16 Cute German Shepherd Dogs & Puppies

cute german shepherd puppy

gsdstagram / Instagram

These intelligent canines are known for their jobs as police assistants, search and rescue pups, contraband sniffers, service dogs and more. There’s no doubting the fact that German Shepherds love to work!

The American Kennel Club describes their temperament as confident, courageous, and smart herding dogs. They’re fiercely loyal protectors, but don’t let their intimidating looks fool you—they’re friendly and adorable, too (keep scrolling for photographic evidence).

German Shepherds are one of the most popular and recognizable dog breeds in America, and for good reason.

  • 01 of 16

    Training Comes Naturally to German Shepherds

    photo of a cute german shepherd

    pawsforpresley / Instagram

    Experts say this breed is top-notch when it comes to learning and retaining training lessons for a number of special services, like bomb-sniffing and opening doors. They’re popular choices among military, police and other service personnel thanks to their high intelligence and loyalty.

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  • 02 of 16

    They Are Family Dogs

    photo of a cute german shepherd

    germanshepherd_loversig / Instagram

    Their extreme loyalty doesn’t stop at the end of their workday. German Shepherds are excellent guardians and will do anything to protect the ones they love. They are gentle family pets and the perfect cuddle buddies.

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  • 03 of 16

    Make Exercise a Priority

    cute german shepherd dog
    Saarakorhonen / Flickr

    Running, hiking, fetch—German Shepherds love it all. These dogs are very active and need a lot of exercise and stimulation to stay happy. If you’ve ever considered doing an agility course with a dog, choose a German Shepherd.

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  • 04 of 16

    It’s Always Playtime!

    cute german shepherd puppy

    ilovegermanshepherd / Instagram

    German Shepherds are so good at their job because they think of it a lot like how they think of play. And playtime is a German Shepherd’s favorite time.

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  • 05 of 16

    They Have a Bushy Coat

    cute german shepherd puppies
    Mario K / Flickr

    Medium-length and thick, the coat of a German Shepherd needs some grooming. Usually, that just means a bath and a quick brush every once in a while. In the warmer months, that could mean more brushing once every few days. Their thick, double coat means a lot of shedding. Ask your groomer about their de-shedding service!

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  • 06 of 16

    German Shepherds Are Medium to Large

    cute german shepherd in field
    Carmella W / Flickr

    Though size varies between individuals, a standard German Shepherd weighs about 60 pounds. Whether you already own a German Shepherd pup or are looking into it, be prepared for a hefty lap dog!

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  • 07 of 16

    Yes, They’re German

    cute german shepherd dog

    germanshepherds / Instagram

    The German Shepherd is from Germany (who would have thought?). They were originally bred for their striking good looks and intelligence, making for a great working dog on the police force and in the military. They were so cute that dog-lovers in other countries soon caught on and began breeding them themselves. 

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  • 08 of 16

    Don’t Mind Their Bark

    cute german shepherd puppy

    germanshepherds4ever / Instagram

    If a stranger approaches, German Shepherds will alert you. These dogs are very protective of their homes and family and make excellent guard dogs.

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  • 09 of 16

    Working Isn’t Just Fun for Them, They Need It

    cute german shepherd dog

    rayallenk9 / Instagram

    German Shepherds don’t take well to couch potato owners. They need stimulation, even if they are a family pet and not a trained deputy. This can be in the form of playful games, puzzle toys, tricks, and obedience training. Otherwise, German Shepherds may show off some unpleasant behavior, like chewing.

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  • 10 of 16

    German Shepherds Were the Original Service Dog

    cute german shepherd dog

    apollospack / Instagram

    The first Seeing Eye Dog was named Buddy, a 1920s-era German Shepherd dog. Buddy’s success in guiding his blind owner gave way to the service dog movement.

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  • 11 of 16

    They Don’t Let Their Family Out of Their Sight

    cute german shepherd dog
    Kia Sedighi / Flickr / used with permission

    They might be curled up at your feet or lying down a distance away, but German Shepherds are always watching over you. It’s in their nature to protect their families.

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  • 12 of 16

    They’re All Ears

    cute german shepherd puppy

    imlinkthegsd / Instagram

    Perhaps the most notable feature in German Shepherds is their adorable pointy ears. When they’re born, a German Shepherd’s ears are usually relaxed and floppy. They perk up as they grow older, making them look extra tall and important.

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  • 13 of 16

    Coloring Can Vary

    cute german shepherd puppy

    ambling_onward / Instagram

    Some common German Shepherd colors are black, tan, or a mix of the two. Beautiful all black and all white German Shepherds are out there, too.

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  • 14 of 16

    German Shepherds Aren’t Always Serious

    cute german shepherd puppy chewing on plastic water bottle
    Gizelle_photo / Flickr / used with permission

    Though they have important work to do, these dogs can be goofballs. They’re always ready for a romp in the yard or a game of fetch.

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  • 15 of 16

    Just Add Water

    cute german shepherd puppy swimming

    yellibellu / Instagram

    Even though German Shepherds weren’t bred to swim, they are naturals in the water. This breed is inherently athletic and courageous—nothing can stop them, not even water. Before they’re pros, they might need a doggy life jacket to be safe.

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  • 16 of 16

    They’re Full of Love

    cute german shepherd puppy

    gsdstagram / Instagram

    When it comes down to it, German Shepherds are bursting at the seams with love. Though they are protective, that doesn’t mean they’re not friendly. It may take a few seconds for you to earn their trust (let them sniff you before petting), but prepare for a goofy lifelong pal once you do.

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  1. German Shepherd Dog. American Kennel Club.

  2. Top 10 Facts About German Shepherd Dogs. American Kennel Club.