Independent, Trusting, and Loyal | The German Shepherd
Originally bred as a work dog, the German Shepherd maintains many traits based in that original function – by and large, the German Shepherd is an excellent dog to have around; it is reliable, independent yet loyal, keenly intelligent, and perhaps most prominently, a hard worker – a dog that can be trusted to be a hardy family protector and a trustworthy companion all at once. That said, character depends a great deal on breeding. A German Shepherd obtained from “puppy mills” or from unethical or disreputable breeders may unfortunately be less pleasant in temperament than those that are bred lovingly with attention and care.
Thus, if you're looking for a German Shepherd that will prove to be a wonderful addition to your family for many years, consider looking either at reliable breeders or – if you're willing to take a chance – at shelters. Dogs there may suffer from trauma of abuse, it's true, but they are certainly still very worthy animals that would love you and provide you and your family with years of unquestioned loyalty and devotion.
One more thing to do – the following information is a generalization only, and applies broadly to the German Shepherd breed as a whole. The germanshepherd.org, though providing you with an abundance of information on the German Shepherd breed, simply cannot capture the vibrant, often individualistic personalities of dogs – personalities that defy characterizations and classifications. Your dog will be an individual personality – your own – and not one of a type. If you come into the relationship with your dog expecting only a cookie-cutter “German Shepherd” without allowing for your dogs very own personal temperament, you are likely to be surprised, disappointed, or even have difficulty bonding with your pet. While all dog owners hope for “good” dogs, too much specificity beforehand isn't fair to your dog. Instead, try to remember to keep an open mind when it comes to your German Shepherd – be open to learning about your own particular dog's personality and his or her likes or dislikes, temperament, and nature.
That said, however, the information about dogs' intelligence, aggression, social skills, and propensity for activity following on these pages can be invaluable advice if you're trying to decide which breed to get, or want to know roughly what to expect from your new German Shepherd. So read on for a guide to your German Shepherd's personality and common traits associated with the breed.