German Shepherds 101: Temperament

German Shepherds 101: Temperament

German Shepherds are among the most famous dog breeds in the United States. They have a lot of energy, are intelligent, and are strong. These traits make them great dogs for many types of owners – but not all. If you want to be sure that your German Shepherd is happy, it’s essential to know what type of temperament they have.

16 Types of Shepherd Dogs

Shepherds or sheepdogs come in all shapes and sizes. There are 30 different types. Some people might not think a Corgi would be a good shepherd, but they do well at the job. The Bouvier Des Flandres is more versatile and can guard or herd animals or even pull carts.

There are 16 types of shepherd dogs that make good pets. They need to be mentally stimulated and physically challenged. They can have problems if they are not in the right environment.

Find out what each of these shepherd dogs can do and which one would be best for you.

Anatolian Shepherd

This is an ancient dog that was developed to guard livestock like sheep. They still do this job today. This dog is not like other herding dogs, but they are still really good at it. There is a lot of predator species, like coyotes, in America, and these dogs will protect the sheep against them.

This is a big dog. It doesn’t want to be near people that are not its owner. He loves people.

An Anatolian Shepherd protects its family and animals. They do not like strangers. If they are playing, they play with other animals.

Anatolians are clever and devoted. They need a lot of fences and lots of supervision. They’re not suitable for first-time owners because they can be strong-willed. You might find a reputable breeder in the US, but you should be financially prepared to pay roughly $1,700 or more for a pup.

Australian Kelpie

Kelpies are a dog with a lot of energy. They come from Scotland and can herd sheep. You don’t need to give them a lot of food or care, but you do need to exercise them because they have too much energy.

Kelpies need to do things that will keep them physically and mentally challenged. If they don’t, then they could get bored and act in ways that are not good.

The Kelpie is a little stubborn. They need socializing, so they know how to be in different situations. Be careful because they are cautious animals and their instincts make them wary of strangers. Kelpies are not common, but you can find them if you don’t mind adopting a mixed breed.

Australian Shepherd Dog

Australian Shepherds are very nice dogs. They are intelligent and good at guarding livestock but also herding it. This breed of dog is easy to train, which makes them a good fit for people with lots of energy who want a dog that can go on long walks or bike rides with them.

The Australian Shepherd dog is very active. They require a yard to run around in, and they also need more time than others to train and exercise.

The Australian Shepherd is intelligent. It enjoys learning tricks or taking part in dog sports like agility and herding trials. The Australian Shepherd is more loyal than the Kelpie. The Australian Shepherd’s coat needs grooming, especially when it is shedding.

This breed has eye diseases and other health conditions. It is more famous than the Kelpie. Finding a quality Australian Shepherd puppy from a reputable breeder is not too difficult or too expensive if you pay attention to where it comes from.


The Beauceron is a dog from France. The Beauceron was first used for hunting wild boars, but it also became good at herding and guarding flocks of sheep. The Beauceron is originally from France, just like the cheese Brie. It makes a great companion because it looks imposing and powerful.

The Beauceron is a great family protector, but only in a home with someone confident and watchful. Otherwise, the dog may take over and control everything or everyone.

Beaucerons are like other herding dogs. They require a whole lot of exercise and mental stimulation. They are good at many dog sports because they have the skills for them, like tracking, obedience, and protection.

The short-haired dog is not very high maintenance. They like to live outside and don’t like to be inside. It will be better for them if they live on a farm or in a house with a yard.

Beaucerons are nice dogs. These dogs are both powerful and athletic. The American Kennel Club lists only ten breeders, but if you want a Beauceron, you might have to agree to be on a waiting list because people who want them put their name down.

Belgian Shepherd Dogs

There are four various types of Belgian Shepherd dogs that have similar origins, coming from a variety of dogs found in Western Europe.

The four varieties are:

  • Belgian Sheepdog
  • Laekenois
  • The Malinois
  • Tervuren

All dogs in the Belgian Shepherd family are intelligent, agile, and athletic. This has its pros and cons because they will get bored quickly. To prevent developing obsessive or destructive behaviors, make sure to give them physical exercise and mental stimulation.

The Belgian Shepherd is a dog that likes to chase after things. They might not be suitable for herding sheep, but they can do other things instead. The Malinois is good at protection sports like Schutzhund and ring sport. That means that this type of dog can be brilliant and is good at doing those sports!

All types of Belgian Shepherd originated in the US, although the availability of Laekenois Shepherd dogs is more limited than the other breeds. You should have at least $1,500 for a Belgian Shepherd puppy of any type and a little more for a pedigree Malinois.

Bergamasco Sheepdog

The Bergamasco Sheepdog is not as well known as other breeds, but it has a lot to offer. They are lower maintenance than many other breeds, and they are healthy and friendly. They want to please you, and they are also intelligent.

The Bergamasco has a coat that is made up of three different textures. It protects the dog from the cold and sharp-toothed predators in the mountains of Italy.

Adults’ coats are easy to take care of and have a friendly temperament. They are perfect for families with small children or senior citizens because they will be gentle. But Bergamasco’s only think for themselves, so they would not be suitable for first-time owners.

Bergamascos like moderate amounts of activity – They prefer to play with friends, not by themselves. Bergamascos can suffer from separation anxiety, but this can be solved by training and socializing them well.


This long-haired, large breed has a lot of energy. They need mental exercise as much as physical exercise. Novice owners might not be able to keep up with them because they have so much energy.

Briards need a yard to explore. They love human companionship and make good companions for people who like to jog, hike, or bike.

Briards are intelligent dogs who need grooming. They can be high-maintenance. They are quick to learn and have excellent memories if you have the time.

It will get aggressive if you do not take care of a Briard. You need a firm hand and to be around other people. If you want a Briard, then there are only a few breeders in the United States, so you have to wait if someone else has one.

Bouvier des Flandres

The Bouvier des Flandres is a French shepherd dog. It does many tasks for the barnyard or pasture except milking cows. They are loyal to their owners and intelligent too.

Bouviers need to run around. They like to have a job to do, and they are good-natured and friendly, but if they go into someone’s house, they might not want to leave.

Bouvier’s need to be socialized – They might get aggressive if they are not. You should go to a dog park, but it is best if you don’t take Bouvier’s too young because they might scare the other dogs and there may be a fight. You must brush your Bouvier every day, so it doesn’t get tangled or knotted in its coat.


Collies come in different shapes and sizes. Collie is a type of dog. Rough Collies are big, and they help with herding animals. Border Collies look like Bearded Collies, but they are smaller, and they help with herding too.

Dogs can be active or lazy. Different types of dogs have different personalities. Some dogs like to play and run, but others want to sit and relax. Collies need a lot of attention from humans. They love when people spend time with them, and they might become grumpy when they are left alone for too long.

Different breeds of dogs are suitable for other people. The Rough and Bearded collies are best for beginners, but the Border Collie is more complicated. All three types of dogs have loyal personalities. But they can also be shy, so it is essential to socialize them early on in life.

German Shepherd Dog

German Shepherd dogs are popular in the United States. These dogs make good companions and family pets. They are often used in search-and-rescue operations or to find drugs. Military and police often use them because these dogs can be outfitted with tactical dog gear for their work.

Intelligent and willing, the German Shepherd can do many things because they train them. They will be good at any sport.

German Shepherds are good watchdogs. They are also gentle family dogs. But they might not be friends with everyone right away. German Shepherds shed a lot year-round, so you will need to vacuum more often if you have one in your home. You can find German Shepherd breeders but make sure to look for the best one so that your dog will be good with people and other animals.

German Shepherds that are bred for the show ring behave badly. Find a more general breeder, and you’ll get a German Shepherd who behaves well.

This breed is popular, and it has become more affordable. Dogs from health-tested parents can be expensive, but there are less expensive ones too. German Shepherds come in many colors besides the traditional black and tan. Some German Shepherds are pure white or pure black.

Icelandic Sheepdog

I had never heard of an Icelandic Sheep Dog before today, but this breed is popular in the US. They are up 24 spots on American Kennel Club’s Most Popular Breeds List for 2019.

Icelandic Sheepdogs are the only dog native to Iceland. They look like a fox, but they are friendlier, more affectionate, and likely to be your kid’s best friend.

Icelandic Sheepdogs need a lot of exercise. They are not good for apartment life. But if you have some kids and give them a lot of exercise, they’ll be happy and healthy. Icelandic sheepdogs get along with other animals, and they don’t want to eat your daughter’s pet hamster.

Icelandic Sheepdogs have a thick coat, and they shed a lot. You will need to brush them every day. They are generally healthy and easy to train but do not use harsh corrections or training methods when you train them. These dogs make good family companions, so it is hard to find one that you can buy for about $1,000.

Miniature American Shepherd

This is a new type of dog. It is like the Australian Shepherd. But it is smaller and has different colors. It is very energetic and challenging, like the Australian Shepherd, too. People use them for traveling to horse shows because they are clever, loyal, and their size makes them excellent travel companions.

This dog is like most shepherd dogs. They have a “watchful expression.” This means they are intelligent and happy to please you. If you live in the city, it can be challenging for this dog to get exercise. But if the Miniature American gets enough exercise, they will do well in agility, obedience, and tracking events.

If you have a miniature American, they might need to be groomed regularly. The good thing about them is that they are gentle and patient with children. They also make good exercise partners.

You can find Miniature American Shepherds from the American Kennel Club. This is good because they are adorable, and people who have them love them.

Old English Sheepdog

I always wanted a big, bearlike dog. But I don’t want to buy one. They are good-natured and kind. They are brave and intelligent too.

Old English Sheepdogs need a lot of grooming. If you don’t want to spend time on your dog and groom it, then this might not be the breed for you.

On the other hand, Old English Sheepdogs are very affectionate and fun-loving. They make a perfect addition to any family. They do not mind living in small spaces as long as they get enough exercise. The kind of exercise they need is not very high-energy or mentally stimulating. They have an off switch that few other herding dogs have access to.

I want to buy an Old English Sheepdog, but should I? This breed can be unhealthy and sometimes aggressive. You need to find a good breeder from which to buy the dog.

Shetland Sheepdog

The Sheltie is similar to the Rough Collie. The Sheltie has brown and white long hair. There were bred to keep birds and sheep out of the farmer’s garden, but they also make excellent watchdogs and family companions.

Shetland Sheepdogs are easy to train, and they can adapt to city life. They like families and people who have never owned a dog before. They also do well in contests like obedience and agility trials.

Shetland Sheepdogs are loyal and protective. If they sense something is wrong, they bark quickly. Puppy training can stop them from barking all of the time while still keeping them as a good watchdog.

Shelties are dogs with a strong herding instinct. They will often nip to get things moving, like squirrels. To fix this, teach them what it means to herd things when they are young.

This breed is happy when they are left alone. They don’t get anxious if you leave them at home. Just make sure you give them plenty of attention when you are home with them.

Welsh Corgi

Different-looking dogs were bred to herd animals. These two breeds are popular and good at herding: the Cardigan and the Pembrokeshire Welsh Corgi.

Made popular by the Queen of England, these little dogs are tough. They can be tolerant and hardy, and both types of Welsh Corgi are suitable for beginners. They like to exercise, but they cannot keep up with a horse or bicycle.

The Corgi is a type of dog that is happy when they have a job to do. They are also able to fit in with an active family lifestyle. Their herding instinct makes them want to nip sometimes, but early puppy training can stop this from happening.

Corgis have short coats, but they shed a lot even if they don’t have long hair. They need to be groomed every week. Corgis are sensitive and independent, so they do better with positive training that rewards them for good behavior.

Corgis are bred to herd, yet they are versatile and can do many things. They were often used as cattle dogs, guardian dogs, family pets, and vermin exterminators. If you want a pet Corgi but live in an apartment, the Miniature Corgi is perfect for you. Their small size makes them a lot easy to take care of.

White Swiss Shepherd Dog

The White Swiss Shepherd Dog is white. The White Swiss Shepherd Dogs were bred by people who imported them from Canada, and some of the White Shepherds were bred from German Shepherds that are also white.

White swiss shepherd dogs are similar to German shepherds. You can see that they are not albinos because they have dark noses and eye rims.

Swiss Shepherds are very active and athletic. They are friendly. They are less aloof than German Shepherds.

If you want to buy a Swiss White Shepherd puppy, they are most popular in their country of origin and neighboring European countries. Expect to pay around $1,300 for a puppy from health-tested, well-bred lines.

Frequently Asked Questions about Temperament of German Shepherds

What is the largest Shepherd dog breed?

The Anatolian Shepherd is a huge dog. It stands at 27 to 29 inches and weighs 150 pounds. Second place is a close-run battle between the Beauceron, who stands up to 27.5 inches and weighs 70 to 110 pounds, and the Bouvier des Flandres, which also stands up to 27.5 inches and weighs 70 to 110 pounds.

What Shepherd breed is the smallest?

The Miniature American Shepherd is 14 to 18 inches tall. It is shorter than the Cardigan Welsh Corgi and Pembrokeshire Welsh Corgi but taller than the Icelandic Sheepdog.