The German Shepherd Dog is one of the world’s most beloved breeds. It’s easy to see why. Not only are they a beautiful, noble breed to look at, but their intelligence and will to please their master is rivaled by very few. Their ability to learn quickly makes them sort after for police work, Seeing Eye dogs, therapy dogs, rescue dogs and dogs that are trained for the military. Their bravery is well documented. But what about those people who are not looking for a dog for this purpose? Does a German Shepherd make a good family and companion dog?
Having owned German Shepherds for most of my adult life, I find this breed is good for just about anything and makes a wonderful companion to share your life with. But make no mistake; this is not a meek dog. This is a dog with keen senses and it’s rare for them to miss anything. Yes, I would say they are a very nosy breed. They want to know everything that is going on in their surroundings. They are quick to pick up their master’s moods and emotions. Because of their keen intelligence and strong muscular body, early training and socialization is a must. They must consider you the alpha at all times. In order words, you must be the master and what you say goes, not the other way around.
Because the German Shepherd is a dog who likes to please, most of the time they enjoy being taught and trained. It makes for a more peaceful environment. You’re happy and the dog is happy. This is a breed that likes having something to do. He is not content lying around in a kennel all day. He has a tremendous need to be with his master. If a dog was classified as co-dependent, this would be the one. He becomes your shadow, ever watchful, ever ready to protect and always available for a good belly rub! He just wants to be part of your life.
Now the German Shepherd Dog’s breed standard says that he should be approachable but aloof and he doesn’t make the overture himself. He is his master’s dog, not the “I love everyone” type of dog. He’s discriminating and one must prove he’s worthy of this dogs friendship. A stranger will not fair well by forcing himself on this breed of dog.
A German Shepherd can be your child’s best friend, playmate and protector. The child should be taught respect when interacting with a dog of ANY breed. Size does not determine a dog’s temperament.
The German Shepherd should never be timid or shy, or aggressive. To be so, is an indicator of a dog with bad temperament. Look for the outgoing puppy. Don’t fall for the little puppy hiding in the corner that you feel “maternal” towards. This is an indicator of future bad temperament. Look for the one who is full of himself and readily comes to investigate who you are. A German Shepherd who is beautiful to look at and is a pleasure to live with is the ideal type of dog.
Is this dog for everyone? No! Who should not own this type of dog? Households that have unruly children that are not taught respect for animals that like to tease and hit an animal is not a good household for any dog. This is not a breed that should be tied up in the back yard or locked away in a kennel all day never being socialized. This dog is not for the person who is not strong enough in personality to be the alpha of his home. In order words, you must be the boss of this dog without being mean to him. Never try taking this dog’s dignity away. He was born to be noble. Anything less…….well it’s just not a German Shepherd.
There is a reason this dog is so beloved. He has so much to offer his owner and mankind that there’s just not enough words to describe all this dog can achieve in his lifetime. Not every breed of dog can do the work this animal is capable of doing and come and lay by your side at night content that all is well in your life and his. Your happiness is what makes him happy.
My rating: intelligence: (4), beauty: (4), good with children: (4), devotion: (4), easy to live with: (3)…..because of his need for exercise and training.