Are German Shepherds High Maintenance?

German shepherds are highly intelligent members of the large breed family. They have a striking beauty and can be a great addition to many households.

However, it has been argued that they need a lot of attention in comparison to some other breeds.  

These are the key reasons why someone might consider classifying German shepherds as high maintenance breeds.

Like most breeds, German shepherds won’t always fit into everyone’s lifestyle. There are specific requirements and conditions that the breed need in order to thrive. 

Regular Grooming 

Firstly, something that is worth considering before getting a German shepherd is the amount of grooming that is required.

While their fur doesn’t grow as long as other breeds, they have very thick coats because they were originally bred for outdoor use with herding. 

While a thick coat was originally helpful at providing insulation, it can be problematic to modern owners. This is because it is prone to matting if it isn’t brushed through on a regular basis.

For this reason, it can be argued that German shepherds are a little higher maintenance than other breeds. 

However, most owners enjoy the extra time that they get to spend with their furry friend.

If you get your German shepherd from a young age, then you can even get them to like the feeling of a brush on their coat, and learn not to fear it.

Of course, it isn’t for everyone, which is why a lot of owners will decide to pay a professional groomer for their service. 


Something that should be carefully considered before adding a German shepherd to your household is the amount of training that is needed from a puppy.

With the right amount of training, it can be easy to acclimatize a German shepherd so that they are social with other dogs, cats, and children.

One of the reasons why this breed is considered to be high maintenance is because of the rigorous training that is needed from a young age.

However, without this training, the highly intelligent breed is more likely to become aggressive and mischievous.

They have a lot of energy which needs to be channeled into exercise without causing them to lash out at their human companions. 

Showing them that they are in a safe environment where they can explore without consequences or supervision is something that might be required for older German shepherds who have been rescued from an abusive situation. 


One of the biggest issues that German shepherd owners face is the amount of exercise and mental stimulation they need on a regular basis.

Because they are a highly intelligent breed, they need the opportunity to play, exercise, and practice agility. 

One of the reasons why German shepherds tend to become irritable and snappy is because they are not getting enough exercise.

The breed requires an average of two hours’ worth of daily activity. This doesn’t have to be long walks, however, and most German shepherds will benefit from playing fetch, chasing things, and running around the backyard. 


Another reason why it has been argued that German shepherds are a little higher maintenance than other breeds of dogs is because of the health conditions that can emerge.

Larger dogs that need more regular exercise than smaller breeds are more prone to developing canine hip or elbow dysplasia. 

Because German shepherds are also more prone to developing thyroid issues as well as epilepsy, it can increase your average vet costs if you decide not to get the right insurance policy.

While most of these conditions are easy to treat, it can need a little extra work and medication in the long run. 

In order to get around this, it could be worth spending more time with your German shepherd.

This can allow you to spot areas that they might be suffering or in pain and look for preventative measures before the vet bills start to climb. 


Because of the breed falling into the larger dog category, a lot of the costs can be a little larger too. It’s important to invest in pet insurance and stay on the lookout for joint or thyroid issues.

In addition to training and grooming, food can also be expensive. 

When considering the total cost of a German shepherd’s maintenance, it can be argued that they are a little higher maintenance than other breeds.

However, they are definitely worth the extra costs, because they are highly intelligent, affectionate breeds that love to play and run around.

While they might not be the right breed of dog for everyone, a German shepherd can be a great companion to those that can afford it. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Are German Shepherds Hypoallergenic?

A: Because they shed a lot more than some other breeds, German shepherds are not hypoallergenic. This means that they are not suitable for someone who suffers from allergies, as they might be more prone to irritation caused by the fur. 

How Long Do German Shepherds Live?

A: On average, they can live around 9-13 years. This is determined by a range of factors including the emergence of health conditions that are typically found within larger dogs and regular exercise. 

Are German Shepherds Good With Kids?

A: Once they have been correctly trained and socialized, German shepherds can enjoy the company of children because they tend to be more affectionate and loving. They can become protective over their owners, and are fiercely loyal to their family. 


Overall, it could be argued that German shepherds are high maintenance. This is because of the increased amount of time that is needed to correctly train, socialize, and entertain them.

However, it could also be argued that no breed of dog is perfect, and that each has their own set of requirements in order to be a loving part of the household. 

German shepherds are extremely loyal, protective, affectionate, and playful creatures. It is definitely worth committing the extra effort, time, and money into keeping a German shepherd if you have the right living conditions for one. 

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