Mean German Shepherd Dogs? Don't Believe The Hype!

Published: 22nd January 2008
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When Al Gore testified before Congress after his movie An Inconvenient Truth was released, the Congress jokingly accused him of being a movie star. "Rin Tin Tin was a movie star!" Al Gore retorted. "I just have a little slide show." Rin Tin Tin was a fictional German Shepherd dog that embodied all the best in a celebrity. Was Rin Tin Tin a myth, or based on the real personalities of German Shepherd dogs?

German Shepherd dogs do, indeed, live up to the fictional resume of Rin Tin Tin. They are noble, loyal, brave, friendly and eager to please. Yes, you read that right -- they are incredibly friendly. However, because they are so eager to please their people that they will quickly learn to attack if that is what their people want. At one point a few decades ago, German Shepherds were as feared as Pit Bulls are today.

German Shepherd dogs worship the human beings they either live with or are ordered to protect. They would rather hang out with their people than with other dogs. The approval and affection of their people is vital to their sense of well-being. These are not dogs that like to be alone, chained out in the yard. Any German Shepherd left to this fate will overcompensate with hyperactivity in order to get his people's attention. Since they are such large and powerful dogs, even playful boisterousness can possibly hurt someone.

German Shepherds excel when given specific jobs to do. This is why they are often one of the first breeds of choice for police dogs, search and rescue dogs, assistance dogs and for working in entertainment. Throughout the centuries, they have also played the roles of sheepherders and draft animals as well as their more familiar roles as guard dogs and military dogs.

The German Shepherd dog has been described as embodying all of the noble characteristics of human beings. They are problem solvers, want to get along with others and will sacrifice themselves when protecting their family. German Shepherds will still want to be your friend even if you are having a bad day. German Shepherds will still want to be by your side even if you are homeless and spat upon by other people.

German Shepherds are prone to some health problems, more so than some other breeds, most notably hip dysplasia. These can be costly to cure - but they can be cured. When you take on a German Shepherd, you must be willing to care for vet expenses. This is not often talked about in German Shepherd information available from the AKC. The price of a German Shepherd's companionship should never be measured in terms of money. The German Shepherd dog, if the situation was reversed, would spend every last penny to make sure you were out of pain.

Jan Ryan loves every dog in the world, including German Shepherd dogs. It takes a special person to adopt a German Shepherd and do a lot of research about the breed to ensure proper care. New dog owners should know basic German Shepherd information before bringing home a German Shepherd rescue dog.

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