I get it. You’ve seen enough German Shepherds to know that you would like to add one to the family (or should I say pack).
But are German Shepherds good family dogs?
Read on to discover:
- How kids can benefit from having a German Shepherd at home.
- What a few repetitions in training can do for your German Shepherd.
- 17 persuasive reasons to justify having a German Shepherd in your family 🙂
- And more..
Table of contents
Are German Shepherds good family dogs?
German Shepherds are good family dogs because of their protective instinct. Protecting you and your family comes natural for them. If well-treated, they become loyal and affectionate to their family. They can also be great with children if given proper socialization and training.
17 reasons why German Shepherds are good family dogs
#1: They protect your family and home
Home and family are everything to us. We have a reason to persevere, knowing we have someone or something to go home to.
But knowing your German Shepherd can protect your family and home? That is simply reassuring.
Your German Shepherd is not just a dog. They are an important part of your family. What’s more, they could serve as your protector.
Depending on the situation, your German Shepherd can be a watchdog or a guardian. They possess this natural protective instinct. And it kicks in when the situation demands it.
What makes them ideal protector material is that they’re fearless and self-confident. In fact, they will not hesitate to put their lives at stake to protect their family – YOU!
Did you know that German Shepherds were originally bred as herding dogs? These days they no longer herd animals. But the instinct is still there. You are the herd that they protect.
Caution: Prevent your German Shepherd from becoming overprotective by proper socialization and training.
#2: They are loyal to a fault
Dogs, in general, are loyal animals. They can be more loyal than some people you know.
German Shepherds are known for their loyalty that makes the bond with their owner even stronger. So loyal that they would go through great lengths for their owners.
There’s a story about a German Shepherd named Kostya from Russia. He and his owners were in a car crash. Kostya was the only survivor. Everybody seemed to have forgotten about him while his owners were removed from the scene.
Kostya never left the place. Everyday he would wait for his owners. Eventually, people noticed him. Some even tried to adopt him to no avail. That was because Kostya didn’t want to leave his spot.
Seven years later, Kostya was found dead in the woods. The story of his loyalty touched people’s lives.
In 2003, they erected a bronze sculpture of Kostya looking east. It was right on the spot where he had waited for his owners for years.
People can learn love and devotion from dogs. With a German Shepherd, you’ll have a best friend you can count on.
#3: They are affectionate
Don’t let their looks fool you.
German Shepherds don’t look as friendly as Golden Retrievers. Or as cute as a Welsh Corgi.
If anything, they look fierce. They even look as though they’re ready to bite you any minute.
So it may come as a surprise how affectionate German Shepherds are. These big doggos are a sucker for cuddles and kisses.
They also love attention from you. They request attention by putting their head on your lap. Or they may nudge you with their nose.
If only they could talk, they’d probably say, ‘Hey, give me some lovin’.’
And even if they get so big, they would show their playful side by trying to sit on your lap! Snuggles, anyone?
#4: They are fantastic with kids
Do you have small children? Or nephews and nieces perhaps?
The biggest question in your mind right now is probably this:
Can these big dogs be trusted with children?
With proper training that is.
German Shepherds are great with kids. They’re playful and protective.
Caution: Regardless of how well they get along, do not leave your children and German Shepherd home alone!
You can’t expect dogs to be great babysitters all of a sudden. This is where your important contribution comes in…
The secret – which is no longer a secret, though – is training your dog early on. This means the training must begin from puppyhood.
Getting a dog when they’re a puppy is important if you plan to have children. The dog grows into the family and gets to know each member through the years.
Isn’t it great for your German Shepherd and children to grow side by side? It presents opportunities for a better owner-dog relationship. Your dog will grow loving your children.
But before reaching this level, your dog needs puppy training. That goes with love, care and respect for your German Shepherd.
Caution: Remind your children not to play with the dog when the dog is eating. Or if the dog wants to be left alone.
Start your dog’s training from when they are puppies. Then expose them to other people and pets gradually. Introduce them to your relatives and friends. Take them places.
This is so they learn how to socialize early on. And when they know how to socialize, they develop patience and the right temperament when around children.
Your German Shepherd’s training must not end when they become adults. Training continues into adulthood. It’s a life-long process.
It’s a good idea to give your German Shepherd a refresher from time to time. This is how you ensure they don’t forget other commands.
#5: They are intelligent and quick to learn
Your pooch deserves some bragging rights for being smart!
So smart, in fact, that German Shepherds are ranked 3rd among the smartest dog breeds.
You have a very intelligent dog in your care. And you know what the best part is? They’re easily trainable!
Here’s a proven fact:
Your German Shepherd can do a trick after just a few repetitions. This is why German Shepherds are the top choice as police dogs and service work dogs.
Another reason why they thrive in these ‘professions’ is because of one simple trait:
They are eager to please their owners. These dogs love to cooperate with and work alongside humans. It makes them happy to be around people. Not only that.
One cool thing about German Shepherds is their ability to solve problems.
They can stand back, assess a situation, and determine whether there is a threat. Then they act accordingly.
But these are not the only ways that German Shepherds display their intelligence. They are so smart they can read your emotions and act accordingly. They can smell the chemical changes in your body and know when you’re sad. Or happy.
And they react by giving you a nudge. It’s as if they want to say, ‘Everything’s going to be okay.’
In the domestic setting, these traits make a German Shepherd a good family dog.
#6: They are sweet and friendly
So German Shepherds are known to be police dogs. It doesn’t mean they don’t know how to have fun though.
That fierce look aside, German Shepherds are sweet and friendly. They’re the perfect fun-loving companion to you and your kids.
That’s because they’re capable of being silly and playful at the same time. Spending time with them can remove daily stresses from work.
Note: German Shepherds can be unfriendly toward unfamiliar faces.
#7: They can entertain kids for hours
What do German Shepherds and children have in common?
Energy! Lots of it.
That makes your German Shepherd great with kids. They can entertain your kids for hours!
That’s because your German Shepherd is a tireless dog. They can play for hours and hours and not get tired easily. And young children have the energy to match!
What better way to spend time than to play games that your German Shepherd loves. Playing fetch, catching a frisbee, or learning new tricks. They won’t have a shortage of activities to do.
They can even play treasure hunt. Your kids hide the treats and your German Shepherd will find those. And with their excellent nose, they can easily find those treats!
Caution: Watch out how many treats you give your dog. You don’t want them to get overweight.
If they get tired of treasure hunting, they can run around all day. This is good for your dog since they need lots of exercise. And this is good for you, too. Tired children means you have more time to rest.
Caution: Keep an eye on your kids and dog while they’re playing together. Your child may get hurt during a roughhouse.
#8: They are the perfect road trip companions
A road trip is more fun with your German Shepherd along.
So if you’re going on a trip by yourself or with your family, take your dog with you.
They make great travel companions. In fact, some German Shepherds love riding in cars and traveling.
Even if your dog is not one of them, you can train them to love riding in a car. It takes time and patience. But once they are acclimated to the car, then you’ve got a travel buddy.
This is a great opportunity for some bonding time with your pooch. They also get to see a bigger world and meet other people and pets.
#9: They are tremendously courageous
You can say that German Shepherds are canine heroes. Their courage is one of the reasons why they are preferred for police work.
Being courageous works well for German Shepherds. It’s what makes them the ideal watchdog or guardian.
They are not afraid of anything. That’s why they excel in being police or service dogs.
At home, your dog would protect you against any threat. They would even put their life at risk to get rid of any perceived danger.
That’s exactly what this German Shepherd in Russia did to protect their 13-year-old owner. The child was playing when two large Central Asian Shepherd dogs tried to attack her.
The German Shepherd ran to the girl’s defense and fought with the dogs. The girl’s father couldn’t help, seeing how the larger dogs attacked their pet.
Unfortunately, the German Shepherd later died from the injuries.
#10: They get you moving
German Shepherds are agile dogs that need lots of exercise. Everyday.
That’s why it’s important that you know what you’re getting into when getting this dog.
So if you own a German Shepherd, get ready to be physical. You can’t just lounge around watching TV.
Walk, hike or run with your dog. Otherwise, they’re going to find an outlet that you won’t find pleasing.
You see, owning a German Shepherd is a huge commitment. They need plenty of exercise to keep them agile and healthy. And it takes a lot of exercise to tire them out.
But look at the bright side of it. You get to be fit as well as you exercise with your pooch.
#11: They adapt to any lifestyle
Whatever the change, your German Shepherd can adapt to it.
This is one of the best things about this breed. They can thrive in any lifestyle. Whatever it is, they will adapt to it. They can adjust to fit your lifestyle.
Moving to a new place? Having a baby? No problem.
Your German Shepherd can also adapt to any conditions. Whether it’s cold or hot. May it be a huge family or a small family.
It doesn’t matter if you have a huge backyard or living in an apartment. Even if they stay inside or outside the house, adapting is easy.
Note: Your German Shepherd can adapt to any changes. But it is not advisable getting this dog if you live in an apartment. They get so big and need a big place to move around.t let you to pet or cuddle him
#12: They have a calm nature and caring temperament
A calm and caring dog makes for a good family dog.
Some German Shepherds are naturally calmer than other dogs.
But when they were puppies, they were crazy energetic. Or perhaps they were out of control. They can only become calm with training.
So make this a part of your dog’s training. Especially when you have kids, you’d prefer a calm and caring dog rather than a destructive one.
#13: They are easy to train
Thanks to the intelligence and obedience of German Shepherds, they make great family dogs.
Their intelligence and obedience make them easy to train compared to other dog breeds.
In fact, it takes only a few repetitions for them to learn a trick. So they can do almost every task you give them.
And since they are naturally obedient, it’s better to train them when they are still puppies. Look at this 9-week-old German Shepherd learning various commands:
You can even enlist the help of your kids to teach simple tricks. It’s a great way to involve your children in training your German Shepherd.
#14: They keep you safe
Here’s something you can count on from your German Shepherd:
They are an excellent guard dog that’s capable of keeping you safe.
They know when there is a real threat. And they will do their best to keep intruders at bay.
You can sleep better at night knowing your dog can protect your household from harm.
#15: They respect you
Respect is two-way. You can’t expect your dog to respect you if you don’t respect them.
A German Shepherd will respect you provided that you have trained them well. It’s all in proper training from the time they were puppies.
If you set boundaries, they will respect it. In turn, you must respect your dog as a capable member of your family.
But how do you foster respect? Here are just some tips to show your respect:
- Don’t ignore them.
- Respect their instinct.
- Be patient and loving.
- Speak to them using a calm voice.
- Don’t bother them when they sleep.
- Do your responsibilities as a dog owner.
- Don’t touch them if they don’t want to be touched.
- Don’t let your children do things that hurt your dog.
#16: They’re excellent guard dogs
All dogs are natural watch dogs.
They bark to deter the intruder and to alert the owner. But a dog doesn’t have to be aggressive to come to their owner’s defense.
Being a guard dog comes naturally for German Shepherds. Because of their loyalty and protective instinct, they make good guard dogs.
The good news is, you can train your German Shepherd to be a guard dog. This is doable by putting in time, patience and understanding.
That being said, there is no shortcut around training. Don’t assume that by making your dog aggressive, you’re teaching them to be a good guard dog. Quite the opposite.
Plus, their aggression could turn toward you. The training will backfire because your dog won’t be loyal to an abusive owner.
And what if they wrongly bite someone because of poor training? The blame will fall on you as the owner. And the poor dog will get euthanized as a result of that.
As such, do not train a dog that is fearful and out of control. That’s because they won’t know how to respond in non-threatening situations.
So train your German Shepherd only if they are friendly, stable and well-socialized. Believe me. It is worth the time and effort if they end up being excellent guard dogs.
#17: They are friendly with other pets
It’s a major headache if your pets do not get along well.
Some dogs are always fighting. Or a dog and a cat have issues they can’t settle.
Thankfully, German Shepherds are friendly with other animals. In fact, some German Shepherds can become caring toward other pets, such as kittens.
Brooke the German Shepherd is proof of that. Here she is helping her mom take care of orphaned kittens:
This is possible if they have been exposed to other animals from when they were puppies. They learn early on how to get along with everybody.
See? This is the reason why your German Shepherd needs early socialization.
Bonus: They are devoted to their family
Another very endearing quality of German Shepherds is their devotion to their family. If they are well-treated and cared for, they will show their affection in their own ways.
It becomes their purpose to protect you at all times.