German Shepherd Dog Breed Information

Typical German Shepherd Dog

At a Glance

Male Height24 - 26 inches
Female Height22 - 24 inches
Male Weight66 - 88 pounds
Female Weight49 - 71 pounds
SizeMedium
Colors
HypoallergenicNo
PersonalityAlert, Brave, Confident, Intelligent, Loyal, Protective,
Lifespan9 - 13 years

Introduction

The German Shepherd is one of the most popular breeds in the United States. German Shepherds are bred for their intelligence and working ability. Although they are herding dog, they are now primarily used as working dogs and are popular with law enforcement, search and rescue.They are often put to work as disability assistance dogs.

History

As far as dog breeds are concerned the German Shepherd is a relatively new on the scene. The breed arose in Germany in 1899 from various attempts to standardize the herding breed in the country. Early attempts to find a standard failed due to squabbling between those who were more interested in a show dog, and those who wanted to emphasize the working side of the dog. Eventually one of the proponents of the working breed (Max von Stephanitz), began his own line of dogs. The line can be directly traced to the male dog 'Horand von Grafrath' - the great grand dad of the entire breed.

Temperament

The German Shepherd Dog (GSD) is perhaps best valued for its intelligence, strength, courageousness, tenacity, loyalty and ability to focus on the task in hand.

Coat

German Shepherds have a two-layer coat with a close, dense top coat and a thick undercoat. The coat can be medium or long haired, and usually ranges from red and black to tan and black, sometimes accompanied with a black mask. Rarer form forms of the breed do some in pure white and pure black.

Do GSD, German Shepherds do well in Apartments?

Generally speaking, the German Shepherd does not belong in an apartment, but as always there are exceptions, especially if the owner works or spends a lot of times outdoors and is able to take the dog with them. They need exercise and not a dog to be left alone in a small space as they can get bored fairly easily.

Barking

GSDs are not excessive barkers and usually do so when startled or in protection of their territory. They may also bark if excited. Luckily these dogs are easily trainable, and love to follow commands, so if the owner puts in the time and effort he should be easily able to control the dogs barking.

Do GSD, German Shepherds Get Along With Children & Other Pets?

As with most dogs they will get along with (or at least be tolerant of) other animals and children if they are brought up together, and proper socialization is key in their development. However as they are a medium-large dog special attention should be paid when they are introduced to new animals and children.

Exercising a German Shepherd Dog

German Shepherds are high maintenance dogs in the exercise department and ideally need to be taken out for a walk a minimum of twice a day for a good hour each time. However, they also need to be given a tremendous amount of mental stimulation or they can quickly start showing signs of boredom and dominance.

How to Groom a German Shepherd Dog

The amount of grooming depends on whether you choose the medium or long haired variety of the breed. Ideally they should be brushed on a daily basis to keep the coat healthy and shiny. They shouldn't be bathed to often, at least not with shampoo, a good rinse using just water should be enough to clean off a dirty dog.

GSD, German Shepherd and Shedding

German Shepherds are considered to be heavy shedders due to their thick and dense double coat, this will be at its worst in the spring and fall.

GSD, German Shepherd Health Problems?

Like all dogs the German Shepherd can suffer from hereditary problems. Foremost been hip and elbow dysplasia, male dogs can also suffer form hemophilia. Other problems that can occur are anal furunculosis, Expcrine Pancreatic insufficiency Degenerative Myelopathy , panosteitis, bloat, epilepsy and bowel problems.

Are GSD, German Shepherds Intelligent?

This breed is at the top of the class, and is rated third in intelligence.

Training a German Shepherd Dog

German Shepherds do best when positive reinforcement training methods are implemented- they do not do well using harsher methods. When trained correctly they excel at obedience and agility activities, and make excellent aid dogs for the blind and deaf.