Pros and Cons of the German Shepherd Dog Breed

If you are looking for a good, all-around dog for the family, you cannot go wrong in choosing the German Shepherd dog breed. Listed as one of the top choices by the American Kennel Club (AKC), this dog is known for its strong protective nature, but also gentleness, intelligence, and nobility.


We wanted to provide some in-depth information about this dog breed to show the benefits, as well as a few considerations that could be viewed by some people as negative. That way, you would have a much better understanding of the breed and feel more confident in making your choice.


Information and History About German Shepherds


To begin, the German Shepherd dog breed was originally bred in Germany. At maturity, this dog measures between 22 and 26 inches and weighs anywhere from 50 to 90 pounds with males being on the upper end of the scale and females on the lower end.


With proper care to include regular veterinarian checkups, high quality food, training, and a significant amount of exercise the German Shepherd can live to around 15 years of age although most live to about 13.


The history of the German Shepherd dog breed is quite interesting. This dog was initially used for farming and herding cattle but then started working as guard dogs and becoming family pets.


Finding this breed to be exceptional, a group of dog lovers in Germany decided to promote some of the different types of German Shepherds by forming the Phylax Society in 1891. Although the organization fizzled out after just four years, most experts even today credit the founders and members for introducing the breed to the world.


Another person noted for bringing attention to the German Shepherd dog breed was a man named Captain Max von Stephanitz. He had loved and appreciated this breed for many years and after he and a friend went to a dog show where he saw this breed excel in all areas he realized all the character and physical traits a person could want were in one breed.


Impressed with the dog’s versatility, strength, and intelligence level after seeing a dog named Hecktor Linksrhein perform, he purchased the dog, changed its name to Horand v Grafeth, and started his own society named Verein fur deutsche Schaferhunde or SV


Unlike the Phylax Society, Max von Stephanitz’s organization quickly became the largest club in the world for German Shepherds. Obviously, this brought a great deal of attention to the breed, leading to its involvement in World War I while serving as guard dogs, sentry dogs, and even message delivery dogs.


From that, servicemen from the United States were also impressed and through word of mouth, determination, and hard work, the German Shepherd made its way to America where in 1919, it was not only recognized but also registered as an AKC breed.


Pros of the German Shepherd Dog Breed


The German Shepherd dog breed has much to offer, again because of its strength, intelligence, and versatility. As an example, this dog has an amazing temperament, highly devoted to its owner and other family members. Additionally, the breed is a hard worker regardless of the task given.


This dog loves being a part of the family and while gentle, loving, and affectionate, it would also be very protective of those who provide care. In most cases, this dog breed does well around other pets although most experts recommend introduction while still a puppy


In addition, the dog is great with children. Now, two things to consider if interested in buying a dog of this type with children in the home. First, because of its large size, smaller children should be supervised to prevent them from being knocked over accidentally.


Second, if the dog were to undergo guard dog training, it would be recommended that children be supervised, not that it would be aggressive toward them but at least for a while to determine how the dog would react to the children and certain scenarios.


It would also be important to know that while this breed would love and protect everyone in the family it is usually the primary caregiver that would be favored. The German Shepherd dog breed requires a lot of exercise but if you enjoy spending time outdoors or have older children who do, then adding this dog to the family would be ideal.


When it comes to a dog with a positive attitude, 100% dedication, and a loving nature while still being protective, buying a German Shepherd would be advised.


Cons of the German Shepherd Dog Breed


The truth is that there are very few negative aspects of owning a German Shepherd dog breed but in saying that, there are few factors to consider. Because this is a large, strong dog bred to be protective, training would be mandatory.


Therefore, it would be essential to spend the money and time required to accomplish this, which would turn out to be something positive. Although not a bad thing, the German Shepherd also needs daily brushing due to heavy shedding, especially during hot summer months. For this reason, if you plan to keep the dog indoors, just be prepared to provide regular grooming.


Finally, as with most large breed dogs, the German Shepherd is prone to certain health issues. For instance, hip and knee dysplasia are always a concern but other potential health risks include anal furunculosis, pancreatic insufficiency, epilepsy, and bloat.


Remember, a good diet, proper exercise, and regular visits to the veterinarian would prevent many health problems and allow for early detection so proper treatment could be offered.


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