German Shepherd: Everything You Need To Know

German Shepherd: Everything You Need To Know -

Born to Lead the Paw World 

Tall, dark and handsome, add to that intelligent, loyal, courageous and born leaders. Sounds out of this world? It is difficult to find such charismatic qualities in humans, but they’re guaranteed in German Shepherds.


This magnificent breed of dogs or adorable German shepherd puppies, be it male or female will keep you hooked for a long time to come. So, what is it about these German shepherd breed types that is so endearing? Ruling the world like a king shepherd or queen in their signature all black, black and tan, sable, red and black, grey, black, white and silver coats, this breed is easily recognisable by everyone.

Breed, History & Origin

First originating in Germany, the German Shepherd is a breed of medium to large-sized dogs which were used as working dogs. The breed’s official name is  German Shepherd Dog (sometimes shortened to GSD). They were also known as Alsatian in the UK after the First World War until 1977 when its name was changed back to German Shepherd. Despite its primitive, wolf-like appearance, the German Shepherd is a relatively modern breed of dog, with their origin dating to 1899 when Captain Max von Stephanitz from Germany first breeded one. Mostly used for herding and farming, the first American German Shepherd was showcased in 1907 and thanks to the popular and most lovable sidekicks known as Rin-Tin-Tin and Strongheart, the breed of German Shepherds quickly shot up the ranks.


Breed Information

Health Tips to Keep in Mind - Exercise, Food, Grooming

German Shepherds have their very own exclusive health quirks. To keep them strong, healthy and active it is important to keep these pointers in mind:

1. An ideal weight of about 30-40 kgs in males and 22-32kgs in females should be maintained for muscular fitness and nimbleness.

2. Being medium-sized dogs, they mature slower than small dog breeds. Heavy work, as well as impact to their joints, should be avoided until they turn 1 or 2.

3. Regular walks thrice a day with some vigorous exercise helps them stay in shape. They love routine and exercise, two things that are important to the breed.

4. As deep-chested dogs, German Shepherds are more susceptible to bloat, a fatal condition caused by air, fluid and/or foam in the stomach. It's best to watch out for these signs and symptoms.

5. Regular check-ups by vets are mandatory as a few German Shepherds may be prone to GI tract and hip issues due to their body shape. Regular x-rays and being aware of possible stomach irritants will help your German Shepherd stay healthy.

6. German Shepherds have an acute sense of smell, so they often smell hydrants, fences, and garbage while on walks. Watch out for what they sniff and pick up in their mouths, to avoid your dog getting sick or injured.

7. Select food within the age range for your dog, as well as watch for allergens, energy level, and weight. Every dog has different food habits and as such there is no right food. However, German Shepherds do love plain boiled chicken and rice as it takes care of their protein and carbs intake. Consult a Vet Nutritionist to address concerns that you may have about food.

8. About 22-40 kgs in weight and 22 to 26 inches in height, they have a double coat and their life span is from 9-13 years. Litter size is 4 to 9. Due to his coat, a German Shepherd is more susceptible to overheating in the summer months. Plenty of water, shade, and cool air should help your dog make it through the hot days. A healthy coat supplement works wonders on this breed. 


Behavior and How to Manage

They make great pets from the way they guard their owner to the way they instill a feeling of love, adoration and safety in their handler. Early socialization with other people and dogs definitely helps your German Shepherd Dog avoid behavioral problems later. The German Shepherd dog is actually hailed as the world's leading police, military and guard dog and is actually one of the most popular dogs in the United States. They are a great breed for families with older children, as they are highly trainable, extremely loyal and very committed to their owners. Like other breeds they love to rush after lizards, cockroaches, squirrels and may hate being on a leash at such times. They display incessant barking if restricted to a cage for longer periods, however, they are very receptive to commands to curb the barking.


Myths and Facts

When not raised properly, German Shepherds can exhibit certain behavioral problems which have been the root cause of many myths surrounding them.

#Myth1: Older Dogs Are Harder to Manage Than Puppies

Fact: It All Depends on How the Pup Has Been Trained in His Early Years

Puppies are cute and loved by everyone, but once they hit puberty they become quite a handful. It also depends on whether the breed is pure. It is better to hire a Canine Behaviorist to tackle innate behavioral problems such as attacking other dogs, biting people, or engaging in oddball neurotic behavior in the growing up years. When you adopt an adult pet, it is possible to determine exactly what kind of dog you are getting since you have his past history and behavior on record. 

#Myth2: Female German Shepherds Do Not Have Any Dominance Issues

Fact: Gender-Based Stereotypes Cannot Be Applied to German Shepherds

This myth is simply untrue. Gender-based stereotypes should not be applied to German Shepherds as there are many hyper, dominant females and mellow, relaxed males who spring a surprise with their sublime nature. It all comes down to each individual dog, so don’t be fooled into thinking that getting a female will guarantee a passive, submissive German Shepherd.

#Myth3: It Is Difficult to Bond With Rescue German Shepherds
Fact: Easier to Bond With in Spite of Being Rescues.

Some rescued dogs are usually isolated to reprimand their behavior or avoid accidents. They receive scheduled meals and little-to-no attention. If they are abandoned due to old age or health problems, they still wait for their owner’s return or even attempt to go back home. When they are finally brought to the shelters, and they are lucky to be adopted, they bond with the new owner as much as it is possible for them.


If you have ever wanted someone who would play the role of a good cop and a bad cop at the same time with your children or just wanted a loyal trust-worthy companion, get home a German Shepherd. 

Did You Know?

1. Loyal One-Man Dog, first used to herd and protect sheep.

2. They make Top Military Dogs, Police Dogs, Fire Rescue Dogs and Seeing Dogs.

3. They have 225 million scent receptors compared to humans who have only about 5 million.

4. Military Dogs are ranked a level higher than their handlers as this is a tradition started to prevent handlers from mistreating the dog.

5. They have one unique stack or pose with one leg under the body and one extended.

6. During World War I, Americans weren’t the biggest fans of Germany, so they renamed the breed Shepherd Dog. The English called them Alsatian Wolf Dogs. Nowadays, many Europeans still call the breed Alsatians.