Reasons Why German Shepherds Dont Make Good First Dogs
Unfortunately, the traits that make German Shepherds excellent for first-time dog owners are also those that could make them an unsuitable choice. Their instincts, temperament, and natural abilities need honing, nurturing, and direction.
First time dog owners will need to provide the following things for their German Shepherd:
Exercising Your Gsd During The Covid
Due to the imposed lockdown and the threat to public health of COVID-19, exercising your dog outside can be more challenging.
This shouldnt stop you, however, from giving your dog the exercise she needs. Waiting out until the pandemic is over before returning to your regular exercise routine can be bad for your GSDs health.
The safest way to keep the physical activity going is to do it inside your own yard.
Ideally, your front- or backyard should be big enough and fenced. Here you can carry out some simple exercises such as playing fetch and learning some new tricks.
Alternatively, if you would still like to go out for a walk, especially if you dont have a yard, choose the best time when there are few to no people outside, typically during early morning.
Make sure to observe proper precautions such as wearing a face mask, avoiding touching your face, and washing your hands!
Lastly, if you have a car, you have the option to drive your dog to a secluded area where you and your GSD can safely play, hike, or swim.
Whatever you do, always exercise safety precautions first! Remember that the coronavirus is a real threat and should be taken seriously.
German Shepherds Are Actually Made Of Velcro
It is a little-known fact about German shepherds that they are actually made of Velcro . While not all shepherds are clingy, you can be sure your GSD will never be too far from you, whether you are going to the bathroom, taking a shower, gardening, watching TV, cooking or taking a nap. GSDs take loyalty very seriously.
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How Much Is A German Shepherd
The price of a German Shepherd depends mainly on the breeder youre dealing with and the purity of the breed.
German Shepherds puppies come at a wide range of prices, starting from as little as $300 and all the way up to $900.
A trained adult German Shepherd may cost you up to a few thousand bucks, depending on the dog!
Factors To Consider When Getting A German Shepherd
German Shepherds are very large dogs, and their big size also means bigger responsibilities for the owner.
If youre looking to this breed as your first dog, there are factors that you should think about before finally committing to this breed.
Trainability, attitude with other kids and pets, viability for living in your space, grooming requirements, cost, and health issues are some of the things you should consider.
Many German Shepherds are handed over to shelters because pet owners realize they cannot handle them anymore. Some of the reasons the dogs are given up for adoption could have easily been avoided if the owners had put forth the time and energy to train them properly.
Therefore, it is very important that you take your time in deciding this, and whether you can deal with the responsibilities that owning a German Shepherd entails.
Otherwise, you may end up getting stressed about a dog that you cannot handle. In turn, the dog will grow up with poor manners, bored, and aggressive.
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Do You Have Little Children
German Shepherds are calm and tolerant dogs, so they often fit well with children of all ages. Nevertheless, if they are not socialized well, they can be dangerous to children.
Children can be very pushy and can upset animals easily, so for their safety you need to lay down some rules and let your kids know whats good and evil.
Overall, your children should be fine around a German Shepherd, but you need to make sure that yours are well trained and that your children dont disturb him too much.
Is The German Shepherd The Right Breed For You
When choosing a breed for your next pet, you want to make sure the dog suits your preferences but also that you can meet the dogs needs. If you love going for runs or long walks, dont have dog allergies, and love teaching your dog new tricks, a German Shepherd may be the perfect breed for you.
If you want to do a little more research, check out The German Shepherd Handbook. If youre not sure about this breed, our article on the most popular dog breeds may help you narrow down a breed that would be more suitable to your and your future pups needs.
Why do you love German Shepherds?
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History Of The German Shepherd
The first German Shepherd was presented at Hanover, Germany, in 1882 after being bred in Karlsruhe. The objective was to produce a dog that was as handsome as it was responsive and obedient. Many different breeds combined to create the German Shepherd, including various local farm and herding dogs. The sheer variety in coat length and texture resulted in variation along the Shepherd lines. Originally, the Shepherd had longer hair, and in 1889 the first short-haired Shepherd was presented in Berlin.
The first dog recognized as a German Shepherd was registered in April of 1899 by Captain Max von Stephanitz. They continued to be shown as a wire-haired and a long-haired breed up until 1915. These days, only the short-haired German Shepherd is shown. In 1908, the German Shepherd became an American Kennel Club-recognized breed in the herding class.
You Cant Have Just One
Adopting a German shepherd might seem like a harmless decision. What you might not realize is that German shepherds are like potato chips. You cant have just one. You might find yourself owning German shepherds the rest of your life, which really means youve been adopted into the German shepherd family not the other way around.
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What Happens In The Event Of A Sudden Illness Or Death
Another unfortunate situation to consider when getting a dog is who will care for it in the event of sudden illness or death. These circumstances tragically lead to many dogs becoming homeless.
Having a trusted family member or friend take the dog might be one option to consider, and should be arranged beforehand.
Another possibility would be a no-kill rescue, preferably one that specializes in caring for German Shepherds. Although rescues may not always have enough resources, this option may be the best way to find a decent home.
Before you decide to get a German Shepherd, issues like moving, going on vacation, and emergency care needs to be considered. If youre a first-time dog owner, some of these situations may be challenging if you are not prepared.
German Shepherds, like all dogs, do best in settings where their owners are fully prepared. Although all dogs require care, GSDs are more vulnerable to disruptions in their lives.
How Sociable Are German Shepherds
Are they friendly with strangers?
Most German Shepherds are reserved with strangers. As the breed’s national club says, a good German Shepherd has:
“a certain aloofness that does not lend itself to immediate and indiscriminate friendships. The dog must be approachable, quietly standing its ground and showing confidence and willingness to meet overtures without itself making them.”
As you might imagine, this can be a fine line to walk. Without proper guidance from the owner, a German Shepherd’s natural aloofness can morph over the line to suspiciousness, distrust, and even aggression or fearfulness.
When you own an aloof breed, you need to socialize the dog thoroughly. This means a careful program of teaching him to pay attention to you and mind you in the presence of other people and other dogs. He doesn’t have to like them, but he must accept them.
One thing I should mention: many German Shepherds who bark and lunge at strangers or other dogs aren’t being either protective or aggressive. Rather, this kind of reactivity can be the dog’s attempt to hide his own insecurities behind a blustering facade.
There are also legal liabilities to consider when you acquire a German Shepherd. For example, your homeowner insurance policy might be cancelled or the rates hiked, because people are often quicker to sue if a “guard dog breed” does anything even remotely questionable.
Are German Shepherds good with children?
Are German Shepherds good with other pets?
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Your Gsd Makes You Happy
Theres no doubt being with animals makes people happy. We dont need others to tell us about that. Studies have also found people owning pets are less likely to suffer from depression.
On top of that, who has never felt better after exercise? Physical activity triggers a release of dopamine, which can also improve mood.
Is The German Shepherd A Good Dog For First
At the point of acquiring your first dog can be scary, especially when a big dog needs a lot of attention, like a German Shepherd. You may be thinking of focusing on this breed of dog. Still, its crucial to know if German Shepherds are suitable for a first owner and if theyll work with your lifestyle.
German Shepherds are beautiful dogs for active first-time owners. They are brilliant, loyal, and loving dogs that are easy to train and can quickly become great companion dogs for single owners and families. Still, they do require a lot of time and effort.
These dogs can work well for many people, and the reasons are apparent. This breed is not only obedient, but they are also brilliant and caring.
German Shepherds are beautiful dogs, but they require you to have the proper lifestyle. They are giant dogs that require regular training, so you must be willing to spend several hours of the day taking them out and spending time with them.
To know if a German Shepherd will work well with you as a first-time owner, you first need to take a significantly closer look at your lifestyle and decide if you really should get one.
If youve wanted to own a dog for a long time and youve decided on a German Shepherd, there are a few other things you need to consider.
Someone like a significant other, housemate, or family member is ideal for keeping your German Shepherd dog happy and healthy when you cant be with them.
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Your Gsd Keeps You Company
German Shepherd Dog was bred to work for and work with people.
Although they may not be affectionate to every stranger they meet for the first time, they just love to be around their owners day in day out. They are known for their affectionate and loyal character.
Starting from the day you bring her home, you will have a shadow following you wherever you go, to the yard, in the living room, into the kitchen, and even to the bathroom.
My Experience With German Shepherd Temperament
Temperament and behavior stem from what the breed was designed for
To understand a breed’s temperament and behavior, ask, “What was he developed to do?” Whichever traits help him accomplish his intended work have likely been “hard-wired” into his genes not perfectly, but generally.
The German Shepherd was developed from various sheepherding dogs. So you would expect sheepherding traits such as athleticism, a compulsion to chase things that move, and swift responsiveness to their human shepherd/master.
German Shepherds were also developed as military messenger and sentry dogs, and as personal protection and police dogs. So expect traits such as aloofness toward strangers and protective/territorial instincts.
The breed also excels at search and rescue, bomb and drug detection, and guiding the blind. Certainly you would expect high intelligence, high self-confidence, trainability, and an ability to focus.
All of those traits are what you get in an ideal German Shepherd. One of the most capable and trainable breeds in all of dogdom, an ideal German Shepherd, when properly raised by a confident owner, can be a magnificent companion. There’s a good reason my first dogs were German Shepherds!
Unfortunately, it can be difficult today to find a German Shepherd with an ideal temperament. Or at least an ideal temperament to be a good family companion.
Different lines have different temperaments
My recommendation for a good family dog
I hope you can see….
They Must Not Live Outside
Theres no point in getting a German Shepherd and then keeping them outside.
If outside, they are exposed to sun, rain and snow. Being exposed to the sun could lead to overheating.
And without mental stimulation, it could lead to other behavior problems.
They might dig or destroy your plants. The yard would be a mess with a hyper dog thats trying to release their pent-up energy.
If you live in an apartment, your dog could resort to excessive barking. And thats going to annoy a lot of people.
You can prevent all of these if you allow them to be a part of the family. Expose them to your activities. This way, they become extremely bonded to their owners.
Provide Plenty Of Mental Stimulation
This breed needs more than just physical activity. It needs mental stimulation, too, due to its high intelligence. Letting the dog outside isnt enough. You need to set up things that will challenge the dog.
It can be as simple as playing fetch or as complicated as setting up an obstacle course. The breed is made to use its brain, so you have to give it something to focus on and think about.
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Developed From Old Shepherd And Farm Dogs The Gsd We Know Today Was First Introduced In A German Shepherd Is Better Off In A Home Where There Is A Fenced Yard For Play Rather Than An Apartment
Do they make a good dog for novice are they good as detection dogs? They’re considered the third smartest the german shepherd is a perennial favorite at the westminster dog show. A black german shepherd is a german shepherd like any other. Yes, german shepherds are great dogsas long as you are a great owner who is willing to work to bring up a responsible dog.
What Are Their Grooming Needs
To reduce the amount of hair that this breed leaves throughout the home, daily brushing is best. The best brush for a German Shepherd is a shedding brush. Bathing is another essential part of grooming, but be cautious not to over-bathe this breed because it can result in oil depletion from the skin, exacerbating skin conditions such as eczema.
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Make Sure They Listen To Commands
The moment your dog listens to you when you tell them to sit is a huge deal. Not only does it show that theyve learned something, but it also shows how much your bond has developed. The fact that they do what you ask indicates that they are beginning to trust you.
Raising your German Shepherd to listen to your commands is not only so you can get them to sit, but its also very beneficial in keeping them safe. An improperly trained dog may have a habit of running off when you least expect it, so they are in danger if they bump into the road, construction sites, etc. Being able to tell them to stop will save them from potential danger.
Remember that dogs cant understand us, so you need to train specific words and actions in them so that they can understand what to do when certain sounds come out of their mouths. Without this training, your German Shepherd will not listen to you, so it is essential to implement it when young.
Takeaways From This For You To Consider
1. German Shepherds are great family dogs.2. Theyre excellent with children because they love to play and have fun.3. They will protect your child when they need it, but will also be gentle and patient.
4. You should always supervise your child around the dog at all times in order to prevent any accidents from happening.5. A German Shepherd can live up to 12 years old or more, so youll get plenty of time together!6. However, if you want a dog that is not as energetic then maybe a different breed would be better for you.
7. A perfect home security system!
If you want to know a bit more about these great dogs, check out our article below
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Training Goal #: Socialization
Puppies of all breeds have a critical socialization window that closes at 12 to 16 weeks of life, and your GSD puppy is no exception. In fact, for GSDs, who by nature are protective guardians, socialization is extra important so that your puppy learns which strangers are friendly and not a threat.
GSDs are very observant, and your puppy will pick up on your cues and reactions around new people and new situations. During this critical period, having exposure to many different kinds of people in non-threatening situations will help your puppy be confident among friendly strangers rather than fearful or aggressive. And even during times of social and physical distancing, you can still socialize your puppy safely.
Proper socialization cannot be overemphasized for this breed as Adams notes, The foundation for most training is confidence. It is critical that the GSD puppy is well socialized from an early age onward. Safely exposing the puppy to new sights, sounds, and smells is absolutely critical for development. Good socialization translates to confidence.
Certified dog trainer and CGC evaluator Jacqui Foster, CPDT-KA, echoes this sentiment: I tend to lean more towards developing self-confidence in the puppy. For this I recommend short, fun, three-minute games that engage the puppy with the owner as well as in noises, weird and uneven surfaces, family members, etc., throughout the day. A confident puppy is a happy puppy.