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Is the German Shepherd dog the right breed for you? This is an important question you should thoroughly research and consider before you decide you want a German Shepherd. If you figure out that a couple of things will be difficult for you look for another breed.
Don’t give in to your child’s pleading. Be adamant about it, if the German Shepherd is not the right dog for you there’s nothing you can do about that. I’m stressing this out because this is the most popular breed in rescue centers and it’s because of impulse buying. There are more homeless and abandoned German Shepherd dogs than any other breed.
But they can’t be unfair on the owners either. Most do their research beforehand but there are several types of German Shepherd temperaments and it’s very easy to end up with something else than you originally wanted.
Because of this variation people have unrealistic expectations of what their German Shepherd should be. Then people get angry and think they were tricked and, of course, they take it out on the dog.
Contrary To Popular Belief German Shepherds Need A Lot Of Commitment
If we were to summarize what the German Shepherd needs in a sentence, we couldn’t. For starters, this dog shouldn’t be left out in the yard and forgotten. He lives for human interaction. Leaving him alone will push him to any number of the destructive behaviors.
Expect him to start digging and barking, jumping and scratching. He will become fearful and aggressive and will adopt an overly defensive posture even towards his owners.
But you can’t just keep them inside either. Unlike many dogs that are not couch potatoes. German Shepherds are very active and need a lot of exercise. They are also very intelligent and this means you have to keep them both physically and mentally stimulated.
The last big thing is socialization and training. They need at least early obedience training and a lot of socializing with other people, animals, strange noises and chaos.
Other Things To Consider
The German Shepherd sheds all the time, and two times a year they shoot their coats completely. If you have any problems with hair in your food and whatnot, or if you have people with dog allergies, you need to be careful.
German Shepherds have strong personalities, and are protective of their family and territory. They are loyal to their owners and need thorough training because they are quite powerful and you wouldn’t want them to be aggressive.
On the same note, they are quite suspicious of strangers and are not submissive. They wait for the owner to give them the okay before they can relax. Furthermore there are vast differences in genetic lines. There are West and East German show and working lines, American, Czech and Dutch bloodlines which have different original purposes.
Regardless, a normal person probably doesn’t want a German Shepherd bred for bomb detection or border patrol. But even a companion German Shepherd needs training and socialization.
As you can see there are many things you need to consider before you can decide to buy a German Shepherd. But there is a way around many of these potential risks if you were to buy a puppy. You can read about it in German Shepherd adoption.