The German Shepherd or, GSD, can trace its roots back to the 7th Century. Originally bred for herding, the breed has been used more often as a guard dog, or protection dog, in recent times. It is also used as a working dog in the police and armed forces. The dog itself is well proportioned and very strong medium sized dog with a long muzzle, almond shaped eyes and large, erect ears. The breed has a medium length coat and a bushy tail.
The German Shepherd is a highly intelligent dog. Combined with their strength and agility, this makes the breed desirable as police, guard and search and rescue dogs as they are able to quickly learn various tasks and interpret instructions. GSDs are very active dogs and are marked by a willingness to learn and an eagerness to please and to have a purpose. These dogs are very loyal to their owner and family and bond well with children and other animals that they are familiar with. Their intelligence makes them easy to train, although they can become over-protective of their family and territory if not socialized properly.
Height: Dogs 24-26 inches (60-65cm) Bitches 22-24 inches (55-60cm)
Weight: Dogs 77-85 pounds (35-40kg) Bitches 77-85 pounds (35-40kg)
Hip and elbow dysplasia is common amongst German Shepherds, along with blood and digestive disorders. Epilepsy has also been known to affect the breed as well as bloat.
While an obedient and well trained German Shepherd will be fine in apartments, the breed is generally best suited to larger households. Inactive while indoors, the German Shepherd will also need a sizeable yard or garden to run around in.
A high energy dog, the German Shepherd needs daily exercise. Owners will need to spend around 2 hours a day taking the German Shepherd for walks and playing with it. Like many working dogs, the German Shepherd is happiest when it has a job to do. Playing fetch with the dog will give it a sense of purpose and will provide great interaction between owner and dog.
Usually between 9 and 15 years. German Shepherds will live around 12 years on average.
The average litter size is around 9, but there have been cases where up to 14 puppies have been born.
The coat of the German Shepherd will shed often and in large amounts. This is best avoided by brushing the coat on a daily basis. Bathing the dog when necessary will help keep the coat in top condition. Keep the dog's claws trimmed and regularly check the ears also.
Herding, AKC Herding
CKC, FCI, AKC, UKC, KCGB, CKC, ANKC, NKC, NZKC, GSDCA, APRI, ACR, DRA