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German Shepherd Dog (GSD) Information

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About the Breed

The German Shepherd Dog (GSD) is a wonderful breed, but it is a "high maintenance" animal not suited for everyone. Our intention is not to talk you out of adoption, but if you are unfamiliar with our favorite breed, please take the time to educate yourself about it. You can start right here by reading the following.

Is this a dog for you?

"Top 10 Reasons Why a GSD May Not Be the Dog for You"


1. German Shepherds require a serious commitment. Many of the dogs that come to rescue organizations have no training. It is important that the new family puts time and effort into training their rescue dog.

2. These dogs have a high energy level. The very energy that allows these dogs to be police, search, guide and herding dogs is often the reason these dogs are surrendered. If you are looking for a couch potato you may want to consider a different breed.

3. German Shepherds are highly intelligent. If they are not given a job to do they will often come up with their own.

4. Like any dog, the German Shepherd is a social animal and needs to be part of a family. The loyalty that endears this breed to many requires that it not be banished to the backyard.

5. German Shepherds are large dogs. The number one reason given by people surrendering German Shepherds is moving. Usually apartments do not welcome these dogs. If you do not know where you will be living a few years down the line it is not the right time to adopt.

6. These dogs shed non-stop.

7. They can be vocal, often whining and barking to communicate. If left alone for prolonged periods of time they may become problem barkers.

8. If you do not like doggy smell, consider a different breed. Also, bathing can be challenging due to the dog's water-resistant outer coat.

9. A German Shepherd must respect its owner. This is not accomplished by heavy-handedness; it is only achieved when its owner treats the dog with equal respect.

10. These dogs originated as herding dogs. It is a heritage they carry still. Keep this in mind if you or your neighbors have livestock. Remember that in some states a dog harassing livestock may be shot.

~ Julie Connolly for German Shepherd Rescue

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