Are German Shepherds Good Family Dogs? The answer is not easy …
Singletons, couples, or even big families, we all need a little nibble of that dog love, don’t we? So you think that dogs work best for you like pets, but you’re spoilt for choice as to which dog breed to pick and the variety is driving you insane.
Finally, you ponder German Shepherds, be it their cute little faces, fierce nature, or simply a recommendation from a friend, and now you’re asking the big question, are German Shepherds good family dogs?
We’re here to ease all your fears and tell you all you need to know about the pros and cons of having a GSD in your household. You might be asking a lot of questions now, are German Shepherds dangerous? Will they get along with my other pets? Is it safe to leave them alone with my kids? Well, you’ve come to the definitive answer to these questions.
German Shepherd Family Dog: The Pros And Cons:
German Shepherds are protective and fearless by nature, they tend to watch over their territory like the guardian they are, and make sure intruders are kept away. This tends to be a fear for some people looking to introduce GSDs to their homes.
But fear not, for those same traits you fear actually make German Shepherds excellent family dogs. Being protective, you will surely feel safe inside your house with a GSD around, just make sure to train them properly and teach them a few safe commands, plus of course, introduce them to all family members so they do not see them as threats or intruders.
Friendliness with Family Members
The intelligence of German Shepherds comes in place here, as they are very well adept at learning new tricks and commands, and are very easily trained in that respect. After proper training, your German doggo won’t stand as a threat towards your family and will learn to handle adults and kids gently.
You should, however, make a note of teaching them proper commands to keep them in check if they happen to go out of control.
High Energy Levels Can Prove Tiring
German Shepherds are known for their high energy levels. They are quite active by nature and are always looking for something fun to do.
A lot of pet owners have complained about their inability to keep their GSDs still when they just want to sit and relax outside, but all these problems can be mitigated with proper training and care.
So what to do? First of all, as with any other dog, you should teach your German Shepherd basic commands and give them proper training as early as possible. This will help you ensure the safety of your dog, other dogs, and other people when you’re walking or exercising them outside.
To properly care for your GSD, and ensure they don’t feel restless, give them proper exercise of about 30 minutes per day. Walk them, play catch with your dog, or even run with them. German Shepherds will probably keep up with whatever you through at them.
GSDs Can be A Hairy Mess
This is not for the faint-hearted. If you’re not looking to put in the grooming and brushing effort with your doggo, then perhaps you should think of a less hairy dog. German Shepherds are constantly shedding their coat, and this may leave a huge mess around the house.
So before you make your decision, think well about how you feel about that.
But don’t despair, you can reduce that hairy mess by taking good care of your GSD. Make sure your brush them well on a daily basis, and give them a good grooming session every once in a while.
You can consult with your vet on when and how to do those grooming sessions. There are special brushes you can use depending on the thickness of your doggo’s coat. Providing them with a healthy, high-protein, diet can also make sure they maintain healthy hair and keep their shedding to a minimum.
Baths are always recommended to keep your GSD healthy and happy, as well as free from any annoying bugs which can spread mayhem in your house.
But make sure you don’t over shower your dog as this could lead to many skin complications including eczema. Over showering depletes the oil on your dog’s coat, the oil that protects their skin from many dangerous conditions.
German Shepherd and Kids: Fears and Concerns:
If you have kids, this will be a main concern for you, and you might be asking, are German Shepherds dangerous? The problem here is that GSDs are quite strong, they were born to be guard dogs after all. But the trick here is training them on when to use this power.
Your best course of action is to introduce your GSD to your kids as a puppy. A German Shepherd that grows with children around will learn how to play with them without being overly aggressive.
That being said, there are a number of things that you should pay attention to if you want to keep your German Shepherd in the house and around your kids.
When pairing young GSDs or German Shepherd puppies with kids, they’ll form a lifelong bond with them. This must be done through proper socialization with the kids, so that your doggo learns to relate with them properly. This means they should get as much interaction as possible with different elements in their environment, and the earlier they get that, the better.
You can also improve that process by making sure you get GSD puppies from reputable breeders who raise them positively without making them antisocial or overly aggressive.
Despite proper training and socializing, GSDs may unintentionally hurt your loved ones. You see, these are strong creatures, who may not always realize their relative strength as compared to members of their human family, especially when dealing with kids. .
This rings even more true for puppies and young GSDs, so make sure you keep an eye on your little loved ones when interacting with your German Shepherd.
Making Canine Friends: Are German Shepherds Good with Other Dogs?
German Shepherds are known to be protective, guarded, and a bit aloof. They may not feel an urge to socialize with other dogs around them, but may be prompted to prove their dominance or maintain control of their territory if they feel there’s an incoming threat.
Socializing your GSD early on is an excellent way to overcome these issues, and may help your doggo be polite with other pets and maybe make a few friendships as well. Like anything in the world, practice makes perfect, and German Shepherds are quite the fast learners when it comes to training. It’s also best to start this process with a puppy.
If you’re introducing a new puppy GSD to your family of dogs, make sure they meet in a neutral zone where neither dog feel threatened. It’s best if the puppy is meeting well-trained adult dogs that can keep their composure. Watch out for any aggressive signs from either party, and firmly stand your ground by leaving or saying “no” assertively to the aggressive dog. Make sure no aggressive habits are being developed.
Otherwise, if you have just the one German Shepherd in your household, and want him to be more relaxed around other pets, make sure you take them places with you at an early age. Take your puppy grocery shopping, play with them at a public park, or go anywhere where your GSD can be exposed to other pets and dogs. Sometimes you may find that your doggo is not taking well to their environment, or you’re unable to shake off their negative habits, at this point you’re better off consulting with professionals.