German Shepherd was known as the Alsatian is a breed of strongly built and relatively long body dogs. They originated from Germany through the process of traditional herding and dog farming. This breed of dogs is noted for their loyalty, alertness, and intelligence and hence makes a perfect work dog. Don’t go on the wolf-like appearance as they are amazingly versatile and fun dogs once you get along with them.
Coat , Color and Size.
The “ideal” Shepherds have the double coat of medium lengths which is close and dense with a thick undercoat. The topcoat has 2 different varieties of hair – long and medium as they were bred in hard climatic conditions which helps them to be protected from rains and snow.
Most commonly, German Shepherds are in the colour combinations of either tan brown and black or red and black. Most colour varieties have black masks and black body markings and a long curvy bushy tail. Rarer colour combinations include the sable, pure-black, pure-white, liver, silver, blue, and panda varieties.
German Shepherds are medium to large-sized dogs with good build-up. The breed standard height at the withers is 60–65 cm (24–26 in) for males, and 55–60 cm (22–24 in) for females. German Shepherds are longer than they are tall, with an ideal proportion of 10 to 8 1⁄2. They have a long square-cut muzzle with strong jaws, a domed forehead, and a black nose giving them the wolf-like features. The eyes are generally brown and medium-sized. The ears are large and stand parallel giving them the most alerted look. But they often are pulled back during movement. They have a long neck, which is raised when excited and lowered when moving at a fast pace as well as stalking and a tail which is bushy.
The ultimate combination of Shepherd’s natural breeding and herding makes it easy for them to adjust any condition. By not just going on the physical features these dogs are a great choice for a household with kids as their basic instinct is to guard and take care. They are playful and protective around children making them their best companion.
They are the most versatile breed, unlike others who may take time to adapt to a certain house or environment, more like “go with the flow” type. Taking about their living conditions, the weather is never a problem as they are all-weather dogs. The only concern sometimes can be the space they are living in. The small Shepherd pup becomes a big ball of fur in no time and keeping them in small spaces can a slight drawback. So an open floor is a good choice for them or a small backyard where the can play around.
The only important thing is that they have to always be engaged in activities physical or mental as a bored German Shepherd might look cute as a pup but will tear your sofa apart if left unattended.
In addition to being a perfect house breed, they excel at being a guide dog, a search, and rescue dogs because of their strength, intelligence, trainability, and obedience. Around the world, we see German Shepherds as the police and task force dogs and have also served in the military.
Owning a German shepherd is a gift as they fill your life with joy and faithfulness. They are a healthy breed and don’t generally fall ill, but then again owning a German Shepherd is also a responsibility when it comes to their fitness and health. There are some certain health issues pertaining to only the Shepherds that you should be aware of. Here are some common German Shepherd health issues.
- Urinary Tract Infections
- Hip Dysplasia
- Perianal Fistula
- Degenerative Myelopathy
Each of these health conditions has pre-symptom. To best understand them to get more knowledge on all the possible health conditions and LOOK FOR SIGNS. If your dog starts to show the slightest of the symptoms, immediately reach out to a vet before they cause any serious issues.
German Shepherd Grooming and Caring
There are no doubts about the fact that Shepherds are special. And their appearance plays a major role as that’s what makes them different. But with all the double coat fur and the seasonal shedding, the new owners can face some troubles. So here are some unique grooming tips for their breed.
- Because they have a double dense upper coat and a soft undercoat, it is important to brush your Shepherd’s fur on a regular basis to avoid shedding difficulties. Every consecutive day should do the needful. The grooming tools are your companion, so do proper research about what brush or tool to use for your dog’s specifications.
- There will be a couple of times in a year where your Shepherd will really shed for about 1 or 2 weeks maximum. So the brushing regime should the up game until the shedding period is over.
- Bathing should be on a monthly base schedule depending upon the weather conditions. Excess bathing can lead to dry fur and irritated skin for your dog.
- The Ears are the most attractive part of Shepherd’s face. So cleaning the inside of the ear every week in important with Vet prescribed ear-drops (never use water) and always check for any signs of infection as a precautionary method.
- Long paw nails can hurt you and the dog sometimes. So keeping a check on the nails for their length and the dirt is necessary. Trimming them once a month will do the trick.
German Shepherd Feeding
German Shepherds are similar to humans when it comes to eating as they have to be fed consistently. Like us, they have specific feeding amounts, nutrition requirements, and timings. They can be a bit dishonest when it comes to their hunger, they might hide their hunger. So it is important for the owner to carefully observe their dog which includes the portions, nutrients, and the timings for a healthy diet. There should be clear standards on how one feeds them as over-eating can cause a sugar spike and under-eating can cause malnutrition.
The Vets always ask the owners to make a feeding chart that contains 3 aspects depending on their age for a Shepherd in particular.
Feeding amount :
- 16 weeks and below: ½ cup (14 grams) of food for each meal
- 16 weeks to 9 months: Approximately 1 and ½ cup (42 grams) of food for each meal
- 9 months to 12 months: Approximately 2 cup (56 grams) of food for each meal
- 12 months and above: Approximately 3 cup (84 grams) of food for each meal
Feeding Frequency :
- 9 months and below: Feed your GSD thrice per day in equal intervals.
- 9 months to 12 months: Slowly transition to two meals a day, particularly in the morning and evening.
- 12 months and above: German shepherds of this age will now naturally eat twice a day.
The mealtime lengths of your Shepherd will mainly be your observation on the following questions.
- How long can your dog finish his portion?
- How long does it take for your dog to be full?
- Is your dog still hungry after eating his portion?
They mostly take 10 to 15 minutes to finish their meals , given you follow the Feeding Schedule properly and the your dog gets this portions on time
Feeding is an essential part of the diet, but keeping your dog hydrated is equally important, so take note that your dog needs to drink 6 ounces of water per day for every 3.5 kilograms of weight.
For example – If your Shepherd weighs 35kgs , he needs to have at least an average of 60 ounces.
German Shepherds are built for action. They cannot be left alone without any exercise, or you can expect your house to be in a demolishing state as they end up digging, chewing, and biting around. They are always hyper-active with all this energy within them and the easy way to burn that off is with daily outdoor activities and exercise. Be it playing the ball, running in the yard, or going for a run, your dog will always be ready for a sport.
The Shepherds are driven to work and training them to do any task is easy if given proper attention and time. They should receive both mental and physical activities on a daily dose basis to keep them active.
To train your dog, it is important to make them familiar with the surroundings and how to differentiate between a stranger being a friend or a threat, the people around him so that he feels comfortable. And then with make in socialize with the other dogs.
Giving him proper house training that includes obedience training, minimum barking, potty training, rewards on good behavior, and punishments for bad ones, leash training.
Give him all the love and care you can because they will definitely give all the love and care back.
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