German shepherds are large and share a build that’s similar to other athletic breeds, which makes them very strong and agile. They are also great herding dogs. They are also commonly used as service animals, such as guide dogs for blind individuals,and also popularly used in the police and military as working dogs so they have a pretty strong guarding nature.
Nonetheless, german shepherdsmake for wonderful companions at home as pets.
Are German Shepherds Ideal for Families?
German shepherds can make for excellent family dogs. They are extremely intelligent and can be easily trained. They tend to bond well with their family members and are very loyal. Due to their high energy, they can also make great playmates for your children if you socialize them early on.
They also have a protective nature. They are fiercely protective, and are willing to lay down their lives for their families.
Having served as the top guard dog breed for decades, they have a reputation for keeping their wards safe. They are considered the best guard dog breeds popular for saving their families from threats. There are plenty of heroic stories about German shepherds and how they have protected their owners from certain harm, getting in the way instead.
Are German Shepherds Good with Kids?
Not all dogs are a good fit for families, especially ones with young kids. However, the German shepherd excels on all fronts. Before bringing a shepherd puppy home, you may want to ask yourself: are German shepherds good with kids? The answer is a resounding yes.
Although these dogs can be intimidating at first, if you get a shepherd puppy home and socialize it with the kids, it can adjust very well with them.
They love to play with children if they are adequately trained at a young age. Proper puppy training is vital for getting love, care, and respect from your dog. It is crucial to make sure both the dog and the kids understand how to interact with each other. It is imperative that you lay ground rules with your family before you bring the puppy home. You should start the puppy’s training as soon as you bring it home.
It is always recommended to supervise your children when they are interacting with the dog. Teach your kids to avoid going near the dog if it appears sick, agitated, or injured. They won’t harm the kid, but they may lash out and that could result in an injury.
German shepherds are a big breed; they can grow up to 26 inches tall and weigh a whopping 90 pounds at their biggest. If you live in a small apartment and have space restrictions, German shepherds might not be the ideal choice. Consider getting a poodle or a chihuahua if you want an ideal apartment dog.
Their thick undercoats will require lots of attention. They need regular brushing and grooming. More importantly, these dogs also tend to shed a lot, but the intensity of shedding can reduce with consistent grooming. The coat plays a vital function for the dog, keeping dirt and debris at bay, so they do not require frequent bathing sessions.
However, overbathing them can strip out the natural oils from their coat, which can cause health problems.
You will also need to trim your shepherd’s nails frequently to ensure they can walk and run around comfortably. The dental hygiene of your dog is also of paramount importance, so it’s important that you brush their teeth twice in a week. These dogs particularly love to chew toys to keep their teeth clean.
If a German shepherd is not trained correctly, it can show aggression and anxiety. Because of their intelligent nature, training them is not a difficult task. Socialization training is recommended for shepherd puppies to ensure they do not get stressed around strangers.
A shepherd, when not appropriately trained, will actively avoid others and is at an increased risk of harming or mauling them. This dog breed wants to please its owner, so they are quick learners. They can also learn many fun tricks and will provide endless hours of entertainment.
A German shepherd has endless reserves of energy in its slender frame. They would need ample opportunities to engage in physical activity to expend all of that energy. They would require daily walks around the park. Make sure to devote time for their exercise to stimulate their mental and cognitive muscles.
If your dog does not get its daily workouts, expect them to take out that energy around your home, most likely in ways you won’t like.
Always keep a leash on the dog when you are walking it in public, and try to engage the dog in various exercises to keep its mind sharp and active. These dogs enjoy tracking exercises and canine competitions as well. If your puppy is well trained, you can even enroll it in obedience competitions or dog shows!
Some hereditary health problems can persist in these dogs. They can suffer from hip or elbow dysplasia, degenerative myelopathy, and even gastric dilatation-volvulus. They also tend to gain weight if they don’t get proper exercise, which can drastically shorten their life span.
Plan regular visits to the vet so that potential health problems can be detected in their early stages. If you identify potential health problems early on, they can be treated easily.
The German shepherd requires high-quality dog food to keep its metabolism functioning smoothly. Make sure to feed them two meals a day. High-quality dog food with good fats, carbohydrates, and nutrients is recommended. This goes without saying, but make sure that a bowl of fresh water is constantly available.
They Are Known as a Mouthy Breed
Owing to their heritage, you will see German shepherds using their mouths to chew or pick up everything they can find. Expect these dogs to mouth and chew anything that will fit inside their mouth.
At first, this behavior might seem cute, but if you don’t nip it in the bud, it can cause damage to your furniture and other things around your home. This is where training your dog not to chew unnecessarily is vital. Teach your dog to channel such instincts properly.
They Are Members of the Herding Group
If you own this breed, you already know that they like to show their love by nuzzling with their owners. They might nudge you on your face, in the back, or even your leg. This behavior comes naturally to the shepherd.
Even though the shepherd isn’t used for herding anymore, the instincts still remain. It is common for your German shepherd to try and herd family members when everyone’s out and about in a yard too!
You might even see your dog walking ahead of you while looking back to see if you’re walking in the same direction as them, as they like to stay out in front to protect their owners.