The Pros and Cons of Owning a German Shepherd Dog
The decision to adopt any dog should be considered seriously, especially if you are considering a large breed dog like the German Shepherd. As the third most popular dog breed in the United States for the past 10 years according to the American Kennel Club, the German Shepherd Dog attracts attention for its good looks, intelligence, and strong personality. However, this classic and lovable breed of dog is not an easy or low-maintenance pet. Many pros and cons come with owning a German Shepherd dog.
For the happy owners of these powerful dogs, the cons become just part of an interesting routine, but for other potential pet owners, the challenges of a large breed can be prohibitive. As the owner of a German Shepherd dog for the past six years, I can credibly share my experience with this remarkable breed.
Pro: As a large breed dog, a German Shepherd features a robust animal full of energy that allows its owner to make a bold statement with their pet and enjoy the company of a dog that adds security to the home.
Swindle: This breed can easily be too doggy for some people. They are strong and often strong-willed, and any owner of a large breed has a responsibility to control their dog. When a Yorkshire Terrier incessantly barks at visitors to your home, they’ll be upset, but visitors who get an unrestricted barking session from a German Shepherd will suddenly feel like they’re in the middle of a civil rights protest. In addition to controlling barking, you should teach your dog not to jump on people. Being hit in the chest by a 70-90 pound animal with large claws is painful.
Pro: A German Shepherd is an intelligent even mischievous animal that will respond well to training and will be fun to play with. You will enjoy interacting with your dog during formal training, and you will be proud of the learning progress your pet shows. German Shepherds require mental and physical stimulation, which makes them an excellent option for a person or a family who wants to integrate a pet into an active and fun lifestyle. A German Shepherd is an excellent motivator to keep you active and healthy.
Swindle: A German Shepherd should not be left alone for long periods of time (more than a few hours). This applies to any dog, but as an original working breed, the German Shepherd dog is geared towards high levels of activity herding animals, assisting in search and rescue, and as law enforcement dogs. You must commit to exercising and stimulating your dog every day. In a German Shepherd reference by D. Caroline Coile, Ph.D., the author reported that this breed was bred to move for hours through large territories. Daily walks and play sessions along with several hours of attention are essential. It is extremely important that you commit to training your dog during adolescence and maintaining an exercise routine throughout his life. If this is too much for you or your family, then do not adopt this breed.
Pro: As the owner of a German Shepherd, you will receive countless compliments on the beauty of your pet throughout its life. They are beautiful animals and you will be proud of your dog, especially if you train him correctly. You will admire and love your pet for its many abilities and charms.
Swindle: German Shepherds will be mischievous, especially for the first two years. My dog ate my birthday cake when he was two years old. In general, be prepared for the things you like to be destroyed by chewing, digging, and playing roughly. Flower beds in the mind of a German Shepherd seem like a soft, cool and humid play season. The packages that are delivered to the front porch are turned into chewy cardboard balls. All kinds of possessions like clothes, remote controls, books, walls, doors and garden tools will be crushed between powerful jaws.
Pro: Being a very intelligent breed, the German Shepherd can avoid inappropriate behaviors. Have plenty of toys and chews available at all times. When your dog chews on the wrong things, give him a bite or a toy and positively reinforce chewing on the correct objects. Unfortunately, as far as I know, these strong-willed dogs will never completely stop digging. Your love of landscaping won’t win you any home and garden awards. I had to be content with a trained dog not to dig the garden.
Swindle: German Shepherds in general are susceptible to genetic conditions that can be troublesome or even debilitating. Hip dysplasia, panosteitis, and degenerative myelopathy commonly develop in this breed, and you will need to learn about care and possible prevention. This breed can also suffer from various allergies. My dog has food and environmental allergies that took me months before it got better. Good breeding can limit the frequency of these conditions, but there are no guarantees.
Thinking about how you will respond to the challenges of having a dog before adopting him will significantly help you enjoy your pet. Dogs, especially German Shepherds, need your attention, formal training, and constant exercise. Ignoring these needs will lead to a negative experience and an unhappy dog that could end up in the shelter. The joys and challenges of owning a German Shepherd overlap with the needs of most large breeds, but it is essential to recognize that a German Shepherd is not a gentle breed. He is an active dog who will always be looking for fun. Depending on your situation and lifestyle, these traits can be ideal or expensive.