Is the German Shepherd the right breed for you?
If you are considering adding a German Shepherd to your home, here are a few facts about the breed you should know.
The German Shepherd is one of the most popular dog breeds in the world. It has earned this reputation for a number of reasons. First is the unmatched loyalty and devotion to its master. This breed will go through hell and high water to be with their human. They have been known to give their life to defend their humans. Secondly, is the breeds extreme intelligence. This breed is well known for its ability to problem solve and intelligently address situations that are presented to it. It excels in obedience training and can be trained to do virtually anything. This goes hand in hand with the 3rd reason this breed is so popular, its versatility. Over the ages the German Shepherd has proven to be superior in many different tasks, from seeing eye, search and rescue, military and police K9, herding and guarding duties. These are a few of the top reasons German Shepherds have achieved the high level of popularity they have today.
Sounds great, doesn’t it? Well, there are some breed traits that you should be aware of if you are new to this breed. In fact, the German Shepherd is not a dog for just anyone. Following are some things you should consider before adding a German Shepherd to your home.
First, the German shepherd is a highly territorial breed. This means he won't be inclined to roam far from home but also means he is hard wired to guard and defend his territory against unknown people and animals. He will not meet strangers with gladness and even sometimes known people will be suspicious of if he deems they may be a threat. Right in the breed standard it states that he “is not be prone to immediate and indiscriminate friendships”. That is to say, if you want a dog that will happily accept any person coming up to you and your property, then a golden retriever or similar might be the dog for you. This is why early socializing and training is CRITICAL with this breed.
Secondly, firm, fair, and consistent training is necessary. This breed can be very sensitive so harsh methods should never be used but if not properly guided and trained your German Shepherd will almost certainly rule the roost and then you will have a very large obnoxious dog on your hands.
Third, this breed needs moderate exercise and stimulation also to keep his very smart brain engaged. Although we do not breed “high drive” dogs, it is a still very important that your dog gets adequate exercise and you play with him to encourage him to think. Games such as fetch, hide and seek, and there are so many fun canine events out there to do with your dog such as tracking, nose work, obedience, and rally, etc. Even if he is a just a family dog, he will love to go hiking, swimming, etc. Finally, this breed needs to be with his family all the time. He is not a dog that will be happy living his life in a kennel out back or kept away from interacting with his people. He has a huge heart and love for his family and his instinct to stay as close as possible to watch over them. This is one of the reasons we only sell puppies to INSIDE HOMES. If you want a dog that is more independent and not as interested in being constantly at your side then I would advise you to research another breed.
If reading this has caused you to rethink your purchase of a puppy from us then I am very glad you have taken time to do that because one of the responsibilities of a Good Breeder is to educate and inform our potential customers and to only place puppies into loving and responsible homes that are aware of the many joys and challenges being the owner of a German Shepherd gives us. We have placed many puppies into homes of first time owners, and many of them have come back to get their second Shepherd from us. But all of them have understood the importance of proper training and socializing. This breed is amazing and special in so many ways, and will always hold the number one spot in my heart.