German Shepherds are a very popular dog breed, but they can be quite a handful. They are not a suitable dog breed for first-time dog owners or anyone not ready to keep up with the high energy and training needs of this strong-willed but intelligent dog breed.
One consideration that many people account for when selecting a dog breed is how well they get along with other animals. It’s important to understand what you can expect from a German Shepherd with other dogs before you bring one home.
Are German Shepherds Good with Other Dogs?
The answer to this question is highly variable and dependent on each dog as an individual. Dog aggression and animal aggression are not inherently built into the German Shepherd breed. However, irresponsible breeding practices and inbreeding can increase the risk of developing aggressive tendencies.
Generally speaking, German Shepherds will get along well with other dogs as long as they are properly socialized from a young age and given slow and appropriate introductions to new dogs. Places like dog parks and doggy daycares aren’t particularly good options for socializing young dogs since they can have problems in chaotic environments.
Why Are Some German Shepherds Not Good with Other Dogs?
There are a lot of reasons that any dog might not be good with other dogs. For German Shepherds, it’s important to keep in mind that they are a working dog breed that does often have some level of a prey drive. Properly trained German Shepherds that are well exercised and well managed are less likely to show aggression toward other animals.
Some German Shepherds may not be good with other dogs due to improper socialization at a young age. A history of being attacked or frightened by another dog can also lead to dog aggression. Another big factor impacting your dog’s tolerance of other dogs is their breeding stock. Dogs that have been significantly inbred or have been part of backyard breeding practices that don’t carefully select breeding pairs or temperament test dogs can lead to offspring with aggressive tendencies.
There’s no real way to know ahead of time whether you’re getting a German Shepherd that will be good with other dogs or not. The best thing you can do is carefully select a breeder who practices responsible breeding practices to ensure you bring home a pup from parents with stable temperaments.
German Shepherds are highly intelligent dogs, but they are also highly trainable. They also have high energy levels, which can make them quite a handful. Bored and frustrated dogs are more likely to exhibit aggression toward other animals, so it’s important to only take on this breed if you are committed to meeting the training, exercise, and socialization needs of the breed. With proper planning and breeder selection, you’re likely to end up with a dog that will do well with other dogs when proper socialization and introductions are practiced.
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