Friday, July 9, 2010


As usual, I never know which subject that I write about will generate the most “buzz.” My last three articles seemed to be the ones that did just that, especially yesterday’s topic about trying to find homes for show puppies. The old timers as well as the “new timers” had plenty to say about the subject. But most agreed their main focus is getting their puppies into the best homes possible whether that is a pet home or a show home.

I’m been wanting to write something about the emotional aspects of this breed’s temperament for awhile and then today on my list someone and I were corresponding about this exact topic.


When someone thinks of the German Shepherd Dog they think of this big handsome, noble breed of an animal. They expect that this is the ultimate family protection dog one that is easily trained and obedient. I’m assuming that they think that this dog is one of steady nerves and ever watchful of his environment. They probably think that there isn’t too much that this dog can’t do and do it very well! But do they really know this breed at all except for what they read about him or see on the evening news? What’s it really like living with one of the worlds most popular breeds of dogs?

Well yes of course this dog is all of the above and more. For although this dog is known for his “warrior” type of exterior, if people only knew that this is one of the biggest babies when it comes to their owners, they would be shocked. Many times if you walk down the street with your German Shepherd, you may find that some people step aside to let you pass. It’s the respect for this animal’s reputation that ensures his easy passage wherever he goes. Little do they know what this dog is like at home. Should we keep it our secret?

Just what is the German Shepherd like to live with? Well of course they all have their own different temperaments and dispositions. But on any given day this dog for all his bravado, is nothing but a pussy cat when it comes to his owners. Like people some are more affectionate than others, but all of them share the same need for their people’s approval! That’s why this breed makes such an excellent choice for his working and herding abilities. He loves to please. He loves what he’s doing because of the rewards he receives from his owner. I truly believe this dog’s purpose on earth is to please man. The German Shepherd has one of the biggest hearts. He gives his love freely to his owner but it is a very jealous and fiercely possessive love. If a song was ever penned for a breed, than I’m nominating two songs for him, “You’re the reason I’m living” and “Addicted to Love”. And the book I would nominate for him is “The Purpose Driven life.” There isn’t anything this breed won’t do for the love of his master.

The German Shepherd can be a monster of a dog if challenged by a person of a suspicious nature and intent. His beautiful face can be changed into “someone’s worst nightmare” if he suspects someone plans to do him or his master harm. He’s quick and he’s accurate in his pursuit of the one of “ill will.” I live alone but I sleep well with three German Shepherd bitches that don’t welcome the stranger knocking at my door.

So all right we know that our German Shepherd will lay down their life for us, but this dog is not snarling and barely his teeth every hour of the day. So what can one expect from living with this dog? Well again depending on his genetic makeup he can be a dog that lays down and minds his business content that all is well in his world or he can be one that is constantly on the move with an insatiable appetite to investigate every corner of his world. That said, I think that they are one of the most emotional of dogs. Granted I haven’t owned too many other breeds except for a couple of mixed breeds growing up. But I have friends and family that own other breeds.

The German Shepherd can be one of the most gentle of dogs with children and smaller animals. I’ve seen videos on the internet of our breed being “told off” by a much smaller and more aggressive dog. The German Shepherd takes it with his head down and those brown “cow like” eyes of his like if he’s saying “Are you done yet little fellow?” One bite and it would be all over. But if they love someone or something, they can take an awful lot. We have all lost our temper with our dogs at one time or another. Come on, you know you have. No matter how much you may love him, you have lost your temper with him at some time in his life. I know I have. Sometimes I may feel guilty for yelling at them and there are other times I don’t feel guilty about it at all.

Because this breed is so loyal, they can be stuck to your side twenty four hours a day if you let them. Because they are so intelligent, this makes them so very nosy. I’ve always said that I can’t live with a stupid dog. Well you know sometimes I regret saying that. This breed never misses anything, and their need to know what’s going on at all times never ends. You get up. They get up. You move. They move. You eat. They want to eat. You want to be left alone. They don’t want to leave you alone. You go into the bathroom. You have unwanted company. There’s no privacy when you own a German Shepherd Dog. From the lyrics of “You’re the reason I’m living”……..”I’d be lost without you” certainly applies to this breed. That’s the German Shepherd all right! I should be so lucky to have a man with this much loyalty and affection……although I could do without him following me into the bathroom also!

Oh yeah and talk about the emotions of the German Shepherd Dog. Some of them talk to you by whining, moaning and groaning twenty four hours a day. Some of them bark at you when you correct them for being naughty. Oh I’m not talking about a vicious bark. I’m talking about an “answering you back” type of bark. If you yell at them or correct them, Oh my Lord, you would have thought you just crucified him! Head held down, tail between his legs, he retreats to his bed like a rejected child. He lays there with those eyes looking at you just waiting for you to look in his “sorrowful” direction. If you do, the tail starts to slowly “bang, bang, bang” on the floor, a whimper of “Don’t you feel sorry for me yet” escapes from his throat just waiting for your forgiveness. This all from the big, mean “Don’t even think of messing with me” German Shepherd Dog. Their world is crushed when met from disapproval from their masters. Addicted to love? They sure are!

I guess we wouldn’t have them any other way though because it’s all of what makes a German Shepherd a German Shepherd! Big, bold, loyal, noble, purpose driven and impressive is words that describe this breed very well. Love to please, needy, nosy, dependent and addicted are also words that describe him very well.

From the book: THE PURPOSE DRIVEN LIFE:  WHAT ON EARTH AM I HERE FOR?.....You are about to embark on a journey of discovery. You are going to discover the answer to life's most fundamental question: 'What on earth am I here for?' And here's a clue to the answer: 'It's not about you ... You were created by God and for God, and until you understand that, life will never make sense. It is only in God that we discover our origin, our identity, our meaning, our purpose, our significance, and our destiny. Every other path leads to a dead end.

My rating:  The German Shepherd Dog for all reasons:  (4), Living and loving this breed....second to none: (4)


  1. Barbara: You have captured the perfect and pure essence of the German Shepherd dog. I have never heard it expressed more accurately.
    You have expressed the behavior, loyalty and love of our two down to a tee. Great article.
    We also have a Border Collie/Australian Shepherd mix that is 13 years old and losing her hearing. To get her attention we now have to wave our arm's in the air or talk loud. Puts our GSD's in a real funk because they think you are correcting them. Argggggg.....

  2. There really is not another breed of dog that truly serves all purposes for man. Sometimes he spoils you for any other breed. Thanks for writing Bruce!

  3. Hi Barbara. This is Carol, Bruce's wife and he is right. You have described these GSD's to a tee. We watch a TV channel in Denver where they bring in pets that need adoption. I nearly fell off my chair one evening when the gal said, about the beautiful GSD "...and he's not aggressive at all!" Cheech! Enjoy your three. :)+

  4. You see Carol....that's because they've never lived with one of these fantastic dogs. All that they know about them is what they read or see on television! But we know differently......

  5. Brilliant article and is all that has been said above....until the last paragraph starting.."From the book"..that spoilt it all. Absolutely nothing to do with the subject of the article whatsover. And moreover not accurate. jc