Close

Breed Info

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.

Children Friendly

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 smart and easy to train.

Loyal and Protective

The well-bred German Shepherd Dog is stable, sensible, intelligent, quick to learn, loyal and protective of his home and property. It’s a good idea to be extremely selective when choosing a puppy.

Activity Level

A breed of exceptional stamina, the German Shepherd Dog was initially bred to trot all day long. Though relatively calm and quiet indoors, this breed needs lots of outdoor exercise to maintain condition.

Family Dog

German shepherd dogs should be carefully socialized from a young age and be obedience trained. They should be with the family and continually exposed under supervision to people and other pets around the neighborhood.

25 in (64 cm)
10 - 12 years
75 - 95 pounds

Origin

One of the most versatile and talented breeds in the world today, the German Shepherd Dog has been valued in police work, tracking, guiding the blind, drug and bomb detection, search and rescue, herding, avalanche rescue and so much more. In the 1890s, Captain Max von Stephanitz, a German cavalry officer, envisioned a superb and versatile herding dog and began a breeding program made up of the best German farm dogs available. He succeeded beyond all expectations. The German Shepherd Dog first came to North America in the early 1900s and got a huge boost in popularity here after World War I when Rin Tin Tin’s movie exploits captured the attention of the public.

Health

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.

Care

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.

Feeding

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.

Grooming

Its hair and coat needs a lot of groomingA 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.