German Shepherd dogs are one of the most recognized dog breeds in the world. They are often considered as an ideal canine for having numerous incredible qualities such as versatility, fearlessness, and intelligence. They lie under the category of working dogs and have done nearly every job that any dog could do. For instance, they can lead blind people, detect prohibited drugs, serve in the armed forces, and bring down the fleeing criminal. They have also been featured in movies. The first-ever German Shepherd movie star was Rin Tin Tin, a German Shepherd found in the World War I battle zone. This breed makes great pets. They are energetic, loving, devoted and loyal to their families. Additionally, their striking good looks make people want to pet them and raise them in their homes. If you are thinking of getting a German Shepherd and want to find out if they are the right companion for you or not, then you should keep on reading. The details about their lifestyle, needs, and habits are mentioned below that will help you assess if you should adopt a German Shepherd.
German Shepherd History
The origin of German Shepherds, as their name suggests, lies in Germany. They were bred in the 18th century mainly by Captain Max von Stephanitz. The purpose of breeding such a strong and courageous dog like a German Shepherd was to use their services for police and military work. As a result of the tremendous amount of hard work done by Captain Max von Stephanitz, this dog became very powerful, alert, self-assured, and intelligent. Soon, the popularity of German Shepherd started increasing and they began traveling to other countries. One of the early arrivals of German Shepherd dogs in the United States was Rin Tin Tin. A German Shepherd was brought to the US in 1906. They were registered by the American Kennel Club in 1908.
German Shepherd Breed Information and Fun Facts
There are numerous interesting fun facts about German Shepherd. Did you know? They are one of the most popular breeds of AKC due to their iconic personality and extreme loyalty. Talking about German Shepherd trainability, you won't have to worry about it as this breed is highly trainable and always looks for ways to please their owners through their excellent performance. Here are some essential details about German Shepherd that you would want to know about:
- Breed Group: Herding Group
- Height: 60-65 cm (male), 55-60 cm (female)
- Weight: 30-40 kg (male), 22-32 kg (female)
- Life span: 9-13 years
- Color: Black, Sable, Grey, Red & Black, Black & Silver, and Black & Tan.
- Coat: Dense, wiry, medium-length double coat
- Temperament: Intelligent, obedient, Alert, Curious, Confident, Watchful, and Courageous.
- Hypoallergenic: No
- Difficulty level for first-time owners: on a scale of 1-10 paws of increasing difficulty for novice owners, German Shepherd has scored 7/10 paws. This is because they require experienced trainers to handle them. If you have never owned a dog before, you might want to reconsider your decision of adopting a German Shepherd. This breed can give a tough time to the owners who have no idea how to handle them properly. Hence, German Shepherds are not suitable for novice owners.
What are the types of German Shepherd?
Based on their coat and looks, there are 5 different types of German Shepherd. These types are listed below:
- Saddle Coat German Shepherd
- Black German Shepherd
- Panda German Shepherd
- Sable German Shepherd
- White German Shepherd
Are German Shepherds good pets? Or Is a German Shepherd a good family dog?
Yes. German Shepherds make great pets due to their smart, faithful, and sociable nature. German Shepherd puppies are very playful and active. They love hanging out with their families. Their guarding instincts are strong and they would do everything they can to protect their humans and their territory. However, German Shepherds require a lot of time from the owners because they can become bored easily. If you leave them alone for a long time, they might end up developing anxious behaviors, such as chewing, barking, and digging, to express their anxiety.
Are German Shepherds high maintenance?
Even though German Shepherds are not very high maintenance, they would require their owner's time and energy in some things. Their coat and hair require a lot of frequent grooming as they shed hair all year and blow undercoat twice a year. They should be thoroughly brushed 3 to 4 times a week. Regular brushing will keep their hair shiny. They should not be left alone for a long time. If you think you cannot invest this amount of time in your pet's training and grooming, a German Shepherd is not the right pet for you.
What health issues do German Shepherds face?
Overall, German Shepherds are considered a healthy breed but they are prone to some diseases. While raising them, you must ensure that you are providing them with the best lifestyle and are fulfilling their needs to prevent them from diseases. Due to inbreeding throughout their history, German Shepherds have become prone to some health problems. Some of them are related to their large size and the job they perform. The main health problems faced by German Shepherds are listed below:
- Hip Dysplasia
- Elbow Dysplasia
- Thyroid issues
- Bladder stones
- Dental health problems
- Nose Infections
- Urinary Tract Infections
- Degenerative Disc Disease
Not all German Shepherds face all the above-mentioned problems. However, it is better to understand the risks before bringing a German Shepherd into your home.
Do German Shepherds Bark A Lot?
Yes. German Shepherds have a high tendency to bark. If not trained properly, they would bark a lot. Even if you provide them with great training and socialization, they would still bark more than other breeds. Hence, they are considered as 'more vocal' than other breeds.
Are German Shepherds aggressive? Or are German Shepherds dangerous?
If not trained, they can be very dangerous! If we talk about German shepherd personality, they are courageous and strong. Their aggression can be harmful to people, children, and other pets. They can be aloof to strangers. They need frequent socializing and obedience training to remain well-mannered in public.
What are popular mixed breeds with German Shepherd?
German Shepherd is mixed with many other breeds to produce crossbreeds. Some of the successful and famous crosses of German Shepherds are:
- Golden Shepherd: German Shepherd + Golden Retriever
- The Shug: German Shepherd +Pug
- Chow Shepherd or Chow Chow: German Shepherd +Chow
- Labrashepherd: German Shepherd +Labrador
- Siberian Shepherd or Gerberian Shepsky: German Shepherd +Siberian Husky
- Shollie: German Shepherd + Collie
- Corman Shepherd: German Shepherd +Corgi
- Shepweiler or Rottweiler Shepherd: German Shepherd +Rottweiler
- Shepadoodle: German Shepherd + Poodle
- Wolf Shepherd: German Shepherd + Wolf
- Shepkita: German Shepherd + Akita
- Alaskan Shepherd: German Shepherd + Alaskan Malamute
- Euro Mountain Sheparnese: German Shepherd + Bernese Mountain Dog
- German Sheppit: German Shepherd + Pitbull
- New Shep: German Shepherd + Newfoundland
- Saint Shepherd: German Shepherd + Saint Bernard
- German Ridgeback: German Shepherd + Rhodesian Ridgeback
- German Australian Shepherd: German Shepherd + Australian Shepherd
Are German Shepherds HDB approved?
No. German Shepherds are considered large dogs and HDB does not allow large dogs to be kept as pets in flats in Singapore.
Are German Shepherds hypoallergenic?
No, they are not hypoallergenic. Having a double coat, they shed throughout the whole year and can cause dog allergies to anyone prone to allergies. So, proper care is required to adopt a German Shepherd.
Why German Shepherds are not good pets?
German Shepherds can’t be good pets just for busy people who spend a lot of time outside. In such a case, A German Shepherd could be aggressive and anxious. However, if you give him your attention, time, and good trainability as well, the German Shepard will be your faithful and protective friend.
What are German shepherds known for?
German Shepherds are known for their courage, loyalty, and guarding instincts. They can help blind people, work as police dogs and military dogs.
If you are looking for an intelligent, hard-working, alert, and courageous dog as a family member to welcome into your home, you can consider getting a German Shepherd. After going through the above-mentioned details, you must be having an idea about how to raise this breed. If you think German Shepherds are a good choice and that you will take care of their needs and wants, you should go ahead and buy/adopt one!