German Shepherd Dog

German Shepherd Dog picture

Frequently Asked Questions

How big will my puppy grow?

The adult male will grow to approximately 65cm (26") and the female 60cm (24") so they can be thought of as a large breed.

How much exercise do they need?

Whilst still a puppy (up to 1 year old) they should not be over exercised as their bones are still pliable and growing. Once they reach adulthood, they will need a minimum of 1/2 hour 3 times a day.

They are not a breed to have if you are a 'couch' potato. They are an active breed and need their exercise. Your garden should also be securely fenced.

Should I have a male or a female?

It does not matter because you are buying a GSD for a pet they should be neutered.

The only difference is that a male will be bigger and stronger than a female.

Are they good with children?

Yes and they will watch over them BUT as with ANY breed of dog you should never leave them alone with children.

'Should not's' also include allowing children to poke the dog in the eyes, pull their tails and ears etc. Treat the dog with respect, consider his needs and he will be your friend for life.

What should I look for in a puppy and how do I choose a breeder?

With care!

There are many people out there who breed purely for financial gain with little regard for and even less knowledge of the breed.


If you know someone who has a GSD that you like, ask them for the breeder's name. If that breeder does not have any puppies then they will probably be able to recommend another good breeder. You could ask at your local veterinary practice to see if they have suitable breeders as clients.

Choose a breeder that has their dogs hip x-rayed, their males tested for and are clear of Haemophilia, that do not have epilepsy in their breeding stock, and who ear-tattoo, register all their dogs with the Kennel Club and offer an 'after sales' service.

Contact the German Shepherd Breed Council (Secretary Mrs Sheila Rankin on 01708 342194) who will be able to give you names of local Breed clubs and help you with questions you may have.

When you look at a puppy it should be clean, bright eyed and bushy tailed, with a glossy coat and chunky bones and be inquisitive, outgoing and friendly. Ask to see the mother so you can assess her temperament as well. Do not buy the first pup you see but have a look at a couple of litters first and take your time. You may find a breeder whose dogs you like but be prepared to have to book a puppy from their next litter. Buy in haste and repent at leisure.

Should I take my dog to training classes?

Most definitely YES.

The breeder will have put in a lot of time and energy to make sure your puppy is socialised so it will be up to you to continue this.

Take the pup (in your arms until it is vaccinated) everywhere you can, to town, to the park, in the car so that he meets lots of people and different things.

Join an obedience training class so that your new puppy learns not only how to sit and walk to heel but also socialises with other dogs quite happily and becomes an acceptable member of society and a dog you are proud of.

German Shepherd Dog breed guide written by : Glynis Appleby