The German Shepherd dog (GSD) is one of the most popular breeds around the world. GSD is medium to large-sized and is originated from Germany around 1899. They were originally developed for herding and guarding sheep. 

German Shepherds are well known for their strength, intelligence, and obedience. The German shepherd is a great choice for any type of family, big or small. Because of their high strength and intelligence, they are also preferred for various types of work such as search and rescue, disability assistance, police and military roles.

German Shepherds are very straight forward and brave. They are also very calm, composed and always on high alert. GSDs have an amazing ability to learn commands for various tasks in a short span of time. They are highly intelligent and extraordinary workers. 

GSDs should be adopted by families that stay home most of the time because if they are left alone they tend to become anxious and bored. This makes them bark, chew and dig more which is undesirable. They should be busy, active and close to their family. Physical and mental training is important. 

Overview

  • Origin: Germany
  • Avg Price in India: Rs.15000 to Rs.20000
  • Breed Group: Herding Group
  • Lifespan: 9 to 13 years
  • Size: Medium to large-sized
  • Avg Size of Male: 66 to 88 pounds
  • Avg Size of Female:48 to 70 pounds
  • Weight Range: 22 to 40 kg
  • Colors available: Black, Gray, sable, black and tan, blue, red and black, black and silver, liver (brown)

Characteristics

Good for First-time Owners: 4/5

GSDs are very easy to train and have a strong instinct for family protection. They do require exercise every day. 

Energy Level: 5/5

German Shepherds have high energy levels and should receive adequate daily exercise.

Exercise Needs: 4/5

German Shepherds are high energy dogs and require exercise to remain healthy and fit. At least an hour of exercise in a day is preferred.

Playfulness: 4/5

German Shepherds are playful and friendly if they are well trained and obedient

Affection Level: 3/5

They are loyal and affectionate if treated and cared for properly.

Kid-Friendly: 4/5

They serve as an ideal family dog and have a calm and caring nature

Ease of Training: 5/5

They are quite easy to train because of their high intelligence and obedience level.

Tendency to Bark or Howl: 3/5

German shepherd bark when they are bored so teaching them a quiet command can help overcome this problem

Watchdog Ability: 5/5

They make excellent watchdog and have a high sense of family protection.

Protection Ability: 5/5

They are protective and selfless in nature so dog owners can feel safe with them around. 

Grooming needs: 4/5

If your dog has healthy skin and coat then a bath is required only once in 2 to 3 months.

Amount of Shedding: 4/5

German shepherds have thick double coats so the amount of shedding is high in their case.

General Health: 4/5

The German shepherd is a healthy breed with a typical lifespan of 12 to 13 years.

Cold tolerance: 4/5

They have great tolerance in cold weather because of their thick and healthy coat.

Heat tolerance: 4/5

They can tolerate hot weather as long as they are provided with adequate water and shade.

History and background

German shepherd dogs originated in Germany. Captain Max von Stephanitz is responsible for the existence of German Shepherds. They developed as a result of crossing various herding breeds. Soldiers of World War I brought these dogs with them to the US where they were first introduced. German shepherd dogs became the most preferred choice for military purposes in World War II. They became popular in the 1900s in the US. Now the German shepherd breed is the most preferred dogs for police and military units all around the world.

Physical characteristics

German Shepherds have a double coat consisting of a soft undercoat and a dense outer coat. Their hair is medium in length and shed all year round. The breed is usually long around 22 to 26 inches. They have a domed forehead, a black nose, medium-sized eyes which are mostly brown in color. German Shepherds have a long neck, which is raised when they get excited and the tail is bushy and mostly reaches the hock. They are most commonly red or black in color. They have high agility, strength, and elasticity and should exercise and be trained or else they will become bored and frustrated.    

Personality

German shepherds are very protective and loyal to their family. They are usually aloof towards strangers but not aggressive. GSDs get along with children and other pets if raised along with them. They are very easy to train and are quite smart. They can be trained to do almost anything. The German shepherd is well known for its courage and loyalty. They are not good at being alone for long periods of time though. 

Health

German Shepherds are generally healthy dogs. They are very athletic and active in nature. The average lifespan of a German shepherd is between 12 to 13 years. They are however prone to health conditions such as canine hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, allergies, cardiomyopathy, and gastric torsion. Like other dogs, German shepherds need to be taken to a vet for regular checkups. Owners should be well educated about various symptoms of illnesses. Also, German shepherds like to chew and have strong powerful jaws which allows them to destroy anything. So keep your dog safe by not letting them chew on something that might be harmful to them.

Grooming

Like all dogs, even the German shepherd requires grooming. Though this breed is easy to maintain, grooming is an important activity as it helps keep your dog’s fur healthy and shiny. Regular grooming such as brushing and massages not only improves your dog’s hygiene but also strengthens the bond between you and your dog. Trimming long nails every month is important as long nails can be painful and can cause structural issues.

German Shepherds shed a lot of hair so it is important to brush two to three times a week to help get most of the hair out on the brush rather than on your furniture.

Quick Facts

  • German Shepherds are available in a number of colors such as white, blue or liver-colored.
  • German Shepherds should be given early training so they socialize well with children and other pets. 
  • These breeds have high energy levels so they should be kept active and engaged in various activities.
  • German Shepherds are famously known for their loyalty, courage, easy training and adaptability.
  • German Shepherds are popularly utilized as police, service, agility and obedience dogs. They are very loyal and have great commitment.