german shepherd obedience training

German Shepherd Obedience Training: Know the rules

The German Shepherd breed was bred in Germany in the 18th century as a shepherd. At the time, breeders and owners did not focus much on some form of German Shepherd obedience training program. For 200 years, breeders have been continuously working to improve the physical appearance, working qualities and character of the dogs.

However, when the need for shepherds decreased, German Shepherds began to be trained to protect, guard, search, rescue, and participate in sport competitions.

German Shepherds are great learners and will pick up on anything their owner will teach them. Right or wrong, there are associations around the world, praising the German Shepherd breed, that have breeding programs with a motto that the German Shepherd is, above all, a working dog, which means that its education and training should be first and foremost based on this.

German Shepherds are great learners

Features of the breed, maintenance and care

According to Stanley Koren’s scale, German shepherds rank third in adaptive, instinctive intelligence and obedience after Collies and Poodles. They are genetically gifted with the following qualities:

  • Quick wits
  • Equilibrium
  • Devotion
  • Sensitivity
  • Speed of reaction
  • Fearlessness

With proper upbringing and the absence of mental disorders, a German Shepherd is not inclined to aggression, although he is wary of outsiders. He perfectly understands not only voice commands, but even the owner’s gaze.

The German Shepherd is the perfect companion for the whole family. He is happy when he participates in all family activities, gets along well with all members of the pack, and is friends with different pets.

The company of a German Shepherd is suitable for active people. For proper development, he needs physical activity, with daily walks for at least 2-3 hours, outdoor training, etc. He will be happy to tag along with the owner on a jog or bike ride.

German Shepherds are suitable for active people

At the age of 3-4 months, the German Shepherd puppy can walk as much as 4 km per day. At this age, he can be taught to swim in open water, which helps to strengthen the skeleton and muscles.

German Shepherds are not afraid of extreme temperature conditions and can therefore live on a farm or similar environment. In apartment conditions, he needs a small personal space (but not on the balcony, in the bathroom or kitchen!) and must go out on daily walks.

Proper care of your German Shepherd

Here is a periodic routine to ensure your canine friend is in good shape:

  • Check his paws, nose and lips regularly. If there are cracks, crusts, cuts or unusual discharge, contact your veterinarian
  • Remove overgrown hairs from the ears, which delay the outflow of sulfur and can provoke otitis.
  • Clean (brush) the coat every day, especially if your dog gets very dirty while walking or training. It’s also a great way to prevent skin diseases.
  • Take care of the coat not only during the shedding period by periodically combing out the dead hair.
  • Bathe as needed but note that frequent bathing destroys the protective grease on the coat.

Proper nutrition is the key to the health of the German Shepherd. The highest risk of the breed is with gastrointestinal diseases and allergic reactions which often affect the dog under 3 years old. Veterinarians recommend a balanced diet formulated to prevent these diseases. With natural nutrition, calcium should be included in the diet to promote the formation of bone tissue and stabilization of the nervous system and biochemical processes.

German Shepherd Obedience Self-training rules

German Shepherd Obedience Training at a young age

As soon as you bring a German Shepherd puppy in the house, start the education and training process.

Build the hierarchy

Show him who is the leader, otherwise he will independently appoint himself as the master in the house and begin to build his “authority”. Dominant behavior cannot be allowed as he grows older and bigger.

Establish rules

Rules around the house must be clearly established and not be violated under any circumstances. Explain this to your dog. German Shepherds learn very quickly and within a few days the puppy will understand what you asking from him

Engage in socialization

You should introduce the puppy to others in his environment, teach him to behave well in society and not allow excessive excitement. It is not only important to educate a German Shepherd at home but also to teach the correct behavior in public places, on the street, in a playground with other dogs as well as children and strangers.

Tell your family members the rules for communicating with your dog and stick to a clear line of behavior. Teach your puppy to hear you and respond to all commands but never use physical punishment. Your German Shepherd should learn at a young age all the basic commands and you should not start training him on more complicated ones until he has mastered them.

German Shepherd obedience training also involves nurturing the companionship. Spend time with your dog, play with him and praise him. The friendship will bring joy to your dog, which contributes to more effective learning and training.

dog play

German Shepherd Obedience Self-training rules

The German Shepherd is human-oriented and is characterized by obedience, high learning ability, sense of teamwork, all attributes that should be used in daily German Shepherd Obedience training. Do not adopt the breed if don’t intend to train and teach your dog something.

Remember this golden rule, a German Shepherd without proper education and training is dangerous for the owner and others. A well-mannered, trained dog is a reliable protection and a loyal friend and companion.

Daily 10-minute lessons are not enough for a German Shepherd. The basis of German Shepherd obedience training is constant communication aimed at ensuring that the dog hears commands and strives to fulfill them. Stimulate and encourage him with treats and try your best to keep interested in your teachings.

Gradually, his attitude towards you and your lessons will evolve and he will willingly accept new things. But do not overload your canine friend as long and tiring lessons will negatively impact on his concentration and level of retention.

At 6 months old, you can start teaching skills related to alertness to strangers, working off the trail, searching for things by smell, etc..

german shepherd agility training

All actions must be systematically repeated in order to consolidate the learning.

At 7-8 months, puberty ends in dogs and a type of behavior is formed, but the formation of character and physical development will extend up to 2 years. During this period, it is necessary to improve the innate protective instincts of the dog.

If you are doing self-training for the first time, be careful about video tutorials and generic recommendations found on the internet. Choose videos of professional dog handlers or sign up for classes with the trainers of your local club, who will help you train your German Shepherd appropriately, make up a program that suits the temperament, abilities and age of your dog.

German Shepherd training courses should also focus on physical activity and performance skills such as agility, frisbee, pitch and go, flyball and other sports.

German Shepherd newborn puppies

German Shepherd newborn puppies: tips for proper care

Those who are thinking of getting this dog breed should learn everything about German Shepherd newborn puppies, from feeding and care to character, traits and education.

The German Shepherd is a widespread breed of service dog that is popular with breeders. This breed develops into a beautiful large size body with well-developed muscles giving the dog the ability to perform well in many different environments. With proper care and competent training, an owner will get a loyal and devoted friend.

Raising German Shepherd puppies is a responsible and difficult task which will require a lot of patience and love. Of course, we can easily fall for these German Shepherd newborn puppies whose photos look so cute on the Internet and in magazines but they also need competent care.

newborn German Shepherd puppies

Litter size

The normal litter size for this breed is often of interest to novice dog breeders and this information is especially relevant for those who have their first experience with a young bitch. Amongst German Shepherd breed experts, there is consensus that the normal litter size is generally driven by genetics and the conditions or the timing of mating do not have a significant influence.

A shepherd dog can give birth from 1 to as much as 15 puppies but in most cases a little less than the median of this range is more typical. Basically, you can expect a litter size of five to six puppies, which is really the optimal size.

Of course, a healthy bitch is able to feed twelve babies, but it will be much more difficult for her, and the babies may not grow strong enough.


Experienced dog breeders recommend no more than one mating per year, otherwise it may affect the physical appearance and health of German Shepherd newborn puppies and the health of the mother herself.

First two weeks of the German Shepherd newborn puppies

Learning to care for the puppies during the first two weeks of their lives is particularly important. The condition of a German shepherd puppy immediately after birth, already speaks volumes to the fact that he is absolutely helpless as babies are born blind and deaf.

However, despite this obstacle, their sense of smell is already quite developed and they perfectly feel the maternal scent and look for nipples of the mother by touch. Moreover, newborns instinctively know that the rear nipples contain more milk, so a struggle begins between them for the most advantageous places.

care for german shepherd newborns

Hearing in newborns starts functioning three to four days after birth. In the first hours after birth, babies are susceptible to various kinds of infections and they are especially vulnerable in cases when the health condition of the mother is not good.

Real life experience shows that those who were born last have a much higher survival rate than those who came out first.

Prevention & planning

To keep the litter alive and healthy, it is recommended that the bitch be examined during pregnancy and just before giving birth to prevent possible health problems. If there are more than six newborns in a litter, the owners will need a lot of strength and patience to help the mother hatch and provide the conditions necessary for their survival.

The litter will need to be divided into two areas and newborns fed in two steps. It is recommended to set up two box or containers to separate the group. Sometimes, the bitch’s milk volume is not high enough to feed a large number of babies. In that case, you will need the help of a nurse dog who could take over some of the feeding responsibilities. Therefore, it is important to plan ahead in case the need comes up.

There are certain criteria for selecting a nurse dog:

  • Height at withers more than 50 cm
  • Strength
  • Health
  • Milk availability

It is important, to pay special attention to the weak and small puppies and place them against the rear nipples.

care for Shepherd puppies

Monitoring of German Shepherd newborn puppies

You will need to closely monitor the behavior of newborns, weigh them daily and record the results in a log book. In doing so, you can track the evolution of the babies and identify those that may have development issues. In the first week, babies suckle their mother about twelve times a day, then the frequency drops to eight and in the final days it will go down to four times.

At first, the mother stimulates the physiological functions of the puppies by licking them. Once the German Shepherd newborn puppies begin to eat a little solid food, the mother stops doing it. Keep in mind that from that point on you will have to take care of the cleanliness of the birthing area where the bitch lives with her puppies.

If you notice that the mother does not really care for the babies, you will need to massage their abdomens. You can do so with a cotton swab dipped in sunflower oil. When the babies are five days old, the dog owner should start changing the litter in the box on a daily basis.

Make sure the area where the litter is set up is warm but well ventilated and that nothing can contribute to suffocation of the puppies such as fabric, attachments, etc.

On the seventh day, trim the small claws of the front legs as they can scratch the mother while feeding. If the case she has wounds, lubricate them with synthomycin liniment. The mother’s nipples may suffer from intensive feeding and they may start to dry and crack. In that case, wash them with a weak potassium permanganate solution, rosehip oil or sea buckthorn oil and make sure that she does not lick that area.

tips for proper monitoring of shepherd babies

Feeding of German Shepherd newborn puppies

You can start feeding puppies once you notice a decrease in their daily growth, despite the fact that they become restless, whine and try to crawl. Appropriate timing is crucial as rushing the process is just as dangerous as delaying it.

If you start feeding too early, the mother will have less milk production, which is a source of vitamins and antibodies to various infections. In fact, breast milk is the best whey that protects droppings from all sorts of infections. In general, feeding can start around the fourteenth day.

In cases where the shepherd mother has problems with lactation, you can start on the twelfth day. You can give milk from a cow, sheep or goat by mixing egg yolk and powdered milk into it.

A bottle with a nipple is suitable as a feeding tool and the hole should be of such a size that milk does not pour out, but drips. The frequency of feeding in case of insufficient lactation in a bitch is every three hours and three times a day with normal lactation.


diet for German Shepherds

Learning to care for Shepherd puppies

A one-month old German shepherd puppy is not much different from its younger counterparts, but it is much larger. Its weight is from two and a half to four kg and height at the withers is from 19 to 21 cm.

Once the puppy starts eating solids, the diet should be optimally balanced. The young German Shepherd is growing fast and his food intake must be nutritious!

Meals should be provided at regular intervals with 6 meals a day being the optimal frequency. Then, gradually increase the amount of servings and decrease the number of meals. The main principle is that each meal should provide the shepherd puppy with the necessary complex of vitamins, fats, carbohydrates and proteins.

One serving of food is usually around 200 g. Only select premium quality food for large dog breeds and make sure they contain all the necessary nutrients.

Alternatives to processed food are natural products cottage cheese, porridge with meat broth, grated vegetables, boiled eggs, boiled or raw minced meat.

Both approaches in their pure form have their advantages and disadvantages. Get the help of a dog nutritionist, if needed. Good luck!

how long do german shepherds live for

How long do German Shepherds live for?

German Shepherds are very loyal dogs and it’s quite normal that dog owners wonder about the lifespan of their canine companion. How long do German Shepherds live for? Find the answers below as well as tips to extend the life of your dog.

The loss of a dog is a huge blow to everyone in the family. After all, our German Shepherd friend has delighted us with his presence for a long time and has won our outmost respect. Shepherd dogs are not only faithful, but also wise, intelligent, wonderful guards and rescuers of people.

A huge number of publications are devoted to the exploits of these generous dogs. Undoubtedly, everyone wants such loyal dogs to live as long as possible and never stop to bring us quality companionship.

german shepherd on a farm

How long do German Shepherds live for?

The average lifespan of a dog, in general, is between 12 and 15 years old. However, it all depends on the size of the dog as the larger he is, the shorter the lifespan tends to be.

Unfortunately, German Shepherds fall in the larger dog breed category. Nevertheless, the normal life span of German Shepherds is between 10 13 years and in some cases it can can go up to 20 years, although this is certainly uncommon.

As an owner, you want to ensure your German Shepherd friend will live as long as possible. This means you will have to provide him with the best and most appropriate care throughout his life and in particular offer him a quality lifestyle, excellent nutrition and timely veterinary examination and vaccination. Therefore, the life span of a German Shepherd dog directly depends on the quality of …. the owner!

We realize that this is putting a lot of pressure on the dog owner but remember this: acquiring a canine companion comes with responsibilities. If you are not prepared to look after your dog, then don’t get one!

german shepherd sleeping

How long do German Shepherds live for? Influencing factors

Is it possible to extend the life of your dog and if so, how should you do it? Before acquiring a German Shepherd you should evaluate your resources and capabilities.


Think in advance of the kind of food you have to provide to your dog and the required budget because a dog’s diet plays a large role in extending his life span.

Every dog needs a proper diet containing all the vitamins and nutrients required for the proper functioning of his body. It is important to feed your dog with food of the highest quality, full of protein and other nutrients that contribute to keep joints, bones and ligaments in healthy condition. You should avoid cheap commercial food that contribute very little to the well-being of your dog. In that respect, it’s really important to dedicate an appropriate budget for your dog’s nutrition plan.

If you choose to give your German Shepherd natural food, then 70% of it should consist of raw meat. Boiled vegetables, cottage cheese, oatmeal can also be included in your dog’s menu. Up to two years old, a dog needs to consume vitamins as well. Get the advice of your veterinarian to confirm the type and dosage required.

german shepherd running

Physical activity

German Shepherds need a regular, active lifestyle with plenty of physical activity. In preceding paragraphs, I alluded to the need to evaluate your capabilities. I was not just referring to finacial resources but also time available.

Your German Shepherd is not a couch potatoe that can be taken outdoors just to relieve himself. If your dog lives in a small apartment, then you should pay attention to his training regimen. Quite frankly, whether you have a small or bigger home, it does not matter all that much because the genetics of a German Shepherd make him a very active and energetic dog. Therefore, you need to take him outside for walks, play, exploration, etc. on a regular basis, ideally twice a day.

Mental activity

German Shepherd males that are somewhat inactive and cannot burn the excess energy may become overly excited, anxious, nervous and even aggressive! Don’t take physical activity needs of your German Shepherd lightly. They need to burn energy and not only be stimulated physically but also mentally. Going out to explore the outdoors is the answer.

german shepherd playing with ball

Many dog breeds are easy to train to carry out different commands, but German Shepherds dogs have distinguished themselves by their mental acuity and ingenuity, so it is worth using the physical and mental resources of the dog for appropriate purposes. Got out and ask him to carry out tasks and give him responsibilities and challenges. German Shepherds love to take charge and accomplish things. Of course, don’t forget to appropriately reward your canine friend!

How long do German Shepherds live for? More thoughts on life expectancy

It has been proven that the life expectancy of German Shepherds living in a vast indoor and outdoor environment far exceeds that of those living in a small apartment. Again, we are not saying that German Shepherds should only be living on large properties but this highlights the fact that they need to go out for long walks, to run along a bike or play ball on a daily basis. They need the level of activity that will support a longer life expectancy.

If your dog lives on a farm or similar surroundings, please remember that he needs to go out for walks anyway. The sheer fact that the dog is living on a vast property and has to perform daily tasks does not eliminate the need for such physical activity.

The fact that German Shepherds are purebred dogs compounds the importance of providing him with a quality diet with vitamins and nutrients, appropriate care and proper physical activity. This will contribute to keep your four-legged friend German Shepherd away from diseases and of course extend his lifespan.

german shepherd life expectancy

However, the genetics of a purebred dog brings a set of potential health issues and German Shepherds are no exception to that rule. Some of the common health concerns in German Shepherds are allergic reactions and skin diseases. We bring it up because there are easy, simple and effective preventive measures to take with your German Shepherd friend.

Make sure the ongoing vaccination protocol for your dog is monitored and strictly adhered to and his nutrition plan is kept up to date. When only natural food is part of diet, there are times when volvulus is observed in mature dogs are faced with volvulus. This is something to watch for as it may develop in a serious condition, that may go as far as requiring surgical intervention. Regular check ups at the vet is really a must.

Also, do not forget that a dog is most active at a young age. As he is getting older, he will tend to be more sedentary but he nevertheless requires physical activity. As aging sets your dog will need more attention and being in a prevention mode as opposed to a reactive one is really key. A dog’s long life is a tremendous luxury that requires patience, discipline and strength. Follow the above recommendations that will help you enjoy a longer time with your German Shepherd friend.


german shepherd ears down

German Shepherd Floppy Ears: Cause for Concern?

The reasons German shepherds being so famous are manifolds but the most glaring reason is how German Shepherds look. Be it their graceful color, thick coats, respectable and intimidating stature, and adorable pointy ears. This all gives a majestic look to our favorite dog breed. However, owners may have to deal with a German Shepherd floppy ears condition.

This is not an uncommon problem and while floppy Ears might look highly adorable, they can also affect your German Shepherd’s overall look.

Therefore, if your dog also has floppy ears, this article is just for you as we will explain all the possible reasons for German Shepherds having floppy ears. And to further help out our valued readers, we have also included some common ways through which you can get this problem sorted out.

It is Probably Nothing

Before we start telling you all the reasons that might result in your German friend having folded ears, it is better that you be aware of the fact that having floppy ears is as natural as it gets for German Shepherds. Therefore, you shouldn’t get extremely anxious if your pup has floppy ears.

german shepherd floppy ears

Most likely than not, his ears will naturally straighten up as he grows older. German Shepherd ears typically start standing straight when they hit five months or around 20 weeks.

The reason for this to happen is that this is the same age when German Shepherds stop teething which is further caused by the strengthening of facial muscle. This further aids in the rigidity of ears which causes them to start standing straight.

All this is why we recommend our dear readers to wait for around five months before starting to get worried about their dog’s ears.

What Causes German Shepherd Floppy Ears?

Now coming to the fundamental question of what exactly causes German shepherd floppy ears. Unfortunately, there is no single culprit towards which we can point our fingers as there are multiple reasons that can contribute to German shepherds having floppy ears. Following are 3 common reasons.


The dog pedigree plays a vital role in what kind of physical attributes your dog will exhibit. Dog genetics can ber defined as “the study of passing down characteristics from one generation to another.” Therefore, the reason for your pooch having floppy ears could simply be genetics.

If your dog has floppy ears, then it means that either one or both of his parents had the same attribute meaning that they also had floppy ears.

Therefore, professional dog breeders put great emphasis on the genetics of dogs that they decide to breed. This minimizes the risk of unwanted traits such as a floppy ear condition.

That’s why we recommend that our dog owners only get puppies from breeders who are professional, respected, and ethical.

german shepherd ears not in upright position

Physical damage or injury

Ears are sensitive and this holds true for German shepherds as well. An injury can easily affect the stiffness of your dog’s ears.

This doesn’t mean that you should start keeping your dog from being active as you can’t stop dogs from … well … being dogs. All you can do to prevent this from happening is to keep an eye on your German shepherd while they are playing.

Make sure that they are not around any blunt obstacle or any other thing that can seriously injure them. Dogs also like to bite each other while they play and therefore you need to keep them from hurting each other ears to prevent any risk of injury.

That being said, dog owners need to understand that getting hurt is just part of the game for dogs and therefore, owners need to be prepared for any medical emergency. If you have a canine.

You should have basic knowledge of first aid to prevent your dog from having any permanent damage.

Owners should never pull, tug or twist their dog’s ears even while playing with them. Ears should only be touched in the form of soft pets that do not affect the overall shape of your dog’s ears.

German Shepherd Floppy Ears: Improper Nutrition

The essential thing that you can provide your dog to ensure excellent health is a quality nutrition plan. A dog with all of its nutritional needs fulfilled will surely be more healthy and fit than a dog that suffers from nutritional deficiency. Therefore, make sure that your

German Shepherd puppy

German Shepherd has all of his nutritional needs satisfied; otherwise, it can lead to several complications, including physical issues such as floppy ears.

The most common cause of nutritional deficiency in dogs is the use of poor-quality dog food. Many dog food brands don’t care about the health of your dog and to drive up profits, they make their dog food products from sub-par ingredients that are unable to meet your dog’s nutritional requirements.

Dog Owners should always pick premium quality food, full of protein content. It should be made from quality protein sources such as real meat.

Dog food must be free from any allergens and should have all the required essential vitamins. Finally, it should also have the recommended fat content for the well-being of your four-legged best friend. 

Solutions to German Shepherd Floppy Ears

Now that we have discussed possible causes of a German Shepherd floppy ears condition, you must be wondering what line of action you can act upon if your dog has floppy ears.

Well, no need to worry as there is a lot that you can do to help out your lovely pooch. Some of the ways by which you can help your dog overcome this problem are described below.

Use foam rollers gently and punctually. 

Weak cartilage structure is a leading cause of dogs having floppy ears. The outer structure of the ear is known as Pinna, and it is entirely made up of cartilage. To protect your dog from having floppy ears, you must make the cartilage structure of the Pinna as strong as possible.

You can find a number of ways to do it, including offering your pooch food high in calcium content, taping the ear, or massaging the ear.

The most effective way to make the cartilage structure of the Pinna stronger is by massaging the inner side of the ears with a foam roller. This will boost the cartilage forming filaments known as Collagen.

This, in turn, increases the density of cartilage present in the ear structure, which makes them stronger and sturdier. And in this way, using foam pillars to massage your dog’s ear can help prevent him from developing floppy ears.

Provide your dog with chew toys

German Shepherd floppy ears can also be caused by to weak muscles in the face and forehead region. These muscles are responsible for providing the ears with the required strength to remain standing straight.

Therefore, if these muscles get weak, your dog becomes highly susceptible to problems such as floppy ears. Therefore, you should make sure that your pooch has good muscle density.germand shepherd ear care

A straightforward way to accomplish this is to provide your German Shepherd with the proper chew toys, as chewing can be a perfect exercise for his muscles. Muscles tend to break up during exercise, and eventually, when the muscle heals, it becomes bulkier and more robust than before.

That’s how muscle development happens all over the animal kingdom and therefore, the same goes for dogs. As the dog works on his chewing toys, the facial muscles will become more robust and this will promote rigid ears in your German Shepherd.

great shepherd dog

Traits and characteristics of a great shepherd dog

Shepherd dogs have always supported breeders and shepherds in the management of herds. But what makes a great shepherd dog? That’s what you will find out below!

Historically, shepherd dogs have helped to group or divide animals during movements such as transhumance and also protect herds from predators. If nowadays pastoral work tends to become scarce, the intelligence, vigor and protective instinct of the sheepdogs have enabled them to find their place in so-called “protection” trades such as the army, the police or private security.

traits of a Sheepdog

Physical characteristics of the breed

Shepherd of the Pyrenees, German Shepherd, Corsican Shepherd, there are many sheepdogs, and the appearance varies enormously from one dog to another. The Shetland Shepherd, for example, is relatively small with 35/40 cm and 6 to 12 kg. On the other end of the spectrum, we find dogs like the King Shepherds who are sometimes up to 80cm tall and can weigh up to 70kg. Among the many species of sheepdogs, we find hair of all lengths and colors. Some have large erect ears, and others have rather flat ears. So you can’t really rely on their physical characteristics to recognize them.

What are the character traits of shepherd dogs?

If shepherd dogs were above all prized by breeders during transhumance, they are now very popular with families. Their cheerful and gentle character makes them ideal companions, especially since they generally get along very well with children. Here are the common traits of a great shepherd dog:

  • Affectionate
  • Protective
  • Kind to children
  • Sociable with other animals
  • Sociable with strangers
  • Clever
  • Law
  • Loyal
  • Faithful
  • Obedient
  • Player
  • Docile
  • Sociable
  • Possesses a protective instinct which can make him a formidable fighter
  • Sometimes barks a lot

shepherd guide dog

The sheepdog, also known as a “dog for doing everything” because of its many physiological as well as behavioral qualities, often aims to help its master in various pastoral or “protection” jobs, so it is obedient and docile. His role being to protect (his master, a herd, a building, etc.), he also knows how to demonstrate formidable violence if he is confronted with a situation of danger. However, there is nothing to worry about on a daily basis, if your shepherd dog is not faced with an emergency, he will remain the sweetest companion. He also gets along very well with children and strangers. It is therefore the ideal partner for a large family, or on the contrary of a single person in search of a loyal company.

How to train your sheepdog?

First of all, do not separate a puppy that is too young from its mother. It is from her that the puppy assimilates “basic” rules such as biting for need vs pleasure and that he learns to explore his environment. The presence of its mother allows the small dog to experiment in a reassuring environment, which greatly increases your chances of adopting a serene animal, a primary characteristic of the sheepdog. It is strongly discouraged and even prohibited in some countries to separate puppies from their mother before the 8th month.

When you start training, apply the basic rules first. In a context where the dog will have to “accompany” protection or defense professionals, or assist a shepherd, it will be better to start training without putting the dog in contact with a herd or exposing him to sensitive situations. It is therefore first necessary to teach him the rules in a neutral climate and gradually introduce external elements.

german shepherd police dog

If you are being too impatient and want to teach your dog complex things right away you could frustrate and even disgust him. This brave worker likes to please you and by feeling like you are asking him for things that are impossible to achieve, he risks losing interest, or worse, adopting rebellious and disobedient behavior.

While it is important to be firm when training your sheepdog, to make him understand your commands, this does not mean being rigid. In sensitive or complex situations, this animal is expected to show initiative, and for this, it must be encouraged upstream by imposing constraints.

The sheepdog is a loyal companion. To allow him to do his job or to protect you effectively, it is important to show him respect and affection. If he is docile and devoted, he is in no way submissive, and an inconsistent or aggressive attitude on the part of his master will cause him to rebel.

Sheepdogs are dogs made for the outdoors. Some shepherds like the Shetland Sheepdog or the Icelandic Shepherd but they can also live in an apartment, as long as you allow them to let off steam several times a day, for a long time. They are also dogs that bark a lot, which is sometimes incompatible with life in a multi-family complex.

Even if your dog is not intended to lead a herd or help in military operations, it is still fulfilling for him to satisfy his instincts. Make him participate in herd management courses. You can also sign him up for Treibball, a kind of dog football, where your shepherd will channel balls rather than sheep.

intelligent german shepherd

Some anecdotes on great shepherd dogs

A great shepherd dog is highly intelligent and learns very quickly. This intelligence sometimes makes them heroes with a big heart.

There are countless stories of sheepdogs saving people from dangerous situations. For example, this shepherd dog who one day helped find six young scouts lost in a forest. The scouts were part of an orienteering course that could have turned into a tragedy in this rugged forest, but it was without counting on the flair of Iris, a police dog with a pugnacious instinct.

In 2010, in Alaska, people witnessed the feats of arms of a German Shepherd ready to do anything to save his master. As his master’s house burns down, Buddy the German Shepherd manages to escape. The dog runs on the road and crosses a rescue truck. Unfortunately, the truck’s GPS did not work and the emergency services could not find the house while time was running out. The dog catches their attention and guides them. Thanks to his canine friend the owner was saved in time!

This hardy and intelligent dog excels in accompanying humans. Formerly a herd keeper, today a police dog or a guide dog, great shepherd dogs put themselves at the service of people to whom he devotes unlimited loyalty.

It is up to you, as the owner, to offer him the stability but also the stimulation necessary for his development, for example, by running activities dedicated especially to his needs. Above all, let him roam as he pleases and do not hesitate to entrust him with “missions” such as protection of the house, daily help, as this breed of dog thrives in helping his owner.