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The socialization of the German Shepherd

the socialization of the german shepherd

Socializing your German Shepherd is probably the best thing you can do for your dog . You should expose your German Shepherd to as many new experiences and situations as you can. The best time to start introducing and socializing your German Shepherd to the world is between 8 and 12 weeks of age, when your puppy is already protected by vaccinations.

Why socialize your German Shepherd?

The German Shepherd is a breed of dog that tends to be very careful with strange dogs and people who are not from its closest environment and for being highly perceptive dogs of its environment. This breed is very protective of those it loves and can be territorial when it comes to its home, yard, vehicles, and other objects that it considers its own or that of its family.
But, no dog is perfect and they make mistakes. They misjudge situations, especially if they haven’t had similar past experiences. The only way your German Shepherd can make the right decisions is if he learns to differentiate between threatening and non-threatening situations.

Your dog should know that a crying baby, the baby heading toward the wobbly, or the two young children playing in the front yard are not dangerous. Your German Shepherd needs to realize that he can bark to alert you when the delivery man brings packages to the door, but that he cannot barge outside and bite him.A well socialized dog needs to be able to discern that the elderly woman with a cane and a teenage boy balancing his backpack at the door. walking to the bus stop pose no threat.

To achieve the goal of having a reliable and socialized German Shepherd, you will have to work and continue working on socializing your German Shepherd throughout the life to keep him with a good attitude towards people around him and possible strangers.

Socializing a German Shepherd with people

The key to socializing a puppy or adult German Shepherd is to make sure that while your German Shepherd dog is dealing with new people and a variety of different environments, he maintains the positive feelings. Try to avoid a distressing experience as this will delay your German Shepherd’s socialization and training to adapt to people and new situations.

The situations in which you place your dog may be out of your control, so it is up to you to try to ensure that your German Shepherd puppy or adult dog is comfortable at all times and is not in an awkward situation.

The importance of the environment in the socialization of a German Shepherd puppy

A German Shepherd puppy from a good breeder will be born with a predisposition for a certain temperament. The environment; however, it can play a key role in determining whether your puppy reaches his full potential as a social dog. In other words, a puppy who is predisposed to be shy and fearful can overcome his fears if raised in the right environment. Likewise, a puppy predisposed to be an excellent, friendly dog ​​could be permanently stunted in a hostile and isolated environment.

If you have a puppy, you start the socialization work right away . Some experts consider that the puppy must meet 100 strangers in the first 12 weeks of life and visit 50 new places. That’s a lot of stimulation. A good start would be to set a goal of meeting with at least one new person each day and visiting two or three new locations each week.

When visiting new locations, encourage your puppy to check out the new surroundings. Make sure to give them treats to reward good behavior. Also encourage people to pet him so he learns to enjoy appreciation from different people. He tries to get people strange to him to offer him a treat so that he can associate an outstretched hand with something good.

Your puppy should be comfortable with all members of the family and with anyone who regularly works at home. For example, if you have children, make sure the babysitter and the puppy are excellent friends. You don’t want to come home to find your babysitter trapped in the bathroom with the German Shepherd on duty outside the door. I will probably never work for you again.

Socializing an adult German Shepherd with people

Adult dogs rescued from a kennel or other home already come with the experiences of their first years of life. For many German Shepherds who end up in shelters, this past is overwhelming. Fortunately, this is probably not a problem you need to worry about. If you rescued a German Shepherd from a good shelter, they will surely already tell you what the temperament, weaknesses and strengths of your new German Shepherd are. Your job is to get off a solid start.
Get started slowly with your new German Shepherd pet, working with what already makes him feel comfortable. Reward him with a treat for good behavior. As he becomes more and more self-confident, introduce him to new stimuli.

When introducing your German Shepherd to strangers, carefully observe their body language . If you notice any signs that he is getting anxious, stressed, or scared, you’ve taken him into a zone outside of his comfort zone. Get him out of this situation as soon as possible. Dogs bite more out of fear than for any other reason.

Socializing a fearful adult German Shepherd or puppy

A fearful puppy or adult dog takes twice as much work to socialize as a stable and friendly German Shepherd. A fearful dog takes a lot of dedication, time, and patience to get out of its shell. Shy puppies also need a lot of dedication and enough time and care from the owner to become friendly dogs. Whatever you do, don’t use your German Shepherd’s shyness as an excuse not to introduce him to people and socialize him.

If you are faced with a puppy or an adult German Shepherd dog who is shy, you must be very aware of the body language that he will exhibit when he feels stressed, you must learn to notice how he subtly begins to behave in an insecure way. When a dog is scared, his ears may turn back a bit. It might start panting, squat slightly, tuck its tail between its legs, or jerk, it might even recoil or begin to lean towards you.

Whatever you do, don’t force your pastor to know anyone . Not only can this be scary to your German Shepherd, it could also be dangerous to the stranger. Move it far enough away from the person so that it no longer poses a threat to the dog. Let the dog observe the stranger from what he considers a safe distance. Reward him with praise only when he’s no longer anxious or showing signs of stress.

Shy German Shepherds are very sensitive to a stranger’s body language, movements, and general behavior . For this reason, it is important to know the actions that can annoy a shy dog.
Some of the things a dog may find threatening would be:

  • Direct eye contact.
  • One hand extended on the dog’s head.
  • Squat down to dog level.
  • Put your face in front of the dog’s face.
  • A strong, high-pitched voice.
  • Lean over the dog’s back.

If you are introducing your dog to still a stranger, ask him not to look him in the eye or pet him at first, but to allow the dog to approach them. This will help your German Shepherd feel much more comfortable around strangers he meets.
Fearful German Shepherds take a lot of work to help them overcome their fears. Some German Sheepdogs may never feel totally comfortable with all people in all situations. Your help; however, it will allow you to experience a significant improvement in new situations.

Accustoming a German Shepherd puppy to day to day and normal stimuli

Everything is new to a puppy, so the first time a German Shepherd puppy sees or hears something unusual in his new home, he will freak out. The second time she’s exposed to the same thing, she’ll be curious. By the time your puppy experiences the stimulus for the third time, he will have realized that there is nothing to fear and will generally ignore it. During this process, do not react to the puppy’s startled or curious behavior, time will put everything in its place.

The sound of flushing from a toilet, the whirring of a vacuum cleaner, or the slam of a door closing can really scare your dog. For this reason, you must be prepared to act correctly when your puppy is involved in any of these circumstances without being used to it.

Desensitization is another method to help your German Shepherd overcome certain fears. By using this method, you increase your dog’s exposure to stimuli that frighten him. For example, if your German Shepherd is afraid of thunderstorms, you could reproduce the sounds of thunderstorms in the home. In theory, the dog will learn over time that nothing happens to him during a thunderstorm, and his fear during an actual storm will diminish. When applying the method, ignore any signs of fear that your puppy may show and reward him for his calm demeanor.

Introducing a German Shepherd puppy to other dogs

The socialization of a German Shepherd puppy will not only be done with people, but it is also necessary to do it with other dogs. This may seem like it is not critical; However, if you’ve ever tried walking with a shepherd who throws himself and barks at every dog ​​he sees, you will understand the importance of having a well-socialized German Shepherd with dogs. Your neighbors will appreciate it too.

If you are the owner of a German Shepherd puppy , start by introducing him to well-trained and socialized dogs that you know are friendly. You can introduce the puppy to the other dog in a neutral area, allowing it to get closer to the adult dog. Even if you have chosen a very friendly dog, watch the adult dog carefully and be very attentive to signs of aggression or attempts to control the puppy.

If you can, you should attend training and socialization classes with other puppies. These classes generally include a period of socializing the puppy before the training portion in which the puppies can frolic and play together. Playing with other puppies the same age is one of the ways your little German Shepherd will learn to learn good bite inhibition. If you bite a puppy too much, the puppy will not play with him, which is a real punishment that he is sure to learn from.

If you see that your puppy is being aggressive or teasing another puppy, calmly walk over to your puppy and hold him. If he’s still trying to tease the other puppy, firmly say, “No!” and calmly remove your puppy from the playgroup. Ask her to sit next to you for a minute, compliment her on her good behavior, and then let her continue to play.

Socializing an adult German Shepherd with other dogs

If you adopt an adult German Shepherd, the shelter or rescue should be able to tell you if your new pet is a dog friend or not. If your German Shepherd is aggressive around dogs, don’t give up. Behaviorists feel that dog / dog aggression is behavior that can be modified.

If your adopted German Shepherd is good with other dogs, great. Give him plenty of opportunities to meet other friendly dogs of all shapes and sizes. Dog parks can be great places for your German Shepherd to play and meet other dogs; however, they can lead to bad experiences if things get out of hand.

Bringing home a new puppy dog

If you already have an adult German Shepherd and you bring home a puppy dog, there are several things you can do to help ease the tension between them. The best matches are usually between dogs of the opposite sex . If you have a male dog, bringing home a female puppy is more likely to avoid conflict than bringing home another male.

You may consider keeping your adult dog away from home for a few days when you bring your puppy home for the first time. This will allow the puppy to become familiar with its new surroundings on its own. This will also establish the puppy as part of the home before the adult dog returns home. The adult dog considers the puppy’s presence and scent to be less disruptive if it is already there than if it is suddenly introduced into the home.

It is also important to supervise the activities of the two dogs together . Separate the puppy and adult dog when you cannot supervise them, and don’t allow the adult dog to harass the puppy or play too roughly with him. If the adult dog becomes aggressive towards the puppy, hold him by the neck and say, “No!” and take it to a booth for a time out. You must quickly learn that hitting the puppy will get you nowhere. If you become more aggressive towards the puppy, seek professional help immediately.

One last important point to remember is to always provide your adult German Shepherd with a puppy escape. It should have its own box full of its own special toys that the puppy does not have access to.

Introducing a second adult dog into the home

Bringing in a second adult dog to share a home with your German Shepherd can be a bit more complicated than bringing home a new puppy. If one of the two adult dogs is submissive, things are generally fine. It also helps if the adult dogs are of the opposite sex. However, if both dogs want control and are of the same sex, you may have a big problem on your hands.

Allowing the new dog to acclimatize for a few hours or days while the other dog is out of the house can help the older dog to accept the new dog.

Getting the two dogs into neutral territory is a good idea. After they have made friends and play together, you can take the two dogs home.

For the first few months, always keep an eye on the dogs when they are together and separate them when you can’t see them until you are completely sure they accept and respect each other.

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I love the animals. Reading and writing about them, their customs, their peculiarities or the attention they require is exciting, and I also believe that it makes us better people. I share articles that solve the questions that dog caregivers face on a daily basis.

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