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German Shepherd

The Canine Chronicles Directory

German Shepherd

The handsome and strong German Shepherd Dog is also known as the Alsatian. The coat most often comes in black with tan, sable or all black, but also can come in blue, liver and white. White is not an acceptable color for the German Shepherd; however they are now being recognized as a separate breed. The nose is black most often, but blue or liver still do sometimes occur, but is considered a fault and cannot be shown. It has a sturdy, muscular, slightly elongated body with a light but solid bone structure. Its head should be in proportion to its body and the forehead a little convex. It has a strong scissors bite, ears wide at the base, pointed upright, and turned forward (the ears of puppies less than six months may droop slightly). The eyes are almond-shaped, never protruding and dark, with a lively, intelligent expression. Its bushy tail reaches almost to its hocks and hangs down when the dog is at rest. Its front legs and shoulders are muscular; its thighs thick and sturdy. It has round feet with very hard soles.

Temperament German Shepherds are fearless, obedient, cheerful and eager to learn. They are known for their loyalty and courage. They are wary of strangers and love to be close to their families. This breed should not be left alone for extended periods of time. Early socialization is necessary to prevent over-guarding once they become adults. If you have a dog that is overly aggressive, it could be due to poor handling, training and breeding. They are good with children and with other pets. German Shepherds have been used as guard dogs, as guide dogs for the blind, in police work, in the military and in search and rescue. Shepherds are usually top contenders in the obedience ring.
Height, Weight Male Height: 24-26" ; Weight: 77-85 lbs.
Female Height: 22-24" ; Weight: 77-85 lbs.
Health Problems Poor breeding practices have left the German Shepherd prone to hip and elbow dysplasia, blood disorders, epilepsy, eczema and digestives problems. Be sure to purchase your dog from a reputable breeder.
Living Conditions German Shepherds do okay in an apartment if they are given enough exercise. They do best with a large yard. Shepherds can tolerate extreme temperatures well be it below-zero degree temperatures or the sweltering heat of a steaming jungle.
Exercise This breed needs regular exercise as well as some kind of training.
Life Expectancy About 13 years
Grooming German Shepherds are constant average shedders and shed heavily twice a year. Brush daily and only bathe when absolutely necessary.
Origin The German Shepherd Dog (or GSD) can trace its origins back to the 7th century. Its appearance is almost wolf-like and would suggest an even earlier ancestry. Originally bred for herding, this breed has been used more extensively in this century for guard and protection work. It is also used as a guide dog in the United States and has an honorable career with both police and armed forces. Finally, one cannot forget its frequent television and film appearances as Rin Tin Tin and The Littlest Hobo. They are recognized by the AKC and the UKC.
Group AKC and UKC Herding Dog