As a German Shepherd owner myself, I absolutely love the breed and plan to always own a German Shepherd Dog. The pros outweigh the cons for me for the breed but keep reading if you are curious about the pros and cons of this breed.
German Shepherd Dog
For this list of pros and cons about the German Shepherd Dog, I’ll try to keep them both relatively equal but I do feel I can think of more pros than cons. This is a list I created after owning the breed and I still own one, plus discussing with other people who own and love the breed as well.
Pros to German Shepherds
German Shepherds are a highly intelligent breed. They are considered the third smartest breed. Due to ttheir intelligence, that are used as military or police k9s to sniff out bombs to contraband. The breed are also able to be show dogs and can perform many tricks as well. German Shepherd Dogs can also excel in service dog work.
Easy to Train
If you are wanting a breed that is easy to train, this breed is one that is eager to please. The breed tends to learn new commands quickly and within a few reptitions they have it pretty well figured out. Of course this doesn’t mean you can do it for a day and expect it to be perfect all the time.
The German Shepherd breed can make amazing guard dogs. This breed is generally protective and that itself can make them a good guard dog. Let’s go a step further though and include the fact they definitely should undergo adequate obedient training to mould them to the perfect guard dog. Keep in mind it is crucial to properly socialise your dog so it doesn’t overreact in certain situations. There are plenty of trainers who can assist with this, but be sure to do your research before just calling the first trainer who shows up on a google search
Athletic & Energetic
If you’ve seen this breed in movies or in person, you have probably seen just how athletic and fast these dogs can be. Quick and agile to be able to catch suspects when needed. The breed makes great running partners too. They must be exercised daily so they don’t get bored and destructive. This includes both physical and mental stimulation that is needed. German Shepherds definitely make amazing hiking buddies.
In this grooming part I’ll talk about bathing them. Luckily they don’t require many baths. I rarely bathe my German Shepherd Dog and when I do it’s once every few months. None of mine have ever gotten so stinky from rolling in mud that they required a bath. Maybe a quick hose off but that’s all.
All German Shepherds I have own or known have always loved water. They love swimming in it and splashing around in it. If you have a pool, expect your dog to want to enjoy it with you. Dog friendly beach or lakes? Bring your German Shepherd because they want to enjoy the water with you too.
These dogs can handle weather that’s cold or hot. They have a double coat which allows them to keep in the warmth in the winter and cold months while it also helps to keep them cool in the summer and warmer months. If your German Shepherd gets too hot, they might even dig a hole to lie down in and keep cool. Mine haven’t done this but my yard is half dirt anyways so they don’t feel the need to dig along with I’ve taught them to not dig in the yard.
Cons to German Shepherds
German Shepherds are truly amazing dogs but they aren’t a dog for everyone and for every home. So here are the list of cons I’ve come up with that could deter you from the breed or things to consider before bringing home a German Shepherd Dog.
These dogs shed DAILY. I’m not going to breeze over this fact. IF you don’t want dog hair all over your house, I highly recommend you avoid this breed. They shed even more in the spring and autumn but do shed daily. I brush my German Shepherd daily, outside, and fur is always coming off. Yes, the outer coat is minimal shedding while the undercoat sheds in the spring and autumn and that means you need to expect to find chunks of fur laying around. A good vacuum can help with this but even then, daily vacuuming you need to expect to find fur around the house.
German Shepherds are prone to multiple genetic health issues. Common ones that your dog can inherit are hip and elbow displaysia, degenerative myelopathy, panosteitis, etc. Other health issues they can get are bloat, epilepsy, diabetes, cataracts, and more. It is super important to get your German Shepherd from a reputable breeder for these reasons, mainly the issues they can inherit. Bloat isn’t something the dog cna inherit but it is serious and can be life-threatening. Whether you get your dog from a quality breeder or a rescue, I highly recommend getting them an Embark DNA + Health test (use code DNA30 to save $30 – Ends May 31). The health part alone is good to know what could possibly come up in the future with your dog and something good to share with the breeder and your vet.
German Shepherds tend to be so loyal to their person (or people) that this can cause them great anxiety being away from them. Of course they can typically tolerate being away alone for the typical 8 hours while most people leave for work, but they don’t make the absolute best dogs for those who aren’t home often to spend time with them, working and training them. They are such loyal dogs that they don’t like tobe left alone long. If you need to leave them for long hours, leave them with toys (that they won’t detroy or eat) or have a friend or someone reputable drop in to visit and play with them.
German Shepherd Dogs tend to be quite vocal. They tend to bark at many sounds or people. Some end up whining more than barking. Regardless, they are vocal. Although incessant barking is never a good thing and if that’s the case, you can reach out to a reputable and quality trainer for help. They bark tends to be deep and loud which to most is considered scary.
Need a Job
This breed must have a job to do. If you don’t give your German Shepherd a job, they’ll make on efor themselves, and that most likely isn’t what you want. Some job ideas for your German Shepherd can be tracking, agility, flyball, Dock Diving, Fast Cat, Schutzhund, or something similar. There are many sports you can have your German Shepherd do and I highly suggest to try some out to see what you and your dog enjoy most.
Related Questions about the German Shepherd Dog
Can I shave my German Shepherd to reduce shedding?
It is never a good idea to shave a German Shepherd, you can reduce the coat length, but shaving will do more harm than good. Shaving the dog will leave it exposed to a lot of things like; heatstroke, insect bite, and loss of coat color.
So, shaving your dog might seem like a good idea to reduce shedding, but you are also leaving the dog exposed to other things.
Do German Shepherds make good family pets?
Yes, German Shepherd loves being in the family, and they are incredibly loyal and committed. Getting a German Shepherd and raising it with your family can be the best thing ever.
I’d love to hear your opinions below so feel free to leave them in the comment section.
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One Thought to “German Shepherd Dog – Pros and Cons to Owning One”
GERMAN SHEPHERDS are really cool and thanks for listing out the pros and cons about them. They are gods gift to humanity!