The German Shepherd
is technically a working dog, though many families prefer them over other breeds. They are classified as being large- to medium-sized, and can be referred to as GSD (German Shepherd Dog), or simply German Shepherd. Until 1977, this breed was also referred to as the Alsatian Wolf Dog.
Colors that can be contained with in a German Shepherd consist of solid black or bicolor, sable, or tan with black saddle. Height can range from 22 to 24 inches for a female, and 24 to 26 inches for a male – generally speaking. The weight of a German Shepherd, though depend largely upon exercise and eating habits, can range between 49 and 71 pounds for a female, and 66 to 88 pounds for a male.
You can expect your German Shepherd to live for approximately 9 to 13 years.
A Brief History of German Shepherd
German Shepherds were given rise to from a broadly distributed European herding dog back in 1859. This information is courtesy of a genetic study that took place in 2018. To standardize dog breeds, attempts were being made back in the 1850s. Seeking traits that assisted in their protecting of flocks and herding of sheep, specific dogs were selected and cross bred.
The result of a German Shepherd was considered a success due to more than just the animal’s adeptness at sheep herding. German Shepherds also have a keen sense of smell, strength, speed, and a high level of intelligence.
It is thought that the German Shepherd’s founder was Max Emil Frederick von Stephanitz back in 1899. The breed was, in his estimation, the perfect working dog. In a position that is maintained to this day, the breed soon became one of the most numerous and popular in the world.
Is German Shepherd a Good Dog to Keep as a Pet?
These dogs can be very good family protectors and gentle companions. It is encouraged, however, that socialization and proper training be done for a family dog. For an active household, this is a great choice.
Are They Big Shedders?
One of the questions people ask about German shepherds is, "Are they big shedders?" In short, the answer is, "Yes!" This is particularly true in the fall and spring. Grooming your dog regularly can help keep shedding a bit better under control – but not much.
Are They Healthy Dogs?
The genetic makeup
of German Shepherds, unfortunately, can cause them to lean toward debilitating conditions such as musculoskeletal disorders (i.e., osteoarthritis, hip dysplasia, etc.). These can be exacerbated by poor diet, intense exercise, or poor breeding.
Bone cancer and cancer of the spleen are two common causes of death for German Shepherds.
Specially Honored German Shepherds
German Shepherds who have gone above and beyond :
• Finn, a retired police dog, received the PDSA Gold Medal for animal bravery.
• For devotion or conspicuous gallantry during military service, dogs awarded the Dikin Medal include Lucky, Sam, Apollo, Antis, Bing, Rex, Rifleman Khan, Thorn, Irma, and Jet.
Other Fun Facts You Should Know about German Shepherd
• They work like… well… dogs!
• There was once a play that featured actors who were actually German Shepherds (six of them).
• Dwarfism affects some German Shepherds.
• These dogs are highly treasured and loved in America.
• Through time, they have gone through numerous name changes.