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There's always going to be pluses and minuses with every breed, even if they are the perfect fit for your home and lifestyle. Today we will be looking at the five main categories that relate to the biggest pros and cons when it comes to having a German Shepherd. We'll talk about each of the categories pros first, and then we will look at them again and see in what situations they could be considered cons. Let's jump right into the first category. ENERGY/SPACE Looking at the energy and space requirements of the German Shepherd, we see that they do typically have a very high energy level, so they do exceptionally well in active homes. This is a terrific pro for people looking for a large dog they can potentially compete with or want to take with them on long hikes. German Shepherd's also don't take up much space in the home other than an appropriately sized bed if they aren't allowed on the furniture; otherwise, they will be right where you are most of the time. INTELLIGENCE & TRAINABILITY The second category will look at is their intelligence and trainability. German Shepherds are extremely intelligent and very willing to please, making them extraordinarily easy to train for an experienced canine leader. Their higher energy level also allows them to rise to the highest and most technical levels of obedience and competition. They are equally motivated by food as they are play and affection, making it easy to train them out and about and in a structured setting. GROOMING The third category is their grooming requirements. A hallmark of the breed is their dense, thick coat allowing them to thrive in cold weather climates. Typically weighing anywhere between 50 - 90 pounds, they are right on the edge of medium to large size which makes them quicker to groom than a truly large breed. You'll generally find that they don't need their nails trimmed because of their high activity level and that's one less maintenance item for you. FAMILY & GUARDING The fourth category and pro to having a German Shepherd in your home is their deep family bonds and protective nature. They are gentle and protective with children and when well socialized, aren't overly reactive to children or their friends when things start getting a bit rowdy. The other pro to this temperament is their guarding nature brings a sense of peace and security to their family, knowing that they have a canine who is both a dedicated protector and imposing deterrent. AFFECTION & INDEPENDENCE Rounding out the last category in the pro list is their affection versus tendency towards independence. The German Shepherd can and most definitely will think for themself, but they are extremely bonded to their primary person and eaily take direction and guidance from their calm, consistent canine leader. Since they are so high energy and bonded, they make ideal companions for homes where someone is home throughout the day. Let's look at each of these categories again, but in the light of how the German Shepherd's temperament and size could be a con.  CONS ENERGY The first category we mentioned in the pros list was their energy and space needs. While their higher energy level allows them to thrive and active homes, this can quickly turn into a con for bustling families that don't have the time to work out the German Shepherd's energy in a constructive way. They are also not a breed that will exercise themselves in the backyard well enough without you, so they will require more time and energy on your part than many other breeds. INTELLIGENCE & TRAINABILITY The second category is their trainability and intelligence. Being as smart as they are, they can easily outsmart family members or even take the leadership role on themselves. This makes them a poor choice for first-time canine leaders as well as those homes where the whole family isn't on the same page when it comes to setting boundaries and enforcing proper behavior.  GROOMING Coming back to their grooming needs, while their thick double coat allows them to tolerate cold climates, they shed. A lot. Like all double-coated breeds, they blow their coat twice a year and shed heavily in the spring and fall. Some have shorter and less dense coats than others and they will adapt to warmer climates, but be prepared for shedding year-round with the German Shepherd. FAMILY & GUARDING When looking at their close family bonds and guarding instinct, most people only see the pros, but this can flip to a con when you consider their quality of life in your home. They need firm corrections and consistent boundaries to satisfy their willingness to please and independent personalities. In homes with multiple people or potentially numerous canine leaders, this can get tricky very quickly, depending on each member of the family's experience level. AFFECTION & INDEPENDENCE The final category is their affectionate versus independent nature. Since they do bond especially closely with one person, they don't do well in homes where their family is gone 8+ hours a day. They will think for themselves, but in most cases, this can result in wrong choices that leave you coming home to a mess. Like with people, every good quality will also have a counter that makes it unappealing. It's essential to consider every angle, including your current lifestyle potential of future life changes and honestly evaluate your canine leadership skills and willingness to alter your lifestyle for every breed.

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