10 Considerations Before Adopting a German Shepherd Dog
1. Do you have time to train the dog? German Shepherds (GS) require a serious commitment. Many of the dogs that come to rescue organizations have no training and behavior problems. It is important that the new family commit to the time and effort required to train their rescue dog.
2. Are you willing to exercise the dog regularly? GSD’s have a high energy level and are desirable for police, search, guide and herding dogs. If you’re looking for a couch potato you need to consider a different breed.
3. Do you have a job for the dog? GSDs are highly intelligent. If they are not given a job to do they will often become anxious leading to behavior problems.
4. Do you have the time to create a bond with the dog? Like any dog, the German Shepherd is a social animal and needs to be part of a family. The loyalty that endears this breed to many requires that it not be banished to the backyard. This is not a dog that can be “put away” without resulting in behavior problems. This bread is best suited with families that will include their dog in as many activities as possible, including family trips, camping, boating etc.
5. Does you landlord permit owning a large dog? German Shepherds are large dogs and a common reason for surrendering a GSD is moving. Usually apartments do not welcome these dogs. If you don’t know where you will be a few years down the line it is not the right time to adopt a GSD.
6. Can you deal with the constant shedding? These dogs shed non-stop and could affect people who suffer from allergies. A common quote with GSD owners is “everything tastes better with dog hair in it”. Brushing, grooming or shaving your dog regularly is required to manage the shedding.
7. Are you ready to have a dog that might make a lot of noise? They can be vocal, often whining and barking to communicate. If left alone for prolonged periods of time they may become problem barkers.
8. Are you ready for the smell? If you don’t like doggy smell, consider a different breed. Also, bathing can be challenging due to the dog’s water-resistant outer coat and large size.
9. Can you get your new dog to respect you? A German Shepherd must respect its owner. This is not accomplished by heavy-handedness; it is only achieved when its owner treats the dog with equal respect and leadership. Daily walks are a requirement to build this respect.
10. Do you live in an area where they will thrive? These dogs originated as herding dogs and is a heritage they still carry. Keep this in mind if you or your neighbors have livestock. Remember that in the state of California a dog harassing livestock may be shot.
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