Is a German Shepherd the Right Dog for You?

German Shepherds are extremely social dogs. They form tight bonds with their people, and need to be a part of everything. They don’t want to play – they want to play with you. They are very smart, and are happiest when you are teaching them something new. They will always give you 10x more than you invest in them. 

BlackRidge Harley

Lure Coursing at 3.5 years old. She is no where near ‘peaking out’ of her performance career. 

Questions to Ask Before Getting Your Puppy

Short of saying that the German Shepherd is the ‘perfect dog’, there are a lot of reasons to want a Shepherd – but there are some reasons you shouldn’t own a Shepherd. Before choosing a German Shepherd you need to sort through “The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly.” There is a lot of information out there, and a lot of miss information.

It doesn’t matter who you talk to – The American/Show Breeders, The Working Dog Breeders, The White Shepherd Breeders, or the Hobby Breeders, and rescue agencies, they all have their own beliefs and opinions. Some are based in fact, and some are based in fiction.

This series of articles is designed to help new puppy buyers to determine:

  • Is a German Shepherd the right dog for me?
  • What type of German Shepherd is right for my family?
  • Can I properly take care of, and raise, a German Shepherd?
  • The Cold Hard Facts About a German Shepherd
  • Will I be happy with a Shepherd?

The last question is the most important. Too many times I’ve seen wonderful puppies abandoned because the owners fell in love with an ‘ideal’ or those adorable puppy eyes, and cute little ears. In this article we are going to attempt to help you determine whether a shepherd is right for you.

Asking For Help Doesn't Mean You Fail

This question is designed to make new puppy owners stop and think. It doesn’t mean that I advocate German Shepherds ‘only’ for people who have owned other dogs. But I do believe that you may need the help of a GSD group, or professional trainer if:

  • you are always making excuses for your dog’s behavior, or
  • your dog’s bite you,
  • Dog do not listen to your ‘first’ command, or do not obey the ‘stay’ command
  • Have had dogs which were ‘almost’ house trained,
  • Your dog’s run away when off leash,
  • Are aggressive with other dogs.

These problems are often caused by inexperienced, or over-tolerant owners. Sometimes the owner is just so loving and forgiving the puppy doesn’t understand what is expected of it.

German shepherds are extremely intelligent. They can learn so many bad habits and tricks while we are trying to teach them what we want. For people who have learned how to train dogs they are a fun challenge.

The great thing about Shepherds is that they want to please you, and they are the most forgiving souls in the universe. So even when I rehab a shepherd there is always that moment where we connect and are willing to give humans a second chance. This is one of the reasons why they are the best dog.

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