The German Shepherd is one of the most recognizable breeds in the world. Its appearance must be that of a muscular and attentive dog, with a noble and distant attitude. It’s an are agile and well-balanced dog that move with pride.
When one observes a German sheepdog, few people stop to think that it was raised to drive and protect the flocks. Most people see the German shepherd as a police dog, the dear friend of the children, the faithful companion who can give its life for its family, the guide it sees for its blind friend, the life-threatening lifeguard it does not know and the canine hero by excellence.
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 a dog “all terrain”.
In addition, this dog with lupoid morphology is one of the most beautiful representatives of the canine species. It is not only a dog that adapts well to different jobs, but a living work of art capable of fulfilling the most demanding and difficult jobs.
A more versatile dog than a German shepherd is not found. This dog can be a shepherd, military or army dog, guard, defender. Even the “Germans” successfully carry out guard duty, are excellent companions, guide and get along well with the kids. Such a pet is suitable for both an experienced and inexperienced dog breeder. But in order to avoid problems with the shepherd, the German shepherd needs to undergo several training courses.
Continue reading this Pets Feed dog breed sheet to learn all about the characteristics, character or health of the German Shepherd:
The homeland of the German Shepherd is Germany. Initially, dogs of this type were used as livestock shepherds. There is an assumption that the distant ancestors of the breed are the northern and Indian wolves that lived in Scandinavia.
You can’t call a pure natural breed a German shepherd, as breeders worked on its creation. Initially, such dogs were in demand and appreciated as excellent shepherds. Over time, the number of grazed herds decreased significantly, and “unemployment” threatened the shepherd. It was decided to change the breed, for this purpose, representatives of herd dogs from the southern and central regions of Germany were crossed with German shepherds.
As a result of the meticulous work of German breeders, by the end of the nineteenth century, the German shepherd acquired that exterior, character and skills that we observe in it today. This dog, in addition to shepherd’s work, is capable of guarding, it is used in the army and in the police detective service. At the same time, it has a balanced character, adequate in difficult situations. This characteristic allows the use of “Germans” as a guide for blind people. Universal dog has gained great popularity among different segments of the population.
When making the latest changes to the standard (December 2010), long-haired German Shepherds were recognized along with short-haired. Their current main purpose is a service dog.
During World War II, German shepherds were widely used in the German army, as well as in the troops of the Entente 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, the breeders began to restore the number of shepherd dogs.
At the moment, the disappearance of the German shepherd is not threatened. There are dog breeding kennels around the world. Such pets are considered one of the most popular.
Characteristics of the German Shepherd
The German Shepherd is a large, strong, robust and muscular dog breed. Its appearance is a little longer than it is tall, and generally its front half is straighter than the rear. Its structure is firm and balanced, very proportioned and trained to perform various jobs due to its strength. Balance is the main characteristic of these animals both physically and psychologically, although it must always be consistent with their education.
Its head is wide and wedge-shaped, always alert and alert, ready for any activity. It also remains in perfect proportion with the rest of the body and seems broad in conjunction with the ears, which are quite large and always remain erect on the head. His eyes are fairly large and deep, usually amber or caramel, but still tend to be dark. The muzzle of the German Shepherd is elongated and ends in a powerful jaw which closes in the form of scissors.
Among its features are also straight and elongated legs at the front and falling at the rear. Its tail is elongated and generally falls at rest. 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 it seems at first glance due to his anatomy.
Size of the German Shepherd
The German Shepherd is a large animal as a whole, both in height and in 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 kilos, but it can be less or more depending on the size of the animal and its physical characteristics. It is an animal which, although it must be large, should never be overweight, as it can also have many health problems.
German Shepherd’s coat
The breed standard indicates that the German Shepherd must have short, dense and rough hairs to the touch. There may be long-haired specimens, but this variety is not accepted as a beauty contest dog. Fire and black dogs are common, although they can also be given lioness or tabby. Sometimes the black German Shepherd can be found, but this coloration 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, safe and reliable. The courage of these dogs is legendary, as is their defense instinct. This is why the German Shepherd is one of the most requested guard and protection dogs, as it has a natural predisposition to these tasks.
The German Shepherd is a sociable dog and easy to train by nature, which can be the perfect animal or the perfect working animal if it is properly trained. It is very important to start your dog’s education and socialization at around 3 months, because it will be much easier to get a balanced animal capable of behaving properly under all circumstances.
He also generally gets along with children and other animals, but you must be careful with his games because sometimes he does not control his strength. It is also relatively easy to control if it receives proper education, so it is very easy for the German Shepherd to be a balanced dog at all levels.
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 take on new activities that will test him physically and mentally. This means that long walks are not enough to make you carry all this energy.
In general, the German Shepherd is an obedient, cheerful and affectionate dog, as well as a very intelligent one. He is courageous and protective of his family and enjoys spending as much time as possible with them. He may be a little wary of strangers, but it is also because of his protective instinct and guard. With good socialization from an early age, this dog will learn to be calm in the presence of strangers and to know others and animals.
German Shepherd’s Health
Unfortunately, the great popularity of the breed has led to the indiscriminate breeding of German shepherds for purely commercial purposes. This indiscriminate breeding 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 which are all expensive to treat – so ensure your German Shepherd as soon as you get it.
Hereditary diseases such as hip dysplasia is increasingly common, mainly due to irresponsible reproduction. So, you should look for a puppy whose parents are both tagged at the hip and the lower the score, the better – ideally less than ten. It is a painful and painful condition for a German shepherd and the treatment costs are prohibitive if the animal is not insured. Elbow dysplasia is also a common hereditary disease.
Bloating or gastric torsion is a real emergency and life-threatening condition, which has become more common in deep-breasted dogs over the years. Experts are divided, but the good advice to reduce the risk is that it is better to feed 2 small meals rather than a large meal a 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 a while, but will inevitably progress, much like CDRM, which is a degenerative disease that will eventually lead to loss of use of the hind legs, then intestines / urinary incontinence.
For some reason, there seems to be an increasing number of German Shepherds suffering from 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 these days and although it can be controlled with medication, tolerance usually occurs, which often results in loss of seizure control and the likelihood of brain damage as a result of prolonged uncontrolled adjustment.
To protect your new puppy and to minimize long-term or future health problems, it is essential that a high-quality diet is adopted from the start. The German Shepherd dog often has digestive problems, so it is important to find quality food that your dog likes and that does not disturb digestion. If in doubt, ask your veterinarian for advice.
Despite the good care given to this great dog, a visit to the veterinarian every 6 months and its vaccination schedule will allow us to enjoy it for a long time. His current life expectancy is around 13 years.
Since the German shepherd belongs to large service breeds, it will be uncomfortable living in a cramped small-sized apartment. An ideal option for such a pet is a spacious aviary with a warm booth installed in a private courtyard. The shepherd dog needs regular physical exertion, therefore, with an open-air cage, it must be walked, given the opportunity to run, jump.
With apartment living, daily long 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 furniture, shoes, and home decoration. The character can also deteriorate, the animal will become naughty and even aggressive. There is only one conclusion from the foregoing – a shepherd dog can be kept in an apartment, but it should be spacious enough and you will need to walk a dog often.
The enclosure must be cleaned regularly. The german shepherd must be provided with shelter from the 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 couch. This place should not be hot, also this place should be protected from fuss. If the pet decided to relax, disturb, and even more so, it is impossible to pull it out of place.
We can say that the German shepherd sheds constantly. If you do not regularly rid the coat of dead hair, the entire apartment or the entire aviary will be filled with dark hairs in a short time. Also, without combing (3-4 times a week) on the abdomen and on the neck, mats are formed, with such matted hair it is almost impossible to fight.
Water procedures are limited to washing the paws after a walk. “General” swimming is required no 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 brightness. During bathing, it is recommended to use a special shampoo, and after bathing – a brush designed to rid the dog of excess hair.
Of course, do not forget about hygiene. Ears and eyes should be regularly wiped with wet wipes. If excessive ocular or ear discharge is noticed, show your pet to your veterinarian. This phenomenon may signal an infectious disease. To clean its teeth regularly, in the case of a shepherd it is easier to buy special bones for brushing its teeth. Claws grind naturally, as a dog of this breed leads an active lifestyle.
Such a large animal 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 is meat products, offal. You can not feed potatoes, pasta, sweets, smoked meats.
You need to feed an adult german shepherd twice a day, while portions are selected depending on its weight. Clean, cool water should always be available to the dog.
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 gaming sessions it must have.
Dog sport, such as agility, can help maintain the dog’s health. Dog training is also important to help develop the dog’s intellectual ability.
How long does the shepherd walk?
It is recommended to start walking with a German Shepherd puppy from 5-10 minutes. This time is enough for the dog to begin to get acquainted with the world around him and have time to go to the toilet. But you need to go outside often – 5-6 times a day immediately after eating.
The length of the walks is age appropriate. Three months – 30 minutes, and in six months the usual walking regime is established – at least one hour.
How many times to walk with a shepherd? With an adult dog, twice a day is enough.
The German Shepherd is not a sofa, but a working dog. He should throw out excess energy: the more energy he spends on a walk, the less he will be bullied at home.
How to properly walk a german shepherd ?
So, we found out how much you need to walk with the german shepherd dog – at least one hour, and it is better to spend up to two hours in the fresh air. And it’s not enough just to take the dog outside, you need to move actively, play a lot with your four-legged friend.
Training should also be done according to age. You can run from 1-2 kilometers per day in 3-4 months, up to 15-20 kilometers per day at one year. It can be playing with your dog’s favorite ball or frisbee, cycling next to your beloved dog, or jogging.
Find a special area near your home where you can release the dog from the leash. German Shepherd dogs needs to feel free, run and interact with other dogs.
Training and education
If a German shepherd has passed early socialization, it is a pleasure to take further training courses with it. The fact is that this breed is included in the list of the most trained and most intellectually developed dogs. Naturally, the owner will need patience and constancy. For positive results during training, the pet must be encouraged with praise or delicious bonuses.
From an early age, the german shepherd puppy must learn the simplest commands. After that, from about 5-6 months of age, the pet should undergo professional training courses, preferably under the guidance of an experienced dog handler. The owner of the dog selects the course, starting from the purpose for which the shepherd was acquired. The most popular are:
- Course “Managed City Dog”.
- Course “Companion Dog”.
- Course “Protective City Dog”.
- Course “Guard Service”
Nature awarded the German Shepherd a sharp mind and quick wits. Since puppy’s age, it is easy to train. One must not miss the chance and develop its natural abilities.
German Shepherd Fun Facts
- The Monument of Devotion is installed in Tolyatti, it is dedicated to the memory of the German Shepherd, which has been waiting for its owner for 7 years.
- A deaf german shepherd saved a girl drowning in a pond. The baby was only 5 years old. The dog felt that the child needed help, rushed into the water and was able to drag it to the shore.
- A male named Rin Tin Tin has his own acting star in a well-known alley in Hollywood. This dog starred 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 was presented to the award “For Military Merit.”
German Shepherd Dog Breed Highlights
It is not enough to want to have your own dog. It is important to determine exactly which breed is right 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 the owners walk their pets. After talking with experienced dog breeders, you can learn a lot about dogs.
If you liked the German Shepherd, check out the advantages and disadvantages of the breed:
German Shepherd positive points
- The German Shepherd is a very intelligent dog.
- In the right hands, it is easy to train.
- Extremely loyal to his family.
- Good with kids of all ages.
- The German Shepherd is very protective, so a good guard dog.
- This dog excels in many canine activities.
- It is trustworthy and reliable when properly trained.
German Shepherd negative points
- Not the best choice for new owners.
- The German Shepherd can suffer many hereditary health problems.
- This dog must receive a lot of mental stimulation and daily exercise.
- The German Shepherd is not suitable for apartment living.
- Veterinary bills can be heavy.