Is A German Shepherd The Right Dog For Your Family
It is commonly said that a dog is a mans best friend, and a German shepherd can be your kids best friend too. Just remember, its a two-way process and owning a dog also takes commitment on your side.
German shepherd puppies may seem very cute and cool but they are a daily and lifelong responsibility, which needs a commitment of time and money.
As a family dog, German shepherds are a great choice, as they are loving and loyal around those they are familiar with. They can also protect your house against potential intruders and threats. The bonding with your kids will bring out the GSDs protective nature and make it a formidable guardian for young children.
With the proper care, training and upbringing, many German shepherd owners will argue that theres no better dog to have with kids. If a German shepherd wasnt capable of being a fantastic family dog, it wouldnt have held onto its popularity for so long.
Theyre A Little Needy
You desperately want to spend time with your dog right now, but the German Shepherd tends to take it to the extreme, and they can become quite clingy, even following you to the bathroom!
When they feel as if theyre not getting enough attention from their family members, they tend to do whatever it takes to get that attention from you, as found in a recent study.
During this study, researchers believe German Shepherds are one of the breeds that have become needier due to breeders attempting to make the dogs more affectionate as pets.
The thing is, owners are often also to blame for this clingy behavior, especially if they are constantly petting, cuddling, and praising their German Shepherd!
Another thing to consider is that German Shepherds dont like to spend long periods alone and may suffer from separation anxietyif left for too long. My German Shepherd is never left alone for longer than 4 hours, and she is always well exercised before I leave the house. If your dog is prone to separation anxiety, dont worry as I have a great article German Shepherd Separation Anxiety: Training, Help & Treatment.
Socialize At A Young Age
Its best to start socializing GSDs when theyre puppies not only because they havent grown to their full size and weight but also because they havent formed any bad habits.
While theyre puppies, give them tons of exposure not only to young kids and babies but to all sorts of people, animals, and environments.
Also Check: How To Draw A German Shepherd Dog Step By Step
German Shepherd Temperament & Personality
Another slight drawback is that German Shepherds have a longer-than-normal puppyhood. It usually ranges until around 3 years. In this time, theyre still adjusting to their size and coming to grasp spatial-awareness.
There is always the risk that when a puppy German Shepherdlarge and powerfulplays with a youngster, they can accidentally hurt them from being too physical. This dont know my own strength phenomenon is an issue for all big dog breeds, and it needs to be addressed if young children are in the household.
With that being said, the hallmark of the German Shepherd is the breeds trainability. Is there anything they cant do? From service dogs, police dogs, drug dogs, show dogs, and many more, they serve too many utilities to list.
This means that they also respond well when being trained for child-friendly behavior. There are entire canine training programs created specifically to help German Shepherds interact appropriately with children.
The reality, however, is that while a German Shepherd should be supervised when in the presence of children outside the family, within the family there is truly no better friend to your kids.
If raised alongside together German Shepherds protect them like an older sibling, provides unconditional love, and becomes their lifetime companion. Theyre known to treat the kids of the home as their own.
They Are Loyal To A Fault
Dogs, in general, are loyal animals. They can be more loyal than some people you know.
German Shepherds are known for their loyalty that makes the bond with their owner even stronger. So loyal that they would go through great lengths for their owners.
Theres a story about a German Shepherd named Kostya from Russia. He and his owners were in a car crash. Kostya was the only survivor. Everybody seemed to have forgotten about him while his owners were removed from the scene.
Kostya never left the place. Everyday he would wait for his owners. Eventually, people noticed him. Some even tried to adopt him to no avail. That was because Kostya didnt want to leave his spot.
Seven years later, Kostya was found dead in the woods. The story of his loyalty touched peoples lives.
In 2003, they erected a bronze sculpture of Kostya looking east. It was right on the spot where he had waited for his owners for years.
People can learn love and devotion from dogs. With a German Shepherd, youll have a best friend you can count on.
Also Check: Underweight German Shepherd Puppy
Give Them Ample Exercise
Because they are working dogs, German Shepherds are naturally energetic. Depending on your specific dogs activity level, they might need anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours of exercise per day.
As puppies, however, they tire quite easily. For GSDs below six months old, 15-30 minutes sessions of exercise a few times a day should be enough. for an article on how long to walk your German Shepherd puppy.
How you exercise your German Shepherd should be based on your preferences and lifestyle. Whats important is that they get to burn off their excess energy, so theyre calm and well behaved at home.
How Much Do German Shepherd Husky Puppies Cost
Mixed breed dogs tend to be sold for less than purebred dogs. However, the minimum price for a German Shepherd Husky mix is $500 $1,000.
Would I advise you to buy a mixed breed from a breeder? Definitely not. There are far too many mixed breeds sitting in shelters and waiting to be chosen.
If you do decide to go with a breeder nonetheless, make sure youre in for a behavioral surprise and only buy from breeders that test their dogs for health.
As long as there are no other breeds or disease in their ancestry, you should be fine.
Beware of breeders that charge a premium for the popular two-coloured eyes that come from the Husky.
Make sure to check out my breeder questions before you fall victim to scammers or backyard breeders.
Also Check: Pitbull Vs Wolf Fight To Death
The German Shepherd: Family Dog Material
You never want to assume a negative trait of a breed occurs in an individual dog, because you could miss out on the perfect pooch! Its always best to get to know the actual pup that you plan to bring home. Here are four reasons why a German Shepherd can be the best family dog:
- A German Shepherd is very intelligent, and he can be taught a number of fun tricks that will delight your children.
- A German Shepherd is loyal and will bond well with the family children if started at an early age.
- A German Shepherd has a lot of stamina and energy, making him a great playmate for active kids.
- A German Shepherd is protective of his family and will watch out for your kids, but its important to use caution with other children.
Which One Should You Get
Theres no right or wrong choice. Its really a personal preference. The obvious difference between males and females is the size. There are subtle differences in personality but, at the end of the day, either sex is going to be a good choice.
The main differences between the two are related to personality. The male temperament is a little more aggressive than the female. Of course, German shepherd dog lovers will tell you that they are all amazing and loyal dogs.
Before making that final decision, think about what you want and need in a dog. And remember, the way you socialize and train your dog is going to have the biggest impact on whether you have a good family dog or not.
Don’t Miss: German Shepherd Pants A Lot
A Brief German Shepherd Family Dog History
The German Shepherd dog breed was not originally developed to be a family pet.
It is vital to emphasize this as we explore the question, Are German Shepherds good family pets?
All GSDs alive today can trace their lineage back to a single dog owned by Captain Max von Stephanitz.
Von Stephanitz began his breeding efforts in 1889.
German Shepherds distinguished themselves in military work during both World Wars and then continued to work in military and civilian service.
In 1932, a wildly popular movie called Rin Tin Tin introduced a new role for the GSD a family pet!
German Shepherds Are Active
German Shepherds have high energy levels. They can spend their whole days outdoor. If you love jogging, hiking and hunting, German Shepherds are one of the best companions you can have. If you have children at home, they can play with German Shepherds as long as they can because these dogs don’t get tired easily.
Don’t Miss: Husky German Shepherd Mix Puppies For Adoption
They Could Be Aggressive Toward Other Dogs
Theres no doubt that German Shepherds are loyal, but sometimes they may become too aggressive towards other dogs. If not trained and socialized properly, theres always a possibility that your German Shepherd will become aggressive toward other people or dogs when hes fearful or anxious.
Training and socializing your German Shepherd puppy is an effective way to make him calm.
Its also important not to separate him from his mother or littermates too early. Puppies should not be removed from their mother until they are at least 8-weeks old as they learn so much during this time, in particular when not to annoy their mother too much!
The puppies are still learning their bite inhibition, and if this isnt mastered, its one reason why they may continue to bite as they havent learned acceptable social behavior. To find out tons more about how to discipline a German Shepherd for biting, check out this top post.
Once you have brought your puppy home, as soon as you canstart taking your pup out, its crucial to continue his socialization around other dogs and people.
They Can Be Pretty Easy To Train
Training a dog is never easy, but it does help when you own a dog thats considered highly intelligent like the German Shepherd is!
As long as youre willing to remain consistent with your training and reinforce good behavior, training your German Shepherd wont be too difficult of a task.
If you want to learn about the right way to train your German Shepherd, I highly recommend Zak Georges Dog Training YouTube channel. Zaks methodology and ethical manner of teaching are so helpful that hes become somewhat of a celebrity trainer. And while popularity is not always an indicator of quality, it certainly is in this instance.
Don’t Miss: Is My German Shepherd Too Skinny
How Long Do Caucasian Shepherds Live
Caucasian shepherds, like many breeds of dog, can gene wise live up to between 10 and 14 years. The life expectancy can also be influenced by the level of care they receive and even what part of the country you live in. Still, making sure your Caucasian shepherd is getting an appropriate level of exercise, a healthy diet and regular vet visits will make it possible for him to greet each new year with joy!.
What Colors Do German Shepherds Come In
The most common colors are black and tan, black and red, black and cream, or black and silver. These colors cover the dog in one of these three patterns:
- Saddleback the black overlays the dog’s back and sides . The rest of the dog is tan, red, cream, or silver. Usually there’s some black on the face, as well.
- Blanketback the black extends further down the shoulders and hips.
- Bicolor like a Doberman or Rottweiler, which is mostly black with small tan/red/cream markings specifically confined to the head, chest, and legs. Honestly I don’t know why this pattern is called bicolor, which simply means two colors. As we’ve just seen, the other two patterns also have just two colors.
Another common color is sable, which is an overall shade of gray, golden, or red, with black-tipped hairs that create a “dusted with black” effect.
A less common, but perfectly acceptable, color is solid black.
Then there are two controversial colors: blue and liver:
- Blue German Shepherds have inherited a color-modifying gene that changes their black pigment to smoky gray. Many blue dogs look as though they’ve been dusted with flour.
- Liver German Shepherds have inherited a color-modifying gene that changes their black pigment to brown .
Blue and liver are considered serious faults by the official German Shepherd clubs and breeders who show their dogs in the conformation ring. But you can still register these dogs and compete with them in activities such as obedience and agility.
Read Also: Rott Vs Pitbull
Feed Your German Shepherd A Healthy Diet
Since German Shepherds are strong and full of energy, their diet has to include high-quality food. This food needs to be rich in proteins, low on carbs, and healthy fats.
Here are some general guidelines you should follow to make sure your dog is fed properly.
- Only feed your German Shepherd food thats appropriate for his age
- Always monitor your puppys weight to get feeding recommendations based on it
- Ask the vet for the best type of food for your dogs needs
- When introducing adult food to a growing puppy, do it gradually and in small proportions
If youre wondering what exactly a German Shepherds diet should contain, wed be glad to break it down for you.
Gsds Provide Constant Companionship
In truth, German Shepherd owners are never lonely because their loyal canines are always by their side. Although GSDs are sometimes slow to warm to strangers, they are gentle and loving with their families. Their affectionate and dedicated personalities are a bonus of the breed, and they can be particularly fond of children. This means your GSD wants to spend time with you rather than being left alone all day, every day. Allowing your German Shepherd to be with you as much as possible will bring out the best in your dog.
Also Check: German Shepherd After Neutering
What Should You Consider Before Getting A German Shepherd Dog
If you have decided to get a puppy or an adult dog you should pay attention to the tips and advice I am going to give you. It is very important that you bring home the right kind of Dog.
If you have decided to bring home a puppy then you are accepting to take a big responsibility for taking care of him. Puppies are very cute and they can grow very fast and become adults after some years.
So ask these questions to yourself first:
Having a puppy is like having a child of 2 months at home. You have to pay a lot of attention to your dog and take proper care of him.
People love puppies because they have innocent eyes, they are funny, entertaining and adorable.
Puppies want to explore everything. They will try to chew everything around them. You have to put some time to give him house training. Take him out for a walk in the morning and evening.
You should pay attention to avoid the puppy getting in some accidents at home.
You should ask these questions to your breeder before Getting the Dog:
What Are The Characteristics Of German Shepherds
German Shepherds are confident, courageous, intelligent and gentle, although it can take them some time to make friends. Due to history of herding, they are incredibly noble and loyal both to the work they do and to their owners.
“German Shepherds are energetic, confident and highly intelligent dogs. They are strong and courageous, but also have a well-balanced nature and are considered one of the most versatile and trainable breeds,” Bill adds.
Also Check: Is The Furminator Good For German Shepherds
Getting To Know The German Shepherd
A German Shepherd can make a fabulous addition to the family, but there are certain precautions to consider first. For one thing, with this breed, it appears best to get a young pup that can grow up with the children, and early socialization and training are paramount. In addition to these important points, its always a good idea to get to know the basic information about any breed that you plan to add to your family dynamic. For example, if you want a small dog, a German Shepherd isnt the best choice, no matter how adorable and small he is as a puppy.
Here are some good-to-know facts about the noble and smart German Shepherd:
German Shepherd Socialization And Training Needs
The importance of early and ongoing positive socialization and training cannot be emphasized enough for a dog breed with such strong instincts to protect and guard as the GSD!
In fact, training and socialization can make the difference between answering yes and no to the question, Are German Shepherds a good family dog?
The good news is, German Shepherd dogs score so high on the eager to please scale that you will likely find your pup a delight to train!
Also Check: Gsd Teething