The German Shepherd, also known as the Alsatian, is one of the world’s most popular dog breeds. The Alsatian has a broad skull and wedge-shaped muzzle with high set, erect ears. The Shepherd’s strong body is longer than high and it has a bushy tail that is carried fairly low. The Shepherd’s coat can be: short, coarse and straight; long, coarse and straight; or the less desirable wavy and long-haired. All these Shepherd’s coats are dense, weather proof and double coated. The Alsatian’s coat is usually black and/or grey with brown or yellow-brown markings. An upper layer of black hair is quite common on German Shepherds. Male Shepherds stand 24 to 26 inches tall at shoulder height and can weigh from 70 to 100 pounds. Female Shepherds stand 22 to 24 inches tall at shoulder height and can weigh from 60 to 80 pounds. German Shepherds are members of the American Kennel Club (AKC) Herding Dog Group.
German Shepherd Pictures
The Alsatian was developed in Germany in the 1885’s as a farm and herding dog. The versatility of this Shepherd was soon obvious as it was used by the German army in World War I. The Alsatian was introduced into the U.S. and British Commonwealth by returning Allied soldiers. This Shepherd eventually became an outstanding guard dog, ‘Seeing Eye’ dog, police and military dog, search and rescue dog, bomb and narcotics detection dog, and, of course, family pet. The Shepherd was ranked 3rd out of 154 dog breeds in 2004 AKC registrations.
German Shepherds are very adaptable, extremely intelligent and eager to learn. These Alsatians can be trained to an extremely high level as guide dogs, avalanche dogs, tracking dogs and police dogs, Alsatians regularly win advanced obedience and field trials. Most Shepherds are reliable, self-confident, loyal to a fault, protective, brave and even-tempered. Unfortunately some breeders are offering shy and nervous Alsatians for sale. These dogs should be avoided at all costs as they can be dangerous. Alsatians are good with children and should be socialized and obedience trained when they are puppies. Do not train Shepherds as guard dogs as they are already protective of their families. Shepherds need lots of attention and physical and mental activity to keep happy. Alsatians make excellent watchdogs. German Shepherds do better with experienced dog owners.
Shepherds need lots of physical and mental exercise. Some Shepherd breed lines are better adapted to field work and obedience competitions and some to conformation show dogs.
Alsatians only need a weekly brushing but when they are shedding, this double coated breed will need daily brushing. Long-coated Shepherds will need more grooming.
German Shepherds will live for approximately 12 years. Common health problems include: hip dysplasia, cardiac problems, allergies, skin conditions, epilepsy and digestive upsets.
Article type: xdogbreed