German Shepherd Dogs were bred to be the ultimate herding dog. They are built for endurance, speed, independent thinking, and obedience. Many still work as herders, but their courage, strength, fierceness, and gentleness combine to make them a good choice for disciplined families as well.
This versatile dog is among the most popular breeds in the United States. German Shepherd Dogs are also a favorite choice for vision, military, service, and police work. These are some of the smartest dogs around.
Originally from Germany, this large-sized and medium-energy breed can grow to between 75-95 pounds and lives an average of 10-12 years. The breed is recognized by the American Kennel Club and classified as a member of the Herding group.
|Breed's original pastime||Herding|
|Average lifespan||7-10 years|
|Date of origin||1800s|
|Original function||Sheep herding, guarding|
|Today's function||Police, contraband detection|
|Average size of male||Height: 24-26 Weight: 75-95|
|Average size of female||Height: 22-24 Weight: 75-95|
|Other name||Alsatian, Deutscherschaferhund|
|Energy level||Medium energy|
|Playfullness||Not very playful|
|Affection level||Moderately affectionate|
|Friendliness toward other dogs||Shy|
|Friendliness toward other pets||Friendly|
|Friendliness toward strangers||Shy|
|Ease of training||Hard to train|
|Protection ability||Very protective|
|Grooming needs||Low maintenance|
|Cold tolerance||Medium tolerance|
|Heat tolerance||Medium tolerance|
BEHAVIOR & TRAINING
WHAT IS A GERMAN SHEPHERD DOG'S PERSONALITY LIKE?
German Shepherd Dogs are highly intelligent, confident, protective, and loyal. These dogs are not especially playful but they are somewhat affectionate. They get along well with children when supervised but can be overly protective of them, so early and frequent training is essential. German Shepherd Dogs prefer to be the only canine in your heart and home. They can get along with other pets but may be aloof or suspicious toward strangers.
WHAT IS GERMAN SHEPHERD DOG BEHAVIOR LIKE?
German Shepherd Dogs are a very active breed that will need rigorous daily exercise. They'd love to join you on a morning run or jog. They are vigilant watchdogs who are very motivated to protect you and your home.
HOW EASY IS IT TO TRAIN A GERMAN SHEPHERD DOG?
German Shepherd Dogs are a very biddable breed. Those brilliant brains and active bodies enjoy physical and mental challenges. They enjoy retrieving, agility, and obedience work.
Early and frequent socialization with dogs and people is essential.
CARE & HEALTH
HOW MUCH DO GERMAN SHEPHERD DOGS SHED AND WHAT ARE THEIR GROOMING NEEDS?
Some folks have called them “German Shedders” because these dogs lose so much hair. Their medium-length double coat is dense and thick. They require occasional grooming. Plan for more brushing while they're shedding (which is often), and bathe them as needed. Even then, be ready for furry tumbleweeds around the house.
WHAT HEALTH PROBLEMS DO GERMAN SHEPHERD DOGS HAVE?
This is a generally robust breed. Some may develop eye disease and elbow or hip dysplasia.
Feeding your baby German Shepherd Dog a growth food for large-breed puppies will slow their rate of growth but not diminish their adult stature which may help prevent or reduce the impact of adult-onset hip dysplasia.