Jun 17

Why You Should Own A German Shepherd

Maybe this is an irrelevant dog lover post, but for those interested in the safety and security that a dog can provide both PRE and POST SHTF, I encourage you to do your research and pick up a German Shepherd (GSD).  Granted, other dogs out there will serve similar purposes but from someone who has owned many dogs and has now owned a male (pure) GSD for about 1.5 years I am mind blown at the asset this guy is to our family.  As I sit here typing this on my back patio, my boy Zeus is literally sitting in the middle of my back yard pulling security.  Ears up, facing out, scanning left to right continuously…it’s crazy just how in tune he is to his surroundings and how viciously he will protect what he calls his own.  From a layman’s perspective (who did lots of research) here is why you should own a GSD.

1- Intelligence:  Again I’ve owned many dogs in my life and my GSD has to be the most intelligent and capable learner.  It’s almost as if you can see him problem solving…it really is crazy.

2- Loyalty:  A big one in anyone’s book, he loves his family and is truly suspicious of all others…almost to a fault.

3- Utterly Fearless:  Sure there are little dogs who charge big dogs, but my boy is truly fearless.  Just google stories of heroism from GSD’s both on the police force and on the battlefield, I have no doubt my boy would charge into a hail of bullets to save one of our family.

4- Big Baby:  As strong, fearless and mean as these boys are when they are around their family they are the biggest babies ever.  Great family dogs and awesome companions.  I can’t tell you how many times this killer has climbed up onto the couch and laid his 100lb body on me while licking my face…ridiculous!

5- Situational Awareness / Intuition:  As previously stated these beasts are super smart and they recognize threats long before they materialize.  I would have no problem with my boy walking my daughter through a rough part of town late at night.

Look if you already have a dog that’s great but if you are in the market I might suggest a GSD.  Be aware they are very high energy and need room to exercise…and they shed like crazy.  If you are willing to deal with that you’ll have a companion that will literally not hesitate to put its life on the line for the safety and security of your family.

German Shepherd with REI Pack

German Shepherd with REI Pack


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    • Bill on June 17, 2014 at 11:56 PM
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    Glad to see you write about this. I agree 100%. Intuition is the place my GSD really shines; she just knows whether people are up to no good and she has a very different attitude towards them. She has never been wrong. Somehow she knows people’s intentions toward us and is not shy letting us know too.

    I would also add that bad guys respect GSD’s. By this I mean it is sort of like having a uniformed policeman showing up–GSD’s just make bad guys nervous. They have perhaps had experiences with them or just know that they are a police dog. In any event, bad guys (and others) really respect GSD’s and fear them.

    Each dog is, of course, different. I have found my GSD is a much better guard dog when paired with a chihuahua. The chihuahua is so fearful that he is always on alert and he helps spot anything out of the ordinary. Together they see it all and my GSD has a very intimidating bark.

      • PJ on June 20, 2014 at 11:35 PM
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      I totally agree on GSD’s being paired with smaller “watch” dogs. We have a couple who actually are more alert and have better hearing. They alert the GSD to the threat and he reacts, it really is a nice partnership.

    • Echo5Charlie on June 18, 2014 at 4:17 PM
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    He looks and sounds like a great dog.

    • LIbD on June 22, 2014 at 11:18 PM
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    I love GSD’s as well, and have planned on getting one once I had the space, however, recently I have noticed many purebred GSD’s walking with really sloped hips. It seems like most breeds are starting to struggle with inbreeding. What do you know about this, would a mix with something like a lab be healthier?

      • PJ on June 24, 2014 at 10:59 PM
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      I am no expert, but I would suggest looking at the parents while at the breeder. Some do have sloped hips and in some arenas that is considered a good thing. Mine does have a very slight slope but it’s not bad at all. I’d say check with the breeder and get to know them, that will help you make a decision.

      • ParaB on July 16, 2014 at 12:17 PM
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      We have a male GSD that just turned 5 months. The sloped hips are actually a trait of a well bred pure GSD. We researched a bunch of breeders before picking the one we did. And while we paid a lot for our pup, having the champion bloodline and proven health records of the last 5 generations will probably save money on the back side. More than a few dog people have said they could tell he was pure because of the slight slope of his back. Hope this helps. PJ, enjoyed the article bro, totally agree.

        • YARNOVERMOM on January 30, 2018 at 5:45 PM
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        You are correct! My parents used to be breeders and sloped hind end is one you SHOULD look for in a pure bred German Shepard. They also have a smooth gate when trotting. They get VERY attached to their family. They will NEVER forget you. They WILL find you if you are lost. We had a mother & daughter who were stolen. The mother was about 5 (rare color blue/black w/light coloring only on mussel, toes and dots above eyes) with the daughter (also rare solid silver/grey)about 6 months old. About 6 months after they were stolen they found their way home.

    • tpdoldie on June 23, 2014 at 1:24 PM
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    Neat article, totally agree. Recently retired LE and during my career I got to work twice as a handler. GSD are not the smartest but when everything is considered, in my opinion are the best. Currently working with our newest, a 1.5 yoa female who displays more to me than my last K9. Can’t wait for her to grow out of the puppy stage which lasts for a few more months.
    Just the mere sight of an alert GSD gets people attention. They can be dumb as a rock but when they are on alert and their ears are up, the idiots don’t know if or when their ticket gets stamped.
    Only suggestion I have is to say training. Work with the dog every day on something whether it be simple obedience or more specific.

      • PJ on June 24, 2014 at 11:02 PM
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      Totally agree on training, they need to be stimulated. Also need to know what drives them. Food doesn’t do it for mine, his ball however…it’s game on

  1. Great write! I have been a GSD owner all my life. My Ada has to have “work” to do everyday, and she likes to play, but would rather work. We take her to a dog friendly pool once a week (my inlaws) and she swims with my daughter, and will spend the entire day without rest because she must either be by my daughter’s side or alert and watching her. Then, on the way home, she passes out! http://adathegsd.blogspot.com/

  2. get a beagle to pair with your shepherd. dogs need companionship since they are a pack animal. the friendly dog will bark if it hears so much as a bug fart allowing the shepherd to snooze and respond only to a real threat. another factor is most beagles are kid safe since any hound dog that showed any aggression towards kids was taken out to the woods and shot. if you can’t trust the animal it has to go bye bye.

      • RHC on May 1, 2015 at 6:47 PM
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      Totally agree. Had 2 Affenpinscher, 1 died, but they will alert faster than my GSD. I call her my early warning system cause once she barks, the GSD will respond. My problem is that the two remaining are totally afraid of the other.
      It is funny to watch a 14lb put a 100 lb GS in a corner.

        • PJ on May 1, 2015 at 9:11 PM
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        We have a 8 lb Pom who has the best ears of all 3 dogs, so I can relate. He alerts the GSD to noises in other areas of the house or outside. It’s strange how the dog with the biggest ears is not the one with the best hearing.

  3. Totally agree! I have a small Maltese yapper who barks muc h more than my gs, Ida, but a couple of good deep “woof”s at the door ought to keep someone from coming in. Also, my gs seems to sniff everyone and everything out much more than any dog I’ve ever owned (and that’s a lot of dogs). She’s territorial, but maybe too protective of me(I have disability issues), where she “expects me to stay in my reclined area” to guard me. She has never been aggressive at all with family visiting or anything. My question, does anyone know how to train the dogs NOT to bark when necessary? Thanks!

  4. Grew up with GS and we would camp out on the riverbank all summer. I was young and or GS stayed in the water with me and kept me shallow and out of the current. Made mom happy! I have 5 acres but no decent fence around the house. When the time comes I will add a GS to the Papillon I have now. He is very alert with great hearing.

    • E B Herweh on December 2, 2015 at 5:10 PM
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    Great dogs, I have had the privilege of owning 4 of them.
    Some just naturally have a bit of a slope at the hips. What you want to watch for is that they don’t have hip dysplasia. This can only be diagnosed (or cleared) for sure with an x-ray. Especially if you plan on breeding your dog, take the puppy to your veterinarian and have them make sure the puppy doesn’t have hip dysplasia. This is an inherited problem, and while it may not bother a young dog a whole lot, it will make them more susceptible to arthritis like symptoms as they get older, and can be very painful for the dog. Hip dysplasia is more common in the large breeds, including GSD. 2 of my GSD unfortunately had it, so I did not breed those two. One of them I never would have guessed that she had it, but the vet was able to tell with an x-ray. I was glad I found out before I bred her. Would hate to breed problems into the line.

    • Teresa on January 16, 2018 at 5:58 PM
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    We live on an acreage and have 2 GSD’s a male and female – both “fixed”.
    My dad bred shepherds and trained them, they have always been my favorite dogs, bit was not aware until I got other types of dogs, just how much smarter GSD’s actually are.
    Easy to train, intelligent, loyal, loving, protective, alert, cuddly and fun.
    What could be better!

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