German Shepherd

Loyal Companions and Hard Workers

German Shepherd

By Toni Grzunov - Last updated on March 20th, 2021

All You Need To Know About The German Shepherd

There is hardly a soul in the world that wouldn’t recognize a German Shepherd if they saw one. They are very popular and known as some of the most hardworking dogs in the world. These dogs are brilliant and agile.

Any dog lover will tell you that German Shepherds make loyal, brave, and steady pets. You can train them to do almost anything. They can assist the disabled, be used for herding or police and military service. However, the most important thing is that they will make faithful friends. 

If you are considering getting a German Shepherd we have prepared the facts that you need to know, so read on!

Fast Facts

Group - Herding 

Height - 24-26 Inches (male) 22-24 Inches (female) 

Weight - 77-85 Pounds 

Hair Length - Medium

Shedding - Medium Level

Lifespan - 12-14 Years

The Long and Short of the German Shepherd

German Shepherds have a distinct and easily recognizable look. They are muscular, and you can tell how agile and robust they are right away. Their build is balanced and somewhat bulky, but not too much. These dogs will always appear as if they are ready for adventure!

They are quite beautiful dogs, especially if you prefer pets that are a bit bigger. A German Shepherd will always look distinguished and noble, never giving off a look of someone who lives a pet’s calm life. 

These dogs have a strong head with a clearly defined silhouette. It is proportionate to the rest of the body in size. 

They have gorgeous medium-sized eyes shaped like almonds. Their eyes are brown but really dark, almost black, and they do not protrude. Their ears are pointed and are proportionate to their skull. When their curiosity is piqued, their ears will stand upright while they look around for anything of interest.

German Shepherds have a strong and muscular neck and back. There is no sag and their bodies, in general, give off an aura of strength and agility. Their upper arms are very muscular, adding to their overall powerful look!

They have a medium-length double coat. The hair is straight and placed close to the body. The head, legs, and paws are covered with short hair, while the neck has longer hair.

Featured german Shepherd Dog Breeders

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What Colors does a German Shepherd come in?

According to the breed standard, a German Shepherd can come in a wide variety of colors, here are the most popular: 

  • Black and tan
  • Black and red
  • Black and cream
  • Silver sable

The preferred colors should be strong and rich. Pale and washed-out colors, as well as blue or liver, are generally considered faulty by breeders. If your German Shepherd is white, it probably won’t be able to enter any sort of showcase or competition.

Still, don’t let that discourage you from getting a White German Shepherd puppy for your home! You shouldn’t let things like that stop you from falling in love with an otherwise perfect dog.

All about the German Shepherd Personality

German Shepherds do not make friends easily. However, once they do, you will find them to be extremely loyal.

They are known to be extremely intelligent and will always look for something to do. You should keep them entertained by teaching them simple tasks, which is an easy way to make them happy! 

You should avoid leaving your German Shepherd alone for extended periods. They don’t like that! These dogs need constant companionship. If they don’t get a chance to exercise and play they may become frustrated.

German Shepherds that don’t exercise often enough and are ignored can show their anger in various ways! They can start barking or chewing on things, and you most definitely want to avoid that!

These dogs should be socialized from an early age. Make sure that you expose your German Shepherd puppy to other people and different experiences while it is young.

While they can be fierce if they need to protect their family, they won’t be aggressive. if properly trained. Their sense of loyalty can’t be overstated. Once you get a German Shepherd, you can be sure that you have found a friend for life.

Is a German Shepherd easy to train?

Seeing as how intelligent these dogs are, you would guess that they are easy to train, and you’d be right.

All it takes is a training regimen with guidelines and reward-based reinforcement of desired behaviors. 

They learn quickly and will master most simple tasks after being shown what to do only a couple of times. When surrounded by people, they are incredibly obedient.

Consistency in training is essential, and if you achieve that, your dog will become well trained and bonded to your family. These dogs should be included in family activities, which is something they’ll enjoy tremendously. 

All of this makes German Shepherds excellent service dogs for people that need special help. They also make fantastic guard dogs, as well as service dogs for the military! 

Well, it seems like training won’t be an issue. What about grooming? 

How much Grooming does a German Shepherd need?

When it comes to grooming, German Shepherds do not require too much work and are generally easy to maintain. You should brush your dog every few days to eliminate any loose hairs and help with shedding.

These dogs do shed throughout the year, although it’s not excessive. The more extreme shedding happens once or twice per year, and you should be prepared for it. You should brush to reduce the amount of hair you find throughout the house.

Seeing as how they do shed regularly, German Shepherds are not hypoallergenic, and people with allergies shouldn’t get them as pets.

They are generally clean dogs and don’t stink. You only need to give them baths occasionally, when necessary. If you bathe them too often, it will strip the coat of oils that keep them healthy.

More importantly, you should trim their nails every month. Sometimes they will wear them down naturally. However, if they grow too long, it can cause your dog severe pain, so keep an eye on that.

Also, keep an eye on the ears of your German Shepherd! Check them weekly and gently wipe them with a cotton ball.

German Shepherds keep their teeth clean by chewing. Get them sturdy dental toys or bones to prevent any dental problems. Also, brush their teeth regularly using a soft toothbrush.

The Health and Fitness of the German Shepherd

In general, German Shepherds are healthy dogs, but they can be prone to several health conditions.

The most common conditions are hip and elbow dysplasia. Both of these are hereditary and can cause your dog severe pain. Sometimes surgery is needed to treat these, while in less severe cases, medication to control the pain should be enough. 

Another condition that appears in German Shepherds is abdominal bloating. This condition’s main signs might be a bloated stomach, trying to vomit unsuccessfully or with just increased saliva, anxiety. If you see any sign like this, immediately take your dog to the vet for evaluation and treatment.

German Shepherds can also have the von Willebrand disease, which is a bleeding disorder. Ear infections and allergies are also somewhat expected, although not that often that you should be on a constant lookout.

How long are German Shepherds supposed to live?

The average lifespan of a German Shepherd ranges from 12 to 14 years with good care. This is quite long for a larger breed. 

The Nutrition of the German Shepherd

You should plan your German Shepherd’s diet to accommodate its high-energy needs. Follow a large-sized breed diet plan. Consulting a veterinarian is always a good idea. They can help you pick what food to feed your dog and how big the portion sizes should be.

A German Shepherd’s diet will change as they grow. Special care is needed when feeding puppies. They grow extremely fast between their fourth and seventh month of age. This means that they can suffer from bone disorders if not fed properly. A low-calorie diet made of high-quality food will prevent your dog from growing too quickly.

You shouldn’t overfeed your German Shepherd. If it gets too fat, it can cause severe joint issues and some other health conditions. Always make sure to keep your dog active, feed them regular meals and limit their treats.

Where does the German Shepherd come from?

German Shepherds are descendants of a family of German herding dogs. These dogs varied in type depending on their district. However, this changed during the late 19th century.

When the 1800s were nearing their end, Captain Max von Stephanitz, a German cavalry officer, decided to develop the perfect German herder. He gathered a team of breeders that worked on crossing different strains from several german districts.

Their breeding experiments resulted in the first German Shepherds. While these dogs were originally bred to herd sheep, today, they are considered one of the most versatile breeds. 

During the early 1900s, German Shepherds became popular in the United States. Many believe this happened because of movies starring these dogs. Two German Shepherds became real movie stars during that era, called Strongheart and Rin Tin Tin.

Today, German Shepherds can be most commonly seen as the dogs of choice of police and military units worldwide.

7 German Shepherd Mixes you haven’t heard about*

Dog crossbreeds or mixes are sometimes called designer dogs. The name fits since you are “designing” a new dog by mating two purebred dogs. It has become popular in recent times, and more and more breeds have several noteworthy crosses we could write about.

The thing with mixed puppies is that it is hard to know which characteristics they will inherit from their parents. You should research as much info as possible on the parent breeds to understand what you can expect. This way, you will find a mix that has all of the characteristics you want and love.

Read on to see the most popular German Shepherd mixes:

  • Golden Shepherd - German Shepherd and Golden Retriever mix
  • The Shug - German Shepherd and Pug mix
  • Chow Shepherd or Chow Chow - German Shepherd and Chow Chow mix
  • Labrashepherd - German Shepherd and Labrador mix
  • Siberian Shepherd or Gerberian Shepsky - German Shepherd and Siberian Husky mix
  • Shollie - German Shepherd and Collie mix
  • Corman Shepherd - German Shepherd and Corgi mix
  • Shepweiler or Rottweiler Shepherd - German Shepherd and Rottweiler mix
  • Shepadoodle - German Shepherd and Poodle mix
  • Shepkita - German Shepherd and Akita mix

*Not all breed mixes are equal in quality! neither condones nor endorses any example of unethical and unhealthy crossbreeding. We encourage everyone to research in detail before they choose to get a crossbreed. 

Questions people ask about German Shepherds puppies

  • +Is a German Shepherd a good family dog?

  • +Is the German Shepherd dangerous?

  • +Can a German Shepherd live outside?

  • +How much is a German Shepherd puppy?

  • +Is the German Shepherd the smartest dog in the world?

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