Monday, May 21 , 2018, 10:50 pm | Fair 59º


25 Reasons to Adopt a German Shepherd, In Case You Need More Than One

Aside from their fearsome reputation as guard dogs, the gifted breed comes with a host of talents and desirable traits

German shepherds are quick studies and easy learners. Click to view larger
German shepherds are quick studies and easy learners. (PetBreeds photo via Shutterstock)

German shepherds, best known today for their noble service as police dogs, trace their popularity as house pets to their shining history as celebrities.

After careful breeding in Germany in the late 19th century, the pups found stardom: They frequently appeared on the big screen, bringing furry fun to silent films as early as 1922.

German shepherds have many other talents, however, and Summerland-based PetBreeds recently gathered the top 25 reasons to adopt this gifted breed.

They Are Easy to Train

German shepherds enjoy learning and often listen to their owners or trainers, meaning it takes less time and fewer repetitions to train this breed.

They Don’t Require Much Grooming

Pete Bellis / Flickr

(Pete Bellis / PetBreeds photo via Flickr)

German shepherds boast a beautiful, multicolor coat, and luckily, it doesn’t require significant upkeep. Although the breed sheds seasonally, owners do not need to worry about grooming the dog.

They’re Active Dogs


Your German shepherd will make a great workout buddy. The breed enjoys a lot of exercise, including runs, jogs and hikes.

They’re Healthy


With the proper diet and enough exercise, German shepherds have fewer major health risks. The main risks are canine hip dysplasia (CHD) and elbow dysplasia, both of which are preventable.

They Have Big Litters


If you want to breed this popular dog, you will be rewarded with four to nine puppies per litter.

They Live a Long Time


While German shepherds won’t set records for life expectancy, they typically live between 10 to 12 years.

They Are Great Guard Dogs


German shepherds bark frequently and act fearlessly to protect their owners, making German shepherds famous guard dogs.

They Are Smart

(Gault family photo)
(Gault family photo)

According to Petrix, German shepherds are highly intelligent and have been reported to be the third smartest dog breed.

They Are Excellent at Schutzhund


Schutzhund, a German word for “protection dog,” is a sporting event that tests talents, such as tracking, obedience and protection. Originally created to test German shepherds, your pup is bound to outperform its competition.

They Are a Heroic Breed


(PetBreeds photo via Shutterstock)

Often recognized for heroic acts, German shepherds relentlessly serve their special humans. In fact, Filax of Lewanno, a canine soldier, was honored in 1917 for bringing 54 wounded soldiers to safety during World War I.

They Have Worldwide Appeal


While the breed is the second most popular dog in America, German shepherds maintain wide appeal worldwide, with thousands of fanciers in a total of 78 countries.

They’re an All-Weather Dog


(PetBreeds photo via Shutterstock)

The dog’s double-layer coat enables the breed to endure any type of weather and season.

They’re Highly Adaptable

(Gault family photo)
(Gault family photo)

Although German shepherds prefer larger yards, they easily adapt to apartment living as long as they get enough exercise each day.

They’re a Great Family Dog


(PetBreeds photo via Shutterstock)

With proper socialization, a German shepherd will make a great playmate for children and will exhibit extreme loyalty to the family.

They’re Easy to Adopt

(Gault family photo)
(Gault family photo)

Many German shepherds are available to adopt and want a loving family. Adoption not only saves you money, but also saves the life of a dog in need.

They’re Large Dogs


This breed stands between 24 and 26 inches, making the breed ideal for protection and outdoor activities.

There Are Many Shepherd Lovers


(PetBreeds photo via Shutterstock)

More than 3.5 million German shepherds call the United States home, providing a network of fellow German shepherd lovers.

They Are Hollywood Stars


(PetBreeds photo via Shutterstock)

Due to the breed’s wide range of talents, German shepherds have starred in 27 Hollywood films.

They Have 11 Color Variations


(PetBreeds photo via Shutterstock)

German shepherds are most commonly known for a black, tan and brown mixed coloring. However, the breed actually has 11 different color combinations recognized by the American Kennel Club, including solid coat colors of blue and white.

They’re a Herding Dog


(PetBreeds photo via Shutterstock)

This breed loves to work. German shepherds fall into the herding class and can be used to herd livestock and pastoral animals.

They Look Intimidating


(PetBreeds photo via Shutterstock)

No one will want to bother you when you have a German shepherd nearby. Even if your pet is docile and friendly, the impressive size and intimidating face of a German shepherd can keep trouble away.

They Can Make Friends With Other Pets

(Gault family photo)
(Gault family photo)

German shepherds generally prefer dominance over other pets, but when socialized early, they can learn to be very gentle with other pets.

They Love Water


(PetBreeds photo via Shutterstock)

A German shepherd always welcomes adventure and loves opportunities to play with you, especially at the beach or a lake.

They Love Who You Love


(PetBreeds photo via Shutterstock)

Although German shepherds are often aloof toward new people, they follow your lead and are likely to warm up to the people you love.

They Are Curious Dogs


(PetBreeds photo via Shutterstock)

A natural curiosity and desire for challenges make German shepherds the best playmates. Regular mental stimulation keeps them happy!

Click here for more dog breeds on PetBreeds.

— Ashley Eneriz is a freelance writer at Graphiq, a Summerland data analysis and visualization startup. This article is based on data curated by PetBreeds, a division of Graphiq.

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