German Shepherd Dogs 101 – Commonly Asked Questions & Answers


In this article we attempt to answer some commonly and not so commonly asked questions about GSDs (German Shepherd Dogs).

It should give you a ‘German Shepherd Dogs 101 type rundown of what to expect from this breed – but it’s purely for an informational guide.

A better guide than the one below might be our main guide on German Shepherds – this guide has over 100 interesting pieces of information and facts about the German Shepherd Dog Breed.

But, let’s take a look at the guide below …


(NOTE: this is a general information guide only, and is not professional advice, or a substitute for professional advice. A qualified vet or animal expert is the only person qualified to give you expert advice in regards to your pet/s)


German Shepherd Dogs 101 – Commonly Asked Questions and Answers


Can German Shepherds …

Can German Shepherds be left alone?

Firstly, German Shepherds are extremely intelligent, so they need moderate to high amounts of both mental and physical stimulation. 

Secondly, from stage of being a puppy, GSDs grow close to their immediate family and may suffer from separation anxiety if left alone for too long.

In most cases, leaving your GSD alone for a few hours shouldn’t be a problem, but any longer than that and you want to make sure they don’t start getting lonely, and that they have tools to keep their minds occupied like toys and bones.


Can German Shepherds eat watermelon?

Yes. But, make sure to remove seeds (can cause intestinal blockage), and don’t let them chew on the watermelon rind (can cause gastrointestinal upset).


Can German Shepherds live outside?

German Shepherds are a very versatile and adaptable breed, and in most cases shouldn’t have any issues with living outside if they are given the correct obedience training.

Most vets recommend you don’t leave your GSD outside until at least 12 weeks or 3 months old. 

You should also be careful of leaving your GSD outside in extremely hot or extremely cold conditions. Speak to your vet about what the best approach is to living conditions.


Can Shepherds eat bananas?

Feeding your German Shepherd bananas in moderation can be beneficial for him or her.


Will German Shepherds … 

Will German Shepherd protect without training?

GSDs are naturally territorial, aloof around strangers and seek to protect their family from both animals and humans they identify to be a threat.

It’s best to socialise your puppy from a young age to help them determine what is and isn’t a danger to them and their family i.e. you.


Will German Shepherds run away?

German Shepherds were bred for their ‘loyal fidelity to their master’.

If you train your dog, and teach him/her obedience from a young age and enforce it in everyday life, the risk of your German Shepherd running away is quite low. You may want to read:

German Shepherd Jumping: On Me, Other People and Over the Fence! 

How To Train A German Shepherd: 10 Expert Tips


Will German Shepherd ears stand up?

A German Shepherd puppy’s ears can stand up, droop down, and stand back up again while they are still teething.

It’s important not to get to concerned during this period which can last up until about 6 months of age.

A German Shepherd puppy’s ears that have been damaged in some way to effect the form may not stand back up.

Some owners choose to employ methods like ‘taping’ to attempt to get the ears to stand up again.


Will German Shepherd attack its owner?

It is rare to see a German Shepherd that has been taught obedience and has been socialised attack its owner.

German Shepherds are by nature extremely loving with their owner and good with kids, babies, older children and families.

You can read more about reasons for German Shepherd Aggression here.


How …

How to train a German Shepherd?

There are several key elements to training a German Shepherd. You want to ensure you take your puppy to puppy school, and that you apply the principles of being a good trainer and maintain boundaries and limits in your household.

You can read How To Train A German Shepherd: 10 Expert Tips and Advice for more information.

We also have an archive of other training articles you might like to read:


How much are German Shepherd puppies?

On average, you might pay anywhere from $500 to $1500 for a pet, or family dog type German Shepherd from a breeder.

For German Shepherds with pedigrees, papers, working titles, specific lines, and puppies who have a proven regulated breeding history – you can pay thousands of dollars.

Don’t get ripped off or buy from shady or unethical breeders – read this guide carefully.

When adopting a German Shepherd, you might pay anywhere from $50 to $500 – which covers adoption fees.


How much are white German Shepherd puppies?

Some consider it bad ethics to breed German Shepherds or any dog for a specific color or size (this is a complicated issue and depends on a few factors).

As a good rule of thumb, always look to see that the dog’s welfare and health are put first in any breeding program.

Technically, you shouldn’t pay anymore for a White German Shepherd than a standard tan and black GSD.

You can read a guide here – White German Shepherds: 18 Easy Facts and Info.


How many puppies can a German Shepherd have at a time?

Some breeders report up to 15 puppies being born in any one litter.


How many puppies are in a German Shepherd litter?

On average, there are around 8 German Shepherds produced per litter.

With around 60,000 German Shepherds registered yearly in the US with major associations, there’s around 7000 to 8000 registered GSD puppy litters produced each year.


What Is …

What is the difference between a German Shepherd and an Alsatian?

There is no difference between a German Shepherd and an Alsatian. ‘Alsatian’ is another name for the German Shepherd.


What is a sable German Shepherd?

Sable is a color variation of the German Shepherd breed, which people often refer to as a Blue German Shepherd.

You can read more about the Sable/Blue German Shepherd here.


What is a German Shepherd?

A German Shepherd is a working breed of dog, specifically herding, originating from Germany. Read more about the history of the GSD here.


What is the price of a German Shepherd in the UK?

A standard purebred German Shepherd puppy in the UK will cost around £800-£1200.


What is the price of a German Shepherd in india?

A German Shepherd puppy in India can cost anywhere from 3,000 to 15,000 Indian Rupees (according to


Who …

Who to train a German Shepherd?

The best person to train a German Shepherd is the person who will be spending the most time around them throughout their life – which is usually the owner.

Sometimes professional trainers are required for cases of protection training, aggression training, or combatting anxiety and other negative behaviors. 


Who breeds the German Shepherd?

German Shepherds were orginally bred in Germany, but can now be found in most parts of the world.

If you live in the US, Canada, Australia and Europe, there is a high chance you can find a respected breeder in your local area or state.

Consider these questions when finding a breeder for your German Shepherd – Raising German Shepherd Puppies: Guide From Buying To Owning.


Who should get a German Shepherd?

German Shepherds require daily exercise, stimulation, room to move around, maintenance costs and generally those with a lifestyle that can devote time and care to them.

If you a someone who is time poor, impatient, or don’t have the finances to support a dog, a German Shepherd may not be for you.


Who are the best German Shepherd breeders?

In terms of breeders, you’ll want to find a breeder that cares more about the dogs than the financial reward of breeding.

However, strongly consider going to a rescue centre or adoption centre before going to a breeder.

Here are some very helpful guides on considerations for breeders and rescues/shelters, and where to find good breeders and shelters/rescues:

Things To Consider When Adopting or Rescuing A German Shepherd

What To Look For When Buying A German Shepherd Puppy: Ethical Step By Step Guide

Where To Find A German Shepherd Rescue or Shelter Near You

Where To Find The Best German Shepherd Breeders Near You


When …

When is a German Shepherd full grown?

Read How Big Will My German Shepherd Get? for German Shepherd growth rates and sizes.


When does a German Shepherd stop growing?

After the first 6 months to 1 year old, a German Shepherd’s growth rate will slow noticeably.


When to train German Shepherd puppy?

German Shepherd Puppies can be taught potty training and basic commands from the age of about 4 weeks old inside the house.

It is generally safe to take your German Shepherd puppy outside the house and introduce him or her to puppy school after about 12-16 weeks old.


When to breed a German Shepherd?

Only professionals should breed a German Shepherd or any dog.

It takes experience, health testing, hip checking, and those with knowledge of bloodlines and genetics to be a competent breeder.

Some professionals put the German Shepherd breeding age at around 2 years of age.


Where …

Where to buy a German Shepherd?

If you want to be ethical, you should seek a rescue shelter first before you consider a breeder.

There are many dogs out there who don’t have a home and would love your love and care in return for theirs.

Refer to who are the best German Shepherd breeders question above for guides on where to buy GSD puppies and dogs.


Where to adopt a German Shepherd puppy?

Refer to the question above.


Where is a German Shepherd from?

German Shepherds were originally bred in Germany in 1899.


Where should I get a German Shepherd?

You should first look to get a German Shepherd from a rescue shelter as their is millions of homeless dogs out there.

Refer to these guide for more info:

Things To Consider When Adopting or Rescuing A German Shepherd

What To Look For When Buying A German Shepherd Puppy: Ethical Step By Step Guide

Where To Find A German Shepherd Rescue or Shelter Near You

Where To Find The Best German Shepherd Breeders Near You


Why …

Why should I get a German Shepherd?

Check out this checklist and quiz for helping you decide if you should get a German Shepherd.


Why buy a German Shepherds?

Only buy a German Shepherd is you have the lifestyle to accommodate one. If you think you do, you might like to read 16 Amazing Pros and Cons of Owning a German Shepherd.


Why German Shepherds are the best?

German Shepherds are the second most popular dog breed in the US. But, you don’t just want to look at the positives, you also want to know what isn’t so great about owning a GSD.

Read 16 Amazing Pros and Cons of Owning a German Shepherd.


Why are German Shepherds puppies black?

Not all German Shepherd puppies are born black. The standard black and tan GSDs are born darker, and tend to lighten as they mature. Other bi-color GSDs tend to do the same with their dominant color.

Single color GSDs vary in their color maturation process.

It is best to look at the parents of a GSD to get a better idea of what color they might develop by 6-12 months of age.


Why does my German Shepherd shake in his or her sleep?

Animal experts theorise that during deep sleep (REM sleep), dogs and German Shepherds might shake or sleep in response to the dream that they are experiencing – like running or walking.

So, some twitching is considered normal.


Why are German Shepherds so loyal?

German Shepherds owe their loyalty to their breeding origins.

The man credited with creating the breed, Max von Stephanitz, wanted to create the ideal working dog. The dog he used (Horand von Grafrath) as the original stud and first registered German Shepherd, possessed this loyalty trait as part of what von Stephanitz saw as one of the many traits the ideal working dog should possess. 


Do … 

Do German Shepherds smell?

German Shepherds don’t smell any more or less than most other breeds of dog.

A bath every 6-8 weeks is a good balance between keeping your GSD smelling nice, and making sure to maintain the natural oils in its coat.


Do German Shepherds howl?

German Shepherds tend to bark or howl either when left alone for too long and they lack stimulation or are scared, or if what they perceive to be a threat is approaching them or their family.

Proper exercise and socialisations and training can help limit barking and howling.


Do German Shepherds shed alot?

In short, yes. German Shepherds have a double coat of medium to long haired (depending on the type) fur which they shed all year.

They also shed very heavily twice a year between the hotter and cooler seasons – to help with insulation.



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4 thoughts on “German Shepherd Dogs 101 – Commonly Asked Questions & Answers”

  1. Hi know there are different types of gsd out there. Like ddr. West gsd etc. And was wondering how to I know what my gsd is or what bloodline? His pedigree name is kenquince shining light and father is faros vom pannenkloepper mother gangskuza cecil.

    • Fist owner of gas her name is coco she is a good dog, she started having a problem about going out to potty at night and some times during the day, never had any problems with it until now she is 2 in a half years old, I always stand at the door and watch her while she outside never leave the door so I know nothing or nobody has done anything to her, to make her scared of going out, can someone please tell me what to do to help her with this fear she has all of suddenly got thank you.

  2. My german shepard just turned 4 months old. She doesnt like the leash. Shes afraid i believe. I want to take her for walks ect. Any advice?

  3. Hi! I have an 8-months old gsd pup…we have been noticing few changes in his behaviour since we gave him 2 tablets of parzisam plus. Since then, he has not eaten 2 of his meals…he even seems to be irritated due to some reason. I think there is some problem gng on in his tummy…can you tell me what could it possibly be?


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