Are German Shepherds Good for First-Time Owners?


Finding a good new doggie to become a part of the family is one of the happiest moments of every dog lover’s life!

Even the search process for the right breed has its own excitement and thrill. Here you can find information that can help you answer the question: “are German Shepherds good for first-time owners?”.

German Shepherds are an excellent choice for first-time owners. Besides being good guard dogs, they are smart, easy to train, and good family dogs that get along with children and other dogs.

Read on to find everything you need to know before carrying on this decision and see if it’s a good fit for your lifestyle!

A Brief Overview of German Shepherds

German Shepherd Overview

German Shepherds are one of the most popular dog breeds on the planet. Here’s a quick insight into some of the German Shepherds attributes:●  Average Length: 24 to 26 inches for males, 22 to 24 inches for females

  • Average Weight: 65 to 90 pounds for males, 50 to 70 pounds for females
  • Temperament: intelligent, courageous, obedient, loyal, alert
  • Life Span: 7 to 13 years
  • Color: black and tan

What Makes German Shepherds A Great Option for First-Timers

German Shepherd first dog

There are plenty of reasons why having a German Shepherd is an excellent decision.

Let’s have a brief overview of these reasons, so you can find out whether a German Shepherd fulfills your needs and requirements.

1. One of the Most Intelligent Dogs

Simply put, German Shepherds are among the most intelligent breeds of dogs. This is commonly known among experienced dog breeders and trainers.

However, science also backs this fact up in a research that compares dogs’ intelligence to 2-year old humans.

German shepherds ranked highly in terms of intelligence within more than 200 breeds of dogs.

2. They’re Among the Most Athletic Dogs

There are many other smart breeds of dogs. However, German Shepherds are a special case.

They’re one of the most athletic and powerful dogs all the while maintaining their exemplary high level of dog intelligence.

That’s why German Shepherds are one of the favorite breeds among police and military forces. In other words, they’re all round perfect dogs.

3. Remarkably Obedient with Good Training

As their name suggests, German Shepherds have a long history of being an excellent work dog when it comes to handling large flocks of sheep and other livestock.

Based on the previous points, you can conclude that German Shepherds training is a breeze compared to other dogs.

They can be easily trained to be highly obedient since they have a natural drive to obey commands happily.

Also, their smart brains help them understand right and wrong much easier and faster than many other breeds. Not only that, but they can also learn a lot of skills and tricks quickly.

4. Good with Family and Children

On the other side of the spectrum, German Shepherds are great family pooches. As long as you train them from a young age to behave correctly, they’ll be at their top behavior around others.

Thanks to their high energy, loyal, and generally peaceful temperament, they do great with little kids and can be tons of fun for them.

Additionally, they’re good with people, strangers, and house guests, as long as they notice your approval. This won’t be difficult for them because they’re that smart!

5. Socializes Well with Other Dogs

Similar to humans, German Shepherds can be trained to be good with other dogs. However, this really depends on how you raise and train them.

In other words, they don’t have it in them by nature. Yet, they’re fast learners, so you won’t find a hard time training them to socialize well with other dogs.

6. Decent Health Concern

Different breeds of dogs have different health status. You should know that no dog breed is perfect, and each one of them has its own set of hereditary diseases and health concerns.

Some dogs are genetically riddled with health problems. As a result, you’ll have to pay countless visits to the vet since day one.

In the German Shepherd’s case, they’re generally healthy dogs that have minimal health concerns, especially with check-ups and good health plans.

However, they’re prone to hip and elbow dysplasia. But more on that in the drawbacks section.

German Shepherds has a decent life expectancy of about 7 to 9 years. However, if you give them plenty of exercise along with good nutrition, they can live up to 13 years!

7. Highly Protective (Excellent Watch and Guard Dogs)

As you already know, German Shepherds are excellent family dogs. So, it goes without saying that they’re extremely loyal to their owners.

Generally, German Shepherds understand the concept of family and will be loyal to all the members of the family, especially if they all spend time with him or her.

Also, it’s in their genes to watch and protect. This means that they can actually get over-protective of the family. You can easily use this to your advantage and train your German Shepherd to be a guard dog.

However, even if you don’t need a guard dog, it’ll still be a great watchdog that’s always alert. They’ll wander around the house looking for any threats, intruders, and deal with them as you train them.

8. Does Well in Different Weathers

Some dogs can’t withstand certain weathers due to the thickness of their coats. German Shepherds have a double hair coat.

The topcoat is tough and abrasive to protect them. The undercoat is lighter in color and much softer.

These two coats help German Shepherds to cool off in summer while keeping their bodies warm in cold winters.

This makes them great if you’re living in an area with strongly varying weather between seasons.

The Drawbacks of Having a German Shepherd as a First Dog

German Shepherds drawbacks

Despite all their perks, there are some drawbacks and concerns points that you need to know about German Shepherds. Let’s have a quick look at them.

1. Highly Demanding Dog

German Shepherds are highly active dogs who need a lot of care and training to be the amazing dogs they are. So, they need someone willing to keep up with their needs.

In fact, many of the previous advantages of German Shepherds aren’t accessible for an untrained dog.

While they’re smart, an untrained German Shepherd can be extremely aggressive towards other dogs, visitors, and strangers.

They’re not the type of dogs for someone who’s always away, as they don’t do very well on their own.

2. They Can Be Loud

If you’re looking for a silent dog, German Shepherds aren’t the right dogs for you. They bark frequently and loudly for many reasons.

Not only that, but they’re also generally vocal dogs. They’ll howl, whine, and do all kinds of noises at any time.

3. Shedding and Grooming

As you already know, double coats are great for dealing with various weather. But, they come with a price.

These dogs shed all year round in small amounts with 2 major sheds at seasonal changes. So you’ll need to groom them frequently.

4. Prone to Hip Dysplasia

Despite their excellent genetic health, you’ll still come across some issues that are common among German Shepherds. However, these problems can be significantly reduced if you’re dealing with a reputable dog breeder.

This includes:

How Much is a German Shepherd?

German Shepherd

The price of a German Shepherd depends mainly on the breeder you’re dealing with and the purity of the breed.

German Shepherds puppies come at a wide range of prices, starting from as little as $300 and all the way up to $900.

A trained adult German Shepherd may cost you up to a few thousand bucks, depending on the dog!

Final Thoughts

So, are German Shepherds good for first-time owners?

Ideally, I would say YES! German Shepherds are amazing dogs for first-time owners.

However, for them to be a good companion, you need to fit their bill too. This includes being able to dedicate time and effort to take good care of them. Based on this guide, you’ll be able to tell with ease!