The German Shepherd originated in Germany and is a working dog breed that is medium to large in size. The breed’s officially accepted name is German Shepherd Dog in the English language, which is sometimes abbreviated as “GSD”. They were also once known as the Alsatian and Alsatian Wolf Dog in Britain. With their origin dating to 1899, the German Shepherd is a relatively new breed. As being part of the Herding Group, German Shepherds are working dogs for herding sheep, in which they were originally developed for. However since then they are the preferred breed for many types of work due to their obedience, intellect, trainability, and strength. The types of work the breed is used for include assistance, search-and-rescue, police and military roles, and they have even been used in many acting roles. The German Shepherd is among the second-most popular breed in the U.S.
German Shepherds are medium to large-sized dogs. The breed standard height at the withers for this breed is 60-65 cm for males and 55-60 cm for females. The standard weight is 30-40 kilograms for males and 22-32 kilograms for females. The jaws have a scissor like bite and are extremely strong. The eyes are brown and of medium size. He has a self-assured, intelligent, and lively look about him. The ears are stand erect, are large, open at the front and parallel, but often times they will be pulled back when the dog is in motion. German Shepherds sport a double coat. All year round the outer coat, which sheds, is packed and close with a thick undercoat. The coat varies in two lengths, medium and long. While German Shepherds have a variety of colors, the most typical are tan/black and red/black. Most color assortments have black masks and black body markings that can vary from a classic “saddle” to an entire “blanket.”
German Shepherds are moderately active dogs, and are self-assured. A personality characteristic of this breed is its willingness to learn and an eagerness to have a purpose. Because of their curiosity, they make excellent guard dogs and perform well for search missions. If the breed is not socialized properly they may become over protective of their family and territory. They are very aloof of strangers and are not quick to befriend them. The breed is highly intelligent and very obedient.
The German Shepherds median life span is about 10.95 years, and is normal for a dog of their size. Health issues to consider for this breed are, hip and elbow dysplasia, arthritis, degenerative myelopathy, and they are at a higher risk for Von Willebrand Disease, and Exocrine pancreatic insufficiency.