The German Shepherd Dog is a wonderful animal that not only makes excellent working dogs but also excellent household companions. They are, however, considerably different from other pet breeds and must be handled and taught differently than, example, a typical labrador or poodle.
The German Shepherd Dog (GSD) is a huge, athletic dog that requires a lot of mental stimulation and exercise, yet a well-trained shepherd can learn practically anything. These dogs thrive on hard tasks and are eager to please and serve their owner. As a working dog utilized by most police agencies, the mere appearance of a GSD is generally enough to dissuade criminals, but when called into action, few canines can rival the German Shepherd as an all-rounder.
If you are thinking about getting a German Shepherd, you should think about the time investment required to have a happy, well-behaved German Shepherd that you can take out in public securely.
Please do not take on a GSD puppy if you have never had one of these dogs before. As a volunteer with GSD rescue, I've lost count of the number of young pups I've had to rehome since their owners acquired them without doing any research.
They may be quite rowdy as puppies and can easily knock down toddlers or elderly relatives, particularly if the dog is not discouraged from leaping up when aroused. A bored GSD can be quite destructive if left alone and may easily wreck your home and stuff with their large fangs and paws. Unfortunately, these dogs do not mature until they are around 3 years old, so you will have to persevere through the puppy and teenage seasons.
The German Shepherd must be socialized from an early age and exposed to humans and other dogs in order to avoid developing aggressive tendencies as they grow.
Joining a dog training class at a young age is a good idea, and most clubs take dogs into puppy lessons as early as 4 months. This should be enjoyable for your puppy and provide opportunities for him to play and socialize, but it also serves the aim of educating him or her what is and is not appropriate. This will be a wonderful starting point for your German Shepherd training.
When looking for a dog training class, go to a few first since not all courses embrace German Shepherds, and if any club requires you to muzzle your dog, skip it and find another. No credible dog training program would demand a muzzled dog. If your dog is hostile toward other dogs, there are safer methods to regulate it, such as using a Canny Collar, which is a simple, effective head collar similar to those used on horses.
The sooner you begin training and socializing, the better, since GSDs have a propensity to be aggressive toward other dogs as well as strangers, and they may become quite possessive of their owners and property.
Another vital component of training your German shepherd is to get him accustomed to being groomed since they lose a lot of hair and, although they only moult once a year, it lasts all year. Prepare for dog hair all over your home, clothing, and food, and invest in a high-quality vacuum cleaner.
Stick with it because it will be well worth it in the end. Training your German Shepherd should be a part of your daily routine and fun.
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