Is a German Shepherd Dog Right for Me?
Before getting a dog, it's best to evaluate your lifestyle and that of your family's. Ask yourself:
- Are the hours you spend at home limited due to work and/or your social life?
- Will you mind having to go home after work or staying home on weekends to care for and be with your dog, even if it means curtailing some social activities?
- Do you plan on traveling a lot in the near future? Would you be taking your canine companion with you?
- Is your time already restricted because you have children to concentrate on and must constantly drive to lessons/practices/games?
- Is everybody in your family excited about getting a German Shepherd Dog?
The German shepherd dog is a large, active dog with a dense double coat. This double coat sheds year round, and produces ridiculous amount of fur when the dogs "blow coat" in the spring and fall. Some shed more than others. We lovingly refer to GSD’s as “German Shedders”.
The breed was developed to be working animal. The desire to "work" is genetic and is extremely strong in most GSD’s. As a general rule, GSD’s are loyal, loving, protective, and intelligent. They are self-thinkers which without proper guidance can get them into a lot of trouble. Proper training, exercises, and activities are essential.
A GSD can be rambunctious, destructive, and exhausting to live with unless you are completely in charge and “Top Dog” in your home. It is up to you to guide your dog to be a respectful member of your family. GSD’s need training and a structured lifestyle to thrive in the home and become a responsible member of your family. We encourage obedience and other training activities such as tracking, rally, and agility. An exercised dog of any breed is a happy dog.
Consider The Following....
You should consider the following recommendations as your basic commitment if you are to add a GSD to your family:
- Taking an 8 week obedience course to assure that you are the dog's leader is a must.
- Be prepared to socialize your dog by exposing them to as many people and situations as possible to develop their confidence.
- Exercising your GSD at least 30 minutes daily is essential.
- Brushing their coat a couple times a week is extremely important. Trimming their nails and cleaning their ears regularly is a must. You will need to own a good vacuum cleaner and not be shocked when there are clumps of hair about during shedding seasons.
- If a change of residence is required, make sure that your GSD is welcome at the new address.
You need to realize that a GSD is a very social animal and should not be left alone for long periods of time, they will not tolerate it. Like any dog, the German Shepherd is a social animal and needs to be part of a family. The loyalty that endears this breed to many requires that it not be banished to the backyard.
German Shepherds are large dogs. The number one reason given by people surrendering German Shepherds is moving. Usually apartments do not welcome these dogs. If you don't know where you will be a few years down the line it is not the right time to adopt.