A breed of large dogs that originates in Germany, the German shepherd is a working dog originally developed for guarding and herding sheep. Strong, intelligent, and obedient, in today’s world, they are often employed in military and police roles all over the world. The German Shepherd has become an icon of loyalty and courage and is one of the most popular dog breeds in the world today.
In the USA alone, there are about 79 million dogs and about 5% of these dogs are German Shepherds or about 3.5 million German Shepherds. Globally, there are about 10 million German Shepherds. A few famous personalities who also have German Shepherds are Michael Jackson, Bo Derek, John F. Kennedy, George Foreman, Joe Biden and Ben Affleck. Suffice it to say that everyone loves them!
If you are thinking of getting yourself a dog, you may want to consider adding a German Shepherd or GSD to the family, and you will surely have a home full of love and loyalty. What’s so special about them? Read on and find out.
1. They are highly intelligent
Its established among the canine community that German Shepherds are very intelligent creatures. They can easily learn and remember tasks you give them and perhaps this is the main reason why the highest percentage of police dogs are German Shepherds. They are also widely trained as service dogs to help people who have various disabilities. Some are even trained to compete in a variety of dog sporting events.
Training GSDs is easier compared to training other breeds. They have talents in obedience, protection, and tracking and they can easily perform other pups in the park. They want nothing more than to please their human family so they are very unlikely to misbehave.
2. They are a healthy breed
GSDs are one of the healthiest dog breeds out there and they have a life expectancy of up to 13 years when properly cared for. You seldom see overweight GSDs because they love to exercise. They love being up and about exploring their surroundings. However, just like other breeds, there are certain medical conditions that they are predisposed to. They are particularly at risk from elbow and hip dysplasia which can later lead to arthritis and other diseases. Rest assured though that regular veterinary care and proper nutrition can increase their chances of survival and living a long and healthy life.
3. They adapt easily
Another good reason why GSDs are popular is that they can easily adapt to any type of living situation and lifestyle. However, homes with large homes are most ideal for them as they like being active and they hardly sit around. Do not worry if you have a small apartment though as they can also adapt to that kind of living. However, you must remember to take them out for long walks or a run around the block, They need enough exercise if they are to be healthy. You need not make huge adjustments to fit the dog’s lifestyle as the GSD will easily adapt their lifestyle to yours.
4. They are easy to train and obedient
GSDs are known for their intelligence and their intelligence makes them very trainable for different things. They are also more obedient compared to other breeds. Training is extremely vital for GSDS as they have high energy and they need a lot of attention. GSDs were bred to follow directions and complete various tasks such as herding cattle. They love to follow the rules and if you do not give them any task to follow or attention, they are likely to start chewing anything in sight. They might also expend their excess energy on reckless habits such as excessive barking or being destructive in the house.
5. They love children
A major concern of parents who would like to adopt a dog is that the safety of their family, especially the little children. Nobody wants dogs that are destructive in the house or are hostile to children. GSDs are very friendly and they love children very much. If given proper training in socialization during their younger years, they will grow to love playing with children. Proper training is essential and they must also be given respect, love, and care in order to thrive. One thing that pet parents must note is that they shouldn’t let children play with dogs when dogs are eating or trying to be alone. This is when most accidents happen.
6. They are very loyal and protective of their families
Loyalty is a personality that most dogs share, that is why they are considered man’s best friend. GSDs, in particular, have a very strong sense of loyalty and they will protect their human families, as well as their household. This instinct makes them a very excellent guard dog. However, they tend to be overprotective at times and the only thing that will solve this is proper socialization and training.