In Conclusion On German Shepherds As Service Dogs
So, what can you take away from this?
Well, German Shepherds, as service dogs, are an excellent option. And they can be trained to be outstanding service dogs for people with all kinds of medical conditions and illnesses.
Nonetheless, it isnt as simple as all that.
Several factors play into whether or not a German Shepherd will be a good service dog. This includes, but isnt limited to, breeding and temperament.
There is also the fact that German Shepherds aren’t always the right breed for the job. But, if they are specifically chosen, you can be confident that they will do a fantastic job.
Thus, if you or someone that you know needs a service dog, there is a good chance that a German Shepherd may be the right pick.
What If I Get An Adult German Shepherd
If you accept an adult German Shepherd, the breeder will be able to give you more information about his behavior. If you bought a very aggressive German Shepherd, try to give him a chance instead.
According to an expert, German Shepherd behavior can be corrected if you take the right steps.
Next, if you adopt a pleasant German shepherd dog who likes to play and socialize with other dogs and pets, thats cool! You should give your German Shepherd dog plenty of chances to meet and play with other dogs.
Take your dog to a Dog Park and let him enjoy it. Aggressive dogs should not be allowed in dog parks but there are always some people who do not respect the rules so it is better to be careful.https://www.youtube.com/embed/ZswO-iDKWMU?feature=oembed
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.
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Shape Your German Shepherds Behavior
Shaping refers to where you reward your dog for making small steps toward the wanted behavior.
Start by rewarding your dog for not showing aggression when it sees other dogs, and gradually build up to rewarding your dog for getting closer to other dogs.
You must reward your German Shepherd for displaying good behavior before they have a chance to become aggressive or attack another dog.
This means you need to avoid asking for large increases in their actions. For example, dont ask your dog to play with another dog when they can only act calmly when theyre 50 feet away from them.
Dont rush your dog or you may increase the problem by not allowing your dog enough time to adjust to the other dogs.
Are German Shepherds Easy To Train
Some are easy to train, while others are more moderate.
As we’ve seen, different lines have different temperaments. German Shepherds from working lines are typically more assertive and stronger-willed. A “tougher” German Shepherd will be more challenging to train unless you pay closer attention to building the right Leader-Follower relationship with the dog.
That doesn’t mean “softer” German Shepherds are automatically easy to train. Some dogs with soft temperaments are skittish or shy, making them just as challenging as a strong-tempered dog.
In general, though, a sound-tempered German Shepherd who is a good fit for family life should be easy to train. Just establish the right Leader-Follower relationship and the dog will be happy to work with you.
This is taught in my puppy training book, Respect Training For Puppies .
Or see my advice on dog training
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Not The Best With Other Dogs
German Shepherds might get along well with all of your human family members, but dogs can be an entirely different story, unfortunately. This can certainly make it more difficult to keep a German Shepherd in the home with a second dog, but dont let that deter you it can definitely be done.
With a 3/5 rating for how they get along with other dogs, its not like German Shepherds are automatically averse to other canines. Theyre just not necessarily going to gravitate towards other dogs and look for social interaction.
German Shepherd Natural Instincts
These roles throughout the history of the German Shepherd breed have required a brave, loyal, and intelligent dog.
GSDs must be very loyal in most of their working roles. But, even when being kept as a family pet, the GSD will be loyal.
If owners do not socialize and train their German Shepherds properly, this loyalty can turn into territorial guarding behaviors.
This can lead to aggression against other people and animals. So, are German Shepherds good with other dogs?
They can be, if they are trained and socialized properly. We will look at how to properly socialize a German Shepherd puppy a little further on.
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Why Do German Shepherds Roll On Their Backs
Dogs may roll on their backs on different occasions. This German Shepherd behavior might occur when he is playing with you or other dogs. The dog in the below photo is clearly having a super time playing in the snow.
We will often interpret a roll on the back during dog play as being submissive. However, research has shown that rolling on the back is a winning rather than a losing position. Your German Shepherd will roll over when playing with other dogs for two key reasons:
- To avoid a nape bite
- To launch an attack
But German Shepherds will also roll over to scratch their back since they cannot reach it with their paws. This could just be normal scratching, but it could also result from a flea/tick infestation. Check your dog and take measures if you find out that they are rolling over because they have fleas! Also, ensure their flea prevention treatment is up to date.
When playing with you, dogs will roll on their back to get a scratch on their belly. Granting his desire reinforces your GSDs behavior. So, avoid it if you do not want him to always ask for it!
German Shepherds that rest or sleep on their backs for a short while feel very relaxed with their environment and are at ease exposing their belly. They feel safe and secure in this position.
Other reasons that dogs may roll on their backs are when attention-seeking, as an expression of joy, or a show of confidence. They may also display this behavior to regulate their body temperature as it helps them to cool down.
Why Might A German Shepherd Be Aggressive
Those wondering why they see aggressive traits in their German Shepherd should realize that this breed is incredibly honest. What we mean by this is that they wont act out without a proper reason. Shepped pinpoints the root for aggression found in this breed.
A German Shepherd Dog who lashes out at other dogs may be dealing with a number of the following problems:
Protectiveness: By nature, the German Shepherd is irrevocably devoted to its owner. Without proper assurance and training, these dogs can see other dogs as potential threats to their humans.
Lack of Exercise: Without a minimum of two hours of physical exertion, this breed can lash out.
Poor Handling: These dogs are eager to please, yet respond poorly when dominated due to their self-confident nature. Take the time to thoroughly train your German Shepherd in a way that works for both you and the dog.
Boredom: The German Shepherd does not do well when left at home alone for long periods. This is largely due to their strong bonds and high energy. Aggression can manifest when left with nothing to do for too long.
Above all else, it is important to remember that this breed is a working dog at heart. They may enjoy being a couch potato from time to time, but this does not fit their everyday needs.
If not given the proper amount of exercise and leadership, these dogs can show signs of aggression towards other dogs.
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Why Socialization Of German Shepherds Is Important
Dogs that underwent socialization from an early age tend to better behave around others than dogs that underwent socialization later in life or werent dogs that werent socialized at all.
These socialized dogs were exposed to other dogs and puppies as they were growing up, so they are more familiar with meeting new dogs. Proper socialization is needed to teach your pet how to behave around other dogs, and German Shepherds are no exception.
Older dogs can be tougher to socialize as their current habits could have resulted from past experiences such as fights with other dogs or abuse from their previous owners. While some progress can be made with these dogs, its important to remember that some dogs may simply be fearful and anxious by nature.
Many people prefer to take their dogs to professionals for socialization classes however, owners can also do it themselves if they take the right precautions.
Are German Shepherds Suitable For Psychiatric Assistance
As mentioned, doctors and psychiatrists are focusing on how service dogs can help individuals suffering from mental health issues.
It is still a relatively new field, and dogs have been found to help with specific disorders.
Since research is still being conducted in this area, such service dogs aren’t all that common.
In some circumstances, people may have to face a few more barriers before they can be approved for a service dog for their mental health.
Despite this hesitance, the dogs have been found to help. They can reduce symptoms associated with depression, anxiety, PTSD, and panic attacks.
As with physical disabilities, psychiatric assistance pups are trained to perform tasks according to their owner’s diagnosis.
So, what exactly is it that these service dogs are supposed to do? And are German Shepherds suitable for such tasks?
Well, one of their main tasks is to provide their owners with tactile stimulation and reduce anxiety.
The dogs can also be trained to nudge or paw their human when they have disassociated.
Or when they need to be brought back to the present. They can also help to reduce undesirable or harmful behaviors.
And for individuals suffering from PTSD or anxiety, their service dogs can act as a barrier they will prevent other individuals from making unwanted contact.
As this is still a somewhat new area for service dogs, there are some mixed opinions about how German Shepherds will fare with psychiatric assistance.
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Gsds Provide Constant Companionship
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. This means your GSD wants to spend time with you rather than being left alone all day, every day. Allowing your German Shepherd to be with you as much as possible will bring out the best in your dog.
The Typical German Shepherd Temperament
The German Shepherd is a moderately active dog and is described as self-assured. The breed is willing to learn with an eagerness to have a purpose.
They have a strong commitment to their owners. They feel the need to please their owner, making them trainable and versatile dogs.
German Shepherd temperament is protective. However, with proper training and patience, they make great workers.
A common trait of the German Shepherd temperament is their high energy level. For your German Shepherd to be happy, they will need daily mental and physical activities.
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How To Socialize An Older German Shepherd
If you adopt an older German Shepherd, getting them accustomed to other dogs may be more difficult. This will take some time, but it is not impossible. Train them slowly and steadily. See what the dog prefers but be firm.
You might want to keep other dogs away from yours for a while if they are aggressive. Let your German watch other dogs from a distance. You can slowly reduce this distance as time goes on.
It is important that you do not let any triggers upset your dog while doing this. For example, if your German Shepherd is afraid of traffic noises, only let them meet other dogs in a quiet space.
A good way to curb aggressive dogs is by using distractions. If you are introducing a new dog to your own, try using food as a distraction. You can feed them nearby or give your dog treats.
German Shepherds Protective Nature
It is in a German Shepherds nature to be protective. They are especially protective of their family. They can also be very territorial when it comes to their food, toys, or spaces.
If they think that a new dog will take away these things they love, they will react aggressively. Your dog may snarl or growl at a new dog if they come too close to you or their belongings.
They also are guard dogs and so would be watchful over the things they love. If another dog gets too close to these, the Shepherd may try to chase them away.
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German Shepherd Origin Names With Meaning
German Shepherds are, as the name implies, breeds that originated in Germany. They were developed in the late 1800s and were subjected to stringent selection. They are a very popular breed of dog, have been bred for centuries, and they were originally used to herd cattle. Today, German Shepherds are still used in this capacity, but they also make great family pets. The German Shepherd is known as the gentle giant because it has such an easy going temperament. It is not aggressive or mean spirited towards other dogs or people.
Avoiding Future Attacks From Your German Shepherd With Other Dogs
German Shepherds who attack other dogs are a potential threat and a safety hazard.
Safety is your number one priority for you and your dogs.
Schedule a vet visit to make sure your dog doesnt have any health problems. And make an appointment with a dog behaviorist if you cant handle the situation alone.
Stay patient and positive.
Training your German Shepherd to stop acting aggressively toward other dogs is not something that you can fix overnight. It requires consistent training and a plan of action to help avoid future problems.
Follow these tips to help you and your German Shepherd avoid aggression towards other dogs or other dog attacks.
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Train Train And Train Some More
Invest as much time and energy as possible training your German Shepherd. Use sit or down or stay whenever it makes sense.
These will come in handy when you are trying to desensitize your GSD to its triggers.
Now that you have some options to minimize the consequences of aggressive behavior towards other dogs, you can work on exposing them to their triggers little by little. Plan these situations carefully and stay in control!
For example, if you are walking your harnessed and muzzled dog and see another dog approach, rather than crossing the street, order your dog down or to sit and reward them lavishly while the other dog passes by.
Be sure to give them lots of treats and affection for doing your bidding. Then continue walking. It might not always go that smoothly, but little by little, your dog should learn to tolerate the presence of other dogs.
Remember: this advice is really basic.
You know your dog best. If you have any lack of confidence, doubts or worries, your best course of action is to get in contact with a certified behavioral specialist to come up with a special training plan.
How Much Exercise Do German Shepherds Need
German Shepherd puppies and adolescents should have moderate exercise only multiple walks, fetch games, or playing with another dog.
But the growing bones and ligaments in a young dog can be irreparably damaged by too much exercise or the wrong kind of exercise. At this age, there should be no forced running . Restrict jumping as much as possible.
Once the dog is mature, the amount of exercise needed will vary according to the dog’s energy level. But all German Shepherds, to maintain fitness, need brisk walking every day and all-out running in a safe, enclosed area as often as possible.
Dogs from working lines typically want a lot more exercise.
Mental exercise is even more important for German Shepherds. Mental exercise means the dog gets to participate in interesting activities that keep his intelligent mind stimulated.
This might be a dog sport such as agility, rally obedience, musical freestyle, tracking, flyball, herding, or schutzhund. It might be interactive dog toys, or a homemade obstacle course, or learning tricks, or playing games such as Hide ‘n Seek.
Some of these activities are included in my training book, Teach Your Dog 100 English Words.
Handsome black German Shepherd, attentively awaiting your next words.
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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!
German Shepherd Aggression And Attack Warning Signs
Watch out for signs that your German Shepherd is getting ready to attack another dog.
These warning signs may include:
- a focused stare on their intended target
- raised hair on their back
- a stiff body and muscles
- pulling wildly and strongly toward the other dog
- showing their teeth or pulling their lips back
- and growling
You may even have to avoid your dogs stressors temporarily if your dog is becoming that upset.
So have a plan of action in mind, such as crossing the street safely to avoid another dog walker or choosing a new route to take your dog for exercise.
Give your German Shepherd the chance to choose a good behavior, instead of adding to their stress and causing them to attack unnecessarily.