To help you build the BEST relationship with your German Shepherd Dog!
==> Dog Play Styles? Why?
Know your dog - Have more FUN!
Dog Play Styles
With dog play styles I don't mean this, no:
Prior to the next Periodical on Dog Games, we should first cover the Play Styles that are typical for German Shepherd Dogs. This Periodical will hopefully help you to determine your own dog's predominant play style, and which play styles your dog uses in which situation.
When you better understand your dog's behavior and preferences during Play, you will find it much easier and more rewarding to have FUN with your dog, much more often! Then your dog will have more FUN too, yeah!
So, let's briefly go through some key dog play styles relevant for German Shepherds, and why this is helpful. Let's start with some important general points:
Note that your dog's ultimate play style may not become apparent before age 2 years - when the adult dog's temperament reveals itself. Puppies that may appear say boisterous now can be reserved as adult dog - eg due to lack of comprehensive socialization as a puppy.
This is a widespread mistake made by too many dog owners: "My puppy is sooo sociable, he plays with everyone!" - Yes, all healthy puppies do that. No surprise here. But this doesn't mean the pup is well-socialized, it only means the pup is healthy: (s)he is playful - all healthy puppies are playful!
You got an adult dog?
When puppies aren't immediately and comprehensively socialized (because "the puppy is sooo sociable already!"), they all present significant dog problems later as adult dog - whether or not adopted from a prior owner or shelter. We get an endless inflow of socialization-induced problems here on our site.
One cannot determine before age 8 months the earliest if a puppy is well-socialized. Many adult dogs 2 years of age and older are left with shelters, and the reason given is: "Oh dear! This dog has issues!" - No, he just wasn't socialized as a puppy, because the owner thought: "My puppy is sooo sociable"...
Make sure you don't deduce your dog's general play style from specific situations which are only temporary:
dog feels weak or ill
subtle injury unnoticed by us
dog knows (s)he is in another dog's territory
dog feels insecure for whatever reason
dog is hungry or dehydrated
dog is constipated or has a bladder infection
dog is in pain
dog wants to stay close to owner for protection
In all of these situations, the dog will not behave in its normal way. Thus, we cannot draw conclusions from behavior in such situations.
Jonathan: "Thank you for your period advice. It is excellent! My GSD puppy is now 8 months and we read your advice regularly."
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Stay with us and your dog will stay with you, both of you healthy and well-behaved.
If you are ever unhappy with anything we write, do or don't do, we want to be the first to know, thanks.
Disclaimer: Always apply your own common sense when you follow anyone's suggestions. As much as your dog is special (s)he may react different too.
There's nothing quite like a healthy and well-behaved German Shepherd who freely guards every corner of your home, who brings you peace, who brings you joy! Welcome to MYGERMANSHEPHERD.ORG - we help you that YOUR DOG does not end up in a(nother) shelter!