Why Is My German Shepherd Not Aggressive
German Shepherds are commonly used as guard dogs due to their protective nature. If yours is not aggressive then you might be wondering why.
This post will show you a number of reasons why it might be the case, what you can do about it and whether or not you should.
So, why is my German Shepherd not aggressive? Possible reasons are that it has not been trained to be aggressive, it is naturally friendly, it doesnt think you are in danger or that it has been trained to be friendly.
There are actually a number of things that you can consider when trying to figure out why it might be too friendly. Depending on the cause, there are also a number of things that you can do about it.
How Can I Teach My Kids To Be Gentle With The Dog
If your kids are old enough to understand boundaries with the dog, then its important to start showing them the right way to pet them. Weve all seen the pictures and videos on the internet of babies and small children lying on top of the dog, riding the dog, or pulling their ears or tails. The general opinion is, Wow, what a good dog! This is wrong on many levels.
The dog may be good in that hes not openly hostile to this behavior, but that doesnt mean he should endure it. Consider if your child was exhibiting this behavior to another child at the park. Pulling their hair, lying on top of them, slapping them, or taunting them. Youd put a stop to that immediately. With the dog, he cant tell you he doesnt like this. Sometimes there are signs that maybe the dog would prefer this to not be happening.
Pay attention to very wide eyes, ears that are back and flat to the head, and an attempt to leave the situation. If these signs are shown and ignored, the next way the dog will attempt to stop this from happening is to growl. This will eventually lead to a bite. People are very quick to cart their aggressive dogs off to the shelter because they growled at the child, but what was the child doing before the growl? A dog is not a creature that has to endure anything your child wants to do to him. Hes a part of the family, and as such, he should be treated like one.
German Shepherds Are Known As A Mouthy Breed
They tend to use their mouths as an appendage thanks to their herding heritage. Its even right there in their name, ShepHERD. This mouthing behavior is natural, so expect your GSD to mouth you and chew anything that will fit inside their mouth. However, that doesnt mean you should allow it. What might be cute in your small puppy will get more powerful as your dog grows up. Training your dog not to bite your hand or the chew on the furniture is essential with this breed. Teach your German Shepherd to channel those instincts safely and appropriately.
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German Shepherd Dog Food Allergies
Did you know dogs can be allergic to certain foods?
To be clear, it is a certain protein in a particular ingredient some might be allergic to.
Food allergies are easy to treat! Once youve determined it is a food allergy, and not something else, your veterinarian will recommend a limited ingredient dog food. These foods only have a few ingredients, instead of many like normal dog foods.
If your dog still reacts, this means it must be one of those few ingredients causing the reaction.
Your veterinarian might then recommend a completely different food without those ingredients!
True food allergies result in an immune response, which can range in symptoms from skin conditions , gastrointestinal signs or a combination of both .
What Foods are German Shepherds Allergic to?
Food allergies can impact any breed, and GSDs arent always going to be allergic to anything. The most common ingredients that cause food related allergic reactions in dogs are:
Are German Shepherds Allergic to Chicken?
Not necessarily. Not all GSDs are allergic to chicken.
If your GSD does have a food allergy, chicken is high up on the possibilities.
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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Meet The German Shepherd Dog Breed
The German Shepherd dog breed line began in the 18th century in German. An officer in the calvary of the German army decided to breed a dog that would be able to herd and protect livestock on long grueling cross-country drives.
This mans name was Captain Max von Stephanitz, and he succeeded beyond his wildest dreams when he developed the German Shepherd. Once herding dogs were no longer in demand, the GSD found loyal fans in police and military work.
What does this mean for determining if the GSD is a scary dog or not? It means that this dog was bred to be protective by nature.
- The German Shepherd, when bred true to this dogs genetic roots, will exhibit each of the following characteristics:
- Extremely intelligent and capable of doing complex jobs independently.
- Fiercely focused when on the job and will work tirelessly for hours without a break.
Today, German Shepherd dogs are still a wildly popular choice for guard dogs, protection dogs, K9 dogs in the police force and the military, service dogs, search and rescue dogs, and therapy dogs as well as pet dogs .
Do you see a common theme emerging as you read through this breed description?
German Shepherds, when properly bred, socialized, and trained, excel at discerning defense and protection. But they arent scary unless they perceive there is a need to be!
Common German Shepherd Behavioral Problems And Personality Traits
Over the years working as a dog trainer, Ive probably worked with as many German shepherd dogs as any other breed.
Most often, they are an incredibly loyal breed, are devoted to their owners, and have really sweet and fun personalities. And so, to those of you who love the breed and wouldnt consider anything but a German shepherd in the future, I understand!
Yet, some people are terrified of them and feel they are dangerous dogs to own.
To those of you that are wary of German shepherds, I understand where you are coming from, too! First off, they are very large dogs and can come off very intimidating.
Second, their instinct to protect their family or property is strong and can lead untrained German shepherds to becoming very protective, aggressive, and scary dogs.
The keyword here is untrained, as any untrained dogregardless of breedcan have the same problems.
Over the last decade I really feel like Ive come to understand German shepherds and have personally fallen in love with this breed. Ive also realized that theyre so misunderstood due to poorly trained German shepherds often ending up in the news and how they are portrayed on TV and in the media.
For this reason, I wanted to write todays post in hopes that, if you are someone who fears this breed, are looking for help and direction with your dog, or you know someone who is wary of German shepherds, then this honest truth about this lovely breed might change your mind.
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They Require A Ton Of Grooming
Youll have to at least do a quick brushing on a daily basis when you own a German Shepherd. In addition to shedding year-round, they also blow their coat in the fall and spring.
That means youll have a whole lot of grooming to do when your dogs undercoat begins to shed for around two weeks. Dont worry, though, as you can find some top tips on how to reduce German Shepherd shedding to help you with this.
You will need to get a good grooming tool. I use the FURminator undercoat de-shedding tool that you can get on Amazon. This is particularly suited to German Shepherds as it easily gets through the topcoat and removes the loose undercoat hair. Dont waste money on cheaper brushes, as this tool is totally worth the price. I take my GSD on the field when I FURminate her, and anyone passing would think Id been shearing a sheep!
German Shepherd Allergy Treatment And Management
Unfortunately, German shepherds are one of the breeds more susceptible to many allergens. Though all allergies can be treated, not all can be cured .
Like everything else medical, allergy treatment depends on the type of allergy.
Two general methods exist: medicinal treatment and environmental control. Sometimes a nice balance can be found managing between the two!
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Will Some Gsds Always Be Too Friendly To Provide Protection
In the video you watched earlier here, you heard Gavels story. Gavel went through several months of police dog training before trainers realized he just wouldnt ever be police dog material.
But does this mean Gavel would not protect himself or his owners in the face of a legitimate threat?
No it doesnt.
One of the most important tools you have at your disposal to increase the defense drive response in your GSD is, once again, training for behaviors linked to specific commands.
Perhaps your GSD is so friendly they have a default towards assuming everyone is friendly. You can still train your dog to guard and protect you by training commands that are associated with certain behaviors.
Here, you will need to literally tell your German Shepherd that there is a threat.
For German Shepherds with a low defense drive , they may need this extra command to tap into their defense drive and get to work defending you.
In summary, there are a variety of reasons why you may be concerned your German Shepherd puppy, adult dog or rescue dog might not defend you and your family.
But in most cases, it is a lack of training combined with the absence of a true threat that is creating this concern.
Working with a qualified professional protection dog trainer can help you maximize your German Shepherds natural love for you as a protection tool
Training The Kids For Gsds
The first step should be training the children. That is, teaching them how to respect the GSD. Theyll need to learn what types of behaviors are okay and what arent. Its an effective way to minimize unpredictable behaviors, and ultimately mishaps.
And if your children arent old enough to understand how they should treat the dog, then theyre probably too young to play with them.
Youll want to establish a set of rules for interacting with the German Shepherd. Of course, this may vary depending on your kids and the individual dog. However, weve come up with a good list of rules to start off with:
- Always ask for permission before playing with the German Shepherd.
- Never pull on the German Shepherds skin, tail or ears. It can cause pain and an aggressive reaction.
- Dont try to ride on the dogs back. Again, this may inflict pain on the dog.
- Try to not make loud noises, such as yelling or banging, at or around the German Shepherd.
- Dont run at the GSD, as it may scare the dog. Rather, approach the dog slowly.
- Similarly, never run away from the GSD. This action may trigger their prey drive.
- Dont bother the German Shepherd when hes eating or playing with a toy. Give them space.
- If the dog is trying to jump on you, turn your back away from them. Dont give them attention for negative behaviors.
Learning the Dogs Body Language
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What To Do If You Lose Your German Shepherd
If your German Shepherd Dog or any other pet has gone missing and it does not have an identification tag with a phone number, you can:2. List the lost pet on the .3. Visit the local vets to see if anyone has brought in your lost pet.4. Contact the RSPCA or Visit the RSPCA Lost Pets website and complete a Lost Pet Report.5. Visit Lost Pets Pages of Animal Shelters.
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.
They Need A Lot Of Daily Exercise
German Shepherds are the perfect fit for anyone with an active lifestyle that wants to take their dog with them on their adventures! Adult German Shepherds require a ton of exercise, a minimum of two hours per day, to get rid of their pent-up energy and prevent behavioral problems.
This exercise should not only include walks but also running off-lead in a safe area. They also need playtime for mental stimulation and ongoing training.
Remember, puppies will need to gently build up to this amount of exercise to prevent harm to their fast-growing joints and bones. As a general rule, aim for exercising your puppy for five minutes per month of age, twice a day. .
How Big Are German Shepherds
Males stand about 24-26 inches at the shoulder and weigh 75-110 pounds.
Females stand about 22-24 inches and weigh 65-90 pounds.
Some German Shepherds are considerably larger than that, but shouldn’t be. This breed is supposed to be athletic and agile, not giant-sized and ponderous. Larger dogs can have more joint problems and a shorter lifespan.
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Do Huskies Shed More Than German Shepherds
No, both dogs are notorious shedders, but tend to have slightly different shedding patterns.
Both breeds have double coats and a lot of fur to protect them in cold climates.
A husky will shed a lot in the spring and autumn, but they tend to shed less in cooler climates. Huskies are a fairly clean breed and like to clean themselves. They dont omit a lot of odour or need too much grooming either, just a lot of brushing. They need to be brushed at least once a week during the year and daily when they are shedding.
German shepherds shed so much they have the nickname the German shedder. The breed sheds all year round so if you have this dog, be prepared to vacuum a lot and have your clothes covered in hair. Twice a year, German shepherds shed so much, their hair literally blows off them. Like the husky, the breed is fairly clean and has little odour and requires regular brushing year round.
How To Help Your German Shepherd Be More Friendly
If you are thinking about choosing a German Shepard as your family pet, you should be knowledgeable on the many tactics that will ensure you raise or re-train your dog the right way.
Luckily, experts have done quite a fair share of research in order to provide new German Shepherd owners with everything they need to know to promote a friendly disposition for their dogs.
Once again, the German Shepherd Dogs HQ has supplied a detailed list of the best ways to ensure your German Shepherd is as friendly as can be.
If you welcome a German Shepherd into your home as a puppy, of course, it will be a little easier to train them, especially regarding socialization. This is important with all dog breeds, especially German Shepherds, as they are more inclined to act possessively and territorially if they are not accustomed to other dogs or humans near their owners or personal space.
The good news is, this is a relatively easy task. Just make sure to bring your German Shepherd puppy everywhere you go! Parks and dog parks are great places to socialize, as are family events and even other friends homes.
If you are the new owner of an adult German Shepherd, it is even more essential to acclimate them to your life and ensure they either stay or become more friendly towards others.
In all cases, a happy and confident German Shepherd will be more apt to be friendly to anyone they meet.
- Having them work for their food by putting it in a toy.
Why Does My German Shepherd Keep Following Me
So if your German Shepherd is following you around because he wants to stay in your company, then getting another pet is not a bad idea. German Shepherd dogs can learn to live with other dogs and pets if thought correctly. Another reason that your German Shepherd is following you around can be that they are looking for your attention.
German Shepherds And Other Pets
To help them be calm and patient, it’s best to socialise your German Shepherd with other dogs and pets from a young age. Some can be a bit bossy with other dogs as they get older but with proper care, training and socialisation this is unlikely to become a problem. If youre having issues with your German Shepherd around other pets, the best thing to do is get advice from a trainer or behaviourist.
German Shepherds are usually fine with other family pets they have grown up with. If they havent grown up with a cat or other smaller pets, though, they may have the urge to chase them so any introductions later in life should be done very carefully.
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