If you’re thinking about adding a German Shepherd to your family unit, you’re in the right place. Families around the world have benefitted from these beautiful, loving, and loyal dogs. There are some essential things to learn, however, before you make a German Shepherd part of your pack.
1. They are Highly Intelligent
German Shepherds protection dogs have largely become known because of their work with the police and military. They are incredibly intelligent and trained to perform a wide variety of tasks. They love to work and live to please their owners. Thanks to their doggie smarts, they can be trained to do anything from the standard, “sit,” “fetch,” and “rollover” commands to more complicated tasks such as hide and seek and doggie sports. Their keen intelligence and desire to learn have made them beloved by police units the world over.
2. They are Loyal and Protective
Loyalty and a natural desire to protect are excellent traits to have in a dog. And German Shepherds have them both in abundance. They are caring and will look out for their owners. If trained properly, they will protect their owner and their family from any threats. This is one reason why German Shepherds make excellent family protection dogs. They love to work, and if they’re given a role as protector and defender of your family, they will take it very seriously.
3. They Have High Energy Levels
These dogs love to work and play. In fact, they need to burn off their energy to keep them from getting overly bored. This is an important fact to note. If you need a dog that will be okay with staying inside an apartment for ten hours a day and only going for a brief five-minute walk, then the German Shepherd isn’t going to be right for you. However, if you’re dedicated to playing with your dog, taking it for daily runs, exercising it, and making sure it gets plenty of yard time, you’re probably a great candidate.
4. They Make Wonderful Companions
German Shepherds are loving and friendly toward their families. While remaining aloof and wary around strangers, when with their “pack,” you can’t get a more loving animal. They’ll enjoy being around children and adults alike, and if appropriately socialized, can be around other pets, as well. These dogs love to be around you, no matter what you’re doing. They’ll be the first to accompany you on a trip to the park or the mailbox and back. They enjoy being with their family and are happy to have a role. If they are trained as a family protection dog, you can be sure that your German Shepherd will always be around members of your family.
5. They Need a Strong Leader
The German Shepherd was originally bred to be a working dog. As a result, they tend to work hard and push even harder. If they don’t have a leader to look to for instruction and direction, then they will try to become the leader of the pack themselves. Their owner must be firm, consistent, and confident while also can remain cool, calm, and collected. Leadership must always come from the owner. If a German Shepherd senses weakness or a lack of leadership, it may try to take the place of top dog.
6. They are Sensitive
As with most dogs, German Shepherds family dogs do not respond well to harsh punishment, anger, or yelling. These dogs are sensitive and do best when corrected with firm, consistent, love. They want to please and do their best, but they need to be trained correctly. Incorrect training will not only instill bad habits into your German Shepherd, but it can lead to negative behavioral issues, as well. If you aren’t confident with providing consistent, daily training, then you should have a certified trainer train your dog for you, or consider a breed that is easier to handle.
7. They are Flexible
These dogs love to work and play. Whether you train them to serve your family as a protection dog, a herding dog, a livestock protection dog, or a service dog, they’ll be happy to fulfill their role. They can adapt to a wide variety of roles, locations, and routines. They can even thrive in various doggie sports, including Schutzhund, tracking, flyball, ring sport, and agility. As long as your German Shepherd is given a task, trained to perform it, and guided by a consistent trainer, they’ll thrive in any job or service task you give them.
8. Are German Shepherds Right for Your Family?
As you see, German Shepherds are wonderful dogs. They are loyal and loving, intelligent and energetic, and can be trained for nearly any task. It’s important to remember that they will need a strong leader and consistent training to become the best dog for any family. Do you have what it takes?
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