So you’re considering getting a German Shepherd. Maybe you’re attracted to the breed’s intelligence, tenacity and loyalty. Maybe you know that they’re one of the most versatile and healthy breeds out there. Or maybe you just think they’re gorgeous (because they are.)
Either way, you want some help before you make that final decision. So if you’re asking yourself ‘Should I get a German Shepherd?’ read on to find out why you should get one.
Reasons to Get a German Shepherd
- They’re one of the most intelligent dog breeds. They learn super fast and respond incredibly well to every sort of training
- As well as being healthy and full of energy, German Shepherds have very few health issues, especially for purebred dogs.
- They’re hyper affection and devoted to their families and loved ones. It’s one of the things that makes them the best police dogs. The fact that they will throw themselves head first into danger for their families.
- If you’re looking for an active dog, then look no further. Smart enough for anything you might want to do with them, and boundless energy means that you’re probably going to be outpaced by your new pet, even if you’re already super fit. And if you aren’t? Well, there’s a ready excuse to strap on the running shoes.
- Socialised properly, they’re one of the best and most loyal family dogs you can find. They’re fantastic with children, especially if you train them right.
- German Shepherds are surprisingly clean animals, not shedding much and requiring relatively little maintenance. You might not even need a vacuum cleaner for pet hair.
Things to Know About German Shepherds
German Shepherds are a large, active breed
If you’re considering getting a Shepherd, one of the main concerns you should have is space.
Not only that, because they’re born to work, German Shepherds need an enormous amount of exercise. If they aren’t getting enough, then that energy is going to manifest in other ways, which probably means scratching up the floor and chewing your furniture into splinters.
If you already live a reasonably active lifestyle, then a GS could be the perfect pet. But if you prefer long, slow evenings on the couch, maybe look at a different pet. Don’t forget that German Shepherds can eat a lot of food. A lot.
German Shepherds are smart and willful.
One of the main characteristics of a German Shepherd is their intelligence. As one of the most intelligent breeds of dog, a German Shepherd will respond incredibly well to training and thrive when given challenges. As an example, obedience training is something a GS will love, as well as competitions and active sports.
On top of this, you’ve got to be ready to give disciple and structure to your new dog. Shepherds can be incredibly dominant animals, especially if they’re a male, and if you’re not going to provide structure and let them understand that you’re in charge, then expect your dog to act like an angry teen and disobey everything.
German Shepherds can take some socialisation.
Trained properly, a German Shepherd will be soft and be caring with his family, and alert and protective if they ever come under threat, as well as accommodating and considerate to other dogs.
However, if not trained correctly, or even if they are, (consider police dogs and military animals) a Shepherd can be aggressive and incredibly protective of their owner and their space.
It isn’t something to worry about, but it is something to consider.
German Shepherds like to spend time with their families.
Some dogs are happy left alone at home all day. But the combination of constant activity, intelligence and the close bond they form with their families mean that GS dogs aren’t happy to be left alone all day, and can even develop separation anxiety.
They might not be the right choice if you and your partner work, but if you can spend time with them, there might not be a better pet.
German Shepherds can be quite mouthy.
Maybe it’s the military heritage, but German Shepherds, especially pups, can be prone to nipping and biting.
Trained properly, this will soon stop, but it’s something you’re probably going to have to deal with, for a short while.
Should I Get a German Shepherd?
While they can be a lot of work, and take a bit more training than some other breeds when treated with love and care there is probably no better breed of dog for active families who can give a German Shepherd what they need. So if you’ve been asking yourself ‘Should I get a German Shepherd?’ and everything in this list has you nodding along, the answer is probably yes.