I feel as though I would be doing a major disservice to anyone who follows me on social media or reads my posts on this wonderful WordPress page, if I didn’t talk about German shepherd dogs (GSD) a little and maybe offer a warning.
Photos and funny stories I share about my dogs are chosen carefully and umbrellaed in positive light and mood. That’s the majority of what we all post on social media, right? It’s not a place for unflattering tales and embarrassing stories. What I post is not all that goes on around here, though. It’s not even close.
I’ve seen a GSD eat a tunnel through a couch (Shelly), unravel Berber carpet, heaping it up into a neat pile (Yankee), and I can’t even tell you how many chargers we’ve had to replace. They are the most destructive creatures I’ve ever encountered, and smart so you constantly need to be watching and ready. (Wanda, right now, has zip ties holding her crate doors closed because she figured out how to escape.)
They will dig holes in your yard while they watch you with only one side-eye, chew a hole in your one-day-old couch that you haven’t even made the first payment on, and they’ll ruin your favorite shoe and leave it’s mate untouched, but destruction of stuff isn’t the only issue the breed has.
German shepherds are prone to certain medical conditions like hip dysplasia, arthritis, and bloat. I lost my best friend, Zoeeee, to bloat. It was hell. They also have food sensitivity at times, so the brand of food you feed them just may have to be the expensive kind.
They’re surrendered at shelters quite often because they’re difficult. People see the majestic creatures that exist on calendars and commercials. They think that the military and police working dogs are born like that, obedient and all-knowing where tricks are concerned.
Sheps become anxious when you leave them, and they are intimidating to people who don’t know them. Also, they don’t always do well with other animals. When I go to the vet, I leave them in the vehicle until it’s our turn.
I can’t imagine ever having a different breed of dog. I love my German shepherds. I understand the attention they need and also am aware of their destructive nature. I’m also willing to be covered in mud and dog hair, and have food stolen off my plate.
With them, you will have a loyal friend, someone who never allows you to feel lonely even when you want to, and a great alarm system. We sleep very well around here. They’re simply not for everyone without proper research and a whole lot of intentional patience. I warn you, though, once you have one as a family member, you’ll not want to ever be without.