Are you a German Shepherdfan?? If yes than its one the best dog breed among all . We have made it easy for you to know the deep story of your favorite pet . Everything you need to know about this breed including characteristics of German Shepherd, German shepherd food, and physical structure, all in this article. Lets Start …
- 1 What is a German Shepherd ?
- 2 History
- 3 General Appearance
- 4 Varieties in German shepherd Colors
- 5 Temperament
- 6 More traits and characteristics related to its personality:
- 7 Intelligence Of the German shepherds
- 8 Modern Breed
- 9 Use of German Shepherd as a Working Dog
- 10 The popularity of the German Shepherds
- 11 Health concerns of German Shepherd
- 12 Feeding your German Shepherd
- 13 Training your German Shepherd
- 14 The German shepherd is for you if you are looking for…….
What is a German Shepherd ?
Before talking about anything, first, we just need to know that what is that thing? Just like that, before talking about any aspect of the German Shepherd, first, we will go through a general information about the Breed.
So, The German Shepherd is generally a breed of medium to Large sized, active and working dog, having a super intelligent mind that originated in Germany.
This super dog is relatively a new dog breed which finds it’s origin in dating in 1899. However, as part of the herding group, they were originally developed for herding sheep. Though Because of their super intelligence, obedience, strength and trainability, The German Shepherds around the world are preferred as the breed for many works just like red tiger bulldogs.
These works Include disability assistance, Police, Search and rescue and also for military works. They are often used for acting.
The German Shepherd is the second most Registered breed by the American Kennel club and 7th most registered Breed by the Kennel club in The United Kingdom.
In the 1880s. The most common dog used to herd sheep and guard the homes was the so-called “continental shepherd dog” in Northwest Europe. These “shepherd dogs” looked very similar at that time, and it was around 1890s when the three breeds, German shepherd, a Belgian shepherd, and Dutch shepherd went their own different and separate ways. Well, of those breeds, the Dutch shepherd looks very similar to the continental shepherd of that time.
During the 1850s, attempts were made to standardize dog breeds. Dogs were bred to preserve traits that assisted in their job of herding sheep and also protecting the flocks from predators. In Germany, it was locally performed by the shepherds to breed and select dogs.The aim was to make such a dog that has the necessary skills and abilities such as speed, intelligence, strength and keen senses of smell which were required to herd sheep and guard them. As a result, the produced dogs were able to do such things, but varied significantly in both, appearance and abilities, from one locality to another one.
To overcome these differences, The Phylax society was formed in 1891, with the main aim of creating standardized development plans for native dog breeds in Germany. The society itself disbanded after only three years due to the internal ongoing conflicts about the traits in a dog that the society should promote.
Some of the members of the society believed that dogs should be bred only for working purposes while others believed that the dogs should be bred also for appearance. Although, they were unsuccessful in their goal. After being failed, the Phylax society had inspired people to persuee standardizing dog breeds independently.
With the passage of time and with the rise of large and industrialized cities in Germany, the predator population began to decline, rendering sheepdogs unnecessary. Well, right at that time, the awareness of these sheepdogs as a versatile, intelligent class of canine began to rise too quickly.
Max Von Stephanitz, an ex-cavalry captain and a former student at Berlin Veterinary college, was an ex-member of the Phylax society and also one of those who believed that dogs should be bred for working purposes. He was the one who admired the intelligence, strength, and ability of the German sheepdogs but was not satisfied with them as they didn’t reach the level of the perfection he wanted as a working dog.In 1899, Mr. Von Stephanitz was attending a dog show when someone showed him a dog named Hektor Linksrhein. He was very impressed with the intelligence, obedience, loyalty, and beauty of that dog that he bought him immediately for 200 German Gold Marks.
After purchasing the dog, he changed his name to the Horan Von Grafrath and founded the Society of German Shepherd Dog. The dog with no doubt reached the limit of perfection he wanted. Horan Von Grafrath was declared to be the first German Shepherd dog and was the first dog added to the society’s breed register. As Stephanitz was the first to discover and breed German Shepherd dogs, he is also known as the father of German Shepherds.
When it comes to the description these super dogs, we just come to know that they are some kind of “wolf like” which makes them interesting and also gives them a beautiful look as such dogs should have. The German shepherds are medium to large sized dogs. The standard height of the breed is 60 to 65 cm for males and 55 to 60 cm for females.
They are more longer than tall, with an ideal and well-balanced proportion of 10 to 8 1/2. They have a domed forehead with a long square cut muzzle, having strong jaws and a black nose. The eyes of German Shepherds are medium-sized, having brown color with a lively, intelligent and also self-assured look.
The ears of the German Shepherd are large and erect, which are open at the front and parallel to each other. But they are often pilled back during movement. The German Shepherd has a long neck. Which is raised when excited and lowered when moving at a fast pace. The tail is bushy and reaches to the hock.
Varieties in German shepherd Colors
Well, commonly the German Shepherds are either tan/black or red/black. Most color varieties have black masks and black body markings which can range from a classic “saddle” to an overall ‘blanket’. It is to be noticed that color and other qualities approximately differ in all types of dogs.
The rare color combinations include the sable, blue german shepherd, short hair german shepherd, panda German Shepherd, pure black, pure white, and liver german shepherd. The all black and sable varieties are acceptable according to most of the standards, but the blue and liver are considered as serious faults and all-white is grounds for an instant disqualification from showing in conformation in all breed and specialty shows.
The German shepherds are Generally active dogs and they are described also as “self-assured” dog breed. They are specifically created and are famous for their intelligence. They are more likely of “Detective” dogs. In the book “Intelligence of Dogs”, the author Stanley Coren ranked the breed on third in the most intelligent dogs alive. The breed is marked by a willingness to learn and eagerness to have a purpose.
They are doubtful and curious, which in-turn makes them great guard dogs for anyone. They are very protective or sometime’s over protective if not socialized properly. They are also not inclined to become immediate friends with strangers.They are obedient and highly intelligent as well as being protective of their owners.
Well, if I was considering a dog like German Shepherd, I would be most concerned about the Following things:
1:- The wide range of Temperament:
Well, there is a wide range of temperaments if we talk about the German shepherds. This is because of the different breeding lines of these dogs. Each line bred for a for a different purpose and a different temperament. If you want a family companion, you don’t need high energy working lines then.
If you want a dog whcih compete in the sport of schutzhund (which is basically a protection dog sport) then you won’t choose the one with show lines. Although, we would like to say that each line of these dogs is expert in different activities according to their “breeding line”.
Tid Bit: With German Shepherds, more than most the other breeds, you must know what you want long before you just start calling or visiting breeders. All you need to do is just to ask the right questions about the breeds, about it;’s temperament, breeding line, and other things related to him. If not done so, you will end up with a German Shepherd that is’nt all what you wanted to own and maybe possibly, an individual who is too much for you to handle.
2:- Socialization requirements:
Most of the German shepherds have a protective instinct towards strangers, how ever they should be socialized properly to recognize the behaviors of good guys and bad guys, then they would be able to recognize if someone really just do something abnormal. Well, if not socialized properly, the German shepherd will be suspicious about everyone they meet or see, and likely, may attack them.
Tid Bit: Some German shepherds have inherited form of shyness. Those dogs which are genetically shy can be helped out a little by socialization-but can not be cured. yet, this is another reason to be very careful while acquiring this breed.[/su_note]
3:- To provide enough mental stimulation:
German Shepherd are so much intelligent and capable. Well, talking personally, i hate to see them chosen by the owners who just needs a dog to stick around in the yard. The German shepherds thrive when you find interesting things for them to do that challenge their minds and make them use their full capabilities.
Tid Bit: Get your German shepherd involved in agility or obstacle course or also, advanced obedience or herding, in case if there is a herding club in your area. You should also take them to schutzhund, a German protection dog sport. Play fetch games with them and also take them to hiking. They must have physical outlets for their energy, and also mental outlets for their intelligent minds.
4:- Potential Animal Aggression:
Well, most of the German shepherds are good with the other family pets or dogs, but some of them might be dominant or aggressive towards the other pets, or other dogs of the same sex. Some of the German shepherds have strong predatory behavior toward cats and other animals that run. With proper training, this behavior of them can be controlled.
5:- Aggression and Biting:
An Australian report from 1999 provides statistics which shows that the German shepherds is the breed which is third most likely to attack a person in some Australian locales. Once their popularity is taken into account, the percentage to German shepherd attacks dropped to 38th. According to the Tv channel National Geographic show Dangerous Encounters, The bite of a German shepherd has a force of 1060 newtons. Which is indeed, a dangerous limit.
Intelligence Of the German shepherds
When we talk about intelligence, then this dog is just meant for this trait and specifically bred for intelligence, a trait which now they are famous for. In the book Intelligence of Dogs, the author Stanley Coren ranked the breed third most intelligent dog after Border collies and poodles. He just discovered that they are able to learn any sort of task by just repeating it five times.
He also stated that they obeye the first command 95% of the times. Because of their strength, obedience and intelligence, they are more desirable as police dogs, search and rescue and detective dogs, as they are more quick to learn tasks and are highly qualified in intelligence, it makes them a perfect dog for such works.
The German shepherd is criticized by some people for straying away from the Stephanitz original ideology that the German shepherds should be bred only for working purposes and that breeding should be controlled to eliminate defects quickly. Well, Stephanitz thought that German shepherds should be bred for intelligence and working ability.
Use of German Shepherd as a Working Dog
When it comes to working purposes, German shepherds are widely known and are a popular selection for use as a working dog. They are generally known for being simple to train and doing extraordinary tasks and also, following instructions. They are especially known for their police work, due to the use of them for tracking criminals, patrolling troubled areas and also for the detection and holding of suspects. Additionally, Thousands of German shepherds are used by the military for different tasks.Usually trained for scout duty, they are used to warn soldiers about the presence of enemies, traps or some other hazards. They are also being trained by the military troops to parachute from aircraft or also as anti-tank weapons. During world war II, The German shepherds were used as messenger dogs, personal guard dogs, and rescue dogs.
The German shepherd is one of the most widely used dogs for different tasks which include search and rescue, narcotics detection, cadaver searching, accelerant detection, and mine detection dog. They are generally suited for these works because of their keen sense of smell and their ability to work, regardless of distraction.
Along with all these works, the German shepherds are still used for herding and tending sheep grazing in meadows next to gardens and crop fields. They are used to patrol the boundaries to keep the sheep from damaging the crops or trespassing.
One of the Mexican German Shepherd was once dissected and his body was putted on the display at the Sedena “Narco Museum” in Mexico. He is regarded to be the dog who has captured the most drugs in the Mexican Police and also the military history.
The popularity of the German Shepherds
When the UK t club accepted registrations in 1919, 54 German shepherds were registered. By the year 1956, this number just increased to 8,000. The breed gained international recognition after the end of world war one. The soldiers whom just returned from the war, talked hugely about the intelligence and extraordinary behavior. The animal actors like Rin Tin Tin and strongheart played a major role in the popularity of the breed.
There popularity took a boost after the German shepherd Sieger Pfeffer Von Bern became the 1937 and 1938 Grand Victor American Kennel club dog shows. But they again suffered decrease in popularity after world war II due to anti- German Sentiment.
The popularity of German shepherds again increased gradually until 1993, when they became the third most popular breed in America in 1993. From 2016, the German shepherd is the 2nd most popular breed registered in the United States of America, additionally, The German shepherd is the most popular breed in other registries. Nowadays, The German shepherd is the most widely used dog for different purposes.
Health concerns of German Shepherd
Here are some of the health issues which are related to German Shepherds:
This is one of the most common diseases caused in German Shepherd and number one of those which are specifically related to German Shepherds. While there are also other dogs which manifest this problem. Such as larger dog breeds. But this disease is extremely common in the German Shepherds. Especially among litters in kennels where the health of the dog is not a priority.
Well, in general, dogs having this issue are not supposed to be bred, but many of the breeders are will ignore this and will create another litter of dogs who have this issue. Ethical breeders will make sure that none of the parents are free of this disease and have fewer chances of this disease to be caused.
It is painful for the dog and also difficult to mitigate. Since it is a malformation in the joint of the hip. Dogs which are fed too much and exercised too hard or injured when they are young can damage their hips.
Just like the hip dysplaisa, this is also a congenital condition that affects many of the large breeds but also affects the German shepherds with a long line of badly bred ancestors. instead of being an issue with the hip joint, this issue is with the elbow joint mostly. Most often caused by bad genetics. The issue can be very severe or very mild.
Often mild cases will make it very difficult for a dog and will makes remaining german shepherd life span worse, making it very difficult for him to walk. Once, there is elbow dysplaisa, there is nothing an owner or breeder can do but to make sure that the dog gets the right nutrition to keep his joints lubricated and pain-free for as long as possible. Proper medication can help your shepherd to control pain for a while.
Essentially, this occurs when the dog eats too much and too quickly and then does too much exercise. This causes too much gas to build up in the stomach. When this occurs and the dog cannot dispel the gas, the pressure of the bloat actually makes it difficult for the dog to breath and the body can go into a shock.
If you see your dog eating grass or trying to vomit but cannot bring anything up. it is obvious that your dog has this problem. Generally, this is a life threatening condition. If you witness any symptom of it like anxiety, depressed dog, if you dog is’nt that much action as it used to be, if it just sits around in different corners without any reason, and also if it has some problem while breathing then you should immediately carry your Shepherd to a vet, otherwise he could die.
The best way to prevent this condition is to make sure that your dog doesn’t eat too much quickly or too much all at once. Feed them with smaller meals a day instead of a large one can also play a role in preventing this problem. You should also make sure that your dog doesn’t do any strenuous physical after eating.
Epilepsy is such a disease which is genetic and also incurable. There are a number of medications which can help your shepherd to manage his symptoms. Most of the dogs will not even notice that they have this problem, especially if they are kept out of the stressful situations and are allowed to live happily, comfortable life with an attentive family.
It is diffcult for a dog with epilepsy to show in Kennel club shows. E,g as this can be a high-stress situation, which may trigger his seizures. In some instances, epileptic dogs will want a companion that senses seizures, so they can notify the owner when the epileptic German shepherd is about to have an attack.
Disease like diabetes is common in German shepherds. like with humans, the symptoms of this disease are fatigue, dry mouth, excessive drinking, excessive urinating and also swelling in the feet. These symptoms prove that the dog has diabetes or he may likely suffer from the disease in upcoming future, even if you feed them properly and give them exercise.
Diabetes is sometimes a genetic disease and sometimes a disease that develops because of the environment. The diabetes can be easily controlled with the right diet and proper exercise. Although, if the case is severe, then you should carry him to a vet to inject insulin in his body.
German shepherds are generally prone to cataracts in their eyes. Most owners can tell when this issue is starting to occur, not by the slightly cloudy look in the dog’s eyes but because the dog does not seem as able to navigate new spaces he once was.
You may also see hi running into the things which once he was able to avoid. If the cataracts are allowed to progress, then the dog will completely lose his sight. it may be cured in early stages with thehelp of surgery.
Degenerative Disc disease
Like all other larger animals, The German shepherds also have problems with their spines, specially when they get aged. Some lines of the GSDs are more likely to have this issue than the others, which are likely to manifest when the dog is young. Most of the breeders just try to avoid breeding such dogs, as they will pass this disease to their offspring.
They should be checked for such abnormalities when they are still young. As it’s a genetic disease, so there is nothing a person can do about it specifically. But there is some things which he can do to avoid this disease from getting worse.
Proper diet, Treatment, and exercise can help your German Shepherd who is suffering from this problem.
Other diseases which are likely to cause in you GSDs are allergic diseases, cancer, pancreatitis and Thyroid issues. disease like cancer if just caused once, it cannot be cured then. but proper medication and other things like good diet and keeping your shepherd happy can give him more time to live. Allergic diseases can be avoided by proper diet and anti allergic environment.
Feeding your German Shepherd
Whether if it is dry food or dog meat, just like all the dog breeds, the German shepherd puppies and adults like the benefit from all the high-quality dog foods that has a specific amount of proteins, fats, fibers and omega fatty acids. and also, a good amount of minerals and vitamins. well, we are going to suggest you top dog-food brands which have all the stuff, your shepherd needs to remain healthy.
Top 5 brands for feeding your shepherd
- Orijen Adult dog food 28.6lb bag
- Taste of the wild high praire grain free high protein real meat recipe
- Earthborn Holistic Great Plains Feast, 28-pound Bag
- Natural Ultramix Adult dry Dog Food, 30 pound
- Nulo grain free Dog Food
FOR MORE DETAILS, Visit German Shepherd Food.
Training your German Shepherd
Here we will tell you some simple steps for German shepherd training.
Quick tips for training a puppy:
- Begin your training attempts when your Alsatian is about 8 weeks old.
- Start gently handling your puppy’s paws, ears, tail etc.
- Begin training your puppy with basic commands.
- Use food treats and praise to reinforce your commands.
- Prevent feed bowl aggression.
- Address food aggression.
- Use feeding time as training time.
- Wean your puppy off of treats for performance.
- Do not create fear in your puppy.
- Enroll your pup in a basic or puppy obedience class.
Quick tips for training an adult German Shepherd:
- Begin with dog training basics.
- Use food, praise and toys as motivators.
- Consider clicker training.
- Spend no more than 20 minutes per training session without a break.
Understanding Dog Training:
- Learn about training in general.
- Learn about the unique attributes of the German shepherd breed.
- Talk to German shepherd owners and trainers about the breed.
The German shepherd is for you if you are looking for…….
- An intelligent dog.
- An obedient dog.
- An easy to train dog.
- An dog which dosn’t have big health concerns.
- An excellent guard dog.
- A great working dog.
- A dog with extraordinary capabilities.
- A loyal and devoted dog.
- A protective dog.
- A great family dog.
- A dog which is perfect for herding activities.
- An energetic dog
- An easy to go dog.
- A perfect dog.