They are smart – They are scary smart. 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. Backward. Have a training plan in place before you bring your GSD home, and stick to it. Their high intelligence also comes with an eagerness to please their owners. They want to use their smarts in a constructive way, so have a strategy ready to make that possible.
They can have high-energy needs – 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. Be prepared for lots of long walks with your German shepherd and then some. Take them to a large park where they can run at full speed or consider signing them up for agility course classes. Trust me, if you don’t give your GSD proper and adequate exercise, they’ll start taking their built up energy on your favorite belongings.
German shepherds are natural guard dogs – Without proper socialization, this can sometimes turn into territorial behavior and even aggression toward strangers and other dogs. Adopting an older German shepherd means you don’t know if their previous owner took the time to socialize them. This is a risk potential GSD adopters need to be aware of so they can take the necessary precautions when bringing guests and other dogs onto their property.
They are excellent listeners – 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.
They’re not ideal for first-time owners – German shepherds can be a handful. They require consistent training and a level of experience that makes them a poor choice for first-time dog owners. If you do choose to adopt a GSD for your first dog, make sure you work with an experienced trainer so that your GSD does not develop any potentially dangerous or destructive habits.