Are German Shepherds – Guard dogs or pets?
How do we choose our pets? As companions? As guards? As playmates?
German shepherds play each of those roles and to perfection. Is it the “German” in them, or just their ability to take instruction and be loyal to a fault. We’re not Germans, and we’re not shepherds, but India’s obsession with German Shepherds continues. One man dog, guard dog, killer instinct. We’ve all heard the descriptions and experiences of owners and interactions with German Shepherds, or as they are now popularly referred to “GSD’s”
Bred to herd sheep across plains these dogs have worked their way to becoming a popular breed all over the world.
We forget that these are working dogs. They’ve been extensively used for military and guarding actions. Post World War II their popularity declined, because of anti German sentiment, interesting to know that the human mind associates a dog with a nationality! As pets they are fiercely loyal, and obedient and have unfortunately been associated with violence against humans for no fault of the breed. A dog, any dog, trained to attack will. Breed has no part to play. Instinct, and a protective instinct may be more highly developed in some breeds, but it is present in all breeds. The ‘guard dog’ is not born, he is made through training and environment.
So what is it about a Shepherd that draws us to them? Is it their wolf like appearance that takes us back to the origins of dogs? Or is it their gentle yet strong appearance. What ever it is they have firmly and irrevocably placed themselves as our most favourite and most sought after choice of pets.
Oliver’s Tip: Remember these dogs are working dogs and need plenty of exercise. They need routine, and if they are a family dog, it is essential they receive basic discipline training from all members of the family. Remember to check the breeder if you are buying a puppy from a breeder, indiscriminate and irresponsible breeding has caused many problems for the breed. Hip dysplacia and weak hind limbs are the result. Make sure you buy from responsible breeders .