German shepherds are a special breed — know what you're getting yourself into before bringing one home
There's no doubt about it. German shepherds are gorgeous animals. Those big brown eyes, that gorgeous fur and muscular stature pretty much make them look like a real-life teddy bear, but in the most regal way possible. Throw in an amazing personality, and you've got what seems like a dream dog.
The German shepherd is bred for several different reasons: for work; as a working sport dog, to compete in all breed performance events; and for show. There can be such distinct differences between working, sport, performance, and conformation dogs that the breeder you choose may directly affect your ability to raise the dog.
These dogs will have your routine figured out before you do, and they are extremely sensitive to human moods. How smart are German shepherds? Not only do they know what “walk” means, but they can also spell it.
German shepherds are working dogs. There is a reason they are frequently used as military dogs, police dogs and service dogs. They love having a job to do, and your German shepherd is no exception.
Technically, all German shepherds are descended from German dogs. For some dogs, you might have to go back fifty or sixty years to find the most recent dog registered with the Verein fűr Deutsche Schäferhunde (club for German shepherd dogs), or simply the SV. For others, you only need to see one of the parents to find the most recent import from Germany. But does this make a difference in the quality of the dog? It depends on what kind of German shepherd you are looking for and what qualities the breeder hopes to achieve by introducing certain dogs into their line.
Nobody is a better listener than a German shepherd. Once you have a GSD in your life, you will never be lonely again. Those radar ears are always listening for your voice, and watching them tilt their head is sure to get a smile out of you on even the toughest day.
Within the German Shepherd breed, there are three different types of coats to be found: the desirable double coat, the plush coat, and the longhaired coat. All of these coat types appear fairly frequently.
The correct double coat consists of a downy undercoat with an outer layer of longer, coarse guard hairs. Light rain does not penetrate the guard hairs easily and mud tends to dry and fall out of the double coat. This coat doesn’t need extensive care, but a weekly brushing keeps shedding manageable. Regardless, the coat does shed in spring and fall.
So which sex is best for you? It really comes down to the individual puppy or dog. Unless you have your heart set on a male or female, keep an open mind. If a puppy or adult meets all of your criteria for a companion, the sex of the dog shouldn’t matter. The only exception might be if you already own a dog: opposite sex pairings tend to get along better than couples of the same sex.