If you are thinking of getting a German Shepherd you might want to know how loyal they tend to be.
This post will show you how loyal German Shepherds normally are and how you can get a German Shepherd to be more loyal to you.
So, are German Shepherds loyal? German Shepherds are widely considered as being one of the most loyal dog breeds. They are also known for being very protective of their owners and the area they live in.
While German Shepherds do tend to be very loyal, their level of loyalty will vary between them. However, there are some things you can do to get your German Shepherd to be even more loyal to you and your family should you get one.
How loyal German Shepherds are
German Shepherds are one of the most loyal dog breeds with a high drive to protect their owners and their territory when they are raised well.
They are often described as being a one-person dog because they can often become depressed when they are separated from their owners. But, they actually tend to be very loyal to their entire family and not just their primary owner so it would be more appropriate to describe them as one-family dogs.
Since German Shepherds are working dogs, they are also eager to please their owners. As a result, German Shepherds tend to respond well to training and will normally adapt to roles that they are given quickly.
With that being said, German Shepherds are not always loyal. They will tend to be much less loyal when they are not raised appropriately. If they are not given lots of training, exercise, attention and care or they are mistreated, it will normally cause them to be much less loyal.
This is why it is very important to make sure that you will be able to invest the time necessary to raise and care for your German Shepherd before getting one.
Why are German Shepherds loyal?
German Shepherds were originally bred to help shepherds in herding sheep.
Key characteristics that they were bred for were a high level of endurance, fearlessness, protectiveness, intelligence and loyalty.
This is because they were required to work for long time periods alongside their owners while also being alert and protective of the sheep.
These characteristics were further selected for in the early 1900s where they would gain widespread use as police and military dogs. After the first world war, many American soldiers took German Shepherds back with them after seeing how devoted they were as military dogs.
How to get a German Shepherd to be more loyal
If you decide to get a German Shepherd, it is important to make sure that you take the time to raise it properly so that it learns to be loyal.
German Shepherds are a breed that needs a lot of training so that they have direction and so that they know how they are meant to behave. When they do not get enough training they will behave the way they feel like and they will be much less responsive to their owner’s commands. It is also important to give them training so that they know what you expect of them.
One way to train German Shepherds is through the use of positive reinforcement training. This is where you encourage the behaviors that you want to see by rewarding them when they show signs of displaying them.
It would help to start by training it to do basic things such as to come to you on command, not to bite and not to run away when the door opens. Then, it would help to build up to doing more challenging things in more distracting environments.
It would also help to take it to obedience classes as a puppy so that you can see how to train it effectively.
German Shepherds are a breed that is meant to get a lot of daily exercise. When they do not get enough exercise it can cause them to behave abnormally and it will likely make them be less loyal.
Generally, it is recommended for them to get at least an hour of exercise per day as healthy adults. If you are not sure that you would be able to give a German Shepherd an hour of exercise per day, it would likely be better to opt for a different dog breed that does not require quite as much daily exercise.
Avoid punishing it
It would also help to avoid punishing it. If you punish your GSD when it misbehaves, it might not know why it is being punished and it could lead to it developing feelings of resentment and to be less loyal.
Instead, it would help to reward it when it behaves the way you want, to give it positive reinforcement training, to redirect its focus when it is about to misbehave and to avoid rewarding it when it misbehaves.
Treat it well and allow it to be a part of the family
German Shepherds are meant to be a part of the family. When they are not included as a part of the family it can cause them to develop behavioral issues and to become much less loyal.
It is important to make sure that you allow it to be a part of the family by doing things such as playing with it, training it, giving it daily exercise, not leaving it alone for extended periods and allowing it to be in the home with everyone else.
Reasons why a German Shepherd might not be loyal
If you get a German Shepherd and it is not so loyal or it stops being loyal, here are some possible causes of why it might happen.
Being excluded from the family
German Shepherds are meant to be a part of the family. When they are separated from the family they will develop behavioral issues and become much less loyal. However, when they are allowed to be a part of the family and are given daily training, exercise and attention they will normally become extremely loyal towards their family.
A lack of training
German Shepherds are a breed that is meant to get a lot of training. This is because they were bred to be working dogs and they perform best when they are given tasks to do.
When they do not get much training it can cause them not to understand what their owners expect from them and to behave in a less desirable way.
When German Shepherds are not given lots of attention, they are separated from the family or they are punished a lot, they will become much less loyal.
Negative reinforcement involves inadvertently encouraging a dog to behave in an undesirable way by giving it rewards when it behaves that way. If you give your GSD rewards such as treats, toys or extra attention when it acts in a way that is not so loyal then it will encourage it to behave that way even more.
Instead, it would help to reward it when it behaves the way you want it to, to give it lots of positive reinforcement training and to try to redirect its attention when it seems like it is about to misbehave.
Other loyal dog breeds
While German Shepherds are one of the most Loyal dog breeds, there are a lot of other dog breeds that are also known for being very loyal.
Other loyal dog breeds include:
- Golden Retrievers