Adopting a German Shepherd? Considerably one of the smartest and most loyal dog breeds recognized by the American Kennel Club, German Shepherds are one of the top choices for service, military, and police dogs.
They’re brave, dutiful, and alert – which also makes them a great choice for prospective pet owners who want an active companion.
If you’ve set your eyes on a beautiful German Shepherd puppy from a local shelter or a certified puppy breeder, there are just a few important things that you need to know to ensure that you know what to expect.
German Shepherd Puppies Are Bred for Two Purposes
Before adopting a German Shepherd you must know that aside from being effective and hardworking service dogs and police K-9s, German Shepherds are also a top choice for dog shows. This is why a lot of kennels that specialize in German Shepherd puppy breeding specifically focus on either breeding them as show dogs or as working dogs.
The main difference is the lineage, with show dogs often having AKC champions in their pedigree, while puppies bred for work will have Schutzhund lineage.
To make it clearer, work dogs with a Schutzhund title have passed the specifications for Schutzhund training, is a program that measures a dog’s competence in protection, obedience, and tracking.
AKC champion lineage, on the one hand, means that a dog has a purebred bloodline and has champion predecessors, which is highly sought after by breeders. If you’re planning on becoming a certified German Shepherd breeder, it’s best that you decide which one you would want to focus your breeding practice on.
German Shepherds Are Extremely Active
As service-bred dogs, German Shepherds are accustomed to high levels of energy. Not only are they dedicated to their work, but they’re also ready to perform their best for long periods of time even if they’re raised as domestic dogs. If you’re planning on adopting a German Shepherd puppy – or maybe even adopting a retired K-9 – you will need to devote long periods of time to help them expend their energy. This is especially important if you live in a house with limited space, like pet-friendly condominiums and apartments.
Some recommendations we have is that you hire a pet walker or a pet nanny to take care of your dog while you’re at the office or when you’re running errands. Let them walk your pet to the dog park or take them on runs, just to ensure that your German Shepherd has adequate amounts of exercise and mental stimulation.
German Shepherds Are Predisposed to Health Conditions
Like many large-breed dogs, German Shepherds are predisposed to a number of health conditions, mostly concerning their muscles and joints. These include hip dysplasia, arthritis, degenerative disc diseases, and epilepsy. While ethical breeders do their best to find dams and sires that do not have a history of these conditions, some puppies may still be bred with a higher risk. Unfortunately, these illnesses are often hard to treat when they do develop, but owners can try to mitigate the effects early on by optimizing a German Shepherd’s diet to include essential nutrients
German Shepherds Shed
If you’re allergic to dog fur, the bad news is that the German Shepherd may not be the best breed for you to adopt. German Shepherds are well-known for their thick brown and black coats. For non-owners, their coat might make them an adorable option for warm hugs. However, during come
summer and winter months, German Shepherds will shed – a lot.
To avoid fur from blowing all over your home, consider brushing or combing a German Shepherd’s coat a few times a week to loosen the hair. Regular trips to professional groomers are also highly recommended to condition their fur and trim sections where fur might have grown too long for your pet to be comfortable.
German Shepherds Need Obedience and Socialization Training Early On
From their name, German Shepherds were originally bred to be herder animals, which explains their occasional high prey drive and strong herding instincts. Because of this, German Shepherds will need to be trained and socialized early on, even before they start building potential negative habits and traits. If you’re adopting an adult German Shepherd that doesn’t seem to have a background in obedience training, it’s best that you consult the advice of professional trainers, or if you’re well-versed in dog training, that you firmly start their training once they settle in.
German Shepherds: Your Loyal and Brave Life Companion
As the top choice for working dogs, it’s only predictable that German Shepherds are some of the best types of dogs out there because of their sense of service, bravery, and unmatched loyalty to their pet parents. If you’re planning on adopting a German Shepherd, you need to be ready to be just as dedicated to them as they are to you. So when you’re ready, welcome a beautiful German Shepherd into your home and start your journey towards a long and fulfilling partnership with one of the best dog breeds out there.