As cuddly as a teddy bear to those that care for them and cold as ice to those that don’t, German shepherds love friends, fun and food. They’re not too fond of lazy days, and they definitely don’t like knocks on the door. But they’re eager to please and even more eager to see what’s hiding in the bushes.
German shepherds love their owners, but aren’t so fond of strangers. Properly trained and socialized shepherds aren’t aggressive with strangers, but they make it known that they don’t want someone they’re not familiar with to cross into their territory.
In addition to being a bit standoffish with strangers, shepherds belt out a vicious-sounding bark when anyone knocks on your door. And they won’t hesitate to protect the ones who love them if danger would arise. They’re especially – and sometimes to a fault – protective of children.
German shepherds need a way to burn off some energy, because they have a lot. They demand daily walks and playtime. If they’re not properly exercised, they’ll often respond by being destructive, barking, running around wildly inside the house and generally acting out.
Synonymous with intelligence, German shepherds were ranked third when more than 200 AKC judges rated over 100 breeds on their intelligence. They’re easy to train, learning many simple commands in as little as five repetitions.
A German shepherd isn’t one to stay away from something because he’s not sure what it is. They love exploring their surroundings, often checking out a yard’s boundary when they go outside each day. Their curiosity is especially noticeable when they’re puppies, getting into everything they can get their paws and nose on.
A mix of beige and black is the most common color type for German shepherds, but solid black and solid white shepherds also exist. If you ever plan to show your pup, the American Kennel Club notes that white shepherds are disqualified.
Although many German shepherds remain somewhat thin through the first two years of their life, they quickly fill out afterward. They’re large and powerful dogs, ranging from 22 to 26 inches and usually between 50 to 90 pounds, with females on the lower end of the spectrum. If they’re not properly trained, they can easily pull an adult to the ground if they run after something.