Any German Shepherd owners out there? What does it take to own & properly train one?

I love GSDs & have wanted one for... at least 12 years now. I'm going on 26. I am more of a shy & nervous person & I'm trying to work on that! Trying to not get worked up about stuff & worry so much... go with the flow... build my confidence. I'm also in the Veterinary field & at my current job - no one likes Shepherds. Literally no one. Whenever I see one & get all excited or if I talk about owning one some day, they roll their eyes & scoff like - "psht yeah right pussey girl. You're dog will be extra psychotic with YOU as an owner..." Some of them even say "you're too nervous & anxious. You shouldn't own a Shepherd. It will just be an asshole."

Any tips/tricks to properly raise one? Any ideas how I can work on myself, as well as the dog/puppy? (Both prior to getting one & after I actually get one... if I do...) Any books/articles I can read?

Suggestions on how to deal with coworkers & friends/family?


Most Helpful Girl

  • I found your question by accident earlier because I have German Shepherd news set up on my phone. I've signed up just to answer your question and I write this as my first ever German Shepherd puppy plays around my feet.

    Please listen to this carefully: Follow your dreams. If you want a German Shepherd puppy, go and purchase a German Shepherd puppy. The only advice I will give you is this - Please find a reputable breeder who has done the appropriate tests on the hip/elbow scores of the dam and sire.

    As for the comments being directed at you from you co-workers and other people, please rise above it. I'm a nervous person, too. Severely anxious and depressed at times, and I decided to buy a puppy to help me grow as a person. Of course that wasn't the only reason, but I can tell you now it's been a huge learning curve for me.

    My puppy is now 13-weeks-old and the easiest part of his training was housetraining him. He can also sit, give me both his paws, bark on command, lay down, wait /stay, watch me, etc. He can also follow all these commands with strictly hand commands. He is hugely rewarding but also draining. There was even a time when I broke down crying through of lack of sleep and stress. I wouldn't swap him for the world, though.

    German Shepherds are enormous work and please believe you have the confidence in you to raise him the correct way. Remember you're a strong pack leader, make your puppy sit and wait before every meal, socialise him well and you will have a friend for the remainder of his/her life.

    Go ahead, buy your puppy and prove the people around you wrong. Go grow as a person and a year from now I'm sure you'll be amazed at how much you've grown.

    • PS.

      Further advice:

      Socialise your puppy everywhere you can think of. From pet stores, to garden centres, country lanes and busy city centres. Also take them on trains, buses and allow them to meet as many different people as possible. Also invite friends and family around your home to meet the puppy once it's settled in. It's very important you never isolate your dog. Do the same with others dogs, too. Start with letting the puppy meet other puppies and well-mannered and friendly dogs.

      Also, I have to mention how bad the 'mouthing' stage of a German Shepherd puppy is. Their teeth are sharp and they do use them. They nip at your feet, ankles, legs, arms and hands. It hurts. My puppy is already showing signs of improvement, though. I always say 'no' firmly and redirect the play to a toy. You WILL get through this stage even if it feels like it will never end.

    • Show All
    • Excellent! :) Good luck with the food switch! Just an FYI, in case you didn't know, make sure to switch gradually to the new food, so he gets used to it :)

      Do you know if he is a German bred or American bred Shepie? I heard German lines breed dogs who are a little less... psychotic...

    • My puppy is from a very stable and decent line of German bred dogs who were brought over to the UK. I'm British.

      The puppy has an upset stomach at the moment and was also sick last night. 😞 We think he might have scavenged something he shouldn't have eaten so he's on small portions of boiled rice and chicken today. Thankfully he's picking up already and is finding mischief again.

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  • Well, i had a couple when i was young. They were both wonderful dogs, but they absolutely were aggressive to people that weren't part of their pack. One of them watched over me like i was one of her puppies. She went everywhere i went and im certain she would have given her life to protect me. She had been put through a couple of obedience training courses and she was very well behaved, but there is also no doubt in my mind that if ever someone had come around our house without someone watching the situation she could easily have put them in the hospital. I do want to get one one day, but you do need to have some space and some time to exercise and run some of their energy off... and they shed like crazy.

  • I recommend owning a less challenging breed first, to get the hang of dog raising. My childhood dog growing up was a GSD mix and she was absolutely wonderful. Intelligent, trainable, no real bad habits. But if you're a naturally anxious person, you'll want to learn to control your energy so it doesn't rub off on the dog. Without a strong confident leader, dogs can pick up very bad behaviors.

    • I currently have a lab & a mutt - both of which I rescued. My boyfriend owns/breeds/trains labs as well...

    • If you already feel confident with dog training and handling, then you should be fine.

  • Super smart and beautiful dogs. Supposed to be easy to train.