German Shepherd Dogs:  The Family Dog

The German Shepherd bred for good temperament, high intelligence and sound health that is raised and socialized and introduced into a loving family environment will not only be an excellent family dog, but will quickly become a member of the family. Humans from toddlers to seniors quickly feel comfortable and develop a strong bond with the new family member.

Of course, puppies and young adults (normally between 3 months and 18 months) are very energetic, just like young children, but with guidance and love, they will quickly learn the "do’s and don’ts" of their new family’s social order, as well as manners.

The "key" to an excellent family dog is to spend some time teaching him, talking to him and socializing him. This is most easily done when you let your German Shepherd be part of the family. That means let him spend time with you, participate in things going on in the house, as well as just laying quietly observing you when you’re watching television. Let him be around you, your family and friends; take him to the park and on outings. Remember that the more experiences your dog has, the more "knowledgeable" he will become. One important thing to remember, especially for young dogs, it that they should experience as many "pleasant" things as possible. Try to avoid scary or dangerous situations. If a young puppy is injured or has a bad experience, then it is the owner’s responsibility to help him work thorough it, just like when a small child falls off the swing and gets hurt, he might be scared about getting back on the swing, then his parents are there to reassure him, and let him know that he can still get on the swing and everything will be all right.
Through different experiences, your German Shepherd will not only learn from you, but from the world around him. By providing this learning environment, your German Shepherd will learn your body language and your regular behavior. Over time, when the dog matures, he will have experienced many new things. He will have learned to analyze his surroundings, and make intelligent decisions. With a good foundation and proper training and socializing, he will be a good family and companion dog, but will also know when to be a protective dog.
I have written this article based on my thirty years of experience as an owner of many German Shepherd Dogs. All the dogs have been family dogs, even though one was a police dog, and others were trained for protection dogs.  I believe in teaching my dogs with love and respect, just like you teach a child. In my opinion, the love and devotion of the German Shepherd Dog is unsurpassed by any other animal. For it appears to be their self-assigned goal in life … to love, befriend and protect their master.
Written by Claudia L. Orum
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