Generally considered dogkindâs finest all-purpose worker, the German Shepherd Dog is a large, agile, muscular and high intelligence dog.Read More
German Shepherd Overall Status
- 22 to 26 inches
- Confident, Courageous, Smart
- 50 to 90 pounds
- Life Expectancy
- 10 to 12 Years
- Coat Color
- Black, Black and Tan, White
- Barking Level
- When Necessery
German Shepherd Quick Factors
- Dog Friendly
- Exercise Need
- Grooming Needs
- Strangers Friendly
- Family Affectionate
German Shepherd Daily Care
The German Shepherd Dog has a thick, medium-length double coat that sheds, a lot and constantly, so much that even his fans call him a "German shedder." The undercoat sheds heavily in spring and fall, and the German Shepherd must be brushed and bathed frequently during that time to get out all the loose hair. The rest of the year, weekly brushing is generally enough to keep him clean. If the German Shepherd is your breed of choice, purchase a heavy-duty vacuum cleaner; don't get a German Shepherd if you have allergies or are a fussy housekeeper.
Check the ears on a weekly basis for signs of infection, irritation, or wax build up. Cleanse regularly with a veterinarian-approved cleanser and cotton ball. Brush the teeth at least once per week to prevent tartar buildup and fight gum disease. Additionally, nails should be trimmed once per month if the dog does not wear down the toenails naturally.
German Shepherds are high maintenance dogs in the exercise department and ideally need to be taken out for a walk a minimum of twice a day for a good hour each time. However, they also need to be given a tremendous amount of mental stimulation or they can quickly start showing signs of boredom and dominance.
These dogs thrive on learning new things and as previously mentioned are one of the smartest dogs on the planet which in short means they can also pick up some bad habits if not handled and trained correctly both at an early age and throughout their lives. They are a great choice for people who like to be out and about in the great outdoors as often as they can with a canine companion in tow. German Shepherds are not a good choice of pet for anyone who leads a more sedentary life.
With this said, Toller puppies should not be given too much exercise because their joints and bones are still growing and too much pressure on them could result in causing a dog a few problems later on in their lives. They should not be allowed to jump up or off furniture nor should they be allowed to run up and down the stairs because this puts too much pressure on their still growing joints and limbs.
German Shepherds can have a healthy appetite and can go through dog food quickly, so using meat to feed your Shepherd (as well as for training purposes) can go a long way in keeping the dog well-fed. Mixing in vegetables such as green beans is a great idea. Some people recommend constructing "pies" or "casseroles" of assorted ingredients using meats and vegetables together.
If you get a Samoyed puppy from a breeder, they would give you a feeding schedule and it's important to stick to the same routine, feeding the same puppy food to avoid any tummy upsets. You can change a puppy's diet, but this needs to be done very gradually always making sure they don't develop any digestive upsets and if they do, it's best to put them back on their original diet and to discuss things with the vet before attempting to change it again.
Older dogs are not known to be fussy or finicky eaters, but this does not mean you can feed them a lower quality diet. It's best to feed a mature dog twice a day, once in the morning and then again in the evening, making sure it's good quality food that meets all their nutritional requirements. It's also important that dogs be given the right amount of exercise so they burn off any excess calories or they might gain too much weight which can lead to all sorts of health issues. Obesity can shorten a dog's life by several years so it's important to keep an eye on their waistline from the word go.
Learn about which human foods are safe for dogs, and which are not. Check with your vet if you have any concerns about your dog's weight or diet. Clean, fresh water should be available at all times. Like many large breeds, Saint Bernard can experience bloat, a life-threatening condition where the stomach distends and twists. The causes of bloat aren't fully understood, but experts agree that multiple, small meals per day and preventing vigorous exercise around mealtimes may help reduce the chances of it happening.
Most German Shepherds are healthy dogs. Aresponsible breederwillscreenbreeding stock for health conditions such as degenerative myelopathy and elbow andhip dysplasia. German Shepherd Dogs can experiencebloat, sudden and life-threatening swelling of the abdomen, and owners should educate themselves about its symptoms and what to do should bloat occur.
Earlysocializationandpuppy training classesare vital, and continuingobedience trainingwill help ensure that the pup will grow to be an adaptable and well-mannered adult. The German Shepherd is a highly intelligent companion and an extraordinary worker.
Puppies should be properly socialized to develop the amiable, outgoing personality that is characteristic of the breed. They're successful in performance and companion events such as earthdog, barn hunt, obedience, and agility.
Consistency and positive, reward-based training will yield excellent results. He is extremely bonded to his people, so he is happiest when he lives with his family. He should be raised in the household and exposed to the family's activities. The German Shepherd Dog Club of America provides detailed training advice for owners on theclub's website.
German Shepherd History
The German Shepherd Dog is a relatively young breed, developed almost single-handedly in the first half of the twentieth century by a German cavalry officer, Max von Stephanitz, president of the Verein fur Deutsche Schaferhunde S.V. Using a variety of German sheepdogs as his foundation stock, von Stephanitz developed a distinctive breed in a very short period of time, due in large part to the authoritarian practices of the German dog fancy at that time. Von Stephanitz emphasized utility and intelligence in his breeding program, enabling the German Shepherd Dog to switch easily from herding duties to other fields of work, particularly military and police work.
With the rise of modern livestock management and the decline of herding as a canine occupation, von Stephanitz shrewdly promoted his breed as an ideal K-9 worker. The GSD is today the preferred dog for police and military units the world over.