What is the difference between a black German shepherd and a regular German shepherd? Aside from the fact that many breeders and associations believe that the black shepherd has a more traditional style than the black and tan shepherd, absolutely nothing. Many people misconstrue the addition of the “black” to the front of German shepherd with characteristics that must be special or unique. Aside from color, however, there really is no difference. There are some that have more lustrous coats than others, and black shepherds tend to be shinier and a bit more expensive since they’re less common, but that’s about it.
With that said, there is plenty to consider when looking to purchase or adopt a black German shepherd – or any German shepherd for that matter. If you have a family, a home you care for and an active lifestyle, you’re going to want to consider just how having a dog this size and with this type of personality is going to affect your life. It’s not the kind of dog you can just pick up, bring home and let greet you with a happy tail wag at the end of the day. It’s a dog that requires a bit more attention and affection, some challenges and some special needs. Here’s what you need to look for when you adopt or purchase a German shepherd.
Buying a Puppy
If you’re set on getting a solid black German shepherd, you’d better be ready to pay. These are expensive dogs. The average price for a solid black shepherd is $800 to $1000. These are expensive dogs that have a big market because they’re so rare. You’re very unlikely to find one in a pound or animal shelter looking for adoption because of the rare color. You’re more likely to find one to adopt that as a myriad of colors. However, if you’re going to purchase one, you need to know a few things.
You must look for a reputable breeder with all the proper documentation. You’re going to want to check out the breeder’s facilities to make sure they are clean and taken care of. You will want to meet the dogs, and their parents before you adopt, and you certainly want to see if the dogs have been to the vet and what their medical condition is. And not just the puppies you’re looking to adopt; the parents, too. Ask the breeder. One with a solid reputation and good business practices will absolutely have that paperwork prepared and ready for you to see without any issues whatsoever. A breeder that seems hesitant or refuses to show this paperwork, however, is one you should walk away from immediately.
The other thing you must know is that getting a black shepherd puppy means you will need to spend some significant time training the dog. This means being prepared to socialize and train the puppy from day one. They learn best as pups, and failure to socialize them and train them from the moment you bring them home is going to give them the option to do as they please; and you do not want a dog this size doing as it pleases.
Adopting an Adult
The other most common method that dog owners use to take possession of a German shepherd is through adoption. While you might be able to find one that’s a puppy in a shelter, it’s more common to adopt adults since they’re abundant. Much like buying a puppy, there are things you must know about adopting an adult, especially when it comes to a dog this size. German shepherds, no matter their color, are very large and very intelligent dogs. However, you have no idea how adults have been brought up, and sometimes animal shelters don’t know either. This means you’re going to want to check on the dog’s history to the best of your ability. Shelters are happy to provide the information that they have, but you will need to do some digging of your own.
You’ll want to ask the shelter how the dog does with other animals and people, or if it’s been around other animals at this point. The behavior of an adult dog around other animals and people will indicate whether or not the dog was mistreated, abused, trained or socialized as a pup and whether or not he will make a good match for your family.
Another consideration is your children. If you have them, you will want to bring them to the shelter to interact with the dog. Animal lovers tend to become very upset when people get rid of their dogs because of their children, but it all comes down to the fact that your child is probably more important to you than anyone, and you want to ensure your kids get along well with the dog you want to adopt; and do not feel guilty if your kids and dog don’t take to one another and you decide not to adopt this particular dog. You never know what past owners did to animals that are currently in shelters, so you have to be especially careful.
Ask about past abuse. While no one is dropping off a dog at a shelter and informing employees that they’ve abused the dog for years, it’s not always difficult to tell. Dogs that are abused are very sensitive to many things, which could include anything from people to other animals, to loud noises to anything in between. If a dog seems very skittish, nervous or cowers, it might be a sign the dog was abused in the past. A German shepherd is a very smart dog, but that doesn’t mean that one previously abused won’t panic at a familiar sound that once meant that the dog might experience pain or punishment and react in a way that might be in self-defense or fear, but hurts your family. There are so many reasons to want to adopt a dog, but that doesn’t mean you can be irresponsible about checking on a dog’s history or background before bringing it home.
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