How Can You Minimize The Attack Zone
If you are attacked, you need to make sure that you give the dog as little as possible to grab onto. Moving slowly, turn your body sideways. Try to make it so that only one arm and leg is facing the dog.
If you have any objects such as an umbrella or backpack, slowly move them so that they can act as a barrier between you and the German Shepherd.
Without making any sudden movements, look around to see if there is anything you can use as a wall of protection between you and the dog. Dont lunge towards the object but move towards it gently and easily. Even when picking it up, do so in a slow and fluid motion.
Why This Behavior Should Be Limited
If you arent too worried about your German Shepherd following you around everywhere, you may think its ok to let it happen. But this isnt advisedIf this behavior continues it may inadvertently cause separation anxiety in the future. By following you everywhere you go, your German Shepherd is slowly becoming dependant on you being there. So when you do actually leave and she cant follow, it may result in increased nerves and anxiety.While this may not always be the outcome, considering how difficult separation anxiety is to overcome, everything should be done to prevent it in the first place.
How Will A German Shepherd Protect Me
A Trained German shepherd can protect you in many ways.
If he feels that a stranger is trying to hurt you, then he might bark aggressively and warn him to stay away from you.
German Shepherd dogs barking can intimidate many people.
German Shepherd also gives warning to a stranger with their body language. He may growl, show teeth, and a straight-up tail is a sign that he might attack him.
Your GSD will Stay Close to you and will try to keep the persons or animal who wants to hurt you away from you.
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Why Does Your German Shepherd Lick You
The most obvious reason your GSD will lick you is to show affection and joy. When youve been away and your German Shepherd has been all alone, your arrival is a cause for jubilation, and your dog will want to tell you how much they love you and show their immense joy at your homecoming.
Your German Shepherd will also lick you to investigate you and give information. Since your dog cannot ask you with words how you are or what youve had for lunch, they will lick your face to detect the smell of what youve eaten. They will also lick you after their lunch to tell you they are grateful, kind of, lunch was good Mom, thanks!
If your visual expression tells your dog that something is amiss, your German Shepherd will lick you to calm and soothe. They will come to the couch where you are lying down and lick you to say they are sad youre unwell and want you to be up again.
But dogs will also lick you to seek attention. If you have ignored them or not given them a treat all morning because you are busy, your dog will lick your face to draw your attention.
But your German Shepherd does not just lick you. They will also lick themselves.
Common German Shepherd Behavioral Problems And Personality Traits
Over the years working as a dog trainer, Ive probably worked with as many German shepherd dogs as any other breed.
Most often, they are an incredibly loyal breed, are devoted to their owners, and have really sweet and fun personalities. And so, to those of you who love the breed and wouldnt consider anything but a German shepherd in the future, I understand!
Yet, some people are terrified of them and feel they are dangerous dogs to own.
To those of you that are wary of German shepherds, I understand where you are coming from, too! First off, they are very large dogs and can come off very intimidating.
Second, their instinct to protect their family or property is strong and can lead untrained German shepherds to becoming very protective, aggressive, and scary dogs.
The keyword here is untrained, as any untrained dogregardless of breedcan have the same problems.
Over the last decade I really feel like Ive come to understand German shepherds and have personally fallen in love with this breed. Ive also realized that theyre so misunderstood due to poorly trained German shepherds often ending up in the news and how they are portrayed on TV and in the media.
For this reason, I wanted to write todays post in hopes that, if you are someone who fears this breed, are looking for help and direction with your dog, or you know someone who is wary of German shepherds, then this honest truth about this lovely breed might change your mind.
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Take Preventive Measures To Avoid Bloat
German Shepherds are a deep-chested breed and this makes them more prone to bloat , which is a surgical emergency. A gastropexy surgery is a simple procedure to help prevent future bloating from becoming a life-threatening issue. Changes in the way you feed your dog may increase the risk of bloat, so stay consistent in the way you feed your dog. – Erica M. Irish, DVM
Which Is Better A Gsd Or A German Shepherd
The female GSD may be easier to train and more sensitive to commands and cues. The female GSD may be a better pick for service dog or therapy dog work. The female German shepherd can be a better pick for rally, agility, and obedience training due to lighter weight, smaller size, and more graceful body structure.
10-year-old German Shepherd Unfortunately, a German Shepherds expected lifespan is between 9 and 13 years old, and their time left here is getting short. It is common for German Shepherds to face arthritis, skin problems, decreased activity, dental issues, weight gain or loss, or even cancer at this age and older.
12-year-old German Shepherd As your German Shepherd gets older, their ability to use their hind legs diminishes rapidly, eventually leading to total loss of ability to move their rear legs. This is commonly due to arthritis or hip dysplasia. Hip dysplasia is more likely to occur the older your dog gets.
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When Might A German Shepherd Lean Into Me And How Do I Know What They Want
A German shepherd might lean into their owner when they are sick, tired, lonely, scared, happy, protective, and bored. Dog behaviors, including leaning, are intricately linked to their emotions and physical feelings.
Their inability to express their thoughts, feelings, needs, and wants requires that they use their body language. This body language can include barking, licking, rolling over for a belly rub, leaning in, and so on.
Another affectionate body language technique that a German shepherd display is nudging their owner or family member with their nose.
Whether its nudging the back, the side, the face, the leg, they love to touch. The German shepherd loves touching, so they enjoy leaning on their owner for affection.
This body language is what helps us understand them.
A German shepherd might lean into their owner or family due to environmental changes. These can include but are not limited to:
- When schedules change
- When someone moves or leaves the house
- If someone is sick in the home
- If a stranger is visiting the home
- The family or owner and dog have recently moved
- There has been an argument
- During loud music, bright lights and other stressors from parties and events
- When another animal enters the house
- If they have been sick or had a surgery
- During uncontrollable weather patterns
At these times, the German shepherd might lean in bodily to those they love for comfort and comfort their loved ones.
Why Do German Shepherds Nibble
Nibbling is the gentle bite your dog will make on your body, especially on your toes! This German Shepherd behavior is generally considered an instinctual behavior characterizing puppies of all breeds, especially during teething.
When young puppies play, you will have noticed that they will display behavior consisting of gently biting each other as part of the game. Your doggo can transfer this nibbling behavior to you or your furniture if no other puppies or pets are around, which is why teething toys such as the KONG Puppy Toy from Amazon are essential. You can even stuff it with treats or peanut butter to keep your GSD entertained.
But German Shepherd Dogs tend to bring this growing up behavior into their adult life. Naturally, newborn German Shepherd puppies will explore their world with their mouths before using their sight and smell. And it appears that this instinct is maintained throughout life for important reasons, as shown by some studies.
A study investigating the meaning and emotion associated with nibbling in dogs concluded that the behavior is not related to negative personality traits. Instead, nibbling has two functions:
Despite these facts, nibbling behavior in German Shepherds can also be triggered by several other factors:
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Youre Just Not Fun To Stay Around
Look, Im not saying this to upset you.
But your adult dog or puppy probably likes fun, happy, and exciting things.
And when you tell him to come to you it generally means he has to go home, leave his friends, stop smelling awesome stinky dog things, and in general
Youre a real buzz kill!
Its like a Doggy Disneyland outside
And youre the grouchy parent wanting them to get off the rides and go home.
Assess Their Laying Spot
It seems that your German Shepherd doesnt trust the safety of his bed or lying spot. It will also circle the spot to ensure there are no vermin or harmful objects that will make your pets rest uncomfortable.
There is little scientific data to prove the above 3 examples except for the idea that dogs circle before lying down to make a nest. This small study of 62 dogs implied that dogs are more likely to circle before lying down when given a soft, uneven surface to make a temporary nest to sleep in.
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They Cant Help But Kiss Or Lick You
Dogs learn to lick and kiss during puppyhood. Puppies lick their mothers mouths as a signal that they want to get fed. Therefore, they learn early on that licking on the mouth is a way to show they want to be cared for.
As they grow older, kissing also becomes a communication act. Dogs mouths and noses are incredibly sensitive. A few kisses can give them tons of information about you, including where youve been and who youve been with.
While its up to you to set boundaries with your own GSD, know that kissing you only means that they love you and are interested in what youve been doing.
How To Stop Your German Shepherd Following You So Much
The very best way to stop your GSD from shadowing you is to stop reinforcing the behavior. I mentioned this in the last section, but it has to be covered againPositive reinforcement is a powerful training technique and thats probably the millionth time youve heard that. But one thing thats rarely discussed is how easy it is to accidentally encourage the behavior you dont want.For example Its as simple as giving her a small piece of ham while youre making a ham sandwich If she followed you there, you are rewarding her for that. Thats it all it takes, and this has just positively reinforced to her that following you is what you want .That was just one example, but this repeats itself in so many ways, in just a single day.Try your best to only reward your German Shepherd in moments that she deserves it, like after having followed a specific command.As long as separation anxiety isnt the cause, practicing this tip should slowly but surely reduce how often your GSD gets up to follow you.
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Why Is My German Shepherd Not Listening To Me
You might wonder why your German Shepherd isnt listening to you when you just KNOW you trained them right.
But, there are many reasons why.
For example, your dog might not be listening because:
- Theyre sick or ill and unable to work through it.
- Theyre in pain or too stressed.
- Theyre over-stimulated or lack impulse control .
- Youve asked them to perform a command that they actually dont know.
The first thing you need to remember is you need to be able to communicate effectively with your dog. This is the number one way to practice proper listening skills and obedience.
Remember that German Shepherds dont always understand the methods of communication that you may tend to use. So, its your job as their fair teacher to find a language that works for both of you.
Signs Of A Depressed German Shepherd
Ive already touched on a number of factors in my guide to German Shepherd happiness, but what should you look out for if your German Shepherd isnt happy, but instead has depression?
Here are some signals that could point towards German Shepherd depression:
- Growling and aggressive behavior.
- Fearful behavior such as cowering and hiding.
- Destructive behavior including chewing.
- Lack of interest in playing and their toys.
- Disturbed or irregular sleep patterns.
- Too much sleep compared to usual.
- Excessive licking of themselves.
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How Can I Make My German Shepherd Love Me More
If your dog doesnt have an intense bonding with you, try giving them some time to warm up towards you. You wont form a bond overnight, have patience and take little steps this will gradually increase your pets affection level.
Apart from that, provide GSDs with regular exercise, feed them right, show them love and avoid negative reinforcements. Negative reinforcements can make them have resentment towards you. Train your dog with positive reinforcements to make your German Shepherd affectionate towards you.
Your German Shepherd Follows You To The Bathroom Because He Is Curious
Most dogs like German shepherds are always curious. They will curiously check what you are doing all over your house.
For example, after visiting the bathroom, your German shepherd will try to peep and see what you are doing there inside.
Your German shepherd will think you have gone to get a treat for him from the bathroom. So if you have been wondering whats wrong, as your German shepherd cannot stop following you in the bathroom- just know he wants to quench his curiosity.
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Desensitization Training In A Safe Environment
If youve got a pretty good idea of what your dog is afraid of, you can desensitize them by introducing them to what they fear in a controlled environment. It is best done with a helper, so that you can tell your dog sit or lay down so that they become more used to the thing that they fear and learn to respond in a controlled manner.
Shes Seeking Your Attention
German Shepherds love attention from their human family, especially their owner or who they deem to be their leader.While some German Shepherds are happy to lay down by themselves, many want to know exactly what you are doing and where you are going. German Shepherds require a lot of exercise, training, mental stimulation, playtime, and your time. If any of these areas are lacking, she may be following you around as a way to say hey, Im waiting to do something.What You Can Do Reevaluate your current daily routine and think if your German Shepherd is lacking in any of the essential areas.GSDs should be receiving around 2 hours of intensive exercise per day, some form of command training, and at least a couple of random play sessions with you. If your German Shepherd is lacking in any of those areas she may just be following you around for more attention.
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Generalize In Different Scenarios
Is your German Shepherd refusing to come when called?
Do they stop listening to you when youre outside? Maybe youve noticed that they have a selective hearing based on your location?
Then your German Shepherd isnt paying attention to you because you havent taught them the appropriate listening skills.
Staving Off Separation Anxiety
If you will only be gone for a few hours, use toys as a way to keep your German Shepherd busy. Look for food puzzles or toys that require your pooch to exercise its intellect.
You can also give your dog a good workout before you leave the house. Exercising them well can give your German Shepherd a sense of satisfaction and will tire them out a bit. They will be more likely to doze until you come back.
In case you are going out for longer, you may want to hire a dog sitter or have someone check in on your dog while you are away. If your pup gets along with other dogs, a doggy daycare may also be a viable option.
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How Do You Tell If Your German Shepherd Loves You
Here are some of the most common German Shepherd signs of affection: