The German Shepherd Dog is a popular breed worldwide.
The dog’s looks, courage, speed, intelligence, and strength make them ideal pets and working dogs. German Shepherds commonly serve as guard dogs and work for law enforcement agencies.
German Shepherd Dog characteristics
The German Shepherd is an energetic, lively, courageous, intelligent, and alert dog. Its body is longer than tall with smooth curves instead of angles. It has a substantial look that gives the viewer an impression of being in motion and at rest simultaneously.
Character is perhaps the dog’s most important trait. The dogs are loyal, confident, and courageous. German Shepherd puppies are easy to train and are willing to risk their lives to protect their loved ones.
German Shepherds are great family pets and trustworthy guardians despite having an outward appearance that resembles a wolf. Their lifespan ranges from seven to 12 years depending on their quality of care.
German Army Captain Max von Stephanitz was tasked with developing the breed starting in 1899.
His mission was to create a dog that could not only herd but also perform jobs that required intelligence, courage, and athleticism.
The dogs carried messages and ammunition during World War I.
They continued to work as military dogs, but during World War II, the British began calling them Alsatian Wolfdogs. The dog is still known by that name in England and Ireland.
Although the need for herding dogs declined as the world rapidly modernized, the breed’s innate skills made the dogs a natural fit for police and military work.
The breed is one of the most intelligent in the world. The dog conveys determination, strength, and confidence; making it fit to serve as a watchdog, companion, and guardian.
The dog usually is approachable, stands his ground and shows a willingness to meet any obstacle.
The German Shepherd can accommodate strangers, but the dogs don’t like them because they are very protective. They will do anything to keep their homes and loved ones safe.
They also get along with other pets although they occasionally can be assertive and domineering. The German Shepherd can be aggressive, so exercise caution when introducing another pet.
The German Shepherd needs high-quality food, regular grooming, training, and exercise.
Before buying dog food, consider the dog’s age. Most dog foods are formulated to provide the essential nutrients dogs need at different life stages. Avoid giving your dog table scraps that can cause digestive problems. Some human foods are safe for dogs, while others are hazardous. Do your research before giving your dog any human foods.
Be prepared for shedding, German Shepherds have a dense, coarse outer coat and a thick, soft undercoat. They tend to be seasonal shedders and especially shed as the weather gets warmer. To care for the dog’s coat, brush him daily to remove loose hair.
Plan to bathe your German Shepherd every four to six weeks and trim his nails about once a month. If you do not know how to cut your dogs’ nails, consult or hire a grooming professional to avoid hurting your dog.
Typical coat colors are black and tan, but some dogs are solid black.
The German Shepherd is an energetic, athletic dog that requires regular exercise and mental stimulation for physical and mental health. Dogs that are not exercised regularly will show signs of stress and can become anxious or aggressive.
You can exercise your dog by taking him for walks and playing with him. You can supplement physical activity with interactive toys that provide mental stimulation. Consider these interactive toys: The Dog Tornado, which uses four layers of rotating discs to hide treats; The Ethical Pet Seek-a-Treat Shuffle Bone, a wooden bone-shaped puzzle with holes to hide treats; or The Trixie Flip Board, which uses a non-slip rubber rim to hold the game in place while your dog explores.
Start training your German Shepherd puppy when he’s young. The dogs are smart and easy to train. They respond well to positive reinforcement training, which offers treats and rewards for good behavior.
Training your dog from a young age will make him well-mannered and adaptable. The German Shepherd is an intelligent and loyal dog. Use repetition and rewards to train your dog. Soon, he will associate training sessions with pleasure, and he will learn fast. When you take time to bond with him, he will be the happiest dog in the world.
Take your German Shepherd Dog to the vet regularly.
The dogs are prone to hereditary diseases such as hip and elbow dysplasia, blood disorders, digestive problems, and epilepsy.
Ready to get a German Shepherd Dog?
If you need a good-looking, courageous, intelligent, and agile dog, consider getting a German Shepherd Dog.
They will serve you faithfully. But you need to work to form a strong bond with your German Shepherd.
Feed him well, give him proper training, and make sure he gets enough exercise. He’ll reward you with a lifetime of devotion. To learn more about this breed, read about the differences between long- or short-haired German Shepherds.
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