I also thought that this would happen when Ava grew bigger, but she just turned one year old and she still has just as many people coming up to her wanting to say hi! I've never owned a dog that has gotten as much attention from strangers as Ava has, so maybe it's just something about her... but we are also in a very GSD-friendly area. Hopefully that will be your experience, too!
Oddly enough when mine was a puppy everything was ooh and ahh, then for a few months people went the other way to avoid her. Now at 19 months she gets more attention then she did when she was a puppy. But she still acts the same way as she did as a puppy..she doesn't and hasn't approached people she don't know. If they come to her, she will sniff them and not get overly excited and sometimes even just look away. Now if its a kid, that kid will get all the attention it wants from her. Her family, her trainer and kids make her world go round
This is true. My dog is almost 4 and she still gets compliments daily, either about her appearance, her behavior or her movement.
Today we were walking on a path and a father and his young (2) son were approaching. Neither were intimidated. The boy came right up to my dog and petted her and she gave him a 'kiss'. A win for everyone.
People are starting to avoid Lisl on the street. Some of that is from demographics in this area, but most see a GSD and think 'Police Dog, mean, he'll bite, growl, snarl, etc.)
Many still stop in their tracks and just look in awe. Most around here have never seen a sable GSD except in the movies or on TV, and then it was always a military working dog, or a police dog.
When I'm stopped or approached on the street with Lisl, you can sort of tell those that know at least a little something about the breed, and those that know absolutely nothing except what the idiot tube and the press has fed them for decades.
Yeah, I think that if your dog is a good-looking critter, people will still want to stop and pet it. I get that for all my dogs, just for various reasons. People love to stop and talk about dogs.
With GSDs, I think the only thing is that some people who might not be scared of them as puppies will be scared of them as adults. They're big, intimidating dogs if you aren't comfortable with them. I've noticed people admiring my dog from afar, that would probably approach me if I had one of my smaller dogs with me.
Also, the person walking them impacts how much attention they get. When my partner takes the dogs out, he tends to walk briskly and is focused on himself and they don't get many people trying to stop to talk. When I take them out, I'm friendly and tend to smile and nod at everyone I see (raised in a small town where that was the norm, and it's a hard habit to break) so I get tons of people stopping to chat about the dogs.
Lots of factors, but IME good-looking adult dogs get just as much attention as puppies.
When mine was a puppy she got lot's of people's attention. She's 10 month's now, and still get compliment's daily, and oohed and ahhed over from afar. People will shout a little away's from us, and tell me how pretty she is and such. Rarley tho, will people approach us, and want to pet. There are not alot of shepherd's around here, so they tend to be afraid.