When you take on a pet, you should be fully aware of the responsibilities involved. Each breed will have its own physical features, mannerisms, behavioural traits and personality, consequently, each dog will also have its own, specific wants and needs. You need to make sure that you can meet all of them! This will ensure a healthy, happy pooch. So, where to start? Where better than the majestic German Shepherd? If you are thinking of having a German Shepherd of your own, or already have one and want to brush up on your knowledge, read on for everything that you need to cater to your four-legged friend’s needs.
As you are probably well aware, the German Shepherd is a large dog. An adult will usually measure somewhere between one foot ten inches and two feet two inches high at the shoulder and they will generally weigh between 75 and 95 pounds. It isn’t surprising, then, that these dogs need a fair amount of space to live a healthy and happy lifestyle. So if you live in a small apartment
, chances are this isn’t the ideal breed for you. They adapt better to larger homes with a large garden space to stretch their legs between walks.
With this large dog comes a lot of energy. The breed was traditionally a herding dog, so needs plenty of exercise to maintain their noble physique and general health. If you don’t let them out of the house much, they will usually exert this excess energy in chewing, barking and running about the house. So make sure that you have the time and energy to take them on a long, vigorous walk each and every day.
Like almost every dog, the German Shepherd will require basic health check-ups, flea and tick pills for dogs
and regular worming. However, there are also certain other problems to watch out for. Due to irresponsible breeding, many German Shepherds will suffer from problems with their hips, like hip dysplasia. This is due to breeders aiming for a dog with lower sitting hind legs. But not to worry. Not all dogs will suffer from this. When getting a puppy, ask about the genetics of its predecessors and request to see the parents.
The German Shepherd sheds a lot. So if you are prone to fur induced allergies or are picky with the presentation of your furniture and clothes, you might want to opt for a more hypoallergenic, non-moulting breed, like the Poodle, Bichon Frise or Lhasa Apso. However, if you don’t mind giving things a rub down with a lint roller, then you’re A-okay.
This breed is sociable amongst people and will require a fair amount of your time and attention. So if you spend more hours away from the house than you spend in it and cannot take your dog along to work with you, the German Shepherd may not be ideal. However, if you have plenty of time on your hands and love to give, you could make the perfect owner.
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