German Shepherd

Types of German Shepherd dogs

The German Shepherd is a breed of medium to large-sized working dog that originated in Germany. Among the most intelligent of breeds, the German shepherd dog is so intent on its mission — whatever that may be — that it is virtually unsurpassed in working versatility. It is utterly devoted and faithful. Aloof and suspicious toward strangers, it is protective of its home and family. It can be domineering. It can be aggressive toward other dogs, but it is usually good with other pets.
Originating in 1899 in Karlsruhe, Germany, the German Shepherd was developed primarily by cavalry officer Max Stephanitz. Developed from a diverse combination of sheepherding and farm dogs for the purpose of herding sheep, the German Shepherd soon became very popular as a working dog. The Allies recognized its heroism and bravery as a Red Cross dog during World War I. Its strength, obedience, and ability to be trained soon made it the preferred breed for a number of roles including police and military work as well as search and rescue. The breed is also one of the most recognizable in popular culture, being the star of 24 films as Rin Tin Tin. Rin Tin Tin’s fame once garnered 10, 000 fan letters a week and helped save Warner Bros. from bankruptcy after starring in Where the North Begins (1923). It also appeared in Batman comics as Ace the Bat-Hound from 1955 through 1964.
Size & Weight
The ideal height for male German Shepherds is 60–65 cm (24–26 in) at the shoulder, for females, 55–60 cm (22–24 in). There is no established weight requirement, but males range in weight from 30–40 kg (66–88 lb) and females generally weigh between 22–32 kg (49–71 lb). They are longer than they are tall, with the ideal proportion being 10:8.5.
Coat & Color
German Shepherds have a double coat that developed over the years to protect these herding dogs from rain, snow and burrs. Some dogs have long hair, while most have medium-length length coats. The coat may be either straight hair that lies flat against the body, or it may be wavy or wiry. They come in a wide variety of colors and color patterns including black, black and cream, black and red, black and silver, black and tan, blue, bray, liver, sable, or white. White dogs can not be entered into AKC competitions, but other organizations allow white dogs. There are no color patterns that exclude a German Shepherd from being a loving family dog, however.
German Shepherd Dogs are highly territorial, making them among the least likely of breeds to run away from a fight. They are not friendly towards strangers and will stop unwanted visitors. The German Shepherd Dog gets along fine with children and other animals, provided proper socialization has taken place, but does not prefer the companionship of other dogs.
Health & Lifespan
The German Shepherd Dog should be brushed weekly. During shedding, a special comb to remove dead hairs may be required. Like other large breeds, German Shepherd Dogs are susceptible to elbow and hip problems. Meals should be spread throughout the day to avoid bloat. The German Shepherd Dog has a life span of 10-13 years.
Training & Activity

The German Shepherd requires early intensive and extensive socialization and obedience training. They will not respond to harsh or heavy-handed methods. This breed is obedient and quick to learn. Training must be done with respect, firmness, fairness, reward, and consistency. They are exceptionally talented in tracking, schutzhund, agility, obedience, fly-ball, and ring sport. The German Shepherd is often used in police work, search and rescue, as a guide for the blind, and military work. Teaching your dog to sit, lie down, and stay is vital to the training of your new puppy. There are several accepted methods of house training your new German Shepherd puppy. Consider crate training if you need to adapt your dog to a safe and confined environment for various safety and comfort reasons.

This breed is happiest when given a job to do. They require strenuous exercise and enjoy securely leashed walks, family play sessions, and a large safely fenced area to romp and run freely in. The German Shepherd will do okay in an apartment or condominium dwelling provided they are given sufficient exercise, stimulation, and attention. Socialization is one of the single most important things you can do for your puppy.

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