11 Protective German Shepherd Pros And Cons

German shepherds are America’s one of the most popular dog breeds, and for good reasons.

The breed is medium to large-sized, which was originated in Germany, hence the name.

While owning a German shepherd may sound like a dream to some of the dog enthusiasts out there, it’s not always rainbows and roses.

Instead, it depends upon family to family, and one has to know about specific German Shepherd pros and cons to know if a German shepherd would be suitable for their family.

So, here in this article, we will tell you 11 owning a German Shepherd pros and cons.

Let’s dive in!

Pros Of Owning A German Shepherd 

  1. Come In Lots of Different Shape & Colors 

german shepherd on white background

Whenever we think of a German shepherd, usually, what pops up in our minds is the typical color and size of them, which is black and tan type, traditionally owned by the regular families.

However, it’s not the only color they come in, and actually, there is a wide range available.

There are more than ten recognized colors they are known to be available in. Moreover, they come in different sizes as well due to the mixed-breed combinations.

  1. Loyalty & Commitment 

german shepherd being hugged by owner

This is probably the most well-known fact associated with German shepherds.

They are known to be extremely loyal to their owners, and they always look out for them, to whatever extent they can.

With proper socialization, they make themselves a part of your family, bond with other pets and the children very well too.

Once the bonding is done, they stay very loyal and committed and never leave the owner’s side.

Furthermore, they do not befriend outsiders very quickly and keep their circle to their owners only, which makes them the perfect candidate for a guardian and watchdog in addition to being a great companion.

  1. Intelligence And Ease To Train 

German shepherd training silhoutte

Another widespread known feature of German shepherds is that they are knowledgeable and have a high sense of adaptability.

This makes them able to do a versatile set of tasks and practically anything that you could expect from a pet dog to do.

Once they have a strong trainer, they are very easy to train and pick things up fast.

They are known to be the third most intelligent breed, with the top two being Poodles and Border Collies.

  1. Very Attractive 

German shepherd lying on the lawn

Looks are a factor nobody can ignore while considering to buy a dog.

The appearance of your pet unarguable matters a lot, and when it comes to German shepherds, they are pretty attractive breeds, which is one of the foremost reasons why they’re the second most popular dogs to own as pets.

The German shepherd has an attractive marking on their bodies and is long and elegant, setting themselves apart from the other breeds out there.

Having different colors to choose from adds fuel to the fire, making your pet look even more attractive, so always remember to consider different colors as its a thing based on personal preferences.

  1. Can Be Assigned Versatile Roles 

German shepherd being used in a crime scene

Whether you’re buying them as a show dog, a family dog, or you intend to get other purposes fulfilled out of them, German shepherds are safe to go with in most cases.

They are known to be the best breed for versatility. As already mentioned, they are very intelligent and easily pick up any training with the right trainer.

German shepherds can take up many working roles like leading, herding, leading the lines, military tasks, police, and security works as well as drug-sniffing.

Moreover, they can also be considered safe as show dogs, just with the proper grooming, in various segments like appearance, temperament, and health.

They can be made to learn tricks and perform in front of crowds without having them distracted, and the list goes on.

  1. Ease of Maintainance 

A German Shepherd sitting in the boot of a car

Another big factor to consider while choosing a family pet is how easy would it be to manage them.

As a new pet owner, nobody has all the information they need to pet their dogs, and they always have to look up the help whenever they face a situation.

Here is when the German shepherds stand out, there are tons of endless resources out there for all the information you’ll need while interacting with them.

Due to their extreme popularity, there is practically no problem that you would face and not have the solution to.

By joining the right communities, managing your dog will become very easy, never needing to struggle to find any info related to them.

The fact that they require minimal bathing adds more to it. While they certainly require regular brushing, they do not need to be bathed every month like the other breeds, which is a pretty hectic task.

The reason is that they don’t emit as many odors as the other breeds and are generally quite clean.

However, an important point here is that bathing more than needed could disturb the natural oils of German shepherds, so it should be avoided at all costs.

Cons of Owning a German Shepherd 

  1. They Are Quite Messy 

A veterinarian combs a German shepherd dog with a metal comb

The foremost point that makes it to the cons of owning a German shepherd is the amount of hair they shred.

This sometimes can be quite annoying as if you have them as a pet in your house; cleanliness is a major factor to consider.

With your pet walking around shedding hair all across, it can turn out to be a pretty difficult situation to handle.

Not only do they shred hair, but unlike other pets, who only shred during a certain period of the year, this process keeps going on all year long in the case of German shepherds.

So, make sure you consider this before you make up your mind of owning this breed,

  1. Temperament 

Barking German Shepherd

As already mentioned previously, they are incredibly intelligent, and if given proper training, they are one of the most humble, disciplined, and noble breeds of dogs.

However, if the trainer is not ideal or due to some reasons, the training session goes bad, there can be various temperament issues that may arise when dealing with German shepherds.

Moreover, if the dog is crossed with another breed, it could also introduce this element.

So make sure you check the breed properly before buying and buy a fresh dog so the chance of previous bad training would be eliminated. And always put stress on the ideal training.

  1. Cannot Be Left Unattended For Long 

German Shepherd lying in bed

While you really cannot tag German shepherds to be the needy kind, they do need a company to socialize with or someone to interact with.

With their high level of intelligence and need for stimulation, it could prove to be a bad idea to leave them alone for long periods as they can get extremely disturbed due to anxiety issues or otherwise.

Hence, make sure you put this into consideration when thinking of buying a German shepherd.

If you’re someone who doesn’t have a huge family or don’t have people at home at most times, this breed might not be a perfect idea.

If, however, you think that you can give your pet the time and attention, you could certainly consider them without any hesitation.

  1. Need Decent Financial Investment

German Shepherd with dollar in a pouch sign

While I wouldn’t call it money wastage, as investment sounds like a better fit, they do require a decent amount of fortune to meet their needs.

As they are fairly large-sized dogs and are quite strong, their meals need to be heavy and regular. However, you can control this by giving them dry food at times to save yourself some money.

But, this is not all they need. They can be caught up with diseases like hip dysplasia, which can eat up a large fortune during treatment.

And no matter how much care you provide, there are always some mishaps that are out of reach, and you don’t have complete control over them.

Hence, you should make sure that you would be able to support your German shepherd financially to bring them up their entire lifetime.

  1. Genetic Health Problems 

german shepherd in a vet clinic

German shepherds are very prone to diseases, especially if their causes are genetic. Depending upon their ancestors, they are known to carry some diseases like arthritis and hip dysplasia.[1]

Your pet getting caught up in this kind of disease not only wastes your money and time but the period while they’re housing these diseases also prove to be a pretty hard time for them. Moreover, they are not very easy to get rid of, as well.

The problem with such genetic diseases is that you don’t have control over them, and they are triggered without any major causes.

So, there is no way to avoid them even by caring and all, if your pet carries them in its genes.

So make sure to have proper, timely checkups by the vet and always keep proper track of the health of your German shepherd, if you’re planning to buy one.

Conclusion:

German Shepherds are certainly loyal and sometimes intimidating looking dogs.

Yet, they are really fond of people and make great pets. Therefore, it’s important to understand the consequences of owning a German Shepherd.

Being aware of the cons is also important so once you have the dog, you aren’t surprised by anything.

Lastly, the choice of owning one is entirely on your love for the dog breed.

References: 

1. [^] Hedhammar, A, et al. “Canine Hip Dysplasia: Study of Heritability in 401 Litters of German Shepherd Dogs.” Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 1 May 1979, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/570968.

 

Audrey Silverman About The Author: Audrey Silverman is an experienced editor and writer based in New York. Previously, she worked for Penguin Random House, editing books by Anne Rice, Art Garfunkel, Toni Morrison, and more. She is also a lifetime dog-lover and has been the proud owner of two rescue pups. When not writing or editing, she can be found working in non-profit development.