The German Shepherd Dog (also called the Alsatian or just the German Shepherd) is a strong, obedient, handsome and courageous breed of dog that ranks among the most intelligent and popular of all breeds. Their intelligence, dependability, courage and adaptability help make the German Shepherd Dog a popular dog for police work, movie roles, guide dogs for the blind, search and rescue dogs, show dogs or as companions for active families.
Origins Of The German Shepherd Dog
The German Shepherd Dog is known to have originated in Germany during the late 1800s and their creation is largely credited to Max von Stephanitz whose ambition was to see them acting purely as working dogs to herd and guard flocks of sheep. They are believed to be the product of crossing a mixture of local German herding and farm dogs from Wurtemberg, Thurginia and Bavaria.
Average Size Of The German Shepherd Dog
German Shepherd Dogs are classified as a large-sized breed. The suggested standard size for the German Shepherd Dog male is 24-26 inches high from paw to shoulder and a weight of 75-95 pounds, while the recommended size for female German Shepherd Dogs is 22-24 inches tall from paw to shoulder with a weight of 60-70 pounds.
Temperament Of The German Shepherd Dog
The German Shepherd Dog is legendary for their fearless and protective (though not hostile) nature. They are typically suspicious with unfamiliar people, which can mean they are highly suitable as a guard dog.
The German Shepherd Dog is also accepted to be extremely intelligent – scoring 3rd in comparison with other dogs when taking into account their capacity to be taught obedience commands.
They are renowned to be great with kids – which means they are very suitable as a family pet. The German Shepherd Dog is quite friendly with other pets such as cats and dogs if they are introduced at an early age.
Living Requirements Of The German Shepherd Dog
The German Shepherd Dog is best with a large yard to give them room to run, but are just as happy to remain indoor-only dogs and they are suitable for apartment life just as long as they are given daily exercise.
Health & Life Expectancy Of The German Shepherd Dog
Similar to a large number of large-sized dogs, the German Shepherd Dog is typically shorter-lived with a life expectancy of 9-12 years. The main health problem for German Shepherd Dogs is commonly known to be hip and elbow dysplasia that occurs in around 20% of dogs due to excessive breeding. They can also be vulnerable to conditions that include blood disorders, digestive problems and chronic eczema – but when you buy from a reputable breeder there should be minimal inherited health problems.
Exercise Needs Of The German Shepherd Dog
The German Shepherd Dog takes pleasure from pastimes which include agility, tracking, running, playing games or chasing after balls and frisbees. They possess a medium degree of energy and need daily exercise in the shape of long walks or jogs and play sessions to stop them becoming restless or destructive due to a lack of physical and mental stimulation.