Is A German Shepherd Right For Your Family
So, is a German Shepherd a good family dog? And, are German Shepherds good with kids?
When they are given the appropriate training, exercise, and care.
A GSD is a larger breed dog that is generally tolerant of grabs, prods, and occasional tail tugs from children in the family. Many families adopt or buy German Shepherds because they are so loyal to their families, especially kids.
While large dog, they generally enjoy their close family members and may see kids as their flock that needs protection. They need plenty of exercise and love the outdoors.
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German Shepherds Are Good Family Dogs
What would a pet dog be if it did not have a knack for family? It would probably display behavior that reflects its ancestral wolf nature. Not so the German Shepherd! This dog breed is known for its unwavering devotion to its family. Once they are part of the family through proper socialization and training, they become very affectionate and caring.
Over the years dogs have developed specific skills allowing them to communicate with humans. Your German Shepherd will show affection by lying down with his muzzle on your feet, cuddling, hugging, licking your face, or looking straight into your eyes.
This last quality has been used to compare dogs to humans. Just as humans, dogs gaze into their owners eyes to express an emotional bond. According to a study, the same love hormone that is produced when humans express gaze-mediated emotions is produced in dogs when they show affection by gazing straight into your eyes.
German Shepherds will also show affection to a member of their family through herding. While some may wonder why their GSD follows them everywhere or goes ahead of them and looks back every few minutes, this is often their way of protecting you. They will herd you and ensure you are back home safely.
Are German Shepherds Aggressive
German Shepherds have ended up with a bit of a reputation for being dangerous, aggressive dogs. This isnt necessarily true, however. A shepherds temperament is very much dependent on what theyve been bred to do. German Shepherds are often bred for particular kinds of work youll see them as police dogs, herders, and show dogs, amongst other things. For example, if a dog is bred to be brave or competitive to be a guard dog, theyre likely to have higher aggression.
On the other hand, shepherds bred to be show dogs will be less aggressive instead, they tend towards extreme skittishness and hyperactivity. Either of these shepherd lines could make a good pet, but it would require obtaining them at a young age, followed by lots of socialization and training. For a German Shepherd with a calmer temperament, youll do better to look for a breeder who has focused on general breeding . There is also the option of white shepherds or long-haired shepherds since they are less often bred for aggressive work. Regardless of which line of shepherd you go with, you will need to be sure to provide much socialization and training.
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Grooming And Nail Care
The double coat of a German Shepherd is easy to maintain. They require weekly brushing, and occasional baths, says Richardson. They may shed profusely once or twice a year.
If you dont keep up with grooming, expect large tumbleweeds of shed hair around the house, says Downes.
Nails should be trimmed every six to 10 weeks to prevent overgrown claws.
They Are Great With Children
Youre probably wondering whether such a big dog is a good choice when you have small children.
While of course their size compared to babies and very young children needs to be considered, so that they dont accidentally do any harm, GSDs are actually an excellent breed to own when you have small kids.
They have an excellent balance of playfulness and protectiveness when it comes to younger children. Children want to be loved, entertained and protected and a GSD is perfect for this job.
When well socialized as a puppy, they have the patience and the temperament to be happy around kids of all ages. They genuinely enjoy the attention that they receive from children.
This means that as an adult you can let your GSD and kids entertain themselves. A GSD makes for a great babysitter. But this does not mean that you should leave your dog and child home alone!
And remember that proper training and socialization as a puppy is essential for a GSD if you want it to be the great family pet that we know and love.
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They Are Loyal To A Fault
Dogs, in general, are loyal animals. They can be more loyal than some people you know.
German Shepherds are known for their loyalty that makes the bond with their owner even stronger. So loyal that they would go through great lengths for their owners.
Theres a story about a German Shepherd named Kostya from Russia. He and his owners were in a car crash. Kostya was the only survivor. Everybody seemed to have forgotten about him while his owners were removed from the scene.
Kostya never left the place. Everyday he would wait for his owners. Eventually, people noticed him. Some even tried to adopt him to no avail. That was because Kostya didnt want to leave his spot.
Seven years later, Kostya was found dead in the woods. The story of his loyalty touched peoples lives.
In 2003, they erected a bronze sculpture of Kostya looking east. It was right on the spot where he had waited for his owners for years.
People can learn love and devotion from dogs. With a German Shepherd, youll have a best friend you can count on.
What Is The Best Dog Food For A German Shepherd
German Shepherds require a low-protein diet of around 18% protein and 1,740 to 2,100 calories per day. Giving your pup high-quality dog food should eliminate the need for supplemental vitamins and nutrients. Some dogs require specific dietary requirements, so be sure to check with your vet about the right food for your dog. If you want to simplify feeding in your home, our experts review fresh dog food, raw food, and food delivery options.
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What Makes A Good Esa Dog
When choosing an ESA dog, whether a GermanShepherd ESA or any other species, it is crucial to make sure that the dog willmake a suitable emotional support pet.
The first consideration will be personality.Is a specific dog of a temperament that is suited to providingemotional support? Some breeds and specific animals have aloof or distantpersonalities that may make them difficult to connect with for some people. Onthe other side of the spectrum, some animals may be very full-on and constantlycraving attention and connection. An animal like this could become irritating oroverwhelming to a certain type of owner. So in terms of personality, it isreally important that a good ESA dog has compatibilitywith its specific owner.
Another big consideration is the size of anESA dog. An animals size will determine where it can live and how muchexercise it needs. A good ESA dog for a specific person will depend on wherethat person lives, as well as their schedule and the amount of free time theyhave to dedicate to looking after their emotional support pet.
German Shepherds Are Healthy
German Shepherd are one of the healthiest dog breed. They can live to up to 13 years if they are properly cared for. German Shepherds love to exercise, thus they are free from weight problems. German Shepherds are prone to several health risks such as hip and elbow dysplasia which later lead to arthritis, degenerative myelopathy and others diseases, but the risk of suffering from these diseases is greatly reduced if proper nutrition and veterinary care are given.
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How Much Does A German Shepherd Cost
How much is a German Shepherd? On average, a German Shepherd costs between $500 and $1,500 when purchased from a breeder. The cost can fluctuate depending on the location and reputation of the breeder. You can also consider getting a German Shepherd from a rescue organization. This option may be less expensive, but you may also have to wait until they have a dog available for you.
They Could Be Aggressive Toward Other Dogs
Theres no doubt that German Shepherds are loyal, but sometimes they may become too aggressive towards other dogs. If not trained and socialized properly, theres always a possibility that your German Shepherd will become aggressive toward other people or dogs when hes fearful or anxious.
Training and socializing your German Shepherd puppy is an effective way to make him calm.
Its also important not to separate him from his mother or littermates too early. Puppies should not be removed from their mother until they are at least 8-weeks old as they learn so much during this time, in particular when not to annoy their mother too much!
The puppies are still learning their bite inhibition, and if this isnt mastered, its one reason why they may continue to bite as they havent learned acceptable social behavior. To find out tons more about how to discipline a German Shepherd for biting, check out this top post.
Once you have brought your puppy home, as soon as you canstart taking your pup out, its crucial to continue his socialization around other dogs and people.
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They Make Great Road Trip Companions
While many dogs love riding in cars, in my personal experience, GSDs really, really, really love riding in cars.
One of my GSDs accompanied my family on many a road trip across the entire country. He never acted out and very easily merged with my familys schedule. Our rest stops were his rest stops. Our feeding time was his feeding time. Our bedtime was his bedtime.
The only issue we ever ran across was finding a hotel for the night that accepted large dogs. So just plan ahead and make a phone call or two, and you should have accommodation for all sorted out rather easily.
And, based on my experiences, I can say without hesitation that a GSD makes for a better road trip companion than most people I know .
German Shepherds Are Active
German Shepherds have high energy levels. They can spend their whole days outdoor. If you love jogging, hiking and hunting, German Shepherds are one of the best companions you can have. If you have children at home, they can play with German Shepherds as long as they can because these dogs don’t get tired easily.
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Important Facts You Should Know About German Shepherd
Hope! you have made your mind to buy a German Shepherd as your first dog and can be ideal for you. You should also see some interesting facts that will make your concept crystal clear before buying this breed.
However, I am throwing light on some of the positive aspects of German Shepherd. But you will have to get the right decision before adopting this breed seeing their nature, behavior, and strength.
You can also watch this video that will also tell you the important facts about the German Shepherd and it will be useful to you before the adoption of this breed.
Now its time for us to take a quick look at some of the important facts that you should know about German Shepherd:
German Shepherd Shedding And Grooming
The German Shepherd dog does have a short coat, but it is a thick double layer.
One common question many aspiring GSD owners have is about shedding.
Like many working dog breeds, the GSD will shed quite noticeably at least twice per year .
During this time, daily brushing will help you keep extra hair off the floors and furniture!
Otherwise, a good brushing a few times per week and regular baths will generally be all you need to do to keep your GSDs coat healthy.
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What Are The Downsides Of German Shepherds
Theres no perfect family dog. No matter what breed you end up picking there are going to be some upsides and downsides.
Here are a few of the downsides to take into account when wondering whether a german shepherd is going to be a good fit for your family.
They Need Lots Of Your Time
Due to their high intelligence and energy levels, german shepherds are going to need a lot of your time. Theyll need to be taking out regularly and in the beginning, youll also need to take the time to train them as well.
If your family cant spend a lot of the day with your german shepherd then should you rethink your decision.
When you dont spend a lot of time with them, the chances are theyre going to become unruly and could end up wrecking things in your house.
They Need To Be Socialised
As well as spending lots of time with them, youll also need to make sure theyre being socialized properly as well.
Socialising needs to start as early as possible. So make sure youre introducing them to as many people and animals as possible.
Without proper socialization, theyre more likely to be aloof and aggressive towards people and animals.
They Constantly Shed
Another problem with german shepherds is that they shed for the entire year. This means youre going to have to do more cleaning to keep your home tidy.
However, it is important to note that a lot of dogs shed all year, so this really shouldnt be a deal-breaker for you.
They Have A Prey Drive And Like To Herd
What Makes German Shepherds Good Family Pets
Fortunately, there are lots of reasons german shepherds make great family pets. If youre still not 100% certain german shepherds are the right choice for you, then this section should clear up the answer for you.
Here are all the different reasons they make great companions.
Theyre Extremely Intelligent
German shepherds are one of the most intelligent dog breeds around.
Dogs that are intelligent can be taught a lot of different commands and retain the ability to remember them.
However, on the flip side, high levels of intelligence also mean theyre going to become bored easily. So a german shepherd will best fit with a family who can spend lots of time with them and keep their mind active.
One thing all great family dogs have intrinsically built into them is loyalty. And german shepherds are some of the most loyal dogs around.
Theyll see you, your family and other pets as part of their pack, and theyll do anything to make sure youre all safe and okay.
And in most cases, this loyalty means they like to be around you. If you want a dog thats always going to be there to be stroked, then german shepherds are a great choice.
They Love The Outdoors
German shepherds are naturally athletic, lean dogs. They love being outdoors and exercising. If your family also loves the outdoors then german shepherds are going to be the perfect fit.
If you often take walks through the woods or along the beach then your german shepherd is going to be right at home.
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German Shepherds Are Loyal And Protective
Loyalty is a great personality that can be found in dogs. German Shepherds have a particularly strong sense of loyalty. They would protect not only their owners, but also all their family members in the household. The strong sense of loyalty and protective instinct make German Shepherds a good guard dog. However, proper socialisation and training is required so that they wont become overprotective.
Getting To Know The German Shepherd Dog Breed
In the late 1800s, Max Emil Friedrich von Stephanitz, while studying at the Berlin Veterinary School, became interested in the herding dogs that were being used throughout Germany. But instead of pursuing a career in veterinary medicine or his dream as a gentleman farmer, he relented to family pressure and joined the military.
As a cavalry officer in the German countryside, Von Stephanitz came to admire the sheep-herding dogs he encountered. He noticed their keen intelligence and lightning-fast responsiveness as well as their special abilities to herd sheep. In Germany, flocks of sheep are moved from their pens to open areas along the road where they can pasture. The dogs job is to keep the sheep on the grassy roadside, away from fast-moving cars and out of a farmers crops. This kind of sheep herding is very demanding and is called tending or boundary herding. The AKC offers a sport called Herding C course. It mirrors this kind of boundary work or as some call it the invisible fence.
His first efforts were to place emphasis on standardizing the many German flavors of herding dogs that were identifiable as sheepdogs. In the beginning, how they looked was of little importance. His emphasis remained on fixing the traits he considered central to producing the ultimate German herding farm dog. Because the herding instinct and their working ability was not the issue, he focused on the upright ears and wolf-like body style that so many fanciers admired.
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They Can Be Pretty Easy To Train
Training a dog is never easy, but it does help when you own a dog thats considered highly intelligent like the German Shepherd is!
As long as youre willing to remain consistent with your training and reinforce good behavior, training your German Shepherd wont be too difficult of a task.
If you want to learn about the right way to train your German Shepherd, I highly recommend Zak Georges Dog Training YouTube channel. Zaks methodology and ethical manner of teaching are so helpful that hes become somewhat of a celebrity trainer. And while popularity is not always an indicator of quality, it certainly is in this instance.