German Shepherds are one of the most iconic dogs, known for its looks, smarts, and its loyalty. Regarding loyalty, though, German Shepherds are in a class of their own.
Just look at Captain, a German Shepherd from Argentina. Captain has loyally stood vigil at his owner’s grave for more than ten years, according to a report in The Daily Mail. That’s how much devotion German Shepherds show their owners!
Loyalty, in fact, is one of the many traits German Shepherds were bred to display. For example, in the early 1900s, the German Shepherd was originally bred to be a devoted working dog, willing to help around the farm and follow directions. Today, German Shepherds are as loyal as ever. And owners can foster that natural devotedness through effective dog training.
Here are some exciting things to know about German Shepherd loyalty:
A Dog Breed for Loyalty
In the early 1900s, Max von Stephanitz is credited with developing the German Shepherd Dog. Stephanitz took an interest in German shepherding dogs, wanting to standardize a breed and improve a dog suitable for work around the farm.
During World War I, German Shepherds were familiar companions to soldiers, working as ammo carriers, messengers and as guard dogs. German Shepherds listened to and wanted to please their owners – which made them useful to soldiers and police officers.
Stephanitz’ selective breeding helped standardize the breed, and it became highly famous around the world after WWI. Today, many of the traits in the early breed are still present in purebred German Shepherds. The breed is known for its:
- Willingness to learn and please
- Protectiveness of family and territory
- Intelligence and cleverness
- Strength and athleticism
- And of course, loyalty
Fostering Loyalty through Training
German Shepherds have a natural curiosity. They love to learn. And loyalty – like obedience and good manners – is something that every Shepherd must learn how to do.
Fortunately, the breed has a natural willingness to please their owners, and they love spending time training. But what can you do to help your dog build devotedness to you? Here are a few dog training tips for German Shepherds:
- Daily walks, exercise and training tips are necessary
- Be consistent (this will help you earn your dog’s trust)
- Reward good behaviors and ignore bad ones
- Start early from 2-6 months
- Start with small steps and gradually work your way up
Ultimately, German Shepherd puppies naturally develop a devotedness to their owner and family. But the key is showing your GSD that you are in charge. Regular training and firm and consistent help will ensure your dog learns what’s expected of him.
Socializing Your German Shepherd Puppy
German Shepherd puppies are full of energy, and it’s crucial at this stage of life to properly socialize your pup.
Here’s why: German Shepherds naturally develop a secure attachment to their owners. Without socialization, this devotion can become problematic. Some animals will show aggression toward other dogs or unfamiliar people – as they’re trying to protect you.
Socialization helps your puppy learn that these types of situations and people are not threats and that you’re in control. Here are some dog training ideas for proper socialization:
- Start training in a familiar place like the backyard
- Socialize as a puppy frequently
- Introduce your puppy to new people and dogs
- Introduce your dog to new situations frequently (doorbell ringing, phone ringing, deliveries, garage door opening, etc.)
- Don’t overwhelm your dog (e.g., using a group training class as his first introduction to new dogs)
- Daily walks around the neighborhood can help to introduce new sights, smells and sounds
Socialization might be one of the most critical steps in dog training for the German Shepherd. This will ensure your pet’s natural loyalty doesn’t evolve into territoriality, aggression towards others, or being overly protective. So, commit to spending time early in your puppy’s life introducing it to new situations.
German Shepherds Make Loving Family Companions
There’s a reason German Shepherds are one of the most popular breeds in the U.S. They’re loving friends that show loyalty for life. It’s in their nature.
You need to foster that natural sense of devotedness through proper training. It’s hard work, but the reward is high – you receive a loving companion for your family for many years to come!
Have questions about German Shepherd obedience training? Or looking for purebred German Shepherd puppies for sale? Misty Ridge is your source. With decades of GSD breeding and training experience, we’re here to answer any questions you might have. Contact us here.