German Shepherd Dogs: About the Breed

German Shepherd Dogs are among the most popular, and most distinctive, dog breeds in America. What makes them so special?

German Shepherd Dogs

Loyal Personality

German Shepherd Dogs are loyal, dependable, and intelligent dogs. They take pride in pleasing their owner and find joy in serving them. While not necessarily aggressive, German Shepherds are extremely protective of their loved ones and will not hesitate to take action when they judge it necessary. Because of this, German Shepherds make excellent watchdogs. They are usually reserved around strangers, but soon warm up to be lifelong, faithful companions.

Working Dogs

German Shepherd Dogs are happiest when they have a job to do. For centuries, the German Shepherd has been performing jobs in agriculture, law enforcement, and the military, and has even provided services for the disabled. Because they are herding dogs at heart, they can sometimes display their ancestral herding instincts by nipping or herding small children. Though this behavior is not intentionally harmful, you can correct it through proper socialization and training. Because of their strong desire to work, German Shepherds should not be alone for long periods of time. When bored, they may turn to more destructive behaviors to keep busy. Always make sure your German Shepherd gets plenty of exercise, and be sure to stimulate his brain during play time. They often even enjoy agility training or obedience competitions.

General Care

Caring for German Shepherd Dogs is easy if you know what to expect. First, German Shepherds shed year round. You can minimize shedding by brushing two to three times a week. German Shepherds have a clean, thick coat that helps protect them from the elements. Because of this, you don’t need to bathe them unless they are extremely dirty. They also love to chew, so good dental hygiene and tooth protection is important. You can provide your German Shepherd with plenty of safe chew toys to keep tooth tartar at bay. Here are some great guidelines for dog chew toys that are best (and worst) for your dog’s teeth.

Are German Shepherd Dogs the right breed for you?

If you live an active lifestyle, enjoy time outdoors, and are a confident dog parent, then the German Shepherd might be a good choice for you. A German Shepherd owner should be able to handle some barking, chewing, and lots of playtime! German Shepherds make great family pets, and they get along great with kids. However, people who spend a lot of time away from home might be better served by adopting a lower-maintenance breed.

Looking to adopt a dog or cat? Get started browsing adoptable pets near you with Get Your Pet.