German Shepherd Information
If you are thinking about the German Shepherd Dog, here's everything and everyone you need to know! GSD breeders, health problems, imports, Breed Standards.
Overview of the German Shepherd Dog
Military, service and police dog, the German Shepherd Dog is exceptionally loyal and trainable. He is a serious worker, playful child's companion, and devoted family friend. Averaging 25” and 80 pounds, the German Shepherd Dog fits an active family perfectly.
Breed History: The German Shepherd Dog was developed in the 19th century as a hard-working herding breed. Today he uses that natural herding ability to protect and keep track of his family, watching over children as faithfully and tenderly as he once stood guard over a newborn lamb.
The German Shepherd was the first breed ever used as a Guide Dog for the blind and is of course well remembered as the famous "Rin Tin Tin" dog of movie fame.
Coat, Color, and Care: The German Shepherd Dog, aka “Alsatian” and “GSD” is an easy-care, double-coated breed with a harsh, glossy outer coat and soft insulating undercoat. A twice-weekly brushing with a wire “pinbrush” followed by a comb-through will minimize shedding.
The German Shepherd Dog comes in various shades ranging from black or deep brown with tan points to black and silver. All “solid” colors are correct as long as they are not pale or washed out. White is not acceptable for the AKC show ring.
Personality: A member of the Herding Group, the German Shepherd is gentle with small animals and gets along well with other dogs. The GSD has tremendous drive and stamina and with a job to do and an active, attentive owner, will be his best. His desire to be close to his person, combined with good judgment and intense loyalty enable the German Shepherd to excel at search and rescue, drug detection and other work requiring devotion and high intelligence.
For the same reason, the GSD requires mental and physical activity. He does not do well when bored and “home alone.” While this characteristic may manifest into what is called "separation anxiety" it is his concern for your safety and well-being that prompts the behavior.
Although reserved and dignified, the German Shepherd Dog must be approachable by friendly strangers. He should be well socialized and never appear timid or nervous, nor should he show aggression to strangers. Although well utilized as a police, border patrol and guard dog, those roles depend on special breeding and training. The German Shepherd Dog should be calmly watchful and protective but trustworthy in all social situations.
Activity and Training Level: By now it should be apparent that the breed is highly intelligent and physically active. The German Shepherd Dog will snooze quietly while you watch TV but is instantly ready for a run in the park.
He is among the most trainable and adaptable for serious service work although he’s not a speedy performer in the Obedience ring, perhaps because the German Shepherd “thinks” before he reacts. He responds eagerly to gentle instruction and praise for a completed routine or task.
German Shepherd Health: Like all dogs, purebred or mutt, the German Shepherd Dog has potential health problems, some of which may be breed-related. Some owners feel that the degree of shoulder and hip angles can lead to orthopedic problems including canine hip or elbow dysplasia.
A puppy or adult German Shepherd carrying too much weight will be more susceptible to any type of orthopedic stress. A chronic form of pancreatitis is thought to be genetic and can cause weight loss and poor condition. As in all breeds, diabetes, epilepsy, and eye problems can occur and have been linked to recessive genes as well as environmental issues.
Overall: The German Shepherd Dog is a hardy, healthy breed that will give a decade or more of love and devotion. The breed remains high on the “most popular breeds” list for good reason. The German Shepherd puppy is a fast growing breed that needs a nutritious diet, supervised daily exercise, and one-on-one attention. His brilliant mind and learning ability should be developed at an early age.
German Shepherd Dog Breeders: A good breeder will be successfully involved in the show ring or performance. They will be happy to provide references and cite dogs of their breeding that have attained Champion titles (adherence to physical characteristics) and/or degrees, certification, or titles in Obedience, Tracking, Schutzhund, Therapy, or performance work that tests the brain and natural ability of the German Shepherd Dog breed. Click to locate German Shepherd puppies. The information provided herein is for information purposes only. We do not recommend specific puppy breeders, nor are we responsible for the quality of any German Shepherd puppy nor the reliability of any breeder but here are suggested questions to ask the German Shepherd Dog Breeder.
The Official German Shepherd Dog Breed Standard is a description used to evaluate and judge the ideal dog. Show dog or family companion, puppy or adult, the ideal GSD should “fit the standard” closely. Review the Official Breed Standards.