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Which German Shepherd Is Right For Me

German Shepherds Are Obedient And Easy To Train

Testing and Selecting German Shepherd Puppies for work

German Shepherds have high intelligence, thus they can be trained for various purposes. German Shepherds are obedient, making them easier to train compared to other dog breeds. Not only do German Shepherd perform well in task training, obedience training wouldn’t be any problem for them as well. They will listen and obey to your commands.

Have You Preselected A Veterinarian

Consider finding the right veterinarian as important as finding a general medical doctor for you and your family. While all veterinarians will possess a certain level of expertise about animals in general, its important that you find a veterinarian that you are comfortable with as a person.

Nobody will know your dog better than you, and you are the go between for your dog and your vet. So its crucial to make sure that you and your veterinarian are able to commuinicate in a friendly and effective manner.

Also, just like people, dogs also sometimes develop conditions or diseases that are beyond the purview of a general doctor or veterinarian. If this is the case, you will need to seek the help of a veterinary specialist, so you will want to make sure that the veterinarian you select is also well connected in the veterinary community and will be able to refer you to a competent specialist should the need arise.

So before you get a dog, make sure that you are diligent in finding the right veterinarian. Its a great idea to look at online reviews that are readily available, but its also important to go and see for yourself.

In addition to reading reviews, go and visit the location in person. If while you are there, you are unsatisfied with the appearance of the office or even the friendliness of the staff, then you should probably move on.

German Shepherds Can Be A Misunderstood Intimidating Breed

For those who have never been around German Shepherds, or dogs in general, Shepherds can come across as mean and intimidating.

There is no denying that they are visually intimidating and strong. A fully grown male German Shepherd on average is between 60 and 90 pounds, while females range between 50 and 70 pounds. Both genders measure an average of 2 feet tall from the ground to back.

Shepherds also have an incredibly intimidating, deep bark. As you get to know your German Shepherd, you will be able to quickly recognize and interpret different barks, from angry and protective to goofy and playing. However, if you do not know the dog who is barking at you, and the dog is large, and bark can be perceived as aggressive.

German Shepherds are often refused as accepted breeds in apartment complexes, and can in some cases increase Home Owners Insurance premiums, in fact, according to The Nest, SHepherds are number 4 on the list of dogs that Insurance will not cover.

The article also explains that Shepherds are often seen as aggressive because of a high percentage in the annual cases of dog bites being from German Shepherds.

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About The German Shepherd Dog

German Shepherd is the kind of dog that doesnt make a lot of friends but, with the friends that he has, hes extremely loyal.

This dog is aloof but isnt normally very aggressive.

This dog is known to be strong as well as protective and makes an excellent watchdog with his strong and sturdy looks, and stern face.

German Shepherds are highly intelligent dogs that can be trained to do almost anythingthey serve as police dogs, companions, tracking people and explosives, etc.


They are quite impatient and cant be on their own for a long time.

In fact, German Shepherds are known to develop destructive behaviors such as chewing, digging holes, etc. when left alone for a long time.

They are active dogs and need to be exercised.

German Shepherds like to go on long walks, play games such as fetch, go to the dog park, go hiking, etc.

Puppies need to be socialized early on in life to become well-rounded adults.

Ideally, you should take your GSD to puppy kindergarten and expose him to various environments.

You shouldnt get yourself a German Shepherd Dog if you stay away from home for long periods of time as this breed is prone to anxiety as well as boredom.

They do well in families where someones home at all times.

In fact, German Shepherds are prone to separation anxiety!

These dogs arent well-suited for small apartments as they like to explore and be active.

Obedience training is something that you need to work on since puppyhood.

How Much Does A German Shepherd Eat

Is A German Shepherd Right For Me?

Depending on your age and size, you can gobble up even 400/500 grams of food daily. I always think of high quality because due to its activity we must focus on a diet rich in energy and highly assimilable proteins.

So not only will you eat enough feed , but that feed will also need to be of high quality. Which means, an even bigger expense.

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German Shepherds Have A High Occurrence Of Health Issues

Typical for a large breed dog, a Geman Shepherds lifespan is often 9-12 years. Thanks to overbreeding due to breed popularity combined with the natural issues that occur to large dogs, German Shepherds have a high occurrence of difficult health issues.

These issues make it very important that when you are looking to buy a puppy, you are using reputable breeders with open health history information, or you are at least willing to cover the costs of possible health issues if you have rescued your dog or are buying from an unknown source.

The biggest issue that plaques German Shepherds is joint issues. A combination of being a fast-growing breed, a large breed, and a highly active breed means they often have difficulties in their hips and elbows, difficulties from which they do not always recover.

They can also suffer bone pain in bones that are forming too rapidly, although this is something they typically grow out of in their first year.

Other common issues have to do with neurological impairments, such as epilepsy and Degenerative Myelopathy. Epilepsy is very common and will manifest infrequent seizures. Degenerative Myelopathy is an autoimmune disease that causes a loss of coordination and balance issues.

Additionally, while it is a great idea to read online pros and cons lists while initiating your decision, it is also a good idea to talk to real-life Shepherd owners.

In this guide, we go over:

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.

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Things To Think About

Now that you know what you should be looking for in the ideal good first dog, were going to spend some time going over the major characteristics and traits of the average German Shepherd. These are all important things to consider when youre deciding if this breed will be a good first dog for you.

Keep in mind that not all of these characteristics will be considered positive. However, they will definitely allow you to understand what you should expect when you buy or adopt a German Shepherd and determine whether or not you think you can handle a German Shepherd for your first dog.

Check out this super 5-minute video all about the German Shepherd, including a brief history, care, and training. It will also give you a great insight as to whether you think the German Shepherd will be a good first dog for you:

Okay, so lets get right into the 9 things to know

German Shepherds Love Children

Dog Breeds and Personalities – Which dog is right for me?

If given proper socialization training from an early age German Shepherds love to play with children if they are trained well to do so when they are young. Proper puppy training is essential along with love, care and respect towards your pooch. Also, make sure not to allow children to play with the dog when eating or trying to remain alone.

EDIT 26/8/17: Removed section about the shedding behaviours of German Shepherds. Thanks for the comments!

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More Information & Facts About The German Shepherd Dog Breed

This guide might be more comprehensive than the checklist outlined above.

Friendly Disclaimer; are not veterinarians, or animal professionals/experts. Information provided is for;informational purposes only it;is not a substitute for professional or qualified advice.

The information is based on either our own thorough research, and/or own experiences, as a means of free speech.

You should always;consult your own veterinarian, animal expert, or health care professional and follow their advice before;making decisions on all matters.

You can find our full set of disclaimers and T & Cs in the footer of this site.

Enjoy your reading, and thank you for being here;

Home » Breed Info » Should I Get A German Shepherd? Checklist Of 19 Things To Consider

East German Ddr Working Lines

This type of German Shepherd has continued to be developed and maintained after the end of WWII.;

The establishment of the Deutsche Demokratische Republik meant strict government-controlled pedigree registration.

And 40 years of closed breeding.

From this developed a distinctive looking dog.; With dark pigment, a big head, deep chest, athletic body, supreme intellect, and stamina to boot.

This type of German Shepherd has a sound temperament and a high work drive .

They must have plenty of mental and physical stimulation and an experienced handler.

Check out this infographic and learn some fun facts about the German Shepherd Breed!

Also Check: German Shepherd And Shedding

How Much Exercise Do They Need

The German Shepherd is a working dog and requires a considerable amount of physical and mental exercise to stimulate them and keep them out of mischief. This is not a breed thats happy to be a couch potato. The best toys for German Shepherds are the ones that require physical activity and mental stimulation. We review the best dog toys and brain games to help you give your pup what they need.

Its crucial to provide a long daily walk or, better yet, a run. Obedience training and games can also help stimulate this dogs active brain. These dogs love pack games like fetch or frisbee, which also serve well to tire them out.

If you were wondering how fast can a German Shepherd run, the answer is up to 30 mph.

Maybe you are also asking, do German Shepherds like water? Or can German Shepherds swim? While they are certainly capable of learning to swim, they dont always take to water naturally.

If youre curious about how much exercise your dog gets daily, consider getting a dog activity tracker.

Are You Prepared To Deal With A Dog That May Develop Significant Health Problems

Is A German Shepherd Right For Me

German Shepherds are more prone than other breeds to develop a few specific health problems that can seriously impact their well-being and require a lot of extra care on your part. These issues may also come at a significant monetary cost to you in terms of veterinary bills and medications.

In addition to this, if you have children, take into account how your dogs health problems may affect them. Children grow to be very fond and attached to their pets dogs especially.

In the unfortunate event that your German Shepherd does develop a significant health issue, you will need to be sure that you are confident your children will be able to emotionally handle this.

Some health problems more particular to GSDs than other breeds are:

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German Shepherds Are Healthy

German Shepherd are one of the healthiest dog breed. They can live to up to 13 years if they are properly cared for. German Shepherds love to exercise, thus they are free from weight problems. German Shepherds are prone to several health risks such as hip and elbow dysplasia which later lead to arthritis, degenerative myelopathy and others diseases, but the risk of suffering from these diseases is greatly reduced if proper nutrition and veterinary care are given.

What Is The Best Dog Food For A German Shepherd

German Shepherds require a low-protein diet of around 18% protein and 1,740 to 2,100 calories per day. Giving your pup high-quality dog food should eliminate the need for supplemental vitamins and nutrients. Some dogs require specific dietary requirements, so be sure to check with your vet about the right food for your dog. If you want to simplify feeding in your home, our experts review fresh dog food, raw food, and food delivery options.

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How Much Does A German Shepherd Cost

How much is a German Shepherd? On average, a German Shepherd costs between $500 and $1,500 when purchased from a breeder. The cost can fluctuate depending on the location and reputation of the breeder. You can also consider getting a German Shepherd from a rescue organization. This option may be less expensive, but you may also have to wait until they have a dog available for you.

Facts About German Shepherds


The video above will give you a little bit of everything about German Shepherds that you should know about the breed. I guarantee you that after watching this five-minute video you will know first hand if you want a German Shepherd dog and if they are the correct fit for you.

That said I am pretty sure that after you have watched the video that you will be pretty hyped on getting a German shepherd, please do enjoy the video.

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The Basic German Shepherd Temperament

Your dog can be characterized by different sets of temperament. However, there are some that cannot be changed.

The following are the most basic German shepherd temperament that we can say are always present to the breed.

  • Courageous and Fearless: German shepherdsare courageous, which can be seen from the heroic deeds of dogs during the World War I.They are also fearless, except of course when it comes to their trauma. Thats why they are suited to extreme tasks. This is also the reason why they were the perfect dogs for soldiers.
  • Strong and Energetic: German shepherds, are and will always be energetic dogs. However, its already given that their stamina might deteriorate as they age.Regardless, they are still stronger and more energetic than most breeds. This makes these dogs perfect for fitness-oriented people. After all, both the owner and dog will be energetic and eager to exercise.
  • Protective and Loyal: German shepherds are protective and loyal. In fact, there were eight German shepherds that reportedly performed heroic deeds in America along with their owners.However, they can be dominant sometimes. So a strict trainer is suitable for them so they wont develop a poor behavior due to their alpha tendencies.

These German shepherd traits are pretty basic, even a kid knows about them.

However, as previously said, the advanced breeding method for dogs brought change in the German shepherds personalities. This led to several types of temperament.

How Long Do German Shepherds Live Are They A Healthy Breed

German Shepherds typically live 10-12 years. Some do live to 13 or 14, but usually with chronic health issues such as arthritis.

And sadly, many don’t even make it to age 10.

As a long-time German Shepherd owner, I know first-hand how many health problems this breed suffers from. Crippling joint diseases, autoimmune diseases, digestive diseases, skin diseases, heart and eye diseases…. truly a breed with serious health problems.

It’s a good idea to have pet insurance when you own a German Shepherd.

Here is a complete list of health problems in German Shepherds.

See my advice on keeping;your;dog;healthy.

The most common color in German Shepherds black and tan, in the saddleback pattern

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Theyre More Prone To Hip Dysplasia

All breeds come with their own health issues. The German Shepherd just happens to be hip dysplasia. This is a painful hereditary condition of the hip due to the ball and socket joint being too loose or not developing correctly. It can lead to permanent osteoarthritis.

Certain types of exercise, too much or even too little exercise, improper;nutrition, and obesity can aggravate this genetic condition, so its important to properly care for your German Shepherd.

The risk can be reduced in the first instance by finding a responsible breeder and choosing a puppy whose parents have been screened for hip dysplasia and therefore have healthy hips.

There are various schemes to assess hip traits. The Orthopedic Foundation for Animals health testing;can help breeders determine the condition of their dogs hips. A similar scheme operating in the UK is the British Veterinary Association hip dysplasia scheme.

When choosing my breeder, one of the first things I checked was the hip scores of the parents and that they were both UK Kennel Club registered. Below are photos of my German Shepherds parents with their Kennel Club names. I took these photos during my first meeting with the breeder. My dogs Kennel Club registered name is Vonzius Willow.


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