do german shepherds make good pets

Do German Shepherds Make Good Pets?

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Do German Shepherds Make Good Pets? That’s a question on the minds of tons of folks looking to become first-time dog owners.  People seem to gravitate toward German Shepherds for a host of reasons.  For some, it may simply be because they like the look and nature of this breed.  For others,  it may be a matter of wanting personal protection for their family and property in what they perceive as an increasingly dangerous world.

Whatever each person’s reason may be, many people just want to know whether German Shepherds can be trusted as family pets.  This article will answer the question, “do German Shepherds make good pets?”.  I’ll present real information that you can use to determine if a German Shepherd is right or not for your home. Please read on to learn more about this special dog breed.

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Firstly, German Shepherds do make great pets.  But, as a prospective German Shepherd owner, you need to be aware that factors like parentage, past injury or abuse, discipline issues, health (including congenital defects like Dysplasia), past care and training, temperament, or other concerns must be seriously considered.

If you’re buying from a reputable breeder, then all pedigree and treated health issues should be a matter of record.  If you’re rescuing an unpapered German Shepherd or mixed breed Shepherd, then the shelter probably won’t have much health history.  If they do, great!  If not, then a complete exam by an independent vet is a good idea.

Understand that such an exam will probably cost you.  But, this is better than the heartbreak of bad news after you’ve come to love the dog.

Secondly, does it matter whether the German Shepherd is a male or a female?  Not really―it’s all about pedigree and how well (or badly) the dog has been treated and trained.  There are people who may favor one sex over the other but such preference is just anecdotal opinion, or it may be based on a desire to sell pups.  There is absolutely no real proof that males are better family pets than females or vice versa.

Thirdly, what is it about German Shepherds that makes them good family pets?  There are a host of good reasons why these dogs make fine family pets.  Here’s five of them for starters:

  • They are smart, quick to learn, and loyal to their adoptive human family.
  • They are fun, “go with” dogs that love to ride, walk, run, and swim.
  • They love to play and are usually gentle with kids and other pets.
  • They are mindful, obedient and dedicated family guardians.
  • They are highly trainable for a wide range of tasks

The Downsides

The bottom line is that there’s no such thing as the perfect dog breed.  Each breed has its own set of pluses and minuses.  German Shepherds are no exception to this rule.  But, if you like high energy, lovable, mid-sized dogs then you’ll love the German Shepherd.

Some Breed Downsides Are:

Time―They take lots of it! The German Shepherd is a great choice for boundless energy, lots of playful companionship, and plenty of exercise.  But, if you can’t devote that sort of time, then this breed is not for you.  German Shepherds are easily bored and depressed when left alone for long periods.  And, as anyone familiar with dogs will tell you, a bored dog is a problem dog.

Stubbornness―Untrained and undisciplined German Shepherds can be real knotheads. In fact, they can be fairly unpredictable and may refuse to obey any commands. This can spell trouble in any household, especially one with children and other pets―especially cats or prey animals like rabbits or birds.

Training―Adult German Shepherds that have received K9 police or combat training may not be a good choice if other pets or kids are in the home. While these are typically very good dogs, they sometimes suffer from PTSD just like people.  In certain situations this can cause them to be unpredictable, especially around loud, active children.


So, do German Shepherds make good pets? People generally love German shepherds as family pets.  These dogs make very good pets because they are typically a lot of fun and great companions.  But, with German Shepherds effective positive training at an early age with plenty of exercise is key to avoid boredom and unwanted aggressive tendencies.

If you plan to adopt an adult German Shepherd, be sure the dog has been obedience trained, is attentive, will obey proper commands, and plays well with other people and pets.  Remember, if you have small children or other pets a retired K9 squad dog may not be the right choice for you.  There may be exceptions to this, but as a rule it’s better to be safe than sorry.

What to Expect When Adopting a Dog

If you are thinking of adopting a dog, this guide walks you step by step through the process, helping you to a create a happy gotcha day for your pup.

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