German Shepherds are among one of the most popular breeds in the UK thanks to their intelligence, tolerance and sympathetic natures. They make wonderful family pets and appear to have a real affinity with children. If you are thinking about getting a German Shepherd and would like to know more about the breed, there are several frequently asked questions listed below that could help you make that final decision:
German Shepherds like many larger breeds, have shorter lifespans than smaller breeds. The average life span of a GSD is anything between 9 to 13 years when they are well cared for and fed an appropriate diet to suit the difference stages of their lives. As dogs get older, they need more in the way of care and because GSDs are prone to certain health issues, they should be examined more frequently by a vet to make sure they are in the best of health and that no dental or other issues are developing.
German Shepherds are known to make wonderful family pets thanks to their calm and tolerant natures. They are especially good around children and appear to have a real affinity with them. They are among one of the most intelligent dogs in the world which is why they are used by many authorities and rescue services in the UK and around the world.
Most female German Shepherds are known to be a lot more sensitive than their male counterparts which means they tend to be a lot easier when it comes to training them. Due to their smaller size, female GSDs also tend to better at many canine sports which includes agility. Many people also believe that females GSDs are more tolerant around children and friendlier around strangers than male German Shepherds.
German Shepherds are among some of the most intelligent breeds which is why in the right hands they are so easy to train. They are renowned for being exceptionally good search and rescue dogs. GSDs are especially sensitive to “voice” and being so receptive, they learn new things very quickly and are always eager to please. They respond extremely well to positive reinforcement and never respond well to harsh or unfair treatment.
Most German Shepherds are tolerant around other dogs providing they have been well socialised from a young age and been given the correct training and guidance. However, some GSDs and more especially males can be more dominant by nature and therefore more aggressive when around dogs they don’t know. The other thing to bear in mind is that some German Shepherds just cannot resist chasing smaller animals that try to run away from them thanks to a higher prey drive.
Like many other large breeds, German Shepherds mature slowly only really reaching full maturity when they are 3 years old, although most female GSDs reach full maturity earlier than their male counterparts. As such, care should always be taken as to how much exercise a young German Shepherd is given to reduce the risks of them putting too much strain on their joints and bones which could lead to serious health issues later in their lives.
German Shepherds are very protective of their families and their property which is why they are known the world over as being wonderful watchdogs. The need to “protect” is a trait that is deeply embedded in a GSD’s psyche which in short, means that it is never a good idea to “over train” a German Shepherd to guard because it could make them more aggressive which is something that must be avoided.
German Shepherds shed copiously throughout the year but like other breeds, they shed the most during the spring and the autumn when more frequent brushing is needed to stay on top of things. Living with a GSD means having to cope with hair around the home but the more a dog is groomed, the easier it is to prevent them from leaving hair everywhere around the house.
German Shepherds are large dogs and they need to be fed an appropriate, good quality diet that suits the different stages of their lives. As such, it can cost over a £1000+ a year which covers food, pet insurance and other incidentals that are typically needed to keep a GSD happy and healthy. This does not cover the cost of buying a well-bred, healthy Kennel Club registered German Shepherd puppy.
German Shepherds are predisposed to suffering from certain health issues which includes hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, haemophilia, degenerative myelopathy (CDRM) and epilepsy. There are other health concerns that affect the breed which is why it is so important for breeders to have dogs tested for any known hereditary or congenital health issues before they are used for breeding purposes. The good news is there are specific DNA health tests available through the KC/BVA health schemes for German Shepherd Dogs.
German Shepherds are among one of the most popular dog breeds in the UK and well-bred puppies can command a lot of money. According to our Pets4Homes statistcis, if you where looking for a German Shepherd puppy for sale, the averageKennel Club registered GSD puppy would cost just over £850 whereas a non KC registered puppy would set you back around £600.