A German Shepherd puppy is one of the best investments your family can make. You will be hard pressed to find a more loyal, smart or protective animal.
Quality German Shepherds can be hard to find. On this site we provide resources for you to find German Shepherd puppies for sale in the United States. Just click on your state below to be taken to the current listings for that state.
We also provide numerous articles and information regarding the history of German Shepherds and resources to help you determine if they will be a good fit for your family.
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German Shepherd’s Personality
Strong. Courageous. Obedient. Intelligent. These four words come closest to summarizing the German Shepherd’s personality.
German Shepherds are one of the most well-known of the working-class dogs. They were originally trained to work as herding dogs. However, they rapidly transitioned to other jobs.
You see them being trained for police work, used in the military as bomb-sniffers and for search and rescue work recovering people who have been buried in rubble.
German Shepherds are fiercely loyal to their family. While they can be transitioned from one family to another, you do need to give the German Shepherd — especially an adult one — time to get accustomed to you.
They are slow to make new friends, but once they do, that loyalty goes with their friendship.
German Shepherds do best with direction and strong guidance. In order to help bring out the best personality from your Shepherd, you are going to want to plan to spend some time covering at least basic obedience training with your puppy. German Shepherds need leadership, and that is going to require you to invest some quality time in your pet, more so than you would with other breeds. Strong, firm, kind guidance helps a German Shepherd find their balance and creates a happier family pet.
Concerns About German Shepherd’s Aggression
Because they often work alongside soldiers and Police Officers, they are often viewed as being an aggressive animal. While German Shepherds are not inherently aggressive, their strong loyalty means that they can be trained to be aggressive and protective.
In addition, German Shepherds that are treated harshly or abusively may develop a more aggressive nature.
By the same token, German Shepherds are also well-renown for being one of the safest family pets. Many people choose a German Shepherd because they can trust them to be kind to their family members but intimidating to intruders.
They also tend to become very protective of the children in the family and have been known to save the lives of their owners on more than one occasion.
German Shepherds As An Inside Pet
Like all larger breeds, German Shepherds that are kept indoors require a little more work. They will need to be walked at least once — if not twice — a day.
For the German Shepherd mental stimulation is key. In addition to walking them, you will want to find time to play with them. Chase them, play frisbee, explore new areas…
When indoors they will need plenty of toys — and plenty of human interaction. They don’t do well by themselves if cooped up indoors alone for long periods of time. They are smart, inquisitive dogs and need a certain amount of activity to keep them from becoming whiny or destructive.
Finally, German Shepherds are notorious shedders. You will need to brush them once a day, and will find yourself vacuuming frequently in order to keep up with the shedding.
German Shepherds As An Outside Pet
German Shepherds transition well as outdoor animals. They do well in cold weather, but you need to be careful to provide them plenty of shade and water in hot temperatures. Ideally, they should be able to go somewhere air conditioned during the heat of the day.
It can be difficult to give an outside dog the attention they need. With German Shepherds, this can lead to a variety of behavior problems such as jumping and excessive barking.
In the best situation, you will be able to give your German Shepherd plenty of time indoors and outside. This will give them room to exercise and play, but also allow them the frequent human interaction that they crave.
German Shepherd’s Size
A large breed, the males are larger, easily reaching 26″ at the shoulder, whereas most of the females will be closer to 22″ at the shoulder. The males will end up weighing in the range of 75-100 pounds. The females will typically only weigh about 55-75 pounds.
German Shepherd’s Coat Types
Their coat is one of their most fascinating features. They have a double coat with a softer undercoat that helps it stay warm during the winter. The undercoat typically sheds in the spring, and may need some extra attention in grooming to help keep it from making a mess.
The outer coat provides extra insulation by trapping air between the outer coat and inner coat. This layer sheds continuously, and while it keeps shepherds looking quite sharp, it does create a hassle for their owners to clean up after.
The outer coat comes in long hair and short hair versions. While the AKC only recognizes the short-hair phenotype has a true German Shepherd, the long haired dogs are quite stunning.
German Shepherd’s Health Concerns
As with many large dogs, there are many health concerns surrounding the joints of these animals. Panosteitis, elbow and hip dysplasia are all concerns. They also can be genetically predisposed to a higher risk of cancer and blood clotting disorders.
You can avoid some of these health problems by purchasing your German Shepherd puppy from a small breeder. Puppy mills are notorious for breeding low quality dogs and propagating bad traits in their puppies.
By purchasing your puppy from a family breeder that has only a few dogs (ideally, working dogs) that they take great pride in, you will likely be able to avoid a lot of health problems. Plus, you can watch the mother and get a better idea of what your puppy’s personality may be like.
Caring For German Shepherds
We’ve already touched on a lot of the important points about caring for your German Shepherd. Let me summarize a few of the most important ones. Do these, and you will have a happy forever relationship with your puppy.
- Feed their desire to learn. These dogs have an insatiable desire to learn. That means that in addition to taking them for walks, you will need to play with them, take them new places and introduce some formal training into their lives.
- Brush Them Weekly. Ideally, you will want to brush them 2-4 times a week with a slicker brush to help keep the shedding controlled. Using a Furminator regularly can also help keep the shedding to a minimum and give your dog a happy, shining coat.
- Watch For Health Problems. It starts when you buy your dog. Research the breeder, and buy a dog with a good history. And then, watch for problems. At the first sign of a limp, get your beloved pet in to a vet.
Exercising Your German Shepherd
It is extremely important for you to provide plenty of exercise for German Shepherds. Not only will your dog be well-rounded, you are helping to promote the health and longevity of your puppy.
If you have a large yard, it will give your dog plenty of room to run. However, they will still really need to be walked on a daily basis, especially during their first couple of years when they are young and hyper. Dogs who don’t have a yard to play in, will need even more exercise.
German Shepherds often enjoy visiting dog parks and water. So if you have access to either, you might make them a frequent part of your routine.
In addition, don’t forget to mentally exercise your German Shepherd. Structured obedience training, playing frisbee and teaching it tricks are all essential to keeping your pet satisfied and from being bored.