In This Article Dogsculture Covers:
German Shepherd or Alsatian possesses distinguished all square qualities and sets the standard bar too high for the other breeds to reach. They are suitable for almost any job that you can train him for. Home guard, police dog, service dog or military dog position you name it for him.
No bar is truly too high for him to reach. He is still known as Alsatian in many parts of Europe. Many people in those parts of the world did not want to recognize his German name due to the atrocities committed by the Axis Powers led by Germany.
But an able man hardly remains unemployed. So, the GSDs found plenty of jobs in the post WWII era. Thus this breed accumulated a wide fan base who are unwilling to let the dog’s reputation down in any way. He is a Herding Group dog who detests idling around.He must have a vigorous physical stimulation everyday.
Otherwise, he tends to bark and chew things.
German Shepherd Personality:
German Shepherd Dogs are truly hard workers. Their working field is ever widening in both quality and quantity. Since his introduction in the canine world, he has always been one of the busiest members. He is fit for military as well as personal purposes.
For a very long time, German Shepherd dominates the best guard dogs list. You can bet on his herding and guarding capacity alike. The AKC puts these strenuously built dogs as ‘truly a dog lover’s delight’. GSDs are fiercely intrepid dogs.
They do not know how to retreat in a moment of action. Courage is always an integral part of his personality. If you are not a threat to either him or his people, you are safe. They are capable of calculating threat level on their own as they are highly intelligent dogs.
Measure German Shepherd smartness:
In the smart dog list, German Shepherd always scores among the top five competitors. This matrix does tell some striking stories stored for him. They can adjust to any job or any situation.
They are good family companions who ride along your jogging track, play with your kids, bring you something, find out a lost item, reliable hunting fellow, game retriever, assist a disabled person, safely walk your child to the school.
He is the guarding angel of your property. This awesome dog does not limit his capacities into the civil jobs only. He can track criminals. His immensely powerful smelling capacity lends its generous assistance in sniffing out drugs or contraband products.
German Shepherds are distinguished military guides who fit well in both peace and war. With proper training, they can detect mines and ensure safety for the group in a war torn region.
As a service dog, he can take part in search and rescue operation in both natural and man made disasters. He is highly intelligent that makes him easily trainable. He likes to keep his schedule busy with manageable tasks and performs those wonderfully.
Escape a few health issues:
A characteristically flawless dog like German shepherd is not altogether free from several health concerns. They are mostly healthy dogs.
But certain medical clearances may soothe your mind to some extent. You have to look out for some symptoms of fatal diseases which are not rare in German shepherd. Your dog may not suffer from these diseases at all. But in case of such a situation, you can identify and handle it tactfully and effectively.
Well, the question has some severe answers. First of all, we have to talk about bloat, a malfunctioning digestive incident, which is often a life ending issue. In this problem, your dog gathers some air in his stomach that cannot pass it out smoothly.
Usually, it is related to the feeding method. Voluptuous eating and drinking followed by heavy exercise lead to bloating. His belly gets swollen that can be visible to you. As a result of less blood circulation, his heart beat rapidly shots up. The dog becomes restive. If you sense these problems, do not waste a second. Run to a vet as fast as possible. Timely steps will save him.
Hip dysplasia and elbow dysplasia are two other ailments common to the German Shepherd. These are often genetic or large dog issues. If the ancestors of the dog suffer from those diseases, your dog is also likely to have it.
On the other hand, a large dog breed occasionally does not need a family record to undergo such a problem. They are normally prone to these diseases.
Hip and elbow socket malfunction will have a negative impact on his lively activities. The dog will have difficulty in movement in such a case. Adopt a German Shepherd with a clearance from OFA, OVC or Penn Hip. Degenerative myelopathy disrupts spinal cord communication channel. So, the dog loses any trace of connection between his rear legs and brain.
He fails to generate a command for the legs. As a result, he cannot smoothly move here and there. Most of the time, this disease has no cure and the dog must be neutralized. Vitamin shortage creates this problem. German Shepherd diet has to have a proper reflection of a vet suggestion.
Some other health issues:
We may mention ancestral seizure disorder, skin problems, allergies and exocrine pancreatic insufficiency among those other issues.
Hereditary diseases cause the biggest disturbance in their life. So, find out a responsible breeder who does not produce puppies solely for the sake of business. Thus, you can fend off the gravest damages.
Insightful care program:
German Shepherds are late to grow up. It takes even 3 long years for him to shy away from the puppy behavior.
So, do not try to enforce strict adult behavior if he ignores them playfully. His lengthy maturity period demands an owner to have a better understanding on basic dog care tips. Put them under your basic leadership and train continuously. They are high energy dogs meaning you need to give him super healthy food.
Otherwise, his health will undergo a negative impact. His age, size, allergens and activities should be analysed while making a bowl of food for the German Shepherd. Rely on dog food rather than human food which is not always good for his stomach. Weight, food amount and activities run along the same path.
You have to craft a careful balance among these three factors. A perfect body weight will keep him motivated and active. Thus he can fend off untimely injuries too. Unnecessary fat will lead to slower actions which is bad for his daily required quota of physical stimulation.
German Shepherd must not look either skinny or bulky. Do not put heavier routine on his schedule until he crosses two year age threshold. His body does not obtain a perfect shape in these early years and so he gets susceptible to damages. Make sure that his weaker joints can undergo the pressure you are planning to put on.
Proper exercise method:
German Shepherds are generally hard workers. As a herding group dog, he must have a fair amount of exercise. An individual dog will need an individually scheduled program in this regard.
Several behavioral patterns will indicate the right path for you. Every dog is characteristically different. Some German Shepherds may be couch potatoes too. So, these outward expressions will shed some light on his requirements and will help you to take vital decisions.
German Shepherds are notorious for shrill barking. This tendency swells up when you fail to provide appropriate amount of exercise. Then we may mention the universal sign of destructive behavior. He will not let you have your peace of mind and continue on its way of damaging things around him.
A more subdued expression comes in the form of attention seeking. He would not spare you any personal time and stick his nose into your activities. He is unlikely to pay attention to you if he is bored with you.
The dog may exhibit his herding instincts inside the home and often try to herd you or your family members or other pets.
So, the experts say that a lazy owner and a German Shepherd is the highest form of mismatch. If you are considering petting him inside your place, forget adopting a GSD. The dog should have his daily dose of outing.
German Shepherd training cues:
German Shepherds are top trainees among the canine competitors. Their immaculate reputation rests upon their unmatched agility, superior intelligence and all weather capacities. These pillars of train ability function smoothly in order to bring out a top of the class dog.
You have to start with his training between 8-12 weeks of age. German Shepherds are easy to train because of their willingness to listen, desire for perfection. Century old herding history in Germany leaves a trail of punctuality, precision and sharp focus.
German Shepherd origin:
German Shepherd ancestors grew up in various districts of Germany. In spite of different paths of development, they had one common profession which is herding the sheep. Shepherds were exclusively developed in the first part of the twentieth century.
Captain Max Von Stephanitz played the single most important role in its development. After finishing his army career, he chose to devote his passion behind flourishing this breed. Herding was a mainstream profession in middle age Europe.
As a result, those dogs enjoyed a greater demand. But no dog lover showed so much passion for herders like Stephanitz. He was focused on introducing an intelligent sheep herding dog. His efforts culminated into the German Shepherd dogs. German Shepherd Dogs are comparatively new breed in the canine world.
Since its inception, it has attracted many hearts. Stephanitz along with the other breeders took steps to introduce a club for this dog.
He spent almost four decades in refining the breed standard. Captain Max sourced the crossbreeding elements to boost up stamina, intelligence and versatile capabilities in the dog. His efforts tremendously yielded results during the First World War and several warring parties enlisted Shepherd sentries.
Is German Shepherd a Loyal Dog?
Frequent demonstration of social manners is a distant thought for a GSD. He maintains a certain distance and aloofness all the time. This loneliness is more of a calm confidence than shyness. He befriends only a few of his close circle.
If someone does not belong to the list,this is because of the dog’s choice. He decides on whom to make friend with. But once you are in his good book, he will protect you with his life. His loyalty is boundless to the person he trusts.They learn commands pretty swiftly. As a result, they can be used for multi-tasking.
Rover observation has placed the German Shepherds at the foremost position in their loyal dogs list. Their loyalty makes them fantastic family companions who can be trusted with a sympathetic job like guiding a blind person.
They are fit for superb athleticism as they can reach almost unmatched speed. German Shepherd temperament is that of courage, loyalty, obedience, curiosity and watchfulness. A well trained dog of this breed will both amuse you and come to serious use.
Why are these dogs resoluteness?
They are dogged determined and you can barely divert his attention. German Shepherd does not wander about looking for troubles.
But he can be ruthless in front of a danger. He is courageous except for a showy attitude. He will make a splendid contribution when either you or the situation asks for it.
In an overall estimation, this dog earns the respect we have paid him here. He is a cool big brother watching over you.
Where else to put your attention?
Treat should not surpass 10% of his calorie intake. If you want to use lot of treats, then go for low calorie and yummy items. It will satisfy the dog appetite with little impact on his health.
Vegetables and kibbles are a better getaway in this regard. You may maintain different schedules for walking and exercise. The second one should be exhaustive to some extent. The dog needs socialization which is attainable while in a walk. Take them to vets regularly.
Keep a protective eye on his smelling activities while outing. Their strong nose may lead them to poisonous items responsible for diseases. Overheated German Shepherd comes along with hot weather. Rest, shade, cool water and proper care can minimize the risk of overheating.
What are the focusing points?
They are reputed for lightning actions. Herding, guarding, guiding and hunting are some of his areas of expertise.You can light up all these skills for him or choose some of them.
Never encourage or let go of a bad practice even when it is only a puppy. German Shepherds are going to grow into big dogs.
They often tend to bite anything and anybody. You have to strictly put an end to such behaviors immediately as it takes place.
Otherwise, this habit will remain with them when they grow old. And we ensure that an adult dog bite is really worth avoiding at any costs. Biting tendency get out of proportion due to lack of training.
Remember that biting is a game for a German pup and it often does that because of gum irritation or during teething period. An authoritative ‘no’ along with stopping a play is a good signal for a pup. Your dog possesses an inherent guard instinct. But you need shape it towards perfection.
How to shape up his future behavior?
You have to teach him what your day to day activities are and what ‘unexpected’ actually means. Socialization will help him differentiate between normal and abnormal events.
A new place or person require new level of interaction which the dog should identify in his training period. You can assist this process by taking him with you.
Moreover, you have to control both his barking and silence. Thus his barking will produce effective results. It will not create nuisance but respect. Inspire your dog to announce an unfamiliarity. So, you can exercise control over the situation.
Walk with him to mark his areas of activities. Do not let him growl at or chase people indiscriminately. Focus on positive reinforcements too. If your dog performs something that amazes you or follows your commands accordingly, praise him lavishly. He will build up his confidence from such incidents.
In future, these appreciations will help him differentiate between good and bad behavior. Be with your dog in the thick of the activities. He will undergo many actions in the puppy stage and your company will assist him to do things in a better way.
What was the controversy?
Civilian interests started booming worldwide and the reflection of this popularity can be traced into English and American naming tactics. English breeders sought to abolish the German part of the dog’s name and called him Alsatian which is still prevalent in some parts of Europe.
The AKC retracted ‘German Shepherd Dog’ in place of only ‘Shepherd Dog’ in 1931 well after the Great War. This dog further gained popularity in the USA with the rise of the canine movie characters like Strong heart and Rin Tin Tin.
One prominent aspect of this enormous development, we have to remember, is that the initial qualities of the GSDs took shape in the pastures and not in the police or military academies.
The military connections of Captain Max slyly made the dog’s way into the army barracks. The utmost contributions of Von Stephanitz and the capacities of the dog simultaneously placed the German Shepherds at such a place that we do not need to further elaborate his qualities.