A series of blog posts aimed at providing information on a variety of dog breeds, to help you decide which breed of dog is right for you.
German Shepherds are one of the most beloved dog breeds out there; they’re versatile workers with high intelligence that love affection and living inside the family home. Originally bred to be the ultimate herding dog, German Shepherds (GSD) turned out to be incredible workers capable of carrying out multiple integral jobs within society. They provide service to police forces & the military, help with search and rescue operations and make great assistance/therapy dogs.
Why You Should Choose a German Shepherd
Not only are GSDs excellent workers, but they also make a great family pet – they’re highly affectionate with families and children. This affection mixed with their undying loyalty make them a great candidate to be your next pet! Assuming they’re well socialised and trained, German Shepherds are great with young children. There are of course safety risks as GSDs are large dogs and could accidentally cause harm to a small child during play, but overall, they bond quickly with young children and will be very protective of them.
On top of this, GSDs make wonderful guard dogs; they can be threatening when needed and can be trained to only be triggered by certain stimuli. They’re used in a large variety of businesses as protection/guard dogs, with many businesses training them to only react to people not in the uniform of the business, highlighting their intelligence and functionality in practical situations.
One of the factors that contributes to German Shepherds popularity is their ability to adapt to many living conditions. They love a big, fenced yard, but will easily adapt to apartment living if their daily exercise requirements are met.
Cons of Raising a German Shepherd
Of course, these ‘cons’ aren’t really cons, but they may sway you away from choosing a German Shepherd as your companion depending on your situation.
- German Shepherds are high-energy dogs
This is great for some families, but if you think you’ll struggle to provide them with daily exercise (2 hours minimum is recommended by the PDSA), perhaps a less energetic dog would be better suited for you.
- German Shepherds aren’t naturally suited to multi-pet homes
GSDs certainly have the capacity to get on with other dogs, but this is heavily reliant on correct socialisation as a pup and training. You should also be careful with smaller pets such as hamsters or birds, as your GSD would pose a serious threat to their life and should thus be slowly introduced to them with many safety measures in place.
- German Shepherds struggle with separation anxiety
German Shepherds are more susceptible to separation anxiety than other breeds, making them a less than ideal choice if they’d spend a lot of their time alone in the house.
- German Shepherds shed all year round
If you’re sensitive to dog fur, you should avoid German Shepherds. They shed their outer coat in preparation for the winter months and shed their inner coat preparing for the warmer months, meaning they’ll be shedding all year round.
German Shepherd FAQ
- Do German Shepherds drool?
German Shepherds are not big droolers at all, although they do occasionally. Especially after exercise.
- What is the average lifespan of a German Shepherd?
9 – 13 years.
- Are German Shepherds aggressive?
German Shepherds are instinctively protective (often projected as aggression) which is what makes them such great guard dogs. However, this is balanced by them being highly intelligent and easily trained to not be aggressive to people/other dogs in regular situations.
- Are German Shepherds good for first-time owners?
GSDs are a great choice for first-time owners due to their intelligence and ease of training. If you’re prepared to provide lots of exercise, groom them often and won’t leave them alone for too long, they’re the perfect dog for you.
- Can two German Shepherds live together?
Two GSDs can absolutely live together. It’s generally easier if they’re of the opposite sex (if they’re both the same sex this would increase aggressive tendencies), but same sex can also work if they’re properly trained and socialised.
- How big do German Shepherds get?
GSDs are classed as a medium to large breed, with full-grown males having an average height of 65cm and an average weight of 30-40kg, with full-grown females having an average height of 58cm and weight of 22-30kg.
Thank you for reading the edition ONE of The Breed Files. Stay tuned for more information on your favourite breeds!