German Shepherds are very popular dogs, regularly making the AKC’s annual list of most popular breeds.
They are devoted and loyal dogs, courageous and intelligent, and protective best friends to their owners. It’s no wonder that so many people want to bring a German Shepherd into their lives and their home.
But there are a few things you should know about raising a German Shepherd before you take the leap.
Keep reading to find out more about this incredible dog breed and what you need to know about bringing one home.
1. Owning a German Shepherd is Not Ideal for First-Time Owners
If you’re considering adopting a German Shepherd as your first dog, you may want to rethink it. This breed requires an experienced owner that has some understanding of how to train a boisterous and strong dog.
These dogs are amazing creatures but need a lot of hands-on work, from training to exercise and mental stimulation. As a first-time dog owner, you may be inadequately prepared, and this could lead to an untrained, aggressive, and even dangerous dog.
If you’ve got your heart set on a German Shepherd, though, then you should seek outside help. Be sure to take your dog to training school when he is a puppy and pay attention so that you learn some things yourself!
2. They Shed A Lot of Hair
Are you prepared to have your furniture, clothes, and pretty much everything you own covered in dog hair? German Shepherds have luscious, thick coats, which is a huge part of what makes them such beautiful dogs. But they have a double coat of fur which means that they shed…a lot.
Your dog will consistently shed their hair throughout the year, but they “blow their coats” twice a year. This is when they switch from the winter coat to the summer coat, and you can expect even more shedding during this period.
It’s easy to remedy this by frequently brushing your dog, only permitting them in certain areas of the house, and having a robot vacuum cleaner.
3. Training a German Shepherd is Important
German Shepherds are incredibly smart. Their intelligence surpasses that of most dog breeds by a mile. Their intelligence makes them highly trainable dogs as they are good listeners, eager to please, and very observant.
Training a German Shepherd is important for a couple of reasons. First of all, they are natural guard dogs and extremely protective. These character traits may display as aggression if the dog isn’t adequately trained.
Secondly, due to their high intelligence, these dogs require mental stimulation. Otherwise, they can become bored and destructive. A simple walk just won’t cut it. Training and obedience classes are excellent methods of mental stimulation for your German Shepherd.
4. They Need Exercise and Space
These are high-energy dogs with intensive exercise needs. As a working dog breed, German Shepherds love having a job to do. They need to be exercised daily, and a long walk probably won’t cut it. Expect to take your dog on walks but allow them time off-leash to run at full tilt, too.
If you live an active lifestyle, this is a fantastic breed. These dogs will love going on long runs with you and adventuring alongside you.
Their size and exercise requirements mean that German Shepherds require a lot of living space. Keeping these dogs in an apartment is unhealthy for the dog and will lead to bad behavior from feelings of being cooped up.
5. Buying a German Shepherd Does Not Come Cheap
Buying a German Shepherd from a reputable breeder is costly. These are thorough-bred dogs and a very popular breed, so you can expect to pay a hefty price for a healthy puppy from a good line.
That being said, there are plenty of GSD rescue groups where you’ll find a puppy or adult German Shepherd to adopt. Not only will you be providing a loving home for a dog in need, but it’s much more affordable.
If you take the leap and buy or adopt a dog, then check out these German Shepherd gifts to prepare for the day you bring your new best friend home!
6. German Shepherds Can Be Rough
These are big dogs with a lot of power, and sometimes they forget their own strength. They are a loving and caring breed but can be protective over their owners. If they are not trained, they may bite strangers when they feel threatened, or they feel their owner is threatened.
When you’re playing with your dog, tumbling and wrestling, they may get ahead of themselves and like to play it rough.
7. They are Protective and Loving
German Shepherds are doting, loyal dogs towards their owners. You will be your dog’s best friend and vice versa. German Shepherds are very affectionate and cuddly dogs towards their family but aloof with strangers.
They are also very protective, and when you bring a German Shepherd into your home, you can be sure that they will do everything to keep you safe. They make excellent guard dogs and good family dogs, too — a wonderful mix!
Are You Prepared for Raising a German Shepherd?
Now that you know everything that is involved in raising a German Shepherd, do you feel ready to bring this awesome dog into your life? it’s important to remember that you need experience and commitment to throw yourself into training and exercising your dog.
If you’re looking for a loving dog who is protective, brave, and intelligent, then a German Shepherd might be the perfect breed for you!
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