General Breed Information
German Shepherds are a relatively new pedigree bred in the late 1800s by a German captain, Max von Stephanitz whom wanted to breed a herding dog. However, as the industrial revolution advanced Western civilisation, the need for this sort of pet decreased massively. Instead, during the First World War Stepahnitz used his military connections to encourage the German army to enlist the help of this impressive canine. During the war 48,000 were recruited into the army, where they became known for their courage, fearlessness and loyalty.
Their bravery is accompanied by a protective nature and a strong sense of loyalty to their owner, barking when they sense a threat. These qualities means they are now often used as service dogs. They are trained to work with the police and military as well as in search and rescue and as guide dogs. They are extremely trainable and need not only physical exercise, but also mental stimulation. They were bred to be workers and if left without activity are prone to chewing and digging. German Shepherds are extremely intelligent and can be taught a range of tricks and exercises, however if these are repetitive they will become bored.
German Shepherds are at risk of developing hip dysplasia, a condition when the thigh bone is too big for the socket. This can lead to inflammation and arthritis, and if allowed to progress means your dog may need (rather expensive) surgery. Degenerative myelopathy is another disease often found in German Shepherds. It causes gradual paralysis in the dog’s hindquarters and is, unfortunately, incurable although its progression can be slowed with medication.
German Shepherds often have a tendency to suffer from bloat- a condition where the stomach twists itself, cutting off blood flow. It is possible to have a “stomach tacking” surgery to prevent this from happening.
- Eukanuba Breed Specific German Shepherd
Eukanuba is made especially for adult German Shepherds (over the age of 1) to ensure your pooch maintains a healthy weight. It contains L-Carnitine which helps your pooch burn fat as well as a high level of probiotics to aid digestion. Its special formula also supports healthy joints.
- Royal Canin German Shepherd Adult
Royal Canin kibble is tailored to a German shepherd’s needs. The shape, size and texture of the food work in harmony with the digestive process of your dog. It also contains fibres, and digestible proteins helping to promote balance in intestinal flora. Not only that, but its specially designed recipe helps maintain the skin and protect the oils in the fur.
Yumove is a handy supplement that provides tendon and ligament support. It contains hyaluronic acid which cushions the joint during movement, working to ensure flexibility and mobility. It also helps to slow the breakdown of cartilage in the joints, meaning your dog is able to lead a full and active life longer.
Seraquin is a veterinary joint support supplement containing Glucosamine and Chondroitin. These are naturally occurring elements in cartilage, which can sometimes be low in supply. Its special formula also contains curcuminoids, antioxidants that help reduce the level of nasty elements that can harm the cartilage of your German shepherd.
As German Shepherds were trained to be service dogs it is important to provide them with stimulation. Allowing them to help with household chores such as picking items up, or finding them a use in the community like therapy will ensure they are satisfied. German Shepherds are exceptionally loyal and focused. They do not respond well to anger, so it is better to train and nurture them through positivity and encouragement.
They are quite reserved and nervous naturally so it is important to acclimate them to your family (especially children) from an early age. Once you have bonded with your pooch they will view you as part of their pack and become extremely protective, barking if they sense danger.
- Royal Canin Educ Training Reward Treats
This dog snack is an ideal aid to help you train your German shepherd. It allows you to reward them for good behaviour, whilst maintaining their optimum weight. This is because each snack contains only three calories and is packed full of vitamins, enhancing your dog’s health.
- Halti Training Lead
This handy training lead adapts to a variety of situation making it the perfect accompaniment on walks with your German shepherd. It can be used for a hands free walk, as you are able to tie the lead around your waist, as well as allowing you to walk two dogs at the same time.
- Ancol Large Waterproof Domino Bed
This waterproof bed is a handy accessory, perfect for every German shepherd loving household. The large, comfortable bed is waterproof meaning even the longest hair pooch flop can relax after a hard day’s work without fear of wet-dog smell. It is also easily washable and quick drying.
- Clix Training Clicker
Clix Training Clicker is a fun way to train your dog, perfect for German shepherds whom demand a training regime full of love and stimulation. It also has volume and tone control allowing you to meet your pooch’s specific sound sensitivity and even includes a handy guide helping you to effectively train your dog.
Daily Care Information
German Shepherds have a course outer coat and a soft undercoat. They also blow twice a year, generally in the spring and autumn. Given the thickness of their fur, they are prone to excessive moulting. They will need weekly brushing, although this will be more during shedding season.
German Shepherds are relatively clean dogs and only need bathing around three or four times a year, any more will disturb the natural layers of oil. German Shepherds have thick, black nails making it difficult to see the vein. Whilst their nails must be cut every three-four weeks it is important to take care, ensuring not to cut through the tissue.
- Pet Head Life’s An Itch Skin Soothing Shampoo
This shampoo was created for German Shepherds susceptible to stings and bites. Containing Oatmeal and Aloe Vera as well as Tea Tree Oil, it works to fortify, moisturise and purify hair follicles. Not only that, but wheat protein and chamomile extract leave the skin feeling silky and smooth.
- Ancol Large Nail Clippers
These nail clippers form the essential part of any dog grooming regime. The have an anti-slip grip for your comfort and are fitted with a helpful cutting guard. This helps to ensure that you accurately trim your pup’s nails, lowering the risk of cutting any veins.
- ADVANCE Dental Care Stick
The dental care stick breaks the tartar cycle at three stages; it helps remove food particles, stops the formation of plaque and reduces the formation of tartar. It is a handy go-to if your dog is suffering from bad breath, or more seriously, gingivitis which can lead to tooth loss.
- Epi-Soothe Shampoo
Epi-Soothe is a hypoallergenic shampoo with extracts of oatmeal. It acts to help soothe your pet’s skin as well as helping to reduce itching and swelling. Its active ingredients mean that even after washing off the lotion, its minerals will remain embedded in your pet’s fur. It is the perfect product for long-lasting, smooth skin.