Acquired: Worked with pet (didn’t own)
Training: I haven't learned care / training techniques
North Carolina, United States
Posted January 3, 2014
Almost every German Shepherd that I have had experience with at animal shelters or other environments have been extremely well-behaved. German Shepherds are very easily trained, and want to please. They are very protective over their families and make great watch dogs.
While volunteering at an animal shelter, I had the opportunity to work with a litter of German Shepherd puppies that had just been brought in. They were very sweet and playful, and the shelter's trainer had absolutely no problem with obedience and crate training them. The puppies all got along well with each other, and only ever "play-fought."
A couple of the older German Shepherds in the animal shelter did have some joint problems, but I didn't hear of any other health issues. German Shepherds are best suited for owners who have somewhat of an active lifestyle, and have owned dogs before. German Shepherds are known for shedding, which should be kept in mind. Large-breed dogs such as these probably won't be very happy in a small apartment with an owner who is never home.
One new owner, who had adopted one of my shelter's adult German Shepherds, sent us a letter telling us how they had been nervous having the dog around their cats. Surprisingly, the dog bonded to the cats quickly and became very protective over them. German Shepherds can be gentle family dogs just as easily as they can be wonderful watch dogs!