Attention German Shepherd Owners...
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If you are struggling with your German Shepherd, scroll down and find a certified trainer near you. We can help, and at the end of the day, all of our trainers have 24/7 access to me if you have a difficult case on your hands. I’m here to help. Mango Dogs owners, Ted Efthymiadis.
We Know German Shepherds Extremely Well... And We Can Help
Why are so many German Shepherds leash reactive?
In years gone by, dogs had a working purpose; Protection, pulling, herding and hunting were the reasons why dogs woke in the morning. In recent times, not so much. Remember this; Dogs are entrepreneurs, and if you don't give them a job, they will start a business that you will hate. In many cases with shepherds, that business is the business of leash pulling and leash reactivity. Definition: Leash Reactivity = Barking, growling, and lunging while on a leash.
Let's briefly look at the traits that breeders used over the years to create their idea of the perfect dog. In the earliest days, they were all-around farm dogs. In war times, they were harnessed for more extreme purposes. The all-around dog became more of a specialist, and with specialist genetics, you tend to get some extremes. Defensiveness, easily startled, hyper-vigilance, watchfulness, and plenty of prey drive were all things that breeders cultivated.
AS THE YEARS matured from the first and second world wars, the genetics were subdued when they exchanged working ability for looks. Whenever you choose looks over health and temperament, you will lose that battle, and health/temperament will suffer. Dogs with hip dysplasia became common as breeders bred more and more for a sloped back to compete in dog shows. As Shakira once said "Those hips don't lie''. IN AN EFFORT TO resurrect the breed, many breeders have started breeding more traditional German genetics. These genetics are typically healthier with limited hip issues, but many of these dogs are too much animal for the average dog owner.
Sometimes same genetics are being bred for police dogs and pet dogs' homes all in the same litter. MOST GERMAN SHEPHERDS are very visually stimulated. German Shepherds fixate very easily and that fixation is caused by prey drive. With prey drive comes dopamine and a higher pain threshold. They are hard to handle because they are strong and determined, and the smallest audible or visual trigger can set them off.
Their history as a watchful breed does not make it easy for most dog owners these days, as it leads to a lot of chaos when going out for a walk. ONE THING that is only seen in German Shepherds is what I call the German Death Scream. The German Death Scream is the sound that most German Shepherds make when they are on a walk with two owners, and one owner walks ahead of the dog. The scream is piercing, hence the name. If you have a German Shepherd who pulls on the leash or is leash reactive, now you know why. Not to worry, all of these things are fixable with the right tools and training.
From Human/Dog Aggressive To Demonstration Dog
German Shepherds are near and dear to my heart. I got my dog Zezu 13 years ago and I thought I could do it on my own. Despite training him on my own for the first 10 months it wasn't long before I started to see his more aggressive side come out. I was lucky that at the time I called a local dog trainer who were the breed inside and out. He helped me understand why Zezu was becoming so defensive and aggressive. After about 5 weeks of training with Zezu and my trainer, I had a whole new dog. I then decided to become a professional dog trainer after studying under my trainer so that I could help other struggling dog owners. Between the two of us, we've trained over 1000 German Shepherds and we can help!
These days Zezu is still alive and still loves to help me rehabilitate other dogs who have issues. I guess it's his way of giving back.
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