The German Shepherd is a breed of medium to large-sized working dog that originated in Germany. In the English language, the breed’s officially recognized name is German Shepherd Dog.
So let’s learn about German Shepherds.
Male: 75-95 lbs.
Female: 75-95 lbs.
Height at Withers:
Male: 25 in.
Female: 23 in.
There are many reasons why German Shepherds stand in the front rank of canine royalty, but experts say their defining attribute is character. The loyalty, courage, confidence, ability to learn commands for many tasks, and the willingness to put their life on the line in defense of loved ones.
German Shepherds will be gentle family pets and steadfast guardians.
Nutrition and Diet For The German Shepherd
High-quality dog food appropriate for the dogs age, puppy, adult, or senior, will have all the nutrients the breed needs. Table scraps can cause digestive upset, so only give them sparingly, if at all, especially avoiding cooked bones and foods with high fat content.
Small pieces of biscuit or the dog’s kibble can be used as treats for training. If you are feeding a high-quality food, vitamin and mineral supplements should not be necessary, although adding small quantities of yogurt, cooked vegetables, or eggs to the food can be beneficial.
Unfortunately, the German Shepherd is a dog that has been bred indiscriminately and as a result a considerable number of hereditary diseases have developed in the dog’s lineage.
Some of the common health concerns that occur in these dogs include hip dyspepsia, elbow dyspepsia, epilepsy, corneal inflammation, digestive difficulty, blood disorders, bloating, eczema, flea allergies, dwarfism, endocrine pancreatic insufficiency, degenerative myelitis, Von Willebrand’s disease and perianal fistulas.
Many of these conditions can be completely avoided by tracing the lineage of a bitch and sire before breeding them. Pet owners should always ask for evidence of a dog’s parental lineage prior to purchasing any purebred puppy.
Personality Of A German Shepherd
German shepherd dogs get along well with children and other pets if raised with them, but in keeping with their guarding instincts, they tend to be leery of strangers.
The breed is considered to be smart and easy to train.
Some poorly bred German shepherd dogs can be high-strung and nervous. Coupled with poor socialization and inadequate training, over guarding and aggressive behavior are risks.
So if you do adopt or purchase an adult, just be aware of this and keep it in mind.
Does German Shepherds Shed
The German Shepherd is commonly referred to by lovers of the breed as the German Shedder because this dog sheds hair constantly. Shedding an average amount of hair throughout the year, the German Shepherd is also a heavy shedder seasonally.
In an effort to reduce the amount of hair that this breed leaves throughout the home it should be brushed daily. Daily grooming should also include ear checks and claw trimming. German shepherd owners should be sure not to over bathe this breed however as this can result in oil depletion from the skin which can exacerbate skin conditions such as eczema.
Grooming And Bathing The German Shepherd
There are three recognized coats on the German Shepherd dog, the double coat, the plush coat and the long haired coat. All of these coats can come in a variety of colors including liver and white and blue but most commonly black and tan, sable and all black.
Liver, white and blue German Shepherds are not recognized as breed standard dogs and are cause for eliminating a dog from the show ring. White German Shepherds are considered to be a completely different breed. In few instances a type called a Panda Shepherd is recognized, this is a piebald colored dog that has 35% white coloration and the remaining coat is black and tan. The interesting thing about the Panda Shepherd is that their is no White Shepherd in the dog’s blood line.
If You Have Allergies
If allergies or the presence of dog hair in the home are a concern for you or any of your family members then the German Shepherd is not the dog for you.
Regardless of how often you brush this breed, shedding is inevitable and this is something that should be seriously considered prior to bringing home a German Shepherd. One of the biggest reasons that this dog breed finds itself in the shelter is because they “shed too much.”
Daily brushing will greatly reduce shedding and dog hair in the home but any dog owner should expect a reasonable amount of dog hair in the home.
The German Shepherd Dog (Deutshe Schäferhund) descends from the family of German herding dogs that, until the late 19th century, varied in type from district to district.
The first German Shepherd was presented at Hanover in 1882 after being bred by a number of breeders in Karlsruhe, Germany. The objective when breeding the German Shepherd was to produce a dog that was as handsome as it was responsive and obedient. A number of different breeds were used in the creation of the shepherd including a variety of local farm and herding dogs. The sheer variety in coat length and texture resulted in variation along the shepherd lines as they were developed. Originally the shepherd had longer hair and in 1889 the first short haired shepherd was presented in Berlin.
The first dog recognized as a German Shepherd dog was named Horan and was registered in April 1899 by Captain Max von Stephanitz. The German Shepherd continued to be shown as a wire-haired and a long haired breed up until 1915. These days however, only the shorter haired German Shepherd is shown. This breed was brought from Germany to the United States and in 1907 the first American German shepherd was shown.
Captain Max von Stephanitz, made it his mission to develop the ideal German herder. Von Stephanitz and like-minded breeders crossed various strains from the northern and central districts of Germany, resulting in the ancestors of today’s German Shepherd Dog, also known as GSD.
Von Stephanitz co-founded the world’s first club devoted to GSDs and spent 35 years promoting and refining the breed. Today, the GSD’s versatility is so thoroughly deployed in the performance of myriad tasks that it is easy to forget that the breed was originally created to herd sheep. The GSD’s now-famous qualities—intelligence, agility, speed, stealth, and the overall air of firm authority—were forged not in the police academy but in the sheep pasture.
GSDs became popular in the United States in the early 1900s, thanks in part to the adventures of canine movie stars Rin-Tin-Tin and Strong heart. The GSD is among those German breeds, the Dachshund is another, that suffered from anti-German sentiment during and after the world wars. In World War I–era Britain, the breed was referred to as the Alsatian, a name many British dog lovers still prefer.
With the rise of modern livestock management and the decline of herding as a canine occupation, von Stephanitz shrewdly promoted his breed as an ideal K-9 worker. The GSD is today the preferred dog for police and military units the world over.
The German Shepherd At A Glance
Male: 75-95 lbs.
Female: 75-95 lbs.
Height at Withers:
Male: 25 in.
Female: 23 in.
Exercise Requirements: 40 minutes/day
Energy Level: Average
Longevity Range: 10-12 yrs.
Tendency to Bark: Low
Herding, Guard dog
Characteristics: Double coat
Colors: Most colors, other than white, are permissible
Overall Grooming Needs: Moderate
AKC Classification: Herding
UKC Classification: Herding Dog
Is The German Shepherd For Me
When choosing a dog breed it is important to ensure that you pick the right dog breed. This means not only that the dog suits your preferences but also that you are able to meet the dog’s needs.
There high trainability, loyalty, and commitment make them a great choice for anyone to like. They are, overall, at the top of the list for a dog to fit any ones agenda.
The Shepherd does not give affection lightly. They are known as a one man dog due to their loyalty and protection to their owner or caretaker.
Happy Tails, Happy Trails!