Do German Shepherds Make Good House Pets? Everything To Know About Their Temperament

Written by Mitchelle Morgan
Published: April 6, 2023
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German Shepherds are America’s second most popular breed. The dogs are active in different professional capacities such as military, guarding, police, and also as house pets.

AKC ranks German shepherds number four in the good family dogs category. However, like all other dogs, you must introduce your pet early and train them to interact with your loved ones while looking after their wellbeing.

Here you will find everything you need to know about German shepherds, such as traits and temperaments and whether they make good house pets.

Scariest Dogs

AKC ranks German shepherds number four in the good family dogs category.


What are German Shepherds Bred For?

German Shepherds are a large-sized dog breed originating from Germany and dating back as far as 1899. They belong to the Herding Group and are known for their loyalty, guarding instincts, and courage. They have a history of herding and make excellent guard, military, and police dogs. Apart from their active duties, they are widely used in search and rescue and as guide dogs.

German Shepherd puppies may differ depending on their descendants. American breeders target creating show dogs and a distinctive look other than the unique talents of the German Shepherd breed.

According to fans, Breeds from America are calmer than their German equivalent. Still, they are criticized for lacking some talents like traditional working dogs and are likely to exhibit separation anxiety as a behavioral problem.

German breeders concentrate more on coming up with dogs possessing the traditional working abilities of the breed. The dogs tend to be more energetic and have self-driven personalities. The dogs are tested in numerous ways to measure their physical and mental abilities the breed is known for.

However, the dog’s characteristics depend on how much time you spend together training and socializing.

Animals Used In War

German shepherds belong to the Herding Group and are known for their loyalty, guarding instincts, and courage.

© Kumkrong

Are German Shepherds an Aggressive Breed?

German Shepherds have aloof personalities, which some may consider aggressive, but they are not. The breed is reserved and doesn’t make instant friends easily, but their friendship is extremely loyal.

A large dog breed may be considered a risk in a family with young kids due to their size and weight. However, a well-trained German shepherd will make a healthy contribution to your house as you raise your young ones.

Teaching your dog to socialize from an early age will help them to become more accommodating to visitors and other pets in the home. Ensure you involve your kids in the puppy’s upbringing and training to enhance their bonding.

Set up house rules on handling the dog as they mature, and always apply caution in the presence of strangers and unfamiliar pets.

Black German Shepherd 2

A well-trained German shepherd will make a healthy contribution to your house as you raise your young ones.


Is A German Shepherd Size An Issue When Adopting A House Pet?

Basic information about any breed will help you make a wise choice for a good house pet. For example, the adult size of a German Shepherd will not fit if you are looking for a small-sized pooch, no matter how adorable they look as puppies.

An adult German Shepherd can attain a height between 22 and 26 inches and have a healthy weight of 50 up to 90 pounds, thus classifying them under large breeds. In other words, your puppy will not stay small. As house pets, their size, stamina, and energy level are important considerations because they can easily overcome young kids when playing. So, early introduction and proper training are vital.

The breed’s size will limit the dog in confined habitats, and the dogs thrive well in spacious houses with access to open spaces.

A long-haired German Shepherd at the vet's office

Always keep a check on your german shepherd’s weight to avoid obesity.


Here are some other facts about the adorable and intelligent German Shepherd:

Growth Life

German Shepherds’ life expectancy averages seven to ten years. Although you can adopt a young puppy or an adult dog, weighing the pros and cons of getting a pooch at a specific age is essential. While you can raise a weaned puppy with your kids, the price is that your children’s best furry friend is likely to depart them while the kids are still young.

Training a mature dog to do new tricks meant to be taught earlier in life is complicated. For example, adopting an adult dog who used to spend most of his time in the field will affect the dog psychologically, trying to make them adapt to indoor life.

Adopting a young puppy ensures you have a mature pet dog familiar with all your household and meets your desired training requirements. However, you must be willing to start the primary form of training.


Puppy classes can come in handy in obedience training and developing a well-mannered and friendly pup. Luckily, Shepherds are very trainable, and you will find that the training cycle helps to strengthen the bond with your house pet.

Your pup needs to start learning and socializing from a tender age, so kick off the training routine immediately after acquiring your pet.

Shepherds excel in various activities like sniffing, tracking, guarding, herding, agility training, and other canine entertainment competitions. Their eagerness to learn makes them good house pets.

Depending on your pet, you can as well train them in the following:

  • Swimming
  • Performing fun tricks
  • Jogging
  • Herding
  • Guarding


The breed sheds regularly, but his double-coat traps most loose hair. So your dog will need regular brushings to remove the fallen hairs and prevent them from accumulating on clothing and furniture.

Besides the brushings, your pup needs regular nail trims, proper dental care, and an occasional bath.

Diet and Nutrition

Always keep a check on your dog’s weight to avoid obesity. You can also discuss the diet needs with a vet nutritionist for recommended feeding timetable and food types at different stages of the dog’s life.

Reasons Why A German Shepherd Can Make The Best House Pet:

  • They are intelligent and willing to learn. They can learn tricks to delight your young ones and engage in physical activities.
  • The breed is loyal and bonds well with young children when you get them as puppies.
  • The dogs have stamina and high energy levels, making them great playmates with active kids and adults.
  • A German Shepherd guarding instincts make them protective of loved ones and will watch out for all your family members, but it’s essential to be cautious with strangers.

The photo featured at the top of this post is © DTeibe Photography/

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About the Author

Mitchelle is a content writer who loves nature. She loves writing about animals and plants. In her free time, she enjoys hiking and going for nature walks.

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