Of all of the dog breeds out there, the German Shepherd Dog (GSD) is possibly the most respected by humans because of their intelligence and the fact that they are used by police forces around the world. They are one of the most popular breeds around today because they are easy to teach and are as loyal as dogs come.
German Shepherds were originally bred to be herders in the 1800s, but people quickly noticed that their intelligence and strength made them capable of much more. Today they are equally great work dogs and family pets. There aren't too many breeds, if any, that are more loyal and hard-working as the German Shepherd.
Thanks to Glenbala Kennels for the pictures of puppies & adults used on this page, and the additional information provided.
German Shepherd Dog breed information:
German Shepherds are medium-sized dogs that generally grow to be 22 inches to 26 inches tall. The males can get up to 85 pounds, while the females are generally 5 to 10 pounds lighter. The breed is easy to point out because of their long, muscular bodies and pointed ears.
While the common GSD is black and tan, they can be found in many different color combinations these days. From silver and black to completely white (which isn't recognized yet by most dog competitions), you can pretty much find an individual animal in any color that you want. This has caused issues with some other breeds because the overall makeup of the breed was changed too.
German Shepherds were herding dogs for a long time, so they now have thick double coats that protect them from the elements. The hair can be medium or long in length, and can be either straight or curly.
The breed is one of the most loyal dogs around, which means that they are usually great with their owners, but, depending on the dog, they can get pretty nervous around new people and animals. While they are known for their intelligence and seriousness when it comes to performing a task, the German Shepherd is also a playful dog when it knows it's okay to be.
Puppies are, for the most part, not as destructive as other puppies when left to their own devices. They will, however, become destructive if they are not given their daily dose of exercise that they require. They are very playful, but, unlike other young dogs, will learn at a faster pace what they should and shouldn't do.
German Shepherds are great with the children they live with, and usually know by nature that new children pose no threat to them. Regardless, owners should have their German Shepherds trained to be gentle around kids at a very early age.
By nature, German Shepherd Dogs are a dominant breed, so they often will not get along with other dogs unless they are trained early to do so. Because they are so smart, owners who recognize the opportunity to socialize their dogs early will usually have success getting their German Shepherds used to being around other dogs.
They make fantastic guard dogs not only because of their instinct to stay alert, but also because they want to protect their owners. They have an amazing ability to determine what is good and what is bad about people and are not shy about letting intruders know that they are there.
It's okay to leave German Shepherd alone, but they will become restless if they aren't given their daily dose of exercise. It's best not to leave a German Shepherd alone in a small space, but they are totally comfortable when they have space to move about.
German Shepherds love to learn, so from a very young age they are willing to listen to their owners. While it is easier to teach German Shepherds than most other breeds, owners should learn the proper way to train them.
What continues to amaze owners is how quickly the breed can learn commands. In most cases, it only takes a handful of repetitions to be able to teach a German Shepherd how to learn different commands. The reason for this is the breed's instinct to both please their owners and to show off how intelligent they actually are.
The fact that German Shepherds are a dominant breed means that they need to be taught early on in life how to act around other animals. Missing out on this training when they are puppies can lead to constant barking or even attacking other dogs. The great thing is that they are eager to please and quick learners, so owners who catch them using their dominant instinct will get through to these dogs very quickly.
If a German Shepherd is going to grow to be as strong as it can be, it needs regular exercise. This is one breed that can quickly learn how to heel on walks, which is great because they love to run or jog with their owners. It's a good idea to make sure they are tired out by the time they come home so that they don't have too much pent up energy later on.
You aren't going to find too many breeds that are more happy to go outside and work hard to complete activities than the German Shepherd Dog. They absolutely love to run around and will catch or receive just about anything that you ask them to.
It's okay for a German Shepherd to live in a smaller environment, but the smaller the living space, the more energy they will have to use every day when they are out of the house. They are a smart enough breed to know that they shouldn't run around in the house,, which is why it is recommended that owners have a yard where they can stretch their legs during the day.
They may not look it, but German Shepherds do shed a lot, which means that owners need to brush them at least once a week to avoid hair being all over the house. Brushing should be done more often when the dog starts to blow its coat.
German Shepherds have sensitive skin, so bathing them too much can cause their skin to be irritated. Owners need to figure out a good bathing schedule so they don't get to the point of the dog stinking, while at the same time not bathing them too often. The good news is that German Shepherd are known for being one of the cleanest breeds in existence, so bathing shouldn't be required more than once every two months.
The breed isn't one that has common ear issues, but but they can get infections if the ear their ears aren't cleaned regularly. The process is quick, however, and only takes an ear cleaning solution and cotton to wipe the solution and buildup off.
As with any other breed, German Shepherds should have their teeth brushed at least once per week to avoid bad breath and dental issues. As long as it is the owner or a professional doing the teeth brushing, the German Shepherd should have no issue with it.
While the common German Shepherd life expectancy is between 11 and 13 years, many live longer if they are properly taken care of throughout their lives.
The most common health issues associated with German Shepherds are all bone related. Arthritis is very common with this breed, while bloat and other common dog ailments also affecting them.
Who Should Own One:
German Shepherd Dogs are perfect for people who want to take the time to work with their dog and keep them happy. You have to know going in that part of what makes the German Shepherd so great is its willingness to learn, so you have to be willing to teach it early and often.
They can live with families of all sizes as long as everyone in the house knows how to treat German Shepherds. If you plan on bringing a puppy into your family's home, be sure that everyone knows how to take care of this fantastic breed,
If you know that you will have enough time to take care of a German Shepherd and are willing to learn how to train this breed, then it might just be a perfect fit.
Who Shouldn't Own One:
Many people are interested in owning a GSD, but they don't anticipate all of the work that goes into keeping the breed happy. Every dog needs an allotted amount of time each week to get exercise, but this breed is in its own category because it needs to both exercise and learn to be happy.
There are many dog breeds that need a minimal amount of attention and exercise to live a happy life, so if that's what you're looking for, the breed is not for you.
To sum up, the GSD is incredibly intelligent and a great family pet. They will work hard to keep their owners happy, which is why they continue to be one of the most popular breeds around. I’ve found a lot of information and breeders to speak to regarding German Shepherds on www.pups4sale.com.au and would recommend the site to anyone wanting to know more.