Did you know that almost fifty percent of German Shepherd owners don’t have a clue on how to raise this impeccable breed? Not to mention that many don’t know how to approach the dilemma called “Ways to become a better German Shepherd owner”.
If you have found yourself in an unenviable place called “first-time GSD owner” – this article might just be for you! We’re about to address the seven most important steps towards perfecting GSD ownership.
My suggestion is to get comfortable, maybe pour yourself a nice cup of coffee or tea, and get yourself ready for several minutes of entertaining GSD study material.
How To Become A Better German Shepherd Owner
We all pretty much know that having a German Shepherd puppy means having one of the best family dogs in the world. That’s right! These pooches are quite incredible.
But, what makes them so good? And, how do you make them even better?
Well, the first step towards decoding the “How to become a better German Shepherd owner” dilemma is to understand the breed that you’re dealing with. GSDs are extremely intelligent, loyal, and affectionate dogs with impeccable work ethics.
That said, you need to be aware of the fact that these pooches don’t stand the idea of being left out or neglected. They need to have a daily task and feel needed in order to be happy.
But, what are the other things that a respectable GSD owner can do to become better at his job? Here are the seven ultimate, most proven tips that you should start with!
1. Give Your GSD Time To Adapt
Bear in mind that GSDs of both genders are animals of habit. What on God’s green Earth does that mean?
It’s simple. These German beauties avoid anything that’s not a part of their daily routine.
That being said, you will probably have a hard couple of weeks once you get your new German puppy from a breeder. Or… if you move to another house. These canines will need a certain amount of time to adapt to new circumstances, which can be quite stressful.
What you can do in this regard is give your GSD a lot more attention than usual. Keep the atmosphere low-key, and don’t start with some extravagant activities right away.
Instead, try providing your pooch with a nice, comfortable, and low-volume home where it can observe, sniff around, and become comfortable with new things.
2. Start With Early Socialization
How many times have you read the term “early socialization” in dog literature and had absolutely no idea about how important this process actually is?
Well, it’s quite important!
Socializing a new puppy is one of the major things every dog owner should do prior to implementing other things. This way, you boost your GSD puppy’s self-confidence, and create a positive atmosphere prior to introducing your dog to a pet’s world.
Early socialization implies a slow introduction of new people, dogs, pets, and things to your dog. This way, a GSD puppy will slowly start adapting to current circumstances and get a clearer understanding of who the friends, and who the enemies are.
On the contrary, GSDs that don’t receive a proper amount of socialization during their puppy years are highly likely to be uncomfortable around people and dogs they don’t know. This might result in emotional outbursts, inconvenient behavior, and even aggression.
3. Don’t Use Harsh Training Methods
One of the most proven ways to become a better German Shepherd owner is to apply the magic called “positive reinforcement”. This type of training is much more effective in the long run, and known to be amazingly accepted by GSDs.
Rewarding, praising, and petting your job during and at the end of the session creates tons of dopamine needed for better functioning and a happier life.
GSDs respond to positive reinforcement excellently, and the fact that they are working dogs ready to please at all times just adds to it.
On the other hand, yelling or screaming around and at your dog is never a good option, let alone the infamous hitting. Dogs that are mannered by these harsh methods are highly unlikely to adapt positive behavior as a pattern.
Quite the contrary… they are more likely to reciprocate the aggression.
4. Be Decisive And Strict
Just because you’ve decided to reward your GSD for good behavior on a regular basis does not mean that you don’t have to be strict.
Quite the opposite – these pooches require firm leadership and a confident owner who knows how to handle the situation.
That being said, GSDs that lack proper leadership are more likely to display undesirable behavior than their properly-led counterparts. In fact, improperly trained and directed GSDs are prone to occasional aggression and mischievousness.
Vocalize your commands. Get your GSD used to clear body language signs. Disapprove of bad behavior. And, always reward good manners. These are the things that make GSD beginners into real pros!
5. Exercise Your GSD Regularly
We can’t speak about ways to become a better German Shepherd owner without mentioning the unavoidable exercise part. This is an athletic dog breed that does not only love stretching its legs on a light walk, but competing for trophies on a daily basis.
Indeed, GSDs are true sport dogs that just love spending their time outside. They have an excellent body physique and stamina, which allows them to perform various duties.
On the other hand, GSDs that lack exercise will be too much to handle. They will bark, chew, dig, scratch, and bite.
6. Mental Stimulation Is A Key
Why not exercise your GS dog both physically and mentally? Aside from a daily walk, there are numerous ways to mentally stimulate your furry companion.
Interactive dog toys, dog games, and agility playgrounds are just some of the many.
This is an extremely intelligent dog breed that requires mental stimulation on a daily basis. Otherwise, they will become too bored too soon.
Even though GSDs need a certain amount of time to adapt to a new environment, and early socialization to boost their self-confidence, the story doesn’t end there! Properly-raised and trained GSDs are a lot more than everyday dogs.
What does this mean?
Well, these pooches might need a little bit more than their regular activities. They love exploring around, finding new things, and completing complex tasks. That said, you can always engage them in your own adventures, trips, hikes, and even holidays.
They are labeled as one of the smartest dogs in the world for a reason, and that reason is – they need different kinds of activities to fulfill their daily needs.
Wrapping It Up
Despite the fact that they are widely represented, one thing is for sure – GSDs are not everyday dogs. There are numerous ways to become a better German Shepherd owner, but the list above pretty much sums it up.
Before applying these methods into your GSD’s daily routine, remember that getting to know your pet in detail is the first step towards building a good, two-sided relationship.
Read more: How To Get A German Shepherd To Obey You – 7 Tips