German Shepherd Dog Breed Info/History, Coat Colors, Behavior & Health

German Shepherd Dog Breed Info/History, Coat Colors, Behavior & Health

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Regarding dog breeds, the German Shepherd Dog Breed ranks high in popularity in the United States, and for apparent reason. It’s no surprise that the forever loyal German Shepherd is one of America’s favorite dog breeds. These watchdog puppies have an air of self-assurance and eagerness to please and learn.


They are among the most skilled and intelligent canines in the working world. In terms of bravery and commitment, they are unparalleled. Additionally, their adaptability is remarkable.

 Complete German Shepherd Dog Breed Info 


German shepherds are considered the second most popular dog breed in America because they are self-assured, brave, intelligent, and gentle. These big dogs are always loyal to and protective of their owners, but they are wary of strangers.


German Shepherd Dog Breed Info

Strong and hardworking German shepherds have a long history in law enforcement and the military.


German shepherds have a rich history of service to law enforcement and armed forces across the globe since their breed was specifically developed to foster a strong work ethic. The typical owner, though, need not be a soldier to keep a German shepherd content. Dogs with such a low-key disposition are perfect for those who like to spend long periods outside.


Origin and History of German Shepherd Dog Breed


Commander Max von Stephanitz, a German cavalry captain, created the German Shepherd in 1899 to be the best herding dog in Germany.  


Before von Stephanitz, German farmers used dogs to drive and defend their livestock. Sheepherders traveled days to breed their female dogs to a famed sire. Of the local herding dogs, however, von Stephanitz observed that no one had yet worked to establish a separate breed.  


Von Stephanitz withdrew from the service in 1898 and started his second profession, raising German herding dogs. Stephanitz researched British breeding practices for herding dogs and went across Germany to see German-type herding dogs.  


Von Stephanitz noticed several good herding, athletic, clever, or competent dogs. He didn’t see a dog with such characteristics. Von Stephanitz saw a wolf-like dog at a dog exhibition in 1899. He instantly bought the dog, named Hektor Linksrhein. Later dubbed Horand v Grafeth, the dog’s strength and intellect impressed von Stephanitz that he created the Verein fur Deutsche Schaferhunde to find a breed from Horand’s descendants.  

As Germany industrialized, von Stephanitz saw the necessity for herding dogs’ decline. He wanted his breed to continue working as a police and military dog.  


Von Stephanitz used his military ties to encourage Germany to utilize the breed. German Shepherds acted as Red Cross dogs, messengers, rescuers, guards, supply carriers, and sentries throughout WWI.  


German Shepherds arrived in the U.S. before World War II, but the breed didn’t become popular until the war. Allied forces praised the dog’s courage and intelligence, and many pups traveled home with them.  


A Los Angeles-based corporal rescued a 5-day-old puppy from a bomb-damaged kennel in France. The soldier took the pup home, trained him, and transformed him into Rin Tin Tin, who starred in 26 films and popularized the breed in America.  


The Allies were impressed with German canines, but not their German heritage. During WWI, everything German was demonized; therefore, the AKC renamed the Shepherd Dog breed.  


 In England, the dog was dubbed the Alsatian Wolf Dog after Alsace-Lorraine. The AKC returned to using the German Shepherd Dog in 1931; the BKC waited until 1977.


Von Stephanitz kept concerned with the breed’s growth and grew disturbed by poor temperament and dental rot in 1922. Before being bred, German Shepherds have to pass IQ, character, athleticism, and health examinations.


 American German Shepherd breeding wasn’t controlled. In the U.S., breeders emphasized beauty and gait to win dog exhibitions.  


 After WWII, American and German-bred German Shepherds diverged drastically. U.S. police and the military started importing German Shepherd working dogs because domestic canines failed performance testing and had genetic health issues.  


Some American breeders have started to focus on the breed’s skills rather than its looks by bringing working dogs from Germany.  


Characteristics of the German Shepherd Dog Breed


German Shepherd Dog Breed Info, Detailed breed information

Regarding characteristics, German shepherds are known for being guardians, loyal friends, and loving family members. Their ability to be both devoted family pets and hardworking companions has contributed to their status as one of the most popular dog breeds in the United States. They have a solid attachment to “their people,” although they may be wary of newcomers or strangers. They flourish with the care and attention of their family members.  


Breed Overview


WEIGHT50–90 pounds
HEIGHT 26+ inches 
LIFE SPAN10–13 years 
EXERCISE NEED40 minutes/day
COLOURSBlack, White, Sable, Grey, Black & Tan
Overall Grooming RequirementsModerate

 German Shepherd Dog Breed Info


Appearance of German Shepherd


German shepherds, one of the most popular dog breeds, are admired for their combination of strength and elegance. These massive canines, weighing approximately 50-90 pounds, are easy to spot because of their perking ears and bright, almond-shaped dark eyes.


German Shepherd Dog Breed Info. They have a large, wedge-shaped head, a domed forehead, and a long, square muzzle with black lips. The head and forehead should be about the same size as the rest of the body.

German shepherds are one of the most popular dog breeds because of their remarkable combination of strength and elegance.

The American Kennel Club states that German shepherds have a double coat, which combines a thick, soft undercoat with a coarse outer coat to enable the dog to survive at almost any temperature. German shepherds have a lot of hair, so they shed a lot, and you’ll need to brush them many times a week in the spring and autumn if you want them (and your house) to look their best.  


According to the AKC, although black and tan German shepherds make up the vast majority of the breed, other colors are not unheard of, including all-black, black with red, sable, and even the occasional white German Shepherd.  


Temperament and Personality of the German Shepherd 


The German Shepherd’s natural protective instincts and steadfast devotion to its human family are its greatest strengths.  The courageous breed has even risked danger to itself rather than seeing a family member wounded.


As expected, friendliness is not a strong characteristic of the German Shepherd dog breed. Because of their reserve, you will need to work to win their friendship. German Shepherds are naturally wary of strangers; if they think their family is in danger, they will go into “guard dog mode.”

Early socialization with youngsters, newborns, and other animals is especially vital for a well-behaved German Shepherd with visitors. A well-trained puppy like this one may be an excellent addition to any household.


German Shepherds are natural talkers. Dogs bark for various reasons, including boredom and when something is wrong. Training and exercise may control a hyperactive dog to only bark when necessary.


 Extremely intelligent, these canines thrive when they are put to use, whether in the role of police or military dog, in the position of tracker or search and rescue dog, or as a guiding dog. Or even at home, where they may do scent work or solve puzzles in exchange for treats. To display their playful side, German Shepherds often toss their toys in the air and roll about on their backs while they are with their families.  


German Shepherd Dog Breed Common Health Problems

German Shepherds usually live 12–14 years, but they can have many health problems. Understanding the most common canine health problems will help keep your dog healthy and extend its life.  


Dysplasia: Diseases of the joints, including elbow and hip dysplasia, are a common problem for German Shepherds. Dysplasia of the elbow or hip is characterized by an abnormally shaped joint. Orthopedic Foundation for Animals estimates that 20% of German Shepherds suffer from hip dysplasia. Indicators to watch out for include a limp or a general lack of mobility. Weight loss, reduced exercise, and surgery are all viable options.  


Myelopathy: Paralysis of the rear limbs can be a symptom of degenerative myelopathy, a condition affecting the nervous system, specifically the spinal cord. Weakness in the back legs and trouble standing are early signs of degenerative myelopathy. There is no cure yet, but physical therapy can help keep their muscles strong and help them use their legs longer.  


Cancer: Hemangiosarcoma (a kind of malignant tumor that often forms in blood-rich organs like the heart or spleen), bone cancer, lung cancer, and intestine cancer are all forms of cancer observed in German Shepherds. A lack of energy and appetite are two symptoms that may indicate malignancy. Depending on its stage, depending on stage, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or surgery may be used to treat the disease.  


Bloating: Irrespective of breed, dogs with deep chests like German Shepherds are predisposed to developing bloat, a potentially fatal illness characterized by abdominal swelling and twisting. Take your dog to the vet right away if its belly gets bigger quickly or if it whines when you touch it.  


Allergies: Sneezing triggers an allergic response in your dog. When a dog scratches excessively, it’s not always because of skin irritation. You may get advice from your vet on addressing your dog’s allergies, including a change in food or medication.  

Care of German Shepherds Dogs


German Shepherd Dog Breed Info about breeds care, grooming, training and health problems

German Shepherds demand more grooming. Daily grooming with a pin brush is essential for shedding control, especially in the spring and fall.


While German shepherds are high-maintenance pets, the time and effort you put into training and caring for your pet will be rewarded with undying affection and devotion from your dog. They are suitable for all kinds of families, but the best time to get one as a pet is when it is young, so it has time to be trained and get used to living with people.  


Grooming of German Shepherds Dogs


 A German Shepherd has more demanding grooming needs than most dog breeds. Keep your dog’s coat bright, clean, and healthy by brushing it daily with a pin brush, particularly in the spring and fall when shedding is at a maximum (Warning: They shed a lot).


A German shepherd’s coat is also resistant to dirt and debris, so you won’t have to take your dog to a bath more than once a month. It’s best to avoid bathing your German Shepherd more often than once every three to four months or whenever they become filthy, as this might deplete their coat of its natural oils.


Brush your German Shepherd’s teeth regularly using a canine toothbrush and toothpaste to minimize tartar accumulation. Brushing your dog’s teeth twice weekly can help it keep healthy gums and teeth. Have your vet clean their teeth once a year.  


German Shepherd ears don’t need to be cleaned often but watch for redness and odor when cleaning their coat. It is important to remember to cut your dog’s nails so they can move about more easily.  


Training German Shepherds Dogs


With its high intellect and strong work ethic, this breed should be pretty simple to teach. With the proper training and socialization, German shepherds can be wonderful family friends and defenders.  


It’s a fantastic choice for families with children due to its intelligence and protectiveness. German shepherds can sometimes become nervous or aggressive if they aren’t trained and cared for properly.  


Also, German shepherds may chase cats and other small pets, so they may not be a good fit for a home with more than one pet unless they are raised together. A well-trained German Shepherd is a valuable asset, and in all training situations, positive reinforcement is the best method to use by using treats, dog toys, and praise.  


 Introduce your new dog to new people, places, and things. Your German Shepherd has to be socialized adequately, so they do not get anxious or fearful around new people, animals, or settings.  The earlier you begin teaching them, the better.

In addition to starting obedience instruction, puppies can benefit significantly from socialization experiences at puppy school. German Shepherds have strong jaws and biting forces; therefore, it’s crucial to train your puppy not to bite while they’re still young.   


Do some training at home, try puzzle toys and smelling walks. Canine activities, such as agility, tracking, and herding, are excellent ways to bond with your dog while also training them.  


Exercise for German Shepherd


High-energy breeds like the German Shepherd require plenty of exercises and mental stimulation to maintain well-behaved puppies. So, prepare to spend about two to three hours a day on physical and mental activities.  


Dogs of high-energy levels, such as the German Shepherd, require regular physical and mental activity.


Keep your dog on a leash while not in a fenced yard until you know they won’t run away. You don’t want your dog to get a smell and bolt. This breed requires a great deal of daily exercise to channel its boundless energy.  Likely, a daily stroll is not enough to meet the activity demands of your German Shepherd.  


A German shepherd may be a great jogging buddy for those who like the hobby. Let your dog go about, play, and discover new things, so he doesn’t get bored or frustrated. But it’s even more crucial that you don’t leave your dog alone for long periods throughout the day.  


If you enjoy swimming? In the heat of the summer, most German Shepherds will welcome the opportunity to cool down in a pool or lake. Don’t forget to take your dog to the park. They will enjoy themselves in the dog park if they are comfortable with other people and animals.  


Remember to get their thinking caps on! Mentally challenging activities can be equally as physically taxing.  


Feeding Requirements for German Shepherd Dog Breed


Because of its size and high energy requirements, the German Shepherd’s diet must be specially designed for big dogs. How much and what kind of food you should be giving your German Shepherd Dog is something you should discuss with your vet or a certified animal nutritionist. Their nutritional requirements shift when they transition from puppies to adults and seniors.   


 Nevertheless, you must take extra care when feeding and training a German Shepherd puppy. German Shepherds are prone to bone diseases because of their fast growth, between 4 and 7 months. A high-quality, low-calorie diet works well for them since it prevents them from developing too rapidly.  


 Your German puppy’s joints are not fully developed until they are two years old, so don’t let them run, leap, or play on hard surfaces like pavement until then.   If you let your German Shepherd gain too much weight, they may develop health concerns, including arthritis. It’s best not to leave food out all the time, limit rewards, keep them active, and feed them regularly.  


Living Conditions for German Shepherd


To raise a happy and healthy German Shepherd, you must train and play with it. Plenty of space to wander and play in the country or suburbs is excellent.  


They can be okay in apartments if they get out, move around often, and do things at home that keep their minds active. People who live in cities should know that all the noises and other dogs they are likely to see daily can stress out this breed.


If you want to keep your dog’s stress level down, it’s best to take him for walks at less crowded times and along less stressful routes.  German Shepherds are soft-hearted despite their looks.


Long-term isolation can make them lonely. If you are going to be gone for an extended time, it is best to leave your dog at a doggie daycare facility or hire a pet sitter to come and play with your dog while you are gone.  


A well-socialized and trained German Shepherd may be an excellent family companion, even though it makes a great protection dog. A German Shepherd may become a child’s most dependable friend and most challenging defender in the right hands.  


German Shepherds Colors 


German Shepherds, like other breeds of dogs, can be found in various coat colors. There are 13 recognized colors for German Shepherds, while some are less common and may even be deemed flaws by various Kennel Clubs.


Among the many possible coat colors for German Shepherds, black and tan, black and red, black and cream, and black and silver are the most sought after. Coat length in German Shepherds can range from medium to lengthy. Both have a dense outer coat and a fluffy inner coat, making them double-coated dog breeds. 


FAQs Regarding German Shepherd Dog Breed Info


Are German Shepherds good house dogs?  

With the proper training and socialization, German shepherds can be wonderful family pets and guard dogs. If properly taught, this dog may be an excellent addition to a family with children because of its intellect and protective nature, making it a perfect fit for active homes.  



What makes German Shepherds so special?  

The German Shepherd dog breed has gained widespread popularity for its renowned intelligence, loyalty, and work ethic. Guide dogs, therapy dogs, search-and-rescue dogs, police dogs, military dogs, and dogs trained to sniff out drugs and explosives are just some of these canines’ many roles. Despite their reserved demeanor around outsiders, they make excellent family pets.  


What are German Shepherds weaknesses?   

German Shepherds can be a lot of fun, but there are some drawbacks to owning one, like the breed’s history of health issues. The German Shepherd dog breed, like many others, suffers from many common health issues. Hip dysplasia is a significant problem for the species. This is a problem that many German Shepherd owners have had to deal with, and it happens a lot with this breed. This hairy dog also breeds a high-risk group for developing epilepsy.  


Why do German Shepherds stand between your legs?  

Dogs often try to find shelter or warmth between their owners’ legs. Large canines are more prone to show this habit than small dogs. Dogs often cuddle up to their owners’ legs when feeling insecure, anxious, or overly excited.


They might also do it when they are overwhelmed or anxious, such as when German Shepherd encounters new dogs, people, or kids who might be more energetic or rougher than they are used to dealing with. They might also do it when seeking to avoid someone, a person, or an animal.  


German shepherds are popular pets in many parts of the world; thus, many breeders are working to increase the breed’s population. 


However, it can be challenging to locate breeders of black German Shepherds. When looking for a black German shepherd puppy, it’s usually best to go via a breeder who focuses only on that particular color.   


How much do black German shepherd puppies’ cost 

Because these all-black German Shepherd puppies are so rare and can’t be made fast enough to meet demand, they cost a lot more than your typical colored German Shepherd. 


If you’re looking for a high-quality, all-black German Shepherd puppy, be prepared to spend anywhere from $800 to over $2000. Check the parents’ pedigrees and ask the breeder about health testing and registering the dogs and the facility. 


How rare is an all-black German Shepherd?  

The Black German Shepherd is rare, unlike other recessive-gene breed variants. Data analyses suggest that only 6.8 percent of all German Shepherd puppies are born with an all-black coat. 


Finding a breeder who focuses on this German Shepherd color is essential if you want to bring home one of these beautiful and unique canines. 

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