The German Shepherd breed is perfect for families, and have even been called America’s number one dog. They are wonderful, and so compassionate, but they do require a great deal of care. German Shepherds are considered “working breeds” and in need of large amounts of physical exercise. German Shepherds are large, energetic animals, and like all dogs, they need to be taught good canine manners. Any German Shepherd I have worked with has been wonderful, always friendly, but definitely energetic. Due to their high volume nature, these dogs also love to eat. Their metabolisms are slower than they seem though, so it is best to make sure to accurately measure out regular meals, especially if they live in an apartment setting where they may not have a lot of room for physical exercise indoors. Another common personality trait I’ve seen among German Shepherd’s is that if they are not given enough attention, or exercise, they can be destructive or develop separation anxiety; some German Shepherds will dig up holes in the backyard, others will chew on furniture. Exercise is a necessity for this breed.
I have seen homes with a single German Shepherd and homes with numerous pets, including a German Shepherd among cats and other small dog breeds. These dogs can adapt to live with a variety of animals, or can be by themselves. However, as mentioned, they do need attention so having another furry friend around for them to play with might not be a bad idea! If you adopt an older dog, be sure to make sure they are animal friendly. Some German Shepherds have temperaments against other animals if brought up in certain situations.
German Shepherds are also good prospects for therapy dogs. When they are trained correctly and have a healthy, balanced exercise regiment they can be some of the nicest, humblest therapy dogs. I have worked with German Shepherds during therapy dog training, as well as boarding through Wag!, and the response people give to these dogs is amazing. There is something about German Shepherd’s that people feel very comfortable with, as if they are just naturally good hearted.
To anyone looking for adopting a German Shepherd make sure to adopt from either the Humane Society, another adoption agency, or a reputable breeder. Because of the high demand in American society for German Shepherd puppies, there are plenty of people breeding German Shepherds who are more interested in filling the demand for German Shepherd puppies than in breeding healthy dogs with good temperaments. To get a healthy dog, never buy a puppy from an irresponsible breeder, puppy mill, or pet store.