German Shepherd Temperament and Character – Right for You?

If you’re looking to get a German Shepherd but aren’t sure if the German Shepherd temperament is right for you and your family, you’ve come to the right place! A quick Google search reveals that as of 2014, there are about 340 different types of dog breeds! How does one select the right breed? More importantly, in this post, we’ll help you answer “Is the German Shepherd temperament right for me?”

Temperament can be defined as: “the combination of mental, physical, and emotional traits of a person; natural predisposition.” Praise is often common among German Shepherd owners for the breed’s noble and unique appearance. In particular, people rave about the German Shepherd’s temperament and character. A German Shepherd’s devotion to his owner, his intelligence and trainability, as well as his inherent bravery during times of danger are among characteristics that make the GS breed stand out among the rest. If you’re interested in learning how the German Shepherd’s temperament and characteristics have gotten such a good reputation, go on to read about the history of German Shepherds.

Among family and friends, a loved German Shepherd will always greet you with a wagging tail even if you’ve only been gone for a few minutes. If you’re thinking that this is true for all breeds of dogs, I can reassure you that is not the case. German Shepherds are also known to have good memory as they’ll continue to greet “friends” even having met them once or twice a year. While these gestures are commonly expressed to individuals that the GSD considers as “friends,” getting such a status is not automatic. You’ll need to spend time with a German Shepherd before gaining his trust. 

Another temperament of German Shepherds is that they can become one-person dogs and overprotective of their owners to the point that they become dangerous to others. Some have suggested that this trait is hereditary, while other have suggested the German Shepherd was not socialized enough as a puppy. I think it’s a combination of both nature and nurture at work here. Therefore, German Shepherd owners are expected to socialize their dogs as soon as possible with different individuals.

As you probably already know, one of German Shepherd’s historic and current occupations is as a law enforcement dog. The is due to the following German Shepherd temperaments: 1) strong protective instincts, 2) distrust of strangers, and 3) high trainability.

As a house pet, your German Shepherd will have the tendency to bark at any unfamiliar faces who approaches your home or property. Keep in mind that your German Shepherd will not hesitate to use force to defend their home and family, should there be an intruder in your property.

The fact is, a German Shepherd is probably one of the most intelligent and easily trainable dog breed. As such, a German Shepherds have been trained to do many different things, from complicated tricks, carting and weight pulling, to a guide, service or therapy dog. In addition, the German Shepherd temperament has also allowed them to be highly effective search and rescue dogs. On the other hand, a German Shepherd’s intelligence can act against dog owners who do not have a firm structure of household rules, guidelines for social behaviors and training sessions.

Another important German Shepherd temperament is that they are “busy dogs.” In other words, German Shepherds do best in an active home where family members are actively looking to do things with him. On the other hand, if a German Shepherd is left alone for a long period of time, he can act out destructively. If you like to jog, go on hikes, camping or even participate in dog sports, a German Shepherd will definitely be a perfect fit. German Shepherds are working dogs which are bred to do work, so they will not only be much happier, but more well behaved when they have a “job” to do.


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