German Shepherd Temperament: What’s it Like Owning One?

50675552 m German Shepherd Temperament: What's it Like Owning One?

Owning a German Shepherd seems like a lot of fun and a lot of protection, but I have always wondered what it is really like owning a German shepherd and how their temperments play a part in that. I did some research and found out almost everything you can know about living with a German Shepherd.

What is it like owning a German Shepherd? German Shepherds are curious, intelligent, and active dogs so owning one means living an active lifestyle. German Shepherd’s are very time-consuming dogs, however, they are great protectors and care a great deal about their owners.

Not only are German Shepherd’s cute and cuddly when they are puppies, but they also grow into strong and protective adults who will work tirelessly for their owners’ success and happiness.

What Kind of Temperament does German Shepherds Have?

People left the movie theatres after watching I am Legend crying over the death of Sam, a German Shepherd dog, that is the best friend and only companion to Will Smith’s character Neville.

Then people fell in love with German Shepherds again when The Lucky One was released and Zeus, an adorable and highly intelligent German Shepherd, showed the real potential and personality of these amazing dogs.

But prospective dog owners around the world want to know what it is really like owning a German Shepherd. What kind of temperment to these dogs really have?

German Shepherds have A LOT of amazing qualities, but as in all things, great qualities come with great responsibilities. Sorry for the re-worded pun, but German Shepherds really do come with a lot of responsibilities. Even though they are so cute and are great.

If people had hearts like German Shepherds, the world would be full of love, loyalty, and head tilting….lots of head tilting.

THe daily shep

One of the biggest traits that German Shepherd’s are known for thier high level of intelligence. Because of how smart these dogs are they have been used in military and police forces time and time again throughout the world.

They were the stars of both World War I and World War II bringing supplies fearlessly through open rang having to avoid land mines and all in order to bring the Germans the supplies they needed. Whether the supplies were military or food based.

Another great quality of the German Shepherd is their energy. These dogs are working dogs and throughout their existence have loved having a job. That is why they were so perfect for the Germans during the war. They never ran out of battery.

They got their start as working dogs on farms. This helped hone in on their skills and helped them use all of their energy in a supportive and work oriented way.

When I think of the German Shepherd from The Lucky One, I remember the tenacity and support that Zeus offers the main character played by Zac Effron as the walk across country and

As we see from that movie German Shepherds are more than just intelligent but they are courageous and loyal. German Shepherds are almost loyal to the mark, but sometimes that loyalty can be a little bit overdramatic.

Some German Shepherds can be just a bit to enthusistic with their owners than was originally expected. Ando sometimes that is not the kind of dog that someone wants to have and own.

German Shepherds also have an incredible sense of smell. That mixed with their work ethics make them the perfect dogs for jobs like finding drugs or bombs. There is a reason that german shepards are employed at most police stations in real life and in the movies.

My German Shepherd can run 40 yards in 4 seconds. Want to try your luck?


The famous German Shepherd Appollo showed these great characteristics as he helped find and rescue on site just fifteen minutes after the twin towers fell. It is dogs like Appollo that show what German Shepherds are really like.

Their strength and couragousness has never failed them and still doesn’t. So if you are looking into getting a German Shepherd you can always know that if they are trained well and given tasks these dogs will become your best friend and ally.

Not to mention that German Shepherds are very trainable. Because they are intellegent, it is rather easy and fulfilling for them to be trained and to follow through with what they have learned.

Plus German Shepherds are cuddle dogs. They want to be with and around you all the time. This can be a good thing and a bad thing. When they ar puppies and they want to sleep on your lap it is adorable.

When they are full grown and want to sit in your lap like they did when they were little, it is not as much fun. But coming home after a hard days work and seeing your German Shepherd waiting for you as they wag their tail is something pretty special.

Just one more characteristic that makes the German Shepherd so special is its desire to play rough. Some dogs like to be carried around and pampered all day, but German Shepherds and especially German Shepherd puppies will not stand for that.

German Shepherds love to play and play rough. So if you want to get a German Shepherd, just remember that you will be spending a lot of time roughhousing with your little pet and that you will need to buy lots of rope and other tough dog toys.

What is it Like to Own a Germen Sheperd?

96826011 m German Shepherd Temperament: What's it Like Owning One?

Knowing that Germen Shepherds are curious and strong, reliable and rowdy, trainable and playful is really nice but that doesn’t quite explain what it is really like living with a German Shepherd.

One of the first things to know is that German Shepherd puppies have a ton of energy, and they never want to stop playing. Because they were origonally farm dogs they were used to being set to work from very young ages.

(ME THINKING TO MYSELF): I wonder at what point an 85 lbs German Shepherd thinks it’s a good idea to become a lap dog?


That energy and desire for a task has stayed in their DNA for centuries and presents itself very strongly throughout their lives but especially when they are puppies.

So, if you are living with a German Shepherd puppy then you need to prepare to spend a lot of time with that puppy and not only to train it but most impportantly to give it a task and have it complete that task day after day.

German Shepherd puppies and just German Shepherds, in general, are so highly intelligent that they get bored way too easily. That is why giving them jobs that are intellectually stimulating are important for anyone who wants to own a happy and fulfilled German Shepherd.

One great way of helping relieve some of that German Shepherd energy and also helping with training and giving your German Shepherd a job is to walk your dog two or three times a day wearing a weighted vest.

Now i’m talking about the German Shepherd not you. Although, it could hurt with you wearing one as well. Anyway, having something heavy that is pushing on their back will not only help your German Shepherd feel like it has a purpose but it will also help to teach them to be calm and to leash train.

Weighted vests for dogs are pretty easy to find. They are at pretty much any pet store and are easy to find online at websites like Amazon and

These vests give your dog a working purpose and because of that, you will hopefully see fewer teeth marks on your furniture at home. As you hopefully are beginning to see, owning a German Shepherd is not easy and it takes a lot of work.

You still have to find ways to stimulate your German Shepherd mentally though. German Shepherds need both physical and intellectual stimulations to make sure that they are healthy and happy.

A dog has no use for fancy cars, big homes, or designer clothes. A water logged stick will do just fine. A dog doesn’t care if you’re rich or poor, clever or dull, smart or dumb. Give him your heart and he’ll give you his. How many people can you say that about? How many people can make you feel rare and pure and special? How many people can make you feel extraordinary?

John Grogan (writer, Marley & Me)

Because German Shepherds are so smart they are relatively easy to train as long as you start young and are consistent. Nothing is worse for a dog then having inconsistent training.

Your dog isn’t really sure what you expect of them and you are upset that they don’t remember that holding your hand out means to sit because it has been a week since the last time that you tried to train them.

They are very intelligent so it should be easy to teach them as long as you are consistent every day with their training in the first few weeks. They can learn it, but they need you to teach them first.

German Shepherds are definitely enthusiastic which adds to their charm as well as their playfulness. German Shepherds are going to want to play with you as their owner. To be honest they make it a lot of fun.

The family I was living with got a German Shepherd puppy last summer named Finn and he was just the cutest ball of energy, and he ALWAYS wanted to play with you or steal your food whichever seemed more fun for him.

But playing with him was fun because he was always trying to tackle you and roll around but in the nicest way. He was never to rough and would never really bite, but he sure did love to play.

And he, like all German Shepherds could smell food a mile a way. If you are going to leave your German Shepherd outside during the day you may want to watch out for your garbage cans.

Finn ate his way through his fare share of garbage bags last summer. Not to mention that I would come home with food and insistently he knew which bag it was in and just how high he needed to jump to get it.

Luckily with a few words, he would stop jumping on you trying to receive it and instead would use his puppy dog eyes to try and gather sympathy instead. He was too cute for his own good and was way to smart to try and beat mentally. He was a great dog. As are most German Shepherds.

Going along with how good German Shepherds are as dogs and pets we have to move into what it is like living with them and their emotional attatchments.

To you, your German Shepherd might just be your dog, to your German Shepherd, you are everything


Once a German Shepherd attatches to you, you become its leader and it will follow you everywhere. Literally. Going to the bathroom will never be lonley again if you decide to get a German Shepherd as a pet.

Plus living with a German Shepherd means quite a bit of dog hair which requires a lot of vaccuuming, dusting, and cleaning to make sure that your house is clean from the hair that these adorable pets leave behind.

If you are interested in outdoor dogs, German Shepherds are great outside dogs and have the perfect coats to live in most weather. They do need a shealter from the elements though.

Whether that is a dog house or a covered porch, a place inside the garage or just inside the mudroom these dogs do need to have protection from storms and other unfavorable weather.

German Shepherds are in desperate need of thick and bulky chewing toys and bones. Because of their pack mentality and their desire to play rough German Shepherds are born with the habit of mouthing which quickly can turn to real biting.

96801349 m German Shepherd Temperament: What's it Like Owning One?
German Shepherd Puppy With Toy

That is why training your German Shepherd young is very important. You can train German Shepherds not to bit and channel that energy into a bone or chew toy. But the younger you start the eaier it is to train out of them.

German Shepherds don’t respond well to aggression or punishment and that is not how they learn. They need you to be firm and calm and they respond wildly well to praise and affection when they have done something right.

They also get bored rather easily so mixing up their routines and playing games with them that make them use their intellectual power helps them control their energy.

I heard someone discribe German Shepherds as busy bodies once and it make perfect sense. These dogs want to know what is happening around the house 24/7.

This can be a bit of a nuisance when you are cooking and your German Shepherd wants to know every ingredient you have and why you are walking back and forth between the fridge and the stove.

This is great if you have teenage kids and you want a supervisor to watch over them and their friends while you are gone. Your German Shepherd will be your eyes and ears literally all the time.

Unfortunelty living with a German Shepherd can bring some negative perceptions from neighbors who judge entire breeds off of one dogs mistakes.

A lot of people think German Shepherds are loud, mean, and aggressive but a properly trained German Shepherd really is none of those things. But you may have to deal with complaints and judgments from others.

The great thing though is that German Shepherds are way worth it! With their love, dedication, and excitement to see you, it makes all of the complaints in the world totally worth it.

One of the most important things to remeber about owning a German Shepherd is to have fun and love them. If you keep your dog worked and stimulated and socialize them from the time they are young you will the best dog in the world.

If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and man.

Mark Twain 

Related Questions:

Are German Shepherds good family dogs? German Shepherds are considered great family dogs because they are easy to train, they are very playful, and have very calm and caring temperments. They do require a lot of love and time which can be perfect for a family of kids.

Are German Shepherds known for being aggressive? German Shepherds are known to be guard dogs and can show signs of aggression but usually, they have to be provoked. If a German Shepherd is neglected in any way physically, emotionally, or intellectually they can become aggressive and lash out. But normally they are even-tempered dogs.

How much does it cost to own a German Shepherd? Just for the inital price of purchasing a German Shepherd you are looking at anywhere from 1000-2000 dollars. Then you have average costs throughout each year of ownership that have been estamated to cost about 1200 dollars per year. Including food, vet visits, and other expenses.

German Shepherds Temperament 1 German Shepherd Temperament: What's it Like Owning One?