If you’re looking for a home watchdog, a devoted canine, and the ultimate best friend, I recommend a German Shepard.
Yes, I know that German Shepards are terrifying – but honestly, with proper training, German Shepards are the best dogs.
My German Shepard has been a precious member of my family for over ten years. I got her as a “gift” for my youngest daughter (though to tell you the truth, she was my gift!).
Our little puppy had these adorable big paws and floppy ears and was as nervous as could be. Today, she’s a senior dog who still reminds us that she’s still got her game on. She has so much love in her heart who’d rather lick than nip. I’ve had quite a few dogs in my life, but I think my German Shepard is the very best.
While I’m not an expert in raising dogs, I do have a few tips that I’ve learned from experience.
And if you’re still terrified of German Shepards, just watch the YouTube video that I found about German Shepards with little babies, above.
5 Tips For Raising The Best German Shepard Ever
1) Find your German Shepard from a reputable breeder or shelter
German Shepards are extremely smart and highly trainable. However, it’s critical that your dog spent its early years in a loving, disciplined environment.
Dogs learn from each other: If he was bullied by other dogs (or breeds!) in his early years, it might be harder to train him in the future. Make sure that the shelter or breeder socializes your German Shepard from the start!
Ask about the training procedures and get a good look at the kennel. Do the dogs live together? How often are they fed? Do they have enough time to play and socialize? These are all questions you should ask before bringing a new dog into your home.
2) Don’t treat your German Shepard like a little prince or princess.
We LOVE our dog and care about her so much — but she’s not allowed on the couch. She’s not allowed to eat human food — ever. We don’t dress her in cute little outfits and we don’t give her treats unless she earns them.
Because she knows her place, she is extremely disciplined and becomes visibly uncomfortable when other animals act out.
This is really key, especially when raising a German Shepard. They’re extremely smart and want a structured, disciplined environment. If you’re able to provide a suitable environment for your German Shepard, you’re in for the best dog ever!
3) Use A Gentle Leader
When we adopted my German Shepard, the breeder recommended that we train her using a product called Gentle Leader. It’s a dog collar worn over the dog’s head meant to be used for training, especially in teaching a dog not to pull when walking.
4) Crate Train Your Puppy
This one is important for obvious reasons. Crate training can help a dog with a number of things, including potty-training, being transported, and learning boundaries in your home. A crate doesn’t have to be a punishment. In fact, your dog can learn that it’s a safe haven where he or she can return, any time. As with all dog-training, consistency is key with crate training.
5) Don’t Expect a Bully Breed To Live Up To Its Reputation
Well-trained and socialized German Shepherds have a reputation of being very safe. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that nearly 4.5 million people in the United States are bitten by dogs each year, but bully breeds are less often to blame than many other breeds, including chow chows and German shepherds.
Are you a pet parent? Do you have any tips for raising a great pet? Share with us in the comments!