German Shepherd Dog
The German Shepherd is valued as an intelligent and persevering companion. As a service dog for the police or customs, the breed is also popular. The German Shepherd protects his home and family. He needs extensive exercise. Therefore, there should be enough time for this hard-working dog.
The German Shepherd belongs to the FCI group 1, the Herding and driving dogs.
Approved color strokes are: brown with dark saddle and dark mask, black, black with brown, yellow or gray markings and gray with dark cloud.
The coat of the shepherd dog is robust with a dense undercoat. The build is muscular, there should be ground covering gaits at the trot.
The shepherd dog is criticized because of the sloping croup prescribed in the standard. This is particularly pronounced in the lines bred for beauty. This is often associated with hip dysplasia, which is common in this breed. Sheepdogs bred for performance usually have a less sloping croup. However, it is not possible to tell from the external characteristics whether the respective dog is affected by the disease.
The German Shepherd is a sought-after working dog and is used in various fields. He has a high intelligence, a strong will to work and shows a close bond to "his" human. This makes him superior to other breeds in many tasks.
However, shepherd dogs also have a not to be underestimated Prey drive. The Protective drive is also often strongly pronounced. It is therefore imperative that you invest a lot of time in the dog's education from the very beginning. He has to be challenged and used in a way that is appropriate to his species. An underutilized shepherd dog looks for his own task. This usually leads to problems or even behavioral disorders.
Training a sheepdog should be consistent but never forceful. The dog wants to please by itself, which makes a good training both the dog and the human enjoy. If things do not work out as desired, the dog may be overwhelmed. In this case, you need to take another step back and deepen the lessons learned last.
The versatile dogs are suitable for almost any dog sport. On the bike the shepherd dog also likes to run. To avoid damage, a health check by the veterinarian should be done before starting a training. In particular, dysplasia of the hips or elbows should be excluded.
Young growing dogs should also not be overly stressed. Here it is better to do short and more frequent walks and exercise sessions.
The right food
A well-utilized sheepdog is very active. Therefore, the feed should contain all the important minerals and nutrients. The composition should be adapted to the age and activity level of the dog.
A high meat content ensures that the dog is fed species-appropriate and receives enough easily digestible nutrients. You should avoid unnecessary additives and preservatives when choosing the food. Many sheepdogs tend to be allergic to such substances.
Due to its size and low-lying rib cage, the German Shepherd is one of the breeds that are particularly susceptible to the dreaded gastric distortion. This mainly affects older animals, but can also occur in young dogs.
Therefore, when feeding, care should be taken to allow the dog to rest after eating. Before a planned activity, on the other hand, should not be fed. Even directly after exercise, it makes sense to let the dog relax a little first and only then feed him.
If the dog's workload changes, a change in diet may also be necessary. The energy requirement decreases significantly, for example, if the dog must be spared due to an injury. If, on the other hand, the dog has a lot of exercise, a higher protein content in the feed is required.
German shepherd dog care
The German Shepherd Dog has been bred for years for ruggedness. The original representatives of this breed were used as herding dogs. They were outside with their herd even in bad weather and cold temperatures for many hours a day or even continuously.
The coat of the German Shepherd Dog still reflects its original purpose today. It is dense and yet easy to maintain. During the change of coat the dogs sometimes shed heavily, outside this period it is enough to brush the dog briefly every few days.
The often susceptible in other breeds ears are rarely a problem in the German Shepherd. Since they are standing ears, they are well ventilated and inflamed only in exceptional cases. Only foreign objects should be watched carefully. When the dog romps across the meadows, a pellet or something else can get into the ear. If a foreign body cannot be removed without aids, you should consult a veterinarian.
The claws not need to be shortened if sufficient exercise. Only older or sick dogs may require this. Especially if you exercise your dog well and he runs a lot, you should check the paws regularly for injuries. Small problems can be detected early and will not get worse.
From spring to fall, you should also look for Ticks look in the fur of the dog. This can be combined with an extensive cuddling session. Your dog will appreciate it very much.
Not only physically should a German Shepherd be challenged. Headwork is also important. One suitable method for this is to work with a Retrieval dummy. This can be hidden, for example, and then searched for by the dog.
As long as the recall does not yet work reliably, a drag leash a good tool. This allows the dog the necessary freedom of movement. At the same time, it prevents him from putting himself in danger by moving too far away.
At home the dog needs a Berthon which he can withdraw undisturbed. Various baskets or cushions are available in specialized stores. Make sure that the resting place is easy to clean. Especially in bad weather, the dog can bring in a not inconsiderable amount of dirt.
Origin & History
Breeding of the German Shepherd Dog began at the end of the 19th century. The Prussian court cavalryman Max von Stephanitz mated different herding dogs with each other. His goal was to create what he saw as a optimal utility dog to breed. Therefore, the willingness to work and the nature of the animals were in the foreground. The appearance, on the other hand, played a subordinate role. It was important above all that the dogs were healthy and robust.
In 1899, the German Shepherd Dog Club was founded. Gradually, the desired color strokes and other external characteristics were narrowed down. Thus, the then herding dogs evolved into today's sheepdog.
The international reputation of the breed suffered for a time after the Second World War. During National Socialism, the dog was a symbol of the alleged "German virtues". Shepherds were used by the police and military as service dogs. Therefore, many veterans associated the breed with the war.
In the meantime, the German shepherd is fortunately no longer the first thing many people associate with National Socialism. Instead, he is valued throughout the world as what was also originally the breeding goal of Max von Stephanitz: a persistent and resilient working dog with many other positive characteristics.
After the war, two different lines of sheepdogs have developed. Some lines are mainly concerned with fulfilling the ideal of beauty defined by the breed association. Other breeders put more emphasis on the working dog characteristics. Therefore, they select only dogs with an appropriate working and protective instinct for their breeding. However, despite partly different breeding goals, they are not two different breeds. Both breeds may be mated with each other, which is partly practiced.