The German shepherd is one of the most popular breeds in the world today, and it’s for a good reason. They are extremely intelligent, loyal, highly trainable, and versatile. They were bred to be a working dog, with strong and muscular bodies and even stronger minds that respond well to stimulation and training. In this article, we will be looking at some of the pros and cons of owning German Shepherds.
This gentle giant arrived in America after the war, when soldiers brought them home and continued the breed there. The breed was first noticed and discovered by Max von Stephanitz who wanted to create a hardy working dog. The breed was later popular in Germany and used as a military force. There were also a few movies stars German shepherd that made it to the big screen and into family homes overnight.
They are very wolf-like, with an elongated snout and keen sense of smell, and with a thick undercoat and bushy tail. German shepherd comes in a variety of colors, including black and even white. They can accommodate almost everybody and they are capable of performing the most dangerous and challenging tasks. Their fearless character makes them the perfect guard dog, but at the same time, they can be an affectionate family dog.
Pros of Owning a German shepherd
The German shepherd is one of the smartest dogs out there and you will have no problems with teaching it tricks. They remember commands fast and for a long time, which makes them a great companion and fun to be around.
One of the main pros of German Shepherds is actually their ability to learn and remember, which lead to their mass popularity as working dogs but as pets as well. They are always on top of the lists reserved for the smartest breeds, and they carry that role with honor.
This is one of those breeds that do well in an apartment as well as the countryside. They can adapt to any situation, and that is why they are good as police dogs but perfectly content as a kid’s best friend.
They can be helpful and hard-working, so various jobs were made for this breed. From guard dogs to family friends. From guide dogs and military K9, this is one friendly puppy that will grow into a devoted friend.
German Shepherds are very smart, but at the same time trainable. Being smart is not enough for a breed to be considered easy to train. They also need to show a willingness to learn, the ability to remember, and to show their skills.
They are like a machine made to interact with humans on mutual satisfaction. Although they can be a bit stubborn and they are not for timid and first owners, with the right direction and stimulation these dogs become the most trainable species ever. They crave the approval of owners and they will do just about anything to get it.
To add to their good temper and intelligence, these dogs are willing to listen to humans and have a profound connection to us. They love to show off as well as please their owners.
Because they are very loyal on one hand, fearless and smart on the other, they will listen to your every word and obey every order.
This awesome pro of German Shepherds, which is that they are obedient, is especially important for dogs working with the police department because they have to be able to stop when told to. Obedience in some situations can mean a difference between life and death for the dog as well as for the handler, especially for those working in forces like the army and police.
The German shepherd is going to do well in many positions like:
- Family dog
- Police dog
- Guard dog
- Farm dog
- Military dog
All because of their ability to adapt and to learn. They can be gentle with children but at the same time protect the whole family. They can be fearless in leading the bomb squad but form life long friendships with soldiers.
They have the attitude of royalty with composed and calm posture, but they have a strength of working-class and they can put in a lot of work if needed. This makes them one of the most desirable breeds ever.
Cons of Owning a German shepherd
One of the things that they are known for is their thick coat and undercoat. Their coat is beautiful, full, and soft to the touch, but can be a bit too much to take care of. This breed is beyond moderate shedder because they lose their coat all year round and esspecially in shedding seasons.
This can be a huge disadvantage of German Shepherds because they require daily and detailed brushing, but that will not be enough to keep the hair from your house. An occasional bath and blowdrying will help, but the truth is they will still lose a lot of coat.
2. Hip problems
Like with every popular and large breed, German shepherds are prone to some diseases, and one of the most common ones is problems with their hips, a con of German Shepherds.
Larger and active breeds tend to develop hip dysplasia or deterioration of the cartilage on the hip. This is a painful experience that can lead to extreme discomfort and loss of the function of the leg.
It can be prevented by adding some supplements to the dog’s diet, but be prepared to pay large vet bills and to comfort your friend in need. The deterioration of the cartilage leads to friction and constant pain, so it’s something to think about before getting this or any large breed.
3. Stomach flip
One other health issue German shepherds are known for is the stomach flip. This is also the condition that mostly occurs in larger breeds, and simply put the stomach flips and blocks the entire digestion.
This is an extremely dangerous and potentially deadly situation and if you notice some of the symptoms like bloated stomach, need for vomiting, collapsing, pale gums, and more make sure to take your dog to the vet as soon as possible.
This mostly happens if the dog is active right after a big meal, so it is a good idea to remember to take it slow after eating. The other thing to keep in mind is that this occurrence will happen again if the stomach flips once because it never really flips back into the right position.
German shepherds were bred primarily for herding, but in Germany, they were widely used as military and guard dogs. They are fearless and strong, form close connections to the owner, and usually have problems with strangers.
If not properly socialized and trained, German Shepherds’ tendency to look after the pack or in this case your family, can lead to aggression and other behavioral problems, a con of German Shepherds. So it is important to socialize your dog from the first day, by introducing it to many situations, animals, and people.
5. Need for stimulation
With their incredible intelligence and a huge amount of energy, German shepherds can be a handful for inexperienced owners. They need physical and mental stimulation to thrive and not become problematic.
Even though they can live well in small apartments, they need to be walked and trained daily. This can take a lot of your free time and can be overwhelming if you are busy. They love to learn and show new tricks, so it’s important to nurture that part of their nature as well.
In conclusion, the German shepherd is one unique and beautiful dog, with high intelligence and energy levels. They are primarily used as guard dogs for their courage and obedience, but they can be a great family dog if properly trained.
German shepherds followed humans for many years with a wagging tail and compassion in their eyes. They adapted to every need we had for them and showed what a true best friend can look like.
I hope that this article on the pros and cons of German Shepherds was helpful. If you are interested, visit the Dog Category!