The German Shepherd is one of the world’s most recognized breeds, as well as one of the most popular ones in America. In Great Britain and some areas of Europe the breed is known as the Alsatian. Originating in Germany in 1899, they were bred as working dogs to herd sheep and protect livestock. German Shepherds are extremely smart and loyal hence they are used as military and police dogs, as well as guide dogs for the blind. They make great therapy dogs and are often used in hospital settings. Due to their high energy level they do need lots of exercise and activity, mental and physical; they were bred to work. If not, they can develop bad habits with excessive chewing and barking to get rid of their frustration. They can be detached, withdrawn and unapproachable at times, and perhaps distrustful of strangers, therefore they make great watchdogs. One way to alleviate some of this unwanted behavior is early training and socialization. This devoted and protective breed needs their owner home with them otherwise they can develop separation anxiety. German Shepherds are easy to train and can be helped by crate training, especially as a puppy. This helps them to be at rest and content especially when apart from their owner. The German Shepherd should not be chained outside, and does best living indoors but having access to a fenced yard. Due to their having a medium length double coat, they shed a lot. One characteristic of the breed is the coloring of their coat, it is very distinctive to them. It is wise to have a good vacuum on hand, because it will be used regularly. German Shepherds often have the tan and black blend, but they can also be found in black and cream, black and red, black and silver, and with a varied mix of these colors. It is important not to bathe this breed often, they are basically a very clean dog. They should have their nails trimmed once a month, and their ears checked weekly. It is essential for them to have access to good chew toys/bones to keep their teeth healthy. German Shepherds are usually 22-26 inches high, and typically weigh 75-95 pounds, and with a lifespan of about 10-14 years. Overall, they are a healthy breed and with regular veterinary visits they should live a long and happy life.
Each dog breed can be prone to develop certain diseases or conditions, be sure to research your specific breed before making a purchase to ensure you´re prepared for any challenges that may arise. This information is only a generalization and we make no guarantees on any breed related to personality, appearance, or typical health characteristics.