In this space, you will find a general description of the common characteristics of different breeds. Every dog is unique and may not exhibit all the typical traits of its breed. A dog's temperament and behavior are influenced by many factors, such as genetics, environment, imprinting, upbringing, and individual experiences. The breed does not absolutely determine or condition a dog's temperament, energy level, or needs.

German Shepherd

Germany 🌍

Let’s be honest, we are talking about a proper dog. I'd also like to clarify that due to the great variety and different lines within the German Shepherd breed, it's very complicated to speak generally about their traits. I recommend being extremely thorough when selecting a German Shepherd because belonging to the breed does not guarantee it will meet your standards. Fortunately, many centers specialize in the best possible selection of this breed. Make sure to gather information about the genetic line, the care it has received since birth, and its development during the first few months of life (if possible, of course).

Getting back to the point, it doesn’t take a genius to see that stance, that penetrating gaze, that posture. This is not just any dog. German Shepherds are super popular, and one of the reasons is that they combine a list of traits that, when brought together in one dog, create a magnificent specimen. We’re talking about an exceptional temperament, characterized by strength and confidence, creating stable behavior in response to external stimuli, a level of calmness that can be intimidating, but if provoked, the situation changes 180 degrees. They don’t usually overreact.

Add to this their superior intelligence, which gives them a surprising capacity for learning, obedience, and adaptation. Their loyalty matches their protective instinct, which becomes evident when recognizing potential danger. We also add their high sociability; while they may seem reserved around strangers, their behavior is more than correct when they are in their territory. They are agile, intelligent, and resilient, endowed with courage and self-confidence by default. These dogs are naturally attentive and eager to please their handlers. No wonder they have been excellent guard dogs, service dogs, search and rescue dogs, and herding dogs for decades.

Their quality DNA has endowed them with excellent traits designed expressly for being working dogs, but those same traits also make them suitable as companion dogs, provided they receive the level of exercise and stimulation they require. They are gentlemen who will watch over you and your family 24/7. While they can be distrustful of strangers, they are kind to those who treat them well—reciprocation at its finest. If there is mutual respect, there’s no problem. Their nature drives them to protect, especially spaces and people. Therefore, it’s crucial to teach them (nicely) the household hierarchy and who the real leader is; otherwise, they will feel compelled to take charge, driven by instinct. This point is very important in raising a dog. Education and discipline guide a dog to be stable.

German Shepherds might completely ignore smaller dogs, and while they don’t typically seek conflict, they will try to avoid it by distancing themselves, showing their greatness. They avoid conflicts that don’t need to happen to prove how they would end. German Shepherds aren’t the type to show their teeth just because, in situations where other dogs might; their nature leads them to avoid conflict. But watch out! If they sense their family is in danger, their protective mode will instinctively kick in.

This breed isn’t a fan of barking, but their alert and protective instinct can make them bark more than once a day, just to inform you that things are happening out there, which they haven’t yet determined if they’re a threat. These qualities that make German Shepherds balanced and protective also make them suitable for being around children, as their calmness and temperament are ideal for this, but always, always under supervision. It’s important to remember that we’re talking about a dog, not a toy. And I say this not because of the dog, but because children often aren’t aware and can be too rough or pull on places they shouldn’t.

The German Shepherd is also an example of adaptability, even with their medium-large size, they can live in a country house, a chalet, or an apartment without a garden, as long as they receive love, understanding, good food, fresh water, and, most importantly, physical and mental stimulation. We can’t forget that we’re dealing with an animal created to work, and it’s up to us to keep their mental and physical health active. If they aren’t provided with enough exercise and stimulation, their accumulated energy can cause havoc in your house, damage your garden, and more, but this is something known to happen with almost all dogs.

They need physical and mental exercise to stay stable and happy. Starting their education at a young age is ideal because their intelligence and predisposition are perfect for it. For years, they’ve been the favorite breed for police activities, obedience sports, and helping people in medical services or as assistance dogs for people with physical limitations. And they’ve done all this with excellent performance, 10/10.

Establishing routines that make their life predictable is something they greatly appreciate. Knowing when it’s time for a walk, when it’s time to eat, when to be calm, and when to exercise are key to maintaining the mental and physical health of this soldier. Keeping their goals clear will help preserve their work instinct. And we can’t deny that they are the most recognized in the world, not just for their countless performances in service or the number of championships won in different disciplines; the German Shepherd is an excellent dog that brings together spectacular qualities, which combined in one animal make them a true Champion.

The German Shepherd’s coat is a whole other service. They have layers of long, short, and hard hair that require frequent brushing to keep it in optimal condition—a real king. Baths are recommended every 4-5 weeks, of course, evaluating activity. You can extend it by a week if you see fit. But we can also apply the so-called "dry bath" once a month, using cleaning powders, massaging to penetrate the product better, and brushing to remove the excess. And yes, just as you invest in good shampoo and conditioner for your hair, do the same for them, or aren’t they worth it? Also, after the bath, don't use a high-temperature dryer, rather medium-low, to avoid dehydrating the inner layers of hair.

Cleaning also includes taking care of their ears; being large, it won’t be difficult, always with love and gentleness, but don’t overdo it! Don’t try to clean too deep inside, and also keep an eye on the nails. They are generally dark, making it difficult to see where the nerve ends. If they aren’t wearing them down, it’s a sign they need more activity. Give them a bit more exercise or place a treat under a board with sandpaper attached, and they’ll handle their own manicure.

Dental cleaning might seem unnatural for a dog, but considering they now eat manufactured products very different from what they would hunt if they were wild, it’s not bad to think about their dental hygiene, and this isn’t too much a couple of times a week, of course with products specific for dogs since they will swallow whatever you use, and fluoride in toothpaste is toxic for dogs.

Eyes also need care; basically, when cleaning eye gunk, do it with a damp cloth and gently to avoid hurting them. Don’t try to scrape with your fingernails as everyone does; some are more stuck and can cause a small wound.

If the German Shepherd spends a lot of time at home or on smooth floors, trimming the hair between their paw pads helps avoid slips and possible injuries. Speaking of health, the German Shepherd has a delicate digestive system, so it’s important to select easily digestible foods. Maintain a balanced diet according to their activity level. If they are active, let them enjoy their portion. If they aren’t burning off as much, then a light diet, and PLEASE avoid feeding them when they are active, meaning right after activity, tired and panting. Also, control the amount of water they drink to prevent issues like gastric dilation and torsion.

The average lifespan of a German Shepherd is between 10 and 14 years. Males usually weigh between 30 and 40 kilos, and females between 22 and 32 kilos, approximately. This range can vary depending on genetics, care, and the quality of life provided to the dog. So, if you want them for a long time, you need to behave well. Some German Shepherds can live beyond 14 years if they are given proper nutrition, regular exercise, veterinary care, and a healthy environment.

A relevant fact is that for medium/large breeds like this, when they are puppies, we must maintain the specific diet for them for at least 15/16 months of age. This is because their bodies continue growing until 18 months. This helps in optimal bone and joint development, making old age healthier and more prosperous.

IMPORTANT: If we have correctly researched the genetic line of our puppy, we can avoid hip dysplasia by accessing the hip x-rays of the parents. If the parents haven’t suffered from this condition, there’s a good chance our dog won’t either. Still, it’s recommended to have a hip x-ray at two years old to monitor. If signs are detected, we can focus on preventing its progression and avoiding degeneration.

Essential Care:
- Almost daily brushing
- Bath every 4/5 weeks (evaluate)
- Oral/aural/nail hygiene
- Medium/intense exercise
- Attention to appropriate diet (due to possible allergies)

Avoid:
- Isolation in small spaces
- Long periods of isolation
- Social isolation
- Sedentary lifestyle
- Uncontrolled feeding

Common Ailments:
- Hip and elbow dysplasia
- Allergic dermatitis
- Gastrointestinal disorders
- Folliculitis

Recommended Activities:
- Early education
- Agility/obedience training
- Stimulating walks
- Mental stimulation with interactive objects and scent work
- Exercise (without overdoing it)

Temperament: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Sociability: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Intelligence: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Trainability: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Energy level ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Exercise needs ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Adaptability ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Solitude tolerance ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Care and maintenance ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Preguntas frecuentes sobre la raza Pastor Alemán

¿Se puede dejar solo a un pastor alemán por más de 8 horas al día?

Se aburren fácilmente, por lo que si se les deja solos durante tanto tiempo, pueden comenzar a mostrar comportamientos destructivos o problemáticos como cavar, masticar y ladrar.

¿Necesito ejercitar a mi pastor alemán?

Por supuesto, te diría como mínimo, el perro debe ser ejercitado al menos 45 minutos, dos veces al día. Y a eso sumarle los momentos de educación, y adiestramiento.

¿Son buenos los pastores alemanes con los niños?

La mayoría de los pastores alemanes son excelentes con los niños gracias a la fortaleza en su temperamento. Pero no confundirse, nunca se debe dejar los niños con perros sin supervisión.

¿Son buenos los pastores alemanes con los gatos?

Eso es muy random. Pero la respuesta esta en la socialización. Puede convivir con gatos si es un perro estable, y el temperamento del gato influye, pero si se crían juntos suelen crear vinculo.

¿Es realmente necesario entrenar a un pastor alemán?

Por supuesto, estas incluyendo a tu vida, un ser que difiere por completo su estilo de vida al tuyo. El entrenamiento y la socialización tempranos son mas que necesarios para los cachorros de pastor alemán. Se consciente, estos animales crecen y se tornan fuertes y poderosos pero aun mas conscientes de ello.

¿Es necesario entrenar a los pastores alemanes para usar una jaula/transportin?

Opino que es una excelente idea, entrenarlos para usar una jaula, esto provee al perro de una herramienta fabulosa. No solo para descansar sino para evadirse, relajarse de los estímulos, autogestionar. Y por supuesto que nos ayuda a nosotros cuando atravesamos momentos en los que no podemos estar pendientes. Cuando entrenas al perro para usar una jaula, aprende que la jaula es su zona de confort, un lugar seguro. La jaula simula un entorno similar a una madriguera, lo cual es reconfortante para el perro. Tambien es beneficioso si te mudas, o lo envias a una residencia canina, se le hara mucho mas facil gestionar en su propia jaula.

¿Debo acudir a un criador para obtener un pastor alemán?

Es una elección personal y una decisión que tomarías según lo que consideres mejor para tu situación. Sabido esto, apelamos a la conciencia de la gente, pretendiendo que sean lógicos con su decisión puesto que si el perro no tendrá una finalidad especifica la cual necesite esas aptitudes que caracterizan al pastor alemán, por supuesto que recomiendo la adopción.

¿Ladran mucho los pastores alemanes?

Los pastores alemanes ladran por factores en concretos. Cuando detectan algo o cuando están aburridos o ansiosos. Si has hecho un buen trabajo, obtendrás su ladrido únicamente cuando perciba algo inusual en su territorio. Asegúrate de que tu pastor alemán tenga suficiente ejercicio y entrenamiento es esencial, pero no olvides que es parte de su naturaleza protectora.