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German Shepherd
German Shepherd Dog breed is a large sized working breed that originated in Germany. The breed is also popular by names like Alsatian and Deutscher Schäferhund. Ideally, these dogs are neither excessively shy nor overly aggressive.

Apart from being excellent companion dogs, these dogs also make for good police, military, search and rescue and guide dogs. Their keen sense of smell has been known for detecting drugs accurately and reporting gas leaks or the presence of underground mines as well.

They were originally developed by for the purpose of herding and protecting sheep by breeding long haired, short haired and wire haired herding and farm dogs from Wurtemberg, Thurginia and Bavaria regions of Germany.

Physical Appearance

The large sized German Shepherd Dog breed is characterized by a powerful, muscular and sturdy build. These dogs are generally longer than tall. They have dark, almond shaped eyes that are medium in size and set obliquely. The nose is usually black in color.

The erect ears are open towards the front and moderately pointed. They are neither droopy nor cropped. The low set, bushy tail tends to hang in a slight curve. Like ear cropping, tail docking is also considered unfavorable.

Color: These dogs are available in strong rich colors such as black and tan, black and sable or solid black. Liver, blue and white colors are less common. White colored German Shepherd Dog is not acceptable by breed standards and is therefore considered as a separate breed known as American White Shepherd.

Height: The average height of these dogs is usually 24 to 26 inches. The bitches are generally 22 to 24 inches in height.
Weight: The ideal weight of German Shepherd Dog breed ranges between 77 to 85 pounds.

Health Problems

German Shepherd Dogs are prone to health issues like Hip Dysplasia, Elbow Dysplasia, Degenerative Myelopathy, Blood Disorders, Epilepsy, Chronic Pancreatitis, Congenital Heart Disease etc. They are also susceptible to eye problems, bloating, eczema and other common dog diseases.

Life Expectancy: These handsome and cheerful dogs usually live up to 13-15 years.

Grooming Requirements

Grooming a German Shepherd Dog requires regular brushing and combing of the medium sized hair coat at least two times per week.

The double coat consists of a coarse, water resistant and often wiry outer coat followed by a thick and dense undercoat. These dogs shed the undercoat heavily two times in a year and lightly shed guard hair throughout the year.

Trimming the toenails, cleaning the eyes and ears, brushing the teeth and other such grooming activities should also be carried out on a regular basis. However, these dogs need not be bathed frequently so as to retain the natural oils on the skin and hence avoid skin irritation.


German Shepherd Dog temperament is loyal, outgoing, courageous, alert, calm, confident, intelligent, sociable, devoted and protective. Male German Shepherds are more territorial as compared to the females.

These dogs are extremely friendly and playful with children. In fact, German Shepherd Dog breed is considered as one of the best breed dogs for kids.

These responsive and obedience dogs with high learning abilities are quite easy to train unless their stubborn behavior takes over. Negligence in terms of proper training and socialization can give rise to aggressive behavior in these dogs.

They are usually wary of strangers and are hence popular as excellent watchdogs. Leaving a German Shepherd Dog alone in the house for long periods of time can give rise to separation anxiety.

Key Points

Being highly active, a typical German Shepherd Dog requires considerable amount of physical exercise. So, these dogs need to be taken for long daily brisk walks. In addition, they should be given with enough opportunity to play in properly fenced large sized yards to keep them physically fit.

Games like Frisbee and ball chasing also provide adequate physical and mental stimulation to these dogs. These dogs are quite active indoors and tend to adapt well in apartment situation with ample space for playing. German Shepherd Dog breed is generally recommended for dedicated and assertive experienced dog owners.


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