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Is A German Shepherd Right For Me

Is It A Good Idea To Get A German Shepherd

Is a German Shepherd the Right Dog Breed for Me? 19 Facts About German Shepherd Dogs!

German Shepherds have high energy levels. They can spend their whole days outdoor. If you love jogging, hiking and hunting, German Shepherds are one of the best companions you can have. If you have children at home, they can play with German Shepherds as long as they can because these dogs dont get tired easily.

Selecting Your German Shepherd Puppy From A Litter

You dont want to go home with just any German Shepherd puppy, although they all are adorable. You want to select one that will be compatible with you and your family. Consider the following when picking a puppy from the litter:

  • Choose a puppy that is sociable around you and other puppies.
  • Pick a puppy that walks confidently with its head high and tail up and wagging.
  • Choose a puppy that has clear eyes, ears, and teeth, walks evenly, and appears clean. Basically, choose a puppy that looks healthy.
  • Look at the personalities of the puppies. If the pup doesnt play nice and bounces off the walls at the breeders, it is likely that will be how he acts once you get him home.
  • Choose a welcoming puppy that wants to greet you as opposed to one that retreats or appears shy.
  • Ask to interact with each puppy one by one after seeing them with their littermates. That way you can get a better sense of how the puppy responds to you without distractions.

Many potential owners make the mistake of choosing the largest, loudest, or most rambunctious puppy in the litter, but that doesnt guarantee that this will be the best dog for you. If possible, visit the litter at least three times before making a final decision, this will allow you to determine the personalities of each of those little fluff balls, and see which would best fit into your family.

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. .

Read Also: Is A Belgian Malinois A German Shepherd

Are You Prepared To Deal With A Dog That May Develop Significant Health Problems

German Shepherds are more prone than other breeds to develop a few specific health problems that can seriously impact their well-being and require a lot of extra care on your part. These issues may also come at a significant monetary cost to you in terms of veterinary bills and medications.

In addition to this, if you have children, take into account how your dogs health problems may affect them. Children grow to be very fond and attached to their pets dogs especially.

In the unfortunate event that your German Shepherd does develop a significant health issue, you will need to be sure that you are confident your children will be able to emotionally handle this.

Some health problems more particular to GSDs than other breeds are:

Do You Have Allergies

Is A German Shepherd Right For Me

German Shepherds have a double coat of fur, and this often contributes to dry skin and excessive dander . On top of this, the breed is notorious for the large amounts of hair that they shed year-round.

Many people suffer from allergies to dander, or even a pets urine or saliva. These allergens do not require direct contact by the animal in question to cause a reaction indirect contact is enough to set one in motion.

While pet hair itself is not an allergen, it is a very good vessel for various allergens to attach themselves to. Additionally, pet allergens can collect on furniture such as couches and chairs, as well as on walls, floors, clothes and just about any other surface that you can think of.

When allergens are deposited on a surface, their potency doesnt quickly fade away. Instead, the deposited allergens stay potent for months and are very easy to stir up by vacuuming, dusting, or even just having a fan turned on.

Once allergens become airborne, they linger for some time until they settle down again. In effect, the effort to clean up pet allergens from a house often just stirs them back up, causing the cycle to repeat itself.

Take this information about pet allergies seriously, and know whether or not you may be allergic to a GSD before you consider getting one. Perhaps visit a friend who owns one, or even visit a local shelter.

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It Is Imperative That German Shepherds Are Properly Socialized

Like listed in the pro categories, German Shepherds are loyal and friendly family dogs, and some will bond completely to a single family member.

While at home with the family, this can be a very noble trait. The problems occur when a Shepherd is not properly socialized, and they feel a need to protect their family members from strangers unnecessarily.

German Shepherd US outlines several of the issues that can occur when Shepherds are not properly socialized, such as becoming territorial, nipping, and herding behaviors. In extreme cases, a Shepherd may attack.

The article has some very helpful tips for training to avoid these issues and ensure that your German Shepherd is not only friendly towards you and your family but also to invited guests.

German Shepherds Are Both Beautiful And Athletic

If you are looking for a dog that will keep you active, and look good doing it, a German Shepherd is a natural choice. Highly energetic, a Shepherd will need daily physical exercise.

This can look different depending on your activity level, whether you like to take walks around town, run several miles daily, or have the time to throw a ball for a decent amount of time.

German Shepherds come in a variety of different markings and builds, but regardless of whether it is a tri-colored working-class dog or a solid show variety, when you are working with your dog you will be a source of admiration.

Everyone loves to watch a German Shepherd in action, doing the athletic activities which they were born to do. Their high drive for athletic activities will also help you stay consistent with your own health goals.

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Obeying All Your Commands

German shepherds are very intelligent and energetic dogs, both mentally and physically. To show their affection, they will try their best to concentrate and learn all the commands that you teach them. Once taught perfectly, they would always be pleased and waiting for you to tell them to do something.

Mostly they obey all the commands of the person they love the most, they will try their best not to get distracted, and keep their focus on you

Behavior And Health Of The German Shepherd

Things to know as a new German Shepherd owner | Mistakes made by new owners

German Shepherds can suffer separation anxiety and prefer to be with family. If left home alone frequently, he may develop . Keep him engaged with puzzle toys and consider crate training for longer periods alone to alleviate anxious behaviors.

This breed is suspicious of strangers and will not make visitors to you home feel welcome. Socialization and introduction to new people should be frequent and regular from the day you bring your German Shepherd home.

German Shepherds are prone to specific health issuesincluding elbow and hip dysplasia , degenerative myelopathy, and bloating.

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Grooming: Do German Shepherds Shed A Lot Are They Easy To Groom

About shedding….

I have good news and bad news.

The good news is that German Shepherds have only one shedding period a year.

The bad news is…. their shedding period lasts for 365 days. In other words, German Shepherds shed constantly.

How is this different from most breeds?

Most breeds shed a few hairs here and there throughout the year. But the vast bulk of their shedding occurs only twice a year for three weeks in the spring as their thicker winter coat switches over to a cooler summer coat, and for three weeks in the fall as the summer coat switches over to a winter coat.

Not German Shepherds. They shed a TON during those spring and fall coat-switching seasons. Plus they shed moderately the rest of the year.

So year-round, you’ll find hair on your clothing, on your carpets, and under your refrigerator. Frequent vaccuming will become a way of life.

You might be wondering, “How can a shorthaired dog shed so much?” The answer is that German Shepherds have a double coat. They have a short outer coat , plus a woolly undercoat . Breeds with a double coat always shed more than breeds who simply have an outer coat but no undercoat.

German Shepherds come in a long coat, as well as a short coat. Both coats shed heavily.

Now, about grooming….

How much grooming is required depends on whether a German Shepherd is shorthaired or longhaired.

Longhaired dogs need trimming

Along with brushing and combing, longhaired German Shepherds need trimming every few months.

Skeletal Health And Supplementation

Musculoskeletal disorders are debilitating conditions that are often associated with genetic makeup, malnutrition, and stress-related events. Some breeds like the German shepherd, are predisposed to a variety of different skeletal disorders, including but not limited to: canine hip dysplasia, Cauda equina syndrome, and osteoarthritis. These conditions can be a result of poor breeding or induced by intense exercise and poor diet.

Canine hip dysplasia is an orthopedic condition resulting from abnormal development of the hip joint and surrounding tissue causing the instability and partial dislocation of the hip joint, resulting in pain, inflammation, lameness, and potentially osteoarthritis of the joint. German shepherds are genetically predisposed to CHD and the University of Veterinary Medicine in Germany found its prevalence estimated to be approximately 35% of veterinary cases associated with the disorder.

Osteoarthritis is one of the main contributors of musculoskeletal pain and disabilities that commonly affect German shepherds. Mechanical stress, oxidative damage and inflammatory mediators combine to induce the gradual degeneration of the articular cartilage in the joint, resulting in reduced muscle mass, pain, and locomotion.

Vitamins such as A and D also have crucial roles in bone development and maintenance by regulating bone and calcium metabolism. Adequate levels should be incorporated into a German shepherd diet to promote a healthy musculoskeletal system.

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Have You Preselected A Veterinarian

Consider finding the right veterinarian as important as finding a general medical doctor for you and your family. While all veterinarians will possess a certain level of expertise about animals in general, its important that you find a veterinarian that you are comfortable with as a person.

Nobody will know your dog better than you, and you are the go between for your dog and your vet. So its crucial to make sure that you and your veterinarian are able to commuinicate in a friendly and effective manner.

Also, just like people, dogs also sometimes develop conditions or diseases that are beyond the purview of a general doctor or veterinarian. If this is the case, you will need to seek the help of a veterinary specialist, so you will want to make sure that the veterinarian you select is also well connected in the veterinary community and will be able to refer you to a competent specialist should the need arise.

So before you get a dog, make sure that you are diligent in finding the right veterinarian. Its a great idea to look at online reviews that are readily available, but its also important to go and see for yourself.

In addition to reading reviews, go and visit the location in person. If while you are there, you are unsatisfied with the appearance of the office or even the friendliness of the staff, then you should probably move on.

History Of The German Sheperd

Is A German Shepherd Right For Me?

As descendants of a family of German herding dogs from the late 19th century, the German Shepherds original job was to herd sheep. In the 1800s, German cavalry officer Captain Max von Stephanitz was determined to develop an ideal herding dog and began a breeding program that resulted in todays German Shepherd.

Officer von Stephanitz championed the first-ever club devoted to the breed and spent more than thirty years promoting and defining the breed. In the early 1900s, the breed gained in popularity in the US due to the movie Rin-Tin-Tin.

Todays German Shepherds exhibit versatility in intelligence, speed, agility, and stealthand at times, it is easy to forget they were originally bred to herd sheep. Also, through von Stephanitzs shrewd promotion of the breed, they came to be known as ideal canine workers. German Shepherds are the preferred dog breed for military units and police departments around the world and they made up the majority of search and rescue dogs who searched for survivors in the 9/11 World Trade Center disaster.

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Will German Shepherds Protect You

German Shepherds are known for their strength and if we look at their history people also used them in herding and protecting their livestock. Yes, German Shepherd protects their beloved ones if sense any dangers approaching them. But proper training allows GSD to achieve this skill of protectiveness up to the full mark.

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Approximate Location Los Angeles, CA Area

  • Dog Pet Type
  • 3 yr 3 mo Age
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  • To be held or carried
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German Shepherds Are A Playful Family Pet

Although it is important that German Shepherds are properly introduced to children, and that children understand the need to respect dogs of any breed, shepherds love to be involved in a family.

Shepherds can tend to love one member of the family over others but will have affection and a protective attitude to all within its circle.

Again, proper socialization from an early age is a requirement for Shepherds, because they can be slow to warm up to strangers and have a strong drive to protect their family.

Shepherds are high energy dogs, so integration into an active family can be an enjoyable experience. They can be very goofy and playful, and love to be included in family walks, trips, or backyard romping.

Watch this YouTube video of German Shepherds being playful and goofy, and see how much fun they could add to your family!

Is A German Shepherd Right For You Survey Results From German Shepherd Owners

Misbehaving German Shepherd Retrained as Sniffer Dog | It’s Me or The Dog

The number three most registered dog breed in the United States according to the American Kennel Club is the German shepherd dog . We have a breed profile on the German shepherd but the breed profile can only tell you so much. Sowe really wanted to give possible German shepherd owners a better understanding of the German shepherd such as: are they good for families with kids? Are they aggressive? Do they shed a lot? Do they bark a lot? What are their good and bad traits?

We wrote a survey asking German shepherd owners just these questions. Read the real answers from over 250 German shepherd owners. We dont want to discourage anyone from getting a dog. But we want the right match.

Read the responses of hundreds of German shepherd owners and find out if a German shepherd is right for you!

Questions we asked in our survey included:

1.What type of pet or pets do you own? In our survey, 57% have dogs, 1.6% had cats, 38% had both dogs and cats and approximately 4% had a dog but recently lost him or her. As you can see 38 % of German shepherd owners have cats!

2.Do you have a German shepherd at home? Over 99.2% answered yes and the remaining answered that they had a German shepherd until recently.

3.How old is your German Shepherd? In our survey, 15.5% were less than 1 year old, 35% were 1 to 3 years old, 22% were 4 to 6 years old, 12% were 7 to 9 years old, 9% were 9 to 11 years old, 5% were 11 to 13 years, 1.2% were 13 to 15 years and approximately 1.2% were over 15 years old.

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Does Your Work And Personal Life Align With Spending A Lot Of Time With Your German Shepherd

Weve talked about the importance and necessity of spending a lot of time with a German Shepherd. But aside from your good intentions, is it really practical for you to do so?

Many of us have demanding jobs that require most of our time, and even some time that we dont really have to spare. If you find that this situation applies to your present life, then perhaps you should consider another breed of dog, or just holding off on getting a dog altogether until you have more free time.

This is because GSDs really dont do well alone for long periods of time. When left alone, especially for periods of 8 hours or longer, they will often begin to show problematic behavior. They will begin to whine, bark, chew, or destroy whatever they can.

This is not the dogs fault because, as mentioned above, GSDs are highly intelligent and they need to exercise their minds just as much as their bodies. When they are deprived of your company, they are also deprived of mental stimulation which in turn can lead to these negative behaviors.

If you are a current dog owner, you know that every time you return home, whether you have been gone for ten minutes or several hours, your dog acts as though youve been absent for years. This is because your dog loves you and he misses you!

Just take a look at what this GSD does all day when his owners are gone.

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