There’s no doubt about it. The German shepherd loves the winter season.
The snow is fresh on the ground, spreading its thick white embrace on everything in sight. You open the back door to let your dog out for his morning business, and YIKES! Your dog springs into action, pouncing and leaping from one end of the yard to the other, tossing up frosty clusters like a pro snowboarder. So, why, you ask, does your German shepherd get that extra boost when coming into contact with snow?
A lot of it can be explained by a dog’s behavior, in general, when experiencing new interesting environments, especially the quirky, curious German shepherd.
Reasons Your German Shepherd Loves the Snow:
Investigative. Dogs love to investigate their environment, and snow provides a dog with a new, exciting experience. The new texture that’s blanketing his once familiar environment stimulates some creative play. Predators love change.
Animals love to play. They will create new games with each other, wrestle and dig. Scientists aren’t exactly sure why, but it seems that all animals, from humans to reptiles, have an actual need for play that’s almost as hardwired as the need to sleep, says Vint Verga. Verga, a veterinary behaviorist, wrote a book about the inner lives of animals. Verga suggests that animals use snow as a new toy, Object Play.
Stay Cool. Dogs get more energy as the temperature cools and are able to run and play for longer periods of time without overheating. Keep in mind, your dog has a higher body temperature than you do and can’t cool down as efficiently as you do either. Your dog is designed more for insulation from the cold than cooling down in the heat.
It’s In Their Anatomy. German shepherds are built to withstand cooler temperatures. They have a double coat that is water resistant and a great insulator against the cold. The Chihuahua, in comparison, is equipped with a thin coat and does not enjoy the cold. Research has found that dogs have exceptionally good venous anatomy in their paws, which leads them to do better in the snow than we might think (i.e. more blood flow, warmer toesies), said Alexandra Horowitz, PhD.
Thank you for reading, and share your experience with your German shepherd in the comments section below.
Alishia co-owns Haus Amberg Shepherds with her husband, Patrick. Having lived and worked with shepherds in Germany for years, she has collected a pool of knowledge that she would like to share with fellow German shepherd enthusiasts.