How well do you know your dog? Dogs are known to be man’s best friend. Did you know German Shepherds can live up to 14 years? The German shepherd is a popular breed that is recognized for its tough physique and high intelligence. German Shepherds are big dogs with their height ranging from 55 Cm to 65 Cm with varying weights of between 20kg to 40 kg. Keep intact and read below to learn facts you are unaware of regarding the German shepherd.
I remember the first time when I saw a German shepherd closely; it just captured my attention from its well-structured posture. Ideally, German shepherds are magnificent. Are you fond of falling in love with a wonderful dog companion? I can guarantee you that the German shepherd has some excellent characteristics. To keep you informed, below are some quick facts about the breed.
|Litter size||6-10 puppies|
History regarding the breed
The German Shepherd is also known as the Alsatian wolf dog, Berger Allemand, or Deutscher Schaferhund. The German Shepherd dog breed originated from Germany in 1899, having been bred by Max von Stephanitz. Von Stephanitz had attended a dog show when he noticed a wolfish-looking dog. He bought a dog named Hektor Linksrhein.
Due to its intelligence and strong physique, He decided to breed the dog for herding and work. Captain Max Von spent 35 years trying to develop the breed to a better version. Later he was determined to introduce his breed for military service, and he formed a Deutsche Schäferhunde society.
The breed was introduced in the US in 1907. Originally, these dogs were trained for herding sheep and patrolling borders during wars. During World War I, the German Shepherd served as sentry, rescuer, massager, and guard.
Do you know the name of the most famous German shepherd dog? Well, it was known as Rin Tin Tin. The German shepherd puppy dog was plucked from a bomb-riddled kennel in France by an American corporal. Corporal Lee Duncan took the puppy and trained it to feature in the most famous dog shows and movies.
Later stigmatization rooted in as Americans were not impressed by the dog’s German originality. They changed the breed’s name to shepherd dog, while in England, it was called Alsatian wolf dog. It was until 1977 when American Kennel Association upheld the initial name of the German Shepherd Dog.
German shepherds are considered to be the third most intelligent dog breed. They are usually easy-going, approachable, and reserved dogs with aloof personaly. They are extremely loyal once they bond to new friends. They are not typically aggressive but, when threatened, can be protective and strong.
They are highly trainable to carry out specific tasks. German Shepherds can become frustrated and bored if you under-exercise it or fail to engage their intelligence to work.
Generally, German Shepherds are beautiful, well proportioned with harmonious development of the forequarter and hindquarter and muscular looking. A German shepherd is built with a long, deep-bodied outline of smooth curves with a domed forehead and square-cut muzzle.
Initially, the traditional German Shepherds featured two-layer coats with common black and brown color. Due to modifications in breeding, other breeds owe different color patterns such as liver, sable, black and silver, grey, red, and tan.
The outer coat has medium-length hair in most breeds, with the medium-length double coat acting as a barrier from snow and rain. The German shepherd sheds a lot of hair twice a year.
They have large stand-up, trademark pointed ears. German shepherd males can grow to around 26 inches tall at the shoulders while females stand 22 to24 inches. Generally, they can grow to weigh between 50 to 90 pounds.
Focused, courageous, and fearless.
German shepherds are known to be working dogs just as originally, where they were bred to herd sheep against wolves. In the modern world, they make excellent guard dogs. They have a well-developed sense of smell and focus on targets. They aid in rescue missions and explosive detection.
Well-built, energetic, and strong.
The breed has a proven record of excelling in physical and mental situations. Their bodies are athletically strong, and they enjoy physical activities.
Protective and loyal.
The German Shepherd poses threats and danger to strangers as it portrays protective instincts.
Trainable, intelligent, and alert.
German shepherds are highly responsive to stimulation. They are easy to train when trained in the right way. You can train adult German Shepherds faster than the younger ones. At prime, a German shepherd can run close to 50 km/hr.
There are five types of German shepherd breed;
- American Show Lines German Shepherds/ AKC Lines German shepherd: This type is generally taller and longer owing to distinct colors of solid white, saddle sable, solid black, black, and tan saddle. They are laid-back with a low drive and less energy. Because of their obedience, tracking, and good hearing nature, they are great for pets and herding.
- West Show Line German Shepherds: They are considered the most beautiful breed. They are highly trainable due to their intelligence and very gracious in movement. GSDs have a slopped body with distinctive pigmentation of black and red saddles, black and tan, sable, and bi-colors. This type of breed acts as a pet or a great protector in a family. They enjoy engaging in lots of training and exercise. The breed has better health and drive.
- West Working Line German Shepherds: They have a very stable and cool temperament with stunning looks. The breed has a strong drive, calm attitude, excellent working ability, and perfect colors. The West lines GSDs have a sloppier body with pigmentation of sable, black, bi-color, black and tan color. The breed is more affected by health issues. They are great at sports, guarding protection, and rescue operations.
- East Working Line DDR German Shepherds: They are long-coated, defensive, sturdy, and graceful dogs. They are well built with solid bones, expanded shoulders, sloppy backs, and large heads. They are ideal for military and search rescue operations. They are excellent in tracking and attacking hence mainly used to patrol territory borders. The breed has the darkest color coats with mostly black sable or sable pigmentation. They are stuffy in nature and can resist extremely harsh weather conditions for the long haul.
- Czech Working Line German Shepherds: They are very loyal, agile, graceful, and most powerful. They have slightly small ears, extremely strong jaws, and well-built broad shoulders. Their bodies are less sloppy with dark-colored coats. They have the best behavioral problems hence best fit for chasing down criminals, protection, rescue operations, border patrols, and search missions.
Feeding and exercise
German Shepherds have powerful jaws and like to chew. The dog owner should formulate their diet to fit exercise needs and provide high energy. The portioning sizes and dietary needs alternate from puppyhood to adulthood to old age.
Typically, the GSD eats about 3 1/2 to 5 cups of food a day. Avoid cooked bones, foods, and table scraps as they can cause digestive upset. Provide vitamin and mineral supplement requirements as per professional nutritionist advice, for instance, by adding small amounts of yogurt, cooked vegetables, and eggs.
Puppies do well on low-calorie, high-quality diets that keep them from growing too fast. Feed regular meals and do not overfeed to mitigate health complications and joint problems. During obedience training, you can give a small piece of biscuit or the dog kibble.
German Shepherds need exposure and socialization as early as possible. They are built with lots of energy hence the need to engage in daily exercises like a romp at the park, jogging, obedience competitions, and mind/ agility training. To ensure your German Shepherd puppy grows into a well-rounded dog, expose it to different sounds, people, sights, and experiences.
Puppies should not play, run, or jump on hard surfaces to ensure the joints are fully formed. They should play on grass until about two years. Failing to exercise the German shepherd dog leads to behavior problems such as digging, barking, and chewing. Provide safe chew toys and bones to entertain themselves and to play around.
German Shepherds are healthy breeds but can be prone to health conditions such as:
Hip Dysplasia: This is a heritable condition that affects the femur whereby it doesn’t fit snugly into the pelvic socket of the hip joint. The condition can exhibit lameness and pain in either one or both rear legs. Due to age, the joints may also develop arthritis. Dogs with such conditions should not be bred.
Exocrine pancreatic insufficiency: It is a disease in which cells that produce digestive enzymes are destroyed. This results in the dog being unable to digest or absorb food.
The problem can be signed by weight loss, loss of appetite, change in stools, and gas. The condition can be diagnosed with a simple blood test and is treatable with proper medication.
Elbow Dysplasia: This is a condition that is caused by different growth rates in elbow bones, causing laxity. The condition is heritable and common to large breeds of German shepherd dogs.
Elbow dysplasia may lead to painful lameness. Vet professionals can correct the problem via surgery and medications to ease the pain.
Degenerative Myelopathy: It is a progressive disease of the spinal cord. The condition interferes with the cord that communicates information to the brain regarding the hind legs.
With this condition, the dog fails to move properly. Prolonged myelopathy problem results in no movement at all in the dog. To stabilize the condition, use vitamin supplements as the condition may develop due to insufficient vitamin E/12 in the body.
Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus/bloat: This is likely to develop, especially when you feed the dog one large meal a day. The condition arises after the dog eats rapidly, drink large volumes of water, and exercises vigorously after eating.
The stomach is filled with distended gas and twists. With the dog unable to vomit or belch to eliminate excess air in the stomach, the return of blood to the heart is impeded, leading to shock.
The condition requires immediate vet services. Signs to portray your German shepherd dog have a distended abdomen include restlessness, drooling excessively, depression, rapid heart rate, retching without throwing up, and body weakness.
Allergies: German shepherds may experience food and contact allergies. Allergies may be signed through scratching, licking at paws, or rubbing the face.
The German shepherd is the second most popular dog breed. Raising a German Shepherd puppy is quite an expensive stage. Hence buying an adult GSD be ready for a hefty price tag ranging between $2,000-$9,500.
A simple and inexpensive way to own a German shepherd pet is through adoption, which usually costs approximately $125-$500. For show-quality dogs with an impressive lineage, the price rises to range from $2,300 to $10,000. In addition to initial expenses, consider food and vet bills.
Reviews and Buyer’s Guides
The Best Dog Foods for German Shepherds
The Best Shock Collars for German Shepherds
The Best Robot Vacuums for German Shepherds
The Best Harnesses for German Shepherds
The Best Collars for German Shepherds
The Best Dog Bowls for German Shepherds
The Best Flirt Poles for German Shepherds
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The Best German Shepherds Training Books
The Best German Shepherd Agility Equipment
The Best Shampoos for German Shepherds
31 Best German Shepherd Accessories that Every GSD Lover Must Have
The Best Brushes for German Shepherds
The Best Toys for German Shepherds
The Best Crates for German Shepherds
The Best Dog Houses for German Shepherds
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German Shepherd Breed Guide
- West German Shepherd Dog Breed Information(Facts & Traits)
- Plush Coat German Shepherd Dog breed Information(Facts & Traits)
- DDR German Shepherd: A Complete Guide (Profile, History, and Care)
- German Shepherd Coonhound Mix: A Complete Guide (Appearance, Temperament, and Lifespan)
- Lycan Shepherd: A Complete Guide (Facts, History, and Care)
- Bullmastiff German Shepherd Mix: An All-Inclusive Guide (Profile, History, and Care)
- German Shepherd and Chihuahua Mix – A Complete Guide (Profile, Appearance, and Care)
- Saint Bernard German Shepherd Mix (Saint Shepherd) : A Complete Overview
- Jack Russell Terrier German Shepherd Mix: An All-Inclusive Guide (History, Appearance, and Care)
- All About Blonde German Shepherd: Top Facts and Guide
- Panda German Shepherd: All You Need to Know
- Sable German Shepherd: A Complete Breed Guide
- German Shepherd Belgian Malinois Mix (Shpeinois): A Complete Breed Guide
- Brindle German Shepherd: A Complete Breed Guide (Facts and Info)
- Rhodesian Ridgeback German Shepherd Mix: Full Profile, History, and Care
- Blue German Shepherd Dog Breed Information: Full Profile, History, and Care
- Black Mouth Cur German Shepherd Mix: Full Profile, History, and Care
- Norwegian Elkhound German Shepherd Mix: Full Profile, History, and Care
Comparison with Other Breeds
- American German Shepherd vs European German Shepherd
- German Shepherd vs King Shepherd: Which One Is The Best For You and Your Family
- Rottweiler vs. German Shepherd: Dog Breed Comparison
German Shepherd Questions
- How to Train a German Shepherd to Sit and Stay in 4 Steps
- How to Obedience Train a German Shepherd
- How to Train Your German Shepherd to Walk on a Leash
- How to Stop My German Shepherd Barking Problem
- How to Reduce German Shepherd Shedding
- How Much Does it Cost to Train My German Shepherd from Puppy Class to Advanced Class
- How to Socialize a German Shepherd Puppy
- Are Elevated/Raised Dog Bowls Good for German Shepherds?
- How to Train My German Shepherd to Run with Me
- How to Groom Your German Shepherd at Home
- At What Age Do German Shepherds Stop Growing?
- When Will My German Shepherd’s Ears Stand Up?
- How to Find Dog Friendly Apartment for Your German Shepherd
- How to Get my German Shepherd to Lose Weight
- How to Train Your German Shepherd Like a Police Dog
- How to Train a German Shepherd to Attack
- Can German Shepherds Swim? (Plus 3 Steps to Train Them To Become a Natural Swimmer)
- When Can German Shepherds Climb Stairs? (Plus how to Build Your Own DIY Dog Stairs)
- Camping with German Shepherds: What You Need to Prepare
- German Shepherd Puppy Checklist: 57 New Supplies to Buy
- How To Potty Train a German Shepherd Puppy (Full Steps)
- German Shepherd Feeding Guide: Nutritional Needs, How Much & How Often
- How Much is a German Shepherd Puppy (with 21 Examples)
- Do German Shepherds Get Along With Cats? (w/ Case Study)
- How to Stop a German Shepherd Puppy from Biting & Nipping
- 15 Best exercise Ideas for German Shepherds That Will Keep Your Dog Fit and Happy
- Are German Shepherds Good for First Time Owners?
- How Much Exercise Do German Shepherds Need Everyday?
- How Many Puppies Can a German Shepherd Have?
- Why Does My German Shepherd Want to Sleep with Me?
- How to Read a German Shepherd’s Pedigree (In 9 Steps)
- Why and How to Bathe a German Shepherd Who Hates Bath Time
- How Often Should I Take My German Shepherd to The Groomer
- Why Do German Shepherds Roll on Their Backs?
- How cold is too cold for German shepherds: The Exact Temps
- How To Stop My German Shepherd Jumping Over The Fence
- What’s The Best Type of Fence for German Shepherds
- How to Pick The Best German Shepherd Puppy from a Litter
- 11 Questions to Ask a German Shepherd Breeder Before Buying Their Puppies
- What is The Best Age to Buy a German Shepherd Puppy
- Adopting an Older German Shepherd: 3 Things to Know About
- How long does a German shepherd stay in heat?
- How Long Does A German Shepherd Stay Pregnant?
- What is The Best Age to Neuter a German Shepherd
- 11 Dogs That Look Like German Shepherds
- How Long Do German Shepherds Live?
- When Do German Shepherd Puppies Stop Teething? (An In-Depth Guide)
- How to Take Care of Newborn German Shepherd Puppies?
- Why Does my German Shepherd Howl? (10 Common Reasons)
- Are German Shepherds Hypoallergenic? (Explained + Solution)
- 7 Common Types of German Shepherd Allergies (And How to Treat Them)
- Are German Shepherds Good with Kids? (The Honest Truth)
- Buying a German Shepherd Puppy Guide (7 Things to Know)
- 19 Tips for Every First Time German Shepherd Owner
- 11 Best Games to Play with a German Shepherd
- The 12 Best Dog Sports for German Shepherds
- How Fast Can a German Shepherd Run
- Are German Shepherds Aggressive Dogs?
- Do German Shepherds Turn On Their Owners?
- Why is My German Shepherd Losing Hair?
- At What Age Does a German Shepherd Start Guarding?
- 25 Best Jobs for German Shepherds At Home
- Do German Shepherds Have Webbed Feet?
- Why Do German Shepherds Tilt Their Heads?
- Can a German Shepherd Beat a Coyote?
- Are German shepherds Good with Other Dogs?
- Do German Shepherd Puppies Sleep a Lot?
- Why is My German Shepherd So Skinny?
- Can German Shepherds Eat Watermelon?
- Can German Shepherds Eat Apples?
- 19 German Shepherd Signs of Affection
- Can German Shepherds Eat Raw Chicken?
- Can German Shepherds Climb Trees?
- Can German Shepherds Be Bird Hunting Dogs?
- Can German Shepherds Duck Hunt?
- Can German Shepherds Eat Grapes or Raisins?
- 29 Fruits and Vegetables German Shepherds Can and Can’t Eat
- 17 Human Foods German Shepherds Can And Can’t Eat