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Why German Shepherds Are the Best Family Dog

Why German Shepherds Are the Best Family Dog

When you're a dog lover, no matter how many things or people fill your home, it never quite feels complete without a fluffy pup or two running around. If your family has decided to add a dog into the mix, it can be a huge choice to make. There are a bunch of different considerations that need to be addressed when you're going to get a pooch, especially if you have children.

Of course, every dog is different but there are still breeds that are considered to be a better fit for homes with kids. On the other hand, you also have breeds that are known to be a bit more unpredictable, which is why they can be found on what's known as the insurance blacklist. This is a list of breeds that insurance companies consider red flags, and if you own a dog that falls on the list it could potentially affect your premium or even have your coverage denied in certain situations. 

German Shepherds are one of a handful of breeds that appear on this list, but this doesn't mean this pup can't make a good family dog. It just means that if you’re thinking about getting a German Shepherd, there are some extra factors to consider and some additional steps you will need to take before you purchase or adopt a dog to make sure you get a pup that is the perfect fit for you and your family. 

german shepherd on a leash

The German Shepherd: Family Dog Material?

You never want to assume a negative trait of a breed occurs in an individual dog, because you could miss out on the perfect pooch! It’s always best to get to know the actual pup that you plan to bring home.  Here are four reasons why a German Shepherd can be the best family dog:

  • A German Shepherd is very intelligent, and he can be taught a number of fun tricks that will delight your children.
  • A German Shepherd is loyal and will bond well with the family children if started at an early age.
  • A German Shepherd has a lot of stamina and energy, making him a great playmate for active kids. 
  • A German Shepherd is protective of his family and will watch out for your kids, but it’s important to use caution with other children.

german shepherd laying down

Getting To Know the German Shepherd

A German Shepherd can make a fabulous addition to the family, but there are certain precautions to consider first. For one thing, with this breed, it appears best to get a young pup that can grow up with the children, and early socialization and training are paramount. In addition to these important points, it’s always a good idea to get to know the basic information about any breed that you plan to add to your family dynamic. For example, if you want a small dog, a German Shepherd isn’t the best choice, no matter how adorable and small he is as a puppy. 

Here are some good-to-know facts about the noble and smart German Shepherd:

SIZE

The German Shepherd can grow to be between 22 and 26 inches tall and roughly between 50 up to a whopping 90 pounds, making him a definite member of the large breed club! In other words, this is not a pooch who will stay small. It’s important to consider the combination of this dog’s size with his high-energy level, as he can easily overcome your kids when they are playing; which is why proper training is so critical. 

 

LIFE EXPECTANCY

A German Shepherd has a relatively low lifespan compared to other dogs, averaging 7 to 10 years. Although you might be on the fence about whether to adopt a younger or older dog, it’s important to weigh all of the different pros and cons of getting a puppy. While you can raise the pup with your kids, it comes with the price of having your child’s best furry pal likely pass on when your kids are still young. 

GROOMING NEEDS

This dog regularly sheds but a lot of the hair sticks in his double-coat, so regular brushings will help get rid of the loose hairs and prevent them from accumulating on your furniture and clothing. Besides his regular brushings, this pooch only needs an occasional bath, regular nail trims, and proper dental care. 

 

HEALTH ISSUES

Most German Shepherds are relatively healthy, especially when you get your pups from reputable breeders that screen their breeding stock for a number of health conditions like hip dysplasia and various eye issues. Like other large breeds, German Shepherds are susceptible to bloat, which can be a potentially life-threatening condition, so it’s always important to arm yourself with the proper knowledge you need to keep your pal healthy and happy.

 

EXERCISE NEEDS

A German Shepherd requires extensive exercise and ample opportunities to engage in physical activity. If this pup doesn’t get enough chances to run and blow off steam, as well as exercise his mental and cognitive muscles, he is likely to develop some unpleasant behaviors. No matter how well-trained your dog is, remember to always keep him on a leash in public settings and look into a variety of different activities that can keep him properly stimulated. 

Shepherds do well with various events like agility training, tracking exercises, and other canine competitions. Depending on your pup, swimming could be another potential activity, but it is one that needs to be taught; German Shepherds aren’t necessarily natural-born swimmers. 

It’s also important to provide your pup with interesting things to do when you’re not at home, like giving him interactive toys like the Rolly Cannoli or treat puzzles. Giving your German Shepherd things to entertain and intrigue him will keep him satisfied and out of trouble.  

 

TRAINING

A German Shepherd needs to be properly socialized from a very young age and it’s imperative to start a training routine with your dog as soon as possible. Enrolling your pup in puppy classes and obedience training is key to developing a well-mannered and patient pooch. Luckily, this breed is extremely eager to please and very trainable, and you will find that training your pup can be a wonderful bonding experience. You can even teach your dog a number of fun tricks that can make him the star of any show (or at least with your kids). 

german shepherd playing with frisbee

German Shepherds and Kids

While it's always important to make sure that both your children and your new pup understand how to interact with each other, German Shepherds require extra preparation. Make sure to lay the ground rules with your family before your dog moves in, and make sure to start a training program with your pup as soon as you bring him home. Of course, always supervise your children when they are playing with any dog, and make sure all of your kids understand basic rules like avoiding dogs that appear sick, agitated, or injured, or not making contact with dogs who are eating. 

A German Shepherd can make a great family dog if you take the time to integrate him into your family in the right way. When you’re ready to find the perfect pooch for your clan, petfinder.com is a great place to start. You can also scope out National German Shepherd Rescue Groups if you decide to rescue an animal in need. For more fantastic tips and helpful information that can help you beef up your pet parenting abilities, check out the rest of our blogs! At Neater Pets, we strive to bring you everything you need to know so you can do the very best for your pets!

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  • Fernando Becattini