The German Shepherd breed is highly energetic and tends to need someone who can take care of all of their needs.
They aren’t a breed for those who won’t take care of them.
So, are German Shepherds high maintenance? Yes, they are a high maintenance breed that requires frequent grooming, exercise, a high-quality diet, and regular medical check-ups.
Are German Shepherds high maintenance?
As a breed, German Shepherds are high maintenance. You will need to have patience and time when you provide them with the training, exercise, and grooming.
Why German Shepherds are high maintenance?
German Shepherds are high maintenance because of the following reasons:
Are highly intelligent
They rank the third dog breed in terms of intelligence. The German Shepherd has proved that they are so smart working in different roles and jobs.
These jobs include being military and police dogs, service dogs, therapy dogs, and much more.
They are highly adaptable and can learn new training and commands easily.
However, if they don’t get enough physical and mental stimulation they can become bored and destructive.
Need daily exercise
German Shepherds, like all dogs, need to get exercise. They are a highly active breed that requires 2 hours of exercise daily.
Exercise provides them with fit and healthy bodies as well as release the pent-up energy that they have.
When you exercise your German Shepherd, it helps them stretch their joints and muscles so they won’t develop any health or behavior issues.
To know more about German Shepherd exercise, check How Much Exercise does your German Shepherd Need?
Need frequent grooming
Most German Shepherds have double coats; they have an outer coat and undercoat.
The undercoat is softer and thicker than the outer coat. While the outercoat is straight and coarse having hair laying close to their body.
Some German Shepherds have wavy hair in their outer coat. They come in lengths of short, medium, and long.
Their double coat means that they need frequent grooming so there is less hair shedding around your house as well as fewer mats in your dog’s coat.
The main reason for frequent grooming is that they are known to shed all year long and their undercoat sheds heavily twice a year, once in the spring and the second time in the fall.
Require high-quality food
German Shepherds require a high content of protein in their diet. The protein helps build their bodies and keep them fit.
To build their strong bodies, they will need at least 22% protein in their diet.
It is best to buy your German Shepherd high-quality dog food that contains protein instead of poor quality dog food that has fillers and preservatives that will harm your German Shepherd.
The other diet requirement that your German Shepherd needs are fat. However, when you feed too many fats, it will be harmful to your dog.
While if you feed your German Shepherd less fat, it will create skin problems for them. The right amount of fat for a German Shepherd is 5 % to 8 %.
Your German Shepherd will also need to have the right amount of vitamins and minerals so they can promote healthy skin and a shiny coat.
Minerals and vitamins can also support your dog’s immune system.
Have medical issues
A German Shepherd is prone to having medical issues that cause them pain. Here are some of the health-related issues that a German Shepherd dog may have:
- Hip or elbow dysplasia: In both hip or elbow dysplasia, there is an abnormal development in hip or elbow that can cause lameness and arthritis in the hip or elbow.
- Allergies: German Shepherds can develop a variety of allergies that affect their skin such as flea bites. They can also have food allergies from certain types of food.
- Diabetes: This condition may go undetected during the early stages. It affects the blood sugar levels of your dog causing them to be abnormal.
- Dental health problems: Tartar and plaque may build up in their teeth causing them serious pain.
- Bloating: When German Shepherds eat too much and don’t do physical activities, the gas will build up in their stomach causing their stomach to bloat.
How to take care of a German Shepherd?
Provide them with exercise
Your German Shepherd will need exercise so they can stay fit and maintain their health.
The ideal amount of time that an adult German Shepherd needs for exercise is 2 hours.
If they are puppies, they will need 5 minutes per each month of age.
When exercising your German Shepherd, you got to be sure that they don’t become overexercised because it can harm them.
If they have too little exercise, they can suffer from problems such as hip or elbow dysplasia.
You got to also avoid high-intensity exercise after eating right away because it can cause the bloating. You got to wait for some time until they digest the food.
When you exercise your German Shepherd, you got to provide them with shade and water while they are outside so they don’t become overheated from the weather.
Because they are highly intelligent, they will need to be mentally stimulated with training and toys.
You can teach them basic obedience commands and move on to advance obedience commands as they grow.
When they are alone, you can give them toys that they can play with such as puzzle toys and chew toys.
Groom your German Shepherd
Because your German Shepherd has a double coat, they will need to get groomed.
They will also shed all year long and will heavily shed twice a year in the fall and spring.
Your German Shepherd coat will need frequent brushing 3 to 4 times every week. This will help keep their coat shiny and free from loose hair.
You got to also bathe your German Shepherd at certain times. Bathing them many times will cause their skin to become irritated and dry.
Also, you will need to check their teeth frequently so tartar and plaque don’t develop from the food that they have eaten.
You will also need to clean your German Shepherd’s teeth with a brush and toothpaste. Use a dog toothpaste to clean your dog’s teeth and gums.
You will also need to trim your dog’s toenails before they get too long and your dog’s nails become injured.
You got to also check your dog’s toenails once every week and be careful to not cut too deep into their nails that it hurts them and cause them injury.
It’s also important to take care of your dog’s ears by cleaning them once a week.
A German Shepherd’s ears will develop excess wax and debris if they aren’t cleaned effectively.
So, you will have to clean your German Shepherd’s ears using an ear solution. Take a cotton pad to clean off the debris and wax.
Provide them with high-quality food
Give your German Shepherd high-quality food so they develop into healthy dogs and stay fit.
As mentioned above, they will need certain nutrition requirements that will not cause them to become obese.
Your German Shepherd dog can eat dry or wet food as well as a combination of both.
A German Shepherd can also eat homemade food; however, you will need to talk to your vet about the best possible diet plan that has their nutrition requirements.
Treat their medical issues
You can avoid your German Shepherd running into medical issues by going to the vet and checking on them routinely.
Regular check-ups will help to identify if your dog has any medical problems before they become complicated.
When you go to the vet, they will conduct a general assessment test checking for common problems such as ear infections.
Your vet will also provide your German Shepherd with the necessary vaccination and deworming that will eliminate illnesses and worm infestation.
German Shepherds are high maintenance and need special care so they can grow into well-adjusted dogs.
You will need to take care of your dog in different areas such as their diet, grooming, exercise requirements, and much more.
Share your experience. How do you take care of your German Shepherd?