The German Shepherd Dog is a breed of dog that originated in Germany. The breed’s officially recognized name is Deutsche Schäferhunde. The German Shepherd is a working dog and belongs to the herding group. In this article, I’ll talk about the origin of the German Shepherd Dog, what they’re like as a pet, and any other interesting facts you may not know.
German Shepherd Origin
First off, let’s start with the breed’s origin! The German Shepherd originally came from Germany in 1899 where it was then bred by a man named Captain Max von Stephanitz. The German Shepherd breed was then recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1908. The reason why Captain von Stephanitz created this breed was to be used as sheepherders and police dogs for Germany.
Now that we know where the breed comes from, you may be wondering what they look like…
German Shepherd Appearance & Grooming
The German Shepherd’s height is between 22 to 26 inches long and weigh anywhere from 70 to 90 pounds for male dogs, and 60 to 75 pounds for female dogs.
They have medium length coats that are thick with a fluffy undercoat, making them well-suited for cold climates. Their hair is usually black with tan, brown, or red markings. The top of the neck, tail, and back of the thighs have long hairs that form a fringe when viewed from certain angles.
The German Shepherd has a double coat (called “double-decker coat”) which consists of an outer layer made up of tough guard hairs to protect the undercoat and skin from dirt or anything harmful. The undercoat is softer and warmer, which helps keep the GSD warm in cold climates or cool in hot ones. A properly groomed German Shepherd should have a rather short coat of about 1 to 2 inches long on its body, while having slightly longer hair of about 3 to 6 inches long on the neck, tail, chest, and backs of its thighs.
German Shepherd Temperament
The German Shepherd is a breed that can be very independent, loyal, and protective of their owners. They are also excellent working dogs and love to work alongside people. These dogs have incredible problem-solving skills and an immense sense of smell, which makes them excellent police dogs for searching and finding things. They’re very intelligent and therefore require a lot of mental and physical stimulation otherwise they can become destructive and hard to handle.
The German Shepherd is known to be wary of strangers which makes them excellent watchdogs, but not so great for people who get anxious around big dogs. They also need to be around people frequently or they can become extremely anxious and agitated, which can lead to aggression.
German Shepherds are very active dogs and need a lot of physical and mental stimulation to prevent them from getting bored or destructive. They make excellent jogging companions for people who like to jog every morning! They also do well with other pets if they’re properly introduced while young. Grooming these dogs can be quite a hassle but it’s definitely worth it.
German Shepherd Nutrition & Feeding
The German Shepherd should be fed between 2 1/2 to 3 cups of high-quality dry dog food each day. This amount should be split into two meals, with the first meal being given when they wake up in the morning and the other portion about 30 minutes before their regular bedtime.
Unlike some breeds out there, the German Shepherd can eat a wide variety of foods. They do best with high-quality dry dog food but they can also eat cooked chicken or beef for protein instead of dry food if they happen to be picky eaters.
As far as treats go, the German Shepherd does not really need them because they are very easy to please! However, once in a while it’s okay to give them some stinky cheese or low-fat yogurt to eat. Just be careful not to overfeed your GSD with treats, especially if you’re giving them high calorie foods like cheese and yogurt!
The German Shepherd also likes chewing on dog chews such as pig ears, beef bones, bully sticks, and antlers. These chews are great because they help keep your German Shepherd’s teeth in good shape and remove any tartar build up!
German Shepherd Health Problems & Special Notes
There are a few health problems that this breed is prone to developing including elbow dysplasia, puppy strangles, pano or seborrhea, and hip dysplasia. Since these problems can be quite painful and even dangerous for the GSD, you should take them to a veterinarian immediately if you notice any symptoms. These health problems can usually be treated, but it’s important that you find out what they are in the first place!
Cataracts is another common problem that a lot of German Shepherds develop as they age. If your GSD has cataracts, their eyes will appear hazy and cloudy which can lead to blindness if it’s not treated immediately. This health problem is usually developed around the age of 8 so it’s important that you take your older German Shepherd in for a regular checkup to ensure their eyes don’t develop cataracts!
German Shepherds also have a life expectancy of around 10 to 12 years.
German Shepherd Exercise & Training Tips
The German Shepherd is an incredibly intelligent and active breed so it’s important that you give them plenty of mental stimulation and regular exercise each day. This includes going on long walks with them, playing games with them inside or outside, and training with them every single day! These dogs love learning new tricks so it’s a good idea to teach them as many as possible.
When your German Shepherd is being trained, you should always use encouraging words and phrases because the last thing you want is for your dog to lose their confidence. German Shepherds respond very well to positive reinforcement so rewarding them for doing something right is important! You should never punish your GSD if they do something wrong because it will only make them confused.
It’s also a good idea to train your German Shepherd not to bark unless it’s absolutely necessary because these dogs tend to bark at everything that moves. A lot of owners like to teach their dogs the “quiet” command so they can train them to stop barking when they need to.
If you’re in the process of potty training your German Shepherd, you should try using a crate or confining them in an area with no carpeting or rugs. It’s best if the confinement area is small because your German Shepherd will not want to make a mess there. You can teach them the “kennel” command so they know that whenever they’re inside this area, it’s time to use the bathroom!
The German Shepherd should also be socialized with other dogs and people at an early age, preferably when they are between 4 and 16 weeks of age. This will help them become more comfortable around different breeds, people, and locations.
If your German Shepherd is going to be entering a dog show or competition, it’s best if you brush up on their competition training beforehand so they know exactly what they need to do when the time comes. Competitive events such as Schutzhund are more than just fun games for GSD owners; it’s also a great way to improve your dog’s skills!
German Shepherd As a pet
In general, the German Shepherd is a very loyal and intelligent breed that gets along with everyone including kids, other dogs, and even cats! However, a lot of problems can arise if you don’t train them properly from the moment they’re brought home.
These dogs will need to be socialized as early as possible so they get used to meeting new people and other animals on a regular basis. If you don’t socialize them enough, they will not do well around small children because most GSD’s love to jump up and down when they’re excited!
German Shepherds are also naturally protective of their owners so if you want to avoid any bites or nips, it’s important that you train them not to do so. German Shepherds are very dominant by nature so they require a lot of obedience training when they’re young if you want to have control over them when they get older!
If you have children, it’s usually best if the GSD is raised with them in order to ensure that both parties are comfortable around each other and know how to behave. German Shepherds respond very well to obedience training which is why it’s a good idea for both children and pets to learn how to be obedient as early as possible!
The main problem with GSD’s is that they’re incredibly stubborn so you need more than just one owner to be able to control them. It’s very difficult to get a German Shepherd who isn’t used to you, your family members, or anyone else that they might meet to obey.
If you buy an older GSD who has already been trained by their previous owners, be aware that this training is usually not standard and you may need to retrain them yourself. For example, most German Shepherds are trained to stay at the foot of the bed and only get up when their owner tells them to. GSD’s can be very dangerous if they’re allowed to walk all over you so it’s important that you establish yourself as their pack leader from the beginning!
When raising a German Shepherd, start training them as early as possible so they become well-behaved and obedient before they develop any types of rough or rude habits. That way, you won’t have to spend as much time correcting them once they become an adult!
If you want to know more about German Shepherds, feel free to read on! Otherwise, I have included other fun facts below.
German Shepherd Fun Facts!
– The breed was originally called the “Alsatian”, but due to World War 1 anti-German sentiments, the breed was renamed to “German Shepherd” in order to make it more appealing.
– The German word for German Shepherd is “Deutscher Schaferhund”. If you break down each individual word, you can figure out where their name came from: Deutsch – German Schaferhund – Shephard
– The breed was originally bred as a working dog and herding dog.
– German Shepherds are one of the most popular dog breeds worldwide.
– German Shepherds can be difficult to train because they’re incredibly stubborn and naturally dominant by nature! It’s important that you establish yourself as their pack leader from the beginning or else they will be nearly impossible to control.
– German Shepherds are very protective and loyal towards their families or owners. This is why it’s important that you fully train them not to jump up and down when they’re excited and also to respect your personal space! If you want a GSD, but don’t plan on training them to be obedient, it’s probably best if you avoid getting one.
– German Shepherds are very intelligent and hardworking! They’re the second most intelligent dog breed in the world (the first is Border Collies)! They also require a lot of socialization when they’re young so they get used to meeting new people and other animals on a regular basis. This is why it’s important to take them out regularly so they don’t develop any bad habits by being isolated!
– Most GSDs are used as working dogs nowadays but they are still very popular pets! If you have a German Shepherd, you should get them obedience training when they’re young so that way, you can control them when they get older.
– German Shepherds are one of the oldest dog breeds in existence! They were developed roughly around 1899!
– When they’re born, GSDs usually weigh an average of about 1 pound and will stay in their mother’s den for roughly three to four weeks until they weigh at least 3 pounds.
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Hi there! My name is Alex Landy, one of the co-founders here at Our Pets HQ and a parent to a small-breed Yorkie. I am a published author of two books on dog breeding and currently write on various pet-related blogs about caring for dogs. I am a parent of two daughters and live outside Boston where I spend a lot of time with family and serve in different breeding clubs. You can reach me at email@example.com