The Way to Raise German Shepherds


German shepherds are loyal, faithful and loving companions. However, at times, this breed can be dominant and stubborn; behavioral traits that can result in aggressive behavior. Raising a German shepherd requires dedication and understanding of the breed. If the dog is well cared for, trained well and taught to socialize while it is a pup, usually there is no problem.

Here are some tips on how to raise German shepherds:

Buy the puppy from a reputable breeder. Ensure that the breeder gives you a health guarantee for at least 2 years. This guarantee will give you options in case the puppy is diagnosed with a genetic health condition later on. Also, make sure that the breeder has vaccinated the puppy and de-wormed it before you bring it home. Get copies of the puppy’s health record. Find out whether the puppy was socialized while living with the breeder.

Before bringing the puppy home, make sure that you take it to a veterinarian for a complete checkup. German shepherds are prone to hip dysplasia, allergies, pancreatitis and bloat due to indiscriminate breeding practices adopted by a few breeders. Make sure that you follow the vet’s advice on these common breed ailments. Stick to the vaccination schedules set up by the vet and use the visit to get the dog checked.

German Shepherd Training Advice For Young Puppy Socialization

When you bring the puppy home, begin the socializing process immediately. Let family members hold and pet the puppy. If you are going to the park, pet store or a friend’s home, take the puppy along. Allow the puppy to experience different social settings, so that it gets accustomed to them. If you have neighbors or friends, who have friendly dogs and cats, try to get your German shepherd to socialize with them under supervision. Dogs that are not socialized tend to get timid and fearful of new situations, which can result in aggressive behavior.

One of the best ways to house train German shepherds is using the crate method. Also, the crate will provide a safe haven for the puppy when it wants to retreat or seek sanctuary. Line the crate with a blanket and place in a part of the house that the puppy can call its own. Let the puppy stay in the crate as long as it wants to. Do not force it out. It will make the pup insecure.

Show the puppy from the very beginning that you are the dominant pack leader. Usually, German shepherds try to take over the role as pack leader and the puppy may want to control you and other family members. If you allow the pup to dominate you, it will never obey you fully and could end up becoming unruly and aggressive. To establish your role as a pack leader, make sure that you do not allow the pup to sleep with you or climb onto the furniture. Feed the puppy after you have finished eating. Never let the puppy bite your hands while playing. This could lead to biting during adulthood.

Enroll the puppy in an obedience class. This will teach you how to train and handle your dog. German shepherds need mental stimulation, and if they do not get sufficient stimulation, they tend to become bored, which can lead to destructive behavior.

Groom your pup every day. Use a brush to comb the hair and prevent it from getting knotted and tangled. During spring and fall when shedding season starts, use a shedding rake to remove dead hair and reduce hair fall. Bathe the dog when it appears dirty or has an odor. Do not bathe it too often, as it will strip the natural oils from the fur and skin. Use dog shampoo and conditioner to bathe the pup.

German shepherds also have the tendency to become fat and therefore, require daily exercise. Throw sticks and balls that the puppy can retrieve. If you have a yard, allow the puppy to run and play. Playtime is special, as it allows the dog to bond with its family.

12 thoughts on “The Way to Raise German Shepherds

  1. Anon says:

    Cesar milan style “dominance” pack theory has been disoproven since the 60s. Using these methods is abusive and outdated. To promote these is to willfully promote misunderstanding of canine behavior (proven repeatedly though neuroscience and biology) and thus abuse.

    Gsd are fantastic smart dogs and can easily be taught using force free methods. This has also been proven through police k9 programs, schutzhund, service dogs, and other programs.

    If you actually like dogs i suggest you rewrite!

    – im a dog trainer currently training a service dog!

  2. Nicole says:

    I have been raising GSD for 23 years. I got my first baby when I was 14 yrs old. First of all having your baby tested for hip dysplasia can cause hip dysplasia because the dog goes under anesthetic gets put on his back and their hips get pulled from the joint socket for x-rays. All it takes if one dislocation for the hip joint to continue to dislocate afterwards. The other thing this article doesnt mention is how time consuming the breed is. This is not a dog that will be happy if all you want is a dog to look at and occasionally play with or if you are the type of owner who wants to leave the dog outside for the majority of the time. They want to play and they are prone to boredom. This can lead to destructive behavior if this need is not met. Fetch, search games, something that they can chew on etc. are all good things to help, but interacting with you on an almost constant basis when you are available is needed. These babies are also prone to severe seperation anxiety so kennels/caging are a must in order to save your favorite things like your couch lol. If you work several hours a day give them something in their kennel that smells like you and use an enclosed kennel not the one made of bars. They will chew on the bars and this can lead to broken teeth and jaws. If you have other pets such as dogs that the baby can play with remove collars. All dogs, but GS especially can get their bottom jaw wrapped around even the most appropriately fitted collar during play time in essence strangling one dog and possible again breaking their bottom jaw. German Shepherds are so cute when they are puppies please remember they get big. They are sensitive to being hit so only positive reinforcement should be used during training. This really goes with all dogs. Please if you have never owned a baby of this breed do some research. Talk to other owners on the internet who have a long history with the breed and others who have their first. Be responsible if for no other reason than please do it for the dog they are very loyal to their people and being abandoned or turned over to someone else because owning one isnt what you thought it would be is destructive to the dog and unfair.

  3. Merry Cortez says:

    All the areas you covered were true to the breed. They require a lot of training when they are pups and it can be very challenging. They are very intelligent and intuitive. As puppies they know already that they are the big dog on the block. So as you stated, constant ongoing training is sooo important. Also, giving them a place to run and “be a dog” is just as important. My “Buck” is happiest when he gets to be guard dog. So early training is needed to set boundaries. Cause an adult German shepherd would be extremely difficult to control if those boundaries weren’t set early on. Putting in the time, consistently, lovingly will reward you with a truly awesome addition to your family. They will give their life to protect you from harm. They will not leave your bedside if you are ill. They are good natured, happy, loving, loyal and so incredibly intelligent. If they understand what you want and why, they will do it every time for you. They can learn and understand as many words as you care to teach them. As long as you it simple. They will also figure out how to communicate with you. Since they cant really talk, they will do certain things to let you know what they want, need , or to inform you of something. Im not sure if this is true with all German shepherds, but my “Buck” loves to travel. Thanks for letting me share my experience.

  4. Abby says:

    I think the article title is pretentious and alot of it is uninformed. The reason they can appear “stubborn” is because they were bred to herd all day long and that requires a energy and drive that won’t give up, if you fulfill their need to work then they wont exhibit negative traits. I dont know of any breeder who offers a guarantee of 20 years, the life expectancy of a GSD 9 to 13 years. Its also rare in my area they offer lifetime guarantees on their dogs, 2 years is the most ive seen. Rushing out to socialize a new puppy with other pets is a bad idea until full protection from vaccines takes place,good way to pick up parvo or coccidia though.German shepherds do not try to take over the household, they try to keep it safe. They were bred to be left unattended with a flock so they are capable of thinking for themselves, this is where having a good routine for them is key. They need a job and then theyll do that job, if you aren’t paying attention to their concerns they will make a decision on their own. Obedience is a fine idea but you can do basic at home if you dont have local options. Only time ive ever seen fat GSDs is when they are older or live in apartments, balanced diet and play sessions are a must. Lay off the pupperchinos and all will be well.

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  6. Afton Jackson says:

    It was very surprising to read that German shepherd puppies can get fat really easily. This makes sense as to why I always see owners of these kinds of dogs also be into fitness since they would need to keep up the pace with the dog so that both of them can stay fit. This makes me excited to be an owner, so I’ll look around for any places that sell these dogs so I can have my own adorable running partner as well.

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