Fun Facts About German Shepherd Dogs

German Shepherds have been some of the most beloved dogs in history. Witness Rin TIn Tin Tin the iconic dog that starred in silent movies, and then his successors starred in several projects, including a television show in the 50s.

People love German shepherds for two things. One is that they are fantastic family dogs as long as they are socialized at an early age. Two, they are fantastic working dogs.

It was a German Shepherd trained in Switzerland by a Swiss woman who was training German Shepherds for the military who trained Buddy the worlds first seeing eye dog, and there is no telling how many war dogs and police dogs have protected their handlers over the years.

Here are some additional fun facts about German Shepherds:

They are great with the family as long as they are socialized

There is hardly a more loyal dog and good with children than a German Shepherd. If taught to socialize and be around children, they are extremely tolerant of being accidentally pinched, prodded, and patted too hard.

One thing, though, is that you need to constantly work with the dog because until around age 3, adust German Shepherd is just large pups, surrounded in a big dog body.

One thing to keep in mind, though, is that with toddlers, a typical adult German Shepherd weighing near 88 lbs may not recognize how vulnerable small children are.
In his mind, your dog just wants to play and be part of the family, and may not recognize his strength.

Begin to train your German Shepherd at an early age. The minute they are aggressive or too rough with the children, grab them by the collar and remove them from the room.
That’s all you need to do to resolve the situation. Never hit or spank the dog.

Another thing that you can do is teach even young children to feed the dog, then back away and let your German Shepherd eat in peace. Being fed by multiple people in the family, including your children, teaches the dog that regardless of size, the dog is here to please members of the family.

By teaching your German Shepherd that everyone is part of the family, they have more respect for everyone, not just the adults.

And above all, never stop socializing. Keep introducing your dog to strangers and children, especially.

Be careful about attack dogs

Many people want a German Shepherd because they do make excellent watchdogs. Just the aggressive barking and teeth showing will be enough to encourage most burglars and intruders to go elsewhere.

However, all dogs, including German Shepherds, are not naturally aggressive. Believe it or not, the best watchdogs and guard dogs begin with being well trained.

You may spend many months teaching your German shepherd to obey voice commands, or to respond to a whistle. So early obedience training is essential.

There are different opinions in the security business. Still, the general belief is if you want a super aggressive dog to protect the family or your property, don’t expect them to live in the house and play with your children.

Another thing you have to worry about is a liability. If you have a German Shepherd that might attack the neighbor’s dog or cat, or worse, your neighbor, you could face a hefty lawsuit. So be mighty careful about having a guard dog.

They are generally best for businesses such as construction sites, not for suburban Austin or Sacramento.

Give your German Shepherd lots of exercises

Unless you want to risk your Shepherd chewing up the furniture or barking at the moon along with every other dog in your neighborhood, you’ll need to be prepared to give your German Shepherd lots of exercises.

A mere 15-minute walk when you get home from work won’t cut it. Most breeders suggest a full 2 hours of exercise per day, which means you need to be a very active owner.

Most vets recommend spreading that time throughout the day rather than cramming it all at once. Besides walks on a leash, find a safe place for your German Shepherd to go off the leash. YOu can play ball with your Shepherd, throw him a frisbee. Which this breed loves and plays tug of war with a rope.

Also, playing with a squeaky toy is great fun.

Before you let your German Shepherd off the leash, make sure that he is socialized to interact with other dogs and cats, and especially children.

Another form of exercise that German Shepherds love is swimming. These athletic dogs love to chase a thrown stick into the water, swim to it, and bring it back.

Feed them plenty but not too much

Rarely are German Shepherds fat. They are such athletic dogs that they pretty much stay within weight unless someone in the neighborhood has been secretly feeding him.

Your German Shepherd should eat about 3 to 5 cups of day, and a combination of dry and wet food is best.

The best course of action is to feed your German Shepherd twice a day, once in the morning and once in the evening. To encourage your dog to eat properly, feed it, and then take away the food after 15 minutes. Your dog should not constantly be eating, and this encourages regular eating,

Also, never feed your dog people food, and strictly make sure that your children and your guests get the message.

Have a vet look at your German Shepherd annually

Although they look the picture of health, German Shepherds, more often than other breeds, are subject to health problems. In particular, German Shepherds are subject to Hip Dysplasia.

Hip Dysplasia is a joint problem in dogs that can lead to painful arthritis problems. Nearly 1 out of every 5 German Shepherds have hip dysplasia, so it and other common diseases warrant a vet’s annual attention.

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