Acquired: Breeder (professional)
Training: I’ve taught bird care / training techniques
Posted November 25, 2013
Living with a German Shepherd is truly a rewarding experience for everyone involved. Over the course of 20 years, we had three German Shepherds that have each played a unique role in our lives.
The German Shepherd is a strong, healthy, athletic, obedient, protective, and extremely loyal companion. I say companion because it is almost as though the dog tries to assume the role of family member rather than family pet. As odd as this may sound, if you have had a Shepherd you know what I am referring to. The Shepherd always makes sure to keep you company all throughout the house, in the back yard, on your way to get the mail, at the beach or park, or in car rides if you so choose to include him or her. As a result, the German Shepherd makes for an incredible guard dog. This breed of dog is always willing to protect its owner regardless of the situation. The breed, overall, is not aggressive in nature, however, it does have the potential to be aggressive. As a result, it is extremely important to establish your dominant role in the companionship as well as staying on top of the dogs training and obedience. It is always helpful to remain proactive rather than reactive. In other words, if you find the dog to be food or dog aggressive, you need to have the issue addressed immediately before it becomes a habit and eventually a problem or danger. As I said, the breed is not aggressive or dangerous, however, due to their sheer size, strength, and protective nature it is crucial to be aware, that's all! The German Shepherd is overall a healthy dog with the only real health issues coming later in life in the form of hip dysplasia or tumors. Anyways, aside from these potential problems as a Shepherd owner, there's so much positive about the breed.
As I said, Shepherds are very loyal and are more like family members. As a result, they do not like being left alone for extended periods of time and will whine or bark to try to get you to come back for them, almost as if they believe you've forgotten about them. Also if you have friends or family that you trust and that feel comfortable with the dog, it is better to have them as caretakers of the Shepherd while you are out of town.
German Shepherds love to play outdoors. They will run, chew their toys, play tug of war, or play fetch all day long if they are allowed to. They get along great with other dogs so long as they are introduced to each other properly. When they make a friend with another dog they make a friend for life and will actually show signs of depression should the other dog pass away or is given away.
German Shepherds are very easy to maintain, however their food bills can get expensive. As a result of their thick and heavy coats it is important to brush them regularly to remove their undercoat, especially in the warmer months.
If you are looking for an incredible family dog that is gentle, loving, loyal, energetic, easy to train, loves to please, great for protection, and easy to win you over as a favorite pet then you MUST consider owning a German Shepherd!