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The Benefits of Owning a German Shepherd

German shepherds are beautiful dogs that have been human’s best friend for hundreds of years. These majestic canines are very graceful and a pleasure to be around. Beyond the obvious joy a dog can bring to a household, there are several benefits of choosing a German shepherd.

They are guardians of the home: German shepherds are very loyal dogs and will defend their home. These powerful dogs make great watchdogs and will protect all the members of the family.

They will bring you lots of love: These large dogs have lots of love to offer and make great snuggle buddies too. If you are looking for a caring canine, look no further than a German shepherd. These dogs love to be around family and are great with kids.

Highly intelligent and easy to work with: German shepherds are one of the smartest dog breeds on earth. These dogs will learn very quickly and they are super easy to work with.

They socialize well: If properly trained, German shepherds will socialize well with other members of the family including other pets. But always remember to start socialization training early for maximum benefit.

They are relatively easy to care for: German shepherds are very easy to take care for and require minimal bathing. While these dogs require regular brushing due to their long hair, they only need a bath once every few weeks.

They make great exercise partners: These dogs are very active and require a lot of exercise. If you love to work out and go for long runs, a German shepherd would make the perfect exercise partner!

For more information about our German shepherd puppies, contact us today!

Keeping your German shepherd Active in winter

German shepherds need lots of exercise and it’s important to pay just as much attention to physical activity when the cold weather season begins. Aside from their daily walks, these dogs need lots of play.  Winter makes many want to hide away but finding fun ways to get your German shepherd’s exercise in will give you an incentive to get outside and stay active. Here are some tips to keep your German shepherd active as it gets colder outside.

Create Challenges

Hide a toy like a ball that can let you put treats inside it somewhere in your yard. Challenge your dog’s sense of smell by letting them find it. You can also set up a little obstacle course to get them running and jumping out in the snow! Alternatively, if you do not have a yard, you can do this at the local dog park.

Winter Hikes

Take your dog up to a trail one weekend on a milder day. Your dog will appreciate the fresh cool air and freedom to run around – and it’ll be relaxing for you too! With some hot chocolate, friends or a loved one, some mitts and a Frisbee – you’ll be set for an active and fun day together with your German shepherd.

Indoor activities

For those days when it’s tougher to get outside, practice an indoor activity you can do together.  Work on commands like targeting – by instructing your dog to touch their nose to the back of your hand. This type of exercise will get them moving around and will stimulate their sense of coordination. It’s also a great way to help your dog learn to focus and you can use it as a distraction technique when your German shepherd is barking or about to do something “bad”!

Are you thinking about adopting a German shepherd? Read our FAQs to learn more about these dogs and get in touch with us for any further questions or inquiries.

Signs of Dominance with your German shepherd

Like many dogs, dominance issues can be present in a German shepherd’s (GS) innate qualities. As a breed, they are very territorial and operate in packs. In a family of humans, their instincts tell them to take the position of being the alpha of the pack. However, this doesn’t happen alone. German shepherds are highly responsive to approval – so if you, the owner is actively letting them take the lead by letting them do as they please, the problem will continue to grow into a dominance issue.

Dominance issues can also escalate into even larger problems as your puppy grows up. Your adult GS will then continually override your authority, situations of aggression can occur and in some cases, they can even begin to bite. Fear not, today we’ll discuss how to control this behaviour from a young age and how to set your GS up with the proper training so they follow your commands, rules and procedures.

Understanding the signs

If your dog begins to do any of the things listed below without your permission or seems to make decisions regarding any of the following, these can be seen as potential signs of dominance.

  • Barking and whining when you don’t offer food
  • Jumping and charging at family members and new guests
  • Stubbornness or ignoring commands
  • Growling unnecessarily
  • Showing signs of aggressions while you’re away (destroying things as an example)
  • Sleeping on your bed or other furniture (against your rules)
  • Putting paws on you
  • Difficulty walking on the leash (pulling, refusing to put it on etc.)

Steps to take

Dominance issues can start young so it’s highly important that your puppy has dominance training very early on. It’s important to pay attention to these details to ensure that you react properly to their aggression and communicate to your German shepherd that their behaviour is not okay with you.

Tips:

  • Show your dog that you’re not scared. Stand your ground and be authoritative.

Do this by: Using verbal commands like “No”, “Stop”, “Stay” or distract them from bad behaviour by making them obey another command such as “Sit”.

Another form of distraction is through a “put down” – an action where you put them onto their back or their side until they are calm and stop exhibiting aggressive behaviour. This is a submissive position and will communicate to your dog that their actions are not going to cut it.

  • Establish dominance

Do this by: Pulling back on the leash when they try to pull you.

Not react to their aggression with your own aggression – especially if it’s after-the-fact. Your dog will not understand what you are trying to communicate. Stay sharp and authoritative instead with your verbal commands as-in-when things happen.

If your dog isn’t following commands – be patient and ensure they follow it (no matter how long it takes)

German shepherds make wonderful companions and obedient dogs with the right training, nurturing and love. Interested in learning more about adopting a German shepherd? Get in touch with us today to learn more and to get the process started!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Three Common Health Issues German Shepherds Face

German shepherds are wonderful companions to have in the family. It’s important to be aware of any health conditions a certain breed can face in order to take the right steps to ensure their health and safety. Knowing the most common health conditions that can affect German shepherds will allow you to detect the signs early in the light that your dog displays difficulties. Catching this early can prevent illness and sometimes even save their lives.

Sensitive digestive systems

German shepherds often face digestive problems like chronic diarrhea due to food intolerances, colitis (a type of inflammatory bowel disease), issues with their pancreas and hemorrhagic gastroenteritis. If symptoms of any of these are present you may want to reconsider the type of food you are feeding them.

German shepherds are also at a higher-than-normal risk for gastrointestinal syndrome bloat – a disease in dogs in which the animal’s stomach dilates and then rotates, or twists, around its short axis which cuts of blood flow. This can cause a number of situations that require emergency care.

What you can do: Feed your dog good food, exercise them often and always be aware of symptoms like restlessness and pacing, drooling, pale gums, signs of pain, lip licking and vomiting motions that don’t present any vomit.

Hip and Elbow Dysplasia

German shepherds suffer from the high rates of hip dysplasia and elbow dysplasia – when the head of the bone doesn’t fit properly into the hip socket or elbow socket. Don’t fret; only 25%-30% of these cases are genetic which means you can play a large role in the outcome of your German shepherd’s health. Over-exercising or pushing them to do more than they can, especially while they’re young, can speed up the process of this disease. It’s important to understand how to exercise your German shepherd from the time its a puppy!

What you can do: have their hips checked after the age of two by an orthopedic specialist. This condition cannot be seen with the naked eye and by their movements. You will need to have an x-ray done to know how to proceed.

Heart Problems

Many large breeds like German shepherds can suffer from a variety of heart problems like valve diseases, heart murmurs or enlarged hearts.

What you can do: make sure your German shepherd has their heart checked annually to ensure their heart has no abnormalities.

Watching for the signs of these health conditions can be critical to your German shepherd’s health and safety. Want to learn more about this breed? Read our FAQ and check out the testimonials of new German shepherd owners!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Importance of Controlling the Weight of Your German Shepherd

German shepherds can grow to be quite big, but that doesn’t mean your dog’s eating habits can’t become a problem. Just like humans, obesity in German shepherds can cause a number of serious health risks that can jeopardize their longevity and wellbeing. Here is some more information about German shepherd obesity and how you can help your dog maintain a healthy weight.

How Do I Know if My Dog is Overweight?

The recommended weight for adult German shepherds is 30 to 40 kilograms for males and 22 to 23 kilograms for females. A dog is considered obese if it weighs more than 15% above the recommended weight. If your dog has over 20% body fat, it is also considered overweight. This depends on the diet and exercise routine of the particular dog—there are many German shepherds who weigh well above the recommended range and are still perfectly healthy. Check with your veterinarian to have the health of your German shepherd professionally assessed.

The Health Risks of Obesity

Obesity presents many health risks to your German shepherd, including the following:

  • Diabetes
  • Heat problems
  • Trouble breathing
  • Arthritis and joint pain
  • Infertility

How Can I Help Control My German Shepherd’s Weight?

There are many simple lifestyle changes you can make that will significantly improve the health and weight of your German shepherd. Maintain the weight of your German shepherd by calculating their amount of recommended calories per day based on their size and try not to feed them more than that amount. Make sure to include small snacks and treats in this calculation as well. Giving your German shepherd more exercise is another great way to help them shed some extra pounds. For older dogs or dogs with mobility issues such as arthritis, even an extra small walk a day can help improve their health.

Obesity is not just a human issue—it can also severely impact the quality of life for your German shepherd. For more information about caring for your German shepherd, contact us today at Ulvilden German Shepherds.

 

How to Ensure Your Children Get Along With Your New German Shepherd

A German shepherd is a great companion and guardian for every family. As with any new dog, it’s important to prepare your children for how to welcome your German shepherd into your home. Without proper guidance, your child may interact with your German shepherd in a way that hinders its training and development. Here are some tips for preparing your children for a German shepherd.

Reduce Roughhousing

German Shepherds make such great family dogs because of their playful energy. They are highly social dogs that enjoy plenty of exercise and companionship. As a result, German shepherds make perfect playmates for young children. However, German shepherds can get easily excited and may not realize their own strength, especially as puppies. For this reason, it’s important to supervise your child when they play with a German shepherd so you can step in if things get too rough. Let your child know beforehand not to tease or roughhouse too much with your German shepherd, as it could cause them to become agitated.

Simple Obedience

German Shepherds are one of the most loyal breeds of dog. If your child fosters a healthy relationship with your German shepherd, it is likely to be obedient and responsive to your child. German Shepherds can pick up simple commands very easily. Teaching your child some basic commands and letting them help you to instruct the dog is a great way to create a bond between your child and German shepherd. If your dog learns how to obey simple commands from your child early on, they’ll develop a strong relationship that will last a lifetime.

German shepherds make great family dogs. With the right preparation and supervision, your children and your dog can create memories that will last a lifetime. For more information and advice about how to care for your German shepherd or to adopt a German shepherd for your family, contact us at Ulvilden German Shepherds today.

The Ultimate German Shepherd Checklist

So you are looking into getting a puppy for your family and have decided to get one of the most popular, loving, and protective breeds. Having a German shepherd is very rewarding, but they are a big responsibility. Your new best friend will need a lot attention, exercise, love, and grooming, but everything you get back will be worth it.

Here are a few things to know before you get a German shepherd. Make sure to cross every item on this checklist off before getting your dog.

Is your breeder a good one?

The popularity of German shepherds means that there are a lot of breeders. This in turn means there are a lot of bad breeders. You need to make sure that the people you’re getting your dog from are skilled and dedicated to the wellbeing of animal, and not just in it for the money. A few things to look for are:

  • A breeder that breeds with the puppy in mind
  • A breeder that looks out for the health of the litter
  • A breeder that stands behind their puppies
  • A breeder that breeds on a limited basis

You can learn more about what makes a great breeder by contacting us and talking to us about why we do what we do.

Do you have the time and energy?

Every dog needs exercise, and German shepherds particularly so. We are talking about a few hours per day. That doesn’t mean that you have to go on a two hour jog in the morning with them, but it does mean you have to dedicate a lot of time to getting proper exercise for your pup. It could be a combination of time at the park, on a jog, in your own yard, or even fighting over a rope in the basement for a few minutes. It’s up to you to combine different kinds of exercise to make sure your pup stays healthy.

Do you have a job for them?

Ever wonder why German Shepherds are popular police dogs? It’s because they love helping their human companions out! Your dog will thrive if given a task to do. Some people let them carry things on walks with them, and others give them little chores around the house like closing a door or picking up toys. They love it!

Do you have the space?

Take a quick look around. Does your space look like it could handle a dog? Another major reason that Shepherds make great family dogs is because they flourish in bigger homes with yards.

As a reputable breeder, it is our responsibility to find the right matches for our pups. We want to make sure that you are getting the right puppy, and that the puppy is going to the right situation. So review our German shepherd checklist and don’t hesitate to contact us today!

German Shepherd Grooming Tips

An important part of pet ownership is making sure that your dog is properly groomed. Good grooming habits will not only improve your dog’s appearance—it’’s also important for their health and well-being. German Shepherds are no exception but they are a relatively low-maintenance breed in terms of grooming so you won’t have to devote excessive amounts of time to keeping them clean. Here are some important German Shepherd grooming tips to keep your dog looking and feeling their best.

Brushing

German Shepherds have two coats of fur: one coat close to the skin, and an outer coat that acts as a protective layer. The day-to-day grooming of a German Shepherd involves giving them a quick brush to help them shed old hair and keep their coats looking glossy. German Shepherd shed year-round, but more so between seasons. The amount of time in takes to brush your dog will depend on the length of their coat, but generally a thorough brushing should take about 15 minutes. During the more extreme shedding seasons, your German Shepherd may require more frequent brushing or more attention to its grooming in general.

Baths

German Shepherds only require the occasional bath. A bath once or twice a year is plenty for a German Shepherd. More frequent bathing could dry out their skin and strip their coat of natural oils, which could lead to rashes and skin conditions. More baths may be required during flea season or if your dog is spending a lot of time outdoors. Make sure to use shampoo made specifically for dogs—regular shampoo is not good for your dog because the chemical makeup of their hair and skin is different than humans. Gently place cotton in their ears during baths to prevent soap and water from entering their ear canals, which could potentially cause an ear infection.

Keep your German Shepherd looking good and feeling happy with a simple and constant grooming routine. Contact us for more information about adopting and caring for your own German Shepherd.

Tips for First Time German Shepherd Owners

Bringing a dog into your life is a beautiful and rewarding experience. You’ll feel an immediate sense of love and connection to your new pooch as soon as you bring it home.  However, it can be tricky to integrate a new pet into your world, especially if you’re a first-time owner. If you’re considering adopting a German shepherd as your first pet, here are some tips and tricks to make their transition into your home as smooth as possible.

Prepare Your Home

Make sure that your house is dog-ready for your German shepherd before bringing it home. Many dogs are shy when they first arrive and will need some time to get to know their new surroundings. Ensure that your house is free of any safety hazards so your German shepherd can freely explore. If you’re planning to crate-train your German shepherd, have the crate prepared so that they can get settled right away. Having a comfortable space set up for your German shepherd will help set them at ease and get your relationship started on the right foot.

Establish a Schedule

Your German shepherd will easily adapt to their new environment if you introduce routine into their lives. Your dog will feel comfortable once they can recognize a walking, feeding, and exercise schedule.  When your dog understands what is normal in your house, they’ll be able to relax and show you their true personality, and then the real bonding process can begin.

Have an Action Plan

There are as many different training methods as there are types of dogs. How you decide to train your dog will depend on your lifestyle and the individual personality of your German shepherd. Whatever training style you choose, the most important thing is to do some research on training before your German shepherd comes home. Whatever your particular concerns, make sure you do some background study so you can immediately start implementing the training process that works for you. Of course, your training approach will have to adapt to the unique personality and needs of your dog, but it’s important to come into pet ownership with some idea about how you want to go about it.

Owning your first dog is an exciting endeavour. You can make a special connection that will last a lifetime. With proper preparation, your dog will be a lovable member of your household in no time. If you are considering adopting a German shepherd as your first pet, contact us at Ulvilden German Shepherds and we’ll set you up with the perfect companion.

Tips and Tricks for Giving a German Shepherd the Right Amount of Exercise

Are you thinking about adopting one of our lovely pups – or perhaps an older dog? No matter your choice, German Shepherds like all bigger dog breeds need to be given the right amount of love and exercise! Here’s our general rules.

Walking Your Puppy

Once your German Shepherd puppy has been given all the necessary vaccines, it is recommended you walk your puppy for at least 60 minutes a day. This can be broken up into two half hour walks at different times in the day – or a shorter and longer walk, depending on your schedule.

Going to public places is a great way for your dog to socialize with other dogs and with other humans. The earlier you socialize your puppy, the better!

Exercising Your Puppy

For other exercise tips, we recommend “lead” exercise. This is a great way to incorporate training opportunities and exercise together. “Lead” exercise is essentially letting your puppy off leash in a gated area. This allows them to explore and for you to practice calls and commands.

Most importantly, you avoid the risk of over-exercising them. Puppies especially those up to 12 months old, are still developing their muscles and ligaments. Over-exercising by way of performance-based exercises, can wear on the joints of their hips and elbows. Letting your puppy run freely is the best way to encourage exercise and it lets them tire themselves out!

Give your German Shepherd Space

These dogs grow up to be big, strong, high energy dogs – that really should have their own space. We recommend that if you’re planning on getting a German Shepherd that you ideally should have a yard that they can run around in to keep occupied. This will keep your German Shepherd happy and avoid destructive behavior that stems from boredom.

If you however aren’t in this position, you can avoid distress in your German Shepherd if you take particular care into making sure that they have plenty of time to run outside at a dog park (at least a few times a week).

German Shepherds also love:

Hiking

Swimming

Frisbee and Playing Catch

Jogging

Hide and Seek

Keep your dog happy, healthy and fit by implementing these ideas into your exercise regimen.

Check out our beautiful gallery of our breeds. We know you’ll love them as much as we do!