Ear Movements And Gestures
German Shepherds have an acute auditory sense. Its how they were bred, and they need to hear well to stay ever-vigilant when guarding herds and property.
Their ears are large and rigid so as to allow for maximum sensitivity to subtle noises.
The shape of their ears also offers a distinct advantage to you, as it is possible to notice even the most subtle of cues just based on what a GSD is doing with his ears.
Lets now take a look at some German Shepherd ear behaviors and how to translate them.
When You Are Biking
Do you love to go on abicycle ride every day? Your dog will love running alongside you. Dont worry it will keep up with you, as you might not bike as fast as it can run!
There are a number ofthings to keep in mind when biking with your German Shepherd, however. Thefirst thing is to stay away from major roads. It is dangerous and foolish toallow your dog to run alongside you while cars are driving past. It is best ifyou can bike on off-road trails or in parks for this reason.
Another thing to avoidis tying your dogs leash to your handlebars while this might seem like a goodidea to prevent your dog from running away it can cause you to fall down andget injured, especially if your dog runs to the side of the road to avoid acar.
This is something youprobably didnt think of, but if you own a motorcycle or scooter, your dogcould probably keep up with you as long as you stick to under 30 mph . However, this is not always ideal, unless you can ride slowly on privateroads where there are no passing vehicles.
Watch Out For Heatstroke
Heatstroke is German Shepherds nemesis in summer or hot days.
If its too hot, dont take the risk. And even if its not that hot, always bring water.
Always check for the following signs:
- Too much drooling.
- Difficulty breathing.
If you see one of these signs, stop running and give them water. Then take them to a vet.
You May Like: What Size Collar For A German Shepherd Puppy
What Makes Your Dog Happy
Keep in mind that every German Shepherd is different. What may make one dog happy may not necessarily elicit the same reaction from another. Not to mention, your dog may have completely unusual happiness triggers.
The best way to discover what makes your dog happy is to observe it. Watch for when they perk up and take note of what gets them excited. This should help you to accumulate a list.
If you arent satisfied with the passive approach, try out various new things with your dog. This could include playing with them, cuddling, massages, trips, walks, trying out new activities, and more. Through trial and error, you will figure out what your dog loves to do.
Are German Shepherds Good Dogs To Run With
German shepherd dogs are known for having many talents, and running is one of them. Strong and durably built, this breed can keep pace with the best of them. Even better, German shepherds are good with kids, protective and eager to please sure to become much more than a running companion.
Recommended Reading: Female Gsd Growth Chart
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.
How To Stop Excessive Barking In German Shepherds
If your German Shepherd barks too much during play, you can train them to quieten down by stopping the game whenever they start barking. This way, they learn that the fun stops when they start barking.
You can also create a cue to stop certain behaviors by turning away and crossing your arms to show your Shep that you dont like them. If you associate your body language with a command such as all done you can use this to let your dog know when the behavior has to stop.
Recommended Reading: German Shepherd Mixed With A Chihuahua
What Is Excessive Vocalization A Sign Of
Excessive vocalization can just mean that your dog likes to talk too much and needs a little extra training. On the other hand, if its accompanied by other behaviors or only happens in certain situations, it could be a sign of a behavioral problem, such as anxiety or aggression.
Other signs of anxiety include pacing, panting, drooling, shaking, stomach upsets, and destructive behaviors. Common causes of anxiety include , under-stimulation, a big life change, illness, trauma, phobias, and illness or death in the family. Its more likely to occur in young pups, older dogs, ill dogs, rescue dogs, and breeds with high intelligence like German Shepherds!
Aggression is also seen more often in German Shepherds than in some other popular breeds. Its thought to relate to their working DNA, but rescue Sheps may also display aggression towards other dogs as a result of past trauma. Aggression can result in excessive vocalization towards other dogs on walks and in the home when they pass by, as well as aggressive body language and fighting.
Hip Dysplasia And Your German Shepherd
Who isnt proud knowing that their dog is one of the fastest dog breeds?
Did you know that German Shepherds can run at a top speed of 52 kph ? Thats quite an achievement considering how heavy they can get.
This makes them as fast as Great Danes, Standard Poodles and Border Collies. The fastest dog, the Greyhound, can run at a top speed of 72 kph .
Your German Shepherd doesnt have to run that fast with you. Besides, they may not be able to maintain this speed over long distances.
Whats more important is setting a weekly goal and meeting it. This way, your dog still meets their exercise requirements.
The only thing that could stop them is diseases such as hip dysplasia.
Hip dysplasia is hereditary and more common in large dogs. Including your German Shepherd.
This is characterized by the hip socket getting loose and causing damage. This makes it very painful for a German Shepherd to even jog.
The best prevention is what you can do when they are still young. For starters, wait for them to grow fully before taking them for runs.
Its also a huge help to give your German Shepherd the right kind of food. This is because poor nutrition can put them at greater risk of developing hip dysplasia.
Caution: Watch out how much you feed your German Shepherd. Obese dogs are prone to hip dysplasia because too much weight puts stress on your dogs joints.
Don’t Miss: German Shepherd Ears Not Up
How To Train A German Shepherd Puppy The Ultimate Guide
Fully Qualified COAPE Behaviourist and Registered Training Instructor with The Animal Behaviour and Training Council
In this article:
So you have your new German Shepherd puppy at home, we see.
Glad to hear theyre doing well puppy eyes shining bright, and tail that doesnt seem to stop wagging.
Weve also heard they have gained a special liking for your living room carpet as the perfect place to go for a wee. Oh, and your favourite shoessorry to hear theyve been chewed on. Apologies to your neighbour Alfred too we heard his favourite pair of trousers were left muddy after your puppy showed such enthusiasm to say hello.
Wed love nothing more to see you both become a wonderful duo one that has overcome the hiccups of starting fresh, and only see bright days of licks, treats, and cuddles ahead.
In this training guide, youll learn everything to tackle those first 8 weeks with your German Shepherd puppy and be as well prepared as possible.
Every question youve asked yourself is pretty much covered. What you do need to know is that everything will be just fine only happy days lie ahead of you.
What Does Gsd Like To Play With
The German Shepherd is also very intelligent so it is important to challenge their minds.
They learn new skills quickly making them easy to train with the right guidance.
Playing games of any kind with your German Shepherd is really good for them and builds up your relationship.
Remember, first of all, dogs are social creatures by nature and playing is one important element in developing and maintaining their social relationships.
Playing games is a proven fundamental way of modeling real-life behaviors and can be beneficial to their overall quality of life.
Don’t Miss: Coyote Vs Pitbull Bite Force
Your German Shepherds Ears
Anyone who remembers Rin Tin Tin, the canine hero of 1950s television, recalls that famous German Shepherds regal silhouette head erect, muscular body ready for action and, most notably, ears standing straight up. But as many shepherd owners learn, it can take a while for pups to acquire that signature pointy-eared look.
While the floppy ears of a playful pup are cute, you may wonder if your shepherds ears will ever stand up. If he is a mixed breed, youll have to wait and see.
If youve seen them up, theyll stay up.
Most breeders and veterinarians will tell you that floppy ears are common while your German Shepherd is teething, which usually ends between 16 and 20 weeks. By then, the cartilage in the ear has become hard and strong enough for the ear to stand permanently.
During the teething months, you might notice the ears going up naturally for a day or two, or when your dog barks, gets excited, or hears a sudden noise. If youve seen the ears go up on their own for any amount of time during that first five months, you can be pretty sure that they will stand permanently when the teething period is over.
Keep an eye on his ears
If the ears of your German Shepherd are not erect after his fifth month, and this is the look you desire, you may want to contact your veterinarian or breeder. Between the 5th and 7th month the ear cartilage is still soft enough to encourage the ear into an upright position. By the 8th month, the ears will usually take on their adult form.
How To Make A German Shepherd Bark
To teach your German Shepherd to bark on command, you need to find something that naturally triggers a bark. If you dont know one already, watch them and try to find one. Once you find a trigger, for example, getting their dinner ready, do it and say bark or speak when they bark. Then, reward them. They will quickly make the association and learn the command.
Also Check: How To Stop My German Shepherd Puppy From Biting
Follow These Steps To Train Them To Focus On You
STEP 1 Pick a special, high-value treat and start in a quiet area of your home.
STEP 2 Hold the treat where your German shepherd can see it in your hand, but out of reach of your dog.
STEP 3 Now, say your dogs name once and only once. Dont repeat their name or youll teach your dog to ignore you calling them. Youre waiting patiently for your dogs eyes to look at your eyes but, theyll probably stare at your hand with the treat.
STEP 4 Next, use a cue word, such as look or focus as soon as your dog looks at your eyes. They will probably only look at your eyes for a split second at first, so be prepared to say your command cue exactly as they look at your eyes.
STEP 5 Reward your dog with the treat as soon as they look at you. Remember, you should reward them immediately, and not a second too late or youll reward them for looking away.
STEP 6 Repeat this scenario a few times a day, always with their super special treat in hand. Work up to your German Shepherd looking into your eyes in increasing times, such as 2-seconds, then 3-seconds, and so on in order for them to earn their reward.
STEP 7 Stay consistent with a reward for every time they look at you in the beginning. With practice, you can begin to wean your dog off of the treat, but only after youve conditioned them to the command cue.
Can An Interactive Camera Help
There are pet cameras that allow you to see and talk to your German Shepherd at various times throughout the day. Some even allow you to deposit treats. This is a great way to give your dog reassurance and vocal affection when you cant be around.
Give this camera a whirl when you are first gone for a short time. This will give you a better idea of how your pup may react. While some dogs love being able to hear their owners, others can become confused or frustrated by this. A test run will show you which way your pup leans.
Don’t Miss: Training Tips For German Shepherd Puppies
What Kind Of Emotions Can A Dog Sense
This is not meant to be an exhaustive list. But I am sure every dog is different and some dogs are better at picking up their owners emotions than others.
For the most part, dogs are able to sense our emotions through the changes in hormone levels in our body, our facial expressions, and body language.
Here are the most common emotions dog can sense from humans:
Happiness When you are in high spirit, you show it on your face and your tone of voice. And your body will release more hormones oxytocin, serotonin, and dopamine. Dogs are able to pick up these cues when you feel happy.
Sadness Have you ever had that moment where youre about to cry but suddenly your dog comes over and starts cuddling up next to you? They do this because they can sense your change of tone and body language when you are feeling sad.
Stress/Worry When you are under stress, the level of hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol will increase inside your body and emits through your breaths or sweat. Dogs can of course smell the surge of these hormones created by stress.
Fear When we get scared, we tend to sweat more. Our bodies also produce more stress-related hormones. Dogs can sense our fear by combining our change of smell with cues from our body language such as stiff shoulders or shaking legs.
How Do Dogs Act When They Sense The Unseen
Your dog may stand in the corner, barking at nothing visible. Is it really some form of spiritual, energy, or entity?
You can decide for yourself.
There are many videos on Youtube on this topic, heres one of the most creepy ones that gives me goosebumps while watching it:
While there is no scientific backing of a dogs ability to see the supernatural, the answer depends upon your own perception.
When someone is inclined to believe in the paranormal, some dogs may exhibit behaviors that make it look like they are perhaps sensing an apparition is nearby, says Dr. Mary Burch, director of the AKC Family Dog Program and a certified animal behaviorist.
Don’t Miss: German Shepard Teething
Can Other People Make Your Dog Happy
Some dogs love being around people. For these pups, being in the company of other humans is enough to make them happy. Not all dogs experience this, but it can be true for some pups.
If this describes your dog, take them with you when you hang out with your friends or family. You may want to make sure that these individuals like dogs, of course. This way, your dog can bask in the attention of others, with plenty of pets and cuddles to spare.
How To Train A German Shepherd To Run With You
The first thing someone who is hoping to run longer distances with their dog should know is when to start. German Shepherds are youthful dogs that take a bit longer than other dogs to become fully grown. Its recommended to wait until your dog is about a year to a year-and-a-half years old before beginning a serious running program with them.
The reason for this is that starting too early can be a risk for more injuries, such as various bone and muscle problems. Their bodies still need to grow, and its best to wait until their more fully developed so nothing goes wrong.
Another reason for this is that your German Shepherd should be well trained before you take it for long runs with you. Your dog needs to obey your commands to stop, sit, start, or whatever else you may need it to do. This lessens the risk of it getting hurt while youre out and about on something unexpected.
Luckily, German Shepherds are fairly easy to train, and so if you spend the year to year-and-a-half training your German Shepherd and helping it know you, obey commands, and become socialized to strangers, there should be no problems once you start running with it.
Now, once your dog is old enough and youve decided you want to take it running with you, there are a few things that you should do.
Start Off Slow
The jog is the most natural gait, especially over long distances, which adds the least amount of strain on the dogs body.
Build Up Distance
Be Patient and Take Breaks
Read Also: Wooly German Shepherd