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German Shepherd Dog Traits

Embrace These Traits or Don’t Get a German Shepherd

German Shepherds are amazing dogs and one of the most recognized breeds on earth. German Shepherd dog lovers are a special breed in their own right because owning a German shepherd requires a level of commitment not found with most other dogs. German Shepherds are beyond intelligent and owning one truly is a lifestyle. Ask any German Shepherd dog owner, who is passionate about the breed, and they will encourage you to learn all about these amazing dogs before bringing one home.

German Shepherd Dog Traits
German Shepherd Dogs vary in personality and temperament, but there are a few traits that most share, including:

  • Intelligence

  • Trainability

  • Athleticism

  • Fearlessness

  • Loyalty

  • Shedding


Due to their intelligence and personality, German Shepherds require consistent training from a very early age and that is not optional. They will outwit and rule over wimpy dog owners if leadership is not established from the moment, they move in. If they do not have a strong leader who challenges them mentally, they will entertain themselves in the most destructive of ways.



German Shepherds are herding dogs that have been bred to work for many generations. They thrive in an environment when they receive lots of training and challenges. There is a reason why they excel at police work, search and rescue, drug detection, as service dogs, and much more. They can do nearly anything except be bored so they require an owner who is committed to their training as much as they are to their companionship. 



To say German Shepherds are athletes means just that and they excel at dog sports. They have lots of energy to burn and while they do not have to compete in sports to be happy, they do require an owner willing to get out and take walks, they need room to run, and they require an owner who will tirelessly throw their ball, Frisbee, etc. or they will become highly destructive and frustrated.


German Shepherd dogs are fearless and will loyally protect their families. That does not mean that they are mean, aggressive dogs.  A well-balanced dog that has been trained and socialized from a young age, has a protective instinct and will alert and guard their family if any intruder should come along. When these dogs fall into the wrong hands, are abused, or trained to be aggressive (not to be confused with professionally protection trained dogs), have no socialization, and can become a time bomb waiting to go off. By nature most German Shepherds are somewhat naturally aloof and will greet strangers politely when properly trained.


German Shepherds bond strongly with their owner, forge a lifelong bond, and require lots of attention and companionship. They are not dogs that do well living alone in a backyard yet thrive when they are members of a family living in the home with their people. Isolated German Shepherds will become destructive and can easily develop behavior problems simply because they are lonely and have no mental and physical stimulation.

German Shepherds are notorious shedders and need lots of grooming. They blow their coat twice a year yet shed year-round.  If you are the type of person who cannot handle dog hair in the house or on your clothing, they probably are not for you. It is possible to minimize the mess by grooming regularly. 

Owning a German Shepherd Dog truly is a lifestyle and lifelong commitment with an amazing dog that only wants to be with you and please you. When considering a German Shepherd, it is of upmost importance to be honest with yourself about how much time in the day you have to spend with your dog on training, exercising, playing, grooming, and to realize that they don’t do well without companionship, exercise or when isolated. If you have time to devote to these amazing dogs, there is no better loyal friend.

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