The German Shepherd is a “natural dog”. It was first named the Alsatian Wolf-Dog but it was not truly bred with a wolf or even in Alaska. The German Shepherd was developed in Germany in the 1880’s as a herder. The German Shepherd Dog is a strong, agile dog – and possesses one of the keenest noses in the dog world. Unsurpassed as a working dog, German Shepherd Dogs are the original “drug dogs,” and can easily adapt to both protection and police work. The German Shepherd is exceptionally trainable and works well as a police, guide, search, rescue dog. Smart and protective, the German Shepherd Dog truly bonds with its family and can suffer separation anxiety when boarded. Early obedience training and socialization recommended. There is a distinction between the show and working lines. Show line dogs look great but have little ability for obedience. The working line dogs are more active and stable temperamentally. Larger dogs in general are slow to mature typically taking three to three and a half years.
Other names Alsatian,
- Country of Origin: Germany
- Group: Herding group
- Height: Males are 24 – 26 inches (60-65 cm); Females are 22 – 24 inches (55-60 cm)
- Weight: (35-40kg.)
- Temperament: The German Shepherd Dog is a highly intelligent, responsive, solid temperament, consistent behaviour, territorial dog breed. Initially suspicious of strangers, the German Shepherd Dog is an excellent watchdog. Often used as working dogs, German Shepherds are direct and fearless, eager and alert. Bold, cheerful, obedient and eager to learn. Known for their tremendous loyalty and courage. Calmly confident, but not hostile. Serious and almost human in his intelligence. They have a high learning ability. German Shepherds love to be close to their families, but they are very wary of strangers. This breed needs his people and should not be left isolated for long periods of time. They only bark when it is necessary. They are generally good with other pets and excellent with children in the family.
- Colours: Black, black & tan and grey (wolf sable).
- Coat: Length is medium, straight and hard and close lying with a dense undercoat, which protects against temperature and bugs, as well as a straight outer coat. Their coat requires regular brushing.
- Life Expectancy: The expected life is 11-13 years.
- Litter Size: 5 to 10
- Living Environment: Country or city living as long as adequate attention and exercise is given. Fenced yard is essential. The owner of a German Shepherd should be strong and confident.
- Learning Rate: Very High, Obedience – High, Problem Solving – High. Training is not easy as he is intelligent and will try to think of ways to avoid doing what you are asking.