The German shepherd is a relatively new breed of dog developed in the late 19th century. It was developed in Germany. By a military officer named “max von Stephanitz”. Who wanted to create the Perfect herding dog? He named the breed in german which Literally translates to German shepherd dog. Although originally bred for herding. German shepherd dogs are very versatile dogs. They’re often used in police and military work. Rescue operations and cherished family dogs. Become famous in the US in the 1920s. They are constantly ranked among the top five most popular dog breeds in the US. Food plays a major role in determining a dog’s health and lifespan.
Food and nutrition
German shepherds are highly energetic and muscular dogs. This means they need a power-packed diet to meet their high energy demand. Feed them a well-balanced diet formulated for large-sized breeds. A dog’s food intake is generally determined by its age, weight, and activity level.
First few weeks
For the first few weeks, a puppy should be given its mother’s milk. Only if it has natural antibodies that are vital to its growth. Ideally, a puppy should only be fed with its mother’s milk for up to 10 weeks of age.
Between 8-12 weeks start weaning them off their mother’s milk and introduce them to puppy food. Puppies need more protein and fat content than adult dogs because they’re in a growing phase. They need to be fed about three times a day for about a year before becoming adults.
Adult German shepherds need a more nutrition-filled diet formulated for their high physical activity. And energy demand they’re usually fed twice a day. Since German shepherds are large dogs they grow faster than small breeds.
Senior dogs are usually less attractive and have different nutrition requirements regardless of age. Buy food specifically designed for large-size breeds. Choose high-quality dog food, and don’t go for cheap brands. Choose food brands that are AAFCO compliant with the association of American feed control. Officials have established standards for different nutritional requirements.
Protein is the most essential ingredient in dog food. According to AAFCO, the minimum protein requirement is 22 for a puppy and 18 for an adult dog. Make sure protein is the first ingredient on the label. Since ingredients on the food label are listed in decreasing order of weight.
Fats are the second main ingredient in the dog’s food. According to AAFCO, the minimum fat requirement is eight percent for a puppy and five percent for an adult dog.
omega-3 fatty acids
It reduces inflammation and is best for the skin and coat of your dog. Some of the other major ingredients in the dog’s food are. Are carbohydrates essential minerals and vitamins? Don’t change their food type abruptly introduce the new food. Gradually by mixing it with the old one buy a grain-free diet. Do not buy foods that contain filters artificial preservatives or chemical flavorings.
obesity is a serious health concern for dogs like German shepherds. It can lead to further health problems like joint and heart disease. Overfeeding and less exercise are the main cause of obesity in dogs. Rib inspection is a good indicator of a dog’s weight. If you cannot feel his ribs easily then your dog is definitely overweight. A vet about the best food for an overweight dog.
German shepherd dog is probably not the right breed for you. If you don’t have enough time for its mental and physical stimulation. Originally bred to herd flocks all day they need proper exercise to keep their muscular bodies in shape. And burn off extra calories daily short walks are not enough for them. They need at least half an hour walk twice a day. In addition, yo walking they need an active play session. They enjoy dog sports such as agility tracking swimming, etc. For mental stimulation give them some puzzle toys. You can also teach them some new tricks or practice previously learned commands. Without adequate mental and physical stimulation. They become bored and destructive they can be seen chewing digging or barking. If left alone for a long period of time they could develop separation anxiety.
German shepherds have a medium-length coat that is double layered. They shed throughout the year and are sometimes referred to as German shedders. Brush them several times a week to remove dead loose hairs. They shed a lot in spring and fall and require frequent brushing in those seasons. A slicker brush and an undercoat rake are the perfect tools for grooming. Your German shepherd dog German shepherds are generally clean dogs with a regular brushing routine.
They need only occasional baths. Excessive baths will dry out their skin and remove its natural oils. Always use dog shampoo since human shampoo could cause irritation.
Their ears need to be examined weekly for any signs of debris odor or wax accumulation. An odor from the ears is usually a sign of infection. Cleaning Their ears with a cotton ball and a vet-recommended cleaning solution. Do not use q tips since it may damage their ear canals.
Trim their nails regularly after every 2 weeks. Or when they’re long enough use a dog nail trimmer. Be careful not to cut the quick area of the nail.
Teeth care is essential to fight off tartar and gum diseases. Use a dog toothbrush and paste Human toothpaste has certain ingredients that are harmful to dogs.
German shepherds are very smart dogs. They’ve been ranked third on the list of intelligent dog breeds. By “Stanley corrin” a renowned canine psychologist. They’re known for their obedient nature which makes them an easy-to-train dog breed. Start the training process early when they’re 7 to 8 weeks old. A puppy can easily be molded into the desired personality. Adult dogs may be hard to train in some of the most important training techniques. Are basic obedience training crate training house training bite inhibition etc.
Early socialization is essential to make your German shepherd a well-behaved adult dog. The ideal time for socialization is from 6 months of age to expose your dog to different places and pets. Consider enrolling them in a puppy socialization class. A dog’s bark is another place to socialize dogs.
German shepherd dogs have a strong biting force of 238 psi. Which is among the top 5 in the dog world. It’s very important to teach them bite inhibition. However, keep in mind that biting is a natural behavior of pups. And it doesn’t mean they’re aggressive puppies exploring their surroundings with their mouths. However, they need to be taught not to use their mouths on people using toys and different bite inhibition. Techniques will help you in controlling this behavior reward based training is the key to a successful training process. Praise and reward your dog when he follows a command. This positive reinforcement will accelerate the training process. Scolding or punishing your dog is totally counterproductive to make the training sessions short fun and easy for your dog.
A short focus session of 10 to 15 minutes is enough for your dog. To teach only one command in a session.
German shepherd dogs have a life expectancy of 12 to 14 years. With proper nutrition and health care, they could live longer but might face some genetic and breed-specific issues.
It is a life-threatening condition that’s more common in deep-chested dogs. Such German shepherd bloating occurs when a dog’s stomach fills with gas. And then twists causing obstruction in the blood flow to the stomach. And other organs if not treated on time could prove fatal bloating. Usually happens when a dog receives one large meal. Instead of 2 to 3 smaller ones exercising your dog right after eating is another reason for bloating in dogs.
vaccinations are vital for the health of your dog. It normally starts around the 6th week of age and continues for a certain time. Dogs also need booster shots every year. There are some core and non-core vaccinations for dogs. To consult with a vet about the vaccination process for your German shepherd dog.
Many health conditions in dogs are genetic. This could be prevented if puppy parents are genetically tested before mating. Breeders are supposed to take various tests on puppy parents to see. If there are any genetic diseases. That could potentially transfer to the next generation. Some of the important health clearances for German shepherds are. Certificates from OFA for hip and elbow dysplasia. Certificate from CERF for eyes certificate. For a temperament test certificate for hypothyroidism. And cardiac evaluation you can check the results of these tests on OFA and chic websites.