Are German Shepherds good family dogs? You probably wouldn't expect a working-line German Shepherd breeder to say something like this, but it really all depends...
Out of all the questions we get through email and on puppy visits, "are German Shepherds good family dogs" is one of the top ones. It's a complex answer that completely depends on your situation and the breeder you choose.
This page will give you a little background on the German Shepherd breeding industry as a whole and outline what makes Hayes Haus German Shepherds unique.
If you have any additional questions, feel free to check our our Puppy FAQ page or contact us directly via email.
If you're considering a German Shepherd as a family dog for your home, we're here to help you make an educated decision whether or not you choose to purchase a Hayes Haus puppy!
The BIGGEST problem in the dog world that holds us back from having healthy, even-tempered dogs is breeders who breed their dogs only for looks rather than temperament.
So, are German Shepherds good family dogs?
It comes down to the breeding program's focus.
Our breeding philosophy has three guiding principles:
1) Protect the breed
2) To make the dog world a better place, one puppy at a time
3) To produce healthy, even tempered German Shepherds with appropriate drives and thresholds
Simply put, our goal is for every dog we breed to be:
Breeding exclusively for appearance would make these reaching these goals impossible.
In our opinion, the only way to get a dog with these traits is to breed exclusively for:
Would you rather have a well-structured dog with sound temperament, or a dog that "looks good"?
We think the answer is simple.
It comes down to three things:
1) Having knowledge of canine breeding
2) Understanding an array of dog training disciplines, and most importantly...
3) Extensive experience in dog behavior and temperament evaluation.
All breeders should have these three things. It's the only way you can intelligently choose which two dogs to breed together to give us the best chance of capable puppies.
Whichever German Shepherd breeder you choose, make sure they have high breeding standards.
We believe what we offer should be industry standard. If you are unsure about a breeders process, just ask, they should be able to articulate it to you.
The temperament of a puppy starts at conception. If a pregnant dog is stressed throughout her pregnancy, she sends stress signals to her unborn puppies.
Because of this, the mother's environment begins to shape the puppies before they ever leave the womb. It's natures way to prepare the puppies for the world they're going to enter.
This is why we we take the handling and housing of our pregnant mothers very, very seriously.
To help achieve our high stands are consistently as possible, we've developed the Hayes Haus Foster Program.
Here's how it works...
Hand-picked females dogs are thoroughly evaluated by Hayes Haus before being chosen for the breeding program. They're then given out to caring households where they live as a loving member of the family.
When the female comes into season, the foster family reports to Hayes Haus. If she is chosen to be bred at this time, she is dropped off at Hayes Haus for breeding.
Once breeding is completed, the female returns to her foster family where she will stay until approximately 10 days before her litter is due. At this time, she is brought to Hayes Haus to deliver, whelp, and raise her puppies until they are 7-8 weeks of age. And after the litter is all sold, the mother returns to her foster home where she continues to live as a happy family member.
This time-tested process ensures the mother is comfortable in her usual, family environment during pregnancy and also comfortable whelping a litter at Hayes Haus.
This is one of the most important facets of the Hayes Haus Breeding Program.
While no breeder can guarantee perfect results with every puppy, our Foster Program helps Hayes Haus females to consistently give birth puppies with the lowest chance of complications possible.
It's why and why we are able to consistently produce such high-quality, even-tempered family dogs.
Research shows female dogs that are in comfortable, enriching, social environments produce healthier, better-adjusted offspring. So by keeping the mother in a low-stress environment during pregnancy, the entire process is made as peaceful and happy as possible.
This increases the likelihood her puppies will be healthy, have stable temperament, and be ready to happily coexist with your family.
Think about the alternative:
A mother sitting in a cage throughout her entire 63-day pregnancy...
...what temperament do you think her puppies would have?
Our foster program helps us achieve the opposite of this scary alternative for our females and allows us to breed as high a quality puppy possible.
So, are German Shepherds good family dogs?
Answering "yes" depends on what steps the breeder takes to ensure their pregnant mothers have a pleasant pregnancy from start to finish. This is such an important step in shaping a puppy's future temperament, but unfortunately one that is often overlooked.
You don't have to choose Hayes Haus for your puppy. Choose whoever you're comfortable with.
There are many German Shepherd breeders in the world whose dogs would be great additions to your family. Just make sure whichever breeder you choose is able to thoroughly explain their breeding standards and processes.
Your puppy buying experience should be easy and feel comfortable.