One of the most popular dog breeds in the United States is the German Shepherd. There is a good reason for this. These dogs are intelligent and very hard working. The courage and devotion of a German Shepherd are simply unmatched. In addition, the German Shepherd is very versatile as they excel in almost anything that they are trained to do.
They make excellent assistant and guide dogs, work with police and military services, can be used for herding, are great on search and rescue teams, can be used for drug detection, and most importantly are faithful companions to their owners. Easily trained and quite smart, these dogs are very active and require something to do at all times. This means that you need to be able to exercise them regularly if you decide to own on. Read on to learn more about some of the main characteristics that define the German Shepherd.
The German Shepherd is not a small dog. It is important to make sure that you know this when purchasing one. The average weight for a male German Shepherd is between 75 to 95 pounds. The average weight is the same for female German Shepherds. Males are a bit taller than females with the average height at their withers coming in at 25 inches for males and 23 inches for females.
The ears of the German Shepherd are naturally upright as these dogs are always on alert. There are many breeds of dogs that are larger than the German Shepherd and of course many that are smaller. While these are not the largest of dogs, they do require an ample amount of space as they need to get plenty of exercise each day. This is a good medium sized breed that is large enough to make an impact, but not too large to fit into the average household.
2. Energy Levels
The German Shepherd has an average energy level when it comes to dog breeds. They need about forty minutes of exercise each day. This can be in the form of a walk or simply playing a game of fetch in the backyard. It is important to make sure that your German Shepherd is getting enough exercise each day as this will help to keep him healthy and strong.
If you are thinking about adding a German Shepherd to your family it is important to make sure that you have enough time to devote to your new family pet. While they do not require a lot of exercise each day, they do need to be kept busy and entertained. If the dog becomes bored it will begin to act out in ways that may not always be pleasant. Taking the time to provide your German Shepherd with some exercise each day will help to reduce behavior issues that may arise.
The German Shepherd is a very well proportioned breed of dog. The maximum height for this breed is about 25 inches and they can weigh up to 95 pounds. They have heads that are quite broad that will taper into a muzzle that is quite sharp. The ears of the German Shepherd are quite large and always stand erect.
The back of the German Shepherd is muscular and level and the tail is quite bushy with a downward curve. They have a thick coat that is quite rough. The colors of a German Shepard may be tan, black, gray, or black and tan. Most German Shepherds have a medium length coat, but there are some long coated German Shepherds as well. The dogs will shed their coats, so it is important to be prepared for dog hair invading your home if you bring this breed in as a family pet.
German Shepherds are extremely intelligent. This is one of the many reasons that they are used as drug sniffing dogs, for police trainings, and as guide dogs for the disabled. They are very easy to train to do these different types of drugs. It is important to make sure that training begins early with these dogs. Both socialization and obedience training need to begin at a young age.
If a German Shepherd is not properly trained early it can lead to aggressive and unwanted behaviors when they are older. If you are going to adopt an older German Shepherd it is important to make sure that they have been trained well. It is also important to note that German Shepherds are very protective of their people, so an older dog may not be receptive to you at first as these dogs are often leary of people they are not familiar with.
5. Raising a German Shepherd
German Shepherds will often get along very well with other pets that are living in the household as well as children, if they are raised with them. Since this breed of dog has a very strong guarding instinct, they are often leary of any strangers that enter their territory. This is important to note as this breed of dog is very protective of their family.
They make a wonderful guard dog for a household as they will go into protect mode at any time to ensure that the ones that they love are taken care of. If you lead a very social life, make sure that your German Shepherd is well trained so that they do not attack your friends and family members when they come over. Since this breed is extremely intelligent, teaching them to heal and not attack friends is quite easy, especially when these traits are taught early.
6. Anxiety and Nervousness
While the German Shepherd breed tends to be considered as very smart and easily trainable, there are some German Shepherds that have been poorly bred. These dogs are often quite nervous and can be extremely high strung. This personality trait can be difficult to deal with, especially if the dog is not socialized or trained well.
Some of the risks of owning a German Shepherd that suffers from anxiety and is high strung include aggressive behaviors such as barking and biting, and over guarding. This is not something that any pet owner will enjoy, which is why it is important to choose a proper breeder when purchasing a German Shepherd. It is also important to begin training your German Shepherd puppy as soon as possible as this can ease some of the anxiety and nervousness that they may show. Once again, these are very intelligent dogs and can easily be taught to be calm and less aggressive.
7. Choosing a Proper Breeder
German Shepherds are large and powerful dogs that have strong guarding instincts. For this reason it is important to make sure that you are getting your German Shepherd from a breeder who is reputable. A poorly bred dog is more likely to have personality issues and will likely be more nervous and suffer from anxiety.
Make sure that the breeder that you are getting your dog from offers a health certificate. If possible, read reviews about the breeder or at least talk to someone who has purchased one of the German Shepherd puppies from them to learn more about the personality of the dog that they are breeding. Make sure that you ask questions about the parents and even to meet the parents if possible. This will help ensure that you get a quality dog that is going to be good for you and your family.
In order to prevent aggressive behaviors and over guarding it is important to make sure that your German Shepherd is socialized beginning at a young age. It is also important to go through obedience training with your dog. It is important to keep them around the family as much as possible and also to expose them to people and pets that are in your neighborhood.
You should not confine a German Shepherd to a backyard alone or even with other dogs. They also should not be kept in a kennel as this will likely upset them and create further behavioral problems. These dogs need exercise each day and they enjoy having something to do. If they are not properly entertained they are more likely to become high strung or get into mischief. If you properly socialize your dog starting early, they will make a wonderful companion.
The coat of a German Shepherd is a medium length. Their fur is very coarse and almost rough to the touch. This hair will be shed heavily around two times each year. The German Shepherd will shed continually throughout the year in lesser amounts. One of the best things that you can do to help control the shedding issues of a German Shepherd is to make sure that you are brushing your dog’s coat at least two times or more each week.
Starting this brushing routine when your dog is quite young will help to make the process easier when they become adults. Most German Shepherds enjoy being brushed and by brushing their coats regularly you can help to keep some of the hair from flying around your house. However, if you own a German Shepherd, prepare yourself to be covered in dog hair a lot of the time.