Last Updated on January 1, 2022 by Pets Feed
The German Shepherd is one of the most recognizable breeds in the world. His appearance should be that of a muscular and attentive dog, with a noble and aloof demeanor. He is an agile, well-balanced dog who moves with pride.
When one observes a German Shepherd Dog, few people stop to think that it was bred to lead and protect flocks. Most people see the German Shepherd as a police dog, the dear friend of children, the faithful companion who can lay down his life for his family, the guide he sees for his blind friend, the deadly rescuer he does not know. not and the quintessential canine hero.
Although the origins of the German Shepherd are associated with grazing, this breed has shown so much versatility and intelligence that today it cannot be classified solely as a shepherd. Even if he continues to exercise pastoral functions in certain places, it would be more appropriate to say that the German Shepherd is an “all terrain” dog.
In addition, this dog with a lupoid morphology is one of the most beautiful representatives of the canine species. It is not only a dog that adapts well to different occupations, but a living work of art capable of performing the most demanding and difficult jobs.
There is no dog more versatile than a German Shepherd. This dog can be a shepherd, a military or military dog, a guard, a defender. Even “Germans” are successful in custody, are excellent companions, guide and get along well with children. Such an animal is suitable for both an experienced and inexperienced dog breeder. But to avoid problems with the Shepherd, the German Shepherd must take several training courses.
Keep reading this dog breed sheet to learn all about the characteristics, character or health of the German Shepherd:
German Shepherd dogs can be both watchdogs and search dogs, as well as family companions.
Photos of the German Shepherd
Characteristics of the German Shepherd
The German Shepherd is a large, strong, sturdy and muscular breed of dog. Its appearance is a bit longer than it is tall, and generally its front half is straighter than the rear. Its structure is firm and balanced, very proportionate and formed to perform various jobs thanks to its solidity. Balance is the main characteristic of these animals both physically and psychologically, although it should always be consistent with their upbringing.
Its head is large and wedge-shaped, always alert and alert, ready for any activity. It also remains in perfect proportion to the rest of the body and appears broad in conjunction with the ears, which are quite large and always remain erect on the head. His eyes are quite large and deep, usually amber or caramel, but still tend to be dark. The muzzle of the German Shepherd is elongated and ends with a powerful jaw that closes in the shape of a scissor.
Among its features are also straight and elongated legs in the front and falling in the back. Its tail is elongated and usually falls when resting. During the movement of the dog, it can rise slightly, but never above the horizontal line of its body. However, his movement is very fluid and athletic, able to run at high speed and jump to a higher height than he appears at first glance due to his anatomy.
Read also : Types of German Shepherd
The German Shepherd is a large animal as a whole, both in height and width of its body. As for the height, it can easily reach 65 centimeters at the cross, about 60 centimeters in the case of females. The approximate weight will be around 32 kilograms, but it can be lower or higher depending on the size of the animal and its physical characteristics. It is an animal which, although it should be large, should never be overweight, as it can also have many health problems.
The breed standard states that the German Shepherd should have short, dense hair that is rough to the touch. There may be long-haired specimens, but this variety is not accepted as a beauty pageant dog. Fire dogs and black dogs are common, although they can also be given lioness or tabby. Sometimes the black German Shepherd can be found, but this coloring is not allowed in dog shows, nor is it standard.
Character and behavior of the German Shepherd
The character of the German Shepherd is balanced, sure and reliable. The courage of these dogs is legendary, as is their instinct for defense. That is why the German Shepherd is one of the most requested guard and protection dogs, since it has a natural predisposition to these tasks.
The German Shepherd is a sociable and easy-to-train dog by nature, which can be the perfect animal or the perfect working animal if properly trained. It is very important to start educating and socializing your dog around 3 months old, as it will be much easier to get a balanced animal that can behave properly under all circumstances.
German Shepherds are loyal and obliging dogs undoubtedly recognize the authority of the owner.
He also usually gets along with children and other animals, but you have to be careful with his games because sometimes he does not control his strength. It is also relatively easy to control if given the proper education, so it is very easy for the German Shepherd to be a balanced dog across the board.
Despite its robustness, it is an animal full of energy, active and athletic, eager to play and explore new territories. The German Shepherd is always ready to undertake new activities that will test him physically and mentally. This means that long walks are not enough to carry all that energy on you.
German Shepherds get along well with children of all ages.
Unfortunately, the great popularity of the breed has led to the indiscriminate breeding of German Shepherds for purely commercial purposes. This indiscriminate breeding has had a negative impact on the health of this breed of dogs.
There are a number of common conditions seen in this breed, some of which have a better prognosis than others but all of which are expensive to treat – so be sure to get your German Shepherd as soon as you get it.
Hereditary diseases such as hip dysplasia are more and more common, mainly due to irresponsible reproduction. So, you should be looking for a puppy whose parents are both hip scarred and the lower the score the better – ideally less than ten. It is a painful and painful condition for a German Shepherd and the cost of treatment is prohibitive if the animal is not insured. Elbow dysplasia is also a common inherited disease.
Bloating or gastric torsion is a real emergency and a potentially fatal condition, which has become more common in deep-breasted dogs over the years. Experts are divided, but the good advice for reducing the risk is that it is better to feed 2 small meals rather than one large meal per day and avoid feeding your German Shepherd before strenuous exercise.
Anal furunculosis is a painful autoimmune disease that can be controlled with expensive drugs for some time, but will inevitably progress, as is CDRM, which is a degenerative disease that will eventually lead to loss of use of the hind legs, then bowel / urinary incontinence.
For some reason, there appears to be a growing number of German Shepherds with PI pancreatic insufficiency, which presents as chronic watery diarrhea and stunted growth. This condition can be treated with expensive pancreatic enzymes and a low-fat diet, but the diet should be strictly followed.
Epilepsy is also more common nowadays and although it can be controlled with medication, tolerance usually occurs, often resulting in loss of seizure control and the likelihood of brain damage as a result of a stroke. prolonged and uncontrolled adjustment.
To protect your new puppy and minimize long-term or future health problems, it is essential that a quality diet is adopted from the start. The German Shepherd often has digestive issues, so it’s important to find quality food that your dog enjoys and that doesn’t disrupt digestion. If in doubt, seek advice from your veterinarian.
Despite the good care given to this large dog, a visit to the vet every 6 months and his vaccination schedule will allow us to enjoy it for a long time. Her current life expectancy is around 13 years.
German Shepherds are among the three most intelligent dog breeds (along with border collies and poodles).
Since the German Shepherd belongs to large service breeds, it will be uncomfortable to live in a small, cramped apartment. An ideal option for such an animal is a spacious aviary with a cozy cabin installed in a private yard. The sheepdog needs regular physical exertion, therefore, with an outdoor cage it should be promoted, have the opportunity to run, jump.
With apartment living, long daily walks become vital for an active pet like the German Shepherd. If he is bored, if you do not give him the opportunity to spend the accumulated energy, the dog can damage the furniture, shoes and decoration of the house. The character can also deteriorate, the animal will become mean and even aggressive. There is only one conclusion to be drawn from the above: a sheepdog can be kept in an apartment, but it must be spacious enough, and you will often have to walk a dog.
The enclosure should be cleaned regularly. The German Shepherd must be protected from sun, rain and drafts. In the apartment for the dog a place is determined for sleeping and relaxing, where you need to put a mattress or a sofa. This place should not be hot, so this place should be protected from commotion. If the animal decides to relax, disturb and more, it is impossible to remove it.
It can be said that the German Shepherd is constantly throwing. If you do not regularly remove dead hair from the coat, the whole apartment or aviary will be filled with dark hairs in no time. In addition, without combing (3-4 times a week) on the abdomen and on the neck, pigtails are formed, with such tangled hair it is almost impossible to fight.
Water procedures are limited to washing the paws after a walk. “General” swimming is not required more than twice a year. If you bathe your German Shepherd more often, there is a risk that the coat will lose its natural luster and shine. During the bath it is recommended to use a special shampoo, and after the bath – a brush designed to rid the dog of excess hair.
Of course, do not forget about hygiene. Ears and eyes should be wiped regularly with damp wipes. If excessive eye or hearing discharge is noticed, show your pet to your veterinarian. This phenomenon can signal an infectious disease. To clean their teeth regularly, in the case of a shepherd, it is easier to buy special bones for brushing their teeth. The claws squeak naturally, as a dog of this breed leads an active lifestyle.
An animal as large as a German Shepherd needs to create a diet in which about 70% will be protein food. The basis of a balanced diet of a shepherd consists of meat products, offal. You cannot feed potatoes, pasta, candy, smoked meats.
You should feed an adult German Shepherd twice a day, while portions are selected based on their weight. Clean, fresh water should always be available for the dog.
They need human society and physical activity.
The German Shepherd can adapt to apartment living, but he needs a lot of exercise and long walks. He is agile and active and needs to exercise his muscles outdoors. A small garden can help, but it never replaces the rides and play sessions it must have.
Dog sport, like agility, can help maintain a dog’s health. Training dogs is also important in helping to develop the intellectual abilities of the dog.
How long does the German Shepherd walk?
It is recommended to start walking with a German Shepherd puppy for 5-10 minutes. This time is enough for the dog to begin to familiarize himself with the world around him and to have time to go to the toilet. But you need to go out often – 5-6 times a day immediately after eating.
The duration of the walks is adapted to the age. Three months – 30 minutes, and in six months the usual walking regimen is established – at least an hour.
How many times to walk with a shepherd? With an adult dog, twice a day is sufficient.
The German Shepherd is not a couch, but a working dog. He has to let go of his excess energy: the more energy he expends walking, the less he will be bullied at home.
How to walk a German Shepherd well?
So, we found out how much you need to walk with the German Shepherd Dog – at least an hour, and it is better to spend up to two hours in the fresh air. And it is not enough to take the dog outside, it is necessary to move actively, to play a lot with his four-legged friend.
Training should also be done according to age. You can run from 1 to 2 kilometers per day in 3 to 4 months, up to 15 to 20 kilometers per day in a year. It could be playing with your dog’s favorite ball or frisbee, riding a bike next to your beloved dog, or going for a jog.
Find a special area near you where you can release the dog from the leash. German Shepherd dogs should feel free, run and interact with other dogs.
Education and training
If a German Shepherd has been successful in early socialization, it is a pleasure to take additional training courses with him. The fact is that this breed is included in the list of the most trained and intellectually developed dogs. Of course, the owner will need patience and consistency. For positive results during training, the animal should be encouraged with praise or delicious bonuses.
From an early age, the German Shepherd puppy must learn the simplest commands. After that, from the age of about 5-6 months, the animal should undergo professional training courses, preferably under the guidance of an experienced dog handler. The owner of the dog chooses the course, starting from the purpose for which the shepherd was acquired. The most popular are:
- “Managed City Dog” course.
- “Companion dog” course.
- “Protective City Dog” course.
- “On-call service” course
Nature gave the German Shepherd a sharp mind and a sharp mind. From the age of the puppy, it is easy to train. You should not miss the opportunity and develop your natural abilities.
Fun facts about the German Shepherd
- The Monument of Devotion is installed in Tolyatti, it is dedicated to the memory of the German Shepherd, who has been waiting for its owner for 7 years.
- A deaf German Shepherd rescued a drowning girl in a pond. The baby was only 5 years old. The dog sensed the child needed help, rushed into the water and was able to drag him to shore.
- A man named Rin Tin Tin has his own star in a well-known Hollywood alley. This dog has appeared in more than twenty-five films, most often he had to play the role of a wolf.
- During the war, a German shepherd named Dzhulbars was able to detect more than four hundred mines and about one hundred and fifty shells. The dog actively participated in the battles. For this he received the award “For Military Merit”.
Dog breed highlights
It is not enough to want to have your own dog. It is important to determine exactly which breed is suitable for you, which sex is better to buy a puppy. Before making a final decision, it is recommended to visit kennels of different breeds, dog shows, areas where owners walk their pets. After talking to experienced dog breeders, you can learn a lot about dogs.
If you liked the German Shepherd, find out about the pros and cons of the breed:
- The German Shepherd is a very intelligent dog.
- In good hands, it is easy to train.
- Extremely loyal to his family.
- Good with children of all ages.
- The German Shepherd is very protective, therefore a good guard dog.
- This dog excels in many canine activities.
- He is trustworthy and reliable when properly trained.
- Not the best choice for new owners.
- The German Shepherd can suffer from many hereditary health problems.
- This dog needs to be given a lot of mental stimulation and daily exercise.
- The German Shepherd is not suitable for apartment living.
- Veterinary bills can be heavy.
History of the breed
The homeland of the German Shepherd is Germany. Initially, dogs of this type were used as shepherds. It is assumed that the distant ancestors of the breed are the Norse and Indian wolves that lived in Scandinavia.
You cannot call a pure natural breed a German Shepherd, because breeders worked on its creation. Initially, these dogs were in demand and appreciated as excellent shepherds. Over time, the number of grazing flocks declined dramatically, and “unemployment” threatened the shepherd. It was decided to change the breed, for this purpose representatives of herding dogs from the southern and central regions of Germany were crossed with German Shepherds.
Thanks to the meticulous work of German breeders, at the end of the 19th century, the German Shepherd acquired that exterior, character and skills that we see there today. This dog, in addition to the work of a shepherd, is able to guard, it is used in the army and in the police service. At the same time, he has a balanced character, adequate in difficult situations. This feature allows the use of “Germans” as a guide for the blind. The universal dog has gained great popularity among different segments of the population.
In the last changes to the standard (December 2010), German Shepherds with long hair were recognized with short hair. Their current main focus is a service dog.
During World War II, German Shepherds were widely used in the German army, as well as in the Entente troops and in the Allied armies. During the hostilities, many representatives of the breed died, breeding was practically stopped. Only a few purebred “Germans” remained, using them breeders began to restore the number of sheepdogs.
For the moment, the disappearance of the German Shepherd is not threatened. There are kennels all over the world. These animals are considered one of the most popular.