German Shepherd Dog
The German Shepherd Dog (GSD) is a wonderful breed, but it is a
"high maintenance" animal not suited for everyone. If you are
unfamiliar with our favorite breed, please take the time to educate yourself
about it. You can start right here by reading the following.
Top 10 Reasons
a German Shepherd
May Not Be
the Dog for You
German Shepherds require a serious commitment. Many of the dogs that
come to rescue organizations have no training. It is important that the
new family puts time and effort into training their rescue dog.
These dogs have a high energy level. The very energy that allows
these dogs to be police, search, guide and herding dogs is often the
reason these dogs are surrendered. If you’re looking for a couch potato
you may want to consider a different breed.
German Shepherds are highly intelligent. If they are not given a job
to do they will often come up with their own.
Like any dog, the German Shepherd is a social animal and needs to be
part of a family. The loyalty that endears this breed to many requires
that it not be banished to the backyard.
German Shepherds are large dogs. The number one reason given by
people surrendering German Shepherds is moving. Usually apartments do not
welcome these dogs. If you don’t know where you will be a few years down
the line it is not the right time to adopt.
These dogs shed non-stop.
They can be vocal, often whining and barking to communicate. If left
alone for prolonged periods of time they may become problem barkers.
If you don’t like doggy smell, consider a different breed. Also,
bathing can be challenging due to the dog’s water-resistant outer coat.
A German Shepherd must respect its owner. This is not accomplished
by heavy-handedness; it is only achieved when its owner treats the dog
with equal respect.
These dogs originated as herding dogs. It is a heritage they carry
still. Keep this in mind if you or your neighbors have livestock. Remember
that in the state of California a dog harassing livestock may be shot.
with adult dogs needs to be approached the same way as with a puppy.
Even housebroken adults can have accidents. Stress from change can
also cause accidents.
your dog where you want it to eliminate. Take it to the same area
every time using a command like “hurry up & potty”, “outside
& go potty” or “go potty”. Praise the dog for sniffing
and offer lots of praise after.
will need to take the dog out every couple hours, after meals, upon
awaking and immediately upon coming out of the crate. Meals should
be 3 to 5 hours before bedtime to allow plenty of time to eliminate
before you retire for the night.
mistakes is the most challenging part of housetraining. You must
supervise the dog constantly. When you cannot do so confine them
in their crate to avoid accidents. Always take them out to
eliminate before confining them.
is the least effective and overused approach to housetraining. A
correction should only be if you catch the dog in the act and no more
than a distraction then immediately take them outside to finish.
is natural for dogs. This is how they explore their surroundings.
Puppy-proof your house. New dogs need to be treated as puppies and
gain freedom as they earn it. Throw rugs, wires and cords, shoes,
toys and paper products seem to be the favorite in terms of taboo
chewies. Limit the number of toys the dog has until they learn
what is theirs and what is yours.
exercise is vital to your dog's well-being.
GSDs require lots of activity to burn off their energy.
Being such an intelligent breed, they require challenges in order to
keep them alert. If German Shepherd Dogs become bored, they can turn
their energy toward more destructive ends. We recommend keeping
them mentally and physically stimulated with lots of daily
exercise. Consider getting involved together in Obedience, Rally,
Flyball, Agility, Herding, Search and Rescue & Therapy Work.