Caring for German Shepherds Flagstaff AZ
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Caring for German Shepherds
The German Shepherd is one of the most popular choices of dog breed for pets. This is because the breed is characterized by its extreme loyalty for its master. While they’re not exactly as sweet-tempered as bull mastiffs and St. Bernards, these dogs are perfect guard dogs. They have a high level of intelligence, and they can be trained to save you even at the most difficult of situations.
Owning a German Shepherd
As in any other dog breed, it’s always best to get a German Shepherd as a puppy. Just make sure that it has had its first round of shots and that it’s old enough to be separated from its mother before you buy it from any breeder. Otherwise, it will be sickly and it can die without the proper nutrition from its mother’s milk. Unless you’re willing to nurse a baby German Shepherd from a bottle, you wouldn’t want to get it until it’s 4 to 6 weeks old. As a pet owner, you’d want to give the best care for this animal.
If you want to be at least 50% sure that your German Shepherd would be smart and easy to train, make sure that you get puppies from Champion breeders. This simply means that these puppies are offsprings of show dogs, and if the genes have it, they’ll be winning ribbons in shows as well. The certification may cost you more money, but in the long run, you’ll reap the rewards because you’ll have an easier time training an intelligent German Shepherd dog.
Dog Care for GSDs
Owning a dog is fun, especially if you’re looking for constant companionship, but it also entails great responsibility. You have to make sure that when you own a dog, you have enough time, patience, and money to stick to the dog care regime. This includes feeding your pet, training it, grooming it, and taking it out for bonding time and exercise.
German Shepherd dogs are very seldom picky eaters. Most of them eat natural, homemade dog food, dry kibbles, or canned mixes. Whatever you choose to feed your dog, make sure that its getting enough nutrition. Aside from the shots, your dog needs a lot of proteins in its diet. For this reason, you should definitely avoid pet foods that are cheap but are only stuffed with corn fillings and wheat. Unless your dog has enough protein in its system, it’s bound to suffer from shedding, skin diseases, and even distemper.
German Shepherd Dogs are long-haired animals. They need to have a shampoo that’s mild enough not to trigger too much shedding, and strong enough to fight off the existence of dog lice. Of course, you also have to make sure that you have time to comb your dog’s hair. Like long-haired cats, German Shepherds benefit more from long toothed combs. These shorter brushes work more for dogs with short coat. Long combs work better at detangling your German Shepherd Dog’s mane. About five minutes a day of brushing should suffice, but there’s no harm in giving your dog some extra loving. GSDs usually like the comb if they were groomed with this from puppyhood. This also signals “quality time” with the master, so don’t be too stingy with your grooming efforts.
As in any dog, the claws of your German Shepherd Dog will also have to be clipped. The trick here is to clip only the clear part of the claws. However, some owners are very uncomfortable about clipping their dogs’ claws on their own. If you’re one of these owners, you can always bring your dog for a monthly total grooming session with the vet. The vet can also trim off your dog’s hair so that your German Shepherd’s coat won’t look matted and messy.
It’s always best to enroll your German Shepherd Dog to an obedience school. Being an intelligent breed can also have its downside: your dog is bound to be easily bored. Enrolling it in an obedience school will not only take the burden of training your dog the basics off your shoulders, but it will also help your dog socialize.
Socializing is very important for a German Shepherd Dog because they were born to protect their masters. If you don’t expose them to other human beings, they might begin to see everyone else as a threat to your existence. German Shepherds that lack socialization are usually aggressive and temperamental. If you want your pet to be good with kids, guests, and other family members, you will have to make it love other people aside from you.
Your GSD can attend obedient school as soon as it’s finished with its first round of shots, or at 12 weeks old. By this time, the puppy should be able to absorb simple commands. The obedience school is perfect preparation for your dog’s first walk in the park as well.
Diseases to watch out for
There are a number of diseases that the German Shepherd dog breed is predisposed to. These include Degenerative Myelopathy, maldigestion, hemophilia and a lot more. To make sure that your dog will have lower chances of suffering from these diseases, you need to give it a well-balanced diet. Since the breed is prone to have blood and bone problems, it’s also best if you make sure it’s receiving enough iron and calcium through its supplements. If you visit your vet regularly, s/he can check on your dog’s health condition, and will surely tell you to buy supplements if there’s a deficiency found in your pet’s system.
Exercise, exercise, exercise
If you’re planning to take care of a big breed like a German Shepherd, you need to make sure that you have a big lawn. This breed can’t be caged in or be leashed all day long. Believe me, when you keep them in cages or leashes, they’ll get more aggressive and they might start biting people, even you. These dogs are intelligent, and you have to make sure you fill their days with a lot of interesting activities. If you’re cooped up in the office all day, don’t get this breed. This is perfect, on the other hand, for individuals who enjoy hiking and other outdoor activities.