All German shepherd lovers will tell you that it’s a given that their dogs make life better. Fans of the breed are extremely dedicated to their dogs and provide them with an abundance of love and care.
German shepherds repay this devotion in kind and make excellent companions, protectors, exercise partners, and snuggle buddies. Some are trained to go far above the level of family pet and perform many jobs such as search and rescue, drug detection, security, service dogs, police K9’s, and much more.
No matter what their role is in the life of their human, German shepherds have adored the world over. However, there are scientific causes as to why people are so fascinated with these dogs. Here are 7 reasons why having a German shepherd in your life will help make you happier.
1. Dogs help you feel more love
There is no doubt; German shepherds are one of the most loving breeds there is and they will show you how much you’re loved every single day. There is much going on to help deepen that bond you share with your dog, which grows stronger over time.
When you spend time with your dog, your brain releases a squirt of oxytocin, also known as the “cuddle” hormone. All it takes is a touch, hug, playtime, or even looking at your dog to get a healthy daily dose of this love hormone, according to a study published in the journal Hormones and Behavior.
Oxytocin is a hormone released by the posterior lobe of the pituitary gland. When you’re close to your dog, the hormone released helps strengthen the bond you have with your pet.
Interestingly, this bond is a two-way street. According to Science Daily, dogs will seek out contact with their owners in association with the hormone oxytocin. This causes them to want to team up with humans, according to a new study from Linköping University, Sweden.
2. Dogs help you reduce stress
If you think you feel calmer when your dog is near, there is a good reason. At the same time, they increase those feel-good love hormones, they also help reduce the stress hormone, cortisol.
Cortisol is released by the adrenal glands, which sit on top of each kidney. When you’re stressed or in danger, these glands squeeze cortisol into your bloodstream to help your body cope. Too much cortisol can lead to weight gain and other health problems, such as a weakened immune system. Spending time with your dog helps keep this hormone balanced and in a healthy range.
3. Dogs help you get more exercise
German shepherds are an active breed and will get you up and off the couch. More exercise is proven to help improve almost every area of your life such as weight control, heart health, stress reduction, improved mood, circulation, strengthened immune system, and much more.
According to Reuters Health, dog owners are more likely to have regular exercise habits, including getting outdoors in all sorts of weather. Dog owners have a 20% higher activity level and were more active for 30 minutes per day, compared to people who don’t own dogs.
4. Dogs are good for your heart
Along with all the love they give, dogs are also good for preventing cardiovascular disease. According to Harvard Health, dog owners get the benefit of the “pet effect” of improved heart health.
Several studies show that dogs help reduce blood pressure, cholesterol, and triglyceride levels. Petting a dog is also shown to reduce blood pressure. Combine all of this with reduced stress and increased exercise and you have a recipe for better heart health.
In fact, owning a dog could reduce your risk of cardiovascular death by 31%, according to a study in AHA Journals, Circulation and Cardiovascular Outcomes.
5. Dogs help improve your social life
German shepherds make great companions and studies also show that they also help open doors to make new friends. In a study published by PLOS One, it was discovered that companion animals are a conduit for getting to know people, friendship formation, and social support.
Their results showed that dogs help us form better friendships, social interactions, open doors to meeting new people, reduce social isolation, and even help develop healthier neighborhoods.
6. Looking at your dog can make you happier
German shepherds are gorgeous dogs. It doesn’t matter if they’re running on a beach, acting silly, or taking a nap. They are simply beautiful. Just looking at them can make your heart sing and for a good reason.
According to a study by UC Davis, gazing at something you find awe-inspiring increases feelings of happiness and reduces stress. What could be more awe-inspiring than owning a magnificent German shepherd?
In another study, The Beauty and Happiness Connection found that people who gaze at things that they find aesthetically pleasing also have increased feelings of happiness.
The bottom line, just looking at your dog can make you happier.
7. Dogs help owners have a more positive outlook on life
The loyalty of German shepherds is unsurpassed and makes them wonderful companions. The Mental Health Foundation says that the companionship of dogs is a great way to reduce anxiety and live mentally healthier lives.
According to them, dogs are also great motivators for people and can help prevent or help manage depression because they make you feel valuable and needed, which you are, and your German shepherd will not let you forget it.