German Shepherd DogThe German Shepherd Dog is also known as: Alsatian, Deutscher Schaferhund
|Group classification: Herding||Country of origin: Germany||Date of origin: 19th century|
|Weight (M): 75 - 90 lb||Height (M): 24 - 26"||Life expectancy: 10 - 12 years|
|Weight (F): 65 - 75 lb||Height (F): 22 - 24"|
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General Description of the German Shepherd Dog
With smooth curves and powerful, well developed features, the German Shepherd Dog is like the sports car of canines. The head is evenly proportioned, with no one feature standing out as exaggerated or out of place. Ears are pointed and carried erect, eyes are dark and almond shaped, with an alert and intelligent expression. The muzzle is strong, long and wedge shaped, and houses a jaw that meets in a scissors bite. The long forequarters accentuate the chest and shoulders, and give the dog a look of proud confidence. The body is well muscled and athletic, and the tail is bushy and hangs in a slight curve. The dog has a medium length double coat, with the outer coat being dense and somewhat harsh to the touch. The coat can be of most any color (other than white), and a dark saddle is common. There is a white variation of the GSD known as the White German Shepherd Dog, but this breed is only recognized by the UKC and FCI.
German Shepherd Dog Temperament
The German Shepherd Dog is a perfectionist, and tackles any task with unrelenting tenacity. This singleness of purpose has made the breed an unequaled servant of man, but it also creates certain challenges that potential owners should be aware of. GSDs are extremely loyal to and protective of their family. As such, proper socialization and training of this breed is imperative, since it has both the means and the inclination to attack those it sees as a threat to its people. German Shepherds are not particularly friendly toward other dogs or strangers, but they usually get along with children and other pets. The breed is uniquely intelligent and eager to learn and perform new tasks; give the dog a task to complete and it will love you for it.
Caring for a German Shepherd Dog
The German Shepherd Dog needs regular physical and mental exercise. A vigorous run or challenging game is ideal. Do not let your GSD become bored or inactive, as this is a sure way for aggressive and antisocial tendencies to develop. Depending on length, the coat should be brushed once or twice a week to keep the dog looking clean and handsome. The German Shepherd Dog can live outside, but it is much happier to live inside with its family. Obedience training and socialization with other dogs must begin at a young age in order to ensure that your German Shepherd will be friendly and well adjusted. Widespread inbreeding during the early 20th century has created a variety of hereditary health conditions in the German Shepherd Dog, though no condition is so serious as to make the breed pervasively unhealthy. These conditions include canine hip and elbow dysplasia, hemangiosarcoma, cradiomyopathy, malignant neoplasms, cataracts, pannus, perianal fistulas, gastric torsion, allergies, myelopathy and cauda equina.
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We include the following list of misspellings so our internal search tools can send you to the right place. People often misspell German Shepherd Dog as German Sheperd Dog, Germen Shepherd Dog, or German Shepurd Dog.