The german shepherd dog

German Shepherds were produced from breeds of herding and farm dogs from Wurtemburg, Thurginia, and Bavaria. In 1891 the Phylax Society was formed with the hopes of standardizing native German dogs. The group did not stay together for long but it did bring about the foundation from which German Shepherds were formed. Capt. Max von Stephanitz- the father of the breed- admired the traits that were found in native sheepdog breeds but he had yet to find one that met all of his needs. Finally, while attending a show in 1899, he found a dog that met all of his standards and he purchased it on the spot. It was then that German Shepherds became a specific breed.

German Shepherds are strong and well-proportioned dogs. Their fur is usually black and tan but sometimes it can differ. It can be all black as well. They are muscular with a solid bone structure. German Shepherds have big heads that are proportionate to their big bodies. They have an aligned scissor bite and their teeth are intimidating. Their ears stand upright and their foreheads are slightly bowed. They have long and full bushy tails. They have muscular and solid legs and shoulders. There are three types of German Shepherds: long-haired, long rough-coated, and rough-coated.

German Shepherds are so popular partly because of their intelligence and strength. They’re very obedient and confident, which is why they’re so popular for law enforcement officers. German Shepherds are adoring toward their families but wary of strangers. A well-trained German Shepherd won’t attack without command and they’re good with both other animals and children. However, in order to ensure their obedience, they must be lovingly trained from a young age. German Shepherds need to have a task in order to be happy dogs. They’re so smart and diverse that they’re used as police dogs, sheepdogs, seeing-eye dogs, search and rescue service dogs, and military dogs. These dogs also have an enormous amount of agility and tracking ability.

Hereditary health problems in German Shepherds usually occur because of sub standard breeding. They may get blood disorders, digestive problems, epilepsy, chronic eczema, keratitis (inflammation of the cornea), dwarfism, and flea allergies. Also since they’re large dogs they’re prone to hip and elbow dysplasia (medically unusual growth). Other common problems are von Willebrand’s Disease, Canine degenerative myelopathy, pancreas deficiency, and bloating. There are treatments for many of these problems but not necessarily cures.

These dogs are big shedders so they should be thoroughly brushed at least once a day. However, they should only be bathed once or twice a year to avoid oil depletion. German Shepherds need exercise and physical activity. They should be taken on extensive daily walks or jogs. If they don’t get a sufficient amount of exercise then they can become restless and even destructive. They’re not very active indoors and do much better with a large yard. As long as you have room for a big furry friend, German Shepherds are great for an individual or a family.