Get to Know the Breeds: German Shepherd

From Flickr user meetsinfinity


The German Shepherd is the worldʼs leading guard, police, and military dog—and one of the most popular in the United States.
Theyʼre a fairly new breed. In 1899, German breeder Capt. Max von Stephanitz aimed to create a standard herding dog for his country—a breed whose intelligence and work ethic were equal to assisting workers and laborers as well as police and soldiers. Standardized in Germany in 1901, the German Shepherd came to America in 1907, then spread to many parts of the world from 1914 onward.
Aside from being a herd, guard, service, military, police, and search and rescue dog, theyʼre also renowned show dogs. Not to mention, ideal for families.


Fierce but Friendly
Though German Shepherds are fearless, theyʼre not hostile unless threatened. Theyʼre approachable and kind, but when pressed, will put up a serious fight.
Getting them to let their guard down doesnʼt happen quickly, but once a relationship has been established and youʼve earned their trust, youʼve found yourself a true friend until the end.
Protective and Loyal
In addition to their smarts, their strong protective instinct and unwavering faithfulness make German Shepherds remarkable service dogs, and the top choice for military and police. Theyʼll give their life for their human pack, without hesitation.
Families love them. Theyʼre especially sweet to kids, and get along with other pets, too. Because the safety of their family and home is their first priority, German Shepherds can be overly protective and suspicious of strangers. If youʼre not part of the “family pack,” expect to get barked at.
Confident and Poised
Their quiet confidence and serious demeanor shouldnʼt be mistaken for unfriendliness or detachment. Theyʼre calm and collected, but alert—instantly ready to protect, perform a task, or play.
Highly Intelligent and Instinctive
Theyʼre one of the smartest and most trainable breeds. Their energetic brains and bodies crave activity and challenges.
Hardworking and Eager
German Shepherds have a strong work ethic. Give ʻem a task—theyʼll get it done while loving every minute of it.


Mental and Physical Stimulation
Vigorous exercise is a must. Daily walks or jogs are necessary to satisfy the German Shepherd’s migration instincts. An extra 15 minutes of playing ball or frisbee will make them happy. They relish obedience and agility games, and task-oriented activities, like tracking.
Train and Socialize in Puppyhood
German Shepherds must be disciplined at an early age. Be firm, but not harsh. They donʼt respond well to negativity or anger. Poor training and inadequate physical and mental stimulation can make them aggressive, or the opposite—nervous, prone to fear- biting and guarding issues.
Donʼt Leave them Lonely
German Shepherds are social and loving. If neglected, thereʼs a big chance youʼll come home to chewed up furniture, dug up flowers, torn up shoes, and a soiled floor.
Regular Grooming
German Shepherds are consistent, heavy shedders. Brush them daily, and check their ears and trim their claws regularly. Give them baths only when necessary; over-bathing can cause skin irritation.
The German Shepherd has brains and brawn… a protector, companion, and faithful friend. Howʼs that for Best In Show?

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