Characteristics :

Classification: Pastoral

Size:  Large

Daily Exercise Requirements: 2 – 3 Hours

Lifespan: 10 – 14 years

Coat Length: Short

Weight: 30 – 40Kg (65 – 88lbs)

Height:  55 – 65cm (22 – 26 inches)

General Information :

As their name suggests, the German Shepherd originates from Germany. Bred at the end of the 19th century to be the best in the field as a working dog, the intelligence of the German Shepherd was soon noticed and utilised in the first world war to help with search and rescue and to carry supplies.

At the end of the first world war many Americans took German Shepherd puppies back to America,one of which being the famous Rin Tin Tin. It was this that made the bred very popular in America today.

Also known as Alsatians, the breed is a very intelligent and skilled working dog. The dogs are very adaptable and, in addition to be a loyal companion, work in the modern world in multiple disciplines including with the police, the handicapped and the military.

German Shepherds are very approachable and friendly, they make great family dogs, however they are very cautions, especially around new people, which is why it is very important that these dogs are well trained and socialised from an early age so that they do not become aggressive towards others.

The dogs are outstanding at learning new skills and can be trained to accomplish almost any task. Providing they are well trained and socialised, they are trustworthy with children and other family pets.

Bred for working all day in the field, German Shepherds have a lot of energy to exhaust. They require between 2 and 3 hours of exercise per day consisting of both physical (walks/playtime) and mental (training, dog sports) exercise.

Lack of exercise, or being left alone for long periods of time, will result in your dog becoming bored and frustrated. This is likely to result in barking and chewing of furniture.

A yard is recommended to keep the German Shepherd entertained and to allow them to burn off excess energy. A magnitude of chew toys is recommended to avoid them causing harm to your furniture and, more importantly, themselves.

It is noted that German Shepherds are commonly bred by both German and American breeders. Typically, German bred dogs retain more of their working attributes and hence are more energetic, American bred dogs are commonly bred for their show talents and tend to be calmer however more prone to behavioural issues.

Grooming :

For working in all manner of conditions, German Shepherds have an all-weather working coat to protect them from the environment.

They are frequent shedders with an additional 2 large sheds annually. A brush 2 – 3 times per week and a decent vacuum will be required to keep hair levels around the house to a minimum. The coat should only be washed when needed to protect its natural oils.

Regular nail cutting, and ear cleaning is required. As they love to chew, dental chew toys are recommended with alongside a tooth clean once or twice a week.

As always, as you groom your dog, it is very important to examine them for any health problems.