German Shepherds And Barking
As with any dog, German Shepherds are likely to bark. Their main purpose was for herding and guarding so they can be quite vocal when people walk past or enter or exit the house, but how much noise they make will vary from dog to dog. If youre having problems with excessive noise or barking, we recommend seeking the advice of an accredited behaviourist.
Socialization Period: 3 Weeks 12 Weeks
The period between 3 weeks of age and 12 weeks of age is known as the socialization period. During this phase of development, puppies will begin to interact with humans and the other dogs around them. It is important to their overall demeanor to get them accustomed to human interaction at this stage of life.
From weeks 3 to 8, the puppies should still be with their mother. They will become more coordinated and develop the skill of play. They can be weaned and housebroken at this time as well as developing the ability to bark when startled. Physically, you will see their ears now stand up.
What Is Dog Breed Similar To German Shepherd
11 Dog Breeds Like the German Shepherd Belgian Shepherds. Belgian Shepherds originate from Belgium and are also known as the Belgian sheepdog or Chien de Berger Belge). King Shepherd. King Shepherds are giant shepherd dogs. Dutch Shepherd. Shiloh Shepherd. Bohemian Shepherd. Byelorussian or East European Shepherd. Northern Inuit Dog. Belgian Tervuren Shepherd. Carpathian or Romanian Shepherd.
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When Do German Shepherds’ Ears Stand Up
When do German Shepherd ears do stand up? It is one of the most commonly searched German Shepherd puppy facts. As a puppy, every German Shepherd dog has floppy and soft ears. As the dog matures, the cartilage in the ears becomes hard and strong. Then the German Shepherd ears stand permanently. The ear tapering process happens between three months to eight months.
You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one on our German Shepherd coloring pages.
Getting A Long Life Out Of Your German Shepherd
You cant control a dogs genetics. You can however control the quality of their life. Giving them the best life possible during the time that they are here with us is the best thing that we can do for them. The steps listed below can help you increase the lifespan of a German Shepherd, as well life quality.
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Feeding Guidelines By Weight
German shepherds can be of different weight ranges. Thats why the feeding plan of your dog can be complicated. Fortunately, theres a calculation for the feeding amount of German shepherds according to weight.
- Inactive German Shepherds: For every 1 kilogram your dog weighs, theyll need 40 calories a day.An average weighted German shepherd will then need 1400 calories per day. This only applies to German shepherds that do not exercise or inactive.
- Active German Shepherds: In the case of active German shepherds that exercise regularly, every 1 kilogram equals to 55 calories per day.So an average weighted German shepherd will require 1925 calories per day to be able to function properly.
Take note, however, that this calculation may be affected if the German shepherd has a health disorder concerned with metabolism or digestion.
Causes Of Death In German Shepherds
Many animals are prone to certain health issues and diseases. Some are hereditary, while others are due to improper diet, unstructured lifestyle, old age, injury, and much more. Many health issues have been taken into consideration that can steer to the decease or death of your pet dog. Issues with regard to mobility, such as arthritis, hip dysplasia, and problems associated with the back are several biggest reasons that can greatly affect and interrupt a German Shepherds lifespan. Directly, a mobility problem or issue may not kill or affect a dog, but the contributing factors that decrease the quality of life may cause owners to put to sleep or euthanize their dog to free them of great pain.
Other several factors that can greatly affect the lifespan of your German shepherd are as follows:
Bloating This is a condition where the belly of the dog gets filled with air and its axis gets twisted. This blocks the continuous supply of blood to its stomach. To avoid this, ensure to provide a split dog’s food in smaller multiple meals. Pay attention to them closely in such cases.
Degenerative myelopathy A backward spinal cord disease that comes with no chance of healing, and then leads to a condition of paralysis. This is more commonly seen among German shepherds when compared to other breeds of dogs.
Epilepsy This illness is treatable in many cases, but seizures can turn quite fatal. Some of them eventually die as their seizure gets worst and more frequent.
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Longest Living German Shepherd
Owners have reported their GSDs living well into their teens and beyond, with the oldest being between 18 to 20 years old.
However, there are no official records to go by, and these are all based on word of mouth.
Considering that theres no GSD on the list of the worlds oldest dogs, we can conclude that no Alsatians have lived past the age of 20.
It does seem that females live 1.4 years longer on average, than males do. The general median for females is 11.1 years, whereas male GSDs dont live past 9.7 years.
Give Your German Shepherd A Job
Genetically, German Shepherds are working dogs, and most of them thrive when given a task to do. Therefore, they excel in police and service work.
A German Shepherd who has the instinct to work but is kept at home most of the day can suffer from a lack of purpose and display compulsive and destructive behaviors.
Teaching your dog to carry your groceries, find lost items or toys, pull weights or carts, or track can all benefit a German Shepherd’s mental health and work drive.
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What Dog Food Do German Shepherds Eat
As you probably know, your German shepherd requires special and good dog food, and in order for him to be healthy and happy, its important that you find the right food for him.
You should know, however, that theres a lot of controversy about which dry or wet dog food is best for your German shepherd. One expert will swear that you should feed your dog a grain-free diet, while another will point out that dogs are carnivores and should eat meat.
The truth is, you can find a lot of information out there about what is best for your dog, but your best bet is to do your research and then decide on a dog food that you can afford.
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Did You Know These Pawsome German Shepherd Facts
German Shepherds are highly intelligent dogs that were originally bred as herding dogs. The first ever German Shepherd was bred by Captain Max von Stephanitz in 1889. Before that, German Shepherds were similar-looking dogs involved in herding. Stamina and intelligence are considered the strength of this breed of dogs. German shepherd dog breeds are easy to train. These large sized dogs are a popular dog breed often kept as working dogs, in the police and military, as a guide dog, herding dogs. Due to their high smelling ability, the German Shepherd dog breed was chosen during World War II for search and rescue, sending messages, and as guard dogs.
A German Shepherd puppy and an adult German Shepherd dog need high quality food and a controlled diet to avoid abnormal growth. A German Shepherds health and wellness are a prime concern. Without proper care, exercise, health checkups, these dogs may often be affected by common health conditions like hip dysplasia, epilepsy, pancreatic insufficiency, elbow dysplasia, degenerative myelopathy. German Shepherds often have a black tan, red black, blue, white, gray coats. Once, Max von Stephanitz said, No good dog can be a bad color.
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Size And Work Load Matter
This breed is considered a working type of dog hence, unlike Pugs or Chihuahuas, they exert more physical effort that would cause their bodies to tire sooner. This explains exactly why a well-cared-for GSD is still likely to live less long compared to smaller dogs. Moreover, some common ailments can be detrimental to a German Shepherds lifespan, and sadly, many of these issues are hereditary and are caused by improper breeding.
Can A German Shepherd Be Born With Pituitary Dwarfism
What this means in simple language is that both German Shepherd parent dogs must contribute a copy of the gene in order for a puppy to have a chance of inheriting pituitary dwarfism. The fact that the incidence of pituitary dwarfism in the German Shepherd dog breed today is estimated to be as high as 20 percent is telling.
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The Problem With Unethical Breeding
Recently, unethical breeding had been widespread. Due to the popularity of German shepherds, many breeders use unethical breeding methods to speed up production.
As a result, multitudes of serious health conditions to a German shepherd are developed.
As of recent, there have reports of musculoskeletal diseases. Some German shepherds arent even able to stand.
There are many more health conditions caused by this breeding method, 263 to be exact. Some of them include:
- Ear Inflammation
The German Shepherd Life Span And All You Need To Know
Any dog lover will tell you that its such a shame that dogs dont live longer. This is especially true for larger dogs, because small breeds generally have longer life spans.
The average German Shepherd lives for 10 years, but is there any way to ensure your pooch lives longer than expected? Were about to find out!
Below is everything theres to know about extending the German Shepherd life span.
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When A German Shepherd Can Get Blind
A German Shepherd can also start going blind when they get older due to age-related cataracts which usually begin to occur in german Shepherds around 10-12 years old.
If your German Shepherd is going through such blindness changes , make sure that there are dimmer switches on the lights so that their sight decreases slowly and they dont end up hurting themselves when trying to navigate around furniture or other objects at night.
How Can I Make My German Shepherd Live Longer
To help your GSD live longer do the following:
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Summing Up The German Shepherd Life Expectancy
Since conformation dogs are often riddled with health problems, working dogs should be more long-lived. Dont take their coloring for granted though, sable dogs can also be bred for the show ring!
Do your due diligence and research carefully when looking for your buddy. With luck and determination, youll have him for the next decade or more.
Have an old German Shepherd? Tell us all about him in the comments!
Choosing The Right Breeder
Every good life starts with the search for the best breeder. Correct breeding is the very foundation of a healthy and well-tempered dog and genetics play a huge role in this.
To avoid all the possible inheriatble diseases, request health certificates of both parents that adhere to the standards of the German Shepherd breeding club of america.
Even if the parents are not affected by any disease, they could be carriers of recessive genes that will be passed onto the next generation.
Check the breeders knowledge on these breed-related health issues and make sure that no questions are left unanswered.
Read my guide on All 17 Questions You Need to Ask Your Potential Breeder which will help you determine a responsible breeder by asking the right questions.
Do your own research on the breed and acquire thorough knowledge on care, health, history and temperament of your chosen puppy.
Behavior issues are also among the top leading causes of death in dogs so temperament test any puppy before buying it. Good breeders will assist you with that and match you with the right puppy.
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Do German Shepherd Ears Stand Up On Their Own Or Do They Have To Be Cut Or Taped To Make Them Stand Up
Ah, you’re thinking about cropping, a surgical procedure to make the ears stand up. That’s done with Doberman Pinschers, but not with German Shepherds. A Shepherd puppy’s ears prick up naturally they’re never cropped.
German Shepherd puppy with perfectly normal ears at this age. If the pup inherited normal genes, the other ear should come up shortly.
But German Shepherd puppies aren’t born with pricked ears. In some pups, the ears start to prick up at 6 or 8 weeks old, while others don’t start until 12 or 14 weeks old.
Often the ears don’t go up smoothly. In other words, they don’t suddenly pop straight up. Typically one ear will go up halfway, and stay like that for a few days. Then the other ear may start to prick while the first ear straightens all the way up. A few days later, just as the second ear straightens up, the first one suddenly flops back down.
This can be a trying time for new owners who worry that their pup’s ears will never stand properly. Rest assured, it’s normal for German Shepherd puppy ears to go up and down for a month or two, especially during the teething period.
Unfortunately, some puppies do inherit poor genes for ear strength and often those ears will never come all the way up. They’re called “soft ears.” Sometimes taping a weak ear can help it stand erect, but often not.
I had a German Shepherd with one soft ear. It flopped sideways on top of his head, while the other ear stood up beautifully. Of course I loved him dearly anyway!
Transition To Adult Period: 16 Months 36 Months
Between 16 and 36 months, your puppy will be transitioning to adulthood. Some puppy behaviours should have calmed down, making way for more mature behaviours. Some German Shepherds continue to grow until 36 months, though most are done by 24 months.
While you will take them off of puppy food at this point, switching to adult food, you must continue to monitor their nutrition well to ensure that they are developing normally and are at a healthy puppy weight.
While they should still have a lot of energy, they also should have stopped chewing random items and calmed down slightly.
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American Kennel Clubs Standards
To be more precise, there are over 3.5 million German shepherds in the USA. Of all these dogs, it is found that the average German shepherd life span is exactly 10.95 years.
However, according to kennel clubs, German shepherds can live from 9 years to 13 years. This applies to German shepherd life span for females as well.
But if you think this is how long do German shepherds live, you can be wrong.
What Is The Lifespan Of A Female German Shepherd
Its normal to wonder if there is a difference in the lifespan of a female German shepherd versus a male. In the human world, women typically live a bit longer than men, right? Well, in the dog world, you really dont see that difference. Females and males both live between 11-13 years. Ive also seen questions like how long do white German shepherds live? The answer remains the same, regardless of whether your dog is male or female, white, black and tan, or purple. Just kidding about the purple part, there are no GSDs that color!
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German Shepherd Breeding Problems
One thing to be aware of with German Shepherds breeders is the prominence and perceived desirability of a sloped-back.
This trait is now being corrected, as it is the source of joint, hip, and leg malformations that can worsen over time and prevent dogs from walking.
However, as recently as 2017, some breeders were still under fire for breeding overly-sloped top-lines . Do your research on potential breeders and use discretion.
Skeletal problems dont directly reduce German Shepherd lifespan, but they can cause such pain and loss of quality of life that they become a reason for euthanizing affected dogs.