The German Shepherd is an active, loyal, self-assured, and courageous dog. He can be reserved and suspicious of strangers. Hence, befriending him is not easy.
However, when the German Shepherd warms up to you, he starts to be a devoted friend. The breed is protective of its family, making it an effective watchdog.
The GSD is one of the most intelligent dogs in the world. As a versatile working dog, he can be trained for military service, search and rescue assistance, and drug and bomb detection. This popular breed can also be an effective assistance dog for people with disabilities.
As a family pet, training a GSD should begin as early as eight weeks old. Sessions should focus on basic canine manners and socialisation with people, dogs, and other animals, so he will become a well-rounded canine companion.
The German shepherd Dog is a challenging dog to own for first time owners, because of his high energy level, intelligence, and large size, it will take someone who has the experience to match his physical and mental demands.
It is worth noting that GSDs coming from working lines are extremely active and intense. They are suitable for competitive protection-dog sports than a regular family pet. Other GSDs are bred as show dogs.
Although they are more laid back than their work counterparts, it is observed that many of them tend to be timid, skittish, or dopey. This is caused by putting more attention to producing a dog with a beautiful appearance than a sound temperament and high trainability.
To find a German Shepherd that is suitable as a family pet, search for a breeder who isn’t strictly producing working lines or show lines. They should be generalist breeders that aim to create relaxed and easy to train GSDs.
Each breed has its distinctive temperament and intelligence and each dog’s genetics, the environment it’s raised in, and its training play a significant role in developing its personality and skills.
Are German Shepherds aggressive?
Properly socialised and trained German shepherds are not aggressive. However, poorly bred GSDs may exhibit timidity, nervousness, guarding, and aggressive behaviour. For some dogs, early socialisation and training can eliminate these undesirable traits.
On the other hand, in other German Shepherds, these methods may only curb these behaviours and not fully stop them. For this reason, it is very important to get your puppy from a reputable breeder.
Are German shepherds good with kids?
The German Shepherd can be great with children, especially if they were raised together. His calmness and patience make him capable of mingling and enjoying the company of children.
However, due to GSD’s large size, he could accidentally knock toddlers over. Thus, supervision between dog and children interaction is always necessary to prevent accidents.
The GSD also gets along well with other pets if he undergoes proper socialisation at an early age. Supervision is necessary during their interactions, especially if a smaller animal is involved. The breed has a high prey drive and may give in to the temptation of chasing down pets that are smaller than it in size.
Some German Shepherd Dogs tend to exhibit aggressiveness towards dogs of the same sex. Training and socialisation can help in stopping this behaviour. Neutering or spaying GSDs also greatly lessens their drive to dominate other dogs.