The German Shepherd Is Also Known By These Other Names: Alsatian, Deutscher Schaferhund, GSD.
German Shepherd Dog Temperament
The German Shepherd is among the most intelligent dogs and its versatility and excellence in performing all kinds of activities has ensured its eternal position in the hall of fame when it comes to police functions, search and rescue, military functions such as detection of bombs and even as tourist dogs for blind or visually impaired people. The German Shepherd is a fast learner and due to his innately high intelligence, he is very easy to train.
These dogs are active, alert, and like many other animals with high intelligence and active natures, the German Shepherd needs to be constantly challenged and stimulated both physically and mentally to avoid becoming a nuisance. With that said, this breed of dog makes a great companion and is both brave and loyal. Although some dogs tend to be somewhat aloof and cautious in general, this breed of dog makes a great family pet and generally gets along well with children. From time to time, certain dogs can become a bit dominant around children, which can manifest in the form of the German Shepherd trying to herd them; according to their breeding pedigree.
German Shepherds have excellent watchdog skills and are generally as wary of strangers as they are of other dogs. Early socialization is a must if your dog is going to be around other animals. As far as weather tolerance goes, these dogs are fairly well adapted to both moderate cold and moderate heat, although extremes in either direction don’t go down well.
German Shepherd Grooming and Exercise Requirements
The German Shepherd has a high energy level and therefore this breed of dog requires a lot of exercise on a daily basis. However, his grooming requirements are not as demanding and his coat only requires brushing once or twice a week. The German Shepherd is a moderate to heavy dog and therefore may not be the best choice of dog for allergy sufferers.
German shepherd dog appearance
The German Shepherd’s body is usually longer than it is tall, and in the modern variant, when the animal is standing, the body leans downward as if the dog is about to spring off its hind legs. This was not always the case, the first variant of the German shepherd had a squarer body and less sloped haunches. The tail is usually bushy and hangs in a slight curve.
This breed of dog features an athletic build and ears that stand erect on a head with a pointed muzzle that enhances the dog’s alert appearance. Coat color can vary and includes the following: black, black and tan, and sand. From a show dog’s perspective, white-coated dogs are not permitted, although there has recently been a move to have such specimens represented in their own subcategory.
This breed of dog has a double coat with a thick outer layer made up of close-lying medium-length hair that can be straight or slightly wavy.
Weight: Males: 75 – 100 pounds
Females: 60 – 80 pounds
Height: Males: 24 – 26 inches
Females: 22 – 24 inches
German Shepherd Health Issues/Life Expectancy
This dog breed on average has a lifespan of 10 to 12 years. Due to intense breeding over the years, the German Shepherd suffers from a number of genetic disorders including the following:
Minor Concerns: panosteitis; vWD; degenerative myelopathy; cauda equina; skin allergies; hot spots; neoplasms; pannus; waterfalls; gastric torsion; perianal fistulae; cardiomyopathy; hemangiosarcoma
German Shepherd dogs are also extremely susceptible to a potentially fatal systemic infection from the fungus Aspergillus.
history of the german shepherd dog
The modern German Shepherd is the end result of a concerted effort in the late 19th century to breed the perfect German Sheepdog. Until then, each district had its own sheepdog. To achieve the perfect herding dog, several breeds of dogs from the north were crossed with those from the central district, ultimately resulting in the ancestor of the modern German Shepherd.
The goal of the German Shepherd dog breeding program was to produce a dog that could watch over and control the stray sheep of the rest of the flock without scaring the whole flock. Therefore, unlike cattle herding dogs, it was undesirable for the German Shepherd Dog to show leg bites and it also could not control its wards by barking at them because either of those attributes would likely cause panic throughout the herd.
In essence, the German Shepherd dog breeding program had to create an extremely intelligent, versatile, fast, and independent dog breed that would perform its duties precisely, quickly, calmly, and consistently.
A specialist breed club was established between 1899 and 1901 and was originally based in Stuttgart before moving to Munich and eventually ending up in Berlin. This club was known as Der Verein Fur Schaferhunde (SV for short), and the primary aim and purpose of this organization was to oversee the continued positive development of the German Shepherd dog breed.
A decade after its breeding, the German Shepherd soon became one of the most popular dog breeds in the world. Its rising star in popularity was slightly overshadowed by the occurrence of the two world wars, when it was deemed prudent in both Britain and France to refer to the dog breed as Alsatian or simply Shepherd to avoid the inevitable backlash at the time. associated with the German word incorporated in the name of the dog breed.
Learn more about the dog