The German Shepherd dog is a noble dog breed with a rich history of serving man. With his keen intelligence and eagerness to work and follow commands, he’s earned the reputation of being a top canine breed. It’s not surprising that this strong and capable dog makes an excellent pet if carefully selected and properly trained. What should you consider before you bring a German Shepherd dog into your home? Here are the advantages and disadvantages to owning a German Shepherd:
Advantages of owning a German Shepherd
The German Shepherd dog breed is extremely intelligent.
This dog breed is always listed in the top five on lists of most intelligent dogs. They are known for learning very quickly and with appropriate training can perform an array of complex tasks. It’s not surprising that German Shepherds have found employment in police K-9 units, as bomb sniffers, as search and rescue dogs, and as canine members of the military. The versatility of this breed is amazing.
They are eager to please.
The German Shepherd dog is easily trained due to his eagerness to please and his strong motivation for learning new tasks. When given proper obedience training, the German Shepherd can become a model canine citizen.
German Shepherds are very effective guard dogs.
With their strong athletic bodies and unwavering sense of loyalty to their family, the German Shepherd is a gifted guard dog. Ever alert for signs of danger, the German Shepherd will sound the alarm and is willing to lay down his life to save his owner, if necessary. More than a few dog heroes of the year have been German Shepherd dogs.
Disadvantages to owning a German Shepherd
German Shepherds need exercise and mental stimulation.
A German Shepherd needs to have a job and a sense of purpose. This dog breed won’t be happy confined to a house or apartment all day and will manifest their displeasure with destructive behavior. They need frequent exercise to expend some of their considerable energy.
They can be overly protective.
The German Shepherd dog breed has a tendency to be suspicious of strangers unless given early socialization. It’s important that they interact with a variety of people from a young age in order to learn to differentiate the “good guys” from the “bad guys”.
They are prone to health problems.
This German Shepherd dog breed is prone to a variety of health problems including hip dysplasia, hemangiosarcoma, pancreatitis, and intestinal bloat. Count on spending some money on veterinary bills if you choose to adopt this breed.
German Shepherds may be aggressive with other animals.
If you have other pets at home, particularly cats, introducing a German Shepherd into your family may present problems. It may take patience and a lot of training to help them overcome their tendency to chase other animals.
There is the potential for legal liability.
The German Shepherd is one of the dog breeds some insurance companies have on their black list, meaning they won’t insure you if you have one or will charge you a large premium. This is a sad fact of life since many German Shepherd dogs make model pets with proper care and training.
It can be a joy to share your life with a German Shepherd dog if you have the time and inclination to train them properly and stimulate them both mentally and physically. Is the German Shepherd dog breed right for you and your family?