left Alone
German Shepherds are dogs that need attention and they love to be around their people. They are also very intelligent dogs that need to be mentally stimulated if not easily bored.
Its also quite common for German Shepherds to develop separation anxiety when left alone for long periods. This can lead to excessive destructive behaviors and barking.
This does not mean that they cannot be left alone. But there are some considerations and precautions you have to take before leaving your dog home alone.
In general, an adult German Shepherd can stay alone for up to six hours, although some may be alone for up to eight hours.
But a German Shepherd puppy should not be alone for more than two hours because they cant hold their bladder for long and are not used to being alone.
Since they are very energetic and very intelligent dogs, its a breed that is easily bored when they are left alone. A bored German Shepherd is going to look for ways to burn his energy and entertain himself.
Some tips to help your dog better manage the time hes alone are:
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Good With People And Dogs
Youll be the one spending the most amount of time with your dog, but you also want to make sure that hes well-behaved around other people and dogs.
Early socialization is therefore extremely important. A dog thats protective of you is great, but a dog thats friendly and welcoming in the right situation is even better!
German Shepherds are friendly towards strangers as long as they sense your approval first.
My GSD is extremely protective however, she is well trained, and once she knows Im okay with the stranger visiting the house, she completely relaxes and will show affection to the newcomer.
German Shepherds are also good with kids and babies again, as long as they have been properly socialized. They are particularly good with children they have grown up with due to their loyal and protective nature.
They Adapt To Any Lifestyle
Whatever the change, your German Shepherd can adapt to it.
This is one of the best things about this breed. They can thrive in any lifestyle. Whatever it is, they will adapt to it. They can adjust to fit your lifestyle.
Moving to a new place? Having a baby? No problem.
Your German Shepherd can also adapt to any conditions. Whether its cold or hot. May it be a huge family or a small family.
It doesnt matter if you have a huge backyard or living in an apartment. Even if they stay inside or outside the house, adapting is easy.
Note: Your German Shepherd can adapt to any changes. But it is not advisable getting this dog if you live in an apartment. They get so big and need a big place to move around.t let you to pet or cuddle him
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At The End Of The Day Is A German Shepherd Dog Right For You
History and 100 years of experience proved that the German Shepherd Dog is a hard worker that also makes it a loyal family pet and guardian.
German Shepherd Dog owners should be prepared for an energetic dog that needs a job. Even if your GSD will be a pet, they were bred to work and will need an outlet for their energy and drive. Keep in mind that you will need to provide your dog with extensive physical and mental exercise every day. Do you have the time and energy to properly socialize and train your GSD? Do you have a steady income if any health issues arise? Do you have enough space for this large breed to flourish? Ask yourself these questions before getting a German Shepherd Dog.
The German Shepherd Dogs high profile in law enforcement, dog sports, media, and service work has shaped the love and attitude that has developed about this versatile breed. If you are ready to own a GSD, first find a responsible breeder. Your breeder should ask you questions about your lifestyle and answer your questions about the breed. If both you and the breeder are sure the German Shepherd Dog is right for you, enjoy an action-packed life with your new best friend!
They Have High Energy And So Should You
If theres one thing you can count on German Shepherds, they are energetic.
In fact, a walk around several blocks is just warm-up for an adult German Shepherd.
That said, know what your dog can expect from you. If youre not much into working out, then owning a German Shepherd could be difficult.
But it could also be a challenge. You adapt to an active lifestyle to keep up with a German Shepherd.
So when you get home from work, you simply dont chill in front of the TV. You grab the leash and get your German Shepherd out of that door. Time for a late afternoon walk.
And when weekends come, you take your German Shepherd hiking or free running. You do a lot of play sessions and training.
Its easier when German Shepherds are young.
Thats because they only need a few minutes of exercise a day. For instance, a 3-month old puppy needs 15 minutes of exercise.
But as they grow, their exercise becomes longer.
Remember that these dogs have high energy levels. And you need to have the right exercise plan to tire them out.
All of these can be exhausting to a novice owner.
You dont have to be a health buff. But it helps if youre healthy. This way, you can keep up with the physical demands of raising a German Shepherd.
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