A simple Guide to New German Shepherd Owners
The German Shepherd is a prevalent dog breed, and many people dream of getting one. So it is an excellent question to think about how to train a German Shepherd puppy? They are robust, intelligent, and noble animals that, with good training, will become an inseparable part of your family.
However, knowing what to expect before having your first German shepherd puppy - or so-called rescue GSDs, or GSD-mix that some people take - and bringing them home is essential.
German Shepherds can be very social with their owners and involved in their handler’s activities. Sometimes it may not feel very pleasing that they follow your every step. So if you rather like dogs who lay calm in their bed and don’t involve in every action, the German Shepherd is not for you. These kinds of facts about getting and training a German Shepherd puppy might not seem like great news at first, but knowing all the facts is better than having wrong beliefs.
What can you expect when having a German Shepherd dog?
People usually expect their new pets to be friendly and playful, but the truth is that they can also be stubborn and hard to handle. Dog pups generally use their teeth a lot, including biting hands and ripping clothes, and they may even growl when they play. It is crucial to understand this behavior the right way. Not all growling means aggression, especially if a puppy growls. When an adult growls, it is a different story. These signs, however, are possible misunderstanding situations between a GSD puppy (or even with a grown dog) and a new GSD puppy owner. A friendly and easy puppy may later dominate its family if the dog is allowed to growl in puppyhood and in all situations.
Either way, they need a steady leader who knows or is ready to learn how to train a German Shepherd puppy. German Shepherd dog trainers need to understand GSDs’ specific needs and behavior. It sure is good to be capable of handling their dogs and be ready to take more action if necessary.
German Shepherds need activities and consistent handling
GSDs need a lot of exercise, so you will need to take them for walks every day or twice a day if you want them to start to behave well in the house. Going out after playing, eating, or sleeping is essential when potty-training them. Excercise turns wild pups into good-behaving companions. Positive experiences from other people and animals will socialize dogs. Also, it is good to give a puppy chances to go to new places safely and get used to different environments.
There is no doubt that dogs are intelligent. When you think about all puppy behaviors, you understand that dogs are not “just dogs.” They know what benefits them, and sometimes they also amuse themselves. They will learn how to get from people what they want. Sometimes they are bored, and they entertain themselves. What does this mean, for example? They start chasing, biting, barking, or chewing. Or something else, maybe. Biting, growling, barking, and begging, for example, are those kinds of behavior they use when they want something from us or they want to “warn” us. The main thing is that dogs learn how to manipulate owners. If you let your dog make the rules, dogs also learn to dominate.
Dogs learn and use dog-like means to their advantage
It may be not easy to accept, but dogs do EVERYTHING ONLY for their benefit, not to please the owners. People want to think the other way tho. Unfortunately, many people treat their dogs as “babies.” But dogs are not human, nor babies. Therefore, you should treat them like animals – like dogs and wildlife, who have only found beneficial surroundings among humans a long time ago. These things are not black or white situations, but living with a dog is a “win-win situation,” meaning both sides benefit from another.
However, if owners treat dogs “like babies,” they may behave in unexpected ways. Most bad behavior or habits occurs because of human behavior. Therefore these behaviors are also possible to avoid. Enjoyable side-living with humans and dogs can be satisfying. It only needs correct (human) behavior, dog training, and remembering that humans are leaders, and dogs (animals) are their pack members.
German Shepherds are great dogs but also demanding
No need to say – in good hands, healthy and vital German Shephard dogs are the best companions and working dogs. From the beginning, puppies need a steady yet loving leader who knows or is ready to learn how to train a German Shepherd puppy. German Shepherd dog trainers need to understand GSDs’ specific needs and behavior. Puppy owners need to be ready, and they need to have the capabilities to handle their dogs, especially if the puppy happens to be active and determined.
How to Determine if Your Current Dog is a Purebred Working Line or Show Line Dog?
All Worlds Kennel Clubs, including American Kennel Club (AKC), note that in dog breeds, there are different types of lines that classify them as either a “working line” or a “show line.” Generally, a working line dog is more suitable for doing specific tasks, such as hunting, herding, sporting, or guarding. They also usually have a more robust and more challenging character from nature. Show line dogs are generally calmer and more manageable, their breeding aims to have the most aesthetically pleasing qualities and in most cases, they have originally no specific tasks to do.
What is a Working Line German Shepherd?
A Working Line German Shepherd is generally more active, challenging, and intelligent. They are strong in character as well as their body build. It is essential to teach them obedience and train them correctly. Working line GSDs are typically used as sports dogs or in military and police work.
Working lines GSDs have a higher level of energy and instincts, which appear ofter as called “prey drive” or “defense drive”. Therefore they can be more sensitive to any fast-moving persons or animals because they assumed them to be prey. However, working line GSDs generally have better nerves than show line dogs. Active working dogs also may use their mouth to experience the world rather than their paws. For several reasons Working line german shepherd needs training and generally also more special exercises that will guide them to use their physical strength and intelligence in an appropriate use rather than in unwanted activities.
Compared to Working line GSDs, German Shepherd Show Lines are calm and more tamed but still require caution because they can be dangerous when improperly handled. However, their aggressiveness is usually expressed when there is a situation in which they need to defend themselves. Shy dogs with poor nerves may often “read” situations as threatening, and act the wrong way.
The Physical Traits of a Working Line German Shepherd dog (GSD)
The German Shepherd is a working dog, originally bred for herding and guarding livestock. GSDs are medium-sized dogs. Overall looks should be energetic and alar, and the body build should be firm and muscular, which gives an idea of a flexible but strong bodybuild. Regarding size between working line vs. show line, show line dogs are typically much bigger and clumsier dogs than working line GSDs. The difference is also from coloring. They both have a rough coat with an undercoat. Show line dogs are mainly in brown with tan, working line dogs are black with tan and often sable, black sable, or all black.
German Shepherd should have good nerves, which means they should relax when nothing special happens. Standard pups and adults are calm, mostly sleeping while at work or away from home: good nerves and excellent temperament matter when you figure out how to train a German Shepherd puppy. Suppose your puppy is lazy and doesn’t get excited about anything vs. a lively, active pup who is ready and able to hear what you are teaching. In that case, it significantly impacts how to train a German Shepherd puppy. It also motivates working with a pup when it is healthy, naturally curious, and eager to learn. Working Line GSDs puppies usually are motivated and willing to work. They typically bite, play, bark and prowl, therefore it is also highly recommended start “playing and training” them at their younger age. Remember that age also must keep in mind when planning, how to train a German Shepherd puppy.
Essential Characteristics of the Working Line German Shepherd that Make Them Unique in Their Special Way
German Shepherds are one of the most popular dog breeds in the World. Typically they are loyal and obedient when trained and known as very intelligent. They have a reputation for an easy nature, mainly because most German Shepherds want to please their owners. These characteristics, however, don’t fit every dog. Some dogs have more challenging character than others, and therefore they may not be suitable as pets. GSDs are energetic, and they should have a high working morality. These qualities make them a perfect breed for law enforcement agencies and search-and-rescue teams. German Shepherds can be hyperactive and dangerous If not correctly handled and trained. GSDs might get frustrated and start misbehaving if they don’t have activities that give them enough challenge.
So what is the difference between show and work line? You could say, that generally show line GSDs are calmer with less energy, which makes them lovely pets for families with children. Even thou never leave your children alone and unguarded with any dog.
Training Your German Shepherd Puppy
Whether you have a working line puppy or a show line puppy, a German shepherd must have controllability, and therefore, it is a must to train your dog. Many articles will provide tips and tricks on teaching your new German Shepherd Puppy. If you feel more comfortable with personal guidance from an experienced trainer, there are good training courses that will show you how to train and activate your dog successfully.
When training your German Shepherd puppy, the first thing you should do is establish yourself as a leader in the pack. It means that you need to be the one who gives commands and decides what the pup can and cannot do. Dogs are pack animals, and they need a clear leader. It doesn’t mean that you can’t cuddle or “be nice.” On the contrary. Like children, dogs need firm guidance to know their limits in addition to love. As the pack leader, it is also your responsibility to care for other things, like what your dog will eat and when and where it eats. Always remember to keep fresh water available. Think also about where the puppy crate or bead is. It should be a somewhere safe and peaceful place where the puppy will sleep or can rest. And when it is time to go outside to relieve themselves, it is your job to let the dog out. Puppies have to get out often after waking up, playing, eating, etc. It would help if you made some regularities to the pup’s life. Outgoing, eating, and training are such things. Your responsibility is also to protect your puppy from children (yes, that’s right) and other dogs’ bullying or too rough play. When the dog is older – every dog needs a quiet place where no one or nothing will disturb it.
You can also use positive reinforcement training techniques such as giving them toys or treats or praising them after performing specific actions correctly to encourage them to continue doing those behaviors. But there can be times treats don’t work. Then you must be a leader and make the dog understand by showing what the dog is doing wrong. For example, you can take a grip on a dog’s neck and say NO – your puppy won’t get hurt.
Dog Care for Your German Shepherd
A German Shepherd needs a lot of care and attention. They need to be exercised and have time for play. They require a lot of grooming and other dog care routine. Since they are working dogs, they need to learn obedience commands and tricks to make them more enjoyable pets. Working line German Shepherds are very intelligent, so they need mental stimulation to stay happy and healthy.
The dog care routine is a set of steps that a pet owner follows to ensure their dog’s health and well-being. It includes feeding the dog, brushing its fur, giving it water, and taking it for walks, not to mention keeping illness-preventing treatments like worming and tick medication up to date. It is vital to follow these routines to have a healthy and happy dog.
Feeding the Dog: The first step in the routine is feeding your pet. Between the first 8 weeks, you should feed your puppy four times per day. When the puppy grows older, change feeding times to 3 times, then 2 times, and eventually either 1-2 times/day. The amount of food varies depending on the dog’s age, size, and activity. Pups should never be overweight, even if they play a lot! Too much weight may damage joints that are not fully developed until about 1 year of age. If you are unsure how much food your pup needs, you can consult with your Vet or a specialist in your local pet store, look at the packaging on their food bag for guidelines, or ask for more details from your pup’s breeder.
Brushing Your Dog: Next in the routine is brushing your pup’s coat. Brushing helps distribute natural oils throughout the skin. Grooming can be done by hand or using tools such as different combs.
Ear- and teeth check: Ear- and teeth checks are usually performed weekly. You can gently put your finger into the dog’s ear. If your finger gets dirty and dark “clumps” come out, you need to clean the ear with tissue paper and/or a liquid cleaner. If that doesn’t help and ears come dirty again, or your dog is irritated, there might be an infection or something extra in the ear, and it needs Vet’s care. If your dog’s ear feels a bit oily (nothing sticks to your finger or paper), you don’t have to worry – that’s totally normal.
It is good to check teeth and mouth, especially if your dog chews wooden sticks. Sometimes small pieces of wood can get stuck between the teeth and cause trouble. Or, if the dog hits his teeth against something, broken teeth can cause pain and get infected.
Nail trimming: Nail trimming removes excess material from a dog’s nails, so they don’t grow too long and cause pain or wrong position to paws. Nail trimming can be done using clippers with a guard to protect the dog’s nail beds (the living tissue at the base of each nail) or by using rotary tools which are relatively new types of equipment for cutting dogs’ nails.
Have you thought of insuring your pet?
You might want to get insurance for your German Shepherd pup. Sometimes accidents happen, or your pup does something which puts its health at risk, and it needs immediate Vet care. In these situations, you might appreciate your dog’s insurance. It is an excellent way to be prepared if something happens and your dog needs Vet’s care. Sometimes taking care of the dog needs more extensive treatment that may cost a lot. Insurance is an excellent way to ensure that you can always take care of your dog the best way. There are several offers on the market. Just check what offers the best value to your dog and fits best into your lifestyle.