German Shepherd

German Shepherd

When we think about “loyalty”, the first creature that comes to our mind is a dog. In this article, we will be getting a detailed idea about one of the most loyal and popular dog breed – German Shepherd. This dog breed has been one of the most popular dog breeds, mainly because of its security instincts.

Whether it is home or a police station, they are considered as the best security guard dogs. We all know that dogs have a tremendous smelling power, but the German Shepherds have an upper edge over that as well. They are used in detective agencies and other similar departments solely because of their sniffing power!.

Every human does not have the same intelligence, and the same goes for the dog breeds. This breed is highly intelligent, and their trainer does not have to struggle a lot while training them. That was a quick introduction to the dog, and here are all the things that you should know about the breed before adopting one.

History

The German Shepherds were primarily used as the sheep herding dogs because of their speed, intelligence, and their security instincts. However, the question arises that how the world got to know about this fantastic breed? As the name suggests, this race was first recognized in Germany; hence, giving them the title. The first German Shepherd was initially named as Hektor Linkshein which was bought by Von Stephanitz when he was attending a dog show. After he purchased the dog, he renamed him to Horand von Grafrath, and the dog became the first German shepherd to be recognized.

Later, Horand caught the attention of many breeders and majority of them started to breed it so that they can get a hand on one of them. After breeding, Horand gave birth to more than eighty puppies. The German society of sheep herding used this dog to help them in herding and became the primary choice of the people for the same purpose.

Size

The German Shepherd is categorized into medium to large group. A male German Shepherd could go up to twenty-six inches in height, whereas a female could go up to twenty-four inches. When we talk about their weight, a male dog has an average weight of thirty to forty kilograms. On the other hand, a female’s weight varies around twenty to thirty kilograms.

Temperament

The German Shepherd is most commonly used in the police departments as they are one of the most faithful and strong dog breeds. They have high aggression, which is necessary for the policemen to train them for criminals. However, people believe that they only have aggression and they are not good for a family dog. This statement is utterly wrong as they are very loving dogs and are always faithful to their friends.

Their natural instincts hinder them from making new friends, and it may not be easier for anyone to befriend a fully grown up German Shepherd.  However, once you successfully gain their trust, they are bound to be your side until the end of the line. In short, when it comes to family dogs, the German Shepherd is excellent to do with. They are friendly among children, but you need to make sure that you keep an eye on their activities as they take a little time to gain trust among any other human or animal.

When it comes to their nature, they are highly confident about their personality, and they are always ready to protect their master. They are among the most intelligent dog breeds, falling behind Border Collie and Poodle, though some of them might not seem as intelligent as they are known for.

Every German Shepherd may have different nature, but most of them are fearless and can sense any potential threat to their master or any other family member.

However, introducing them to any new dog of either the same or the opposite sex might be a trouble. They are not ready to accept new friends, especially in the form of a new dog in their own house. You need to be very careful while introducing them to new dogs as they have a possessive nature. If you are introducing a new dog to a German Shepherd pup, then it might not be a problem for you as they are ready to accept new friendships at a younger age.

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Health

Health is the primary concern that should be considered before choosing a breed. A healthy German Shepherd could live up to thirteen years. Though there are many reports of dogs living more than fifteen or sixteen years, these are sporadic cases and only possible when taken good care.

With all these qualities of this breed, one thing that they are vulnerable to is their health problems. German Shepherds are known to catch many serious diseases that can put their life at stake. The diseases are not limited to one part, but they are susceptible to different diseases.

They can catch some of the skin problems like bacterial infections, demodectic mange, seborrhea, and other autoimmune diseases. These skin problems can be contagious can be spread to other dog breeds as well, so you need to be careful with a German Shepherd having these having any of these illnesses.

Not just skin, but they can catch bone and joint diseases as well. They are known to pick elbow dysplasia, hip dysplasia, panosteitis and cruciate ligament rupture which are very painful to the dog and may not be good for anyone. Apart from that, some of the dogs could also catch subdural hygroma which is very hard to treat and is painful to the dog. In this disease, a cerebrospinal fluid starts to collect in the joints of the dogs, which is entirely without blood. The treatment of this disease is difficult, and in some cases, it can go till the life of the dog.

Apart from that, they can also catch neurological diseases which can be lethal to the life of the dog. Some of them may lead to paralysis which is challenging to treat.

Another deadly disease which is common in German Shepherds is cancer which is harder to recognize as well. Perianal Fistula, Megaesophagus, Osteoarthritis, and Degenerative Myelopathy are some of the other common painful and deadly diseases of this breed.

The parents inherit some of these illnesses, so it is best that you try to know whether the puppy’s parents have been diagnosed with any of the diseases or not. Moreover, if both mother and father of the puppy have a health certification, then it can decrease the risk of catching any of the diseases by fifty percent.

Care

German Shepherds have an image of security dogs, and most of the people use them for the same purpose. They treat them as a guard dog and may leave them for multiple hours a day or sometimes even for days. However, people are unaware of their anxiety issues. German Shepherds should be treated as important family members and could be anxious about any separation from the family.

Moreover, they are full of energy and love to play with their family members. If they are left alone, they may find the ways to entertain themselves, and one of them is chewing. This dog breed is known to have one of the strongest jaws among all kinds and can destroy almost anything put in front of them. The best thing to avoid any anxiety issues with this breed is never to leave them alone. Not only it can cause anxiety, but can also boost their aggression or can also cause depression.

Another thing that you can do to take care of your German Shepherd is regular exercise. It will not only keep your dog fit and healthy but will also keep them engaged. Just like humans, obesity among dogs also increases the chances of having heart diseases. Regular exercises will avoid obesity changes and decreases the possibility of any potential heart disease.

Apart from that, some people may keep their dog into small spaces for security purposes. Though it is completely fine, they should not always be left in confined spaces. They are a categorized into large breed categories and making them stay into small spaces might cause an increase in aggression.

Moreover, it is best to socialize a German Shepherd as they are not so friendly in nature. To help them make friends, it is advised that you take them to regular walks and introduce him or her to new people or dogs.

Feeding

A proper and nutritional appetite is necessary for a healthy dog. The first timers are unaware of the things that should be given to a German Shepherd and what are the foods that they love to eat. Most of the people believe that the advertised food is always good for their dog. Before giving any packed food to your Alsatian, you need to identify its nutritional values and what are the ingredients used in making this meal. If your dog is allergic to any edible thing, then it is necessary that you identify it before feeding.

People prefer giving their German Shepherds only the dog food as they believe that it is the only thing that can be fed. However, this is a completely wrong thing as dogs can eat human food as well. Be it meat, fruits or vegetables; German Shepherds are capable of eating very healthy food.

German Shepherds are large breed and need a lot of appetites to stay healthy. You need to make sure that you feed your dog several times a day. Keep a record of the nutritional values of the food and feed them accordingly. Keep in mind that you do not overfeed your German Shepherd or else it could fall into the obese category and increase the chances of heart diseases.

After knowing that human food is healthy for a German Shepherd, people give everything they eat to their dog. However, everything is not made for everyone, and that includes a German Shepherd. Some of the foods that your dog may like to eat, but it is not good for the health of your dog. Those unhealthy foods include onions, raisins, chocolate, nuts and any spicy food. All these food can provide toxic to your dog and can cause stomach problems.

There is an image that every dog is fit to eat any bone. Though bones contain a high amount of calcium, and German Shepherds have a strong jaw that can shatter any bone you put in front of them. However, these dogs are fast eaters and can swallow smaller bones that could stick into their throats that could prove deadly.

Don’t forget to provide them enough calcium supplements to make their bones stronger. Moreover, you should never overlook the importance of water in a dog’s life. Make sure to keep your German Shepherd as hydrated as possible.

Coat

A German Shepherd is widely recognized for its alluring appearance. They have a double coat which contributes to its popularity. In most of the cases, they have a brown and tan color, but it all depends on the breeding. Much like other breeds, they also come in different colors. Other common colors in which German Shepherds are found are black, gray, sable, blue, black and silver, red and black, and liver brown.

One common problem faced by German Shepherd owners is hair fall. They find hairs everywhere in their home, be it furniture or the carpet. This problem can be easily eradicated with a simple trick, and that is by brushing their coat twice or thrice every week. This will not only stop the hair fall problem to much extent but will also provide your German shepherd with a shiny and alluring coat.

Make sure to keep your dog clean with frequent baths, but don’t forget that he has a lot more hair than you do and doesn’t need to take a daily bath. Moreover, trim your dog’s nails every once in a while to avoid any scratches on your skin or to any of your belongings.

Closing Thoughts

German Shepherds are fun loving dogs who love to play and roam, but when it comes to security, they are fearless and are ready to give what it needs to fulfill their duty.

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