German Shepherd Dog
Versatile worker and service dog noted for bravery and intelligence
Generally considered dogkind’s finest all-purpose worker, the German Shepherd Dog is a large, agile, muscular dog of noble character and high intelligence. Loyal, confident, courageous, and steady, the German Shepherd is truly a dog lover’s delight. The first breed club was formed in 1881 after Max von Stephanitz and his followers developed and promoted the breed as a herding dog, and later as a working dog used by the police and the armed forces. From the First World War the bravery and temperament of the German Shepherd has gained the breed worldwide recognition and praise and they have shown their worth in other disciplines too: as a guide dog for the blind, as a tracking dog, and in obedience. In recent years the long haired variety, once frowned upon in its native country has been officially recognised in the breed standard.
The German Shepherd Dog is confident and fearless, willing to be approached, yet a certain level of aloofness towards strangers is acceptable. As a very active and athletic breed, the German Shepherd requires lots of exercise for his physical and mental well-being. A dog who is not exercised enough will become frustrated and likely to develop undesirable behaviours. With a puppy, you can start with short daily walks, as well as play sessions in a safely fenced area. The German Shepherd is a highly intelligent companion and an extraordinary worker, consistency and positive, reward-based training will yield excellent results. They are extremely bonded to their people, so they are happiest when they live with their family. They should be raised in the household and exposed to the family’s activities. Some can be a bit bossy with other dogs as they get older but with proper care, training and socialisation this is unlikely to become a problem. German Shepherd Dogs often make good-natured pets, although their personalities can vary, with some being calm and watchful/observant while others are energetic.
Read more about the history of this breed – HERE
STATS AND FACTS
Most of these stats are from the The Kennel Club UK. You can view stats from kennel clubs around the world at the links below, which may have different standards and classifications.
|Group – UK||Pastoral|
|Bred For||Service, Herding, Guarding|
|Country of Origin||Germany|
|Temperament||Loyal, Courageous, Confidence|
|Exercise Needed||More than 2 hours a day|
|Size of Home Needed||Large|
|Height at Withers – Females||58 cm / 23 in|
|Height at Withers – Males||63 cm / 25 in|
|Grooming||2 – 3 times a week|
|Coat||Short and Long, double coat|
|Colour||Various – see photos|
|Life Span||10 – 14 years|
- The German Shepherd Dog is also known as the ‘Alsatian’.
- Be prepared for a lot of shedding because German Shepherds have such thick coats! If you don’t like dog hair around the house or are allergic to dogs then they might not be the breed for you.
- The first guide dogs for visually impaired people were German Shepherds.
- To prevent over guarding and aggressive behaviour, German shepherd dogs should be carefully socialised from a young age and be obedience trained.
- During World War 1 the German Shepherd Dogs had a variety of roles and were even taught how to parachute from aircraft.
LINKS TO KENNEL CLUB BREED STANDARDS AROUND THE WORLD
Breed standard varies throughout the world, these links will inform you of those standards and give further information about German Shepherd Dogs.
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WEBSITES ABOUT GERMAN SHEPHERD DOGS
Here’s some websites specifically dedicated to the German Shepherd Dog breed. I am not affiliated with any of these sites, they’re just here for further information. Please note I will not advertise breeders on this site.
- German Shepherd Rescue Elite
- German Shepherd Dog Club of America
- German Shepherd Dog Club of Canada
- German Shepherd Dog Rescue
- German Shepherd Country
- Total German Shepherd
- German Shepherd Dog League of Great Britain
- German Shepherd Savvy
- German Shepherds Forum
- British Association for German Shepherd Dogs
- German Shepherd Dog Breed Council of GB
- German Shepherd Dog Club of Egypt
- United Schutzhund Club Of America
- GSA Ireland
- German Shepherd Dog Club of Victoria
- German Shepherd Dog League of NSW
- UK German Shepherd Rescue
- Central German Shepherd Rescue
- German Shepherd Rescue Scotland
- Vigil German Shepherd Dog Rescue
Thanks for reading!