Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.
A happy German Shepherd is a joy to see and every owner should make it their mission to learn how to make a German Shepherd happy.
You walk through your front door after a stressful day to a happy German Shepherd with their tail wagging and eyes wide with joy at the sight of you!
Want to know how you can keep your German Shepherd happy so you are their favorite person and the center of their attention?
Then, read on to find out the best tips for a happy German Shepherd.
How to Make a German Shepherd Happy
The best way to keep a German Shepherd happy is to provide for their intellectual, physical, and emotional needs. Make sure your German Shepherd has healthy foods, the right amount of exercise, fun mental stimulation, and lots of affection and love.
While there are many ways to make a German Shepherd happy these are the top tips for keeping them happy…
Regular vet check-ups
New walks and hikes
Showering them with love!
Protecting their bones and joints
Social meetings with friends
Feeding them healthy treats
Obedience training them
Give them tough toys
Allow chew time
1. Regular Vet Check-Ups
A happy German Shepherd gets regular vet check-ups to ensure their health is in top form and to catch any problems when they’re small. Don’t neglect your vet appointments and routine exams or your German Shepherd could suffer and become ill.
A regular vet check-up will help your dog stay happy by keeping their health a priority and in the hands of a professional.
Find a vet you and your German Shepherd both like and have a good relationship with.
A healthy German Shepherd is a happy German Shepherd.
2. New Walks and Hikes
You know that walking a German Shepherd is mandatory to keeping them fit and in good shape.
But, did you know that a new walk or hiking spot makes your German Shepherd happy?
German Shepherds love to enjoy new smells and walk in adventurous places they haven’t been before. New walks and hikes give your German Shepherd a chance to move their body in a different way and to interact with unusual places.
A change in their usual walking or hiking spot keeps their mind sharp and their athletic form in motion, not to mention…
It keeps them happier as they get excited and look forward to their new outdoor adventure! And research shows that activities that bring you and your dog closer together makes for a happy German Shepherd.
Germans Shepherds Dogs are happy when they get a healthy balance of physical and mental stimulation daily.
3. Showering Them With Love
German Shepherds are known to be stoic in their personality and can seem aloof. But showering them with love and affection increases chemicals in their brains that makes German Shepherds happy!
These chemicals help them feel at ease, can improve their health, and can even relax them when they’re feeling tired or anxious.
You might know some of the typical ways to love a German Shepherd, but I bet you haven’t heard of some of the great ideas for getting a German Shepherd to love you that are found in this article:
This positive training is perfect for German Shepherds because it keeps their interest and attention on you more while helping to increase bonding with your dog.
5. Protecting Their Bones and Joints
While keeping your dog’s bones and joints healthy and safe might not sound fun , it can increase the healthy years in your German Shepherd.
A happy German Shepherd is one that is at peak form and capable of enjoying their daily activities without pain or discomfort. And you know that this large breed is prone to hip and elbow issues – which you can help prevent right now.
With an adult GSD don’t always walk them on hard surfaces. Instead, enjoy those new walking and hiking spots on softer ground. Let your dog run in the grass, enjoy a swim, and keep a pace they are comfortable with.
When a German Shepherd has healthy joints they are able to cope with the stress of their environment more easily.
German Shepherd Puppies and Their Bones and Joints
Don’t run your German Shepherd puppy when they’re bones aren’t fused (anywhere from 12 – 18 months is how long it can take). And don’t encourage them to jump from high places.
You’ll have plenty of years to run a marathon with your German Shepherd later.
There’s no need to push them too hard when they’re too young.
6. Social Meetings with Friends
Another way to help keep your German Shepherd happy is to let them enjoy meeting their other dog friends.
This breed enjoys having a pack to help control, so seek out dog groups where there are other sociable dogs for your German Shepherd to meet. Socializing with other dogs lets your German Shepherd release some of its pent-up energy.
If you have an anxious or over reactive dog work on their behavior issues before introducing them to new dogs and groups.
Knowing how to make a German Shepherd happy doesn’t mean forcing them to meet other dogs when they’re not ready and prepared.
Quite the opposite!
It means introducing them in the appropriate ways with known dogs that are also good with other dogs. Having a social life outside of you and your family gives your German Shepherd the chance to keep their social skills up-to-date.
Playing with their doggies friends helps keep your German Shepherd happy and allows you the opportunity to meet others, too!
7. Feeding Them Healthy Treats
So many treats, so little time!
Feeding your German Shepherd healthy treats helps them stay in athletic form and maintain a healthy weight, but how do you know which treats are right?
How will you ever pick the right ones for your GSD?
Look for treats that don’t have:
too much sugar
Healthy treats give your German Shepherd not only a happy tummy, but a happier day! They look forward to their treat times and treats can help you train your German Shepherd in a positive way.
Routine grooming might sound boring, but it’s part of basic care for a German Shepherd.
Especially with their double-coats and high shedding tendencies!
Use grooming time to connect with your dog by petting them slowly and softly. Choose a time to groom them when they aren’t worked up or anxious. Try evening times when they are more relaxed and getting sleepy.
They remove dead hair to help their skin breathe and keep their coats healthy.
9. Obedience Training Them
It goes without saying that obedience training is the foundation of your German Shepherd’s life with you.
Obedience training teaches your German Shepherd how to live with you and to understand your rules in the house and outdoors. Knowing what’s expected makes for a happier dog.
When you train your GSD you teach them how to be happy in a human-based world.
Your GSD still holds onto many of their breed-specific traits, like herding, barking, and alertness.
It’s your job to help them learn when to use these behaviors appropriately. You can do that through a training program that enhances their mental stimulation and brain work, like the Brain Training for Dogs program mentioned earlier.
Train your German Shepherd every day, even if just for a few minutes. Although one of the smartest dogs, your German Shepherd will forget the commands and obedience you taught them if you skip their training too often or don’t practice a skill enough.
When they seem like they are down offer them their toy and engage them in play to help make your German Shepherd happy.
It’s best to have a toy box or basket for their toys and to rotate them out for play time. This keeps their interest in their toys and makes for a happier play time.
And there’s plenty of tough toy options to find one that your happy German Shepherd loves!
11. Allow Them Chew Time
Did you know that chewing is a natural behavior that helps to decrease stress dogs and adds to their happiness?
Allow your dog time to chew on the right toys to prevent them from chewing on the wrong things in your house. My German Shepherd’s favorite chewing time involves her heavy duty Kong Extreme filled with some of her favorite treats.
She loves a spoonful of peanut butter mixed with some dry kibble stuffed into her Kong.
Chewing makes my German Shepherd so happy!
If your dog doesn’t like peanut butter there’s plenty of treats and mixtures you could try that are dog-safe and will put a smile on your Shepherd’s face!
Benefits of a Happy German Shepherd
The benefits of a happy German Shepherd are worth the time and effort you give your dog.
Learning how to make a German Shepherd happy:
improves your bond with your GSD
keeps them healthier since they are less stressed
gives them comfort in their home
improves their good behaviors
Lots of beautiful SMILES!
Don’t forget that you are responsible for your dog’s life and happiness.
Give your German Shepherd the life they deserve by using these easy tips!
Catherine Krasavin owns Shepherd Sense, a dog website aimed at German Shepherd owners and lovers. She has a Bachelor of Science degree, with Honors, and has been training dogs for over a decade. Catherine’s currently attending continuing education courses to keep up with the latest in animal science, as well as earning her diploma in dog training. She owns a plush coat German Shepherd who was awarded Kennel Club Good Citizen Dog Scheme Gold Award - the highest level of achievement.
You need German Shepherd training to get the best behavior from your dog and enjoy a happy life with them. Read these posts to find out what type of German Shepherd training works the best for your breed.
Your German Shepherd’s health, as well as your dog’s specific breed history, contributes to their overall life span. These posts will help you become aware of your dog’s health problems and how to help solve or improve them.