Get a German Shepherd and you can expect to spend lots of time grooming and exercising your dog. You can also count on a fiercely loyal companion…which is why they make great guard dogs. (The fact that your pup is actually a gentle soul who likes to curl up beside you at home can be your little secret). Let your Shepherd run off his energy in the dog park or engage him in stimulating games to keep his mind active and he’ll display his gratitude with sloppy, wet kisses.
Male: 65-90 lbs.
Female: 50-70 lbs.
As a herding breed, German Shepherds love to work and need plenty of exercise every day to burn off energy. Walks and runs (totalling 90 minutes or more) are a good start, but this breed also needs daily mental exercise. Playing stimulating games will ensure a happy camper.
Hair, hair, everywhere. German Shepherds shed all year round (and twice a year they replace their undercoats) which means the fur will fly around your house. Brush your dog’s coat at least twice a week to keep the shedding under control.
Barking and Volume:
German Shepherds like to protect their territory — which is why they make such great guard dogs. This also means they may bark at any sound they hear when they’re trying to protect your home. If you live in a high-density area, be sure you can monitor and control your dog’s barking before you annoy the neighbors.
German Shepherds are some of the smartest dogs out there, which is why you see them acting as police dogs, guide dogs and search-and-rescue dogs. This breed requires a lot of mental stimulation to prevent boredom. Train your dog early, because German Shepherds are independent thinkers, but they’ll thrive with positive reinforcement based obedience training.
Health Factors: The breed is susceptible to hip and elbow dysplasia. Other health concerns include Von Willebrand’s disease (a bleeding disorder), skin allergies and cataracts. German Shepherds are also quite susceptible to a systemic fungal infection from Aspergillus and this can be fatal.* Responsible breeders do their best to minimize risk of genetic disorders.
Grooming: Home grooming is sufficient.
Training: Basic training is essential.
Grooming Requirements:Brush your dog at least twice a week to maintain his coat. German Shepherds need baths about every four to six weeks (any more than that and your dog’s skin will get dry and itchy).
German Shepherds are family-friendly dogs and can become extremely protective. They’re generally good with your children, but should be supervised.
Friendliness Towards Animals
Although German Shepherds are basically good around other animals and pets, they’re sometimes not big fans of other dogs and may be aggressive toward them.
Friendliness Towards People
German Shepherds are instinctively protective and loyal to their families. While this is a great selling point, it also means that your dog might take some time to warm up to your friends and may be aloof around strangers.
BE PREPARED FOR: Some shedding and barking…and an insanely loyal and loving member of your family.