German Shepherds are very active and need an owner who will give them a job to do. Daily walks are the minimum, but a German Shepherd thrives when he can be busy and active. Dogs who have too much idle time tend to become destructive, chewing on things and digging holes in the yard.
German Shepherds can also be very protective of their families, so socializing is important from a young age. Your GSD needs to know that aggressive behavior is not acceptable, and he needs to learn how to handle strange people and situations.
German Shepherds are among the most intelligent breeds of dogs, ranking up there with Border Collies. They are easy to train because they can pick up on things quickly. Our GSD knew how to sit before I ever officially trained her to it. They are also very intuitive and sensitive to their owner's emotional state. If you have a home with a lot of negativity or high emotions, you may find your GSD becoming tense, shy or high strung.
If you are considering adding a German Shepherd to your family, careful research and time spent with an actual GSD are important to be sure you know what to expect and can provide the right environment for these beautiful, insanely smart dogs.