A sound temperament is a must in a German Shepherd Dog (GSD). By sound, I mean a disposition where one minute you can let a protection trained GSD play alone with your 5-year old child, pull on its ears, pet its head, tug on its tail and NEVER-EVER be in harms way; while the next minute, it should turn into the "terminator" and crush its enemies as soon as it senses an intruder.
There are three conventional methods of dog training that you can choose from in order to train you German Shepherd Dog (GSD). They are training with treats, training with treats and clickers, and training with praise. All three methods of training will work; however, there is one that stands out from the rest. That is, oral praise. Why? Because you want your dog to listen to your commands even when you don't have any toys, clickers, and/or food. Imagine you dog wanting to jump at your every command simply because it wants your praise and love and not because you are going to bribe it with treats. Once your dog gets used to getting treats for performance, it will cease to perform when you don't have any more treats left. So, treat your GSD with kindness, and train it with praise!
Training a GSD which has not been genetically selected for working ability is that much more difficult than one that has already been selected for that trait. In my opinion, the age-old debate about beauty vs. functionality of the pure-bread GSD dog was settled by the founder of the German Shepherd Dog breed, Captain Max Von Stephanitz, when he said in his book,"...Utility is the true criterion of beauty..." (The German Shepherd Dog in Word and Picture, pg. 163). Many American GSDs today have been selected for beauty rather than functionality in order to win dog shows. In many of these dog shows, obedience and showmanship are separate events and a dogs' working ability is never considered in events where the dogs are required to meet breed standards. Hence, you have the decline of the traits for which the breeds were originated for in the first place. So when you set out to buy your dream GSD, look for temperament, health, and working ability first, and beauty last.
The importance of beauty, however, should not be ignored when it comes to posing your dog for a memorable photograph. Unlike other breeds, GSD's are shown differently in the breed ring. The proper method for posing your GSD for the breed judges is called a "stack". "Stacking" is the method whereby one allows the forequarters of a dog to be shown parallel to one another when looking through the viewfinder of a camera and when one allows the hindquarters of the GSD to be arranged so that the limb facing the camera is placed backward while the limb facing away from the camera is placed forward. Most professional handlers who pose their GSD's for photographers walk them into a "stack" instead of artificially manipulating them into it. If you plan to stack your GSD for a professional snapshot, remember to compose the image in such a way as to depict it from the tip of its nose to the tip of its hindquarters; NO MORE, NO LESS (please visit my web site to view photographs of how a GSD is stacked for the camera).
These topics cover just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to knowing the German Shepherd Dog breed. You can learn more about the GSD by visiting my web site or by getting involved in breed organizations like the German Shepherd Dog Club of America (GSDCA). With a little more reading, you can become familiar with this wonderful breed and all that it has to offer. And then perhaps you can decide whether this is the right breed for you or not.
German Shepherd Protection Dogs
The personality of the German Shepherd (or Alsatian) is one of the biggest reasons why they are so popular - for the right reasons and the wrong reasons. Since they make great police and military dogs, some people rush to get a German Shepherd thinking it will make a vicious guard dog. The German Shepherd is so eager to please, that it can be easily taught to attack. But the German Shepherd is not a vicious dog by nature - they are just doing what they've been taught to do.
People who get German Shepherd dogs for the right reasons also keep the German Shepherd's personality in mind. They are serious, active, highly intelligent dogs that need a job to do in order to stay calm and healthy. If they are trained to do anything (good or bad) and are rewarded for learning this, they will keep on doing the behavior. However, if you are patient and persistent, German Shepherds are intelligent enough to unlearn a behavior.
German Shepherd dogs are loyal, alert, emotional and probably more intelligent than most people. They are capable of learning very complex behaviors and can solve problems. German Shepherds are even capable of learning commands in two languages. Once they learn something, it sticks. They are known to be very easy to housebreak. Once they have gotten the idea, any accidents are usually due to illness and require a trip to the vet to be easily cured.
German Shepherds excel when given specific jobs to do. This is why they are often one of the first breeds of choice for police dogs, search and rescue dogs, assistance dogs and for working in entertainment. Throughout the centuries, they have also played the roles of sheepherders and draft animals as well as their more familiar roles as guard dogs and military dogs.
The German Shepherd dog has been described as embodying all of the noble characteristics of human beings. They are problem solvers, want to get along with others and will sacrifice themselves when protecting their family.
They learn to leash train very well (and can often be voice trained), whether their owners are walking, jogging, riding a bike or riding a horse.
German Shepherds are prone to some health problems, more so than some other breeds, most notably hip dysplasia. These can be costly to cure - but they can be cured. When you take on a German Shepherd, you must be willing to care for vet expenses.
This is not often talked about in German Shepherd information available from the AKC. The price of a German Shepherd's companionship should never be measured in terms of money. The German Shepherd dog, if the situation was reversed, would spend every last penny to make sure you were out of pain.
Both Armen T. Ghazarians & Jan Ryan are contributors for EditorialToday. The above articles have been edited for relevancy and timeliness. All write-ups, reviews, tips and guides published by EditorialToday.com and its partners or affiliates are for informational purposes only. They should not be used for any legal or any other type of advice. We do not endorse any author, contributor, writer or article posted by our team.
Jan Ryan has sinced written about articles on various topics from Puppies Dogs, German Shepherd Dogs and Puppies Dogs. Jan Ryan is a passionate lover of the German Shepherd and owns a popular website that can show you how to have a happy, healthy and well behaved. Jan Ryan's top article generates over 9900 views. Bookmark Jan Ryan to your Favourites.
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