German shepherd dogs are, as their name implies, a breed that originated in Germany. They were developed beginning in the late 1800s by crossing various herding breeds. The breed was subjected to stringent selection and it progressed quickly. In the United Kingdom, the dogs are known as Alsatians because fanciers of the breed there wanted to protect the dog from anti-German sentiments after World War I.
German shepherd dogs were introduced in the United States by soldiers returning home from World War I. The breed caught the public eye because of movie stars Strong heart and later, Rin Tin Tin. By World War II German shepherd dogs were the military breed of choice. The first guide dogs were German shepherd dogs. Today, they are one of the most popular dogs in America. In 1999, German shepherd dogs were third on the American Kennel Club’s list of the Top 50 Breeds.
The German shepherd dog is a herding breed known for its courage, loyalty, and guarding instincts. This breed makes an excellent guard dog, police dog, military dog, guide dog for the blind and search and rescue dog. For many families, the German shepherd is also a treasured family pet.
Avoid heavy work and impact to the joints until your dog is at least one to two years old. Regular walks and exercise will help the German Shepherd Dog stay in shape, but also maintain a routine. Early socialization with other people and dogs will help your German Shepherd Dog avoid behavioral problems.
Regular vet check-ups are important for all dogs, but some German Shepherds may have GI tract and hip issues, so check-ups are especially important. Staying up to date with x-rays and being aware of possible stomach irritants will help your GSD stay healthy. German Shepherds have an acute sense of smell, so they often smell hydrants, fences, and garbage while on walks. Keep an eye on what they pick up with their mouths while they are sniffing around to avoid your dog getting sick or injured.
Select food wisely. Stay within the age range for your dog, as well as watching for allergens, energy level, and weight. Every dog is different and there isn’t a right type of food or method, but your veterinarian should be able to answer questions and address concerns that you may have.
Its hair and coat needs a lot of grooming. A GSD should usually be brushed 3-4 times every week. This will keep its fur shiny and loose hair free. Brushing is a must for your GSD as it sheds hair throughout the year and its undercoat is blown twice a year.