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Are German Shepherds Really Smart

Additional Interesting Facts About German Shepherds

A very smart German Shepherd

The intelligence of German shepherds did not occur by accident many early breeders prized intelligence more than any other factor when developing the breed. But, German shepherds are more than just smart dogs they are fascinating in some ways.

For example:

  • Because they are so easy to train and well-behaved, many German shepherds have starred in movies and TV shows .
  • German shepherds are one of the most popular breeds in the world, and the American Kennel Club reports that they are the second most popular breed in the US.
  • German shepherds often exhibit relatively clear and visible secondary sexual characteristics, which makes mature males look distinctly masculine and females distinctly feminine.
  • German shepherds of different sexes also differ regarding size. Males grow larger than females do, and they typically measure between 24 and 26 inches in height at the shoulder, while weighing 85 to 100 pounds. Females usually reach heights of between 22 and 24 inches and weigh 70 to 90 pounds.

As you can see, German shepherd dogs are brilliant, and this underscores most aspects of their behavior and personality. Given their combination of intelligence, beauty, and loyalty, it is easy to see why they are so loved by trainers, handlers and families alike.

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Do German Shepherds Need To Be Trained

Since a German Shepherd is known for being a loyal, smart, and obedient dog, some may believe that they dont need to be trained.

Well, the fact of the matter is this: no dog is naturally born with a list of commands they are ready to follow.

All dogs need to be trained, and this includes the German Shepherd.

Now for some, this may seem like a daunting task.

After all, training a German Shepherd sounds like a large task that will require time, energy, and multiple methods in order to be successful. Well, rest assured that training a German Shepherd wont take weeks on end and you dont have to worry about crazy, out-of-the-box methods to achieve success.

German Shepherd are trained incredibly quickly and will listen to the owner.

This makes the entire process ultimately easier. Being as fast as they are to learning, you can successfully train a German Shepherd on your own or go the professional route.

Also, keep in mind that a German Shepherd who is not trained properly may actually become rambunctious and destructive.

It isnt in their nature to be this way, but an untrained German Shepherd means a German Shepherd that is bored and not utilizing his intelligence. This can lead to bad behavior, so make sure you get your German Shepherd trained.

They Require Mental Stimulation

Long walks might tire out other breeds, but not the German shepherd. In addition to daily exercise, your new German shepherd will also require some mental stimulation. Obedience classes and dog sports can be especially helpful for rescue shepherds. Classes and training give you a bonding experience that builds trust and helps your dog figure out their place in your household, and it can help you diagnose any behavior problems early on.

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How I Stopped Line Pulling And Aggression After Failing With Even The Simplest Dog Training Advice

When I first got my GSD, I was super excited. For the longest time, I had been dreaming of owning and training a German Shepherd and the dream was about to come through. Things turned out differently though. As she was growing up, I started having real problems.

House-breaking was tough, but I got there in the end. What I couldnt solve was her constant barking and fighting with other dogs. And her pulling on the line. So living with her became a constant struggle:

  • Going for a walk meant sore hands and trying to evade other dog owners.
  • Having people over meant I had to leash her outside to be able to have any reasonable conversation.
  • I had to be constantly on the lookout because she would viciously attack any dog wed meet.

I tried a lot of advice and went to a lot of training sessions, but the problems kept coming back. I wondered whether to keep her because this was not what I signed up for. I read all the well-known books Training the German Shepherd Dog and How To Raise The Perfect Dog .

But it only made more aggressive! There was something missing.

Tthen I discovered something so important it changed my view on dog training forever.

Once I started using my own little trick, and some additional information from The German Shepherd Handbook, things really turned around.

Now, I know there is a ton of advice on dog training around. So there might be other ways to accomplish your goal.

The German Shepherd Intelligence Ranking

Are German Shepherds Smart?

If you’re a dog owner, then you probably know dogs are some of the most intelligent animals on the planet. They can learn simple commands you and I can come up with or sniff out bombs and drugs as part of security issues. Having said this, some breeds are smarter than others. In this article, we take a look at the German Shepherd intelligence ranking.

German Shepherds are smarter than you average dog. In fact, they are considered to be the third most intelligent breed. The first two? The Border Collie comes in first place followed by the Poodle.


Why are German Shepherds considered to be so smart? The simple answer is genetics. The breed is believed to have been very intelligent to begin with, the luck of the draw if you will. Over the years, however, breeding techniques were used to emphasize and enhance the problem solving and learning ability of the dog. This breed is now so advanced intellectually that you see it commonly used in security and police efforts.


While German Shepherds are used extensively in security matters, they are also the dog of choice in other areas for another reason. Unlike Border Collies and Poodles, these dogs have a nice combination of good size and temperament. Border Collies can be excessively hyper and Poodles can be downright mean, which makes both a bit difficult to use in high stress situations.

What are some examples of intelligent conduct by Shepherds? How about:

Should You Get One?

Help me Choose

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Pro: Playtime Is Elevated

The German Shepherds adaptability and high learning curve make it fun to teach and play games with it. Purchase a dog puzzle or teach it a new game other than fetch for some elevated playtime with your beloved German Shepherd. With that, German Shepherds are fun to watch. They are good problem-solvers, and you can observe them in real-time, figuring things out.

Top 10 Reasons Why You Would Want A German Shepherd

German Shepherds are a relatively new dog breed with origins that can be traced back to 1899. Although it is a new breed, German Shepherds are now one of the most popular dog breeds worldwide. In the United states, German shepherds ranks as the second most popular dog breeds of 2016. In fact, German Shepherds have many talents and desirable traits which make them the best dogs that every household should own.

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The Nose Of A Soldier

But, using the intelligence of the GSD in medicine is only one of the many ways in which their smartness is put to the test. Many other branches of work require the use of the keenness of their scent detecting abilities.

For example, a 2014 study on four breeds of drug detection dogs, including the German Shepherd, Labrador Retriever, various terriers, and the English Cocker Spaniel, found that German Shepherds had higher tracking accuracy than the other three breeds. This accounts for their use in police drug detection and search and rescue units.

Another study discovered that police dogs with a specific gene were determined as having significantly better scent detection skills than other dogs who had the same scent detection training but did not have this gene.

This presents some support for the idea that genetic changes within the GSD breed may provide German Shepherds with superior scenting abilities and, therefore, more instinctual intelligence.

German Shepherd Health Nutrition By Royal Canin

German Shepherd Dog Gera training very smart

Good nutrition is vital to a happy and well-performing dog. German Shepherds have uniquely high mental and physical activity levels. That means that they require specific food which is high in energy and nutrients. Royal CANIN is a world leader in high quality dog food and has poured years of research and expertise into this food. it contains all the daily ingredients your GSD needs to be the best dog he/she can be.

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Can German Shepherds Really Do Household Chores

Capabilities differ between individual dogs, but German Shepherds are generally very smart. Because of their intelligence level, they can learn almost anything with proper training and reinforcement.

For most companion GSDs, having a job to do at home is a must. Doing household chores is an excellent way for them to use their drive positively.

Depending on their capabilities and your ability to train, their chores dont even need to be particularly useful or productive. All they need are activities that stimulate their minds and help them focus.

Can You Teach A Dumb Dog New Tricks

If your canine seems clueless, it may be that it has been bred to be more independent or not so eager to please its owner, Yin says.

Training will require more patience and the right kind of motivation, whether it’s praise, petting, or treats.

“For breeds, instincts make a difference, but for the basics – ‘sit,’ ‘come,’ ‘down’ – they’ll all learn at the same rate. With good technique, the difference might be a month,” she says.

Her Australian cattle dog, for example, stays at her side when they’re out and loves a pat on the head. Her Jack Russell terrier, a high-energy breed that didn’t make the smart list, has to be rewarded lickety-split with a treat or he’ll lose interest in learning. A pat on the head just won’t do it.

The beagle, a breed trained to work independently, probably needs more training time, Yin says. And the bulldog, which scored well below average on obedience tests, can learn quickly — as long as they don’t feel pushed around or punished.

The beagle and bulldog are among the dog breeds on the bottom of Coren’s list. These dogs had to hear commands 80 to 100 times or more before they obeyed them 25% or less of the time. They include:

1. Shih Tzu

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German Shepherds Love Long Walks

Do you like to keep fit and healthy, and do you love the outdoors? Then the German Shepherd is the perfect choice for you! They are a very physical breed, and their strength and endurance is really something quite remarkable. They are capable of walking longer distances than humans can, so youd better get yourself in shape! Its usually recommended that a German Shepherd gets at least an hour of walking every day, which can also be great for you as this will help you keep off those extra pounds. Many people have found that their health has dramatically improved when they were forced to take their German Shepherd outside on a daily basis. Theres no excuse to stay inside when you have to take proper care of your German Shepherd!

They Have Adorable Ears

The Smart German Shepherd Pups Size #germanshepherdpuppies ...

German Shepherds have adorable and amazing ears and one of the most famous things about the breed is how their ears are pricked up and alert. One of the cutest German Shepherd poses is when they tilt their head to the side with their ears sticking up! This usually happens when they are listening to something. However, their ears are not always upright. At the start of a puppys life, it can take anything from 8 weeks to 6 months for the ears to reach their upright position. By about five months if they are not upright, you can help them on their way by using tape, but this shouldnt be done too soon.

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Con: Smart Dogs Can Easily Develop Bad Habits

If you dont correct lousy behavior the moment you see it, a German Shepherd can develop bad habits in the blink of an eye. If you dont structure the day or use training time to its full potential, the dog can develop wrong behaviors that will be hard to fix.

One bad habit a German Shepherd could develop is the ability to outsmart its human. The smartest dogs manipulate their masters to get what it wants, whether than be whining and barking for treats or intimidation to go on a walk. To stop these behaviors before they get worse, the owners need to be commanding and firm.

The Basics Of German Shepherd Grooming

The German Shepherd Dog has a thick, medium-length double coat that sheds, a lot and constantly, so much that even his fans call him a German shedder. The undercoat sheds heavily in spring and fall, and the German Shepherd must be brushed and bathed frequently during that time to get out all the loose hair. The rest of the year, weekly brushing is generally enough to keep him clean. If the German Shepherd is your breed of choice, purchase a heavy-duty vacuum cleaner dont get a German Shepherd if you have allergies or are a fussy housekeeper.

The rest is basic care. Trim his nails every few weeks, as needed, and brush his teeth frequently for good overall health and fresh breath.

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How To Handle German Shepherd Intelligence

A German Shepherd is not a dog for everyone. While they are friendly and loving to their families and ultimately loyal and protective, they also require a lot of time and energy to keep up with their intelligence and physical abilities. After all, the medium-sized dog is full of energy paired with a smart brain that makes for a challenge.

So how can you make sure youre keeping up with your German Shepherd and giving them everything they need to be successful and use their brain and energy for the good?

Youll Never Feel Lonely With A German Shepherd

How smart IS a German Shepherd with GSM

German Shepherds make the Best Companion Dogs of all the Breeds.

German Shepherds are an especially unique breed of dog. They are among the most loyal, attentive and caring breeds of dog that you will ever find.

German Shepherds are extremely intelligent, and react to your emotional condition. If you are feeling sad, or blue, then your german shepherd will give you comfort and 100% love and attention. They love to perform tricks that you have taught them, and take real pride in being the best dog they can be for you!

A german shepherd is not only emotionally sensitive to you and your situation, but they are also extremely protective and they will make you feel like you are the centre of the universe at all times. They really make you feel safe and secure in the knowledge that you have a trusted friend for life.

You really cannot be lonely with a German Shepherd, they make the best friends and companions in life and with their loyalty, intelligence and abilities to learn and adapt, they make a perfect pet and friend.

How to Pick a Puppy Thats Right for You?

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There Are Two Types Of Dog Intelligence

Dog intelligence is divided into two separate varieties. There is instinctive intelligence that consists of a dogs natural ability thats inherent to a breed. This is the type of intelligence that makes German Shepherds good protectors, Bloodhounds good sniffers, and Border Collies excellent herders of sheep.

Then theres a type of dog intelligence called adoptive intelligence. This is nothing more than a dogs ability to learn. Adoptive intelligence includes socialization, learning to carry out tasks, and understanding human language. A German Shepherd, like any dog, can do better at one type of intelligence that the other.

Its easy to test your dogs intelligence by using an online dog IQ test. Whether you have a German Shepherd or another type of dog, this type of test can give you a general idea as to how smart your dog is. Just be sure to follow the directions and have fun watching your dog figure out some things using nothing but his brainpower!

German Shepherds Are Smart And Theyre Easy To Train

In addition to being bright, German Shepherds are also one of the easiest breeds to train. Ingrained in the German Shepherd is a quick and retentive memory. This helps the dog easily remember key words, commands, and tricks its taught by its owner.

This dogs intelligence comes from its early history in Germany when the dog was specifically bred to shepherd over sheep. These early livestock guarding dogs were counted on for their intelligence, alertness, and their ability to quickly respond to danger. For these reasons, todays German Shepherd is an excellent protector of people and property and is often used by law enforcement and the military to serve and protect.

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German Shepherds Adaptive Intelligence

The last dimension of dog IQ is adaptive intelligence. It refers to the ability of the dog to learn for itself. Problem solving and the ability to learn from past experiences are both associated with high adaptive intelligence in dogs.

Though theres no objective way to measure this type of intelligence. Though, we do have real owner stories that suggest high adaptive intelligence in German Shepherds.

For example, a German Shepherd owner tells us:

If were sitting on the couch, I can tell Odin Ok Odin, its bath time. and hell hop off the couch, go into the bathroom and get in the tub.


She adds, Ive never met a dog who can do that before! Kelseys GSD quickly learned that the action that follows the words bath time. From his previous experiences, Odin knew exactly what was going to happen and did what he had to do. Smart boy, indeed.

As we already know, learning verbal commands is easy for the German Shepherd. As such, learning word correlations is not a problem for this dog. But how about learning actions through other stimuli?

Another GSD owner, Jacob, tells us why his German Shepherd is highly intelligent:

I go into my bathroom all the time, but the moment I put on sunscreen he knows that were about to go for a walk and waits patiently next to his leash.

These are just two examples, but if you asked any German Shepherd owner, they would probably tell you equally remarkable stories of adaptive IQ in these dogs.


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