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9 Things You Must Know Before Buying A German Shepherd

German Shepherd running in garden

Buying  A German Shepherd Dog? Read These Points

Are you interested in bringing a German Shepherd home? If yes then before you get too far down the process of buying a German Shepherd there are certain things that you should know to ensure you’re going into the purchase informed. There is no doubt German Shepherds are a lovely breed, they were the second most popular dog breed in the US in 2019, only missing out on the top place to Labradors. German Shepherds are known as service or working dogs. They are highly intelligent and are excellent companions. Also, they are built for action and have a lot of energy. They need daily exercise and allowing them to get bored may result in some unexpected and undesirable behavioral changes. There is a lot to this furry dog with brown eyes that you will come to know after reading the complete article.

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German Shepherd with baby

There should be enough space for the breed

Space is one requirement that all dogs have. The important thing to note here is that due to their size German Shepherd dog needs more space than a smaller breed such as a beagle. If you don’t allow them to have the necessary space for them to exercise and run around then you’re likely to find that develop behaviors such as chewing on furniture or excessive barking.

They will have to move, run, or exercise so there should be enough space for them. If you are buying a German Shepherd puppy then understand that it is going to be a grown-up big.

If this is going to be your first dog then it may be worth dog sitting someone else’s dog of a similar size in your home to get a feel for how they will cope. Owners of similar-sized adult dogs will be able to guide you on how they may cope in your home.

German Shepherd puppies in basket

The long-haired German Shepherd puppies have a really thick tail. While they will move around in your house they won’t necessarily be aware of what their tail may hit. Keep the fragile items at your home at a certain height that is not reachable by the dog and not going to fall over should they be knocked by the dog.

Another issue that people usually face is that dogs have the habit of chewing things. Beware if you have dolls or soft toys at your home as they will be an easy target for the German Shepherd dog and your child may not appreciate that. If there is enough space then the German Shepherd will be free to roam around and their minds can be diverted to playing.

German Shepherds can be a bit rough

By rough we do not mean that their bodies are rough, we’re referring to their nature or temperament. German Shepherds are used by police forces and militaries throughout the world supporting them with their work, they don’t do this for their cuddly nature.

While German Shepherds can be a loving and caring breed, if provoked or trained to, they can attack and use their strong bite. There are similarly sized breeds that you may find to be more gentle than German Shepherds such as Labrador retrievers.

German Shepherd jumping fence

Hopefully, we’re not frightening you by saying this but it would be unfair not to include. If you play with your German Shepherd and the play gets a bit rough, then they are known to go for the throat.

You can minimize the likelihood of this by starting to train them when they’re young, making sure to be clear that biting is not acceptable. You can also ensure that you give them breaks while playing to ensure that they don’t get over-excited.

They are called Land Sharks

This is an important point to consider if you are planning to buy a German Shepherd. The German Shepherd dog puppies bite or nip anything that comes their way. You should train them from a young age that even a nip isn’t acceptable behavior. While they will still be young and the nip shouldn’t hurt too much, they won’t stay small for long and their bite will get more painful with time.

German Shepherd chewing bones

German Shepherd may or may not be affordable

If you’re planning on buying a German Shepherd from a breeder and haven’t already looked into the price then you might be in for a bit of a surprise.

There’s a common misconception that buying a German Shepherd will be cheap. Unless you’re buying it from a friend/family this isn’t going to be the case. As we’ve already said, German Shepherds are one of the most popular dog breeds in the US and dog breeders know this.

If you’re looking to try and pay a little less for your German Shepherd puppy then, rather than finding the less reputable breeders, look for rescue groups. They still won’t be free as the rescue groups need to be able to keep themselves running but they may be cheaper than going to a breeder. You’ll also be helping to give a dog a better life.

German Shepherd puppy in basket

If you go to buy it from reputable German Shepherd breeders then prepare yourself for the price. A German Shepherd puppy can range between $550 and $1200 in price. This will be higher if you’re looking for a certified purebred.

Even after you’ve bought the German Shepherd puppy that is not the total cost, you will need to buy other things like food, a crate, bowls, and many more everyday lifestyle requirements. The ongoing costs can be $1,200 – $1,600 a year for feeding, insurance, and other ongoing costs. So make sure you have a certain amount of your salary set aside to cover the costs of your new German Shepherd dog.

They need your time

Do you have time for the dog? This is one of the main questions to ask yourself when buying a German Shepherd puppy. A dog is not a toy that you can play with for some days then store it in a corner. They are going to live with you all the time and, as we’ve mentioned previously, they will let you know if they’re feeling unloved.

German Shepherds require daily exercise, being taken outside to relieve themselves, training, and fed. Each of these takes a certain amount of time every day but will take up additional time in preparation.

If you’re going to find it difficult to manage to do some of the above then it may be worth asking a friend or family member if they can do this for you.

Cute German Shepherd needs time

We understand that sometimes even family members or friends do not have the time to be able to look after your dog for you, it is your dog ultimately. In such cases, an alternative would be to get a dog walker. They will take care of your dog or take him for a walk.

If you’re going to be out for long hours and your dog won’t have any human company and you’re not going to be able to get family/dog walker help then it may be worth considering whether now is the right time to get a German Shepherd.

Getting a healthy dog

If you’re buying a German Shepherd puppy then you’re probably going to have them in your life for the next decade. During this time you will build a strong attachment to them as they will end up being a big part of your life.

You will therefore want to look to find a puppy that is as healthy as possible. By finding a puppy that is as healthy as possible you’re going to be able to spend more time with your new best friend but likely save yourself a large amount of money in vet bills.

When buying the puppy, try not to get lost in the puppy’s eyes straight away, give them a critical look. Do they appear to be healthy? Are they skinny? How about the rest of the litter, or the parents? You won’t always be able to meet the father but you should be concerned if you’re not going to be able to meet the mother

It is also worth asking the breeder about any genetic tests that have been done on the puppy or the mother. Not all will do the test but some do and if they have the information it is worth you getting it and understanding it.

German Shepherd happy on beach

Unfortunately, German Shepherd dogs are known for their health issues. While you may try and find a puppy that is as healthy as possible, they may still experience anything from a minor allergy to serious health issues.

You can help to keep your German Shepherd healthy by making a habit of taking them to the vet on a regular basis, at least for an annual checkup. This will help to diagnose any issues early when it will hopefully be possible to deal with them early.

German Shepherds need training and exercise

German Shepherds aren’t the sort of dog breed that loves lying on the couch all the time. They are large in both size and activity. If they get bored then they are known to become loud and destructive.

Training is a great activity to do with your German Shepherd. It not only helps to ensure they behave correctly but also keeps them entertained and can provide good exercise. Especially if you do training such as agility training.

When thinking about training your German Shepherd to remember that police forces throughout the world use German Shepherds for a wide variety of tasks, which helps to show their flexibility to training.

German Shepherd playing with ball

Wherever possible try to choose training that also exercises them. Similarly to humans exercise not only helps keep them physically well but also mentally well.

If you haven’t trained a dog previously then it is worth looking into local dog training facilities. Most dog training facility provide classes that you can sign up for, where a qualified trainer will walk a class of dogs and fur parents through training of your dog. A great added benefit of these classes is that you will meet like other local fur parents who have a love for dogs.

Classes also provide a great way for you to socialize your German Shepherd. By introducing them to new dogs and different environments you will be able to train them on how you expect them to behave in that situation and also to help them understand that they don’t need to be afraid of other dogs.

Training your dog also provides a great chance to get closer to your dog through shared learning. Remember dog training is not just for your dog, it is also for you to learn how best to manage your dog.

Go through your lifestyle and check if the dog fits in it or not

If you don’t already have a dog at home then bringing one home is going to cause a drastic change to your lifestyle. The expression “A dog is for life, not just for Christmas” is true and applies throughout the year. If you bring a dog into your home, they aren’t something you can just ignore when you can’t be bothered. They still require feeding, walking, and training, all of these take time.

If you’re the sort of person who likes being outside going for walks and exercising then this will be helpful as you’ll be doing a lot of this over the lifetime of your new dog. If you’re someone who likes to travel a lot, then know you’re going to have to find someone to look after your dog when you go away.

German Shepherd loves baby

It is also important to remember that while German Shepherds will care for and guard their family, they can still snap if provoked. This is more important to remember if you have young children in your home, as they are less likely to appreciate that the dog won’t enjoy being prodded and poked.

If you’re bringing any dog into a home with small children then it is not just important to let the dog know how to behave around the children but also letting your children know how to behave around dogs.

German Shepherd sheds a lot of hair

Shedding fur is something that you get with pretty much all breeds of dog. This is done to accommodate the changes in temperature and bringing in fresh hair. German Shepherd is often termed as “German Shedders” owing to the amount they shed, which given the amount of fur they have is, understandably, a lot.

Black German Shepherd hair shedding

You might know that the dog has a double coat of fur so it will automatically mean more shedding of hair. One option to try and keep the cleaning manageable is to limit your German Shepherd to only being able to go into certain areas of your house where you can clean up the hair easily.

One tip that we have seen dog owners use to keep the hair in their home under control is to use robot vacuum cleaners. You will still need to do a regular normal vacuum but this helps to keep it under control day to day.

Also, Check: Dog Strollers Especially For German Shepherd Puppy

Interesting Facts About German Shepherd

Max Von Stephanitz is known for standardizing the German Shepherd breed. That’s why he is even called the father of the German Shepherd Dog Breed.

German Shepherd dog is the second most registered dog in the US. You might be wondering why is it so. The reason is that this breed is amongst the most versatile breeds. You can keep the dog as a family pet dog or use it as a service dog in the police and military. It has multiple factors to be everyone’s favorite.

German Shepherd cute

In 1929 a dog school was founded with the name “The Seeing Eye”. This school was built to train dogs on guiding blind people. It was founded by Mrs. Harrison Eustis.

There are multiple stories about the heroism of this dog. There was a dog named Buddy whose owner’s life was at risk. His workshop was set on fire. So the ran away for help. Buddy tried to grab the attention of the people around and finally, a police officer noticed him and followed him to the house.

People Also Ask

How to train a German Shepherd puppy not to bite?

The dogs have the habit of chewing and biting. If you want to stop the puppy from biting you then there are different ways for it. The first one is to use voice commands or body language to strictly warn the dog that it is not acceptable. You can say the terms “no” or “stop” in a loud volume.

Another method could be to move away from the dog the moment he bites. Stop playing with the dog for a while so that he realizes that he did something wrong. Another highly-rated German Shepherd puppy training method is to irritate the dog a bit.

No matter what approach you take with trying to teach your dog not to bite you need to ensure that you’re letting them know that that behavior is not acceptable immediately after the bite or attempted bite. If you leave time between the bite and letting them know it’s not acceptable then it may not be clear to them what behavior is not acceptable.

What are your most important tips for the first time German Shepherd puppy owner?

The first and foremost thing that you must do is to keep your valuable stuff far away from the dog. If the dog gets attracted to any of those things then they may start chewing it.

Another tip is that exercising them is not something you can do if and when you feel like it, it needs to be a regular activity to ensure they don’t get bored or feel pent up. Go outside, play with them, or do some training.

If you’re able to then try to have set times to do things like feeding and exercise, this helps your German Shepherd know what to expect.

German Shepherd playing with rope

It will make it easy for the dog to adjust to your home. Give him the best dog food to eat so that he stays healthy and in a happy mood. German Shepherd is an intelligent breed so he will understand your effort. Try to research and find more and more things about the dog.

What is the best age to buy a German Shepherd?

We believe the ideal age of the German Shepherd puppy to bring home is two to three months. For about one to two months the puppy will need mother’s milk so it is important that they get all the nutrition they require.

After two to three months you can bring the puppy home but it may be worth considering leaving them with their mother for a little longer. If you do decide to bring them home then it is important to make sure that they continue to get the nutrition they require as they are still developing and not getting the necessary nutrients may lead to problems later in their life.

Will a German Shepherd attack its owner?

German Shepherds are unlikely to attack their owners. This is because they tend to view the family as their pack. The main cause of owners being bitten is where the German Shepherd feels that they are being mistreated. If you’re going to look after them and treat them well then it is unlikely you will be bitten.

If a dog owner trains them in an abusive manner or encourages them to bite strangers then they will be more likely to end up hurting people. If you see someone who is mistreating their dog then it can be worth reporting what you have seen to someone like the ASPCA. This can help to prevent a dog from being mistreated and potentially ending up lashing out and hurting someone.

Are German Shepherd good family pets?

Yes, German Shepherds are a great choice for a family dog. German Shepherds have the sort of personality that means that they will look after their pack.

If you’re planning on getting a German Shepherd as a first dog then it is best to get them when they are a puppy to allow you to train them when they’re young. More experienced dog owners may be able to get an older German Shepherd as they will have more experience of training dogs, which can get harder as they get older.

If you have young children then it may be worth waiting a few years until they are old enough to understand how to behave around dogs.

What sort of age-related problems do German Shepherds have?

As they get older German Shepherds tend to become more prone to certain conditions. Given the historic inbreeding within this breed, they may be prone to more than the normal amount.

As with all dog breeds, German Shepherds will start to put on more weight as they get older. This is down to their metabolism slowing down and the amount of running around they are able to do decreases. It is important to keep an eye on your German Shepherd and adjust their diet as required.

Maintaining a healthy weight will help to decrease the likelihood of experiencing certain health problems. The additional weight that the dog has to carry around can put extra strain on the joints, which can accelerate arthritis.

Arthritis is one of the most common age-related problems encountered by German Shepherds. Over time it may become harder for your dog to do things they enjoy like jumping up to cuddle up to you on the sofa, running around in the park, or even going for a walk. Getting outside is not just important for their physical wellbeing, it is also important for their mental wellbeing. As your German Shepherd starts to get older it may be worth looking at getting a dog stroller, which will allow them to continue going outside while not requiring them to walk as long as they have previously. You can find out more about some of the best dog strollers currently available on our website.

FINAL VERDICT

With the proper amount of training and attention, German Shepherds are a loving addition to the family that will bring joy for many years.

There is no denying that the perception of the German Shepherd is that they are an aggressive dog and they definitely have a looks to back that up. However, this is based on their use within police forces throughout the world. We, however, think that this goes to show how loyal, versatile, and brave they are.

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