If you’re a fan of German Shepherds, then you’re in luck because National German Shepherd Day is just around the corner!
From their history as police and military dogs to their loyalty and intelligence as beloved family pets, German Shepherds are truly a breed worth celebrating.
So, are you ready to learn more about this special holiday and how you can make the most of it with your furry friend?
Keep reading to find out, and trust us, you won’t want to miss our fun tips and ideas for making National German Shepherd Day a day to remember!
When is National German Shepherd Day?
The German Shepherd Day holiday is celebrated every year on May 10.
It’s no surprise that German Shepherds have their own holiday. After all, they are one of the most popular dog breeds.
This famous holiday was founded by Ingrid Birch to honor the memory of her beloved Peter George de Corban. Peter was a German Shepherd who, unfortunately, passed away too soon.
Ingrid wanted to make sure that Peter wouldn’t be forgotten, and that his legacy of giving unconditional love and loyalty will always be remembered.
In 2011, Ingrid and the rest of the world celebrated the first-ever German Shepherd Day.
How to Celebrate National German Shepherd Day
There are plenty of ways to celebrate this beautiful holiday.
Take your German Shepherd for a long walk or hike in a scenic area.
German Shepherds are active dogs that enjoy being outside, so taking them for a long walk or hike in a scenic area is a great way to celebrate this holiday.
You could take your furry friend to a local park, hiking trail, or nature reserve.
Make sure you bring plenty of water for both you and your dog, and some treats or snacks to keep your dog fueled and happy. Pack a picnic lunch and enjoy a scenic view with your German Shepherd by your side.
During your walk or hike, make sure you let your German Shepherd explore and sniff around. These dogs have a great sense of smell and love to explore new places.
Check out our tips on dog park etiquette.
Set up a playdate with other German Shepherds in your community.
German Shepherds are social dogs that love to play and interact with other dogs, so setting up a playdate with other German Shepherds in your community is a fun way to spend the day.
You can find other German Shepherd owners through online communities, social media, or local dog parks.
To set up the playdate, find a location that is safe and secure, such as a fenced-in backyard or a dog park that allows off-leash play.
During the playdate, let the dogs interact and play at their own pace. German Shepherds are highly energetic and love to play, so be prepared for lots of running, jumping, and chasing.
You can also take this opportunity to bond with other German Shepherd owners and share stories and tips about your beloved pets.
Treat your German Shepherd to a special homemade meal or snack.
There are many simple and healthy dog-friendly recipes available online that you can try, such as homemade dog biscuits, frozen yogurt treats, or even a nutritious homemade dog food meal.
You can also take this opportunity to experiment with different flavors and ingredients that your German Shepherd loves. For example, you can add pumpkin or sweet potato to a homemade dog biscuit recipe for a nutritious and tasty treat.
Just be sure to avoid ingredients that are toxic to dogs, such as chocolate, onions, garlic, and grapes.
Spend some quality time training your German Shepherd.
German Shepherds are intelligent and athletic dogs that excel in many dog sports, such as agility, obedience, and tracking.
Participating in a dog sport with your German Shepherd is not only a fun way to celebrate National German Shepherd Day, but it also provides mental and physical stimulation for your furry friend and strengthens your bond with them.
To get started, find a local dog sport club or trainer that offers classes or competitions for German Shepherds. Many clubs offer classes for beginners, where you can learn basic obedience commands and agility skills with your dog.
Training and competing in a dog sport requires time, dedication, and patience, but it’s also incredibly rewarding. Not only will you and your German Shepherd learn new skills and have fun together, but you’ll also meet other dog lovers and form new friendships.
Donate to a German Shepherd rescue or shelter.
German Shepherds are a popular breed, but unfortunately, many of them end up in shelters or rescue organizations due to abandonment, neglect, or mistreatment.
Making a donation to a German Shepherd rescue organization is a meaningful way to celebrate National German Shepherd Day and support these organizations’ efforts to rescue, rehabilitate, and find forever homes for German Shepherds in need.
Donating to a German Shepherd rescue organization is a compassionate way to celebrate National German Shepherd Day and make a positive impact on the lives of these amazing dogs.
Your donation can help rescue and care for German Shepherds in need and provide them with a second chance at a happy and healthy life.
Take your German Shepherd for a swim.
Many German Shepherds love to swim, and taking your furry friend for a dip in the water is a fun and refreshing way to celebrate National German Shepherd Day.
Swimming is a low-impact exercise that is easy on your dog’s joints and provides a great workout for their muscles.
Swimming with your German Shepherd is a great way to bond with your furry friend and provide them with exercise and mental stimulation.
It’s also a refreshing and enjoyable way to beat the summer heat.
Unique Gifts for German Shepherd Dog Lovers
You can also celebrate the holiday by giving gifts to other German Shepherd owners, or for yourself.
We found these incredibly cool gifts you might want to check out:
The History and Origins of the German Shepherd Dog Breed
The German Shepherd breed was created in 1899 by Captain Max Emil Friedrich von Stephanitz.
Captain Max was a cavalry officer in the German countryside, that’s when he came to admire sheep-herding dogs for their intellect and reflexes.
When he noticed that the number of sheepdogs began dwindling down, he knew he had to do something about it. That’s when he decided to create a breed of German sheepdogs.
In April of 1899, Captain Max was determined to see his new idea through. He attended one of the country’s largest dog shows where he met Hektor Linksrhein, a 4-year-old dog with a wolf-life appearance.
What captured Captain Max’s interest in Hektor the most was his “boundless zest for living” and his intelligence. So, he purchased the dog right then and there.
He soon renamed Hektor to Horand von Grafrath, the first ever German Shepherd. According to Captain Max, Horand was obedient and always in love.
Characteristics of a German Shepherd
There’s a reason why German Shepherds are a beloved dog breed. They’re versatile dogs who work hard, and are eager to please.
Physically, German Shepherds are big, agile, and muscular. They look like descendants of wolves. They can stand as high as 26 inches. It’s easy to distinguish them from other dog breeds.
Aside from their impressive physical characteristics, GSDs are loyal, intelligent, courageous, and confident.
When it comes down to it, GSDs will willingly put their life on the line for their loved ones, their trainers, and other people. They are literally four-legged heroes.
Because of this, we often see German Shepherds working authority jobs such as law enforcement, security, and more.
Here are some of the most common jobs for German Shepherds:
- police work
- bomb detectors
- military jobs
- search and rescue
- therapy jobs
- and herding livestock.
The German Shepherd as a Family Pet
As family pets, German Shepherds are gentle and goofy around the house. But they are also the fiercest family guardians.
While it is not recommended to leave your children alone with German Shepherds, or any animal, for that matter, GSDs are great with children. Their gentle demeanor and strong sense of loyalty makes them incredible family dogs.
Most of the time, you’ll see your GSD following your kids around, protecting and guarding them.
They can also be trained to help around the house. GSDs are often trained to detect gas leaks, help with household chores like taking in the groceries, tidying up toys, and more.
What’s even more interesting is that GSDs are intelligent enough to be trained as emotional support dogs.
A GSD’s most common job around the household is to be guard dogs. They are naturally alert and protective, so they excel at this job.
Caring for your German Shepherd
As it is with any other pet, it’s important to be a responsible pet owner to your German Shepherd. They have specific needs for their health, training, grooming, exercise, and nutrition.
Generally, German Shepherds are healthy dogs. However, they are prone to bloating, hip dysplasia and elbow dysplasia.
To avoid these, you need to be aware of the symptoms of bloating in dogs and what to do in case it happens.
Here are symptoms of bloating in dogs:
- dry-heaving or retching
- pale gums
- abdominal distention
- racing heartbeat
- and collapse.
If you notice these symptoms, bring your dog to the vet immediately. Bloat in dogs could be life-threatening.
Slow-dog feeder bowls should help avoid bloating in dogs. Learn more about slow-dog feeder bowls.
As for elbow and hip dysplasia, it’s important that you routinely have your GSD checked by the vet.
Training your GSD should start as early as 8 weeks old. Start by training them to socialize around the house, and with other dogs.
Once they are fully immunized, you can start bringing them out to socialize and become familiar outdoors.
Obedience training is also a must for GSDs. This will help them grow up to be well-mannered and adaptable.
Because German Shepherds are highly intelligent, they will be easy to train. The key is positive reinforcement and consistency.
Learn about these successful and effective dog training tips.
In terms of grooming, German Shepherds are easy to maintain.
They usually only require hair brushing every few days to remove loose hairs. Their double-coated fur sheds once or twice a year.
What they need is monthly trimming of nails to avoid pain and wounds when they scratch.
German Shepherds are extremely athletic and active. Because of this, they need daily exercise for about 30 to 60 minutes.
You can also train them to join canine activities to keep them active. This can include herding, tracking, and agility exercises.
Keeping them physically active and mentally stimulated helps prevent them from developing destructive behaviors.
Here are some of the best ways to exercise your dog.
Every dog has their own specific nutrition needs. To be sure of your dog’s needs it’s best to take them to your vet, and follow their instructions.
We hope you have a great time celebrating this holiday with your German Shepherd. If you have other dog breeds, there might be a holiday for them, too.