Every dog owner knows the German Shepherd. This incredibly popular breed is renowned for its strength, intelligence, loyalty, and versatility. The German Shepherd has the ability to fill a multitude of demanding roles, from search-and-rescue dog to service dog.
German Shepherds not only excel at work, they’ve also got the good looks to be movie stars. Rin-Tin-Tin and Bullet the Wonder Dog paved the way for German Shepherds to be some of the most popular dogs in pop culture.
TemperamentThere is a popular mental image of the German Shepherd being aloof and stoic, and that’s true to an extent. German Shepherds are constantly assessing the situation and watching out for any threats to their owners and family members. It’s normal for them to be reserved when meeting strangers. However, they aren’t aggressive dogs by nature, and once you’ve earned a German Shepherd’s trust, they are loyal to the end. German Shepherds are affectionate and easygoing with their chosen humans, exposing a gentle side that is not often seen when they’re performing their duties as an all-around working dog. While they’re excellent guardians and protectors, they need a lot of companionship and attention from their owners. Their incredibly high intelligence means they get bored easily and will often want more mental stimulation, whether in the form of work or play.
The Ultimate Guide to German Shepherd
The German Shepherd is a relatively new breed, being developed at the end of the 19th century by Captain Max von Stephanitz. The captain intended to create an unparalleled herding dog from the farm and herding dogs in the German regions of Thuringia and Wurttemberg. However, von Stephanitz soon realized that the German Shepherd had talents beyond herding, and he was able to use his military connections to convince the German government that his dogs would play a major role in police and military work. This legacy is continued to this day, where numerous German Shepherds have been recognized for their bravery even in the face of adversity and disaster. German Shepherds are seen in nearly every corner of the world, continuing to serve their handlers with loyalty and obedience.
Key Characteristics of German Shepherd
German Shepherd personality and temperament:
There is a popular mental image of the German Shepherd being aloof and stoic, and that’s true to an extent. German Shepherds are constantly assessing the situation and watching out for any threats to their owners and family members. It’s normal for them to be reserved when meeting strangers.
However, they aren’t aggressive dogs by nature, and once you’ve earned a German Shepherd’s trust, they are loyal to the end. German Shepherds are affectionate and easygoing with their chosen humans, exposing a gentle side that is not often seen when they’re performing their duties as an all-around working dog.
While they’re excellent guardians and protectors, they need a lot of companionship and attention from their owners. Their incredibly high intelligence means they get bored easily and will often want more mental stimulation, whether in the form of work or play.
Captain Max von Stephanitz wanted a dog that could work all day without fail, and this intent shows in the energy levels of the modern German Shepherd. They have nearly boundless stamina and will keep working so long as they’re needed.
As a result, they need multiple hours of exercise per day. At least 90 minutes of walking is a must, and most German Shepherds will still be ready for lots of play even after their walk is done. Lots of mentally challenging toys and games will be necessary to keep a German Shepherd from getting bored.
German Shepherds that get the right amount of exercise and play are generally more receptive to training and more easygoing, so a daily exercise regimen is a must.
|German Shepherd Grooming||
The German Shepherd has a thick double coat that protects it from the elements. The top coat is water-resistant, while the undercoat is dense and warm.
Like many other double-coated breeds, German Shepherds will blow coat a couple of times per year, resulting in a flurry of fur that will likely get on almost everything. Brushing your German Shepherd regularly will help to minimize the amount of shedding that happens.
German Shepherds don’t need baths too often, as even though they shed heavily, they generally do not smell and their fur tends to stay clean. Bathing your dog too often also strips the skin of its natural oils, which may result in skin problems. A bath every couple of months is good enough for most German Shepherds, unless they get exceptionally dirty from rolling in mud or soil.
Like any other breed, tooth brushing should be done regularly, preferably daily, to ensure the health of the dog’s teeth and gums. Nail trimming can be done around once a month.
|German Shepherd Training||
The German Shepherd’s high intelligence makes it well-suited to be trained for almost any role. Early training and socialization are vital to ensure that a German Shepherd grows up to be easygoing and well-behaved.
German Shepherds are quick to learn most tasks and tricks, and are capable of being trained to perform complex tasks in conjunction with their handlers. Patient and focused training will reward any German Shepherd owner with a dog that will follow commands promptly.
Positive reinforcement will go a long way toward motivating a German Shepherd during training. Their high intelligence and need for activity may make it a challenge for first-time dog owners to keep up with a German Shepherd.
|German Shepherd Lifespan And Health Issues||
German Shepherds have an average lifespan for dogs of their size, living for 10 to 14 years. German Shepherds may be prone to:
|German Shepherd Size and Space Requirements||
German Shepherds are large, muscular dogs bred for long hours of hard work. Their heights range from 24 to 26 inches at the shoulder for male German Shepherds, while females are slightly smaller at 22 to 24 inches. Males can weigh between 60 and 90 pounds, while females stay between 55 to 70 pounds.
Due to their size and energy levels, German Shepherds typically need a lot of space, both to lounge around and to play. Because they are adaptable, German Shepherds will be able to live in almost any size home. However, the owner will need to find sufficient outdoor space for walks, training, and playtime to let their German Shepherd thrive.
Because German Shepherds develop such a deep bond with their owners, they prefer to sleep nearby rather than outdoors. However, It is possible to train a German Shepherd to sleep on their own if you start at a young age.
- German Shepherds are also known as Alsatians, which was the name used for them to distance them from the stigma surrounding Germany after World War II.
- There are different lengths for the German Shepherd’s coat: short, medium, and long. Most German Shepherd puppies for sale will have a short coat.
- German Shepherds can be very vocal, so obedience training for a German Shepherd puppy should include a “quiet” command.
How can I take good care of my German Shepherd or Puppy?
- Proper socialization – Like most large breed dogs, German Shepherds may be able to inadvertently cause harm due to their size and strength. Socializing your German Shepherd puppy is crucial during the 8 to 12 week period. Most reputable dog breeders will only release puppies at 8 weeks old, which is too young for a complete set of vaccinations. However, training and socialization may still be done to ensure that your German Shepherd grows up to be calm and even-tempered.
- Proper nutrition – German Shepherds are a large breed of dog and grow quickly, so it’s important to get them high-quality, premium dog food. It’s a good idea to give the same brand or type of dog food that your breeder uses, and then slowly transition to your preferred dog food. This will help prevent upset stomachs and bloat. A good rule of thumb is to let your German Shepherd puppy eat as much as they want within 15 to 20 minutes, then take away an excess so that they don’t overeat. Of course, this may vary according to your dog’s needs, and your veterinarian may have more specific recommendations.
- Up-to-date vaccinations – Vaccination schedules will vary depending on the prevalence of common transmissible dog diseases in your area. Consult your veterinarian for an appropriate schedule and follow it to the best of your ability.
Most Asked German Shepherd Questions
+How Much do German Shepherd Puppies Cost
Most German Shepherd puppies for sale from reputable breeders will cost between $1500 and $3000. There are a number of critical tests that need to be performed on both the mother and the puppies to ensure their health and wellbeing, and those costs can add up. Getting your German Shepherd puppy from ethical breeders will help give your pup the best start in life and prevent future behavioral or health issues.