So you are considering getting a German Shepherd. There are many aspects of this wonderful breed to educate yourself on before you make the big step.
German Shepherds are bred for many different purposes such as high-energy working dog, protection dogs, and family companion to name a few. Each purpose requires a different temperament so you want to know before you get the dog what you are able to provide and to handle living with. Because of many generations of bad breeding German Shepherds have an array of temperaments from skittish to aggressive so do your research on a breed line or look at adult dogs so that you can see what temperament is present. Finding the right dog to fit your lifestyle will save you a world of disappointment.
Shepherds were bred with a protective instinct. It is extremely important to provide extensive exposure to friendly people from an early start to avoid having extreme fearfulness or aggressiveness towards strangers. Some dogs have inherited a genetic form of shyness that can be difficult to overcome so again be very picky when choosing a breeder. If you are obtaining a German Shepherd for home or personal protection, it is vital to get a qualified trainer to assist in proper training practices. Most Shepherds are good with other dogs and cats, others are quite dominant or have a strong predatory drive towards animals that move quickly or run. Keep this in consideration if you have other pets or livestock.
German Shepherds can inherit many health problems so buyer beware. This breed can suffer from crippling dysplasia of the hip and joints, stomach and skin issues, autoimmune disease, ear problems and heart disease. It is important to have a vet check that follows the health of your dog as it ages as well as provide balanced, healthy nutrition and daily exercise. German Shepherds need to stay in shape and at a healthy weight to protect the hips and joints. Another area that can be an issue for Shepherd owners is heavy shedding of the coat. This beautiful dog is lovely to look at, however they shed constantly year-round.
Due to the history of German Shepherds being an intelligent, working bred it is so important to challenge their minds as well as providing exercise for their body. The Shepherd really is not a dog to just hang around and relax. They thrive on mental stimulation and challenges. It is very important to provide activities to keep this breed happy. Agility, obedience, or herding are a few organized activities to get involved in. Playing fetch, hiking, or other physical outlets are important for their energy and provide mental outlets for good behavior.
If you do decide to find German Shepherd puppies for sale, find a reputable breeder.