|Sensitivity to strangers|
|Affection for family|
|Suitable for first-time owners|
|Ease of grooming|
The German Shepherd Dog is one of the most famous and important breeds of the world, but it is so much more than that: Let’s discover all its traits.
The German Shepherd Dog is a very versatile dog. Agile and proportionate and harmonious, it has mid-long hair, and it is just beautiful to contemplate. The well-balanced temperament and absolute loyalty to their owner have made the German Shepherd one of the most popular and loved breeds over the last two centuries.
Many people insist on calling the German Shepherd Dog as Wolf-Shepherd or Wolf Dog. Maybe they could have some connection to wolves but no more than other breeds.
Recent research shows that this dog breed has a common ancestry with wolves, but this line of descent is ancient and most similarities have disappeared over time.
German Shepherd Dog: Origins and Appearance
The German Shepherd Dog from the past is surely not like the one we know nowadays, thanks to Captain Max Von Stephaniz, who is credited with having improved and developed the breed with repeated and controlled crossbreeding.
There was a time when the breed was known as Alsatian Wolf Dog. This was because during the First World War, Americans avoided using the word “German”. After the war, the name Alsatian fell into disuse and nowadays very few people call them by that term.
The German Shepherd Dog is a large-sized dog; it has a well-balanced and muscular appearance. The coat is usually black with some red-brownish spots. The ears are triangular and stand erect; the eyes are almond-shaped medium-sized with a black or brown color.
Most commonly German Shepherd Dogs can be tan-black, pure-black or pure-white. But the acceptable and standard colors for this breed are 11.
German Shepherd Dog: Temperament
German Shepherd Dogs are the perfect breed for those who want a loyal and hard-working partner. They have a well-balanced temperament and take their work very seriously. They don’t feel intimidated by any situation or strangers; on the contrary, they usually become aggressive if someone tries to get into their owner’s property.
This serious and alert characteristic is ironically combined with their sociable personality. German Shepherds are always willing to play; they are very smart and well prepared to deal with stress.
They are definitely not a breed for apartments, as they could get frustrated and develop undesirable behaviors due to their large size. This is an active and athletic breed; they require lots of exercise to be in shape and mentally healthy. The best environment for them will be a house with a backyard, in contact with nature, in this way they will feel confident to protect their space.
German Shepherd Dog: Breed Characteristics
Puppies need short daily walks so they can explore and learn about their environment. An important fact is that they should not get bored, as we mentioned before, they could get frustrated or even worse, become aggressive.
The German Shepherd Dog is a versatile and highly intelligent companion and an extraordinary worker. One of its first tasks was being a livestock guardian dog.
Nowadays, the German Shepherd Dog is used by the police to find drug traces. Its exceptional sense of smell allows it to find missing people or victims of disasters.
At home, they are excellent guardians. Their temperament makes German Shepherds the best choice for guide or companion dogs for visually-impaires people. But this breed is also the favorite of the big screen, for example in movies like Rin Tin Tin, White Fang, K9 or the TV series Rex.
German Shepherd Dog: Health
Although most dog breeds can be affected by all sorts of diseases, some affect some breeds more than others. German Shepherds can suffer from recurrent diseases such as:
- Glaucoma: It is an inherited disease and can be detected when the dog is around 2 or 3 years old. It inflicts pain as intraocular pressure increases, the dog may scratch its eye against surfaces. A symptom is a dark and dilated pupil. It must be treated surgically.
- Hip Dysplasia: It is a genetic condition in which the soft tissues (ligaments and joint capsule) that normally stabilize the hip joint become loose within the first few weeks of life. It produces limping and bone decalcification. It is a hereditary disease but it can be controlled with a balanced diet and supplements.
- Pigmentary Keratitis: It is one of the most common eye diseases of this breed and it consists of corneal inflammation. It is an autoimmune disease that can appear at between 3 or 7 years old; some of the symptoms can be redness of the eyes, corneal lesions, etc. It can be controlled with a suitable treatment.
German Shepherd Dog: Relationship With the Owner
Determination, compromise and consistency, are the 3 main characteristics that a German Shepherd owner must have. These dogs love to have a relationship built on trust; they are not intimidated by any situation or people, and always have everything under control. They show great devotion to the tasks they are assigned, completing them in every case. They always adapt to diverse situations, and are easy to train.
The German Shepherd Dog feels the need to fulfill its owner’s desires and be useful. The ideal person to own this breed must be attentive and caring. The owner has to frequently give the dog tasks to keep him busy, and by the end of each well done task, has to congratulate and pet the dog, as a reward for its correct behavior.
German Shepherd Dog: Relationship With Children
Many people think that it is not a good idea to have a German Shepherd Dog when you have children in the house, but this could not be more wrong! The dog’s playful nature and well-balanced temperament make it the ideal breed to own by a family with kids.
This dog is not aggressive at all with the family of its owner. Besides, if it is raised properly, it can play freely with the kids. It is advised to keep them under control when playing with toddlers, because despite its affection and sweetness, they can’t control their strength.
German Shepherd Dog: Relationship With Other Dogs
One of this breed’s weaknesses is a slightly high tendency to be aggressive towards other dogs, especially males in the beginning of its sexual maturity. This tendency can be mitigated with training during puppyhood.
Early socialization with other breeds or the same kind is a key element to work on with the German Shepherd Dog. If it has a tendency to attack other dogs in its daily walks, you must not allow it. To reinforce positive behavior, you have to pet and give it treats when it ignores other dogs.
German Shepherd Dog: Puppies For Sale, Price and Breeders
Taking care of a German Shepherds in breeding establishments is not easy. We recommend being cautious when browsing online: look for authorized and certified breeding centers. The price of a German Shepherd Dog can vary between 700-1000 dollars, 500-900 English pounds.
The value is due to the dog’s maintenance and care from breeders, this represents a high cost. It is imperative to purchase from a reliable breeder, to insure that your puppy has been:
- Raised to have good character and good health;
- Carefully selected (its parents were chosen without any genetic diseases);
- Properly socialized, so that it is not too aggressive or fearful;
- Vaccinated and well-cared for.
When you adopt a puppy, a reliable breeder provides you with an official veterinarian certificate, in which it is formally stipulated that the animal is in perfect health and dewormed.
You can ask for a pedigree certificate, which allows you to check your dog breed´s purity. An animal with pedigree has certain characteristics that distinguish it among the others.
Now that we have mentioned the most important aspects, you can go to your new 4 legged friend, who is certainly waiting for you.
German Shepherd Dog: Video
German Shepherd Dog: Curiosities
- Hektor Linksrhein was the first German Shepherd and was owned by Captain Von Stephaniza, a breeder from Frankfurt. Hektor was the first of its kind, in the line of German Shepherds we know in the present.
- The first German Shepherd Dog in the history of cinema was Strongheart, who played 6 silent films, including “White Fang”, before he died of cancer in 1929. We can find its paw print in Hollywood’s “Hall of Fame”.
- Many people consider them heroes. One of the most famous was Filax, who was rewarded for rescuing 54 wounded soldiers during the First World War.
- The most famous club for German Shepherd Dogs lovers has created a certificate of recognition to senior dogs of 12 years of age or older.
- The most common of its kind is the one with a tan-black coat, but there are 11 standard colors for this particular breed.
The German Shepherd is part of the wild shepherds family, you may also like:
- Doberman Pinscher
- Siberian Husky
- Rough Collie
- Bull Terrier
- Bernese Mountain Dog
- Great Dane
- Saint Bernard
- Cane Corso (Italian Mastiff)