Our German Shepherd Breed Guide will help you if you’re thinking of committing to one of these wonderful dogs. Our information will also help those who may just be wanting to know more about German Shepherd dogs.
German Shepherd Breed Guide Introduction.
We have set out our German Shepherd breed guide in an easy to follow format starting with a rundown on their appearance and history. We will tell you what they are like to live with so that you can decide if they are right for you and your family. We will then inform you of all the serious pointers because homing a dog is a big step and you want to make sure you get it right.
The German Shepherd Breed
The German Shepherd almost needs no introduction because it is one of the most instantly recognisable breeds. Closely resembling wolves, they are extensively used as guard dogs, in Police Service and for military purposes. For this reason perhaps, many people may feel intimidated by the German Shepherd even before they get to know one. The German Shepherd is a large, muscular and powerful dog with a streamlined athletic build. They have a medium length, dense, double coat and can be found in a number of colours ie bicolour, black and tan; black and cream; black and silver. They can also be found in pure cream or pure black. The length of the coat may be either medium or long. They have a full length square muzzle, with piercing eyes, erect ears and a long bushy tail. The German Shepherd can be anything from 23 to 40Kg in weight and stands typically at 55 to 65cm at the shoulders.
The name would suggest that these dogs were originally the domain of shepherds in Germany. They were originally used on farms in the late nineteenth century when their were many differing variants. A German Cavalry Officer and dog breeder standardised the breed and introduced the first German Shepherd Dog in 1899. The Dog was named Horand Von Grafrath was the standard from then onwards. You may also know this dog by it’s alternative name ‘Alsation’. Due to anti-German feelings around the time of World War 1, breeders and fanciers changed the name from German Shepherd. Due to their wolf like appearance, their alert and intelligent demeanour they are used extensively as guard dogs and both the Police and Military use them internationally.
What are German Shepherds Like to live with
You may be surprised that such a large intimidating looking dog can live with families and become a loving a friendly companion. It is important to socialise and train these dogs slo that they can adapt well to living with humans.After all they are powerful creatures and must be under control at all times. Due to I their high level of intelligence, German Shepherds respond very will to training and enjoy a great deal of interaction with their human companions. In fact they crave mental stimulation and must be kept busy to avoid behavioural issues.
German Shepherds are Stand offish and suspicious as far as strangers are concerned. It is very important that they are socialised well from an early age so that they can become more accepting of people they don’t know. They are perfectly happy to live in a family environment and are child friendly as well as protective.
The Important stuff
It would be remiss not to look for negatives. After all you may be thinking of a commitment for a life span of 7 to 10 years. There are some serious considerations as with all dogs relating to health and housekeeping.
These dogs require physical and mental stimulation in bucket loads. They are high energy having the full stamina of a working dog. They will need to have regular walks comprising of two hours per day as an absolute minimum. They will therefore need a substantial and nutritional diet comprising of 1500 to 1600 calories per day. We would recommend a grain free diet of premium quality food.
All dogs are genetically predisposed to certain genetic health issues. Some breeds are more prone than others but it doesn’t mean that all dogs will have health issues. It is an important consideration as vet expenses are quite lumpy! You should always have insurance in place to help you pay in case your dog needs expensive treatment or surgery. The good news is that German Shepherds do not come with a long list of genetic health problems. As a breed they are known to suffer with hip dysplasia in common with many larger breeds. We recommend feeding a premium grain free food.
German Shepherds are very heavy shedders. This means that they will leave much discarded fur around your home which will require regular vacuuming. Their fairly long discarded hairs will find their way on to your clothing too. It is important to spend sufficient time grooming these dogs which will reduce the amount of fur you find in your home and keep your German Shepherd’s coat shiny and silky.
German Shepherd breed guide conclusion
German Shepherds are rewarding to own but they need your commitment of time and space to satisfy their mental and physical requirements. They can live happily in a family environment providing they are socialised well and their needs are met. Always ensure that you can look after any dog that you take on and consider homing a rescue dog if you can.