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10 Things to Know About German Shepherds

We’ve gathered information from a number of German Shepherd owners to bring you 10 important things to know about owning GSDs. Looking for a new pup for your family? German Shepherds just might be the breed for you!



  • German Shepherds are incredibly smart. They have a constant mental drive which makes them a sought out breed for both police and military working dogs. (Fun fact: A German Shepherd mix was the most decorated dog involved in WWII.)


  • This breed makes for an amazing family pet. Female German Shepherds are incredibly caring, and males are very attentive.


  • German Shepherds are a large breed of dog. Typically, they stand about two feet in height. Males weigh between 60 and 80 pounds while females come in between 50 and 70 pounds. (Fun fact: One of the largest GSDs on record was a male who weighed 130 pounds.)


  • To avoid behavioral problems, German Shepherds need training. Don’t worry, you don’t have to shell out thousands of dollars for training. You can check out our article on some of the easiest tricks to teach your pup!


  • GSDs are not hypoallergenic dogs. They shed whether they are long or short haired versions of the breed.(Fun fact: There are only two formally recognized variations of the German Shepherd breed-- medium and long coat shepherds.)


  • They don’t require regular grooming. However, German Shepherds have a straight-haired coat, so they do need to be brushed regularly to maintain a shiny, healthy appearance. They are not a breed that needs frequent haircuts unless there is matting of the hair.


  • German Shepherds are a cautious breed. Don’t be frightened if they aren’t immediately overjoyed to meet new people and animals. They may take a little time to warm up to new situations because they’re evaluating the circumstance. Their tendency to assess situations before reacting does not make them a dangerous breed. (Fun fact: German Shepherds are known to be great guard dogs, but they do not regularly bark.)


  • To be such a large dog, they are not overeaters. Most adult German Shepherds eat once or twice a day. They do need large breed dog food to ensure they are getting enough protein in their diets.


  • Some Shepherds have hip problems. Most hip problems present themselves in mature dogs. You can lessen the chances of early onset hip issues by regularly exercising your dog as well as giving them joint supplements. (Fun fact: Fish oil is an excellent, natural supplement that aids in coat and joint health in dogs!)


  • Purchase your German Shepherd from a reputable place. Overbreeding results in prominent hip and coat issues. Don’t support backyard breeders.

Are you considering getting a German Shepherd as your next family pet? They’re wonderful dogs! In fact, the German Shepherd pictured above is an avid Salmon Stix eater and a James Naturals representative. He lives comfortably in an active family with two small children. We hope this article answered some of your inquiries as to what life is like as a German Shepherd owner.


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