Should You Keep a Destructive German Shepherd Outside?
Sadly, many owners don’t know what they’re getting into when they purchase a German Shepherd.
These are relatively common dogs, which often means that they are adopted by owners that don’t know much about dog ownership. They may want a German Shepherd as an expensive alarm system or because they look fantastic.
However, German Shepherds are a lot of work. They require extensive socialization and training to be good canine citizens. As brilliant dogs, they need plenty of mental stimulation. Often, this means daily training exercises, puzzle toys, and long walks.
They are also highly active, require much exercise.
If these needs aren’t met, a German Shepherd will get destructive. However, the answer isn’t to keep your dog outside but to meet these needs.
If your dog was never trained properly, now is the time to start. If your German Shepherd isn’t getting enough exercise, increase the frequency of walks. If your dog is still destructive, it is likely because they are not getting enough mental stimulation.
This can be hard to judge for many dogs. Usually, bored dogs will try to make their own fun, resulting in destructive behavior for seemingly no reason. Your German Shepherd may break into your cabinets or chew up your couch. Adding training and puzzle toys can help.
Some dog owners opt to have their German Shepherds sleep outside because they shed heavily. This not fair to the dog. Shedding should always be managed by appropriate grooming and not simply by banning the pup from sleeping inside!
Do German Shepherds Need to be Inside?
Yes. If you want your German Shepherd to develop a suitable temperament, they should be allowed inside at least half of the time.
These dogs are active, so they may naturally want to spend a lot of time outdoors – especially when the weather is nice. However, they should never be forced to spend the majority of their time outdoors.
There are a few reasons for this:
- They need to bond with their family.
German Shepherds rely a lot on their bond with their family members. They are people-oriented dogs that were bred for their devotion. However, if they aren’t around their family a lot, they likely won’t develop this relationship. A German Shepherd that isn’t devoted to their family probably won’t be a well-behaved one.
Their eager-to-please temperament won’t be there if the relationship isn’t.
- They can become bored.
German Shepherds are brilliant dogs. Their brains are always on. To develop properly, they need a lot of mental stimulation.
If your dog is confined to the same block of space, they likely won’t get enough mental stimulation. This lack can lead to destructive behaviors. Dogs may start by digging holes or attempting to climb the fence (and you’d be amazed at a German Shepherd’s climbing ability). They may also bark needlessly.
In extreme cases, these German Shepherds can become aggressive. They may be a bit too excited to see people, leading to over-exuberant behaviors and aggression.
These dogs were designed to get much of their mental stimulation from their humans. When interacting naturally with people, they will often get much of their needs met – especially if training and new situations are part of that interaction.
- German Shepherds must learn to behave in the home.
While these dogs are often well-behaved in the home, they have to learn how to behave well. If the dog is never allowed inside, they will likely not learn how to behave appropriately. Instead, they will behave indoors as they behave outdoors – as that’s all they know.
If you want your dog to behave indoors, you have to let them indoors at least half of the time. Otherwise, they’ll learn their behaviors from outside, which are often inappropriate for inside the home. The best time to start working on house manners is when your pup is still small – that way, he will not ingrain unwanted behaviors. If you wait until your Shepherd is grown up to teach him house manners, it will be a much harder task.