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It is the nature of a German Shepherd to be very loyal to it’s pack, and pack leader. It will not take your dog long to figure out “who is who” in his pack.
But, this pack loyalty could also translate to the fact that, they may consider “outsiders” to be from outside their pack.
Therefore, socializing your German shepherd with other dogs and other people is extremely necessary and important. Your dog has to understand, right from the start, how to behave socially, and that it is not necessary to be overly protective to it’s “pack”, family.
In this picture, my golden is swimming with a German shepherd at a really nice dog park. This shepherd was very good around other dogs. So the dog park is perfect for him.
At a dog training class is a great place to see how your dog behaves, and also to talk to the trainer about your dog and the dog park.
Socializing does not always mean going to the dog park. Not all dogs are good in a dog park.
One other option to start with, and this is highly recommended, is to take your dog, young or old new or already a long time family dog, to a dog training class. In such a class you can see how your dog behaves, and get the proper instruction right then and there, from a professional.
Right from the start you should take your dog out for walks, and teach them how to behave with different people and pets that they will meet on their walk.