5 Strategies To Deepen Your Bond With Your German Shepherd
German shepherds are the best dogs. They are beautiful, smart, brave, and loyal. And, they are so athletic, it seems as if there is nothing they can’t do in the dog world.
They’re also very lovable. Once you capture their heart, they’ll become the most devoted friend you’ll ever have. Your German shepherd will always have your back and would rather be right by your side than anywhere else in the world.
So, how does a person earn such love from their German shepherd? First off, it takes a little understanding of the breed.
German shepherds are working dogs and were originally bred to herd and protect sheep. They originated in Europe in the 1850s when shepherds began to breed dogs that they carefully selected to do that job.
The dogs they chose had the best skills to accomplish hard tasks such as a strong work ethic, intelligence, endurance, strength, and a great sense of smell. However, this was just the beginning.
Fast forward to 1899 when Max von Stephanitz met a dog named Hektor. Hektor was the product of a few generations of selected breeding and represented everything Max von Stephanitz thought a working dog should be.
Hektor was beautiful, smart, and loyal so Max bought him but changed his name to Horand von Grafrath. He then founded the Society for the German Shepherd Dog and declared Horand the first German shepherd dog. He then went on to breed Horand, to preserve his wonderful traits for further generations.
Today, German shepherds are still used for work but are also very popular family companions. They make wonderful pets but require training and socialization. They are very loyal to their family but to win their adoration, it takes mutual love and respect.
If you want a dog that adores you, listens to your every word, follows you everywhere, and wants nothing more than to be with you, a German shepherd is a perfect fit. But because of their breeding, this type of relationship takes some work.
Because they’re working dogs, German shepherds can be independent and even aloof with some people. They have strong personalities and need guidance to keep out of mischief and to keep from getting bored.
But these traits and breeding are what also makes them so loyal, loving, and affectionate. They consider it their job to protect you and don’t like to be separated from their family for very long. They also like to have fun and be the center of attention.
If you want this type of relationship with your German shepherd, it’s all about building a special bond between you. You begin to build this bond the day you bring a German shepherd home and you work on it throughout your dog’s lifetime.
1. Build Trust
From the day you meet your dog, you’ll want your dog to learn to trust you. Understand, just as you are getting to know them, they are getting to know you. First impressions matter and harsh words and actions are not quickly forgotten by German shepherds. It’s better to show them affection, attention, kindness, and patience to reassure them that they are safe and loved by you. You don’t want to do anything to cause your dog to want to shy away from you.
2. Show Affection
Show your dog affection with kind words and touch. Look into your dog’s eyes and gently stroke them, tell them they’re a good dog, and reward them for good behavior. Eye contact between a dog and its owner causes the release of the love hormone, oxytocin, which has been linked to positive emotional states. If your dog looks away, that's okay. Gazing at your dog and making eye contact doesn’t need to be a stare-down, which can be perceived as a threat in some cases.
3. Share your Space
Your German shepherd’s natural protective instinct is to watch over you. By letting your dog share your personal space, they will develop a stronger bond with you. Consider allowing your dog to sleep in your room, hang out with you when you’re watching television, help you work in the yard, and more. When your dog hangs out with you, they feel like they’re doing a job plus they get to spend time with the person they love most, you.
4. Touch and Groom your Dog
Teach your puppy to accept your touch. Gently touch their paws, toes, nails, ears, mouth, teeth, belly, tail, and everywhere. Gently groom and trim their nails to teach them that touch is a good thing that won’t cause them harm. This will not only build trust, but it will also prepare them for the day a vet needs to examine them, too.
Your German shepherd needs to know their boundaries and how to behave. Luckily, since they’re so intelligent, they love to learn and please. You can make training fun through positive reinforcement and rewarding them with fun games and treats. Your dog will be more confident when they know the rules and get to use its mind. Training also helps you understand each other and strengthens the bond between you.
German shepherds are easy to love but do take some work. By building trust, showing affection, sharing your space, touching, and training, you will create an unbreakable bond with your dog.
By doing these things, you’re also showing them that you’ll love and protect them the same way they love and protect you. You’ll share a lifelong friendship and enjoy a very special relationship.
These faithful friends deserve all the love and respect we can give them and more. We hope you found this information helpful. As always, please feel free to share with your friends.
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