Have you ever thought about Owning a German Shepherd or do you currently own one? Regardless, owning a German Shepherd will be a rewarding & lifelong relationship for years to come. With that being said, make sure you consider all aspects of ownership. That means taking into account “The Good, The Bad & The Ugly”. This article is here to assist you when it’s time to make a decision on whether or not a German Shepherd is right for you. Let’s start by giving a quick history lesson on the German Shepherd Dog.
The German Shepherd Dog originated in 1899, in attempts to assist in herding sheep and protecting flocks. Von Stephanitz acquired a dog named Hector Linksrhein & later changed his name to Horand von Grafrath. Von Stephanitz went on to found the Verein fur Deutsche Schaferhunde (Society for The German Shepherd Dog). Hector was declared the first German Shepherd Dog & was added to the society’s official breed registry.
In 1919, the UK Kennel Club first accepted registrations of the breed & fifty four dogs were registered. In just seven years the number of German Shepherd dogs increased to nearly 8,000. As a result, the German Shepherd Dog gained popularity to military forces in World War I. Soldiers started returning home & stories of the German Shepherd Dog quickly spread. Soon the German Shepherd Dog made the big screen as Rin Tin Tin & Strongheart furthermore increasing popularity.
Originally intended for working dog purposes the German Shepherd Dog of today is considered to be the second most popular “pet” dog among many polls. As a result, modern German Shepherds, without regulations, have developed a number of health & genetic issues. You can still find quality German Shepherds from reputable breeders, but research & patience is required. We highly recommend speaking to a representative at Global K9 Protection Services to help guide you in your selection process.
A German Shepherd Dog can make a great cuddle buddy, but they can also be a handful to an unexperienced owner. The German Shepherd is a ball of energy & without the proper stimulation you could quickly have an indoor tornado on your hands. That amount of energy paired with a highly intelligent mind, could lead to bad behaviors long term. I highly recommend establishing a game plan before brining your new dog home. Just a few things to keep in mind before making your decision:
- Do you have a backyard or somewhere you can run your dog?
German Shepherds require ample exercise & room to grow. Without the proper space, your dog can quickly develop boredom & start to take it out on personal property or even you. A long walk twice a day paired with quality exercise should do the job. Just remember each dog is different and may require more.
- Are you willing to take the time to train your dog?
I highly recommend training your dog even if you don’t require formal training. Building a strong foundation of obedience in this breed is crucial because it gives us the opportunity to tap into the dogs mental stimulation by asking him/her to use their brain in a healthy manner. Furthermore, training your dog will set boundaries & standards to ensure both you and your dog have a long & healthy relationship. Besides, who doesn’t love an obedient dog?
- Do you have the patience to hash out behavioral problems?
When I say patience, I mean real patience. Your dog will test you & each dog has positive & negative traits. Without the proper approach & the patience to work through bad behaviors, the negative traits will begin to consume the relationship.
- Do you live somewhere with breed restrictions?
Unfortunately, many places nowadays have silly breed restrictions banning the ownership of specific dogs. Even worse, people ignore those restrictions & continue to get the banned dogs. Sooner or later, your property manager will find out & you will be forced to get rid of the dog & you may be evicted. In return this will lead to dogs in shelters, which will then develop undesired behaviors & that’s just cruel to everybody. Be certain that you can own a German Shepherd Dog & that no breed restrictions are in place.
These questions & answers are just a snippet of what to consider when owning a German Shepherd Dog. Always be sure to consult with professionals when it comes to a topic you are unfamiliar with. Don’t make a quick Google search & choose the answer that best suits you. The internet is not always correct (I know that’s hard to believe).
Breeders Vs. Rescues
As I’ve stated previously, the German Shepherd Dog is not one to be taken lightly. There are many factors that should play into your decision, including: Buy from a breeder or Rescue?
There’s pros & cons to each & and all should factor into your specific situation. Let’s start talking about rescues.
There are rescues all over the country specific to the German Shepherd Breed. Each rescue has volunteer staff who are highly educated & understand the needs of the breed. Individual dogs have certain requirements that have to be met by the prospective owner before they will even consider adoption. There is an extensive background check which may require a home visit to ensure that these needs will be met. Rescues are great for individuals willing to dedicate a large portion of their time & possibly money to then reteaching the dog a new way of life. Always keep an open mind when researching a rescue dog. You may never know where that dog came from, how they were treated and what their previous lifestyle was like. As a result, you may have a more difficult time adapting your rescue to a normal & loving lifestyle.
I’m not a spokesperson for breeders, but I definitely recommend a reputable breeder with years of experience specific to the German Shepherd Dog. Genetics play majority role into that dogs future, health & temperament. A responsible breeder is not too focused on the “looks” of a dog, but their main goal is to produce a healthy sound litter. Including dogs that have good hips/elbows, quality personality traits, show no signs of human or dog aggression & are suited for work or companion homes. When doing your research, always ask for pictures & videos before meeting the dogs face to face. Make sure you ask about socialization, temperament traits, different types of drives & even ask about seeing the puppies with the parents. Always ask about the parents with similar questions as the prospective dog. If a breeder refuses to give you what you asked for, then move on & continue your research.
Global K9 Protection Services should be your first place to check when looking for a German Shepherd. We have years of experience raising, training & producing top quality dogs proven in a working environment as well as family pets. Never settle for anything less than perfect, because a German Shepherd is not only a long term investment, it is part of the family.
Last but not least, let’s talk about potential costs that go into owning a German Shepherd. Owning a dog can be an expensive proposition & making certain that you are fully prepared will ensure a long and healthy life. Some things to consider:
- Vet Care
German Shepherds are typically a healthy breed besides common health issues at an older age. Making sure you see your vet on a regular basis will keep your dog healthy and alert you to any possible health concerns which may arise. With that being said, always consider the “what ifs”. What if my dog gets sicks? What if my dog get’s hurt? Always make sure you budget for those possibilities by putting a few dollars aside here and there. This will help prepare you for the “just in case”. I always recommend keeping your German Shepherd on heart worm & flea/tick prevention. Since German Shepherds are double coated, always check for any signs of fleas or ticks by doing a daily pat down. As you’re doing your pat downs, check for any abnormalities in the skin. On average you should budget for about $400 annually for vet care.
NEVER shave your German Shepherd Dog. The German Shepherd is a double coated dog & if you shave their coat, it will NEVER grow back the same. Our German Shepherds require these coats for the heat as well as the cold weather. The double coats aide in cooling your dog as well as keeping your dog warm. As far as bathing goes, be careful not to bathe your German Shepherd too often, as shampoos can dry out their skin and wash away essential oils required to keep their coats healthy.
Like we stated before, training your German Shepherd is a must & should always be at the top of your list. We won’t get into the details on training but I will say to consult a professional trainer for all training questions & needs. Global K9 Protection Services specializes in the German Shepherd breed & can ensure your dog exceeds your training expectations. Training costs could range anywhere from $75 to a couple thousand dollars depending on the level of training you wish to achieve.
Proper nutrition is a crucial aspect to your German Shepherds life. We always recommend a quality dry food with some type of fish or chicken as the main protein. I always look for omega 3’s which are great for their coats & joints. An active German Shepherd should intake roughly 1700 to 2000 calories per day but that will vary based upon the activity level of each dog. I also look for DHA (supports brain & eye health), low carbs & the right amount of calcium to phosphorus ratio (deficiency or excess can lead to orthopedic issues). A quality dry food can range from $35-$100 per bag. Make sure you read reviews and do extensive research before feeding your dog any food.
All in all there is a lot to consider before bringing a German Shepherd home. This article isn’t intended to persuade you against owning a German Shepherd, quite the opposite. This article is written so that you can research all areas of the breed & to aide in responsible ownership. Owning a German Shepherd will be full of love, cuddles, kisses & lots of adventures & we encourage you to share those adventures with us. Shoot us an email so we can share your experiences on our platform & fill the world with stories of our beloved German Shepherd dogs. firstname.lastname@example.org
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