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  • The best way to take care of a German Shepherd Dog

PET HEALTH AND FITNESS

The best way to take care of a German Shepherd Dog

The German Shepherd Dog is said to be an all-around dog. They are a highly trainable breed that can be used for a wide range of purposes, from police dogs to guide dogs. There is a saying that "a shepherd without training is not a shepherd".

Pet Behavior Training

The German Shepherd Dog is a breed that is very good at training and learning, but because they have also been used as guard dogs, they are very cautious and territorial, and may attack people they are suspicious of. Therefore, it is difficult for beginners who are not accustomed to raising dogs to keep them, and they may turn into uncontrollable dogs if they are not actively trained and disciplined. Because of their large size and strength, a lot of thought and consideration needs to go in to avoid any accidents. The German Shepherd Dog is often thought of as a well-behaved police dog, but in some studies of bite accidents, the breed has been named as a surprisingly risky one. For example, a five-year study in Colorado, USA, reported that German shepherd dogs were second only to pit bulls in serious bite accidents.

However, it is important to keep in mind that these dogs have the ability to attack and cause serious damage in the event of a bite accident. For reference, Ibaraki Prefecture and Sapporo City have designated “specified dogs” as “dogs that may harm people” in their prefectural and city ordinances, and German Shepherd Dogs are included in this category. This does not mean that the dogs cannot be kept as pets, but rather that the regulations require that specified dogs be kept in an enclosed area where they cannot escape or cause accidents.

In Europe, the German Shepherd Dog is also called “Alsatian”, which means “Alsace” or “of Alsace”, where the borders of France, Germany and Switzerland meet. It is no wonder that some people believe that this breed originated in France.

The German Shepherd Dog’s length is approximately 10 to 17% longer than its height. Overall, they are strong and muscular. However, they do not feel heavy, and have enough momentum to give them a sense of speed. This impression may be due to the unique posture of the German Shepherd Dog.

Their characteristics:

The German Shepherd Dog’s appearance is reminiscent of a wolf, full of wildness, with almond-shaped, dark eyes and loose lips that suggest intelligence, but with many modifications, the German Shepherd is genetically very far from a wolf. Their tails are bushy and thick, and when held low, they are called saber tails. There are also two types of German Shepherds: the field type, which was modified for service purposes, and the show type, which was modified for show dog purposes. The lowered hips and deep-set hind legs that most people associate with the German Shepherd are the desired appearance of the show-type German Shepherd, but some argue that excessive breeding to maintain this characteristic may lead to problems with their walking and motor functions.

Temperament: The German Shepherd Dog’s boldness and careful assessment of situations are qualities that make it ideal for a service dog. They are confident and assertive, and when the situation calls for it, they have the courage to face anything, but they are also affectionate and herding-oriented, and they take pleasure in being close to their family. They are also known as “one-owner dogs” because they tend to bond with certain people within the family. If they are able to bond with their owners and live a secure life, they can be said to have a calm and stable temperament. German Shepherd Dogs are capable of serving as police dogs, detection dogs, military dogs, guard dogs, disaster rescue dogs, guide dogs, service dogs, and therapy dogs, but their greatest appeal is that they are also capable of becoming family dogs.

Diseases to watch out for:

1) Hip dysplasia:
This disease is common in large breed dogs and causes the hips to become loose, causing the dog to walk with its hips swinging from side to side, to run like a rabbit kicking its hind legs at the same time, be reluctant to take walks or steps, and to have narrow hind legs. It is said that 70% of the symptoms are related to genetic factors and 30% to environmental factors, and the symptoms often appear at a young age, less than a year old. Obesity and slippery floors worsen the symptoms, so weight control and environmental improvement are important.

2) Gastric dilatation and gastric torsion syndrome:
Gastric dilatation is a condition in which gas and liquid accumulate in the stomach and cause the stomach to swell, triggered by playing immediately after eating, drinking a lot of water, or loosening of the ligaments around the stomach due to aging. If this condition progresses to gastric dilatation, the stomach becomes twisted, and blood flow to other organs is cut off, resulting in an emergency situation. It is said to be more common in large breed dogs with a deep chest.

3) Skin diseases:
It is said that dogs tend to be prone to allergic dermatitis and other skin problems, so be sure to keep a close eye on their skin.

German Shepherd Dogs: How to train, how to walk, and what to look out for?

The experience of the “socialization period,” from 3 to 12 weeks of age, has a great deal to do with the development of a puppy’s personality and behavior as a dog. If this period is inadequate, the puppy’s stress tolerance tends to be low, and he tends to feel anxiety and fear easily. During this period, it is important to give your dog many “good” experiences while getting used to people, things, and sounds. This will eventually lead to easier training and prevention of bite accidents.

For reference, according to a study conducted by the University of Pennsylvania, “hitting or kicking a dog for unwanted behavior,” “yelling at a dog,” “forcing a dog to take something in its mouth by force,” “forcing a dog to show its belly (alpha roll),” “staring at or looking down at a dog,” and “forcing a dog to lie down (dominance down) This kind of behavior tends to bring out aggression in dogs. In particular, dogs that show aggression toward humans tend to respond to their owners’ “alpha roll” and “no!”. Therefore, owners need to think carefully about their own training methods.

PET HEALTH AND FITNESS

Pet Health and Care

How often should I walk my dog?

German Shepherd Dogs should be walked twice a day for about one hour each. Since they are an energetic breed, it would be ideal if you can create an environment where they can run with their whole body from time to time. If you think of walking as an obligation, it will be hard for you. On days when the weather is bad, it is a good idea to play ball games or games that use the sense of smell at home. Games that stimulate the brain can be surprisingly tiring for them. Also, since they have a high work capacity, it would be good to give them a job that can fulfil it.

So, I can get one without a worry?

The German Shepherd Dog is often referred to as the “King of the Dog World”. Many of them have become heroes in novels and movies. They are cool and strong, but they are also pampered and like to be with people. As long as you are an owner who can live up to their trust, you will be an unforgettable partner for a lifetime.

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