German Shepherds Shed A Lot
They are not called the German Shedders for nothing.
German Shepherds are double-coated. They have a thick undercoat and a dense topcoat.;
This means a lot of fur.
And they continuously shed all year round. But come spring and fall, they blow coats like crazy.;
You have to live with it when you have a German Shepherd.
To help with cleaning the fur, consider investing in a strong vacuum cleaner. Youll end up vacuuming every now and then to keep your house clean.
Although you cant do anything about it, you can help keep your dogs coat healthy. Do so by brushing them at least twice a week.
Then use a big comb to rake their coats during the shedding season. This helps avoid matting and dead hair.
It also helps to keep their skin healthy, particularly since theyre prone to dry skin. This is due to bathing them too much or not enough. Dry skin develops, leading to them scratching.;
Note:;Pick a dog shampoo for sensitive skin. If unsure, consult your vet for the best choice of shampoo.
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:
Are Male Or Female German Shepherds Better Guard Dogs
You may be thinking which one would be a better choice for your family; is it the male or female German Shepherd? Lets look at the benefits of both.;
Male German Shepherds tend to be protective over their surrounding area. It means if someone were to try to come in your yard, they would probably be at the edge of the yard barking at them to go away. They are more territorial than anything.;;
;Females, on the other hand, tend to be more protective over the family. It means that if someone was to break in, they would be standing in front;of you, guarding you. It is probably because of their motherly instincts. This is not to say a male wouldnt be protective; just that females are more protective over family members.;
After doing some research and looking at what others have to say, females are the better choice out of the breed.;
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Do German Shepherds Get Along With Other Dogs
To go into greater depth, it does vary from breed to breed, animal to animal, and dog to dog. Much like any person, theres no guarantee that a German Shepherd will get along with others.
Now, first things first, lets talk a bit about what a German Shepherd is. A German Shepherd is a breed made towell, Shepherd sheep. Theyre hyperactive, fast, and more than willing to play. So, if you like to go outside, or are pretty energetic, then this is a good breed for you.
But, keep in mind, a German Shepherds temperament does depend on the line it comes from. I.E: if the line has a history of angry pups, then it stands to reason that the next one will likely have anger issues.
If you want a nice, easier-going German Shepherd, then it might not be a bad idea to try to get a longhaired breed, or a solid white one.;
Now, onto getting along with other dogs. German Shepherds do, generally, get along with other dogs or animals so long as they grow up with them, or spend a great deal of time with them.
It is recorded that some German Shepherds do tend to be aggressive to dogs of the same gender.
I.E: Boys will roughhouse.
That said, it is possible that so long as there isnt another dominant dog, then its likely that they will get along. That said, try to be aware of the German Shepherds line and general temperament. Some dogs might get along better with others.
But if that does happen, it does fall to the owner to take responsibility for their dog. Training might be necessary.
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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A Small Dog May Cause Your Gsd Anxiety
Just like people, German Shepherds can suffer from anxiety.
Bringing home a new dog means a change in your GSDs environment, which can actually trigger anxiety in your GSD.;
Consider all of the changes that your German Shepherd may possibly experience by adding a new doggie family member.
You can do your part by helping your GSD stick to his routines by following these guidelines:
- Make sure to keep your dogs feeding schedule consistent. Do not deviate from his regular schedule.
- Stay with your dogs current walking schedule. Gradually include your new puppy on walks with your adult GSD.
- Do not focus all of your attention on your new puppy. Make sure to shower your adult GSD with affection so that he doesnt feel neglected.
Even the slightest change in your German Shepherds environment can lead to anxiety and, ultimately, aggression towards your new small pup.
Remember that your German Shepherd is used to a specific way of life, and your new little friend doesnt know the difference.
Things are bound to change when you bring home a new family member, but try to stay on the same routine with your German Shepherd to ensure he does not feel threatened.
Do German Shepherds Make Good Family Pets
For the most part, they make great pets for your family. However, its important to note the temperament, breeding line, sex and upbringing theyve had are all going to play a part in whether theyll be right for your family.
And another important question is whether your family will be good for a german shepherd. After all, they have lots of needs that must be fulfilled for them to remain happy.
First though, heres what you need to know about their temperament.
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They Can Entertain Kids For Hours
What do German Shepherds and children have in common?
Energy! Lots of it.
That makes your German Shepherd great with kids. They can entertain your kids for hours!
Thats because your German Shepherd is a tireless dog. They can play for hours and hours and not get tired easily. And young children have the energy to match!
What better way to spend time than to play games that your German Shepherd loves. Playing fetch, catching a frisbee, or learning new tricks. They wont have a shortage of activities to do.
They can even play treasure hunt. Your kids hide the treats and your German Shepherd will find those. And with their excellent nose, they can easily find those treats!
Caution:;Watch out how many treats you give your dog. You dont want them to get overweight.
If they get tired of treasure hunting, they can run around all day. This is good for your dog since they need lots of exercise. And this is good for you, too. Tired children means you have more time to rest.
Caution:;Keep an eye on your kids and dog while theyre playing together. Your child may get hurt during a roughhouse.;
Be Wary Around Other Dogs
Since German Shepherds are known for being alpha dogs, they can get a little testy when other canines come into their space. They can see the other dog as a threat. This is especially true for dogs of the same sex.
If you already have other pets, a German Shepherd should be fine as long as they grow up with the other pet.
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They Are Loyal To A Fault
Dogs, in general, are loyal animals. They can be more loyal than some people you know.
German Shepherds are known for their loyalty that makes the bond with their owner even stronger. So loyal that they would go through great lengths for their owners.
Theres a story about a German Shepherd named Kostya from Russia. He and his owners were in a car crash. Kostya was the only survivor. Everybody seemed to have forgotten about him while his owners were removed from the scene.
Kostya never left the place. Everyday he would wait for his owners. Eventually, people noticed him. Some even tried to adopt him to no avail. That was because Kostya didnt want to leave his spot.
Seven years later, Kostya was found dead in the woods. The story of his loyalty touched peoples lives.;
In 2003, they erected a bronze sculpture of Kostya looking east. It was right on the spot where he had waited for his owners for years.
People can learn love and devotion from dogs. With a German Shepherd, youll have a best friend you can count on.
German Shepherd Aggression And Attack Warning Signs
Watch out for signs that your German Shepherd is getting ready to attack another dog.
These warning signs may include:
- a focused stare on their intended target
- raised hair on their back
- a stiff body and muscles
- pulling wildly and strongly toward the other dog
- showing their teeth or pulling their lips back
- and growling
You may even have to avoid your dogs stressors temporarily if your dog is becoming that upset.
So have a plan of action in mind, such as crossing the street safely to avoid another dog walker or choosing a new route to take your dog for exercise.
Give your German Shepherd the chance to choose a good behavior, instead of adding to their stress and causing them to attack unnecessarily.
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They Can Live Up To 13 Years
When it comes to your first dog, you want a dog thatll live a long and happy life without any major health issues. As long as you properly exercise and feed your German Shepherd, youre looking at an average lifespan of anywhere between 9 and 13 years!
Never underestimate the importance of nutrition, as high-quality food is essential for your dogs overall health and longevity. Heres my giant guide where you can learn loads more on the best diet for German Shepherds, including nutrition, types of food, and what they can and cant eat.
Are German Shepherds Easy To Train
Some are easy to train, while others are more moderate.
As we’ve seen, different lines have different temperaments. German Shepherds from working lines are typically more assertive and stronger-willed. A “tougher” German Shepherd will be more challenging to train unless you pay closer attention to building the right Leader-Follower relationship with the dog.
That doesn’t mean “softer” German Shepherds are automatically easy to train. Some dogs with soft temperaments are skittish or shy, making them just as challenging as a strong-tempered dog.
In general, though, a sound-tempered German Shepherd who is a good fit for family life should be easy to train. Just establish the right Leader-Follower relationship and the dog will be happy to work with you.
This is taught in my puppy training book, Respect Training For Puppies .
Or see my advice on dog;training
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German Shepherd Nail Care
The frequency of nail trimming for your GSD will depend greatly on the kinds of surfaces on which your dog runs or walks. For those dogs who routinely walk on pavement, their nails will often wear down to a normal length naturally. Walsh finds that she never has to trim the nails of her dogs who walk on pavement, but those on other surfaces need a trimming at least monthly.
Wilson recommends trimming nails whenever needed, and agrees that it will depend on environment. She has observed, for instance, that her dogs who spend time on carpet and grass need a nail trimming every two to three weeks.
Walsh says the conformation of GSDs feet is wide-ranging, with some dogs having very thick, wide nails that are more difficult to cut and others having thinner, claw-like nails that are much easier to clip. For some dogsparticularly those with thick nailsshe has to use a Dremel tool for nail grinding in addition to clippers.
Regardless of conformation or growth rate of your dogs nails, it is important to expose them to nail clippers and the process of nail trimming early in puppyhood. Walsh begins handling her puppies feet as early as three days of age. Both breeders say that nail trimming, like coat care, can be done at home, and Walsh advises not to overdo it with the clippers: If you never cut their nails too short, they wont get funny about their nails.
What Makes German Shepherd Good Guard Dogs
;Lets;now go over just a few reasons why the Shepherd is one of the top guard dogs and what makes them so good.;;
If given the proper training and care, the German Shepherds are quick and fast learners. They enjoy making their owners proud of them. If you are thinking about getting one, the best time to is when they are young, so your bond can grow with them.;
Their;Bark Will Make Intruders Think Twice
If you have ever heard a German Shepherd bark, you know that it can make you jump back. It is another reason why they are excellent guard dogs; they have a very intimidating bark. Their loud barks make them very useful for when intruders try to break in.;;
They;Are Protective;of;Your Kids;
If they are appropriately introduced, your German Shepherd will love your kids. They will feel as though they are young pups in the pack that need to be taken care of. Sometimes it takes some time for your German Shepherd to get used to;kids, so make sure your kids spend some time just petting and getting to know the dog. It is an excellent way for them to bond.;;
They;Have A Great Sense;of Smell;
If you have ever seen a Shepherd working with the police, it is because they have a great sense of smell. They can sniff out things and find things that sometimes can be hard for humans to spot. It is once the reason why they are in the police force.;;;
They;Are Very Confident Creatures;
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German Shepherds Are Intelligent And Trainable
German Shepherds should receive obedience training. It is unwise to have a protective and strong dog who is untrained.
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A German Shepherds owner needs to be able to call them off, calm them down, and control their protectors.
Luckily, German Shepherds are intelligent and trainable. They thrive on the quality time with their owners that training necessitates and are incredibly eager to please their favorite person. They also benefit from the mental and physical stimulation provided by training.
German Shepherds Are Known As A Mouthy Breed
They tend to use their mouths as a hand thanks to that 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 your pets mouth. However, that doesnt mean you should let it go. What might be cute in your small puppy will get harder and stronger as your dog grows up. Training your dog not to chew your hand or the furniture is essential with this breed. Teach your German Shepherd to channel those instincts safely and appropriately.
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Everything You Need To Know About The German Shepherd
German shepherds are probably one of the most loyal dogs, they are extremely intelligent, hardworking, and reliable. They work well in a variety of environments making them good as a working dog or the perfect family pet just not ideal for apartment living. The German shepherd needs to know who is the alpha in the family and needs plenty of mental stimulation to keep it happy.
Over the years the German Shepherd is known for working in the police force and army, this is thanks to its resilience, courage, and exceptional scent skills. They also make perfect watchdogs.