If you’re looking for a dog that’s a faithful companion and loyal protector while still having a high desire to play, a German Shepherd may be the perfect choice. German Shepherds have been around since the late 1800s and continue to be one of the most popular breeds of dogs. They are consistently ranked among the top five dogs by the American Kennel Club. They’re very popular for their use as both herding and working dogs. Their intense loyalty to their owners has made them referred to as one-man dogs.
German Shepherds medium-to-large sized dogs known for their high intelligence, loyalty, courage and loving personality.. The German shepherd’s height may be anywhere from 22-26 inches. Weight can vary from as small as 70 pounds to as much as 120 pounds. A lot of it depends on the dog’s genetics. Although females are typically smaller than males, this is not always the case. German shepherds have a very muscular body. The one physical trait, other than color, that people most associate with German Shepherds is their erect ears.
German Shepherds also come in various colors with the most common being black and tan, black and silver or all black. Other colors that can be seen in German Shepherds are blue and liver, sable, black and white and even all white. The German Shepherd’s coat may be one of three varieties: double coat, long-haired coat and plush coat. While some believe that the long-haired variety shed more hair, this is generally not the case as they all shed about the same and should be brushed regularly.
The life span of the German Shepherd is generally 9-13 years, although some may live longer. Despite their strength, sturdy body and general good health, this breed is prone to develop certain health issues such as allergies, hip or elbow dysplasia, degenerative myelopathy, epilepsy, digestive disorders, chronic eczema, inflammation of the cornea and blood disorders. Dysplasia, chronic allergies and ear infections are the most common of these health concerns.
If you’re considering purchasing a German Shepherd, make sure you buy from a reputable breeder. Reputable breeders test both the parents and the puppies to ensure they are free from genetic defects such as dysplasia. Many breeders will sell puppies with a good-health guarantee and test results documenting that the dog is healthy. If possible, request that you be allowed to see both the mother and father of the puppy you wish to purchase so you may observe their behavior in their natural habitat. DNA and genetics really does play a role in the type of dog your puppy could grow up to be. Avoid getting your German Shepherd from a puppy mill.
Their intelligence, curiosity and ability to be trained to perform many tasks has made them highly valuable as service dogs; seeing eye dogs; therapy dogs; search and rescue dogs; guard dogs and narcotic detection dogs. Many people refer to them as “police dogs” due to the high number that are used by law enforcement as K-9 dogs. Despite their usefulness as a working dog, this breed also makes a great companion and family pet.
Training is very important for the German Shepherd dog because it gives them a purpose and fulfills their desire to please their master. While they may survive well in a small apartment, they strive best when they have a large home or big yard in which to run around. The German Shepherd is a high-energy dog that requires a lot of exercise.This breed may experience separation anxiety if left alone for too long and resort to destructive behavior. If your lifestyle keeps you away from home for long periods of time, the German Shepherd my not be the perfect dog for you. However, if you have the time and devotion to give this dog, the German Shepherd will provide you with a loyal friend for years to come.