So, he’s big, bold and can learn nearly anything you attempt to teach him; is a German Shepherd the right dog for you?
There may be no breed of dog more versatile than the German Shepherd Dog (GSD). This muscular, agile, intelligent dog shines in many areas beyond herding – flashy show dog, watchful guardian, relentless police adjunct, effective search and rescue tracker, trusted guide and loyal family companion. To some, the Shepherd is the ideal dog, but is it the right breed for you?
Properly socialized, shepherds are usually excellent with children, affectionate and loving with their families, accepting of family friends, aloof with strangers, and good with cats if raised with them. Some shepherds may show some dog aggression–especially males toward other males. Shepherds need a lot of human companionship. They should never be chained outside or kenneled as they will suffer emotionally.
German Shepherds are very intelligent, responsive dogs. Originally bred to make most of their own decisions as herding dogs, German Shepherds have the ability to think for themselves and, therefore, will assume the leadership role if not trained in obedience and given firm rules that are not to be broken. They take to obedience training quite well and excel as guide dogs, assistance dogs for the physically challenged, search and rescue dogs, police patrol dogs, narcotics dogs, agility dogs, etc.
Because they are territorial and protective, German Shepherds are natural guard dogs. They instinctively protect their home and family from danger. Because they bark when they hear anyone or anything, they need to be supervised in densely populated areas to avoid disturbing neighbors. Games of retrieval are a good way to distract them and give them exercise when in a fenced yard. When adult shepherds are adopted, they should be kept under close supervision for about a month as they may try, out of loyalty, to escape in search of former owners before bonding to you.
German Shepherds are energetic dogs and need routine exercise. A brisk half hour walk about twice a day is needed unless they are given a lot of interactive playtime by their owners on a daily basis.
With all of this information …the question is …
Is this wonderful Companion the right Breed for you?