Choosing a German Shepherd Dog
CHOOSING A GERMAN SHEPHERD DOG
In the 1950s, German shepherds were the most popular dogs in the AKC’s registry. Unfortunately, many breeders produced puppies without considering pedigrees, and inbreeding caused health and behavior problems. They are also known as Alsatians, and in Germany, they are called Deutsche Schaferhunden.
1. Choose a German shepherd if you want an intelligent, loyal and hard-working companion. They make excellent watchdogs.
2. Remember that they are eager to please and enjoy their training. Be sure to establish who is in charge, as German shepherds tend to be dominant dogs.
3. Try a German shepherd if you’re looking for a good family dog. They are very tolerant and gentle with children, though they may be overprotective.
4. Adopt a German shepherd with confidence if you have other pets; they get along fairly well with everyone.
5. Expect your puppy to get big. Adult males weigh between 65 and 90 pounds and stand 24 to 26 inches at the shoulder. The female is usually about 10 pounds lighter and an inch shorter than the male.
6. Expect to pay between £300 and £500 for a good-quality dog.
7. Consider adopting from a rescue group. Many are already housebroken and finished with the chewing stage. There is usually nothing wrong with the dog; the owners didn’t research the breed and later discovered that they were incompatible.
8. Remember that German shepherds are eager to please and very intelligent. You must be consistent and firm while training them.
9. Note that shepherds shed a lot. The No. 1 reason people give up their German shepherds is because they shed too much.
10. Be prepared to enjoy 10 to 13 years with your new dog, as this is the average life expectancy of German shepherds.
Make sure you or someone in your home is willing to spend 30 to 60 minutes a day playing with and exercising the dog. Keep your shepherd in a secure yard. Get a portable vacuum if you plan to keep your shepherd inside. They shed constantly.
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