(Alsatian, Deutscher Schaferhund) The German Shepherd is a strong, agile dog with a well-muscled build and an overall appearance that denotes liveliness, nobility, and quality. The breed’s well-balanced body is just longer than it is tall, and its outline consists of smooth curves as opposed to angles. They are substantial, fit, and solid, but they are not bulky or cumbersome. Their neck is well-muscled, sturdy, and clean-cut, and its length is in direct proportion to the size of the dog’s head. They have a straight, strong back that is short by comparison, and their high-set withers slope gently into their level topline. The chest of this breed is well-filled, deep, and capacious, and the well-sprung ribs are long and carried down to the sternum. Their abdomen is firm and moderately tucked up into the loin. They have long, obliquely angled shoulder blades that lie flat, and their upper arms are well-muscled. The thickly padded feet are short, compact, and feature a set of well-arched toes and dark nails. Thighs of this breed are broad and strong, and their croup is gradually sloping. The head of the German Shepherd is chiseled, clean-cut, and noble, and its size is in proportion to the size of the dog’s body. Males of this breed have distinctly masculine facial features, while females have distinctly feminine facial features. Their medium-sized, almond-shaped eyes are obliquely set and dark in color. They have moderately pointed ears that are erect and set parallel to one another. The breed’s forehead is somewhat arched, and their skull slopes downward into their long, wedge-shaped muzzle. Their stop is abrupt and pronounced, and their nose is black in color. They have strong, well developed jaws and their complete set of teeth close in a scissors bite. The ideal coat of the German Shepherd is a medium-length double coat. This double coat consists of a dense, straight, harsh outer layer that is close-fitting. The head, legs, and paws of this breed are covered with short hair, while the hair about the neck is longer and thicker. Coat colors of this German Shepherd vary greatly, but rich, strong colors are preferred.
The first impression of a good German Shepherd Dog is that of a strong, agile, well muscled animal, alert and full of life. It is well balanced, with harmonious development of the forequarter and hindquarter. The dog is longer than tall, deep-bodied, and presents an outline of smooth curves rather than angles. It looks substantial and not spindly, giving the impression, both at rest and in motion, of muscular fitness and nimbleness without any look of clumsiness or soft living. The ideal dog is stamped with a look of quality and nobility--difficult to define, but unmistakable when present. Secondary sex characteristics are strongly marked, and every animal gives a definite impression of masculinity or femininity, according to its sex. Some may be albino which gives them white fur, red eyes, and brown noses. They are known to be prone to Arthritis.
The German Shepherd has outstanding abilities as a working dog. They are fearless, eager, and alert, and they are very obedient. They are confident, serious, and possess strong learning abilities. The breed is known for its courage and loyalty. They love to be close to their family, but they are sometimes leery of strangers. Because of their strong protective instincts, the German Shepherd should be properly trained and extensively socialized to prevent over-guarding. Aggressive behavior within this breed is due to a combination of poor breeding and training. German Shepherds are almost always good with other pets, and they are excellent with children. It is important for potential owners of this breed to buy specimens from a reputable breeder.
This breed needs firm training an proper socialization to avoid aggressive tendencies. By nature, they are very protective of their owners and family. They are very smart and can be easily controlled when trained by a responsible owner. They are very loyal and love interaction with their immediate family. It's a good idea to start socialization with as many people and dogs from birth. Also, this breed can be very affectionate and protective of children.
The breed has a distinct personality marked by direct and fearless, but not hostile, expression, self-confidence and a certain aloofness that does not lend itself to immediate and indiscriminate friendships. The dog must be approachable, quietly standing its ground and showing confidence and willingness to meet overtures without itself making them. It is poised, but when the occasion demands, eager and alert; both fit and willing to serve in its capacity as companion, watchdog, blind leader, herding dog, or guardian, whichever the circumstances may demand. The dog must not be timid, shrinking behind its master or handler; it should not be nervous, looking about or upward with anxious expression or showing nervous reactions, such as tucking of tail, to strange sounds or sights. Lack of confidence under any surroundings is not typical of good character. Any of the above deficiencies in character which indicate shyness must be penalized as very serious faults and any dog exhibiting pronounced indications of these must be excused from the ring. It must be possible for the judge to observe the teeth and to determine that both testicles are descended. Any dog that attempts to bite the judge must be disqualified. The ideal dog is a working animal with an incorruptible character combined with body and gait suitable for the arduous work that constitutes its primary purpose
22 – 26 inches
Male: 24 to 26 inches Female: 22 to 24 inches
Male: 24- 29 inches Female: 22- 26 inches
77 – 85 pounds
Male: 70-95 pounds Female: 60-85 pounds
Male: 70-100 pounds Female: 60-96 pounds
Like many other large dog breeds, the German Shepherd is prone to hip and elbow dysplasia. Potential owners of this breed should ensure that both parents have had their hips certified. Other health concerns include blood disorders, digestive problems, keratitis (inflammation of the cornea), dwarfism, chronic eczema, and flea allergies. The German Shepherd typically lives for about 13 years.
Bloat is considered a major threat to German Shepherds. They should never be allowed to take in large amounts of food and water in one sitting. Most owners choose to feed their dogs four small meals a day. Itís also advised to not let them exercise for at least an hour after they eat. If they show signs of bloat, take them to the vet immediately. Bloat is deadly within hours. They are also prone to spinal degenerative myelopathy and may have kidney problems. The average lifespan is 13 years although some can live as long as 16 years.
German Shepherd Dogs also are one of the breeds prone to Degenerative Myelopathy. This disorder causes gradual weakening of the rear legs, ultimately resulting in complete loss of function. There is no treatment for this disorder, nor is there any prevention.
The German Shepherd is also prone to Panosteitis which is a skeletal problem of spontaneous lameness and pain. Usually occurring in large breed dogs in the 5 to 14 month age range and affecting male dogs more commonly than females. The pain can come and go and last up to two months (sometimes up to a year). Analgesic medications like aspirin can be be helpful in controlling the pain. In severe cases, corticosteroids may provide relief. Eventually the condition goes away.
The German Shepherd was developed through crosses of long-haired, short-haired, and wire-haired shepherd dogs from Wurttemberg, Thuringia, and Bavaria. In April of 1899, a dedicated breeder by the name of Captain Max von Stephanitz registered the first Deutsche Schaferhunde, or German Shepherd Dog. The short-haired variety of German Shepherd was first show in Berlin in 1889.
The German Shepherd sheds lightly throughout the year and heavily during shedding season. The breed’s coat should be brushed daily in order to remove dead and loose hair. To avoid the depletion of natural skin oils, the German Shepherd should only be bathed once or twice per year.
Including raw meat and bone in their diet helps reduce shedding drastically. Otherwise they are known to be heavy shedders and frequent brushing will be required.
The German Shepherd is content to live in a small household or apartment if it is sufficiently exercised. They are a comparatively inactive breed indoors, and they are happiest with at least a large-sized yard. German Shepherds enjoy strenuous activity, and they need plenty of exercise on a daily basis.
They should be walked for at least one to two hours a day.
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German Shepherd Q&AAsk a Question
- indoors or outdoors
Does this particular breed of dog prefer to live indoors or outdoors?Asked by Anonymous - 0 answers
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Is it normal for a GSD to have dark blue or sky blue eyes? I believe I know the answer but would like somebody to give confirmation as a friend and I have different views. Thank you.Asked by Anonymous - 0 answers
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I have a 10-11month old male GS who just start to favor his right front leg. It is apparent that he has discomfort as when he sits he will raise that leg as to take the pressure off. He limps, not bad and not all the time, when he...Asked by Anonymous - 2 answers