Top 3 Fascinating Facts About German Shepherd Dogs

The Top 3 Fascinating Facts About German Shepherd Dogs

1. They Have Incredible Sense of Smell: German Shepherds have a remarkable sense of smell that’s about 1,000 times better than humans. This ability has made them valuable in a variety of roles, including as police and military dogs. They’re often used to detect drugs, explosives, and even certain medical conditions such as cancer.

Top 3 Fascinating Facts About German Shepherd Dogs

2. They’re Incredibly Intelligent: German Shepherds are widely recognized as one of the most intelligent dog breeds. They’re quick learners and can be trained to perform a wide range of tasks, from obedience and agility to search and rescue. Due to their intelligence, they’re often used in roles that require high levels of training and problem-solving skills.

image of a gsd with its head resting on an open book

3. They’re Extremely Loyal: German Shepherds are known for their unwavering loyalty to their owners. They form strong bonds with their human family and will do whatever it takes to protect them. They’re also very protective of their territory and can be trained to be excellent guard dogs.

Image of a man with his hood up sat on a desert rock with his German Shepherd dog sat by his side on a leash. Image by nori jaafer from Pixabay

Conclusion:

In conclusion, German Shepherds are an incredibly fascinating breed of dog that offer a unique combination of intelligence, loyalty, and sensory abilities. Whether they’re working as police dogs, or serving as loyal companions, German Shepherds are truly exceptional animals. Their incredible sense of smell, intelligence, and loyalty make them an ideal choice for a variety of roles, from working dogs to family pets. If you’re considering adding a German Shepherd to your family, with training & structure, you can expect a loving and devoted companion who will bring joy and companionship to your life.

What Questions to Ask When Buying a German Shepherd?

german shepherd dog wearing glasses reading a book

Top 15 Questions to Ask When Buying a German Shepherd

A Comprehensive Guide for Prospective Owners

If you’re thinking of adding a furry friend to your family, a German Shepherd may be just the breed of Dog you’re looking for. German Shepherds are intelligent, loyal, (and can be) protective dogs that make great companions. However, before you go out and buy a German Shepherd puppy, there are several questions you should ask yourself and the breeder to ensure you make an informed decision. Take a look at the questions below:

Image of a Fluffy black and tan German Shepherd Dog Puppy with it's floppy ears facing forwards as not yet standing up like adult Gsd ears do.
The image of the Gsd puppy has pawprints running up the sides and to the left bottom hand corner, the logo for thegermanshepherddog.co.uk website.
  1. Is a German Shepherd the right breed for you? German Shepherds are large and active dogs that require a lot of exercise and attention. They also have a high prey drive and can be protective of their family, which can make them difficult for inexperienced dog owners. Before you commit to buying a German Shepherd, make sure you have the time, energy, and resources to care for one properly.
  2. Where are the puppies raised? It’s essential to ask the breeder where the puppies are raised and how they’re socialised. Puppies that are raised in a clean, healthy environment and are exposed to different people, animals, and experiences are more likely to be well-adjusted and healthy dogs.
  3. Can you meet the parents? Meeting the parents of the puppy you’re interested in can give you an idea of what your puppy may look and act like when they’re older. It can also give you an idea of any potential health issues the puppy may be prone to.
  4. Are the parents health tested? German Shepherds can be prone to certain health issues, (just like many other breeds of Dog) such as hip dysplasia and elbow dysplasia. Reputable breeders will have their breeding dogs tested for these and other health issues before breeding.
  5. Can you see the puppy’s health records? If there are any at the time, It’s important to know what vaccinations and preventative care the puppy has received OR likely to receive, before you bring them home. Ask the breeder for a copy of the puppy’s health records, including any veterinary visits they’ve had.
  6. What is the breeder’s experience with German Shepherds? Reputable breeders will have years of experience with German Shepherds and will be able to answer any questions you have about the breed. They’ll also be able to provide you with references from previous puppy buyers.
  7. Does the breeder offer a health guarantee? A health guarantee can provide you with peace of mind that you’re buying a healthy puppy. Many reputable breeders will offer a health guarantee that covers any genetic health issues the puppy may have.
  8. What is the breeder’s policy on returns? Life happens, and sometimes people need to rehome their pets. Before you commit to buying a German Shepherd, ask the breeder what their policy is on returns. A reputable breeder will always take back a dog they’ve bred if the owner can no longer care for them.
  9. What is the breeder’s philosophy on breeding? Reputable breeders will have a breeding philosophy that puts the health and welfare of their dogs first. They’ll also have a plan in place for finding good homes for their puppies.
  10. What is the puppy’s temperament like? German Shepherds can be a bit reserved with strangers, but they should never be aggressive or fearful. Ask the breeder to describe the puppy’s personality and temperament and make sure it’s a good fit for your lifestyle and personality.
  11. What kind of training will the puppy need? German Shepherds are intelligent dogs that thrive on training and mental stimulation. Ask the breeder what kind of training the puppy will need and how you can provide it. Enrolling in obedience classes or working with a professional trainer can help ensure your puppy grows up to be a well-behaved, happy, sociable dog.
  12. What kind of food/diet should the puppy be on? Feeding your German Shepherd a high-quality food/ diet is very important for their overall health and wellbeing. Ask the breeder what kind of food the puppy is currently eating and what they recommend for the future. The breeder will give you a few days worth of the food which the pup has been weaned off it’s mother, onto. Often they will also have a puppy pack of some sorts which may also have discount vouchers in for food or pet insurance.
  13. What kind of exercise will the puppy need? German Shepherds are an active breed that requires a lot of exercise to stay healthy and happy. However, ask the breeder what kind of exercise, along with how often, the puppy will need and how you can provide it.
  14. How long has the breeder been breeding German Shepherds? A breeder with years of experience breeding German Shepherds is more likely to produce healthy, well-adjusted puppies than someone who maybe is just starting out. They will also have a record of how many litters each dam has had.
  15. Can the breeder provide references? Ask the breeder if they can provide references from previous puppy buyers. Talking to someone who has already bought a puppy from the breeder can give you an idea of what they are like as breeders and what to expect.
Image of 4 German Shepherd dog puppies in a puppy pen, laid down.

Take time to go over the questions and :

By asking these questions, you can do your best to ensure you’re buying a healthy, well-adjusted puppy from a reputable breeder. German Shepherds can make great family pets, but they’re not for everyone. Make sure you’re prepared to care for a large, active dog (some with a high drive) before you bring one into your home. *Please remember, when we bring a puppy into our homes, we are raising a fully grown Dog, we are not raising a puppy!

It’s important to find a reputable breeder who prioritises the health and welfare of their dogs. Ask about the breeder’s experience and philosophy on breeding, as well as the puppy’s health history and genetic testing.

If you are having doubts about getting a German Shepherd Dog

Buying a German Shepherd is a big decision, but with the right preparation, it can be a rewarding one. By asking the right questions and doing your research, you can ensure you’re bringing home a healthy, happy puppy that can be a loyal companion for years to come.

image of a black gsd head in a frame with golden stars & dog bone with thegermanshepherddog.co.uk name

In conclusion:

Buying a German Shepherd can be a big investment, both financially and emotionally. However, with the right preparation and care, your new puppy can become a beloved companion & family member.

Consider the puppy’s temperament and energy levels to make sure they’re a good fit for your lifestyle and personality. It’s also important to plan for the puppy’s training, diet and exercise needs and make sure everyone in your household is onboard. Try to get into a routine with the puppy and stick to it as much as is possible.

**Disclaimer

thegermanshepherddog.co.uk does not provide veterinary advice, nor does it claim to be an alternative to seeking professional advice. All content is therefore for informational purposes only.

Becoming The Proud Owner of a German Shepherd Dog

German shepherd puppies sat in front of owner

Introduction

Hi there, fellow dog lovers! I’m thrilled to share my passion for German Shepherd dogs (GSDs) with you. If you’re considering bringing a GSD into your life or if indeed you’re already a proud owner, this guide could be for you.

In this comprehensive post, we’ll dive into information  you need to know about German Shepherds.  Having been a dog trainer for many years and a lover of the German Shepherd dog breed from when I was a very young child, I am thrilled to help guide you on the journey of becoming a proud owner of a German Shepherd dog. This breed of dog is known for its intelligence, loyalty, and versatility. But remember, owning a German Shepherd (like all breeds of dog,) requires commitment and knowledge and patience.

Understanding the German Shepherd Dog Breed

German Shepherd Dogs are large-sized dogs, originally bred for herding sheep and protecting flocks from predators. They are known for their intelligence and versatility.  Whether it’s working with police forces, guiding the visually impaired, a Sport Dog or simply being a loving family pet, German Shepherd Dogs can excel in every role.

Please take a look at my German Shepherd Blog titled “What is a German Shepherd Dog?” as it goes into more depth for you. . To choose the right GSD, it’s essential to understand the breed. Take the time to research and understand the breed’s traits, characteristics, and needs before making any decisions as a whole family.

german shepherd dog laid down in front of a cosy living room fire place 1 nov 2nd

Breeder versus Rescue Centre: The Decision

When it comes to getting a GSD, you have two primary options: either purchasing from a German Shepherd Dog breeder or adopting from a Breed/rescue organisation. Each has its advantages and disadvantages and would need careful consideration before moving forward with your decision. Make an informed choice after doing some research and asking questions, along with taking into consideration your own personal circumstances. There are Gsd breed groups and organisations that may be able to offer guidance too, for example BAGSD. (British Association of German Shepherd Dogs)

**Disclaimer

thegermanshepherddog.co.uk does not provide veterinary advice, nor does it claim to be an alternative to seeking professional advice. All content is therefore for informational purposes only.

Preparing Your Home For Your Dog

Before bringing your German Shepherd home, ensure your home is ‘puppy-proofed’. (Curious noses will get stuck into all kinds of nooks and crevices and will be investigating everything in the room!) Remove any toxic plants, secure loose wires, and make sure small objects that can be swallowed are out of reach. I’ve included this link for you to take a look at if you like, it’s to the PDSA website and has lots of information about which plants are toxic to pets.

The unwritten rule should in my own opinion be: if you do want it chewed, ruined or pee pee’d on, then move it out of the way. It won’t be like it forever, just until the dog understands rules and boundaries and gets more training.

When you think about it, it’s the same with young children, we put protective covers in plug sockets as we don’t want fingers or pencils poked inside them, and with cabinets and doors we put on devices that stop the doors slamming and trapping little fingers and toes – we don’t do that forever do we? It’s only until they are past that particular phase in life. I tend to advise “if in doubt, put in in a cupboard or higher up”.

Before your GSD arrives, make sure your home is safe and secure. address any potential escape routes in your garden, and do make sure your fencing is secure for puppy, with the plan to increase it as of course your dog will grow. Set up a cosy space for your new family member, somewhere he/she will feel safe. I have always used a cage with my German Shepherds from day one and it has been the best thing for them and us. It also makes it easier if we go on holiday etc as the dog is used to a cage and if we rent a house for our holiday, we know our dog is safe and cosy too.

Puppy Gsd or Adult?

When we’re deciding between getting a puppy or an adult GSD, is an important decision we are making at this point. Yes, we can all agree that those puppies are the most adorable and cutest thing on earth, but they require the most patience and arguably most training, (Although, the young mind is taking everything we do and say in and absorbing it, along with all of our body language,) while the adult GSDs may (not always) already have some training, but might need time to adjust to a new environment.

puppy v's adult gsd double image of a litter of Gsd puppies on the left side and an image of various head shots of adult Gsds in various coat colours on the rights side

Especially if it has been living in a rescue centre. as of course the dog will have been going to the toilet in the kennel etc along with other behaviour which may need to be taken into account. Assess your lifestyle and preferences to help determine which age group suits you and your family setting best. You may also like to read my blog called “Top 15 questions to ask when buying a German Shepherd”.

How To Train Your German Shepherd Dog

Training should ideally, begin the moment/1st day your German Shepherd Dog enters your home. German Shepherds are eager learners and respond well to training. Consistency, patience, and rewarding good behaviour are key elements of training. Although not forgetting that our dogs need boundaries too. A good rule of thumb so to speak, as far as dog training goes, is to reward the behaviour you do want from your dog, and correct the behaviour you do not want from your dog.

A German Shepherd Dog sat down giving a paw to a dog trainer in a feild

And, to add one of the best snippets of advice in dog training I personally have ever heard “remember you are raising an Adult Dog not a Puppy” and If you don’t want an Adult Dog acting like a Puppy/biting hands etc, (especially a full grown German Shepherd Dog,) then these things need addressing as soon as they appear,

German Shepherds thrive with consistent training and mental stimulation. Basic commands like sit, stay, and come are essential for a well-behaved dog. And these 3 commands are a great, important starting point for all training.

Socialisation For Your German Shepherd Dog

Socialising your GSD is crucial for their well-being. Expose them to different people, (although this does not necessarily mean they have to pick them up or stroke them or talk to them in a baby talk voice) animals, and environments to ensure they grow up to be confident and well-adjusted. By simply sitting with your dog and watching the world go by, this increases your dogs ability to cope with the situation.

a german shepherd puppies with their owner sat down outside a supermarket

Even just sitting in the supermarket carpark or outside the doors, (after a few sessions) where people are coming and going and there are all worlds of different smells and sounds, will be a great training opportunity and exercise. Start with small sessions and build it up. Advocate for your dog and politely ask people not to pet your dog.

Health Care For Your Dog

As with all dogs, having them registered with a local Veterinary Practice is a given. One great tip I hugely recommend, is to get them used to going to the Vet clinic on a regular basis, especially while a young puppy. This can have enormous benefits and can help your dog associate the Vet clinic with being a pleasant experience. Try to get them used to the staff there and just sit in the waiting room and praise your dog for being calm.

They don’t need to interact with other dogs or animals, (of course we don’t want them to become unwell) however we do want it to be as easy, straightforward as possible if we need to visit the Vets at a later date, whether it be for a vaccination or if our dog in unwell. If possible, try and arrange a Vet visit at a quiet time as well, and just let one of the Veterinary Surgeons pet your dog and ask them to give your dog a little treat maybe, you can always take either a high value treat or some of your dogs daily food allowance along with you for them to give your dog.

gsd in vet clinic laid down on a table while vet listens to heartbeat with stethascope 2nd nov23

If we can incorporate regular vet check-ups, a balanced diet, and daily exercise for our German Shepherd’s, then as far as health goes, we are definitely on course to be doing the best we can. I would also advise that you discuss any concerns you have with a Veterinary professional and/or the breeder of your dog. They will be able to answer any concerns in more detail.

You may be aware that German Shepherd Dogs are susceptible to hip dysplasia. ( As are many large breed dogs) While this can be true, it doesn’t mean that every Gsd will have it. Also, bear in mind many breeds of dog are susceptible to hip-dysplasia and while it can be devastating news to hear if our dog is diagnosed with it, please take note, one of the most loving German Shepherd Dogs I have had the pleasure of owning, was diagnosed with hip-dysplasia when she was under 6 months old.

However, she had a wonderful, full life, she knew when she had had enough walks etc and we learned when to notice her signs of being a tad sore, and she was with us for 10 wonderful years.

Health and Genetics

Healthy German Shepherds can be your loyal companions for many years. Try to ensure if you choose a breeder, go with one who prioritizes health and conducts necessary health checks on their dogs, which can be verified with paperwork and their vet.

You can ask for health certificates and pedigrees however these can never guarantee the health of your dog, but they will go a long way in to showing you if there are any hereditary conditions etc to look out for. 

This brings me onto Pet Insurance

Some owners decide to save £X amount of money each month in a bank account for “in case” there are medical bills for their pet. Which in my opinion is fine, IF you have enough money aside to cover those bills. These days, even examination can be £30 that’s without treatment, that can spiral into thousands.

So, yes, I do have my own German Shepherd insured, and it can be a chore trying to sort it out. BUT, once it is sorted out you have peace of mind knowing that if heavens forbid anything should happen to your dog, you have the ability to get treatment.

There are a plethora of Pet Insurance companies out there, and each owner you ask may give you the name of a different one and swear off certain others.

But please do shop around and on renewals, always double check the price and ask to discuss it, that way you will get any discounts that they may be able to offer you. I would not have a dog in this day and age and not have insurance for him/her. This is just my humble opinion.

Yes, it does feel like emotional blackmail at times, however we do need to think about it long term as hopefully, our dogs are with us for at least 10 years!

Grooming and Healthcare

Most German Shepherds have a double coat that sheds. Regular brushing and grooming will help to keep their coat healthy and reduce shedding & any unwanted skin irritations from the undercoat. Please read my German Shepherd Dog Blog on Coat Types, as this will explain further the differences in coats.

As with the Veterinary Clinic visits, I feel it is also a very good idea to begin taking your dog to the groomers when they young, and get them used to the environment and to the groomers.

A German shepherd dog sat with its tongue out,  in the dog groomers bath with soapy water

Again, try to simply sit there with your dog for a while and let them see all that is going on and get used to the smells and sights etc.

I also recommend booking an appointment slot with the groomer, so they can talk through with you any questions you may have and give you some pretty cool tips for looking after your dog’s coat and nails.

The more environmental socialisation we can put on our dogs, the more easier it will be to go to the groomers etc and we will have a more confident and calm dog when those times arise.

In Conclusion

I hope my Dog blog has provided you with a few valuable insights into the world of German Shepherd dogs. Remember, owning a GSD is a life-time commitment filled with love, joy, and adventure. If you’re thinking of bringing one into your life, please make sure you’re ready to invest the time and effort it takes to raise a happy, healthy, and well-behaved GSD.

So, are you ready to embark on this incredible journey? Whether you’re researching, considering, or already own a GSD, let’s continue to share our love for these amazing dogs. Together, we can unlock the full potential of German Shepherd dogs and passionate GSD owners. Reach out, ask questions, and share your experiences with your beloved GSDs. Let’s make every day a GSD day!

I’m here to assist you, if needed, along this wonderful journey.

**Disclaimer

thegermanshepherddog.co.uk does not provide veterinary advice, nor does it claim to be an alternative to seeking professional advice. All content is therefore for informational purposes only.

a german shepherd jumping over a agility dog jump

What is a German Shepherd Dog?

image of black and tan Ges sniffing the ground

What is a German Shepherd Dog?

The German Shepherd Dog is a popular and versatile breed of dog that has been a beloved companion and working animal for over a century. Known for their intelligence, loyalty, and athleticism, German Shepherds are used in a variety of roles, including police and military work, search and rescue, therapy, and as family pets.

German Shepherds are large, muscular dogs with a distinctive appearance. They typically have a strong, athletic build, with a slightly sloping back and a wedge-shaped head. Their coat is thick and usually comes in black and tan, although other colour variations exist.

Image of a Black & tan German Shepherd Dog mid-run towards the camera with owner in background, slighlty blurred out of camera shot.

One of the defining characteristics of the German Shepherd breed is their intelligence. They are known for their ability to quickly learn and carry out complex tasks, which has made them a popular choice for police and military work. German Shepherds are also used in search and rescue operations, where their keen sense of smell and ability to navigate difficult terrain makes them a valuable asset.

Can German Shepherd Dogs make good family pets?

Despite their working heritage, German Shepherds can make excellent family pets when properly trained and socialized. They are fiercely loyal to their owners and are known for their protective nature, which makes them great watchdogs. However, their protective instincts can sometimes make them wary of strangers, so early and ongoing socialisation is important to ensure that they are friendly and well-behaved in all situations.

Black & tan German Shepherd stood in snow with a black toy in it's mouth looking towards the camera with what I describe as a playful look to it's whole demenor.

German Shepherds are a high-energy breed that requires regular exercise and mental stimulation to stay happy and healthy. They enjoy activities such as jogging, hiking, and agility training, and they thrive in households where they have plenty of opportunities for physical and mental stimulation.

Overall, German Shepherds are a wonderful breed that make excellent working animals and loyal companions. Whether you’re looking for a partner for police or military work, a search and rescue dog, or simply a loving family pet, the German Shepherd is a breed that is sure to impress.

A Black & Tan German Shepherd dog  walking along a sand surface with it's nose to the ground sniffing as it goes along.
Original image from pexels.
https://www.pexels.com/photo/photo-of-a-german-shepherd-sniffing-722667/

Are German Shepherd Dogs easy to train?

German Shepherds have a reputation for being highly trainable, and they excel in obedience competitions and other dog sports. However, their intelligence and eagerness to please can sometimes lead to behaviour problems if they are not given enough mental and physical stimulation. Bored German Shepherds may resort to destructive behaviours, such as digging, chewing, and excessive barking.

A close up image of a Sable German shepherd puppy head camera shot close up as it's laid down on the grass, appearing to look forwards into the camera lense.

Proper socialisation and training are crucial for German Shepherds to become well-behaved and happy members of the family. Early socialisation with people, other dogs, and different environments can help prevent aggressive or fearful behaviour later in life. Obedience training is also important to teach them basic commands and manners.

Do German Shepherd Dogs get health issues?

German Shepherds are prone to certain health problems, including hip and elbow dysplasia, bloat, and skin allergies. Responsible breeding and regular veterinary care can help minimize the risk of these issues.

Image of an older German shepherd dog laid down on a veterinary examination table being checked over by a Vet holding a stethascope to the Gsd's chest area.
Free to use stock photo.

If you are considering adding a German Shepherd to your family, it’s important to do your research and find a reputable breeder or rescue organisation. Adopting an adult German Shepherd from a rescue organisation can be a good option for those who have a bit more experience of owning large breed Dogs, who don’t want to deal with the challenges of puppyhood.

Conclusion,

German Shepherds are a loyal and intelligent breed that have a long history of working alongside humans. They are versatile animals that excel in a variety of roles and make wonderful family pets when properly trained and socialised. With their striking appearance and impressive abilities, it’s easy to see why the German Shepherd remains one of the most popular dog breeds in the world.

Great reference points for the German Shepherd Dog Breed “Standards”?

View the German Shepherd Breed “Standards” by clicking on this link to

The Kennel Club UK.

Or

BAGSD Ltd (British Association For German Shepherd Dogs Ltd)

**Disclaimer

thegermanshepherddog.co.uk does not provide veterinary advice, nor does it claim to be an alternative to seeking professional advice. All content is therefore for informational purposes only.

German Shepherd Coat Types

Image of an older Gsd with a double coat
showline German shepherd dog with longer hair deep tan and black colours laid in snow, makes the colours even more stunning

How many different coat types are there for German Shepherd dogs?

There are predominantly 4 different coat types for German Shepherd dogs, however, there is a 5th one – which is as listed below:

Short coated Gsd   laid in a down position with a ball between front paws from unsplash
Short Coated Gsd
  1. Short-coated: This is the most common coat type for German Shepherds. The hair is dense and straight, and the undercoat is soft and thick.
  2. Long-coated: These dogs have longer hair, especially around the ears, legs, and tail. The hair is usually wavy or slightly curly.
  3. Double-coated: German Shepherds with a double coat have a thick, soft undercoat and a dense, coarse outer coat. This coat type provides excellent protection against cold weather.
  4. Plush-coated: Plush-coated German Shepherds have a dense, soft undercoat and a longer, softer outer coat. The hair is usually wavy or slightly curly.
  5. Wire-coated: This coat type is rare and not recognised by all breed standards. Dogs with a wire coat have a harsh, rough outer coat and a dense undercoat. The hair is usually longer around the face and legs.
A plush coated German shepherd dog in woodland looking slightly off camera pose with it's mouth open as if panting.
original image free to use photo stock
Plush Coat Gsd

It is however, worth noting that coat types can vary within the same litter of German Shepherds and not all coat types are accepted as “breed standards”.

Black and tan German shepherd running through grass and woodland

Great reference points for the German Shepherd Dog Breed “Standards”?

View the German Shepherd Breed “Standards” by clicking on this link to

The Kennel Club UK.

Or

BAGSD Ltd (British Association For German Shepherd Dogs Ltd)

**Disclaimer

thegermanshepherddog.co.uk does not provide veterinary advice, nor does it claim to be an alternative to seeking professional advice. All content is therefore for informational purposes only.

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