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German Shepherd - Best Dog for You?

Updated on April 17, 2013

German Shepherd are among the top five smartest breeds.

Before you rush out and bring home a new German Shepherd, here is what you need to know about this loyal and protective breed.

German Shepherds are loving companions that will gladly sacrifice their own life for yours. Fearless in the face of danger, a German Shepherd is the breed that will stand guard when prowlers are near.

This breed is very social and loves to be with it's owners. They are working dogs that need lot's of exercise to keep their high energy level in check. This German Shepherd like many other breeds will get along well with almost any other pet it was raised with.

Due to their protective nature, caution should be used when introducing small children or animals to this large powerful breed, and they should be supervised at all times. It is a very good idea to have these dogs in a large fenced yard where they can run and play and keep them safe from harms way.

As with any powerful breed, a German Shepherd should be socialized and obedience trained from an early age. The German Shepherd respects a firm and fair pack leader. They should be trained with repetition and consistency. The German Shepherd often excels at obedience, as a guide for the blind and police and military work.

They come in many colors from solid black to pure white, and the more conventional colors of black and tan. Some have a rough coat, with both long and short hair. Please be aware a German Shepherd will shed continually, and once a year it can be pretty heavy.

The German Shepherd requires brushing daily to remove and minimize loose hair, and your home will stay cleaner. Do not bath your German Shepherd any more than necessary and only use a mild shampoo as it can dry out their skin and cause itching and make their coats look dull. Feeding a high quality food with meat as the first ingredients will keep their coats looking shiny and smooth.

Like many other dog breeds they can have their share of health problems. Some of the more common conditions to be watchful of are elbow and hip dysplasia, epilepsy, and digestive problems. Nothing can be more heartbreaking than having to deal with health issues in a beloved family pet. Be sure to look for a reputable German Shepherd breeder who cares about the breed and performs testing on both the parents.

If you are searching for a companion or working partner, the German Shepherd always one of the more popular breeds will most certainly fit the bill.

Play with your German Shepherd

A game we often play with our dogs that they really love, is Go Seek. To play this game with your dog, take a favorite toy and hide it in the yard or house and tell them to Go Seek. It does not take long for them to catch on. When they find the toy, reward them with a piece of food and plenty of praise. Soon, they will become pros and quickly learn where most of the obvious hiding places are. Eventually it will get harder and harder to out smart them at this game.

Another fun game is Go Hide. This is played much like hide and seek. One of us holds the dog out of sight while the other hides. Try to make little noises to get them interested and give them clues where you are hiding, when they find you give them lot's of praise and really make over them. They really love to play this game as well. Games are a good way to play bond with your dog and it will make the relationship stronger.

German Shepherds are great dogs that will reward you with devotion and love. Please do your part and give them the attention they deserve and you will have loyal and faithful German Shepherd that will give you happy memories that will last a lifetime.

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