My first attraction to the shepherds was to their looks - that noble, dignified, powerful look that they have.
Then I got to know them and learned to appreciate their intelligence, willingness, loyalty and silliness too. I love that all of my shepherds have learned to be dependable off-leash dogs. I love being able to walk out the door with Trick and not even having to look to see where she is, because I KNOW she'll be right there with me. I love watering the flowers in the front of the business - with a parking lot right on a busy four lane highway - and I know that Trick is right there with me with no leash needed.
I love that people are both impressed and yet respectful of the breed. I know that living with shepherds keeps me safer than if I lived with most other breeds. I love that shepherds like to play with toys and retrieve, and that they can be taught to bring a beer from the fridge .. *L* .. or bring your crutches when you've sprained an ankle. I love that this is a thinking breed, one that wants to please and - if treated right - will devote his life to you without hesitation.
I love that shepherds get along so well with my chows (my other chosen breed). I never have squabbles between a chow and a shepherd. Any squabbles that happen are shepherd/shepherd or chow/chow. The chows are huggable, goofy, intense, extremely smart but independent dogs and a perfect counterpoint to the German shepherd. And the shepherds help me train them to be a bit more reliable .. *L*
I have had GSDs since I was 11yo in 1978. I have had other breeds also, (2 Catahoula Leopard Dogs, a Border Collie and Wrangler (Aussie/Cattle dog (AKA "Blue Heeler) mix that I have now.
But I ALWAYS must have a GSD. There is just nothing else than can compare.
I grew up with GSDs so it was a no brainer for me to have them. It's what I know but my mother always said that she originally was attracted to GSDs because she thought "they looked like how dogs should look". Noble, dignified in public and silly at home, thoughtful. Even as simple as they're big, long nosed, wolf-ish coloring, alert eyes.
Everything else grew from there like everyone has said but I'll add that I like a dog that I also find a challenge. They make me work just as hard as I ask them to work for me. I kinda respect that.
What I love most is that I love everything - the size, shape, coloring, temperament, versatility, athletic ability, agility, loyalty, dependence, intelligence, biddability... They are everything I want in a dog.
Seems we are all in agreement!! I love to watch them play with each other, I am late leaving in the morning because they are stalking, chasing and just having such a great time with each other. My two play really hard, and know their limits. I am watching another GSD for the weekend, and she cannot understand they dynamics of their "play", thinks it is fighting because they are so vocal!
You want the truth? Well, at the risk of being told I'm "humanizing" them when really I'm pointing out the difference, I have to say this; GSDs when bred and trained right exhibit the best of human qualities without any of the bad. A GSD is loyal, dependable, honorable and unconditionally loving and caring. Take all the bad elements of humans out and leave only the best and put it in an animal with above average intelligence while still not a human's and you have a GSD. If I was told I would be stranded on an island with my choice of either an unknown human for company or an unknown GSD for company I would pick the GSD without hesitation.
Well... i'm sold! In fact, I met with the breeder today and got to see her home, got to meet the sire, but couldn't meet the dame because she had her puppies on thursday. Everything felt right so I dropped teh down payment and i'm anxiously awaiting which puppy she feels will best meet my lifestyle, along with my little shih tzu. I can't wait to experience all of the above... with everyones help i hope!??!
The things I love most about living with Heidi are:
Those times when she is looking at me, focused on me and I look into her beautiful, intelligent eyes. Its quite a connection.
I love the way she loves life, so happy to patrol her property in search of bugs to chase. Her tail whips back and forth in such a display of happiness.
I love the way she is always so happy to meet people. She is good with all sorts of people and kids too. I love the way she can find relaxation in the midst of playing children...obviously on guard watching over her "flock."
I love the way she looks. She is quite the beauty.
Elmo is more than a pet. He is really like a friend. He is always there with a smiling face. If I'm sad, he's there to give me a hug. When I talk to him, it's as if he's trying to understand what I'm saying. He is always looking out for our family. He has to know where my husband and I are in the house at all times. He even takes care of Molly. If she barks for any reason, he's right there.