Rex is the most popular German Shepherd on TikTok.
He’s got over 2.3 million followers on TikTok having signed up to the video-sharing app three months ago.
If you would like to learn how we got 1 million TikTok followers in a month, check out our latest YouTube video here.
Rex has also got an Instagram photos where his dad Oliver regularly posts stunning shots of this famous GSD with a New South Wales backdrop.
We spoke to Oliver to learn more about Rex, the German Shepherd breed and their success on TikTok.
1) How did your first hear about the German Shepherd breed?
Growing up I would always see GSDs in movies and tv shows as either police dogs or military working dogs.
2) What attracted you to the breed ahead of other breeds?
What attracted me to the breed was the temperament and look that the GSD display. They’re such a noble looking dog breed.
3) How did you end up with Rex?
Rex has a complicated story. An ex-partner of mine rescued him when he was four years old. I came into his life when he was six turning seven years old. There was an instant bond between us. Being in the military means I move around every few years. When my time came to move to Sydney, Rex came with me as my ex could no longer care for him and he’s been with me ever since.
4) What is Rex’s personality like?
Rex’s personality has been slowly evolving over the three years that I’ve had him. But he’s the biggest chiller, he loves curling up on one of his many beds around the house so long as he can keep an eye on us. He is super affectionate and this has increased over the time I’ve had him.
5) What?s owning a German Shepherd like in Australia? Is there a big community?
When I first got Rex I had no idea about how big the GSD community was. Instagram was very beneficial in connecting to other likeminded owners. Now we have WhatsApp groups, Instagram groups and even Tik Tok that allows us to organise regular play dates not to mention all the pup birthday parties. Australia having more beaches and parks means that people can own bigger dog breeds and it’s not just about pocket pets.
6) Can German Shepherds live in hot weather? Any special requirements?
Living in Sydney Australia means that its hot nearly all year round. We cope with this by de-shedding Rex’s coat at least once every two weeks and monitoring his hydration levels. A good trick we found to keep him well hydrated is to make up a chicken broth, he cant get enough!
7) Was Rex easy to train?
Rex is a smart dog, however he isn’t food or toy motivated. So training him is all about positive reinforcement and praise. He catches on pretty quick. He knows his basics (sit, down, come and stay) and since I’ve owned him he has learnt Handshake, high-five, heel and we have done a lot of off-leash work.
8) What advice would you give to someone thinking about a GSD?
Be prepared to have a companion like no other. However they can be a lot of work if you’re not experienced with the breed. Their size and strength means they require a lot of exercise and can be destructive if they aren’t kept preoccupied.
9) How does it feel to be the most followed GSD on TikTok?
It’s been a crazy journey! There are highs and lows to everything. But more often than not it’s been amazing. I love creating content and Rex is a great model not to mention his ears are his trademark look.
10) Is owning a GSD an advantage when it comes to skills/tricks on TikTok?
I don’t think any particular dog breed is better than others when it comes to TikTok. As long as you can show off what makes your dog different in a fun engaging way you will have success.
11) What’s your favourite thing about TikTok?
I love the absolute freedom to express yourself how you want to. There isn’t any of the restrictions of Instagram where you have to have all your posts the best they can be. With TikTok more often than not the less polished posts do better.
12) Does TikTok give you the ability to be more creative?
With TikTok there are no restrictions or barriers to how creative you want to be. The app gives you all the tools and resources to create whatever you wish.
13) How does content creation on TikTok differ from Instagram?
Instagram vs. TikTok. Instagram posts need to be polished, need to fit in with the grid. TikTok posts it doesn’t matter, the audience likes to see more genuine content and it shows through the engagement the posts get.
14) Do you prefer Instagram or TikTok? Reasons why?
I prefer TikTok for all the reasons listed above plus the feeling of growth on TikTok cannot be emulated on Instagram. After three years, Rex’s Instagram has 4.5k followers. After three months on TikTok we reached 1 million followers.
15) What advice would you give to someone starting a TikTok for their dog?
Be yourself, be genuine and have fun with it. Follow trends and be on the lookout for the daily challenges that can be found on the discover page. Get involved with your dog community and you won’t be disappointed.
16) Do you prefer to create your own content or follow the challenges? What’s the pros and cons of both?
Preferably I like to make my own content. Here’s why – Pros: You make what you want to make. Cons: Less exposure, more reliant on the FYP (for you page).
Challenges – Pros: if you need a creative boost they are a good source of ideas. Cons: it all depends on if the challenge can be adapted to your account.
17) Did you have a TikTok video that first went viral to kickstart your path to having as many followers as your currently do?
Within a month I had a massively viral post with over 8m views, 1.6m likes, 116k comments, 17k shares and 26,000 hours total play time. That definitely kickstarted the process but it was the continued hard work and posting multiple times a day that kept the momentum up.
18) What other TikTok dogs do you follow or draw inspiration from?
All my friends at @theCanineCrew
19) Do you use a camera or a phone to film your videos?
The main source of content is my phone, however I’m starting to incorporate my camera more to get better quality videos
20) Finally, so far, what are the pros and cons of TikTok?
Pros: Creative freedom, Highly entertaining, very engaging community
Cons: Getting addicted to scrolling the FYP and not getting enough sleep!