Acquired: Worked with pet (didn’t own)
Posted March 29, 2014
The German Shepherd Dog (GSD) can be a great and loving family dog, but from my many years of experience with them, I would absolutely not recommend them for everyone. By nature, the GSD is likely to be very attached to and loyal to its owners. It is also very intelligent and highly trainable if the owner knows what he or she is doing. However, on the same token, that loyal attitude can make the GSD very cautious around strangers if he is not properly socialized when he is young. My experiences working in a boarding kennel for many years have taught me that many otherwise sweet and social shepherds become highly defensive, territorial, and cautious as soon as they are placed inside a kennel run and their owners have left them. The GSD is a very big and strong dog, so these tendencies can cause issues. The GSD also has a number of potential health concerns, the biggest of which is hip dysplasia. Veterinary bills are something a GSD owner should be willing to incur. With the right owner who has done his or her research, the GSD can be a wonderful addition to the family. As with any dog, though, do your homework first!!