Breeders Train German Shepherd Owners To Enhance People's Understanding Of The Breed

German shepherds are an incredibly loyal breed. They are devoted to their owners and would do anything to protect them. However, despite such loyalty and fun personality, they are often misunderstood. People find them intimidating not just for their size but their agility and strength, too. In fact, Union Lake Veterinary Hospital lists German shepherds as one of the most misunderstood breeds, having a “bad reputation” (alongside the American pitbull, rottweiler, and Doberman pinscher). Of course, like any dog, a German shepherd’s behavior depends on its owner, but one group of breeders in Australia is working hard to fight the negative stigma surrounding the breed.  

The Canberra German Shepherd Association aims to change the way people think about German shepherds.


Jenny Kenworthy, one of the founders of the organization, aims to enhance people’s perception of German shepherds – and for that to happen, she believes proper training is the key.

The process, however, isn’t so easy.

She thinks that the biggest obstacle in getting people to shift their views is irresponsible and/or uneducated owners. Not training the dogs properly can cause them to misbehave, become aggressive, and endanger others.

She said:

“What you are dealing with when you are training is you’ve got the dog and you’ve got the owner sometimes two completely different personalities. Sometimes what you’ve got to do is work with the owner to understand how their dog works and then getting them to combine as a team.”

So, every Wednesday night, she goes with about 30 dogs, together with their owners, to undergo training.

The club has members who pay to go through the complicated process of teaching their dogs to sit, drop, stay, and behave properly. They are also taught that praise is key.

In addition to training, Jenny also pays attention to the health of German shepherds. They have poor hind legs and testing their hips should help improve not just their abilities but their health, too.

Each year, Jenny also breeds a litter of puppies. She trains them and makes sure that they are in the best health possible. And she, of course, only gives them to people she knows can take care of them properly.

She shared:

“There are certain requirements, they must come to obedience classes, the dog must be allowed in the house, [you have] got to have time to walk the dog every day, rain hail or shine.”

The Canberra German shepherd Association is highly concerned about backyard breeders. Since they don’t follow the proper breed schemes, they compromise the entire line.

According to Jenny:

“Good breeders won’t use a dog that isn’t genetically sound because what you are doing is you are perpetuating the things that aren’t good and you are passing them on.”

Owning German shepherds means taking on a lot of responsibilities.


You have to be sure you are capable of training them properly. You need to keep them busy and you have to make sure they get to exercise regularly. Without proper training and without giving them something to focus their energy on, these dogs can easily develop behavioral problems.


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