The German Shepherd Dog breed is also known as the Alsatian. There are three varieties of the German Shepherd; rough-coated, long rough-coated and the long-haired.
They are often employed as working dogs with military and police. Because they are highly intelligent they have also been used as guides for the blind and as body guards. German Shepherds are focused, courageous, and very alert to their environment. This breed is bold, generally happy, easily obedient and quite eager to learn. They are known for their tremendous loyalty and trainable character.
German Shepherds are very family friendly, but can be distrustful of strangers. This breed requires lots of human contact and should not be left isolated for long periods of time.
They only bark when they feel it is necessary or when alerting as trained. German Shepherds have a very strong protective nature, so they should be extensively socialized. Aggression towards people are due to poor obedience handling, lack of training or from a German Shepard rescue experience. This breed must be properly trained to know that the dog is not the ‘pack leader’.
German Shepherds must have substantial mental and physical exercise to be stable. When properly trained, socialized and exercised, this breed is a great family pet and friend.
Make sure you train your German Shepherd from an early age. They are by instinct aggressive and wary of strangers. They were bred to be guard dogs and will be suspicious of other dogs and humans that approach them.
Here are a few tips for training your German Shepherd:
- Establish pack leadership roles early. Make sure you are the alpha leader from the very first day in your household. Otherwise the German Shepherd will instinctively assume that role and it will be difficult to correct that problem.
- Don’t be overly physical when correcting behavior. A firm voice command such as ‘No’ or ‘Sit’ should suffice. On rare occasions a gentle shake by the scruff of the neck for repeated violations of the rules may be necessary.
- Rewarding good behavior is important during training. Consistently provide positive reinforcement during training for best results. German Shepherds are highly intelligent dogs and will respond well to praise and rewards for appropriate behavior.
- Socializing your German Shepherd is absolutely essential. This breed will assume the alpha role in the family otherwise. Socializing all dog breeds is important, but German Shepherds is a guard breed and will be aggressive if not properly trained and socialized.
Remember, your dog wants to please you. It is your responsibility to make sure he has the right training and socialization so he can be successful. Give them plenty of exercise, the right leadership and affection and you will have a companion and friend.