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What You Should Know Before Adopting a German Shepherd

German Shepherds are one of the most popular dogs you can own. Known for their loyalty, intelligence and ability to protect, they make an excellent pet. If you've never owned a German Shepherd and are interested in making one part of the family, here are four facts you should know before adopting. 

American and German Breeds Differ

One of the most notable differences between the European German Shepherd and the American, is appearance. German Shepherd puppies imported from Germany grow into adults with a straight body, whereas Americans have a more sloped line. Bred as work dogs, shepherds from Germany are often better guard dogs than their American counterparts. However, both are highly protective of their family.

Training Is a Must

In order for a German Shepherd to successfully integrate into your family, he needs to be trained. German Shepherds are very easy to teach, but unless you've got lots of time to spare, they'll benefit from going to obedience school. Proper discipline ensures your dog will coexist with other pets and understand how to act around different people.

"Jobs" Make Them Happy

Even after they've been trained, German Shepherds can become bored if they're not mentally stimulated. They enjoy having "jobs" and the more tricks you can teach them, the happier they'll be. They also love hide-and-seek type games.

They Shed Like Crazy

German Shepherds shed a lot, sometimes more during different seasons. Be prepared to brush your dog every day to get rid of excess hair. Most shepherds love being brushed as they're susceptible to itchy, dry skin and brushing helps stimulate oil glands. Be sure to have a vacuum cleaner on hand to pick up accumulating fluff.

Endearing Quirks Are the Norm

German Shepherds often have interesting "quirks" depending on the dog. Many love gazing out the window to know exactly what's happening outside. This endearing quality makes you feel even more protected. When you take your shepherd for a walk, don't be surprised if she tries to herd you into place. This is normal behavior and is another way your dog shows you she loves you!

They'll Steal Your Heart

Adopting a German Shepherd dog is a wonderful choice for many reasons. When you take the time to train your dog and keep him active, he'll be the best pet you've ever owned. You won't know what it's like to own a German Shepherd until you adopt, but once you do, he'll steal your heart. 


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