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German Shepherd Traits And Personality Characteristics

What Are German Shepherd Dogs Known For?

German Shepherds are herding dogs known for their trainability and versatility.

German Shepherd Traits And Personality Characteristics

They were first bred for herding livestock in 1899, but have since been trained to become good service, military and assistance dogs. 

They are great companions and guard dogs in many homes today, thanks to their versatile personality.

German shepherds can come off as aloof, but actually their suspicious nature does make them great for a watchdog. 

They love being active around their owners and may suffer separation anxiety or extreme panic when left alone. Their mind is sharp, active and bright. German shepherds make great companions, they are loyal, courageous and also intelligent.

Typical German Shepherd Personality Traits

Devoted Breeds

German shepherd dogs have a highly tuned sense of devotion, loyalty and affection. They love every members of the family. This devotion to their friends and close relatives can make them see strangers as potential problems waiting to be eliminated. And they will bark and appear dangerous unless the strangers take to their heels. So, there's no escape route than to befriend their owners and appear trust worthy before you can be added to the list of friends.


You will rarely find a German shepherd in the lurch. Even innocent strangers approaching your home, property or vehicle will be distrusted and barked at. Left unchecked, the barking will persist until the person leaves or you issue the “Enough” command. Pay close attention to your German shepherds when they bark in case the stranger is naive enough to continue getting closer after much vocalisation. They can really use force to defend your home when this occurs.

Intelligent And Trainable

German shepherds seriously love training and are smart enough to think through problems. However, they do expect humane and reward-based dog training. They won't ever state this overtly, but will likely express their worries through barking, chewing and digging. These destructive behaviours can lead to rehoming and in extreme cases euthanization. Just forget about yelling and pain-inducing collars when your German shepherd is naughty during training. PLEASE 🙏.

Hard workers

German shepherds are hard workers. In fact, they were bred to work. With their intelligence and trainability, they've evolved into diligent dogs who excel in assisting the handicapped, herding, search and rescue, competitive obedience, policing and even in the military. This is the reason this breed is ideal for people with an active lifestyle who would love to jog, go for hikes, camping, or indulge in dog sports (such as agility, obedience, flyball, or herding).

What Are German Shepherds Used For?

German shepherd dogs are used in accomplishing the following tasks:

Protecting the Family

If there's anything the German shepherd dogs were hardwired for, it's the herding instinct. This protective instincts usually come to fore when they're deployed as guard dog and watchdog, enabling them to stand their ground in moments of uncertainty and protect their people and family from threats.


German shepherd dogs sense of smell is so acute. This has enabled them to be great at detecting, recognizing and following specific scent. It is this ability to detect, track and locate the source of certain odours that makes them fit for chasing criminals, sniffing out illegal substances, as well as search and rescue.

Visiting the Sick and Leading the Blind

German shepherd dogs can't help their need to help. They can often be found visiting nursing homes, daycare centres, schools and other places to provide love and brighten the day of people who need them so that they can recover quickly and return home. They also bring smiles to thousands of visually impaired people by guiding them around obstacles.

Who Gets On Best With German Shepherd?

German shepherd dog's strength, intelligence, trainability, and obedience ensure they never lack fans. This may be the reason for their popularity around the world. Being busy souls, they get on with owners who like to do lots of stuff like walking, hiking, running and so on. They enjoy the active lifestyle and will be devoted to owners who indulge them in training and exercise.