German Shepherd Dog: If you were told to list the first ten dog breeds off the top of your head, it’s very likely that the German Shepherd breed would be among them. This is because German Shepherds have reigned supreme as one of America’s most-loved dogs for years. They are loyal, intelligent, strong, and fearless. They are also hard workers and fierce protectors. It’s no wonder they are so popular.
In this article, I will tell you all you need to know about this amazing breed. From where they come from to what to do once you introduce them to your home, you will get all the information you desire. You will be a German Shepherd expert in no time!
German Shepherd Stats at a glance
10 to 12 years.
Female: 22–32 kg, Male: 30–40 kg.
Female: 55–60 cm, Male: 60–65 cm
Date of Origin:
Shepherding Dog, Wolf-type Dog
$300 - $900 USD
Sheep Herding, Guarding, Police Dog
Black, Black & Tan, Sable, Red & Black, Grey, Black & Silver
Obedient, Intelligent, Curious, Alert, Loyal, Confident, Watchful, Courageous
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German Shepherd Characteristics
- 1.Adapts Well To Apartment Living
- 2.Good For Novice Owners
- 3.Sensitivity Level
- 4.Tolerates Being Alone
- 5.Tolerates Cold Weather
- 6.Tolerates Hot Weather
- 1.Affectionate With Family
- 2.Incredibly Kid Friendly Dogs
- 3.Dog Friendly
- 4.Friendly Toward Strangers
- 1.Easy To Train
- 3.Potential For Mouthiness
- 4.Prey Drive
- 5.Tendency To Bark Or Howl
- 6.Wanderlust Potential
Health and Grooming
- 1.Amount Of Shedding
- 2.Drooling Potential
- 3.Easy To Groom
- 4.General Health
- 5.Potential For Weight Gain
- 1.Energy Level
- 3.Exercise Needs
- 4.Potential For Playfulness
German Shepherd Pictures
German Shepherd Care
German Shepherd Health
The biggest things to look out for when concerned about the health of a German Sheppard are:.
- 1.Hip and elbow dysplasia: Dysplasia is a big concern because it is hereditary in big breeds like German Shepherds. Have them regularly exercised and checked by a veterinarian to catch signs of this problem before they get too bad.
- 2.Coronary Heart Disease (CHD): Coronary heart disease is a big problem in German Shepherds if they are not given the proper care, diet, and exercise. This issue is most common when a dog gets overweight and its body can't support the excess pounds.
- 3.Bloat: Bloat is a fatal condition that can develop quite suddenly. It causes swelling in the dog's abdomen and is detrimental to their health. Contact a vet immediately if you begin to see signs of this condition. You have to catch it early-on to treat it and save your dog's life.
Some minor concerns:
- Skin allergies
- Gastric torsion
- Hot spots
These can be easily addressed at the vet, and do not post a large risk to your dog's life. They are important to get addressed quickly, but most of these problems show up later in your dog's life.
In order for your pup to have the best life, combine regular exercise with a healthy diet and regular visits to the veterinarian. Additionally, show them love and affection every day, and refrain from chaining them up or restricting their movement which causes stress and aggression. A happy dog is a healthy dog, and a healthy dog will live a full and memorable life.
German Shepherd Grooming
German Shepherds have thick, fluffy hair, and it gets everywhere if not maintained. A common nickname for these pups is "German shedder", and for good reason. Brush two to three times a week to keep their shedding at bay, especially in the summertime..
Try to only bathe your German Shepherd when they really need it, such as after a rough play in the mud. Bathing too often can wash away the oils on their fur that they need to stay shiny and healthy. German Shepherds are generally clean on their own, and they don't produce an offensive smell.
Clip your furry friend's nails once a month, and check their ears for dirt and grime. If their ears are kept dirty, it can cause infection and ear discomfort. Talk to your vet to find the best cleaning solutions for their ears and use a soft cotton ball to gently wipe away hard to reach particles of dirt.
To keep their teeth healthy, give them plenty of items to chew. They love to gnaw on anything their strong jaws can get a hold of, so keep them plenty busy with dog toys and bones. This will keep their teeth healthy and save your favorite pair of shoes.
German Shepherd Food/Nutrition
German Shepherds need a hearty diet.
When shopping for dog food in stores, aim for kibble made for large, active dog breeds. Steer clear of dog food with lots of fillers such as corn and animal by-products. These will contribute to your pet's weight gain and hold very little nutritional value.
Because German Shepherds are predisposed to bone disorders, try to keep them on a low-calory, high-protein diet. This will support healthy muscle growth and sustain their energy levels.
Aside from feeding them the right food, make sure to exercise your dog regularly so they don't develop joint problems and rapid weight gain. Lazy German Shepherds are not happy German Shepherds.
A German Shepherd's nutritional needs vary by the age of your dog. For the best advice for your specific canine, consult their veterinarian.
Do not feed German Shepherds, or any dog for that matter, table scraps. This leads to bad behavior, weight gain, and upset stomachs. If you must feed your dog from the table, avoid foods high in fat and only indulge in this very sparingly.
German Shepherd Fun Facts
- The first dog to lead the blind was a German Shepherd. An organization called the "Seeing Eye" was founded in 1929 to train dogs to aid the blind. The first dog they trained was a German Shepherd!
- There was a sport created just for German Shepherds! It's called Schutzhund, and it was used to separate trainable shepherds from the untrainable. It tested their natural abilities and helped people select the best dogs for certain jobs.
- German Shepherds hold second place for the most popular dogs in America. They are also the third most intelligent breed.
- There are many famous German Shepherd war heroes. Among them is a pup named Filax of Lewanno.
- German Shepherds are often featured in movies, such as "White Fang" and "Brawn of the North"!
German Shepherd Appearance
German Shepherd Temperament and Personality
German Shepherds are known to shower loved ones with affection. To begin with, however, they are often quite laid-back and reserved. Once they get to know you, their true personalities shine through. You just have to put forth the effort and give them time.
Common personality traits of a German Shepherd are:
- Strong work ethic
German Shepherds never back down from a fight. They are courageous and devoted, and they will protect you from any danger that comes your way. They have a steadfast love that only grows stronger over the years.
German Shepherds are quick-witted and smart. They learn fast and retain information through repetition and proper training. They pick up on emotion very well also, so if you are good to them, they will be able to adapt to situations where you need them most.
German Shepherds are hard workers. If you put them to a task, they will see it through to the end. This is why they make such good police dogs and service animals. They respond to commands as quickly as you give them, and they follow through with precision.
German Shepherds do not like being left alone. They get bored and lonely very quickly because their brains work so fast 24/7. They are an extroverted breed of dog, and enjoy being put to work, loved on, and trained. If you give them just a few hours of your day, they will be the happiest pup around. Play with them outside, teach them some new tricks, and shower them with pets and cuddles. Their wagging tail is a great sign that they appreciate the attention you give them, and they will reward you with obedience, loyalty, and love.
German Shepherd History
German Shepherds were first bred into existence in the late 1800s. They were fine-tuned into the breed we know today by 1914. They are believed to have been the most ardently bred dog in existence due to the demand for a perfect dog breed in Germany at the time.
An organization in Germany from 1899 called the Verein fur Deutsche Scharferhunde SV was formed for this exact purpose. They were searching for a dog that was the best athlete, the most dedicated shepherd, and the fastest learner.
German Shepherds were introduced to the United States after the First World War when soldiers brought them home. They were so popular in Germany that both British and American soldiers wanted to bring them to their countries in order to spread the dog breed across the world.
A famous German Shepherd named Rin Tin Tin was adopted by an American corporal and taken to the US after surviving a bombing during the war, and this attributed to its popularity in America as well.
German Shepherd Highlights
- German Shepherds need to be kept busy. They are natural working dogs, so regular exercise is necessary to keep their temperaments at ease and their bodies healthy.
- German Shepherds have hearts full of love. Please don’t plan on introducing these canines to your home if you are away for long periods of time.
- German Shepherds are fiercely loyal but can be aloof and apprehensive to strangers. They want to protect you and your loved ones. Make sure to introduce new people to them slowly and calmly.
- German Shepherds are fluffy. They shed fast, and they shed often. Regular grooming is an absolute must to keep their hair at bay. You may also want to invest in a strong vacuum.
- Never chain up any dog and leave them outside. This is cruel for any animal, but especially a German Shepherd. They have adoring hearts, and being left to the elements will leave them lonely and depressed. This also leads to negative emotions and greater levels of aggression. It will also hinder their health and overall growth because these dogs love having a wide space to run and be active.
- Adopt, don’t shop. If you are looking for a specific dog breed, please ask around for dogs that need a loving home. Hundreds of loving animals get abandoned every week. Browse local shelters for your favorite fur babies.
German Shepherd FAQ
Are German Shepherds dangerous?
As with any dog, German Shepherds act as they are trained. German Shepherds can be the gentlest companion or the fiercest watchdog, but they are only dangerous to pet owners if they are treated poorly and proper training is neglected.
Is a German Shepherd a good family dog?
If trained and treated with love, German Shepherds will return the favor with adoration and obedience. They are faithful and gentle, and they can be a perfect addition to any family.
Should I get a male or female German Shepherd?
Females tend to be a bit more tolerant of strangers and kids. Males, however, can be better guard dogs due to their generally larger size. It is really a matter of preference.
Are German Shepherds kind to kids?
German Shepherds are insurmountably affectionate, and they are very gentle around kids if they are introduced at a young age. Their tolerance levels are among the best in dog breeds, and they are incredibly energetic and friendly. They are also sturdy, so they can handle roughhousing with older children.
Do German Shepherds bark a lot?
German Shepherds are quite mouthy, but this can be a good thing. They will bark at suspicious noises and ward off unwanted visitors if provoked. This just means that they care about your safety and are trying to protect you.
What is the German Shepherd used for?
Because of their off-the-charts intelligence and bravery, German Shepherds make great work dogs. There are records of this breed being trained as police dogs, seeing-eye/service animals, herding, search-and-rescue dogs, and military service dogs. They are also wonderful family pets.
How long do German Shepherds live?
German Shepherds live to be approximately 10 to 12 years old. If given a healthy diet and plenty of exercise, however, they can live up to fifteen years.
Are German Shepherds easy to train?
Absolutely! Due to their keen senses and impeccable intelligence, German Shepherds are among the easiest dogs to train.
In Conclusion, German Shepherds are a wonderful addition to any family. You just have to put in the care and effort to give them their best lives.
They will reward you with years of tail wags and toothy grins! I hope this guide has shown you what an amazing breed of dog German Shepherds are, and that it has given you all the information you need to determine if this canine companion is right for you.