The German Shepherd Dog

The German Shepherd Dog

The German Shepherd is a well-loved dog.  He’s known for his beauty, loyalty, courage, and intelligence, but did you know is that is ranked as the second most popular dog according to the American Kennel Club? It’s true.  Are you surprised? The breed was popularized by pop culture, including the ever-popular Rin-Tin-Tin, but popularity remained due to the dog’s overall temperament. Because German shepherd dogs are large and powerful and have strong guarding instincts, great care should be taken to purchase German shepherds from reputable breeders. Poorly bred dogs are more likely to be nervous.

History

The German Shepherd Dog comes from a long line of German herding dogs. In the late 1800s a man, Captain Max Von Stephanitz, set out to breed the best German herding dog.  He along with some other breeders cross bred many dogs from different districts in Germany.  The result was what we now know as the German Shepherd.  While originally known to be a herding dog, Von Stephanitz actively promoted his breed as potential K-9 dogs to help assist police and military.  Nowadays the German shepherd is known to be a favorite among police and military alike. Today, they are one of the most popular dogs in America. In 1999, German shepherd dogs were third on the American Kennel Club’s list of the Top 50 Breeds.

Size

The German shepherd is a dog well known for its strength, too.  This is why he makes a great working or service dog.  The strength, intelligence, and guardianship make this muscular, agile dog the perfect working dog and companion dog alike.  Females stand at about 22 inches and weigh in at about 50 – 70 pounds. Males stand at about 24 inches and are a little heavier weighing in at 65 -90 pounds.  The average life expectancy is between 7 and 10 years.

Coat/Grooming

The German Shepherd Dog’s hair is of medium length.  The double coat is made up of short, dense hair.  The outer coat conceals a softer undercoat.  These beauties should be brushed every few days, but owners must keep in mind that much shedding can be expected a few times a year.  It is during these times that brushing should be much more frequent, preferably daily.  Baths are only needed occasionally, and by that we mean they can get away with only a few baths each year.  Their nails should be looked at every month and trimmed as needed.

Exercise

The German Shepherd Dog needs daily exercise and lots of it.  He is a very athletic dog that thrives on exercise.  Lack of physical stimulation can lead to problem behaviors with this breed.  Mental stimulation is just as important for the German Shepherd Dog.  These intelligent companions do well with training that will promote mental and physical exercise.  Agility is great for these dogs because it attends to both needs at once.

In short, the German Shepherd is a strong, intelligent, dog that will quickly become a beloved member of the family.  With the right care and exercise, you can come to expect him to be a loving, obedient and loyal companion. For more information about the German Shepherd Dog or any other breed, take a look at the American Kennel Club website.  There’s so much fascinating information about this breed and more.

 

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