The intelligence and athleticism of German Shepherds make them one of the most popular breeds. These large, active dogs are known for their loyalty, hard work, and protective nature, making them the perfect companion and family pet. With adequate care, your German Shepherd can live a long and healthy life.
To ensure that your German Shepherd receives adequate nutrition, select food that contains just the right amount of proteins, fats, calorie content, and minerals for their age and size. High-quality food will have meat listed as the first ingredient. Foods with fillers typically substitute corn as a protein source and this is not ideal for your dog’s health. Avoid choosing kibble that contains ingredients that ferment (like soy, for example) as these may contribute to bloat in your German Shepherd. Avoid feeding your GSD table scraps as well.
Regular visits to your veterinarian for check-ups and preventative care are important to the long-term wellness of your German Shepherd. Speak to your veterinarian about heartworm prevention, vaccinations to prevent disease, and spay/neutering procedures. Typically veterinarians spay or neuter German Shepherds starting around 6 months to one year of age. If you ever notice a physical or behavioral change in your dog, it is wise to make an appointment to see their healthcare provider as soon as possible.
Grooming Your German Shepherd
German Shepherds have thick, double-coats. Brushing them daily will help cut down on shedding and keep their coat shiny. Consider investing in a quality de-shedding brush to help eliminate loose fur easily. Bathing as needed may be helpful, but no more than 2 times a month, as this can disrupt their natural oil production. Typically, their nails will need to be trimmed once a month depending on what types of surfaces they walk on continuously. Hypoallergenic wipes can be used to keep their ears clean, and we suggest speaking to your veterinarian about their dental care.
Your German Shepherd is very active and will need plenty of space for physical activity. They also need to have constant access to both shade and clean drinking water. German Shepherds have a very acute sense of smell and love to sniff and explore everything. It is very important that you watch what they pick up in their mouths, especially different types of plant matter. Avoid plants that are toxic to your dog. For example, plants like aloe vera, the sago palm, and even tomato plants can be toxic to your GSD. We highly recommend you become familiar with these plants to protect your pet.
German Shepherds are very active and require regular walks and exercise. Your dog will need 1-2 hours a day of physical activity like playing fetch, walking, or running. Limit long walks or jogging with your German Shepherd until they are at least a year and a half. Avoid strenuous activity right after meals to give them time to digest their food, though a leisurely walk should be fine.
Training Your German Shepherd Pup
It is so important that you begin socializing your German Shepherd as a puppy. Expose them to people and other dogs early so that they are used to interacting with new people and new places. Get them used to being handled frequently and being touched around the mouth and paw areas. This will help prepare your dog for future dental and nail care. GSDs are incredibly intelligent and need frequent mental exercise in addition to physical exercise. They are very adept at learning commands, tricks, and tasks. Spend short amounts of time training your puppy and gradually work them up to longer amounts of time as they age. Always train with positive reinforcement and encouragement. If you aren’t able to invest the time in training your German Shepherd, we recommend that you attend a training program or classes for GSDs.
The breeders at family-owned Florida German Shepherd Puppies are passionate about providing these loyal companions a forever home. With over 20 years of experience, we provide education and support throughout the adoption process. Contact us today to find out more.