The German Shepherd Dog breed is probably the most famous in America for many good reasons. The breed is a smartly intelligent and one of the exceptional working dog breeds. His courage and dedication cannot be matched. He is an astonishingly versatile breed, amazingly outstanding at doing anything he learns. The assistance work and guide for the handicapped, herding, military and police service, rescue and search, competitive obedience, drug detection and, last but not least, faithful and loyal companion.
Dog Breed Group: Herding Dogs
Height: 1 foot, 10 inches to 2 feet, 2 inches tall at the shoulder
Weight: 75 to 95 pounds
Life Span: 10 to 14 years
The dog breed is well-known as the Alsatian in parts of Europe and in England as well. He belongs to the top 10 most famous dog breeds in the United States, and most probably one of the well-recognized dog breeds of the world. The breed owes his distinction’s part to a small pup that Corporal Lee Duncan plucked him in France from a bullet and bomb-riddled breeding kennel during World War I.
Duncan came back to his hometown of Los Angeles along with a puppy at the end of the war. He trained and changed the dog into one of the most famous breeds with the name of Rin Tin Tin in showbiz. That dog breed made his appearance in many movies. The dog breed has held a lot of tasks other than a movie star. This versatile dog breed deals with a lot of tasks such as running after criminals, leading the blind, serving in the police and military, detecting illegal substances, visiting the sick, and herding stock.
This dog was the search and rescue breed crawling through the World Trade Center’s destruction after the terrorist attacks of 9/11, searching for survivors and comforting families and rescue workers. He may personify some of the greatest characteristics of dogs, but the breed isn’t for everybody. He was initially made to drive flocks all day. This dog is a great-energy breed that requires a plenty of exercise and activity. If you don’t let him have this, he may show his frustration and boredom in a way you dislike, such as chewing and barking.
The dog breed has an unresponsive and at times suspicious nature as well. He is great as a watchdog but not the type of family dog breed who will make visitors feel at home. But if you introduce the breed to a lot of different people and situations starting in puppyhood, he will learn to adjust to new circumstances and people. If you are about to buy a puppy, you will have a little bit different type of German Shepherd dog depending on whether you select a German versus an American breeder.
American breeders generally target to make dog show champions. The breeders create puppies more for that typical appearance of German Shepherd than for those typical talents of German Shepherd dog breed. According to the fans, the American-bred German Shepherd is much calmer than his German equivalent, but according to the critics, this dog breed has lost some of his talents for working conventional jobs of German Shepherd dog and is more vulnerable to problems of behavior like the anxiety of separation.
On the other hand, breeders from Germany create German Shepherd for his working abilities as well as to match the traditional appearance of the breed. German Shepherd dog has to pass various tests to prove he measures up to the mental and physical benchmarks the breed is well-known for before he has creation in Germany. German Shepherd Dog that belongs to Germany has the tendency to possess a more driven and energetic personality.
Need to Know about German Shepherd Dog
German Shepherd is not for those who every now then remain away from home for too long. When he stays home alone, he can become bored or anxious, and may show his worry in a way you dislike such as chewing, barking, and digging.
He is an intelligent and active dog breed. He must remain busy playing, learning, and working. Daily exercise, both mental and physical is a must.
German Shepherd may be suspicious and unresponsive to strangers. Introduce your puppy to a lot of places, experiences, people, and situations to raise a well-behaved and social dog. Starting with puppy classes, Obedience training is crucial for making him habitual of other dogs and people.
This dog sheds a lot, you will need to brush him several times a week and also purchase a good-quality vacuum.
In order to housetrain a puppy, crate training is not only a brilliant way it also assists to teach him to remain happy and calm when he is not with his owner. It is absolutely crucial for your German Shepherd that at times suffers from the anxiety of separation, or extreme anxiety when he is alone.
The breed has a great reputation a phenomenal watchdog but you should never chain the German Shepherd dog just to stand guard. It surely leads to aggression and frustration. He enjoys living indoors with his family. He also needs access to a big yard with a strong fence where he is able to burn off some of his energy naturally.
In order to have a healthy dog, never purchase a puppy from a puppy mill, breeder who is irresponsible or pet store. Always find a breeder who has a reputation to test his breeding dogs to ensure they are free of inheritable diseases that they may pass onto the puppies, and that they possess sound temperaments or natures.
German Shepherd Dog History
The dog is a comparatively new breed, way back to 1899. The breed has his existence to a man named Captain Max von Stephanitz who had a target to make a German breed that would be entirely different as a herding dog from other breeds. The farmers in Germany as well as in the whole of Europe used to depend on dogs to protect and drive their herds few centuries before Stephanitz came along.
Some dogs in that era were heroic for their capabilities. Sheepherders would move for days to breed their females to a noticeable gender. However, as Stephanitz noticed, nobody had created the herding dog breeds of the area into a recognizable breed in 1898. Right after von Stephanitz got retirement from the life of military; he started his unforgettable career which would prove to be his hunger. He experimented with dog breeding to make a powerful herding dog from Germany. The man with passion studied British techniques for breeding, observed their outstanding herding dogs. He also traveled throughout Germany, observing German-type herding dogs and paying visits at dog shows.
Von Stephanitz found a lot of good dog breeds with herding instincts that were intelligent or athletic, or capable. He could not see a dog that equipped with all those characteristics. On a day in 1899, he was attending a dog show when a dog with an appearance like wolfish captured his eye. He straight away purchased a dog, named Hektor Linksrhein. Later his name changed to Horand v Grafeth, the powerfully strong body and intelligence of the dog impressed von Stephanitz a great deal that he desired a society. The Verein fur Deutsche Schaferhunde found a dog out of descents of Horand. Although he wanted his dog to do work as a herding dog, von Stephanitz realized the requirement for such dogs fading as Germany turned more and more highly developed.
He was resolved that his dog would remain as a working dog, and he made a decision that future of the dog could be in military service and police work. Von Stephanitz persuaded the government of Germany to utilize the dog breed military connections. While World War I was going on, the German Shepherd dog gave his dedicated services as a messenger, Red Cross dog, guard, rescuer, sentry, and supply carrier. Although the breed had moved to the U.S. before the war, it was not until the war that the dog turned out to be famous in the United States.
Allied servicemen noticed intelligence and courage of the dog, and these soldiers took a plenty of dogs home with them. An American corporal belongs to Los Angeles plucked one of these dogs was a five day old from the bomb-riddled kennel in France. He took that puppy his home, provided him with training, and made him one of the most recognizable stars of Hollywood. The breed became popular as “Rin Tin Tin” that made his appearance in 26 movies and the breed got a huge fan club in America. Although the German dogs impressed the Allies, they were not so pleased with German roots of the dog.
The changed the name of the breed was changed by the AKC (American Kennel Club) to the Shepherd Dog in 1917. The name of the dog breed was changed again as the Alsatian Wolf Dog in England. In 1931, the American Kennel Club turned back to utilizing the German Shepherd’s original name and the BKC (British Kennel Club) did the same and it remained until 1977.
Von Stephanitz remained involved alongside the progress of the dog. Early 1922, some of the characteristics that were growing in the dogs alarmed him like a tendency to tooth decay and poor nature. He created a high-class control system. He required passing various tests of the breed’s temperament, athleticism, intelligence, and good health before any single German Shepherd was made. On the other hand, American breeding of German Shepherd got nearly controlled a great deal. The dog breeds were created to win dog shows in the U.S, and breeders preferably worked a lot on appearance and way of moving or on stride of the dog.
German and American created German Shepherds started dramatically to separate after World War II. At one point, military and police departments of the U.S. started to import German Shepherd for working, because German Shepherds that were developed at home weren’t passing performance tests and inheritable conditions of health troubled them. Some breeders from America in the last few decades have started to prefer back on abilities of the dog rather than only looks, importing dogs with working abilities from Germany to add to their program of breeding. It is possible now to get German Shepherd dog that are created in America grows up to the reputation of dog breed with capabilities of working.
German Shepherd Dog Personality
The German Shepherd has got unresponsive but not often aggressive personality. He is a quite reserved dog and does not make friends at once. But once he makes friends, he is pretty loyal to them. He is approachable and relaxed with his family, but when sees any threats, he can be protective and strong which makes him a phenomenal watchdog. He is smartly intelligent and well trainable dog and thrives on getting any task to deal with.
The German Shepherd can get training to do almost everything. The thing he doesn’t like is to remain home alone for too long. He requires companionship, exercise and the opportunity to use his intelligence while working or he will become frustrated and bored.
If a German Shepherd does not get exercise and his family ignores, he may show his pent-up energy in a way you dislike like chewing and barking. He requires early socialization as every dog needs. He needs exposure to a lot of different sights, people, experiences, and sounds when he is young. The socialization assists to make sure that your puppy grows up to be a great companion dog.
German Shepherd Dog Health
You can find the German Shepherd normally fairly healthy. But just like all breeds, he can also have certain health conditions. Not every German Shepherd will have any of these diseases, but it is really crucial to have awareness of each of them if you are about to buy this breed.
Before getting to buy a German Shepherd, it is crucial to investigate the health concerns that affect both parents of the puppy. Both the parents must have clearances of health from the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals for hip dysplasia, hypothyroidism, elbow dysplasia and von Willebrand’s disease from Auburn University for thrombopathia. And certifying that the eyes are normal from the Canine Eye Registry Foundation (CERF), you can also have health clearances through visiting OFA web site (offa.org).
- Hip Dysplasia
- Elbow Dysplasia
- Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus
- Degenerative Myelopathy
- Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency
Note: This health information is all about providing our visitors with a type of general knowledge. In order to be aware of any health issues or any diseases and conditions, do consult your veterinarian.
German Shepherd Dog Care
The German Shepherd initially got creation to drive flocks all day, he is developed for action. Having a great deal of energy means he requires burning off with exercise on daily basis. If he remains alone at home for too long without exercise, you can expect trouble. Inactivity and boredom may guide him to behavior issues like barking, digging, and chewing. He desperately requires mental and physical exercise. German Shepherds is barker like many herding dogs.
His barking is not really a big issue but it may be if the breed feels boredom. The breed loves to chew and his strong jaws can damage most materials. If he gets the wrong thing to chew, he can destroy his teeth, swallow anything which makes them ill or even choke. Just save your dog breed and all your precious belongings by giving him safe toys and bones that he can chew, so he can please himself when his owner is not playing with him.
German Shepherd Dog Feeding
Recommended daily amount: 3 to 4 cups of good quality dry food every day that is divided into two meals.
NOTE: How much your adult German Shepherd eats, depends on his size, build, age, metabolism and activity level. The dogs are individuals, just like a human, and they do not want the same amount of food. In simple words, a highly agile and active dog will, of course, need more than a dog who is a couch potato. When you buy the quality food for your dog also makes a difference — the better the food for your dog, the further it will go towards nourishing the dog and the less of it you will need to shake into your dog’s bowl.
You should discover whether your German Shepherd gets overweight by utilizing test of the hands-on. Keep your hands on him, thumbs through the spine and your fingers going down the sides. You may feel his ribs under a muscle’s layer. If you are able to feel his ribs, it means he is too thin. If he is unnoticeable under rolls of the fat, the breed requires going on a diet. However, you will require taking specific care with exercising and feeding a German Shepherd when he is a puppy.
The breed grows quite rapidly between the four and seven months age which makes him prone to bone disorders. He does really well on a great-quality, low-calorie food which retains him from developing too fast. Never allow your puppy jump, run, or play on solid surfaces such as footpath until he at least becomes 2 years old as well as his joints are fully developed. But it is really good for the puppy to play on grass.
Allowing your dog breed to eat too much and also allowing him to pack on the pounds may bring about joint issues as well as other conditions of the health. Confine treats, let him stay active, and provide him with meals regularly rather than giving him access to food at all times.
German Shepherd Dog Children and Other Pets
If he is gets training properly and has got a lot of introduction to children, particularly at an early age, he is a phenomenal companion for the kids. Actually, some say the breed is cross between a cop and a babysitter. Both are gentle with kids and protective of them and his family. He is a big dog may bump mistakenly a small kid or toddler. He is true to his nature which is reserved. The breed is not very friendly with children who are unknown to him, but he is normally reliable.
The German Shepherd is also able to live with other pets and dogs with ease, as long as he learned to do so at an early age. Introducing an adult German Shepherd to other pets with a household can become more complicated if the breed is not habitual of getting on with other cats or dogs. You may require hiring a professional trainer to assist or have a suggestion from the rescue company if that is where you needed the adult German Shepherd.
Males: Stand 24 to 26 inches
Females: Stand 22 to 24 inches
Weight: 75 to 95 pounds