I have a GSD, Zoe. http://members.tripod.com/jeepgurlgc/
And I would NEVER have another breed of dog.
I have been around Labs, Retrievers, Cocker Spaniels and lots of other dogs at school (i used to go to school to be a vet tech) and none of them compared to shepherds.
Zoe is very responsive to commands, she listens to everything I say...when we are outside and she is playing with other dogs i can softly say her name to get her attention to slow her down and not be so enthusiastic, or say slow down, easy, no, heel, come, sit, stay and she will do it. No matter what she is doing.
At the dog park....she will play with the other dogs, go run around and then come back every so often to "check on me" to make sure everything is ok and go back playing if I say its ok.
She is protective of me and my house, but not mean by any stretch of the imagination. She will bark if someone comes in my house without knocking...and will stay right with them until she knows my response. I always feel safe walking with her at night too.
She loves to play, cuddle, sleep on my bed (when I let her). She LOOOOVES kids and gets along with smaller dogs (my grandparents cocker spaniels beat up on her) and couldnt live without her.
Don't get me wrong though.
German Shepherds are NOT for everyone. I had one as a kid who saved my life several times (my mom was a coke head and would have wild parties, and greta stayed outside my door...because some of the guys would like to come in my room...and she wouldnt let them in), she was an amazing animal.
Zoe did go through some basic obedience, but we left before we finished because there was a dog that kept attacking her and it made Zoe dog aggressive. I brought her to a specialist who got her and I over it. She has her limits. I dont let her go up to strange dogs or vice versa before I watch both dogs reactions. I warn the other owner that sometimes she CAN be aggressive, I read her signs before anything happens and seperate them before anyone strikes.
Zoe knows her limits...she knows if she does something wrong, she gets in trouble....if she goes over her limit, she gets put into a down stay and I make her stay there until she settles down. I have tried all the other methods of correction, and this one works for her.
Now that I have rambled on forever, and have probabley made very little sense....my point.
I dont recommend a GSD to a first time or novice dog owner.
Also, obedience training is a must. Though go to a trainer with VERY small classes, no more then 7. No matter the size of the building. I dont know if you have AOL or not, but their message board for german shepherds is VERY good. They are some amazing breeders and trainers on that page that can give you wonderful information.
I dont have any other websites other than aol message boards
Sorry about the spelling and grammar mistakes. Not to mention it not making sense.