If you are a German Shepherd Dog owner, or are thinking of getting one soon, you have probably received a lot of advice from pretty much anyone who has ever owned a dog. Life happens and things get crazy. When it does, it’s easy to forget to do something or not remember every tip other dog owners have given us. But sometimes those little things can have a big impact on your German Shepherd. The following are 5 mistakes German Shepherd Dog owners make that can affect your dog’s health and happiness.
#1 – Not Getting Hips Tested Early
Regardless of whether you got your German Shepherd from a breeder or as a rescue, you should get those hips checked. Often people wait until the dog is already showing signs of discomfort. It’s better to find out early that your German Shepherd is going to have hip problems. Then, you and your vet can make decisions about what he can and cannot do to limit pain later in life (for example, can he safely do agility?). Plus you can discuss supplements, exercises, etc. to help strengthen his hips.
#2 – No Set Rules
German Shepherds, like all dogs, are habitual creatures. This means they do best with a consistent routine and rules. If you keep changing them – for instance, he is allowed on the couch one month and not allowed on it the next – your dog will end up confused and may even shut down and stop trying if he always gets things wrong.
#3 – Not Enough Proper Socialization
As a Tending breed, German Shepherds are naturally predisposed to be guardians. If they are not properly socialized enough, they will become reactive and even unfriendly towards other animals and humans. If you want a friendly GSD that can be around other dogs and people, make sure you are properly socializing him, regardless of what age you get him.
#4 – Give Dogs Human Medications Without A Vet’s Approval
This can result in a hefty vet bill and even the loss of your German Shepherd Dog. In fact, over-the-counter human medications is number 1 in the ASPCA’s top list of toxins, and human prescription medications is number 2, according to cases handled by their Animal Poison Control Center. While many of these are accidental poisonings, it’s important to remember that human medication is dangerous to your German Shepherd and you should not be giving it to her unless directed by a vet.
#5 – Not Giving Them A Job
Bred to be a working dog, the German Shepherd Dog is not content to sit at home on the couch. If you don’t provide physical and mental exercise for them, they will find a job to do and you probably won’t like it. It might be eating your couch, herding the kids or cats, or become a hyper-vigilant watch dog that barks at every little noise. The best way to keep your German Shepherd behaving nicely is to give him something to do that wears out his mind and his body.
[Source: iheartdogs.com ]