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Is a German shepherd Right for You? Survey Results from German shepherd Owners

By: Dr. Debra Primovic

Read By: Pet Lovers
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31.What do you feed your German Shepherd? Most German shepherds are fed dry food (64%). Nearly 54% of German shepherd owners indicated that their German shepherd ate premium dry dog food only; an additional 8% said they fed dry food of a consistent brand but not a premium food; and approximately 2% feed dry but changes brands often. Approximately 21% of German shepherd owner said they did a combination of canned and dry, 2% fed a semi-moist food, 9% said they did an all-natural diet and 4% said they cooked for their dog. Less than 1% of German shepherd owner surveyed said they fed canned food or table scraps only.

32.How much time per day do you think a person needs to take good care of a German Shepherd? We further indicated that by care, this meant to include feeding, watering, playing, exercising, and walking their dogs. Most German shepherd owners believe it takes 1 to 4 hours (69%) per day to properly care for a GSD. The most common answer was about 1 to 2 hours (39%), followed by 2 to 4 hours/day (30%), 31 to 60 minutes (18%), more than 4 hours (10%), 16 to 30 minutes (3%) and < 15 minutes (0%).

33.How much "barking" does your German shepherd do? Most German shepherds are not big "barkers". Over 68% said their dogs didn't bark or did only some barking. To further break it down, 52% say their German shepherd barks some but not a lot, 16% said their dog rarely barked, 28% said their dog did a moderate amount of barking and < 5% said their German shepherd barked a lot.

34.How does your German shepherd tolerate heat (high temperatures)? The German shepherd owners responded that their German shepherds handled the heat fine (55%) and the remaining 45% said their dog did not handle the heat well.

35.How does your German shepherd handle cold temperatures? German shepherds seem to prefer the cold temperatures. Over 97% said their dogs handled the cold well with about 3% indicating that their dog has problems when it is cold.

36.Which of the following traits does your German shepherd have? This question stemmed from users indicating to us that they DIDN"T wanted a dog with certain characteristics so we asked about some of those traits. Answer options included snoring (15%), drools a lot (6%), has substantial "gas" (10%), begs (15%), eats his owner feces (12%) or has no problems (61%).

37.What is your GSD's favorite toy? German shepherds like balls! Approximately 36% of German shepherd owners said their dogs favorite toy was a fetch toy, followed by chew toy (27%), followed closely with stuffed toys (30%) and finally a pull toy (15%). The remaining 33% indicated that their dog's favorite toys were balls (all kinds with the #1 ball being a tennis ball), and squeaky toys.

38.Does your German shepherd enjoy going for car rides/traveling with you? Most German shepherds like to go! Over 92% said their dogs like to travel with them and only 8% said they did not.

39.How much does non-medical care cost for a GSD? We asked German shepherd owners to guess at approximately how much they thought they spent on food, toys, beds, treats, grooming supplies and other non medical care per year for their dog. Only 10% thought their German shepherd cost them less than $200.00/year. Approximately 24% estimated $200.00 to $400.00 per year, 23% thought their German shepherd cost them closer to $400.00 to $600.00 per year, 16% thought their dog cost them between $600.00 to $800.00 per year, 10% believe their dog costs them approximately $800 to $1000.00 per year, 10% say $100 0.00 - $1500.00 and 8% believe their dog cost them over $1500.00 per year.

40.How much does medical care cost? We asked German shepherd owners "If you had to guess, how much do you think you spend on medical care per year for your German shepherd? (This cost includes vaccines, heartworm prevention, flea control, health problems, and emergencies). Most German shepherd owners (32%) estimated that medical care cost them $100.00 to $300.00 per year, 29% estimated that medical care cost them $300.00 to $500.00 per year, 16% estimated that medical care cost them $500.00 to $700.00 per year, 8% estimated that medical care cost them $700.00 to $1000.00 per year, 5% estimated that medical care cost them $1000.00 to $1500.00 per year, and 4% estimated that medical care cost them more than $1500.00 per year. Only 6% estimated that medical care cost them < $100.00 per year.

41.Which of the following do you routinely give your dog? The breakdown was as follows: Heartworm prevention (78%), Flea control medications (74%), Arthritis or joint supplements (28%), Medications to treat a specific problem (20%), Vitamins (32%) and other Nutritional supplement (25%).

42.Does your German shepherd have any medical problems? Approximately 62% said no and 38% said yes.

43.What type of medical problem does your German shepherd have? User further expanding in question #42 and filled in their German shepherds particular problem. The most common problems were arthritis, hip problems, knee problems, skin allergies, ear infections, and inflammatory bowel disease.

44.What do you love most about your GSD? We received hundreds of responses that were wonderful. The number one response was that German Shepard owners LOVE their dogs loyalty! To summarize, German shepherd owners love their dogs' loyalty, intelligence, trainability, companionship, spirit, and...desire to please.

45.What question should we have asked about German shepherds (to help people determine if it is the right dog for them)? Several users emailed suggestions of questions we should have asked. These included – we should have asked how about the importance of training (which most believe is important) and communicate that it will take time to train. A GSD needs a strong leader which is why many did not rank this breed high for seniors. Many users also wrote that they need lots of exercise and space and an owner willing to give them the time and exercise they need. We got many responses that suggested that dog lovers looking to choose a German shepherd really need to understand how much exercise and time they need to be happy. Many owners wanted to make sure we communicated how much a GSD sheds (they were surprised). An owner needs to be willing to deal with pet hair. A few owners wrote at length about how smart their dogs were and that we should have asked if potential owners are willing to have a dog smarter than them. J



Did this survey help you? Email us. We are trying to decide if we should create these for other breeds and would appreciate your feedback.

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Is a German shepherd Right for You? Survey Results from German shepherd Owners




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