Posted by: paperbacks | September 28, 2007

German Shepherd

German Shepherd

Description: German shepherd lovers praise the intelligence and versatility of this popular breed. They are a popular choice as guide dogs, herding dogs, guard dogs, police dogs, watch dogs, and pets. The American Kennel Club describes the ideal German shepherd as “strong, agile, well muscled,” and “alert and full of life.” They are wonderful dogs, but this description also implies that they are powerful and have a lot of energy. A male German shepherd will measure between 24 and 26 inches, and weigh between 80 and 90 lbs. The females are smaller, but not by much.

German shepherds are confident dogs, and not easily intimidated. They are not aggressive, but can seem cold and aloof with people outside of their family. Within the family, they will be very faithful to their owner. They are very trainable dogs, and considering their large size, an owner should take the time to train them very carefully.

When considering a dog this strong and powerful, you should definitely get to know the parents. Although the breed is not known for its aggression, there are some dogs that will appear with this trait. Breeders should not breed any adult that has distasteful traits, but some breeders may not be as educated or careful as they should be.

They are good family dogs, although puppies should not be left alone with children to avoid any accidents. Their natural instinct will be to herd children, so it is imperative that you train your German shepherd in acceptable behavior.


Health Problems: Prone to elbow and hip dysplasia, skin irritations, canine degenerative myelopathy, and von Willebrand’s disease.


Exercise/Living Conditions: Like any large, intelligent dog, German shepherds need exercise and amusement. If they get bored, they will become frustrated and destructive.


Life Expectancy: 10-13 years







Grooming: They should be brushed weekly, and bathed once a month or so. A minority of German shepherds are born with long hair. This variety will require more grooming. German Shepherds shed quite a bit. During some parts of the year, they will lose their undercoat, and will need to be combed with a special brush to help get the hair out. It is important to groom your German Shepherd properly and brush him frequently to avoid skin irritations.

Photos from Flickr:


Information from:
The American Kennel Club
German Shepherd FAQ


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