Caring for Your German Shepherd Dog

Caring for your German Shepherd Dog can be made simple with hemp oil for dogs

hemp oil for german shepherd dogsGerman Shepherd Dogs are among the most popular dog breeds in Colorado and the United States at large. As one of the most desirable purebreds, German Shepherds have unique needs requiring specialized attention. Utilizing hemp oil for dogs to boost your German Shepherd's health and combat breed-specific ailments will help ensure you enjoy a full and happy life (9-13 years) with your favorite pal. 

What makes German Shepherd Dogs so desirable?


The German Shepherd Dog breed has the reputation of being highly intelligent and trainable. Consider for a moment the image of the dog that comes to mind when you think of airport security, search and rescue, or policing. German Shepherds are often the breed of choice in these environments. Intelligence is a desirable trait in dogs and German Shepherds are among the smartest of breeds. 


Another reputable trait German Shepherds share is loyalty. Bred from their inception to protect the herd, these dogs have an unrelenting sense of security and awareness of potential threats. German Shepherds are hyper-vigilant sentries--always keeping a watchful eye--and are difficult to distract. Unwavering loyalty is not uncommon in many breeds but German Shepherds are the next-level. Their fierce sense of duty mixed with devotion yields an uncanny bond with their owners.


Known for being rather stoic and even aloof, the German Shepherd Dog tends to be calm, cool and collected. They seem to regard other dogs as a nuisance and prefer a more solitary existence. Hyperactive and uncontrollable excitability is a common challenge for many dog owners, but for German Shepherd Dog owners, this tends to be less of an issue.

The Consequences of Pure-Breeding

Breeding for purity comes with its own set of problems and German Shepherds are known almost as much for their predictable weaknesses as they are their strengths. Due to the overwhelming popularity of their breed, German Shepherds are easy prey for puppy mills and backyard breeders. Questionable breeders are interested in sales and think little of the repercussions associated with improper practices. Generations of inbreeding have produced health issues that are common and predictable in German Shepherds, including:

Elbow and Hip Dysplasia

Though not unique to German Shepherds, elbow and hip dysplasia are all too common in this breed, affecting a full 20% of their population. This condition is an abnormality in joint structure--what should be a smooth and tight-fitting joint is loose and misshapen. Most frequently the result is irritation, which causes inflammation, which causes pain and can lead to diseases like arthritis. The condition tends to worsen with age and can result in complete immobility.

Chronic Superficial Keratitis (CSK)

CSK is an inflammatory condition affecting the dog’s cornea and can lead to blindness. Again, this condition is not entirely unique to German Shepherds, but its prevalence among them is unparalleled by any other breed, suggesting a genetic predisposition.

Degenerative Myelopathy

Canine Degenerative Myelopathy is a disease affecting the spinal cord. The degeneration of Myelin, an insulating sheath surrounding the spinal cord, results in a loss of neurological communication between nerves and can lead to complete paralysis. Once again, this is a genetic mutation disproportionately affecting the German Shepherd Dog breed.

When considering a purebred German Shepherd, it is absolutely essential to use a reputable breeder. The health problems listed above, as well as many others not mentioned here, have a genetic component that can be avoided if both parents are properly screened.

Mixed Blessings

German Shepherds are a unique breed with predictable traits, both desirable and undesirable. Often the good and the bad are two sides of the same coin. For instance, their fierce loyalty is on one hand highly desirable, and on the other hand, German Shepherds can suffer from severe separation anxiety. On the more benign side, anxiety can lead to the couch being mutilated while the owner is at work. In more unfortunate cases anxiety can lead to extreme aggression as their nervous system is in overdrive the entire time their owner is away.

Likewise, German Shepherds are in the category of “large breeds”. Their large size is a desirable trait in that part of their job as a protector is to be intimidating. Unfortunately their “large breed” status predisposes them to conditions affecting those breeds. Elbow and hip dysplasia is a great example of a condition disproportionately affecting German Shepherds, specifically, and large breeds in general. It is believed that their Body Mass Index (BMI) accentuates the stress on their joints, especially as they age.  

Caring for your German Shepherd Dog

“Knowledge is power” as the saying goes and arming yourself with good information is a crucial part of being a smart and compassionate owner of a German Shepherd Dog.


Know as much about your German Shepherd as possible. Genetic and general health information regarding the dog’s parents is ideal and can shed light on conditions your German Shepherd Dog may develop. If that information is unavailable then have your German Shepherd thoroughly screened early in their life by a veterinarian. Some conditions may be unavoidable, but learning how to mitigate and manage them early can improve their quality of life and even extend it.


German Shepherds have a tremendous amount of energy and must therefore exercise frequently. A confined and sedentary German Shepherd will almost certainly develop issues related to anxiety and aggression. Additionally, exercise builds muscle and supports healthy blood flow which helps transport oxygen and nutrients to all systems.


One of the most effective measures for both prevention and treatment of conditions known to affect German Shepherds is diet. A consistent and well-balanced diet is an essential component in the life of a healthy German Shepherd. Reputable manufacturers of high-quality dog food have thought a great deal about maximizing nutrition and great options are available.

Dietary Supplements

In the same way we as humans use supplements to support our health, dog owners are turning to supplements to support their dog’s health as well.

One of the best supplements is hemp oil for dogs. Hemp oil contains Cannabidiol, or CBD, which is a like a panacea in the supplement world. New and exciting research on hemp oil is underway everyday, and while most of the research is being done on humans, studies in dogs are underway as well and are yielding similar results.

Perhaps the most exciting finding about the benefits of hemp oil, and its active ingredient CBD, is its powerful anti-inflammatory properties and its calming effect on the the central nervous system. These qualities make hemp oil ideal for use with conditions like those mentioned above.

Other supplements known for similar qualities, like turmeric for its anti-inflammatory effects and chamomile for its calming and soothing effects, are also now being incorporated into dietary regimens for dogs.

Health and Happiness

German Shepherds can live a long and healthy life and knowing how to manage their breed specifically as well as boost their overall health and happiness can help prevent and/or treat conditions to which they are prone. Start Here


Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Information contained or made available through the ColoradoDog website is not intended to constitute or substitute for legal advice or veterinary advice.

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