Having a German Shepherd can be fun. They are great with kids, can provide additional security when you are not around, and have an excellent bonding ability. However, when not raised properly, they can exhibit certain behavioral problems that may be undesirable. This has been the root of many myths surrounding this dog. Today, we are going to demystify them. Here are five German Shepherd myths you shouldn’t believe.
Myth #1: Puppies are the best for children
Most people actually get puppies because of their kids. A cute, small puppy looks like a great choice for small children, but it doesn’t always end up as expected. Puppies have sharp teeth that they generously sink into anyone walking by, as well as sharp nails that can end up scratching your little one’s face. Puppies also tend to collect and bring random stuff into the house, which can be hazardous to your child. They can be hard to control during the night when the kids are sleeping. In a nutshell, puppies can successfully cohabitate with small children but your child will go through a much better experience with a calmer 2-plus year old German shepherd who has been proven to be good with children.
Myth #2: Older dogs are harder to manage than puppies
Puppies are cute and love everyone, until they hit their sexual maturity. Paying thousands of dollars for a purebred puppy does not always guarantee that the dog will not display any behavioral problems. Once the puppy reaches one or two years old, he/she may exhibit certain innate behavioral problems such as attacking other dogs, biting people, or engaging in oddball neurotic behavior. There’s a fine line between well-bred and purebred. When you get a young puppy, you can only guess how he/she will turn out as an adult. When you adopt an adult German Shepherd, it is possible to determine exactly what kind of dog you are getting.
Myth #3: Female German Shepherds do not have any dominance issues
This is simply not true. It is impossible to make gender based absolutes when it comes to German Shepherds. In fact, there are many hyper, dominant females and mellow, relaxed males out there. It all comes down to the individual dog, so don’t be fooled into thinking that getting a female will guarantee a passive, submissive GSD.
Myth #4. Training your dog properly will prevent him from roaming outside an unfenced yard
This is one of the most popular German Shepherd myths. Leaving your dog unrestrained in an open yard risks the dog getting hit by a car, being stolen, or eating poison in your neighbor’s garbage. You don’t necessarily have to put up a fence, but a leash walk can go a long way. This is especially true when you are dealing with rescue dogs that are predominantly strays or owner surrenders (meaning they have a tendency to escape and go looking for their previous owners at the first chance).
Myth #5. Rescue GSDs are difficult to bond with
The reverse is actually true. Rescue dogs are usually submitted to isolation to avoid potential “accidents” simply because they are not puppies anymore. They receive scheduled meals and little-to-no attention. Some owners actually try to get rid of them by dumping them in a wooded area to survive on their own, but the poor animals still wait there for their return or even attempt to get back home. When they are finally brought to the shelters, they are kept in a scary cage still hoping for their owner’s return. While the kennel people are nice, he is just one in a hundred needy dogs that need to be cared for. Finally, they call you and you take him home. You give him a special bowl and bed to sleep in, and take good care of him with bones, treats, and toys. After all is said and done, it will be impossible to bond with that German Shepherd. However, some dogs have a difficult time connecting with people, but this will most likely be determined at the shelter.