The German Shepherd Dog
The German Shepherd Dog is one of America's most popular dog breeds — for good reason. He's an intelligent and capable working dog. His devotion and courage are unmatched. And he's amazingly versatile, excelling at most anything he's trained to do!
All Around Friendliness? Upbringing, socialization and training will in almost all cases determine how your dog will react with people they do not know. THIS IS SO IMPORTANT to teach your dog what is expected of them. Luckily German Shepherds are easy to train as long as your willing to put forth the effort and time.
German Shepherds LOVE their family members and are usually big babies when home but with outsiders this varies from Aloof and guarded to even aggressive if they weren't socialized, with a few exceptions that are openly social with all whether they know them or not. You can increase your chances of having an openly social dog with positive interactions at a young age with many people from all walks of life and age groups.
Friendly with children?
Dog Friendly? In general German Shepherds love their family (people) more than they ever will a strange dog that doesn't belong to their pack. German Shepherds most often do great with other dogs in their household when introduced as a puppy to the other dog(s). Opposite sex is always best! The expectation for your dog to love other dogs they do not know is not practical with a German Shepherd but expecting them to behave with manners and respect dogs they don't know is AND THIS MUST BE TAUGHT starting at a young age through positive encounters of strange dogs.Good For Novice Owners? Not always, it's vital for you to understand the breed, its' characteristics and you must be willing to socialize and train your dog as well as let the German Shepherd become part of your life. A German Shepherds can easily turn into a problem dog if socialization is overlooked between 8 weeks and 12 months of age, it can also become a problem if it doesn't have enough structure in it's life and allowed to do whatever it wants. All dogs need rules and training early in life and it must be ongoing throughout the dogs life! Regular activity is also part of keeping your dogs physically and mentally happy.
In General German Shepherds are known to be excellent with children when raised along side them and are usually very tolerant of them as long as raised in a positive manner (not letting children give the puppy bad experiences). You must also teach your dogs what behavior is expected around children through training. German Shepherds are known to "herd" children and keep a close watch on them to make sure they don't separate from their family.At times puppies can be overwhelming to children since they explore with their mouths as pups and those sharp needle teeth hurt so it's important the puppy is being raised and trained and given a break from your children as much as your children need a break from it.
It must also be noted **All dogs are individuals*** and there's never a guarantee of how a dog will behave when raised. All dogs of any breed have strong jaws, sharp pointy teeth, and may bite in stressful circumstances. Young children and dogs of any breed should always be supervised by an adult and never left alone together, period. Children must also be taught how to behave around dogs and be respectful of them and their space just as the dog must learn how to be respectful of ours!
Adaptability? Most Adapt Extremely well to any lifestyle when introduced early in life, properly trained, socialized and spends quality time with its' person or family
Sensitivity? German Shepherds in general are sensitive dogs towards their handler and family and will often hold grudges if mistreated while others will try to defend themselves if they feel as though they've been mistreated by their owner or family member. This is why fair and consistent training is so important. They're also so smart that they're learning at every minute whether or not you know it, so you must be careful of what you're actually really teaching them on a day to day basis!
Tolerates Being Alone? German Shepherds do well alone once they're raised trained and taught what's expected of them. THEY PREFER TO BE HOME WITH THEIR FAMILY THOUGH, so it's not recommended to leave your dogs alone all the time, but we also understand people must work! As dog owners we must balance our time with our dogs as much as our work. If your dogs is not mentally and physically satisfied this is usually when they do not do well home alone. Prior to 15 - 24 months of age we recommend teaching them to remain in a crate since they're still very immature and would most likely throw private parties in your home if you're gone very long. However, if not raised properly leaving your German Shepherd home alone at any point could be a disaster!
Tolerates Cold Weather?
German Shepherds do great in cold weather as long as they have the standard stock coat and are appropriately acclimated to the weather. Our dogs are outside with us even when it's -10 degrees.
Tolerates Hot Weather? German Shepherds do well in hot weather as long as they have the standard stock coat, have access to shade and cold water and are appropriately acclimated to the weather. The only problem sometimes seen in hot locations is the dog will want to dig a hole to lay in the cool dirt.
Hair/fur shedding? German Shepherds shed A LOT when spayed and neutered or fed a kibble diet. When altered they loose vital organs and thus leads to year round shedding. If you must alter your dog feeding it a raw diet will drastically decrease the amount of shedding substantially.
When fed a kibble diet whether altered or not will increase the amount of year round shedding.
If the dog is left intact and fed a raw food diet it will generally shed twice a year, once in the spring and once in the fall. Some dogs also shed in high stress situations.
Grooming? German Shepherds tend to be very clean and only need to be bathed when dirty, sometimes only once a year if ever. Bathing and help when they're "blowing their coat" to speed the process along. Nail clipping usually needs to be done every 2 weeks for indoor dogs and longer for active outdoor dogs. German Shepherds should not ever need their teeth cleaned as long as they're being fed a raw food diet with bone to naturally clean there teeth.
German Shepherds tend to be between 60lbs (females) and 90lbs (males)
What is Prey Drive? Prey drive is an inborn desire to chase and sometimes kill other things that move (chipmunks, cats, mice, bikes, cars, etc...) Training can teach the dog what's acceptable to chase and what's not and is so vital!!!!!!!!!!!!! With this said German Shepherds can live with cats, chickens and livestock and usually quite easily when raised around them as a pup but you MUST teach them what's expected of them if not they could certainly end up tormenting more things than any of us would like!
German Shepherds tend to be Medium to High energy dogs are always ready and waiting for action, HOWEVER, a well bred and versatile shepherd should be balanced enough to be taught when it's time to be busy and when it's time to just hang out with you.German Shepherds were originally bred to herd livestock and most have the stamina to put in a full workday with ease. They need a good amount of exercise and mental stimulation. They love to play, jump and have LOTS of fun with their family members but they must always be taught when it's allowed and when it isn't! Luckily German Shepherds catch on quickly!!!
Without enough exercise, German Shepherds may put on weight, become unhealthy and vent their pent-up energy in ways you don't like, such as barking, chewing, and digging. German Shepherds need a good amount of exercise and are usually best for for outdoorsy, active people, or those interested in training their dog for a specific task (service work, Emotional Support Animal, Disability Assistant, PTDS service dog and more) or to compete in a high-energy dog sport.