Everything You Need to Know Before Buying a German Shepherd Dog

Buying a German Shepherd Dog

Looking to add a new family member? A German shepherd is just what you need! These dogs are loyal, easy to train, and protective. However, before deciding to get one of these beautiful dogs, there are several things that you should know.

In this blog blogs, we go into detail on what you should know about a German shepherd, from where to buy or adopt, what to feed a GSD, their personality traits, training, common diseases, etc. Let’s dive into it.


Types of German shepherds

The main types of German shepherds include:

  • Long haired German shepherds are well suited for colder climates because their coat traps heat and keeps the dog warm.
  • Short haired German shepherds do not have that same type of insulation, but they still make great guard dogs as long-haired GSDs due to their intelligence and loyalty.   
  • Wire haired German shepherds are not quite as common, but they do exist in small numbers despite their lack of recognition.

German shepherd dogs can also be classified based on their size; there is the standard or medium sized dog which usually ranges from 22 to 27 inches tall at the shoulder, while giant breeds measure  up to 30 inches at the shoulder.

Where to Find a German shepherd for Adoption or Purchase

When planning to adopt or buy a German shepherd, you should consider where to get a dog, whether it is from a breeder, animal shelter, or friend.  

Buy from a Breeder

If you want to buy a GSD from a breeder, you should first contact the organization that breeds them to see if there have GSD puppies for sale. You can contact the breeder directly via their website, or visit their breeding facility.

You can also search online for “German shepherd breeders in [your city]” to see what options you get. However, you should be careful not to buy from backstreet breeders who are often unlicensed and may not follow the right dog breeding procedures.

Adopt a GSD

If you are planning to adopt a GSD, check the local animal shelters or other organizations that rescue lost or missing dogs, and see if they have any German shepherd puppies or adult dogs available.

You can visit the animal shelter physically to see what pets they have or by searching them online to see the photos of puppies available for adoption.

Questions to Ask When Searching for a German shepherd Dog

When buying or adopting a GSD, you should consider the following:

  • What breed of GSD are you looking for? Different breeds have different sizes, temperaments, and hair types.
  • Have you done your research to find out if there are any genetic problems with the breed that might be passed on in their offspring?
  • Is this dog appropriate for a family with children?
  • What is the size of your yard?
  • What other pets do you own, or will be getting in addition to the German shepherd?
  • Is this dog going to live primarily indoors with limited access outdoors for exercise and supervision, or does it need a lot of space outside because it’s used to living on a farm or herding livestock

How Big Do German shepherds Grow?

German shepherds are large dogs, but still rather small when compared to some other breeds. They tend to be between 24 and 26 inches tall at the shoulder for a male dog. Females can range from 22 to about 24 inches in height. Males can weigh anywhere from 65 pounds (29 kilograms) up as big as 88 pounds (40 kilograms) or more. Females generally weigh about 40% less than males, and are usually between 55 and 70 pounds (25-32 kg).

Personality Traits of German shepherd

A German shepherd has a strong personality and can be aloof with strangers or overly aggressive. They are also highly intelligent dogs, and they are commonly used as herding dogs or guard dogs at home.

GSDs have an intense loyalty that is unmatched in any other breed, and they will defend their family at all costs.

They are also very protective of children in the household and often try to act as a buffer between them and potential danger; this is something that should be taken into consideration when deciding whether or not to get a German shepherd for your kids.

How Much Space Do German shepherds Need?

German shepherds need a lot of space to play, so you should have at least an acre in order to take care of them. They like open spaces, and they will have lots of fun outside the house.

This breed is not ideal for people who live in smaller homes. When raised in small rooms such as small apartments, these dogs tend to show hostility.

Therefore, if you are planning to get a German shepherd, make sure you have enough space to handle their needs.

What to Feed a German shepherd

German shepherds require a high quality diet. This should include grain-free dog food and some type of raw meat or fresh vegetables every day.

The main types of food to feed a German shepherd include:

  • Dry dog food 
  • Wet canned dog foods or wet, raw meaty bones.

If you decide to give him treats, make sure they are given in moderation, not as snacks but rather as rewards for good behavior when training them obedience commands. You should serve them 3 to 5 meals each day at regular intervals.

German shepherds are known to have an appetite that has no bounds, so it is important to keep tabs on their eating habits and make sure they are not overeating.

Are German shepherds Prone to Diseases?

Yes, German shepherds have a high risk of suffering from certain diseases.

German shepherds need regular checkups by a veterinarian for early detection of diseases. If you live in an area that is considered high risk for heartworms it is best to consult with your vet on how often they should be checked.

Common diseases that affect German shepherds include canine hip dysplasia, hypothyroidism and elbow dysplasia.

  • Canine hip dysplasia occurs there is contact friction between the hip bones because the thighbone does not fit into the hip socket properly.
  • Hypothyroidism is a condition where the thyroid glands do not produce enough of certain hormones that control metabolism, causing an increase in weight gain and some behavioral changes.
  • Elbow dysplasia are abnormalities at either end or both ends of your dog’s elbows.

How Long Do German shepherds Live?

A German shepherd can live anywhere from 9 to 14 years. This may depend on the dog’s diet, genetics and lifestyle choices. On average a German shepherd will die of old age before they reach their 15th birthday which is significantly later than most breeds.

Some German shepherds will live into their 15th year while others may die of old age before they reach their 14th birthday. This difference could be due to genetics and diet as well as lifestyle choices that are made by a dog owner like exercise regimes or car rides.

You will want to be aware of the potential health risks that could affect your dog before you buy or adopt one. Knowing the health risks early can help you manage these risks early and prolong your GSD’s life span.

Supplies to Buy for Your German shepherd

It is recommended that you have the following supplies on hand when you adopt or buy a German shepherd:

  • A leash and collar for walking, tracking or other activities
  • An identification tag with your contact information in case it gets lost
  • Dog food and water bowls (or some other way of feeding them) as well as cleaning
  • A bed or blanket for comfort
  • Dog shampoo and other grooming supplies
  • Dog Toys
  • Dog crate
  • Finally, a reliable veterinarian that will provide necessary vaccinations, checkups, as well as care and treatment when your dog is sick.

Bottom Line

Owning a German shepherd can be an amazing experience. They are intelligent, loyal and make excellent companions if you have the time to commit yourself to them. It’s important however to know what you’re getting into before adopting a GSD, so that you can plan how to make the home suitable for them.

Remember, German shepherds are pretty active dogs that require large spaces to play. This dog breed is not suitable for apartments and may show hostility if enclosed in small spaces.


I am an animal behaviorist, and I am happy to share my knowledge with GSD owners on everything German Shepherd.

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