They breed these dogs to be high energy (translated as high maintenance) for the very demanding sport of schutzhund and police work. This is a very legitimate pursuit, and necessary for the production of police and military dogs.
However, let us be realistic, for every puppy produced that would excel at this sport or as a working dog, these breeders produce several cull dogs for which they have to find homes. Some of these breeders sell these cull dogs to the unsuspecting public. Invariably they will sell these dogs to families that are ill equipped to deal with a nervous, high-strung dog that must be occupied or they become destructive. These are the very same dogs that we see time again being boarded at our kennels.
Our shepherds while capable at excelling at schutzhand and police work are even tempered. They are bred to be relaxed and calm. Our shepherds are happy to lie down next to you while you watch television or if asked to herd livestock or play fetch. They are focused on you and your activities. Their energy level will match your family's activities. This is what we believe is the correct shepherd temperament, which is a pleasure to live with.
We had a European breeder come out to our kennels to try to show us how superior his European lines were to our American lines. He brought out his prize stud. This dog was released from his crate and took off running around our property. After 30-minutes of this man trying catch his prize import to demonstrate him to us, we told him that we had to get back to work. The man finally caught his dog and left. We never saw him again.
Our dogs never run off from us. Our dogs are true shepherds and as such, they are herding dogs. They herd us by observing us, they love us, and we become their sole purpose in life. For example, while at dog shows, we exercise our dogs off leash several times a day. We usually find a big open field so that they can run and play. A competitor once asked us why we would take the chance of losing one of our valuable show dogs by letting them off lead. I responded that we are not taking any risks because if our dogs wander too far, all we have to do is call their name and they come to us at a full run. Our competitors exercise their dogs at the shows in small pens because their dogs will run off and not return.
We had another schutzhund trainer come out to purchase one of our puppies. He had seen one of our dogs at a schutzhund event and he was quite impressed with its working abilities.