German Shepherds Are Extremely Smart
If you own a German Shepherd, you may have suspected the dog is more intelligent than you are. After all, what can this breed not do or handle?
The German Shepherd dog breed has gained a positive reputation for its incredible intelligence levels, and they can also learn new behaviors fast within a short period.
Additionally, these dogs have the desire to cooperate and also work with people. Some of these traits are viewed as a way to please their human owners.
This breed has also excelled in different competitions over the years, including ones that test their ability to be obedient.
Since GSDs are very intelligent, they should be provided with mentally stimulating toys. They should also take part in games and training that challenge their brains.
My Experience With German Shepherd Temperament
Temperament and behavior stem from what the breed was designed for
To understand a breed’s temperament and behavior, ask, “What was he developed to do?” Whichever traits help him accomplish his intended work have likely been “hard-wired” into his genes not perfectly, but generally.
The German Shepherd was developed from various sheepherding dogs. So you would expect sheepherding traits such as athleticism, a compulsion to chase things that move, and swift responsiveness to their human shepherd/master.
German Shepherds were also developed as military messenger and sentry dogs, and as personal protection and police dogs. So expect traits such as aloofness toward strangers and protective/territorial instincts.
The breed also excels at search and rescue, bomb and drug detection, and guiding the blind. Certainly you would expect high intelligence, high self-confidence, trainability, and an ability to focus.
All of those traits are what you get in an ideal German Shepherd. One of the most capable and trainable breeds in all of dogdom, an ideal German Shepherd, when properly raised by a confident owner, can be a magnificent companion. There’s a good reason my first dogs were German Shepherds!
Unfortunately, it can be difficult today to find a German Shepherd with an ideal temperament. Or at least an ideal temperament to be a good family companion.
Different lines have different temperaments
My recommendation for a good family dog
I hope you can see….
Can You Use Food To Strengthen Bonding
Treats, especially, seem to pave the way towards developing friendships between humans and dogs. Multiple factors are likely responsible for bonding through the use of tidbits.
First, you usually will select a highly-desired morsel to tempt your dog. By dispensing your dogs favorite treats, you are supplying a high return on her investment, which can be an action or behavior. Fair rewards stimulate bonding.
Second, treats as part of training establish bonding through an interactive activity that reinforces your leadership role in your dogs life. Moreover, training can lead to a sense of satisfaction and partnership between you and your dog.
Relying on food alone to establish a bond with your German Shepherd is risky. Many Shepherds are not very food-oriented. A Shepherd may not take you seriously if you do not spend much quality time with her, even if you are the primary caretaker.
Have you ever witnessed a situation where Mother fed the family dog, but the pet still associated most closely with one of the children or perhaps Dad? Theories suggest that the dogs pack mentality does not necessarily tie feeding to close familial bonds.
If you think about how dogs relate in the wild, their seeming lack of gratitude for food makes sense.
Everyone in the pack feeds on whatever the hunters bring down. Contrary to popular belief, Alpha dogs do not even eat first in a pack of wolves.
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Gsds Are Incredibly Smart
If youre a German Shepherd owner, you have a strong suspicion your dog might actually be smarter than you are. After all, what cant your dog do? These dogs are known for their intelligence and many can learn a new behavior in only a few repetitions. In addition, they have a legendary desire to cooperate and work with us, a trait many see as a wish to please their humans. No wonder this breed excels at so many activities and is a top Obedience competitor. Because German Shepherds are one of the brightest breeds, be sure to be consistent, use positive reinforcement-based methods, provide plenty of mentally stimulating toys, and play brain-challenging games.
Will A German Shepherd Work With Your Lifestyle
Although German Shepherds can work brilliantly for a lot of first-time owners, its best that you sit down and think about your situation before you go out and buy one.
Remember that dogs arent just something you can buy to look cool and easily take care of because theyre not. Dogs require a lot of time, love, attention, and money, so take a moment to think about why you really want a German Shepherd.
If youve been wanting to own a dog for a long time and youve decided on a German Shepherd, there are some other things you need to think about. These dogs arent the most time consuming, but they do still take up a lot more time than most other breeds. Take some time to look at your situation and consider the following things:
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The First Guide Dog Was A German Shepherd
The aftereffects of World War I made it possible for German shepherd to be known by the military force. This led to training camps in Switzerland, focusing on honing the skills of Germans shepherds.
This German shepherd information is often unknown to many, but it actually contributes to why these dogs are very skilled in various roles.
Regardless, after some time, they produced the very first guide dog.
Guide dogs are dogs that escort blind people from place to place. The first guide dog, Buddy, is a female German shepherd.
Thats why we can consider German shepherds as the pioneer of service dogs. This also made it possible for other breeds to be guide dogs, including Labradors and Golden Retrievers.
German Shepherd Dogs Are Prone To Hip And Elbow Dysplasia
Since the beginning of this blog post, we talked about the positive German shepherd puppy facts. However, as an owner, its important to be knowledgeable about the possible threats to your dog.
Sure, German shepherds are healthy dogs. We all know this. But theres no denying that they arent flawless.
German shepherds are prone to certain health issues. And the two most common health problems to the German shepherd breed are hip and elbow dysplasia. Both of these conditions involves abnormality in the skeletal system.
Its important to know about this so you can achieve a greater sense of urgency to help your dog overcome these challenges.
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Service Dog Amazes Internet By Catching Epileptic Owner During Seizure
The moment a seizure alert dog came to the rescue of his owner has gone viral, after the video started as just a practice run.
In less than one day the video has gained over 2 million views, as service dog Max noticed the first signs of Tina’s seizure before she did and impressively reacted quickly.
Tina has had epileptic seizures since 2001 but lost her memory after one in August 2018. German Shepherd Max, who she calls her “life saver” and “best friend” is on hand now to help her out during those moments.
In the video, which began as a training session video to share on TikTok, Max kept jumping up to the kitchen counter, despite Tina repeatedly telling him to get down.
Suddenly, Tina fell to the floor, with Max there to break her fall and create a barrier between her and the floor as she has a seizure.
“This was supposed to be a training session clip but he alerted me to something I didn’t know was coming,” she wrote in the caption.
Seizure alert dogs are trained to warn their owners before a seizure starts, allowing them to move to a safe place for it to happen. They are also trained to put their body between the seizing owner and the floor to break the fall, and to lie next to them to prevent injury, just like Max did in the viral clip.
Nutrition And Feeding For A German Shepherd
One of the most important considerations to keep in mind when caring for an animal is what to feed them. Generally, the rules remain the same when feeding any animal. The contents of their food should consist of natural, whole foods, high in protein but low in calories from grains. Shepherds are no exception and will get the most benefit out of protein-rich kibble where the top ingredients consist of human-grade foods.
Some of the best ingredients to look out for are:
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The Difference Between A Guard Dog And A Personal Protection Dog
Guard dogs are working dogs who are naturally intelligent and protective, willing and capable of performing a specific protective function for which they have been specially trained.
Personal protection dogs are family pets who are naturally loyal and protective, willing and capable of defending their homes and families from danger.
Typically, the characteristics that make a good personal protection dog also make a good working guard dog and vice versa. German Shepherds possess the characteristics required for a personal protection dog and a working guard dog. The difference comes in with training.
German Shepherds Provide Constant Companionship
Those who own German Shepherds can ascertain that they are never alone because this breed is always by your side and underfoot.
German Shepherds are instinctively protective of their pack and not welcoming to strangers, yet they are loving and gentle around their families. They are also dedicated and affectionate.
German Shepherds do not do well when left alone repeatedly for extended periods. They are pack animals and want to spend time with their human counterparts. The more you include them in activities and routines, the more they will thrive.
Because of the German Shepherds protective and loyal nature, they make great family dogs. Watchful yet tolerant and patient with small children and kids.
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German Shepherds Are The 2nd Most Popular Dogs
So up until this point, you learned some obscure German shepherd characteristics: they are trainable, heroic, and smart. This explains why they were able to achieve popularity that is greater than most breeds.
German shepherds are the 2nd most popular dog in America, at least if were going to look at the American Kennel Clubs rankings.
This German shepherd information might already be known to others.
Their popularity also has something to do with their high acceptance rate to professions, in addition to the breeds intelligence and obedience.
They were also popular since the start of the breed, but thats another one of our German shepherd facts and myths.
So before that, lets tackle one of the German shepherd facts and also one of the reasons why German shepherds are very popular now.
Why Do German Shepherds Pee When Excited
Excitement urination in dogs is especially associated with puppies, and its expected that they will grow out of this behavior with age.
When you scratch your GSDs belly, arrive home from work, or a visitor greets them, all these can cause them extreme excitement, and your puppy may pee small amounts of urine. Of course, this is a problem if your pup is on the carpet or lying on your new couch!
According to UCDavis Veterinary Medicine, excitement urination in dogs may also be triggered by a few other causes:
- Accidental reinforcement this means that you sympathize with and excuse your German Shepherds inability to always hold their urine, and they begin to use it as a way to find sympathy from you.
- Bladder sphincter this is a bladder dysfunction that comes with decreased bladder control.
- Genetic predisposition your dogs parents were predisposed or had the condition.
Excitement urination should be differentiated from urine-marking which is a behavior problem. Dogs will spray to mark their territory or communicate their belonging to you. You can learn how to deal with German Shepherd spraying here.
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Gsds Are Loving Companions
These are very social dogs who want to spend time with their humans. The more time your dog gets to spend with you, the happier your companion will be. They may exhibit aloofness with strangers rather than immediately adoring everyone they see, but that only makes their love even more special. Plus, these loyal and dedicated guardians and gentle family pets are willing to put their life on the line to protect their loved ones. And you cant ask for a more loving best friend than that.
Why Do German Shepherds Tilt Their Heads
There is nothing cuter than a German Shepherd head-tilt and you will find tons of pictures and videos of dogs tilting their heads on all social media platforms. Many owners will make plenty of strange sounds just to see their pup perform an adorable head tilt. So, why do German Shepherds tilt their heads?
German Shepherds tilt their heads when they become interested in something different. They use the position of their head, and more specifically, their ears to learn the direction of the new sound. They also tilt their head when trying to understand what youre saying and to increase visual cues.
There are a lot of other behaviors that German Shepherd Dogs portray. You can read about problematic behaviors in this breed and their solutions from my article on German Shepherd Behavior Problems.
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German Shepherds Are Highly Adaptable
Part of the reasons why German Shepherds are popular is because they are adaptable to any kind of lifestyle and living situation. Homes with a large yard is ideal for German Shepherds, but they can easily adapt to apartment living as long as they get enough exercise. If you are planning to get a German Shepherd, you dont have to adjust your current lifestyle, it can easily adjust itself and suit your lifestyle.
Showing Signs Of Over
GSDs are naturally protective of their family and will usually gravitate most towards one person in the family. However, if they start becoming possessive or start guarding that person against other family members, that could lead to aggressive behavior and should be addressed by a professional trainer or animal behaviorist immediately.
It Is In Their Wolf Ancestry
In the wolf world where dogs have their ancestry, staring is rude and threatening. So, when your dog stares at you continuously, he might be manifesting an evolutionary holdover from his ancestral roots and communicating some displeasure. And if the uninterrupted hard stare is directed to a stranger, they should back away and not stare back!
Are German Shepherds One Person Dogs
There are a lot of thoughts when it comes to German Shepherds. Of course, they are well-known to be incredibly smart and protective of their loved ones, while also being a bit aggressive when they become threatened but overall lovable. So whats the verdict when it comes to the loyalty of a German Shepherd? How does German Shepherd temperament play into loyalty?
Are German Shepherds one person dogs? Yes, for the most part. German Shepherds are loyal to the ones who feed, train and play with him the most. However, that doesnt mean that he wont be friendly or protective of others. You can also train your German Shepherd to be less of a one-owner dog and more of an overall loyal family pet with ease.
Its no secret that German Shepherds make excellent guard dogs, and thats all thanks to their protective nature. But when it comes to being loyal to just one person there is a lot more that goes into it. If youre wondering about the loyalty of German Shepherds and how you can broaden their loyalty to more than one person, keep reading.
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Is There Any Way To Help A German Shepherd Bond With More Than One Person
Yes, there are a few things to do that help a German Shepherd bond with people other than their primary caregiver.
Allowing them to spend time with others in varying situations will help them bond with others. This time can include going for a walk with another person and having another person feed them or care for them. It can also include affectionate moments spent between the German Shepherd and other people.
This breed is a very loyal dog breed, but they do adjust easily. The bonds that they form with others will never take the strong relationship they have with their leader and caregiver, similar to the bond they share with the mother dog.
The best way to promote this bonding with others is to ensure that the activities are fun and enjoyable.
Since they are a very active working dog, they require a lot of physical activity. Those who wish to bond with them will find success in bonding over activities that offer the German Shepherd a chance to expel their energy and perform some work.
The more the German Shepherd spends time around many people, having fun, working, and living, the more likely they are to have a special bond with many people.