Skip to Content

Breed profile: German shepherd

The German shepherd is one of my favorite breeds. Although I’ve never had the opportunity to own one, I hope to some day. They are one of the smartest breeds, bred originally in Germany to be sheep herders and police dogs. The reason I don’t own a shepherd yet is because of their intelligence. This dog really needs a job to do, and I would feel guilty leaving a German shepherd home all day. It needs a lot of exercise, training, discipline and challenges.

The German shepherd comes in most colors, although the most common color combination is tan with black on the back, ears and muzzle. I have seen them in solid black and solid white. Although the white shepherds are not permitted by the AKC, I think they are my favorites.

Advantages to owning a German shepherd:

1. If you want an athletic dog, well, you’ve got one with a shepherd.

2. These dogs are very easy to train and eager to learn.

3. They make a great watchdog. No one will mess with a shepherd.

4. They do not require a lot of grooming, just some brushing.

5. You will own one of the most beautiful, loyal dogs.

Disadvantages to owning a German shepherd:

1. They’re size. These dogs weigh around 75-90 pounds. That’s a big dog, in my opinion. My mutt weighs around 65, and sometimes he’s hard to handle.

2. German shepherds need constant training and discipline because of their watchdog and protective tendencies. Many shepherds are aggressive towards strangers and other dogs because of improper training.

3. The German shepherd has a bad reputation for being an aggressive breed. Because of this, you might have to deal with breed bans in some areas, apartments that won’t allow your dog and just people who are scared of your dog because of its appearance.

4. The German shepherd has a high risk of developing elbow dysplasia and hip dysplasia, according to the Encyclopedia of Dog Breeds by D. Caroline Coile. Hip dysplasia is a hereditary disease more common in large dogs, which can lead to difficulty walking and bad arthritis.

5. This dog will need a lot of exercise, including a good run each day and a big yard.

As I said before, the German shepherd is one of my favorite breeds, it just needs to be owned by the right person. It’s important for responsible dog owners like us to help protect the reputation of this powerful, intelligent breed.

They have been one of the most common dog breeds to live in the White House, and they are often used for police work or search and rescue.

Lindsay Stordahl

Friday 9th of April 2010

We both agree German shepherds are great dogs!

clint white

Friday 9th of April 2010

you say they are your ''favorite'' breed but you have not owned one so how do you know they are? you can do all the research you want but if you havent owned one then you will never know how great they are i own 3 and im a dog trainer/handler and they are by far the best all round breed for me tho its the ddr gsd or west german lines ( working bloodline) but i bet you all ready know ( not being sarcastic)i think if you love them so much buy a nice puppy from a good breeder who knows what they are doing

Lindsay Stordahl

Wednesday 28th of January 2009

Hi Christina, thanks for stopping by. I just checked out your blog. Your dogs are gorgeous. I love German shepherds and hope to own one someday.


Wednesday 28th of January 2009

I currently own two GSDs. This is a great summary and overview for those interested in learning the basics of the breed. I can attest that they require a lot of dedication but it is well worth the effort. My pups are: Daphne (a female all white Americal showline) and Pruett (a male all black 1/4 czech, 1/4 hungarian, 1/2 white American showline). I blog for them too if anyone wants to know more about personalities and how they can vary greatly from dog to dog.

German shepherd dog

Monday 26th of May 2008

Hello, In this article, I will give you tips on how to train your German Shepherd Puppy. When you are ready for some type of training for your German shepherd, you should understand the breed first.


Friday 17th of May 2013

I have a GSD and she is soooo sweat and smart. but she does bite for fun and is not that good lister type. can you give me tips of how to train her not to bite???