If you are considering adopting a pet dog, then you simply cannot go wrong with a German Shepherd. They are more popularly known as the dogs that accompany the police, but do not let this reputation fool you. They are not just working dogs, they can be playful too!
A healthy mixture of intelligence, agility and obedience sets this loving dog breed apart from the others.
Why should you get a German Shepherd?
There are several reasons why you should get a German Shepherd. Before we break them down for you, let’s take a look at a list of them:
- German Shepherds are intelligent
- German Shepherds are protective dogs
- German Shepherds are playful
- German Shepherds look amazing
Why German Shepherds are popular?
German Shepherds did not become popular for no reason. If you are in the top three of almost all top lists for most recognizable dog breeds in the world, then that has to account for something.
If you are wondering why German Shepherds are so popular, it is simply because they are a great all-round breed of dogs. They can do almost anything and are good at almost everything.
How intelligent are German Shepherds?
German Shepherds are very smart and know how to adapt to social cues. This means that even though you do not have to train them to behave, they themselves know when to adjust such as when to bark and when to be calm.
They analyze the situation and their surroundings such as when you meet up with a stranger who is otherwise friendly. They will not bark because they see that you are not in immediate danger.
It should also be noted that German Shepherds excel in a lot of things when they get the proper training. They are great companions for almost everyone, even handicapped folks. In fact, most assistance-providing dogs that can be adopted are German Shepherds.
Their ability to learn and master new things is a testament as to why they make perfect working dogs for our men and women in the police force and the military.
Will my pet German Shepherd protect me?
German Shepherds will go above and beyond to protect you from any kind of peril. If they realize that you are in danger, they will think of the many things that they were taught and the many things that they know from experience on how to save you.
This is why they make great rescue dogs especially when brought on search and rescue operations. A single whiff of clothing with your scent will most likely lead them to your location. That is how impressive they are.
Many families adopt German Shepherds because they are great protectors of the house. Once taught how to guard, they know how to patrol and which spots to look out for whenever they are trying to find someone or something suspicious. They will bark nonstop once they see something that does not belong in order to alert their owners.
German Shepherds have a reputation for being reckless in their attempts to save their owners from danger and this is both sad and amazing. They will risk themselves just so you can be safe.
An example of this is the fact that German Shepherds, as long as they are trained, can differentiate a knife from a firearm. They will strategize in a split second as to how to approach whoever is harming or threatening you so you can run free.
Why are German Shepherds fun to play with?
Make no mistake about it, German Shepherds are great companions for those who want someone to play with whenever they are relaxing. They are not just all work. You can teach them a variety of games so you have something to play with them whenever you are outdoors.
They learn pretty quickly and become really good in only a short amount of time, so you better watch out!
Let’s take a look at the list of games that German Shepherds love to play with their owners:
- Treasure hunt
- Hide and seek
Do all German Shepherds look alike?
German Shepherds can be categorized into different kinds, but they all look terrific. Their physical features are easily distinguishable so you know which dog is a German Shepherd and which one is not.
Their pointed ears twitch whenever they are trying to locate a sound and their curved tail simply looks cute regardless of their fur’s coating.
How long do German Shepherds live?
One of the most important things that you have to know about a dog breed before you adopt one is how long you can be with them. This gives you an idea of how much time you should spend with them so you can share wonderful memories together. Luckily for you, German Shepherds have a lengthy lifespan when compared to other dogs.
German Shepherds live to be at least 11 years old and can be 13 years old at most. Their energy begins to dwindle down at around 10 years old which means that they will probably not be as playful.
They will still do any tasks that you taught them with the same work ethic they had before, but they will probably not go all out as they did before.
How to keep a German Shepherd healthy?
There are two things that you should know about keeping a German Shepherd, or any dog for that matter, healthy: exercise and diet. Exercise is important for the German Shepherd because they need to be constantly working their joints and their muscles so they do not begin to weaken too early.
They put on weight easily which means that they might have less energy if you let them eat too much and just lay around.
To keep a German Shepherd active, you just have to teach them the different games that we listed above.
Tug-of-war is one of the best games that you can teach a German Shepherd because of their competitive nature. Just make sure that you balance their wins and losses.
Letting them win one too many times could inflate their sense of dominance and they are more likely to disobey you if they do not see you as their equal. Consistent losses for them could diminish their morale especially when they are doing work.
A German Shepherd’s diet is different for every dog. There are a few things that you just have to know so you can make sure that your dog is well fed. These are:
- Knowing if your German Shepherd likes dry dog food or wet dog food
- Knowing if your German Shepherd prefers natural foods or canned products
- Making sure that your German Shepherd gets the right amount of vitamins through supplements
You also have to make sure that your German Shepherd drinks enough water for the amount of time they are active. If they become too dehydrated, they will most likely not have the energy to do many tasks for the rest of the day especially after rigorous activity.
Training your German Shepherd
German Shepherd training might prove to be too difficult for novice dog owners, but it is a process that can be a learning experience for both you and the dog. There are a lot of commands that you can teach a German Shepherd just as you would any dog
Let’s take a look at some of the more essential commands to teach your pet:
- “Here” or “come”
- “Sit” or “stay”
- “Good dog” and “no”
Make sure that you associate the words with the correct actions. This means that every time they succeed in doing what you told them to do, give them a treat. If they do not, then do not give them a treat.
This will make them realize that “sit” means to sit down. You may have to go hands-on with the training like “guard.” German Shepherds realize what pointing means early on so you can point to wherever you want them to go or stay.
Training a German Shepherd is a fun experience, but you have to make sure that they still have regular fun time by playing with them every once and awhile. Burning them out with commands will cause them to disobey you and become irritated once they hear words for commands.
You also have to make sure that you are consistent with the words that you use to command them. Do not forget the word that you taught them. If you can, try to associate a tone with the word that you are using. German Shepherds react well to changes to the tone of their owner’s voice.
How do German Shepherds behave?
The behavior of each German Shepherd is different and may be looked at on a case-to-case basis, but there is a rough guideline on how they react to certain things. It is known that German Shepherds adapt well to new situations meaning that you do not have to worry about them being too intimidated once you go to new places or if you move home. They are also incredibly friendly towards those that pose no threat to them.
Do German Shepherds need grooming?
German Shepherds do not require much grooming since they essentially just shed. You just have to make sure that you clean up their fur and bathe them regularly so they do not give off that “dirty dog” scent.
Since they are obedient pets, bathing them will be an easy task for you. Actually, a lot of German Shepherds love splashing around in water!
What are different kinds of German Shepherds?
Remember earlier when we talked about the different kinds of German Shepherds? Well let’s break them down and see how different they are from each other.
It is important to adopt the one that you think suits you and your family best. These are only rough guidelines of their characteristics and should not be taken as if they were set in stone.
American Show Lines
This kind of German Shepherd was popularized during the early 70’s because of their obedience and affectionate behavior towards their owners. They are incredibly agile for their size and have a great work ethic which makes them a great companion for those who love the outdoors. As we know, everyone loved going outdoors back in the 70’s.
American Show lines make great family pets. They do not require much force to restrain and keep calm and they can exercise by themselves as long as you teach them how to come back to you whenever they have to go home.
They are laid back pets and are sensitive to punishment. As long as you do it properly, they will know their limits early on with the right amount of enforcement of rules.
West German Show Lines
German Shepherds of the West German Show lines are the “poster dogs” for their breed. They are the most aesthetically pleasing out of all the different kinds of German Shepherds since their features are a lot more exaggerated over the others.
Taking care of this kind of dog might be a demanding task since they are strong and hyper. Make sure that you take them out for a walk every so often or they will grow restless especially if they have to live inside the house.
West German Working Lines
These working dogs are known to have the patience comparable to a man. They will do the task you told them to do for as long as they can even if it means that they have to spend minutes or hours to do so.
They stick to what they are taught which makes them great patrol dogs for those who live in big compounds. They are great for all active families since they love to go out and run around fields and parks in their leisure time.
East German Working Lines
This kind of German Shepherd that has a strong work ethic. These dogs were closely bred for 40 years which gave them their distinct look that stands out from the rest. Some even go as to far as say that they are their own breed.
These dogs, however, should only be adopted if you think you can meet the physical demands required to handle them. They are agile, strong, heavy, and big, which means that they will drag you around if you do not have the strength to pull them back.
A good side to this is that they make for great heavy guard dogs. You will often see them in action inside malls as border patrol et cetera.
Czech Working Lines
Known to be the kind of German Shepherds that go around the airports to sniff for any threats, these hard-working dogs prove to be the most loyal and one of the best companions for both the military and the police force where they are adopted in groups.
They have a good balance of agility and strength while their hyperactivity levels match those of an active person. They do require quite a lot of physical stimulation since they tend to get restless easily, but that only makes it better for when you want them to do a task.
Learn More About German Shepherds
The German Shepherd breed is one of the best dog breeds in the world since they have a good combination of aesthetics, affection and agility. They make for great companions for those who wish to adopt them because they can easily adjust to their new homes.
It is no wonder why so many families are now adopting German Shepherds as their house pets because not only will they keep the young ones entertained by playing fun games, they can also protect the house at night from anyone who might threaten the family.
If you want to learn more about this wonderful breed of dog, then look no further than Michael Tapscott’s German Shepherd Handbook. There are a lot of things that you can learn from it so you can understand, train and care for your German Shepherd a lot better.
The handbook explains how to approach different behavioral traits well so that your dog does not feel intimidated.
Learn how to keep your German Shepherd happy and healthy by knowing the right exercises, understanding socialization and the best foods to feed your dog by reading the German Shepherd Handbook. There are a lot of chapters that break down the many important things that dog owners should know about the specifics of caring for a German Shepherd.
It has a lot of positive testimonials from German Shepherd dog owners and it has proven to be a great resource material for those wanting to learn more about German Shepherds and dogs as a whole. Do not waste any more time and grab a copy now so you can make the 13+ years of your German Shepherd’s life a fun and exciting experience every day.