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Dog Breeds: The German Shepherd

German Shepherd


German Shepherd Dog


German Shepherd Police Dog

Most people can easily spot a German shepherd and associate with police dogs. With its lean body and ability to cover ground with impressive strides, this agile, highly intelligent and strong breed has earned its reputation as an excellent dog for not only police work, but also for working with the disabled.

When this dog has a mission, he won’t quit until he’s completed the task, one reason why they are such great contraband detectors.

These dogs are completely faithful and devoted to their master, protective of the family and the home it lives in. They make excellent watchdogs and will not take kindly to strangers that threaten the safety of those he protects.


-       Family history herding, livestock

-       Originally from Germany

-       Originated in 1800s

-       Original purpose was sheep herding, guarding, police dog

-       Today they are used for herding trials, police, contraband detection, assistance for the disabled

-       The average size of a male is 75 to 95lbs and 24 to 26 inches tall

-       The average size of a female is 75 to 95lbs and 22 to 24 inches tall

-       Also known as Alsatian, Deutscher schaferhund

Care & Health


The German shepherd would never be happy without daily exercise and mental challenges. For this reason, it is important to ensure regular walks or runs, as well as a period of learning each day.

They make great house dogs, and make great pets and companions. This breed is also easy to groom, requiring only a brush a few times a week.

Major Health Concerns – CHD (canine hip dysplasia), and elbow dysplasia

Minor Health Concerns – panosteitis, vWD, progressive posterior paresis, cauda equina, pyotraumatic dermatitis, skin allergies, malignant neoplasms, pannus, cataract, gastric torsion, perianal fistulas, cardiomyopathy and occasionally pancreatic insufficiency

Test for – hips, eyes (blood), elbow

Life Span – 10 to 12 years

Additional information – especially susceptible to a potentially fatal systemic fungal infection from Aspergillus.



German Shepherd Puppy

Despite popular belief, the German shepherd is in no way related to the wolf. This particular dog was produced as a result of efforts to combine breeds to improve and master the herding and guarding characteristics of this work dog.

The result was not only an excellent herder and guard dog, but also a breed that would outdo others to be courageous, intelligent and healthy. The breeders succeeded and the German shepherd was used in World War I as a war sentry. Both Americans and British removed the name German from the breed, but in 1931 the name German was once again restored.

The German shepherd has held many jobs, including movie star, war dog, guide dog, contraband detector, search and rescue, as well as family pet and show dog.


-       Best suited for homes with indoor/outdoor access or apartments when regular exercise is a part of his daily routine

-       Health conditions that need to be tested for include hip dysplasia and eyes

-       Grooming needs include regular twice weekly brushing, and regular trips to the salon.

-       Under proper conditions (lots of exercise and attention) they can make good family pets. They are loyal and protective, and can be great companions.




-       Medium energy level

-       High exercise needs

-       Not very playful

-       Moderately Affectionate

-       Shy towards other dogs

-       Friendly around other pets

-       Shy around strangers

-       Difficult to train

-       Great watchdogs

-       Very protective

-       Low grooming requirements

-       Medium tolerance to heat

-       Medium tolerance to cold

German Shepherd Rescues:

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