Acquired: Breeder (hobby breeder)
Posted June 2, 2015
Predominantly, the difficulty with this particular breed is its proneness to health issues. The German Shepherd breed, having been bred time and time again over the past several decades, have developed some serious health issues. The most common, being hip dysplasia, was incredibly prevalent in Bonnie. She began to suffer with the condition at the age of two, and it gradually developed. Despite the expensive surgery and sessions of hydrotherapy, Bonnie continues to struggle. She suffers with stiffness, and obvious pain, and her walks are restricted to 10-20 minute periods.
This health issue has been truly sad to observe, particularly as this breed is such an affectionate one. However, though she is devoted and loyal, she is also prone to barking, and the poor postman doesn't feel especially comfortable popping by the house.
If you are looking for an affectionate guard dog, who will certainly become a part of the family, you have found the right breed. Unfortunately, the combination of the muscular stature of the staff breed with the unfortunate health defects which accompany many German Shepherds has made for a dog which suffers more than it ought to, as well as being expensive to care for.