Owning a happy German Shepherd

german shepherdsWhat can you do to ensure your German Shepherd stays happy and well behaved? Well, here are some easy ways to keep your big dog happy, healthy and well behaved. If you keep German Shepherds properly fed and watered, disciplined and exercised, cleaned and groomed, and shown plenty of affection, they will reward you by being well behaved and giving you their unconditional love and companionship. Here are some great tips that you can use to achieve these things.

Feeding German Shepherds is fairly simple as they are not particularly fussy about their food. They will eat most propriety canned or dried dog food and are best fed a main meal once a day along with small snacks as part of their ongoing obedience training. As with most breeds, it is best not to give the dog tibits or treats right before eating their meal, or they may come to refuse food without first being treated. Of course it is quite all right to treat the dog after it has eaten. Feeding times should be kept fairly regular, either in the morning, midday or evening but always after you and your family are finished eating. This tells the dog that he is lower down in the pack ranking than your family, thereby reinforcing his obedience. Always have a large, constantly topped up bowl of water kept in the same place, so the dog knows where he can get a drink. Thus feeding becomes one of the routines introduced into the dog’­s day, which is something that will be expanded upon below.

Dogs of all breeds need discipline and routine and German Shepherds are no different. They are highly intelligent dogs, so need to be kept occupied throughout the day. Remember, a bored dog is a potentially disruptive and destructive dog and this is especially true of this breed. With this in mind, keeping German Shepherds exercised not only keeps them fit and healthy but also stops them getting bored. A good, long walk twice a day, once in the morning, then again in the evening is the absolute minimum of outdoor exercise that you should aim for. These dogs were bred as sheep herders so they need to run over great distances in order to keep fit. Just a walk on the leash, even over a long distance might not be enough. It is better to take them to a large park or field where they can be safely let off the leash to run around. It goes without saying that the dog must be obedient and faithfully return to you when called.

With all that exercise, your German Shepherd will need to be kept clean and groomed to keep its coat in shiny, healthy condition. German Shepherds come in three main types – long haired, wired haired and short haired varieties. For all varieties, the coat should be brushed with a stiff brush once a day to keep it looking good and to remove loose fur, as they tend to shed fur quite heavily. Frequent bathing is not necessary or desirable, as it strips the coat of natural oils, so only once every few months is acceptable. Grooming strengthens the bond between you and your dog, while also keeping it happily occupied. German Shepherds often treat grooming as a game and, thinking it is a toy to be played with, can try to take the brush from you. This can be great fun if you have a lot of patience, which is something you need with this breed of dog.

Showing your German Shepherd plenty of affection and spending as much time with him as possible is important in building and maintaining your mutual relationship. You will be rewarded by having a more obedient and loving friend who will entertain you for hours. German Shepherds, when properly exercised and kept occupied during the day will generally sleep through the night thereby rarely disturbing your sleep.

These simple tips will benefit both you and your dog. By introducing routine into the German Shepherd’s life, he is less likely to be unruly, destructive or bad tempered when you’­re not expecting it. By giving your dog all the discipline, exercise, attention and affection he needs, will ensure you have a happy, affectionate and loving friend who will enrich your life, provide wonderful companionship and protect you and your home into the bargain. Now that sounds like a great deal!
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One comment

  1. Nice article and full of what I’d consider “must dos” for any dog owner. I own one of the Shepard’s “countrymen”, a German Shorthaired Pointer. As I read your article I substituted one breed for the other and it still made perfect sense!

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