Dogs might be the best family pets, but there are more than 200 different dog breeds. If you’re considering bringing in a German Shepherd, you should ask: “are German Shepherds good family dogs?”
Every dog is best suited to a particular task, but the most common use case for a dog is living with a family. Every family should own a dog.
When introducing a dog to the family, you want one that will easily get along with the rest of the family. You should also consider the safety of the other pets in your home if you have any.
In this article, you’ll learn the basic behavioral patterns of German Shepherds. This will help you determine if this dog breed is great for a family or you should look elsewhere.
Are German Shepherds Good Family Dogs?
Although German Shepherds were initially bred for herding cattle, they are now a preferred breed for military dogs. But a dog for the police and a dog in the home should be two different dogs; can German Shepherds adapt to be perfect family dogs?
For one, German Shepherds are obedient and easily trainable, especially when they’re still young. If you get a good trainer for the dog at a young age, you’d wish you’ve had a German Shepherd your entire life.
In general, how does this dog breed stack up, in terms of living with a family? In the next sections, you’ll learn why the German Shepherd can be a perfect family dog and some reasons why you might want to look the other side.
Why German Shepherds are good family dogs
Looking at the natural traits of German Shepherds, they almost perfectly fit the description of a family dog.
Here are some of the reasons why a German Shepherd should be on the top when next you’re listing potential dog breeds for your family.
- They learn pretty quickly
When getting a dog for the family, you want one that can start playing fetch from as young as nine years old. German Shepherds are perfect for this.
They’re one of the most preferred breeds for military dogs for a good reason. They can learn a majority of those tricks your neighbor’s dog plays. What’s more, they can advance to perform very complex activities, such as grabbing something for you!
If you want a dog that can do pretty much anything, you should probably go for the German Shepherd.
- They’re very energetic.
If you have some kids, you should consider getting a very energetic dog. Kids are full of energy, and they enjoy playing with their pets all day. If you choose a dog that gets tired so easily, it might get aggressive when bored.
The energetic nature of German Shepherds makes them the perfect dog for this circumstance. Your German Shepherd can keep your kids entertained all day without getting bored or aggressive.
Add that to their ability to learn plenty of tricks, and you’ll notice that owning a Shepherd is synonymous with having an everlasting truckload of fun.
- They’re protective
Although all dogs try to be protective of their owners, some are just not made for it.
In the case of German Shepherds, they are definitely up to the task. What more could you ask to protect you, if not a dog that’s the favorite breed for police dogs?
The large size of the dog gives them a unique warrior-like look. Also, the loud bark is enough to freak out any intruder.
- They’re intelligent.
When it comes to intelligence, only two dog breeds outsmart the German Shepherds. Their smartness makes them highly trainable, and they pick up commands so fast.
This makes them extra-helpful in situations where you think animals can’t help. No wonder they’re a top choice for the military.
- They’re good with kids
If you have a few kids around, you should be worried about this. There have been reports of dogs harming or even killing infants and toddlers.
If you’ll bring a German Shepherd to live with kids, you should consider bringing it in as a puppy. When they socialize with children from a young age, they know how to treat the kids carefully.
German Shepherds love to exercise, and kids love being playful. This makes for a perfect match as your kids will keep the dog active while the dog keeps them entertained in return; fair deal!
Why German Shepherds Might Be Bad Family Dogs
German Shepherds are great family dogs, but it’s not all good and no bad. These dogs aren’t perfect.
There are some reasons why you might want to think twice before introducing a German Shepherd to your family, and here are the most important reasons.
- They’re very aggressive
Their aggression might or mightn’t be a negative quality, depending on who you ask. German Shepherds are natural herders, and they have the responsibility of protecting people and other animals.
If you expect strangers to step into your house so often, you might want to rethink having a German Shepherd.
German Shepherds might also grow aggressive towards other animals and dogs around the house. They also like to dominate, and they might tend to show dominance.
If you notice your dog growing more aggressive or showing qualities you don’t like, you should consider enrolling it for mental training.
- They need sufficient socialization.
If you’re getting a German Shepherd for the family, you want to make sure it’s young. This will make time for socialization before the dog gets aggressive.
Dogs of this breed tend to develop behavioral issues when they skip the socialization process. They might grow aggressive and become a threat to kids and other pets in the house.
- They shed a lot
If you’re allergic to a dog’s fur, you might as well consider not getting a German Shepherd as they shed throughout the year.
If you don’t enjoy cleaning up, you might also want to think twice about the choice of a German Shepherd.
If you’ll use the dog notwithstanding, you must agree to the terms and conditions, and you understand that you might have to invest in some allergy medication to live healthily with the dog.
How to Introduce a German Shepherd to Your Family
There are a couple of things that you should do when a German Shepherd is moving into your home. These activities will help everyone cope faster and help your dog live more healthily with the rest of the family.
Here are some things you should put in place when your family meets your first German Shepherd.
- Teach Everyone How To Handle The Dog
German Shepherds need love and care, and they might act with aggression if they feel threatened. An improperly socialized Shepherd might not tolerate a kid’s aggressiveness at first, and that might be an issue.
If you don’t want your kids injured, you’ll want to consider teaching them how to handle the new dog, as well as a few things that make the dog angry.
You should engage the services of a professional dog trainer in this, as it will make your job easier, and you won’t find yourself continuously googling “why are German Shepherds bad?”
- Exercise The Dog Regularly
Trust me, the last thing you want to have with the family is a bored German Shepherd. Dogs of this breed can be destructive when bored, and they will exercise themselves in odd ways.
If you want to reduce the possibilities of your dog chewing up your TV remote, you might consider employing the services of a professional trainer.
If you have kids, they might be all you need to keep a German Shepherd exercised and energized.
- Establish Authority
German Shepherds are alpha dogs, and they are not natural followers. But of course, you don’t want a dog as the head of your family!
While German Shepherds might try to act authoritatively, you must show them soon enough that they should obey, and not command. You can do this by enrolling your dog in basic obedience pieces of training.
If you have kids around, you should also engage them in obedience training; you don’t want a dog that obeys you but dominates your kids. You should make it clear that your kids are superior to the German Shepherd.
if you’re planning to introduce a new dog to the family, you should consider a German Shepherd.
While they might be aggressive to your friends and other animals, you can train them to be more accommodating. They’re also intelligent and agile, and they’ll do just fine as guard dogs.
If you don’t have one hour a day to walk a dog, and you can’t pay someone to do that for you, German Shepherds might not just be your thing. If you’re allergic to dog fur, you might also want to think twice.
But are German Shepherds good family dogs?
They’re certainly not more problematic than other dog breeds. If you have some time to nurture your dog, you can create the perfect family dogs from a German Shepherd.