Your German Shepherds Feet: The Reality
Many German Shepherd owners simply arent interested so much in breed standards unless theyre showing their dogs for competition.
For the average owner, we just want our GSDs paws to stay healthy and strong so that our companions are able to move about in comfort and enjoy our walks together.
Lets take a look at some pictures of German Shepherd Dogs paws and feet.
Can German Shepherds Live Outside
German Shepherds are great outdoors pets that love to explore nature and play in wide-open expanses.
However, can german shepherds live outside?
Many pet owners might be wondering whether they can safely leave their pets outside. There are many potential factors to consider with this decision.
This includes wild animals, weather, bugs, and general dangers that occur when a pet is left alone.
So, Ill do my best to answer this question in full detail for you. In general, most dogs like to stay indoors with their owners.
Living inside helps to build security and trust between you and your German Shepherd. And it is much more comfortable for a dog to stay inside with an owner and their family.
However, there are some cases where a pet owner might need to leave their dog outside.
Ill talk about what weather conditions your dog can handle, and whether you should let your dog live outside fully.
Overview Of The German Shepherd Breed
The breed has long been known for its protective nature, familial bond, sloping topline, and inquisitive eyes that seem to carefully assess the environment. True to name, most historians refer to German military officer and aspiring veterinarian, Max von Stephanitz as the father of the modern German Shepherd breed. Despite a three decade long name change because of anti-German sentiment during and post World War II, popularity continued to increase in the United States, sky rocketing to the become the second most popular breed in the US. The returning WWI soldiers and features in television shows to include Strongheart and Rin Tin Tin lead to a rapid ascent in popularity.
Today the protective nature and classic brown/ black two-layer coat are traits most dog people are familiar with when envisioning the German Shepherd Dog. GSDs are great dogs, but may require more more deliberate socialization than other popular breeds. These high-energy working dogs require a great deal of engagement and excise and have well documented health concerns as a member of the DogGear team is well aware. In the end, GSDs are highly intelligent, fiercely loyal and affectionate dogs that simply want to be near their owner at all times.
German Shepherds are high energy dogs, notably as puppies and during adolescence. GSDs are true working dogs and adult GSDs crave a purpose and task. Many older German Shepherds suffer of hip dysplasia and are less active during the twilight years.
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How Cold Is Too Cold
Unlike some Northern breeds who were bred to live and sleep in the snow, like Huskies, Saint Bernards, and Malamutes, German Shepherds were bred to live and work with people and livestock. Your Shepherd wont mind even extremely cold temperatures as long as they are on the move and active.
In extremely cold temperatures, you made need to protect your Shepherds paws with boots/booties or balm.
Their paws were not designed for running through snow all day for extended periods, but rather the Shepherd typically has bursts of activity along with time to lick their paws. If you expect your dog to run all day in the snow, paw protection is in order.
Make Sure Your Gsd Puppy Gets Its Nutrients
A lot of german shepherd owners feed their puppies commercial dry dog food, canned wet foods or a combination of both. While others may prefer feeding them a home made diet. Raw diets are also becoming popular.
Whatever are your and your puppys preferences, you have to ensure that they get the right amount of nutrients.
The amount and type of food you have to feed depends on
- Your puppys age
- Your puppys weight and size
- Your puppys conditions
- Brand or quality of food
Remember not to overfeed or underfeed your GSD puppy. It can cause problems later on. Your best bet is to check in with your vet, and ask for diet recommendations.
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Ways To Keep Your Dog Warm In Colder Weather
As winter approaches, a good rule of thumb is to keep your dog indoors unless supervised for potty and play. Generally, these are what you need to keep them safe and comfortable in cold weather:
- Keep them indoors. The most important thing to keep your dog safe in frigid temperatures is to let them stay indoors. Always make sure they have proper shelter than protects them from snow, wind, and rain.
- Ensure access to fresh water. Proper hydration will help your dog tolerate the chilly weather. Always check that their water bowl is filled with clean water that hasnt frozen over.
- Provide proper beddings. Give your dog thicker blankets so they can bundle up when they want to. You can even roll the blankets up and shape them in a circle so your dog can nest. Also, try to keep your dogs bed away from the ground. An elevated bed keeps their body further away from the cold as they sleep.
- Increase their food servings. Just being in frosty weather makes your dog use up more energy. So, feed them more food to keep their bodies from using their fat and muscle stores for energy.
- Get some clothes. Dog clothes are generally unnecessary for GSDs unless temperatures reach critically low levels or your dog is particularly sensitive to the cold. In those cases, additional insulation through dog sweaters or vests will be helpful.
Hazards In The Garden
Another factor in helping you reconsider leaving your German Shepherd outside is your garden.
If you leave your curious dog unattended, they might ingest something in your garden. Some of these things can be very dangerous for them.
Toxic Fertilizers and Other Garden Substances
Some ingredients in fertilizers, compost, pesticides, and additives might be toxic to dogs when ingested.
If you see signs of drooling, diarrhea, or vomiting, consult your vet immediately.
Much like specific foods, several plants and flowers are toxic to German Shepherds.
If you dont secure your garden, your dog can dig up and eat your plants. Some might cause gastrointestinal discomfort, while others might induce seizures or comas.
Some examples of plants you shouldnt let your dogs come into contact with include:
- Tomato plants
The German Shepherd is an adaptable breed. Once acclimated, they can tolerate and do well in both hot and cold climates. So its up to you to pay very close attention to your dog and to understand when its time to either warm your GSD up or cool it down.
Can German shepherds live in cold weather? German Shepherds do great in cold weather as long as they have the standard stock coat and are appropriately acclimated to the weather. Our dogs are outside with us even when its -10 degrees. Tolerates Hot Weather?
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Which Dog Boots Are Best For Your Dog
Either at home or on vacation, dog boots can make your dog more comfortable on walks and hikes. Perhaps rocky trails are taking a toll, or gravel roads are too much for sensitive paws. Unforgiving plants like cacti, goat heads, and sand burrs can quickly ruin your day. And the weather presents its own challenges with snow and hot pavement!
As dog lovers, we all suffer when we see that tender paw lift, knowing our pups are hurting. Whether its related to terrain, weather, or protection from the local flora, dog boots can make the adventure more enjoyable.
*This post contains affiliate links. Thank you!*
To help you decide which is the best dog boot for your dog, Hercules and Cool Whip helped test five different options. We hope our research allow you to find the paw-fect protection.
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German Shepherd Color Changes
Almost all German Shepherd puppies are born with a coat that looks nothing like their adult coat. As the puppies grow, theyre going to grow new hair and the color will change at the mark of 6 months, 18 months, and finally when the puppy is two years old.
Sable German Shepherd puppies change colors as they grow older. They will probably reach their final adult color when the dog is almost 3 years old. Black and tan puppies are usually born with pure black coats. They will start shedding the baby hair when the puppy is 6 months old, and the tan color will start to pop out.
However, some black and sable dogs are born with a lighter coat. As the dog grows, it will start to grow more black hair, darkening the overall color of the coat.
Do Australian Shepherds Get Lonely
One of the best things about owning an Aussie is being loyal and friendly to the owner.
Unfortunately, they dont manage well when left alone for too long. Australian Shepherds are social dogs prone to separation anxiety.
Originally, they were meant to help farmers, and thats why they are referred to as working dogs.
Even if you may not be always with your dog, it expects you to be on its side.
When the canine friend gets lonely, it can engage in destructive behaviors like ripping furniture or excessive barking.
And this can wreak havoc on dog owners who live in apartments.
But no matter how bad you feel, you should avoid acting angry. This could trigger a bigger issue.
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Dogs Have Special Attributes To Keep Warm
According to Dog Discoveries, all dogs have basic traits and behaviors to stay warm when it is cold out. Your German Shepherd is better adapted than some other breeds.
- Bushy tail to cover face when sleeping Dogs will often sleep in a curled position to minimize heat loss and GSDs have exceptionally bushy tails to keep nose and eyes warm.
- A counter-current heat exchanger in paws A network of blood vessels maintains heat in a dogs paws similar to a penguins feet.
- Piloerection When your German Shepherd puffs up, her guard hairs and undercoat trap cold air away from her skin and body.
Do Dogs Need Boots For Snow
Some dogs can benefit from them, especially if they have furry feet that collect ice and snow between the toes, but fit is super important. Booties should be comfortable, without rubbing against the dog’s paws, and of course they need to actually stay on.
Also, what are the best dog boots for snow? The Best Dog Boots
Similarly, do dogs need to wear boots?
Many dogs dislike boots because they cannot feel the ground while wearing them. Try thin rubber boots . These boots may not have much for insulation, but they keep your dog’s foot pads dry, which is the most important function of winter boots for dogs.
Do German shepherds need snow boots?
Dogs In Cold Weather: Boots And Coats For Winter. Some breeds, such as Golden Retrievers and German Shepherds, enjoy chillier temperatures when they can run around without feeling overheated in their thick coats.
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Judging A Dogs Intelligence
Let me start off by saying that ranking a dogs intelligence is somewhat subjective. Just like with people, some dogs are better suited to some tasks than others.
Compare a famous artist with a famous physicist. If you asked the artist to make a rocket, he would probably just scratch his head. Ask the physicist to paint a masterpiece and you get a portrait that only a mother would hang on her fridge.
The same can be said for dogs.
In 1994, Dr. Stanley Coren, neuropsychologist and Professor Emeritus in the Department of Psychology at the University of British Columbia, published his landmark piece The Intelligence of Dogs which changed our understanding of how dogs think and act.
In his book, Dr. Coren ranks over 100 breeds of dog in order of intelligence. He judged the dogs by the following criteria:
Dr. Coren presented hundreds of puzzles to hundreds of different dogs and judged which breeds could best solve the puzzles.
The German shepherd excelled at these tasks due to its intrinsic intelligence and eagerness to please.
Want More Poop Like This
One of my first experiences as a dog owner was walking my new puppy in a park and being approached by a random person who asked me, Shouldnt your dog be wearing a sweater?
I stared at the woman like she had two heads. No, shes a dog, I responded. Shes fine.
At the time I thought only crazy dog people dressed their dogs in clothes. But little did I know, that random person was right. Forget the anthropomorphic cute factor, the cold, hard truth is that most dogs do need jackets. But it depends on the type of dog.
According to PetMD, small dogs and short-haired dogs always need winter gear because they get colder easily. You can also add short-legged breeds like Dachshunds and Corgis to that list, since their stomachs are closer to the ground and more likely to brush against the snow.
And because they have weaker immune systems, its a good idea to suit up older dogs, too. Senior dogs, dogs with illnesses, or dogs who suffer from kidney or heart issues should always wear a jacket or sweater during the colder months to protect them from hypothermia. Same goes for puppies.
However, large breeds who dont have thin, short-haired coats do not need jackets. Siberian Huskies, Saint Bernards, German Shepherds these dogs have coats biologically designed to keep them warm in the winter, and an additional jacket or sweater will only add to their discomfort.
With these tips in mind, your dog is guaranteed to stay comfy and warm all winter long.
Featured image via
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Can German Shepherds Live Outside In The Winter
German Shepherds, as you would expect, can handle cold weather quite well. With their thick coat, they can even sleep outside in the winter season.
Again, you want to keep outdoor living to a minimum with your German Shepherd. But if you have to keep your dog outside they can survive in certain winter weather conditions.
You just have to be mindful of the weather and how long you keep your dog outdoors.
But why do German Shepherds do so well in cold weather?
Part of this has to do with the German Shepherds coat. The German Shepherd has a double coat that not only protects them from the cold, but also from moisture.
With their thick coat, your dog will be able to repel some water and light flurries. But, once the weather gets more extreme, I suggest bringing your dog indoors.
Your dog can handle very cold weather, but once it starts hitting a certain temperature your pet will need to come inside. For instance, try not to leave your pet in sub-zero weather.
German Shepherds can handle weather below zero degrees but if it has been snowing and they are wet, this could end up leading to hypothermia.
And you might even end up killing your dog. On the same note, make sure that your dog is not out in winter storms.
Blizzards and large snow showers can make your dog cold and wet. Again, this could lead to hypothermia and death.
The best thing you can do is check the weather ahead of time. This way you know the exact conditions.
Best Dog Boots For A German Shepherd Dog Or Puppy
The best dog boots for your German Shepherd dog or puppy should probably meet a few key criteria.
The first thing is that you want dog boots that are able to fit a German Shepherds paw size.
The second thing is that you want the boots to be suitable for the activity you want the dog boots for.
We address both these things in this guide, along with listing the top rated dog boot and its pros + areas for improvement.
Lets take a look!