8 Types of People Who Should Not Own a German Shepherd

German Shepherds are one of the most popular dogs in America. Unfortunately, they’re also one of the most commonly abandoned breeds, too. While German Shepherds are very sweet and loving, they’re not for everyone. If you’re thinking about getting a German Shepherd, please read this to see if they might be right for you. If you are one or more than one of the types of people below, then you should not own a German Shepherd.

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1. You Don’t Like Dog Hair Everywhere

German Shepherds are known as “German Shedders”.

German Shepherds have a double coat of medium length. Not only will GSDs shed day in day out, but they also lose all their undercoat twice a year (in spring and fall).

This means you will find fur on ALL your clothes, on your bed (no doubt), on your couch, in your car, on your plate and anywhere you can or cannot imagine. Soon you will find yourself not wearing black anymore.

If you don’t like hair everywhere… yes literally everywhere, then a GSD is not for you. 

2. You Are a Neat Freak

If you are the kind of person who always keeps your house spotless, a German Shepherd may be your biggest enemy. 

They like to leave trails of muddy paws and water splash and everything in between inside your house. They can leave their toys everywhere. And if they are bored, they can chew up everything from your couch, your shoes, your door, to your wall. Before you know it, your home may look like it has been robbed.

If you cannot tolerate this kind of dog behavior, you should not get a German Shepherd

3. You Want a Couch Potato to Watch TV with

German Shepherds are herding dogs that require plenty of physical and mental exercises every day. They need to be out and about – to have long walks plus a variety of fun activities (e.g. playing fetch or tug of war, etc.) for stimulations. 

For adult German Shepherds, the American Kennel Club recommends at least two hours of exercise daily. That being said, you and your family should be prepared to be active with your GSD. 

However, if you are not an active person or just want a dog to sit on your lap to watch TV with, don’t bother with a German Shepherd.

4. You Are Not Willing to Invest Your Time in Dog Training

Do you know why there are so many adolescent dogs in shelters and rescues?

German Shepherd is a large breed. As their size grows, the demand for physical and mental exercise grows as well. Some people have not thought about it and eventually give up.

If they are not properly trained and socialized early on, it will take more time and effort to rectify disturbing behaviors (like frantic barking, lunging, jumping and biting) to you, your family, and anyone your dog encounters.

5. Your Circumstances May Change

Dog ownership is a commitment to the life of a dog. Depending on the lifestyle, diet, and gender, German Shepherd dogs have an average lifespan of 10-12 years. 

That said, you must be willing to devote your time and energy to accompany, walk, groom, socialize, and most importantly train your GSD properly.

If you think you cannot commit to this for the lifespan of a GSD, this is definitely not the right breed for you.

6. You Are Only Looking for a Guard Dog in the Yard

They protect their owners as they love and cherish their owners. German Shepherds have the instinct to guard and protect. However, if you are getting a GSD only to place into the backyard to keep your car and possessions safe, then we would suggest getting a home alarm system instead.

GSDs are happiest as a family unit and being left outside unattended only leads to more problems. If you don’t want to share your inside space with a GSD, then they are not the ideal dog for you.

7. You are on a tight budget

Owning a German Shepherd, among other dogs, may not cost you a fortune but it comes with all kinds of expenses.

In your puppy’s first year, expect to spend a few thousand dollars on vaccinations, deworming, veterinary visits, crates, toys, dog foods, snacks, training materials, and so on.

Also read:

How Much Does A Purebred German Shepherd Cost? (Updated for 2021)

Occasionally, you may need to book for boarding kennels, dog sitting or dog walking service if you are away from home. The cost for a night’s stay is between $25-55. And dog sitting/walking may charge anywhere from $15-$50 per hour.

Vet bills could also cost you a fortune. For example, the cost of hip dysplasia treatment can be anywhere between $3,500 per hip to $7,000 depending on your dog’s condition, size, age, overall health, and other factors. (Source)

8. You work in shifts or always on a tight schedule.

German Shepherds are pack animals and they need to have a strong leader to bond with. You must take your time to train, socialize, groom, walk, play, and care for your GSD day in and day out. You just can’t hire someone to do it for you.

If a GSD is left alone in the house all day, it may lead to separation anxiety and all kinds of behavioral problems such as excessive barking, chewing of furniture, aggressiveness, or unnecessary marking.

Just because they grow big and fast does not mean they can take care of themselves. German Shepherds, like most other dogs, are children that will never grow up. You must be willing to give them love, care, and attention as much as you would to a baby for their entire life.

Also read:

Can I Work Full-time With a German Shepherd?

How to Prepare Your German Shepherd Dog for Going Back to Work?