German Shepherd Alternate Names
Alsatian Deutscher Schaferhund
German Shepherd Appearance
Body: Powerful sturdy body with deep chest, long back, long well-sprung ribs, long shoulders, and long, broad loins.
Coat: Long or short with a straight, harsh outer coat, and dense, thick undercoat. Coat sheds year round as the seasons change.
Color: Found in any color: Usually found in tan (cream) and brown but also found in solid black or white or tri-colored (black, brown and red). Though more rare than other colors, he is also found in solid white.
Ears: Medium sized, somewhat pointed, broad-based, erect and high set.
Eyes: Medium sized, dark brown, somewhat oblique or slanting, almond-shaped, not protruding and alert.
Feet: Small, round and compact with well-arched toes, dense hard pads, and short dark nails.
Head: Well-proportioned and clean. Wide between the ears, gradually narrowing towards extended black nose. Slight stop, powerful long wedge-shaped muzzle and tight lips.
Neck: Medium length, strong and muscular.
Legs: Forelegs are straight and powerful, bones are oval-shaped. Hind legs have broad, well-muscled thighs and firm, bent hocks.
Height is 22 – 26 inches (56 – 66cm)
Weight is 75 – 85 pounds (34 – 38.5kg)
Tail: Bushy and low set. Hangs with a slight curve when at rest.
German Shepherd Behavior
Recommended for experienced dog handlers.
Most are good with children.
Can be bossy with dogs of the same sex.
The German Shepherd is the worlds most famous dog. He is intelligent, handsome, obedient, resourceful, powerful, sturdy and easily trained. He is a loyal, fearless and versatile working dog with an exceptional capacity for learning and making sound judgments.
He is used in rescue missions, to assist the police and the military to detect drugs and bombs, and to track and capture criminals, to guide the blind, to herd sheep, as a guard dog, and as a companion. AKC standards say, “The impression of the dog as a whole is one of ruggedness combined with nobility, and power combined with agility.”
Due to indiscriminate breeding practices, some lines have physical problems such as arthritis, eye disease, and gastrointestinal problems and some have behavioral problems such as being high-strung, shy, skittish, or aggressive. Unfortunately this has damaged the German Shepherd’s reputation.
If you are considering owning this breed be certain to work with an experienced and reputable breeder and to ask about the history of the parents and line.
An experienced dog handler is best suited for this breed. Early training and continued socialization along with a vast amount of mental and physical exercise is necessary to keep him healthy and mentally stimulated.
German Shepherd Breed Type
AKC Group: Herding Group
There are three major breed lines:
International working line.
International show line.
North American Show line.
There are five varieties:
Black and tan shorthaired.
Originally bred to herd sheep and protect livestock. Today the German Shepherd is often used for search and rescue (SAR), for military puposes, by police to detect narcotics and bombs, as well as to track and capture criminals, and as guard dogs. The have also been used as service dogs for blind and otherwise disabled people.
German Shepherd Care and Grooming
Exercise: A vast amount of exercise is required. Be sure to include activities that will stimulate him both mentally and physically.
Grooming: Sheds constantly (very heavily two times yearly) requiring frequent brushing (every one to two days). Bath two to three times yearly.
German Shepherd Health
Life Expectancy: 12 Years
Hip and Elbow Dysplasia
Panosteitis – bone inflammations
Sebaceous Adenitis – a disease that destroys the sabaceous gland and may result in dermatitis.
Von Willebrand’s Disease – a congenital (inherited) bleeding disorder.
OFA (hips and elbows)
German Shepherd Country of Origin
Germany – 1800s