What Is A German Shepherds Temperament
To understand a german shepherds temperament, you need to think about what theyve been bred for.
Some of the common jobs theyve always held are police dogs, guard dogs, herders, and bomb/ sniffers.
Youd think this wouldnt make them the best for a family, however, being bred this way has given them some traits that make them great for the right families.
Fortunately, though, their temperament isnt going to be the only thing that determines what kind of behavior your german shepherd will have or whether that behavior fits with your family.
Is A German Shepherd A Good First Dog
German Shepherds are good first dogs for first-time owners. They are easy to train, obedient, affectionate, loyal, are good with kids and other pets, making them an excellent choice for both families or lone owners. However, they need a lot of exercise, shed a lot, and can become clingy.
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!
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German Shepherds Are Highly Versatile
These dogs are considered highly versatile due to their sharp intellect and athletic body. They are more comfortable in cold areas but can comfortably live in terrains with hot & humid temperatures. Besides, it is their very light and protective fur that helps them adapt to different climatic conditions.
Monitor Your Dogs Health
To ensure that your German Shepherd remains in perfect shape, you must take him to the vet periodically. This way, youll be able to monitor his health and minimize the chances of developing any worrisome conditions in the future.
Besides, the veterinarian will give your dog the necessary shots and vaccinations whether hes still a puppy or an adult.
Also, vet visits will give you some insight into important decisions related to your dogs lifestyle. For instance, youll be able to ask for advice about his food habits, grooming, which products to buy for him, and more.
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The Breeder Also Makes A Difference
As well as their temperament, the breeder you choose to buy them off is also going to be a deciding factor in your german shepherds behavior.
Most breeders are likely to specialize in certain behavioral traits that make german shepherds good for certain jobs.
For example, some breeders will produce lines of german shepherds that are competitive and courageous. These types of german shepherds make excellent guard dogs and police dogs. But obviously, theyre also much more likely to have higher aggression levels.
On the other hand, some breeders will choose to breed show dogs. While they dont have the same levels of courage and aggression, theyre still not the best choice. Most show dogs will have high levels of energy. Sometimes, the breeder focuses so much on the way a show dog looks, that theyll lose some of their intelligence .
No, the best choice of german shepherd for your family are german shepherds that have been bred with family in mind. These german shepherds will generally be easy to train and with a mellow personality.
Lastly, you can also consider long-haired german shepherds and white german shepherds. Both of which arent bred for work or sport. Which means theyre going to be a lot more relaxed.
Are German Shepherds Good For First
If youre a first-time dog owner, then the German Shepherd breed might not be for you.
They are very active and need an experienced handler who has time to train them.
However, if you have experience with dogs already or want a large pet that will protect your home from intruders, then this is a good choice!
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German Shepherds And Children
Adult German Shepherds can range from being calm and patient to bouncy and boisterous, depending on their personality, training and socialisation. Some can make great family pets in homes with children of all ages, but dogs should always be supervised around young children.
Make sure you can recognise the signs of unhappiness or anxiety in your dog to help avoid any conflicts. German Shepherds can be nervous of strangers so make sure theyre never left unsupervised. Be careful if you are introducing a German Shepherd to younger children or adults unfamiliar with the breed as they often dont know their own strength.
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.
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Why You Should Never Get A German Shepherd
German Shepherds, like any large breed, are prone to canine hip dysplasia, a crippling and potentially fatal disease. Good GSD rescuers will also be aware of such problems, and whether the rescued dog youre considering has shown symptoms of or has been treated for any health issues while with the rescue.
German Shepherds Are Intelligent And Hence Easy To Train
To be part of a family, dogs need to learn certain behaviors as per the expectation of their new owner. For the owner, this means investing precious time to train their pet in these behaviors. If your dog is not smart, you will need more time to get him to learn simple commands and skills. Instead, an intelligent dog will save you the trouble by picking up these skills and commands quickly.
German Shepherds fall into the category of intelligent pets. In a book titled The Intelligence of Dogs written by professor emeritus, Dr. Stanley Coren of the department of psychology at the University of British Columbia, the German Shepherd is ranked 3rd among the brightest dogs.
What this means is that your GSD will understand new commands with less than five repetitions and also obey them without requiring you to repeat them 95% of the time. You would want a pet dog who saves your time by learning commands and skills fast, wouldnt you?
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What Is The Lifespan Of A German Shepherd
The average life expectancy of a German shepherd is 10 years.The lifespan of a German Shepherd varies drastically depending on the dogs breed, living conditions, diet and exercise. Usually, a healthy pup can live up to 13 to 16 years or more with relative ease as long as there are no major medical complications such as those found in Bulldogs and Dalmatians, which tend to have much shorter lifespans than most breeds because of their unique body shapes and shortened noses.As with any large-breed dog, the presence of hip dysplasia will shorten their lifespan significantly because it causes excessive strain on joints that eventually leads them to wear down prematurely. Yet even without this complication, we still find that all dogs.
German Shepherd Family Guard Dog
For family protection, German Shepherd dogs that are well trained can be an ideal choice.
German Shepherds have always excelled in military, bomb detection, police, and guard dog work.
GSDs have served side by side with soldiers, police officers, and civilian security officers for decades, distinguishing themselves as heroes.
They have even worked for organizations like the U.S. Secret Service and the Central Intelligence Agency .
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Picking A German Shepherd Puppy
Sometimes being able to answer yes to the question of are German Shepherds good family dogs boils down to meeting the parent dogs and evaluating their health and temperament.
After meeting the parent dogs, it will be time to choose your puppy.
You want to look for a puppy that is friendly and outgoing and seeks you out for play and interaction.
Never choose a shy GSD puppy!
Be sure the puppy is bright-eyed and healthy and is willing to be held.
Make sure your new puppy is confident and curious and is happy to give and receive affection.
Reasons Why German Shepherds Are Good Family Dogs
I get it. Youve seen enough German Shepherds to know that you would like to add one to the family .
But are German Shepherds good family dogs?
Read on to discover:
- How kids can benefit from having a German Shepherd at home.
- What a few repetitions in training can do for your German Shepherd.
- 17 persuasive reasons to justify having a German Shepherd in your family
- And more..
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German Shepherds With Babies And Younger Children
One thing you have to bear in mind when choosing a German shepherd to be around babies and toddlers is the size.
A well-trained German shepherd will never intentionally harm a member of your family or visiting kids. However, extra care and training may be needed to teach the German shepherd the boundaries of play around smaller people. Teaching your GSD key voice commands, and not to jump, will be helpful for when toddlers are around.
If youre planning to introduce a baby into the home, you should train your GSD in anticipation of the new arrival.
Wrapping a baby doll in a blanket can teach a German shepherd how to behave around the new baby in a car or a stroller. You could also use the doll to teach the GSD not to go into the babys room or bark during sleep time.
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.
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Choosing The Right Breeder For Your Next Family Dog
Our dogs truly have the best temperament, so they make excellent Companion Dogs for families with kids. We encourage family and canine socialization and positive reinforcement in everything we do. We believe in educating each dog to its fullest capabilities, for whichever service it will be used for. We educate every dog as an individual, offering extensive obedience training, and we dont utilize mass training methods.
About Cindy Kelly
I’m the owner of Regis Regal German Shepherds, a small family business located in Spring Grove, Illinois. I’ve been breeding German Shepherds of sound body and mind for over 30 years and specialize in providing families with loving companion dogs, and dogs for emotional support therapy, for veterans suffering PTSD, and for other special needs. I’m trying to share my extensive knowledge on breeding and training the perfect German Shepherd with the wider community.
Lifespan Of German Shepherd Dogs
German shepherds are expected to live for a good 10 to 13 years.
To make sure your pup is at their healthiest, make sure to NOT overfeed.
Overweight dogs have a higher risk of devolving health problems, that includes heart trouble and arthritis.
Being overweight can also aggravate hip/elbow dysplasia if they have the condition.
A good grooming routine is certainly in order as German shepherds shed year-round.
A daily brushing or at the very least 2-3 times a week would be a good option.
Make sure to trim your shepherds nails regularly about every two weeks to prevent foot problems.
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Do German Shepherds Get Lonely
Due to their high intelligence levels and being active dogs, its not rare for German Shepherds to become bored quickly and feel lonely if left at home by themselves all day.
This boredom usually results in destructive behavior like chewing things up and destroying parts of your house.
If youre going to leave a German Shepherd alone, you have to ensure youve given it a lot of exercise beforehand. Also, providing them with lots of toys to keep them entertained is a smart idea.
German Shepherds Bark
Ok, if you leave your GSD alone often, ignore them, or let them get bored guess what? They are probably going to start barking and not stop until you give them what they want! You have been warned!
They Will Entertain Your Children For Hours
So, how will your GSD play entertain your kids? For starters, treasure hunts are a great game that your kids can play with your GSD due to their excellent sense of smell and direction. Just try hiding a treat and then telling your GSD to find it. Trust me, it will and quickly!
GSDs also like to play all kinds of games from fetch, to frisbee as well as being taught new tricks.
GSDs need lots of exercise every day, and it takes a lot to tire one out. So a GSD will happily run around with your kids all day long, and in turn make your life a lot easier. Tired kids = rested parents!
And if you, like me, have a family that loves to be outdoors, a GSD makes for a great addition to the group. My family and I have enjoyed many a hike and plenty of camping trips while accompanied by our GSDs.
For the less active of you, this also means that they will help you stick to your New Years resolutions and give you motivation to get out and go on that run. I know from experience that they make great running partners if you can keep up!
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Can You Leave A German Shepherd Alone For 8 Hours
There are various factors to consider before leaving any dog alone for an extended period of time. Particularly, the age and activity level of the animal should be considered. Older dogs require more frequent breaks than younger dogs to compensate for their slower metabolism, while active dogs may need longer periods between exercise to avoid taxing themselves without adequate recovery time. The individual temperament of your dog should also be taken into consideration. Some dogs prefer solitude or companionship , while others would benefit from short socialization breaks throughout the day with either humans or other animals some may simply not do well if left alone at all by themselves through an entire day without outside attention because they find anxiety manageable only when given quick opportunities for validation throughout the day/night.
They Require Less Physical Activity
German Shepherd is one of those selected breeds that is blessed with some fantastic genetics. The body structure is such that it doesnt require a lot of physical activity to keep them active. Daily 30-minutes walk plus some running will suffice to keep them fit and active.
They also dont require much space to roam around. And if you tend to have a small house, it wouldnt be a big issue for them. This is another excellent response to anyone who asks Are german shepherds good family dogs?
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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.