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How to Stop My German Shepherd Jumping on Strangers


German shepherds are popular for their defensive nature. Anytime they spot a new face near their owner, they might act aggressively to protect their master. Most often, they might jump on the stranger as a way of protection, while in other times, they might jump on a stranger due to over-excitement.

Regardless of their reason for jumping on strangers or guests, it’s frightening, offensive, and threatening.

In this article, we help you understand the reason(s) behind your German shepherd’s behavior and the best ways to put it to a halt.

Reasons Why Your German Shepherd is Jumping on Strangers

Attention

When your German shepherd is bored and is feeling ignored, he can jump on strangers to get your attention. You will in turn get angry and make him stop. Either it’s positive or negative attention, you will have done exactly as he expected.

Some give their dogs food as a way of distracting them, which only makes it worse. If your dog knows that he gets rewarded after jumping on strangers, he will continue with the behavior.

Protection

It’s German shepherds’ nature to be protective. If your dog suspects that a stranger is likely to cause harm to his owner, he will jump on them to scare them off. This can be an issue when the strangers are your guest because they will feel unwelcomed.

Not enough training

When you don’t train your dog in socialization at an early age, it will be a problem for him to relate with other people with ease. They will always be aggressive to strangers.

A tolerated behavior in puppyhood

At an early age, it’s normal for a puppy to jump on people and lick their ears while playing. If puppies are not trained otherwise, they will grow up thinking it’s okay and normal to do so.

Encouragement from strangers

Some strangers /guests make it hard for us to stop the jumping behavior. This is because they will always let it slide assuring us that it’s okay. In some cases, they even offer treats making the habit even worse.

Interpreting your punishment as a joke

When you push, pull or squeal at your GSD, your dog may interpret that as a game. You will be pulling or yelling at them and they are enjoying it, making him repeat the behavior. Don’t get me wrong- I dont advocate for heavy punishment. Rather, make your dog know that you are punishing him for certain bad behavior.

Excitement

At times, your GSD will be excited to see a stranger and his way of expressing his joy is by licking their faces and ears. Since people are normally taller than dogs, the only way they can reach the stranger’s faces and ears is by jumping on them.

How to Stop Your German Shepherd Behavior of Jumping on Strangers

1. Postponement of greetings

When you get home, your dog gets overexcited and jumps on you as a form of greetings. Do not accept the greetings until he is calm. This will make him understand that greetings should be done in composure.

It’s not advisable to lock your dog in a room when you are expecting guests as it will make him more anxious. Advice your guest not to give your dog any kind of attention like petting or giving him treats until he is calm.

2. Ignore

Ignore your dog when he jumps on you, do not show any kind of attention be it positive or negative. Advise your guest to do the same. When your dog gets the message that jumping on people won’t get him any attention, he will stop it.

This method might not be effective if your dog is jumping very high to a point of reaching your face, it’d be very hard for you to ignore him especially if he is causing pain.

3. Distract your dog

Distracting your dog can stop him from jumping on strangers. Try giving him his favorite toy or blanket to hold anytime they are greeting you. This method requires consistency and patience.

Encourage your dog to hold the toy in his mouth and bring it to you as a gift. Give him treats for a good job. If you persistently follow this method, your dog will be bringing you the toy at the door as a way of greeting. This habit will later progress to guests’ visiting.

4. Use the leash 

Whenever you are expecting guests, put your German shepherd on the leash to control how he behaves around them.

5. Train sit command

If you have you train your GSD the sit command, it will be easy to control him around guests. You should not tell your German shepherd to stop without being followed by a sit command. It will be demanding for a dog to stop and standstill.

Conclusion

Dogs jump on strangers due to several reasons. The best tactic to stop them is by training them. Never punish your dog for jumping on strangers because he will be more aggressive. Be patient and persistent in your training and you will have a disciplined friend.

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Will Neutering My German Shepherd Calm Him Down?


Naturally, German shepherds are active dogs as they were first bred as working dogs. At the age of six months which is the puberty stage for GSDs, they become hyperactive and this continues to adolescence.

Neutering or castration for males can help to calm your dog but only if at the right time i.e. before puberty. If done after this age, your dog will have started behaviors like mounting on objects which he will still enjoy after neutering.

Read on to know the advantages and disadvantages associated with neutering your GSD and the possible causes of a hyperactive dog.

Why your GSD is a hyper?

Immaturity 

Physically, GSDs mature fast but it takes a little bit longer. Your dog might not have the ability to self-regulate his energy levels making him super active and uncontrollable.

Inadequate physical and mental exercise 

German shepherds require a lot of exercises, mental and physical. If not properly exercised, your GSD will take his energy elsewhere. He can become restless, aggressive, and destructive. Exercise your dog for 1 hour per day and buy him lots of play toys. Engage him in mental exercise every now and then.

Seeking attention

German shepherds like attention a lot. Give him attention by playing games together, cuddling, and treats once per day. If he feels attention deprived, he will develop behavioral issues, and the next time you give him attention, he will be overexcited and overreact. 

Advantages of Neutering Your GSD 

Behavior issue

If you neuter your dog at an early age, he likely not be aggressive as he gets older. Mounting on objects and other pets in your house will be stamped out.

Genetic disease 

If your GSD has health issues, he will not spread the genes to the next generation. These health issues are like hip and elbow dysplasia and degenerative mythology.

Testicular cancer

This disease only affects the testicles, since neutering removes them, your dog will be on the safer side.

Perennial hernias

Dogs that are intact are at a higher risk of getting perennial hernias. This disease is treatable through surgery, but it is better if prevented through neutering.

Prevent injuries and accidents

An intact GSD can whiff a female dog on heat many kilometers away. He can get into a serious fight with other dogs over the female leading to serious injuries.

In search of the female on heat, your dog can get involved in an accident while crossing the road because, oftentimes, they are just concentrated on following the scent and not his surroundings.

Wandering off and getting lost

Though in rare cases, intact dogs can go for miles following the ‘scent’. This can make your dog lose the direction back home and get lost.

If not he is not microchipped, you will have a hard time finding him.

Decrease overpopulation

By neutering your dog, you will be helping lower their high population. Many shelters overflow with homeless and lost dogs. Sadly, some shelters are forced to euthanize some dogs because of a shortage of space.

Reduce territorial marking

A dog marking smell is a stench and no one wants to smell it twice. If you neuter your GSD at an early age, you will spare yourself the stench smell.

Prostate disease

Prostate disease affects intact dogs. Neutering him prevent and spare him the pain and to you a medical bill.

Lifestyle

This is a factor that needs to be highly considered. If you will need services from boarding facilities and daycares, your dog will not be accepted if intact. If your dog is neutered, he will be easily accepted.

Disadvantages of Neutering Your GSD

Reproduction

Neutering is irreversible- your dog will never produce his own offspring. It might be tempting to breed your dog if he has desirable characteristics, but it is best if you left professional breeders to do their work.

Prone to dementia

This disease mostly affects old dogs. It makes them forget everything that they have ever known like training and his home. Neutered dogs are more prone to the disease compared to intact ones.

Likely to have urinary incontinence 

Though the chances are low, urinary incontinence can occur when your dog is going through the neutering process. If neutered at a very early age, the bladder might not grow properly making it weak.

No guaranteed behavior change

Neutering your dog is not an assurance that he will be calm, especially if you neuter him at puberty stage when he has already learned some behaviors like territory marking, it’s hard for him to stop after neutering.

Final thoughts

There has been a lot of discussions and research on the right age to neuter dogs. Some researchers argue that neutering dogs at an early age can make them feel insecure or make them more aggressive. 

Neutering your dog must not calm him down. Hence, it is advisable to talk to your vet who fully understands your dog to advise you on whether or not to neuter your dog. You might find that training is all that is needed but not neutering.

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American German Shepherd vs. German German Shepherd: Differences and Similarities


If you are planning to buy or adopt a German shepherd, you could be wondering the difference between an American Shepherd and a German Shepherd.

It’s obvious they are the same breed but since they have been brought up in different locations they differ in some ways like health, work ethic, price, size, and appearance

Below is a relationship between the two breeds.

American German Shepherd vs. German German Shepherd Comparison

Breed History

German shepherds were first bred in Germany as sheep herding dogs. Over time, they proved that not only were they good at herding but also protective, loyal, and hardworking.

Due to their outstanding characters, they became popular around the world and spread to many places around the world, with the United States being one of these locations.

Though American GSD and German GSDs are the same breeds, over time they have become noticeably different. Also, they vary in breed standards.

In America, we have the American Kennel Club which regulates the American GSDs and in Germany, the German shepherd club of Germany helps regulate the German GSDs.

Appearance

The most obvious variance amid the dual breeds is their physical appearance. The American GSD is bigger and has a longer body while the German GSD is smaller and weighs less.

The American GSDs have a small round head while German GSDs have a big rectangular head.

The length and texture of their coats are similar; they can both be short or long and have the common German shepherd color black and tan.

American GSDs are mostly wishy-washy in color.

Temperament

German GSDs are more hardworking than American GSDs; this is because in America the GSDs are mostly stay home dogs while in Germany they are working most of the time.

If your main motive is buying or adopting a working dog, German GSDs are the best but if you want a family pet, consider American GSDs as they are less aggressive and can relate well to the whole family.

Both make excellent watch and guard dogs and are not very welcoming to strangers.

Exercise

German GSDs are more active than American GSDs, this implies that the former will need more exercise. An American GSD requires 1 hour of exercise per day whereas German GSDs will require 1 hour 30mins of intense exercise per day.

Failure to exercise either of the breed lines will lead to a hostile and destructive dog.

Training

Both breed lines need to be trained and socialized with other pets and people at an early age. If not well socialized, they can become timid or overprotective when introduced to other people or pets. They are highly trainable, though the German GSD is a bit advanced than the American German shepherd in taking commands.

Health

In the US, there are a lot of unscrupulous breeding practice which makes the American German shepherd prone to many diseases whereas in Germany the GSCB has strict rules and measures to ensure that they maintain a healthy German shepherd

Both are prone to hip dysplasia but because of the German GSD’s straight posture, they are less prone while American GSDs posture is sloping back making them less balanced.

American GSDs have a lifespan of about 7-10 years while German GSDs can live up to around 10-12 years.

Nutrition

Both breeds do well on high-quality kibble. They require food rich in proteins and energy to keep them healthy.

It’s advisable to feed them kibble that is suitable for their life stage. At an early age, they need a more healthy and balanced diet for bone development.

Feeding should be done three to four times a day, after all, they are active dogs and requires more energy.

Grooming

American GSDs and German GSDs need the same grooming routine. It only varies when a dog is long-haired where they will need brushing thrice a week and short-haired once a week. They both shed a lot throughout the year.

Puppy prices

American German shepherd puppies from certified breeders cost around $1000 and above. In America, German GSDs are rare, resulting in a price rise, they cost a minimum of$ 1500 or more.

Some people prefer buying German GSDs though expensive because they are considered a healthy breed. It’s important to put into consideration the fact that they require more of your time in attention and exercise. It is best to consider more of what to expect from a dog than just the price.

Conclusions

Both breed lines i.e. American German Shepherd and German German Shepherd have a lot of similarities, after all, they are German shepherds. The change in location and rules controlling the breeding process makes them slightly different.

Having done all the comparisons for you, it’s your duty now to decide if you want a family pet or a workaholic friend.

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My Dog Ate Poop How Do I Clean His Mouth?


Dogs can eat poop from cats, birds, or even their own poop. If your dog is eating poop, this behavior could be caused by various reasons such as nutrient deficiency and behavioral issues, which must be addressed immediately before you hate his kisses forever.

Puppies can eat poop as a way of exploring, but for adult dogs, you must find the reason behind the act, how to wash his mouth and how to stop him from eating his poop.

Why do dogs eat poop?

Poor diet

If you feed your dog food with low nutritional values, he might try to find the nutrients in the poop. Feed your dog the best food you can afford but not the cheapest food you come along with.

Malabsorption 

 Your dog might be having a problem with his digestive system where he is unable to absorb nutrients from the food. If there are some undigested particles in the poop, your dog will be tempted to eat it.

Parasites

The intestines might have parasites that compete for nutrients with your dog. This can lead to your dog eating poop in search of extra nutrients.

Cleanliness

When dogs give birth, they lick the bottoms to help clean them and to ease the elimination process.

In case his environs are full of poop, he might eat it as part of cleaning. 

Isolation

When left for long hours on their own, dogs can eat poop. Dogs that stay alone without a relationship with other pets or people tend to eat poop more than the well-socialized dogs.

Confinement

If you keep your dog locked in a small room or crate for long hours continuously, he might end up eating his poop. This is because he will get used to the smell of poop that he won’t differentiate it from food.

Stress

If you punish your dog for having an ‘accident’, he gets stressed and fears pooping. This may trigger a behavioral change, where he starts eating poop so that you don’t find out about the “mess”.

Boredom

If your dog is not exercised or does not have play toys, he can feed on his poop out of boredom.

Attention

It might be that you’ve ignored your dog for long and he is craving your attention. He will eat his poop and you won’t ignore that.

Copied habit

A dog easily copies a habit from another one. This is common where a younger dog copies the habit from an older dog.

How to Wash Your Dog’s Mouth

Give him food and water

When you serve your dog enough food and water, the eating process will help clean up the poop in his mouth. The saliva will wash down the poop in the process.

Brush his teeth

Use a recommended dog toothpaste and a dog toothbrush to clean his mouth. At no time should you use human toothpaste. You can buy a dog toothbrush online or at the local pet store.

Brush in a moderate motion and rinse thoroughly.

Use a mouth wash

Rinse your dog with a mouth wash or wet a piece of cloth in it and wipe his mouth.

Do not use human mouth wash.

Give dental chews

Dental chews make your dog produce saliva and also generate friction making the mouth clean.

Wipe the mouth

Wet a piece of cloth with salty water or coconut oil. Wrap the cloth around your finger and insert it inside his mouth. Wipe around the tongue, cheeks, and the roof of his mouth. Do not insert the finger too much to avoid choking him.

How to Stop a Dog from Eating Poop

Give your dog a balanced diet

This will ensure your dog is supplied with enough nutrients hence he won’t look for them elsewhere. A balanced diet also prevents diseases like malabsorption.  

Have a regular feeding schedule

A regular schedule will make your dog poo at a regular interval. This will help you to collect the poop on time and prevent him from feeding on it.

Exercise  

Exercises will keep your dog entertained hence he can’t eat poop out of boredom. It is also advisable to buy him toys.

Clean his environs

If your dog’s environment is clean, there will be no chances of him eating pop in an attempt to clean his place.

Do not punish him

In case of ‘accidents’, do not punish or scream at your dog. Let him know that pooing is normal and okay but show him where.

Deworm regularly

Deworming reduces the chances of parasites competing with your dog for nutrients. Enquire from your vet for the finest deworming remedies for your dog.

Conclusion

Understanding the main reason why your dog is eating poop will help you to choose the best method of stopping the behavior. Once you’ve detected this behavior in your dog, you should find out the exact cause, and find a way out of this bad habit in the shortest time.

How Long Can Dogs Hold Their Bladder Overnight?


As a dog owner, you might have asked yourself what is the recommendable hours that your puppy or adult dog should hold their bladder. Even if your dog is trained, he reaches a point and he cannot hold it any longer.

There is no direct answer as to the right amount of time you should let your dog hold his pee. This is because many factors like health, age, size, and diet play a great role in determining the duration they will hold it.

 This article will help you to figure out what determines a dog’s potty breaks and simple tips to help your dog hold his bladder overnight.

What Determines How Long Dogs Hold Their Bladder Overnight

Age

Age is an obvious reason why dogs differ in their capacity to hold their bladders. Age can be grouped into three stages;

Puppies

Puppies cannot hold pee for long as adult dogs, their bladders are small in size and not fully developed. Younger puppies will need more potty breaks than older ones. This means a one-month-old puppy will hold pee for an hour, two months old for two hours, and so on.

You should train them from an early age so that even when they will have a high holding capacity they will have known their place.

It’s not advisable to use pee pads as it will bring confusion when you want to introduce potty training.  

Related:  4-Month Old GSD Puppy

Adults

Adult dogs can hold their bladder for up to 8-9 hours without potty services. Though they can hold it longer, it is not advisable to let him hold it as it can lead to urinary tract complications. The amount of water consumed by your dog will also affect the number of hours he can hold his bladder.

Elderly

For a dog to be considered old, the breed plays a big role. Depending on a certain breed’s life span, that’s what helps to place a dog as old or middle-aged. If a dog is old, he will not be as active as he used to be, his diet and potty break schedule will change. An old dog is also prone to urinary tract infections which can make him not hold urine for long. At this age, pee pads are convenient.

Size

A big dog will hold his bladder for longer compared to a small one. Big dogs have a large bladder to hold more urine while small ones fill theirs quickly.

Health

Your dog’s health plays a great part in his ability to hold the bladder. Urinary tracts infections, diabetes, and kidney stones can make your dog hold urine for fewer hours. Take him to a vet for treatment, but also if your dog is under medication he can change his peeing routine.

Anxiety

If your dog is anxious or stressed, he will pee frequently. Even the trained dogs when anxious, will not hold it for long. Talk to a dog behaviorist for advice on how to handle an anxious dog.

Change in Seasons

During the hot season dogs tend to drink lots of water, they reduce their body temperatures by peeing frequently. In the cold season, they will drink less water hence peeing less.

Diet

Your dog’s diet determines its rate of peeing. A dog that feeds on too much dry food will tend to pee less compared to one the feeds on wet foods.   If you feed your dog too much dry food, you make him prone to urinary tract infections and digestion problems.  If your dog is peeing dark yellow urine, it’s time to add wet food or broth to his diet. If the color doesn’t change, take him to the vet for a checkup.

Level of Training

If you do not train your dog to hold his bladder, he will pee whenever and wherever he wants. You should potty train your dog at an early age.

Simple Tips to Help Your Dog Hold His Bladder Overnight

Have a routine

Dogs are wise animals; their minds can easily master a schedule. If you take him out to pee at a specific time, he will hold his bladder waiting for the time. Have a regular schedule to avoid confusing your dog.

Crate training

Crate training plays a great role in a dog’s bladder control, especially at night. Train him to enter a crate, but don’t force him. Place toys, food, and water for him to relate the crate with good activities. When he is finally comfortable with the crate, lock him inside.  The dog will take the crate as his territory and he cannot pee or poo inside.

Avoid Giving Him Too Much Water at Night

If your dog drinks less water at night, the less he will pee. Take away water bowls 2-3 hours before his sleeping time, he will have less urine when you lock him in a crate.

Clean Up His Urine

If there is an ‘accident’ in the house, always clean the spot immediately. Use a strong detergent as dogs can smell the urine and pee again at the same spot.

Conclusion

Remember that dogs depend on us to help in doing lots of things. They also have needs just like human beings. If you want a healthy dog, take him out for potty services. Do not experiment with the duration he can hold it.

Is a German Shepherd a Good First Dog?


Thinking of getting your first dog? Wondering if a German shepherd is the best choice in your compiled list of dog breeds?  

A German shepherd is a good first dog, since it is good for families with kids, and it can be a good guard dog. However, certain characteristics may not be desirable, such as its loud barking and high maintenance costs. You should consider certain factors when buying a German Shepherd to determine if it is an ideal dog for you.

Why a German Shepherd is (or is not) a Good First Dog

Your Lifestyle

The moment a German shepherd steps into your life, there will be a great change in your lifestyle.

This is because if you spent most of your time partying, traveling, or just sleeping, you will have to adjust everything to create time for your GS. You cannot just leave your GSD indoors for long hours, he will be hostile, or else you will find your house in a mess as he tries to keep himself busy.

Space

GSDs are big active dogs; thus they require spacious room for exercise. When raised in small rooms they can show hostility traits. If you have limited space, German shepherds are not the right choice for you.

Affordability

A pure-bred German shepherd dog may be expensive to own and maintain. You have to consider the added expenses of food, grooming, vet’s checkup, and training costs.

Commitment

GSDs lifespan is up to 12-14 years. You will have to be ready to be his provider, coach, leader, and a good friend too for the whole of his life.

Pros and Cons of Owning a German Shepherd

Every dog breed has its advantages and disadvantages; German shepherds are not an exemption. The pros and cons play a major role while selecting the best dog breed for you.

 Pros of Owning a German Shepherd

  • Great family pets-GSDs are committed and composed making them more preferred by many families. GSDs are good with kids, and they can be your kid’s best buddy. GSDs are active dogs, hence they can entertain your kids.
  • Wise and easy to train-GSDs are rated among the wisest breeds, they can easily learn a new trick. They are trainable from as early as the age of 8 weeks.
  • Heavily protective–  GSDs are very loyal and committed to protecting their owner. They can easily detect danger and if not properly trained they can easily harm anyone who can pose to be a threat to his owner.
  • Great in any weather– GSDs coats are two-layered, this helps them to endure extreme hot or cold weather.
  • Follow orders easily-GSD are very submissive dogs, they can easily follow orders without hesitation. If well trained they obey at least 70% of the orders.
  • Brilliant watch dogs-Most of the time, GSDs are used as watch dogs because they are ever alert and their big size allows them to triumph over a hostile criminal. They also bark out loudly whenever they identify a potential threat.

Cons of Owning a German Shepherd

  • Requires a lot of time, energy, and space-GSDs will take most of your time as you have to exercise him on daily basis. They also require regular potty breaks and also a spacious environment for playing. If you are too busy or lazy to exercise him, think of another dog breed.
  • They need your company-GSDs dislikes loneliness so much. The maximum you can leave your GSD puppy is for 2 hours and 6 hours for adults
  • They shed a lot-German shepherds’ two-layered coat makes them shed two times a year and this is mostly when there is a change in season. Furthermore, they shed throughout the year, which means that you have to regularly brush their coats to remove the unwanted hair.
  • Prone to health issues- Due to the rise in demand for German shepherds, breeders have become crooked and unprincipled by using wrong breeding practices hence making GSDs prone to many diseases. it’s always advisable to buy your dog from a reputable breeder.  
  • They are Vocal-German shepherds bark loudly every now and then; they also growl and whimper. Be ready for noise once you welcome a German shepherd into your life.
  • They can harm kids– your GSD puppy can unintentionally harm your kid while playing.  This happens through bites especially if your puppy is not well trained. GSDs have a strong bite therefore you should train your dog common commands and be attentive when he is near kids. `
  • A German shepherd will own you-GSDs can own you, you read that right. GSDs have their ‘chosen person’ whom they can follow everywhere including the bathroom. They will be more protective of their ‘person’ rather than the whole family.

Conclusion

With all the above considerations put in place, now it’s easy for you to decide if a German shepherd is the best dog for you as a beginner. Having all the pros and cons will make you know if you can handle a GSD or not.  Hope you will find a suitable breed for you.