Has a slightly elongated body with a strong and muscular build.
The History Of The German Shepherd Dog
The German Shepherd Dog is also known as Alsatian, Deutscher Schaferhund and the Police Dog. They originated in Germany during the 1800's.
They have a long line of sheep herding ancestors. The modern line of the German Shepherd Dogs begins in 1882. This is the first time it had been exhibited at any dog shows.
The breed was championed by Herr von Stepanitz and controlled by the German Breed Club. The German Shepherd Dog came into its own during the 20th century. It has proven itself unparalleled both as a working dog and companion.
Description Of The German Shepherd Dog
The ears are set high and carried erect. They are not altered. The tail is long and bushy, carried low and never altered.
Dogs average 24 - 26 inches tall at the shoulder and bitches 22 - 24 inches. They weigh in at around 77 - 85 pounds.
The German Shepherd Dog is good looking, well proportioned and very powerful. The nose is usually black but blue or liver sometimes occur. These colors are considered as faults and may not be shown. It has a sturdy, muscular and somewhat elongated body, with a light but solid bone structure.
Coat & Grooming
The rough, short, straight coat is thick and lies close to the body. The most common color is black and tan solid black or tan are also allowed. Although the current GSDCA breed standard currently lists white as a disqualifying color it is the second most common color registered (AKC) for German Shepherds.
AKC permits competition of White German Shepherds in all of the performance events that are open to German Shepherds.
This breed sheds bits of hair constantly and is a seasonally heavy shedder. A quick daily brushing is best.
Temperament and German Shepherd Training
German Shepherds are often used as working dogs. They are fearless, eager and alert. They are renowned for their tremendous loyalty and courage.
German Shepherds love to be close to their families and wary of strangers. They should not be left isolated for long periods of time. They only bark when necessary. German Shepherds have a strong protective instinct and should be socialized early to prevent them being over protective.
A joy to train being intelligent, obedient and eager to learn. As with all dogs, German Shepherd training should be started as a puppy. To prevent behavioral problems later in life, training should follow a recognized training regime.
Either enroll in a certified local dog training school or read this.
Life Expectancy and Health
The average life span for a German Shepherd Dog is around around 13 years.
Indiscriminate breeding has led to hereditary diseases such as hip and elbow dysplasia, (be sure both parents have had their hips certified at least OFA good), blood disorders, digestive problems and epilepsy. Careful selection of breeder and bloodlines is most important.
Please read our page on health problems by clicking here.
Preferred Environment and Exercise Requirements
The German Shepherd will be fine in an apartment if sufficiently exercised. They are relatively inactive indoors and prefer a large yard.
They love strenuous activity ,and thrive on training of some kind. They are very bright and like nothing better than a good challenge.
For More Information on the German Shepherd Dog
To get more information, check out the German Shepherd Dog web site: http://www.gsdca.org/
There may also be rescue dogs available. Check for details on: http://www.agsra.com/
They rank number 3 in American Kennel Club registrations, behind the Labrador and the Rottweiler. The American White Shepherd Association is working for recognition as a separate breed with the AKC... as it enjoys in much of Europe.
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