Home > Dog breeds > German Shepherd

German Shepherd
- excellent guarding dog, devoted to his master

Video



About the Shepherd German

The German Shepherd dog is one of the best guard dogs. He is smart, loyal and a very balanced dog. The German Shepherd is easy to train, which is an important aspect given that the training is absolutely necessary for this breed. The Shepherd adapts easily and is a good choice for people who have never had a dog. Easy to care for, it rarely needs to be brushed and easily adapts to large temperature differences.

What does a German Shepherd look like?

Germany's national dog is slightly an above average dog, with an athletic, muscular and well proportioned body. The body is slightly elongated, with the back line curved slightly down toward the tail. The well-shaped body has muscular limbs and neck, with strong bones. The tail is bushy and arched, hanging down to the middle of the lower limbs.

The head of the quadruped is well proportioned to the body, with the forehead slightly curved. The muzzle is elongated and black, and the ears are arranged vertically, broad at the root and pointed towards the tip. Puppies up to 6 months old may have fallen ears. The eyes are almond shaped and a deep black or brown color. They are very oblique and have a lively expression. The closed jaw in the scissors has a strong tooth.

The Shepherd's hair can be of three types: short, long and harsh. The coat is double layered: the first layer is made of fine fluff, and the second layer - the outer one - is predominantly black with certain areas of brown, yellow, reddish, gray-iron, ash, or even white.

The German Shepherd with white shades, now very popular in the United States of America, is not accepted in the dog competitions. In the last period of time the most common and accepted variant is the one with the short and thick hair.

Although seemingly robust due to the muscular body, the German Shepherds have an elegant and imposing gait and posture. The height in males is 60-65 cm, and in females it is 55-60 cm. Weight can range from 25 kg for a female, up to 35 kg for a male.

The ideal master for the German Shepherd dog

If you want an active dog breed and you have time to take long walks, then this breed is a good choice. If you are interested in training exhibitions and want a champion, the German Shepherd is ideal, being the number one in the world for training. Besides, the Shepherd is not an aggressive dog, is extremely intelligent and has a great defense force.

However, we advise you to think twice before taking a German Shepherd if you do not have enough time for elementary training or to play with your pet. Moreover, if you want a less active and a more apartment fit breed, the Shepherd might not be on your list of options.

The personality and behavior of the German Shepherd

The main features of this breed are: loyalty, courage, perseverance and agility. The German Shepherd is a hard-working dog who always carries out his task. Lively and full of energy, the German Shepherd can be a good playmate. Its elegant presence and character make it one of the most popular dog breeds in the world.

Intelligent, balanced and extremely devout

Used in various activities, this breed shows its ability to learn quickly and help. He is extremely brave, vigilant and incorruptible, the German Shepherd being a good guard or action dog, always ready to fight.

He is very loyal and protective of the family members, but can become aggressive with other people if he feels that they could be a threat.

Strong temperament and easily adaptable to any conditions

Initially used as a herd dog, the German Shepherd has now come to serve the man in a multitude of activities. The high protection instinct makes them very good guard and protection dogs.

Due to the well-developed sense of smell, police, lifeguard and military services often use the Shepherds to detect drugs, bombs or people, as well as using him in rescue operations in case of natural disasters.

The German Shepherd dog in the family

Being an extremely loyal dog, the German Shepherd is an excellent family animal, always prone to defending all family members. It is protective and playful, being a reliable partner for both children and adults. Even though it has a dominant air, trained in a loving environment, the Shepherd becomes a good companion dog for children.

Interaction with other animals

Raised around other animals, the Shepherd can easily become friends with the other pets in the house.

Skeptical of strangers

The German Shepherd is a protective dog, because of this he can become aggressive towards strangers if he does not interact as a puppy with people outside the family.

German Shepherd dog food and care

Food

The German Shepherd dog is a carnivorous animal, so its diet should contain mainly different types of meat: from fish to chicken and beef, even game. It is preferable to avoid pork as much as possible.

The most suitable foods for the Shepherd's food are: beef, bones and organs, pasta, rice, eggs and milk. The nutrition of this breed must also include vegetables and fruits.

Products which contain sugar should be administered with caution to avoid obesity of the quadruped and dental caries.

It is not indicated to give to the Shepherd household residues or foods with a high cellulose content.

The feeding of the German Shepherd dog must be adapted to the age, the environment and the level of activity he performs daily. At maturity, portions of food decrease from 5-6 per day (during the development period), to 1-2 per day. However, the females should be fed 3 times a day, and the aliments should contain a higher level of salts and vitamins.

The dog should be fed at fixed times and in the same vessel. It is recommended to keep a full vessel with a clean and cold water at the disposal of the quadruped. Any changes in food should be done gradually.

Care

The care of this breed consists largely of the daily brushing of the fur to remove the dust and dead hairs. The brushing is done starting from the head and slowly lowering to the back, chest, limbs and tail. To give a shine, after brushing, rub the fur with a soft cloth.

Dogs with long hair should be cleaned more often from dirt and dust, however, it is advisable to give the Shepherd a bath only 1-2 times a year, in order not to remove the fur fat. A gentle shampoo is recommended when bathing the dog. A soft, dry cloth can be used to remove the wax from the ears.

Common disorders and predisposition to diseases

The German Shepherd dog is prone to various conditions throughout his life. Among the most common diseases include hip and joint dysplasia, diseases of the circulatory or respiratory system, digestive disorders such as, diseases of the nervous system, skin problems, various allergies, inflammation of the cornea, ear infections, diabetes or even malignant cancer.

Also, the Shepherd may also suffer from infectious diseases such as: leptospirosis and salmonellosis, virotic diseases such as: jigodia, rabies, contagious hepatitis, parasitic diseases: cestodoses, nematodes, arachnoentomoses, scabies, parasitism with ticks, and parasitic ticks. 

To prevent some conditions listed above, it is absolutely necessary to vaccinate the quadruped. Also, periodic grooming of the dog and cleaning of the space or daily.

The most common diseases of the German Sheep breed are:

  • hip dysplasia
  • epilepsy
  • Perths 
  • pyoderma
  • diabetes
  • (dilated) gastric torsion
  • myelopathy (paralysis)
  • panosteita

Environment and adaptability

Due to the double layered fur, the Shepherd can easily cope with the weather and can adapt to any conditions. Moreover, being a smart dog, the German Shepherd can quickly learn new skills, so he can be introduced as an aid in any service or action.

Its versatility has made this breed to be found in the most varied hypostasis: from guard dogs, to army dogs and even to guide dogs for the blind.

Courtyard or apartment

This breed does not require special living conditions, easily adapting to any circumstances. He can live in both an apartment and a house, but needs daily walks or a spacious yard.

If it is raised in the apartment, the quadruped needs a bed so that it has visibility on the whole apartment and especially on the door.

If it is kept in the yard, it is necessary to arrange a shelter to protect it from the sun, rain or bad weather. The shelter should not be placed near the fence of the house, as it would keep him permanently alert and induce him a nervousness.

He does not tolerates being left alone

The German Shepherd is very attached to his masters and needs their presence and attention. Because of this, isolation of the dog for a long time is not recommended.

Weather adaptation

The quadruped easily adapts to large temperature differences. In any case, if kept in the yard or in open spaces, the dog will have to arrange a shelter that will keep him protected from unfavorable weather conditions.

Training the German Shepherd dog

The German Shepherd is an excellent trainer, responds well to orders and is dedicated.

The training must start from the time he is a puppy. Up to 1 year of age, light exercises and getting it used to it with a type of stimulus are recommended: food or moving object. The activities do not have to be demanding, because the puppy is not fully developed and the bone system is still fragile. After this age the physical activities can start, but their level must be gradually increased.

The training must be done with authority, because the Shepherds tend to dominate, but also with gentleness, because they do not respond well to anger, or to hard and coercive training. Eager to be liked, the dog always seeks the master's approval, which is why he must be rewarded with comfort or food every time he performs his task.

Intelligence

The German Shepherd is among the most intelligent breeds of dogs in the world. The animal demonstrates its ability to concentrate by rapidly executing the commands, but also by the desire to learn new tasks.

Energy level and exercises

Eager to play and move, the quadruped has a high energy level. For this reason, physical activities or daily walks are absolutely necessary. Maintaining the energy level must be sustained with a nutrition appropriate to the age and the activities they carry out.

Hunting instinct and tracking

The fact that they were originally used as shepherds makes German Shepherd dogs excellent utility dogs. They are excellent watchmen, but unlike other breeds, the German Shepherd has no hunting and tracking skills. Although it can be trained to hunt, the wolf dog will not smell the hunt as quickly and will not be as concentrated as other dogs.

The tendency to bark

Due to the protective instinct, the German Shepherd can be aggressive with other people around his master. Also, when they are scared they may have a tendency to bite. All of these, however, are deviations from the personality of the breed that can be eliminated through proper training and sustained from an early age. Well-trained, the dog becomes balanced and will act to protect the master only in the really necessary situations.

Other details

History of the German Shepherd breed

The national dog of Germany, the German Shepherd, appeared as a breed at the end of the 19th century, the beginning of the 20th century. Although its origins are according to some authors in the evolution of the Persian Shepherd Dog, the delimitation of the breed known today as the German Shepherd occurred only after 1884 at the initiative of the cavalry captain Max von Stepanitz. He, together with other breeders, lays the foundations of the German Shepherd Dog Association in 1899 with the aim of guiding and following the dog breeding and breeding process as closely as possible.

The process by which the members of the association wanted to create a "clean" breed that would be smarter, easier to train, and adapt to any conditions, led to the birth of the breed known today German Shepherd.

In 1907, the first dogs reach the United States of America, and during the First World War and their use by both the German and French armies lead to the rapid spread of the breed throughout the world.

The German Shepherd Dog Association exists even today with over half a million members worldwide, which aims to maintain breed standards. "Wolf dog" is the only breed with such an association. His personality has been illustrated in several films and international series, bringing the prestige of the race to fame.

Useful Links:

https://www.akc.org/dog-breeds/german-shepherd-dog/ 

https://ro.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ciobanesc_german