GERMAN SHEPHERD TEMPERAMENT AND PERSONALITY
German Shepherds are very easy-going dogs, especially if you live in the countryside. They are loyal and obedient, but also very cuddly and, of course, intelligent. If you provide them with all the living conditions they need to thrive, life with your German Shepherd will be full of joy. The German Shepherd is not the ideal dog for people who live in the city and don’t have much time to take care of them. So, think carefully before adopting one!
What are the Pros of the German Shepherd's Temperament?
The German Shepherd is one of the most popular dog breeds in the world! And for good reason: this doggy is full of great qualities! Overflowing with intelligence and extremely generous, the temperament of a German Shepherd makes them highly valued as one of man's favourite companions, both at home and in public service jobs.
German Shepherd Dogs make wonderful guard dogs. They have a strong protective instinct, and they're not afraid to make it known. They're always ready to protect their master, which is why they also make excellent seeing-eye and assistance dogs. However, it's important that your German Shepherd pup receives proper training and good socialisation from an early age, preferable as soon as you welcome your new puppy home.
Like many sheepdogs, the German Shepherd is a loyal and affectionate doggy. They need a lot of attention and, in return, they’ll give you all the love a dog can give. Very attached to their owners, they show great loyalty and never hesitate to help or protect them. Another side of the German Shepherd's temperament is their willingness to please. These doggies will do anything to make you happy and gladly follow wherever you may lead. They are naturally sociable, even though they will remain on guard with strangers long enough to fully understand any potential danger.
Provided they get enough exercise, German Shepherds are calm and discreet. Unless, of course, they have to stand guard. Gentle with children and the elderly, this dog breed is also docile and obedient. Training your German Shepherd should therefore be relatively simple. Just be careful to never use violence.
German Shepherds are ideal for athletic owners. These large but slender doggies will always be ready to run alongside you or play with you. Any excuse for a good time! Naturally cheerful, German Shepherds sometimes get carried away by their excitement. We recommend that you're firm and consistent with your German Shepherd right from the start, so they learn how to handle their emotions. Nevertheless, playtime is very important for your dog. Make sure to make time to play with them every day to keep them occupied while strengthening your bond.
There's a reason the German Shepherd is one of the world's favourite working breeds! Versatile and easy to train, they have a surprising level of intelligence and a great desire to learn, which allows them to follow commands without any difficulty. German Shepherds are obedient and never begrudge a task. Their great intelligence and extraordinary skillset make them useful in many working roles: police dog, military dog, assistance dog, rescue dog, guide dog... the list goes on!
These large dogs are full of energy and need to exert themselves accordingly. German Shepherds are not fans of inactivity, instead preferring to accompany their masters for any and all sporting activities (running, canicross, bikejoring, etc.) or long walks. They also have no problem participating in canine activities such as agility, musical canine freestyle, treibball, or even flyball. This dog breed is well suited to people who like to be on the move but are looking for a dog that is a little less energetic than other sheepdogs, such as the Australian Shepherd or Border Collie.
What are the Cons of the German Shepherd's Temperament?
Your dog also has a few flaws by nature, but if you train them well they won’t be too much of an issue.
Unfortunately, German Shepherds tend to be destructive if their physical expenditure needs are not met. Considering their strength and size, the damage can be quite significant. It is therefore essential to provide your dog with all the stimulation they need, both physical and intellectual.
Like many dogs, and especially sheepdogs, German Shepherds cannot stand being alone. They hate being lonely and get bored very easily. These are not independent doggies, although they can be left alone for a few hours, so long as they have been properly trained. Abandoned for too long, German Shepherds will eventually sink into depression. For this reason, it's important that you play with your dog regularly and take them for long walks, during which they can exert themselves as much as possible. If you don't have time to take care of them throughout the day, or if you are regularly away from home for more than six hours at a time, consider adopting a different playmate.
Although not used as hunting dogs, German Shepherds still have a fairly strong predatory instinct. Be careful not to encourage this, especially when playing games. Otherwise, cohabitation with other animals, such as cats and exotic pets, will prove to be much more difficult than expected.
Do German Shepherds Bark a Lot?
In general, German Shepherds do not bark any more than other dogs. They mostly bark as a warning, especially when used as a guard dog. As such, they tend to bark as soon as someone approaches your home or rings the doorbell. A companion dog will be less likely to play guardian, but this won't stop them from barking if they deem it necessary. Warning! If your German Shepherd is not properly socialised, they may become suspicious and growl at strangers or other animals. This mistrust will then lead to barking. This type of behaviour is regularly found in dogs that live in the countryside and have limited interactions with others.
However, there may be other reasons why your dog barks in an unwanted and sometimes prolonged manner. If your German Shepherd is left bored and alone, their unhappiness may manifest as regular, very annoying barking. If you live in an apartment, this situation can very quickly cause conflict with your neighbours. If used as a guard dog, your German Shepherd won't hesitate to bark loudly as soon as a stranger sets foot on your territory. Finally, your dog may bark when they're sick and in pain. If you suspect your German Shepherd has a health problem, please consult your vet as soon as possible.
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