How Do German Shepherds Show Love
Most dogs youve formed a bond with will show excitement when seeing you after a while of being apart. German Shepherds are especially known for this. They may jump up at you, lick your face, and run around aimlessly at your presence. They may even whine from their inability to contain their excitement.
Exercise The Dog Regularly
Just like with little kids, you need to wear out a dog to help him calm down and release that pent up energy.
And Im not just talking about regular walks.
Go on long walks with your dog, or even runs with your dog.
Have regularly scheduled playtime with your dog each day to expend some of that energy.
What Are Some Benefits Of Neutering My German Shepherd
One of the biggest benefits to neutering your german shepherd is that he will lose the drive to seek out a mate. Instead, hell stay home. He wont be digging, climbing, crawling, or sneaking out of your yard to fulfill his drive to breed.
This means your dog wont be at high risk for the dangers that the world at large may hold for him.
Hell stay home, safe from fighting with other dogs, safe from cars that can easily kill him, and safe from people who might throw things at him or even shoot him with BBs, shotgun pellets, or bullets.
Your german shepherd also wont howl or whine if a neighbors female is in heat, something that can sometimes happen even if the female lives some distance away.
A neutered male wont focus solely on his awareness of a receptive female and lose touch with everything else in his life until her cycle has passed. He will be calmer in general and easier to live with.
Neutering means that your dog wont be contributing to the problem of pet overpopulation.
According to the ASPCA, millions of animals are euthanized in the United States each year because there arent enough homes for them. Neutering helps to cut down on these numbers.
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How To Calm A German Shepherd
If you feel that your German Shepherd is always hyper, jumping around and full of energy, then there are a few ways that you can calm and support them. These methods are positive means of improving your dogs behavior and expelling some of their extra energy!
The best way to do this is to train and teach your German Shepherd tricks. They love to please and engage their intelligent minds, and so teaching your dog to try new things will be great for its energy. This will also keep them occupied, stimulated, and disciplined!
In addition, if your German Shepherd struggles to stay calm, then you may want to make their exercise routine more extensive. This means making it more challenging, or exercising them more. You both can also benefit from an extendable lead so that your dog has more room to run, sniff and explore!
You can even try some agility exercises and training for your dog with an agility course kit. This can help them train, jump, weave in between cones and learn new things!
On the other hand, your German Shepherd may be struggling to calm down, and will constantly try to burn energy because they do not know how to relax.
To help this, you can create a comfortable, soft and relaxing space for your dog. Create a soft, plushy area and encourage your dog to spend time there to regulate their activity levels.
If your German Shepherd is highly energetic, and their excitement never seems to lessen, then it may be time to rethink their exercise routine.
Stopping And Controlling Aggressive Behavior In Dogs
If your German Shepherd shows aggressive behavior after 14 months of age, when it has reached sexual maturity, you must address the problem immediately. First, make sure you have established yourself as the pack leader. Never reward your German Shepherd for aggressive behavior, even if he is scared.
Train your German Shepherd to respond to your commands, control feeding and walking times, and make sure that you are the pack leader in the household. If you allow your German Shepherd is to take liberties in your home, it will exhibit more potent aggression toward others.
If your German Shepherd is defensive-aggressive, they may strike out at a person in fear. These dogs may not have been adequately socialized. Keep them away from small children and attend a training session or behaviorist who can slowly acclimate the dog to a social atmosphere.
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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.
At What Age Do Puppies Calm Down
Puppies are big balls of energy! Whether theyre following your every move around the house or theyre off in the corner getting into some trouble, your pups high energy levels are quite endearing. Its one of the most enjoyable parts of raising a puppy! Theyre always down to clown!
That said, theres going to be some times when you just wish your pup would calm down.
No matter how much you love your dogs penchant for play, we can only take so much! Not only that, but all that energy often leads to some trouble. Puppies are notorious for using that pent-up energy to destroy things and test their boundaries.
Those high energy levels are to be expected. But at what age do puppies start to calm down?
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How To Calm Your German Shepherd
Calming your German shepherd needs patience from you as the dog owner. Remember, if you become angry and start punishing your dog, you will not have resolved the issue you will utmost aggravate the already worse situation.
The AKC has a program thats called STAR that helps dogs to become acceptable family companions
Such a program will be a cornerstone if you want to have a calm dog.
Never the less here is what you can do
How Do You Figure Out If Your German Shepherd Is Hyperactive Or Happy
It can be confusing to tell.
But dont worry because there are ways to make the distinction. A happy puppy has:
- A relaxed body.
- A high and waggy tail.
- Floppy ears that are relaxed and rest against the sides of their head.
Aside from these, a happy dog leans into your hand when you pet them. They also love to do the play bow. Its when they lean on their elbows with their rear up in the air. This is an indication of a happy mood.
On the other hand, a hyperactive puppy shows any of these signs:
- Nipping or biting.
- Engaging in rougher play than usual.
- Excessive barking, yipping and snarling.
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My German Shepherd Has Separation Anxiety Will He Ever Be Calm
German Shepherds have a tendency to get separation anxiety at a young age. We do not yet know why this breed is prone to this disorder, but it can be remedied.
We picked up our pup when she was 8 weeks old. The first night, she squeeked and yipped all night, until she fell asleep. The first time we left the house as a family we came back to a blanket ripped to shreds.
Over the next few weeks, we learned how NOT to treat our German Shepherds separation anxiety:
- Dont punish your dog. They have a problem, you are the solution. Also, they have no idea what you are punishing them for, only that you are being mean.
- Another dog or companion animal will not help. Their anxiety stems from separation from you. So adding another pooch into the mix may cause more issues.
- Crating your dog. This may seem logical to do, but it may intensify the behavior. Your dog may hurt themselves trying to escape. Then again, Houdini may just show up in your house and more things get torn up anyway.
- Unless you have trained your dog to cue in on the TV or radio as a safety cue, leaving these on only uses electricity and will not help your dogs anxiety.
- More obedience training. Again, this is a disorder your dog has and is not related to obedience.
The key to getting the separation anxiety under control is to desensitization of your dog to your arrival and departure.
Some things you can do to habituate your dog to your coming and going :
What do you do with a more severe separation anxiety case?
Dont Neglect Crate Training
Though it sounds like punishment to some dog owners, crate training is actually an important part of owning a dog and keeping him calm.
With crate training, a dog is taught to associate the crate with safety and security, which leads to calmness.
This means if your dog is acting too hyper, then you just put him in the crate and he knows to calm down.
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Watch An Expert Gsd Trainer Teach A German Shepherd To Calm Down
Sometimes it can really help to watch how a professional dog trainer works with a dog to learn new behaviors.
This gives you a visual guide to how you can teach your dog to master the same types of skills.
This helpful YouTube video by a positive methods dog trainer walks you through how to train a German Shepherd to calm down on a mat or inside a kennel using clicker training, with treats and playtime for rewards.
The Causes Of A German Shepherd Who Wont Calm Down
Every dog is unique and wont always follow the glide path outlined above exactly, but what happens when your dog never seems to calm down? Here are a few reasons that might explain why your German Shepherd is still hyper and could provide clues on how to intervene.
Loyalty is a great trait of German Shepherds, but it can also be a double-edged sword. One reason they may not be calm can be that they are constantly trying to seek out attentionparticularly from their owners, or significant people in their life. While it is great to be loved, it can be too much of a good thing when it leads to problematic behaviors.
Boredom or Lack of Mental Stimulation
German Shepherds are an active breed, so it doesnt take much for them to become bored. This is particularly true when they are not getting enough exercise or stimulation. Without proper activity, this breed seems to become increasingly hyperactive.
With many people working from home since the COVID-19 pandemic, many dogs have gotten used to having their owners around them most of the time. As owners go back to work, this has fueled separation anxiety in some dogs. If your dog gets particularly upset when being left alone, this might also be a cause of their hyperactivity.
Lack of Activity
Encouraging the Behavior
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How To Calm Your German Shepherd Down
Something that many German Shepherd owners will question at some point is how to get their German shepherd to calm down. German Shepherds can be a bit more energetic than other dogs and calming them down can be challenging at times. This post will give you ways to keep your German Shepherds hyperactivity to a minimum.
So, how to calm your German Shepherd down? The most effective way to get a German Shepherd to be generally calmer is to give it lots of exercise . Other methods include giving it lots of training, ignoring it when it gets hyper, calming chews and aromatherapy.
There are actually a lot of things that you can do to calm your dog down and they work for different reasons. The most effective way to calm your German Shepherd down will be to apply a combination of them.
Use Safety Precautions To Prevent Injury
Try a control management tool such as a muzzle or headcollar to regain control when out in public. Its best to prevent biting accidents before they happen and head collars give you better control during training.
Gentle Head Collar
This control tool provides gentle corrections and prevents jumping, lunging, and pulling. The head collar is painless and doesnt cause choking, but gives you more control over your German Shepherd.
Using a head collar wont solve your underlying issues. It does, however, provide better safety and control. If you need more confidence in handling your aggressive German Shepherd, then place the head collar on them before going outside.
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What Causes Hyperactivity In My Shepherd
Boredom is the leading cause for hyperactivity in the German Shepherd.
These dogs want to constantly move and be working. Proper training teaches that their job is to sit or lay by you.
Lack of regular exercise will exacerbate the problems of hyperactivity.
These are big dogs that need to move. They were bred for guarding and herding. Make sure they have plenty of daily exercise.
This means more than just 2 walks a day.
Shepherds need both mental and physical exercise. Treat toys that make your dog work for the treat, are a great way to help stimulate your dogs brain.
Dont be afraid to wrestle with your dog. If you start while the dog is young they will learn how to play with you. This will provide mental and physical stimulation.
A poor diet will lead to both mental and physical problems including hyperactivity. Give your GSD the highest quality dog food that you can afford.
Teach Them Obedience Training
Your German Shepherd puppy is an intelligent dog. That will get them through obedience training.
Obedience training should be taken early in a puppys life. That way, it can prevent behavioral problems later on.
This was exactly what this research found out. It studied 142 dogs divided into 4 groups: puppy class, puppy party, adult class and no class.
The puppy and adult classes underwent an hour of training each week for 6 weeks. The other 2 groups did not undergo formal training.
The findings showed that the groups that attended training responded well to commands. The puppy class group also showed positive responses to strangers.
The study concluded that this could prevent behavioral problems such as disobedience or fear of strangers.
In training, its important to consider the short attention spans of puppies. That being said, spend at least 30 minutes each day for their training.
Train them young starting with basic commands. These are useful commands that you can use at home or when outside.
Also, get them busy with leash and off-leash training. This is particularly useful for when you are taking walks or running.
Since obedience training uses focus, its a perfect way to tire them out mentally.
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Plenty Of Attention And Playtime
German Shepherds love playtime with their humans. You will probably find out that your shepherd requires a lot more attention than expected. They love their humans and want to spend as much time playing with them as possible.
Play fetch or tug-of-war, whatever activity you enjoy doing with them. Playtime of any kind will stimulate your dog physically and mentally, which keeps shepherds happy and better behaved. Happy German Shepherds are well-behaved German Shepherds.
From 9 Months To 24 Months
Dogs of different breeds and sizes mature at different ages, and while one year of age is commonly considered the end of puppyhood in general, a German Shepherd Dog may not reach an adult level of maturity before the age of two or three . So continuing to work on impulse control, improve obedience skills, and advance to training in more focused activities like tracking, scent work, protection work, agility, and herdingall of which are capabilities of this breedmust continue throughout this period and then be reinforced as your GSD reaches adulthood. This is also a good time to transition from puppy food to a large breed dog food.
Keep in mind that this is a breed that thrives on constant and consistent work and training, and loves to have a jobor many jobs!to do. If you can provide your GSD with outlets for their intelligence and versatility, both you and your dog will reap the rewards.
Yasmine S. Ali, MD, is a cardiologist and writer based in Tennessee, where she lives with three Canine Good Citizens, including an AKC-registered German Shepherd Dog.
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Great Jobs For Energetic German Shepherd Dogs To Do
As the California Golden State German Shepherd Rescue organization explains, there is no longer a great demand for herding and livestock guarding dogs.
While some ranchers still do employ dogs in this type of job, the vast majority of herding dogs are now in demand in other types of fields.
For the German Shepherd, the main types of jobs these dogs do today include the following:
- Police and personal protection duty.
- Guard dog and military dog duty.
- Search and rescue duty.
- Nosework and scent work.Hunting and tracking.
- Guide dog and service animal work.
Other great avenues to give your GSD an outlet to burn up that considerable daily drive and energy include these:
Canine athletics such as dock diving, herding, agility.
Obedience, Rally, and show dog competitions.