German shepherd dog

Description German shepherd dog

Balanced, Confident, Attentive
The German shepherd is valued as an intelligent and persistent companion. The breed is also popular as a police or customs service dog. The German Shepherd protects his home and family. He needs a lot of exercise. Therefore, there should be enough time for this work-loving dog.FCI Group: Herding Dogs – Cattle Dogs

  • Size: Large
  • Weight: 22-40kg
  • Life expectancy: 9-13 years
  • Coat Type: Medium Hair
  • Colours: Black, maroon-brown-yellow-light gray markings, grey

Character German shepherd dog

The German shepherd belongs to FCI group 1, the herding and cattle dogs .
Approved colors are : brown with dark saddle and dark mask, black, black with brown, yellow or gray markings and gray with dark overlay.
The German Shepherd’s coat is robust with a dense undercoat. The physique is muscular, the trot should have roomy gaits.
The shepherd dog is criticized because of the sloping croup prescribed in the standard.

This is particularly pronounced in the lines bred for beauty. This is often associated with the hip dysplasia that is common in this breed. Shepherd dogs bred for performance usually have a less sloping croup. However, it is not possible to read from the external characteristics whether the respective dog is affected by the disease.
The German Shepherd is a sought-after working dog and is used in different areas.

He has a high level of intelligence, a strong will to work and shows a close bond with “his” people. This makes it superior to other races in many tasks.
However, shepherd dogs also have a prey drive that should not be underestimated . The protective instinct is also often strong. It is therefore absolutely necessary that you invest a lot of time in training the dog right from the start.

He must be challenged and utilized in a manner appropriate to the species. An underutilized shepherd dog looks for his own task. This usually leads to problems or even behavioral disorders.
The training of a German Shepherd should be done consistently but never with violence. The dog naturally wants to please, which means that good training brings joy to both the dog and the person.

If it doesn’t work out as desired, the dog may be overwhelmed. In this case, you need to take a step back and deepen the lessons learned recently.
The versatile dogs are suitable for almost every dog ​​sport . The German Shepherd also likes to run on the bike. To prevent damage, a health check should be carried out by the veterinarian before starting training.

In particular, hip or elbow dysplasia should be ruled out.
You shouldn’t put too much stress on young growing dogs either. Here it is better to go for short, but more frequent walks and exercises.

Diet German shepherd dog

A well-exercised German Shepherd is very active. Therefore, all important minerals and nutrients should be included in the feed. The composition should be adapted to the dog’s age and activity level.
A high meat content ensures that the dog is fed appropriately and receives enough easily digestible nutrients. You should avoid unnecessary additives and preservatives when choosing the food.

Many German Shepherds are prone to allergies to such substances.
Due to its size and low chest, the German Shepherd is one of the breeds that are particularly susceptible to the dreaded torsion of the stomach. This mainly affects older animals, but can also occur in young dogs.
When feeding, care should therefore be taken to ensure that the dog can rest after eating. Before a planned activity, however, should not be fed.

Immediately after sport, it makes sense to let the dog relax a little first and then feed it.
If the dog’s workload changes, a change in food may also be necessary. The energy requirement drops significantly, for example, if the dog has to be rested due to an injury. On the other hand, if the dog has a lot of exercise, a higher protein content in the feed is required.

Grooming

For years, the German shepherd was bred to be tough. The original representatives of this breed were used as herding dogs. Even in bad weather and cold temperatures, they were outside with their herd for many hours a day or even continuously.
The coat of the German Shepherd still reflects its original purpose today . It is dense and yet easy to care for.

During the change of coat, the dogs sometimes shed a lot, outside of this time it is sufficient to brush the dog briefly every few days.
The ears , which are often vulnerable in other breeds , are rarely a problem in German Shepherds. Since these are prick ears, they are well ventilated and only catch fire in exceptional cases. Only foreign objects should be carefully considered. When the dog rages across the meadows, an awn or something else can get in the ear.

If a foreign body cannot be removed without tools, you should consult a veterinarian.
The claws do not need to be trimmed with sufficient exercise. This may only be necessary for older or sick dogs. Especially if you exercise your dog well and he runs a lot, you should regularly check his paws for injuries. Small problems can be detected early and do not get worse.

From spring to fall, you should also look out for ticks on your dog’s fur. This can be combined with an extensive cuddle session. Your dog will appreciate this very much.

History

Breeding of the German Shepherd started at the end of the 19th century. The Prussian Hofrittmeister Max von Stephanitz mated different herding dogs with each other. His goal was to breed what he considered to be the best working dog . Therefore, the focus was on the willingness to work and the nature of the animals. Appearance, on the other hand, played a subordinate role.

It was particularly important that the dogs were healthy and robust.
The Association for German Shepherd Dogs was founded in 1899. Gradually, the desired colors and other external features were narrowed down. This is how today’s shepherd dog developed from the herding dogs of that time.
The international reputation of the breed suffered at times after World War II.

During National Socialism, the dog was a symbol for the alleged “German virtues”. Shepherd dogs were used by the police and military as service dogs. Therefore, many veterans associated the breed with the war.
Luckily, the shepherd dog is no longer the first thing people associate with National Socialism. Instead, he is valued all over the world as what was originally Max von Stephanitz’s breeding goal: a persistent and resilient working dog with many other positive qualities.

After the war, two distinct breeds of shepherd dogs developed. With some lines, it is primarily about fulfilling the ideal of beauty defined by the breeding association. Other breeders place more emphasis on working dog traits. They therefore only select dogs with a corresponding working and protective instinct for their breeding. Despite partly different breeding goals, these are not two different breeds.

Both blows may be paired with each other, which is also practiced in part.

German shepherd dog Accessories

A German Shepherd should not only be challenged physically. Brainwork is also important. Working with a retrieval dummy is suitable for this . This can, for example, be hidden and then searched for by the dog.
As long as the recall does not work reliably, a tow line is a good tool.

This gives the dog the necessary freedom of movement. At the same time, it is prevented that he puts himself in danger by going too far away.
At home, the dog needs a berth to which it can withdraw undisturbed. Various baskets or pillows are available in specialist shops. Make sure the berth is easy to clean.

Especially in bad weather, the dog can bring in a not inconsiderable amount of dirt.

9.5Expert Score
Breed characteristics

There are so many different dog breeds that it can be hard to choose the right one for your family. Each breed has its own unique set of characteristics that may make it a better fit for some families than others. Our expert review system can help you find the perfect dog breed for your home.

We rate each breed on a scale from 1 to 10, with 10 being the best. We take into account things like temperament, size, and energy level to help you find the perfect dog for your needs. Whether you're looking for a playful pup or a calm companion, we can help you find the right breed of dog for your family

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