Perhaps never in the history of any breed has such concerted effort been put into improving a dog, mostly due to the formation in of the Verein fur Deutsche Scharferhunde SV, an organization in Germany devoted to overseeing the breeding of the German Shepherd. Breeders sought to develop not only a herding dog but also one that could excel at jobs requiring courage, athleticism, and intelligence. During World War I, they were the obvious choice for a war sentry. The Wolfdog was later dropped as it caused many people to fear the dogs.
The double-coat, with a thick undercoat that sheds twice annually, loses hair continuously but can be maintained with regular brushing one or two times weekly. The German Shepherd held the number one spot in American popularity for many years. Although presently it has dropped from the top spot, the German Shepherd remains as one of the most versatile dogs ever created, serving as a police dog, war dog, guide dog, search-and-rescue dog, narcotics- or explosives-detecting dog, show dog, pet—and even shepherd.
Among the most intelligent of breeds, the German Shepherd Dog is so intent on their mission—whatever that may be— that they are virtually unsurpassed in working versatility.
They are utterly devoted and faithful.
They may be aloof and suspicious toward strangers, and protective of their home and family. They can be domineering. They can be assertive toward other dogs, but they are usually good with other pets. Note: GSDs are especially susceptible to a potentially fatal systemic fungal infection from Aspergillus.
These big dogs can be cuddly and kid friendly or watchful protectors. Learn how the smartest dog breeds are ranked, and what goes into determining canine intelligence. Close Main Navigation Menu. Sign Up Log In. Hide Saved searches.
Set an alert for German Shepherd Dogs. Energy Level 3 out of 5. Exercise Requirements 4 out of 5. Playfulness 2 out of 5. Affection Level 3 out of 5. Friendliness To Dogs 1 out of 5. Friendliness To Other Pets 3 out of 5.
Friendliness To Strangers 2 out of 5. Watchfulness 5 out of 5. Ease of Training 5 out of 5. Grooming Requirements 2 out of 5. Heat Sensitivity 3 out of 5. Vocality 5 out of 5.The German Shepherd Dog is well proportioned and very strong.
The GSD has a sturdy, muscular, slightly elongated body with a light, solid bone structure. The head should be in proportion to its body, and the forehead a little rounded. The nose is most often black, however, blue or liver still do sometimes occur, but are considered a fault and cannot be shown.
The teeth meet in a strong scissors bite. The dark eyes are almond-shaped, and never protruding. The ears are wide at the base, pointed, upright and turned forward. The ears of puppies under six months may droop slightly. The bushy tail reaches below the hocks and hangs down when the dog is at rest. The front legs and shoulders are muscular and the thighs are thick and sturdy.
The round feet have very hard soles. There are three varieties of the German Shepherd: double coat, plush coat and longhaired coat.
The coat most often comes in black with tan, sable or all black, but also can come in white, blue and liver, but those colors are considered a fault according to most standards. A piebald color has also occurred in a single GSD bloodline that is now being called a Panda Shepherd.
Often used as working dogs, German Shepherds are courageous, keen, alert and fearless. Cheerful, obedient and eager to learn. Tranquil, confident, serious and clever. GSDs are extremely faithful, and brave. They will not think twice about giving their lives for their human pack. They have a high learning ability. German Shepherds love to be close to their families, but can be wary of strangers.
This breed needs his people and should not be left isolated for long periods of time. They only bark when they feel it is necessary. Often used as police dogs, the German Shepherd has a very strong protective instinct, and is extremely loyal to its handler. Socialize this breed well starting at puppyhood. Aggression and attacks on people are due to poor handling and training.
This breed needs owners who are naturally authoritative over the dog in a calm, but firm, confident and consistent way. A stable, well-adjusted, and trained dog is for the most part generally good with other pets and excellent with children in the family. They must be firmly trained in obedience from an early age. They should be trained and socialized from an early age. German Shepherds will not listen if they sense that they are stronger minded than their owner, however they will also not respond well to harsh discipline.
Owners need to have an air of natural authority to their demeanor.The German Shepherd Dog is a natural protector and so adaptable and intelligent that he has performed just about every job known to dog.
If he had opposable thumbs, he would be unstoppable. Similarly, the English started calling them Alsatian Wolf Dogs. Nowadays, many Europeans still call the breed Alsatians. From his imposing size to his erect ears and dark, intelligent eyes, he has achieved legendary status as the ideal canine. A versatile, athletic and fearless working dog, the Shepherd has done just about every job a dog can do, from leading the blind and detecting illicit drugs to bringing down fleeing criminals and serving in the armed forces.
The abilities of this breed go far beyond its origin as a herding dog. The German Shepherd has made a name for himself as a police and military dog, guide and assistance dog, search and rescue dog, and detector dog. He has excelled in every canine sport, including agility, obedience, rally, tracking and, of course, herding. German Shepherds still work livestock on farms and ranches around the world, including the United States.
It takes some dedication to live with a German Shepherd. Be prepared to provide plenty of exercise and mental stimulation. A half-hour walk twice a day, plus a vigorous play or training session, is a good start.
The protective but loving German Shepherd is a great choice for families with children, but singles and couples who love the outdoors also match up well with this breed.This is why GERMAN SHEPHERDS are the FUNNIEST DOGS - Funny DOG compilation
With sufficient exercise and opportunities to use their considerable athleticism and brains, these versatile companions can handle anything from a small city apartment to a vast ranch. They're not suited for life in the backyard or a doghouse, but need to live indoors as a member of the family.
As his name suggests, the German Shepherd originated in Germany, where he was created in the nineteenth century primarily by Captain Max von Stephanitz, who wanted to develop a dog that could be used for military and police work.
The result was a dog that encompassed striking good looks, intelligence and versatility. The adaptable and attractive dogs soon drew the attention of dog lovers in other countries. One is known to have been brought to the U.
German Shepherds braved artillery fire, land mines and tanks to supply German soldiers in the trenches with deliveries of food and other necessities. American audiences loved them. For a time, the German Shepherd was the most popular breed in the United States. One of the best known modern German Shepherds was the first and so far only member of the breed to win Best in Show at Westminster Kennel Club, in His name was Ch. Hatter drew crowds wherever he went and loved meeting his fans, especially children.
The ideal German Shepherd is direct, fearless and confident. When he comes from parents who have good temperaments and has been socialized to become familiar with many different people, sights and sounds, he is an intelligent, easy to train, devoted, protective and fun-loving dog.
The German Shepherd is naturally protective of his home and property and will always alert you to strangers or intruders, but if you welcome someone into your home, your German Shepherd will accept them, too.
He will also get along with other pets, especially if he is brought up with them from puppyhood.While all dogs are lovable and loyal, their appearance, temperament, energy levels, and activity vary. It may or may not surprise you but sometimes these factors may also vary in any breed — just like the German Shepherds. There are 5 different types of German Shepherds. Here are the different types of German Shepherd dogs:. This type of German Shepherds is generally taller and longer than European lines.
They come in different colors, too, like:. Cream, light tan, and silver are more common than the tan and red coats of German show lines and working lines. This type of German Shepherd is generally more laid back. They also have lower drive and less energy than working lines.
American show line German Shepherds make good family pets. Eager to please, they also do well in tracking, obedience, agility and herding. Compared to working lines, American show lines are active and have lesser strength — some traits that do not really make them suitable for personal protection or law enforcement.
But there are a few do well in these fields. Photo: Megan Streussnig. Unlike the American show line, the Western German show line can do great both as protectors and family pets. Western German show lines are not lazy. In fact, they need a lot of exercise, training and socialization.
Photo: Malinda Weber. The West Germans prefer calmer demeanor and perfect colors. In West Germany, health evaluations were not as strict so this line may encounter more health problems than their East German lines. This type of German Shepherd excel at different sports and jobs such as guarding, protection, and search and rescue. Although West German working line German Shepherds have a strong drive, they know how and when to stay calm and settle down, this trait makes them amazing pets for an active family.
This type of German Shepherds was originally bred for military purposes. That time, the government took control of this working line — protecting and insulating it from outside influence. These German Shepherds have really strong bones, large heads, and broad shoulders.
These dogs could only be allowed to breed if they were completely free of hip dysplasia. This type of German Shepherds is bred to endure terrible weather conditions and long working days.
Their main purpose was to patrol territory borders, but they also worked as tracking and attack dogs. These dogs had to have lasting endurance and athleticism. Unlike show lines, they also tend to be more aloof and defensive.
This type of German Shepherd originated from communist Czechoslovakia. The Czech Working line German Shepherds were bred mainly for border patrol work. The original and the development of breeding the Czech working happened in the Pohranicni Straze kennel of the Czechoslovakian Army.
These German Shepherds are known for their phenomenal working drives. They are also more agile and intense than other lines. Most of these dogs were remnants from the former East Germany.
However, the dogs from the Czech Socialist Republic were also used in this strict breeding program. Their coats also have dark pigments.German Shepherds were my very first breed. This noble-looking male has a beautiful rugged head, intelligent expression, and rich coloration. To understand a breed's temperament and behavior, ask, "What was he developed to do?
The German Shepherd was developed from various sheepherding dogs. German Shepherds were also developed as military messenger and sentry dogs, and as personal protection and police dogs.
OUR GERMAN SHEPHERDS ARE FAMILY TO US
The breed also excels at search and rescue, bomb and drug detection, and guiding the blind. Certainly you would expect high intelligence, high self-confidence, trainability, and an ability to focus. All of those traits are what you get in an ideal German Shepherd.
One of the most capable and trainable breeds in all of dogdom, an ideal German Shepherd, when properly raised by a confident owner, can be a magnificent companion. There's a good reason my first dogs were German Shepherds!
Unfortunately, it can be difficult today to find a German Shepherd with an ideal temperament. Or at least an ideal temperament to be a good family companion.
Today, the temperament of a German Shepherd often depends largely upon what kind of line he comes from. Some breeders, you see, produce working lines of German Shepherds with high-drive temperaments — vigorous and intense. These dogs are ideal for competitive protection-dog sports. But not so much for the average family companion, unless you were to look carefully for an individual pup in one of those litters who didn't inherit that high-drive temperament.
Other breeders produce show lines that match a detailed standard of conformation for the show ring. These dogs are softer-tempered than those from working lines.
That sounds nice and yet I've worked with far too many German Shepherds from show lines who were hyperactive, skittish, spooky, or downright dopey. This happens when breeders focus on appearance more than temperament and trainability. If you're looking for an easygoing family companion, I would avoid both strict show lines and strict working lines. Instead, you might look for more of a generalist breeder who focuses on calmness and high trainability. These breeders might prove their dogs' trainability by participating in non-protection dog sports such as obedience, rally, or agility.
Or, if you want a truly mellow Shepherd, you might consider a longhaired or perhaps a solid white German Shepherd. These dogs are seldom bred for aggressive dog sports, so they tend to have a milder temperament that fits well into many families. Just be careful with the whites. A good number of them are too soft, which can result in timidity or skittishness. Because if you don't know what you want, and what you don't want, and if you don't ask the right questions, you're likely to end up with a German Shepherd that isn't at all what you were looking for — and possibly one who is too much for you to handle.
Some German Shepherds are considerably larger than that, but shouldn't be. This breed is supposed to be athletic and agile, not giant-sized and ponderous. Larger dogs can have more joint problems and a shorter lifespan. Officially there's only the one breed. But I explained in the Temperament section that there are different lines of German Shepherds with different temperaments. Those lines can also LOOK very different from each other.
Those of us who admired the strong, noble look of German Shepherds from decades ago are saddened at what has been done to the appearance of modern show dogs. If you go to a German Shepherd specialty show in the United States or Canada, you'll see tall narrow bodies, long narrow heads, and such excessive curvature of the rear legs that the dog's back slopes downward from shoulders to tail.
You could roll a ball down that back. In my opinion, these are misshapen caricatures of a German Shepherd. To make matters worse, show lines produce more than their share of spooky and low-intelligence dogs, which is what happens when you over-focus on appearance rather than temperament and trainability.The German Shepherd is one of the most versatile and well-recognized dog breeds in the world.
German Shepherds were originally used as herders and to guard flocks against predators, both being jobs they are well suited for.
The German Shepherd, named by the Queen of Switzerland, was first recognized as a member of the AKC herding group inalthough Max von Stephanitz and his colleague Arthur Meyer wrote the standard for the breed 9 years before in The German Shepherd is a strong-willed and highly intelligent dog.
They have a very playful spirit, which makes them a great family pet. German Shepherds can be a bit wary of strangers, so early socialization with people is vital to curbing their suspicious nature. A born protector, the German Shepherd will provide a great sense of security for its family, while its loving and lively personality will make it fit right in as your loving companion.
They can be very sensitive to their surroundings, so realize that they may be a little off during large gatherings, and people need to respect that. They have a longer coat, so hot temperatures will not be comfortable for the GSD. They prefer cooler climates if possible. Also, failure to show this breed the proper amount of attention in the family unit can lead to a misbehaved German Shepherd Dog.
The German Shepherd is a generally healthy breed, but there are some things to be aware of. While the German Shepherd is highly intelligent and trains fairly easily, they are no picnic for novice owners. If you do not have experience working with dogs, enroll in obedience classes and training, not just for the dog, but for yourself as well. This will help you to grow in experience, and build a strong bond between you and your German Shepherd puppy.
Keep in mind, the GSD has a thirst for training and fulfillment, so continued training with your German shepherd throughout its life will be necessary. They will shed, but it can be controlled with daily brushings, and they will love you for it. Also, get your German Shepherd used to having their nails trimmed while young, as holding on to an pound dog that is squirming is no fun. The activity level of the German Shepherd is a high one.
They are a herding breed that was made to run, guard, and observe, so they will love having a job to do. If you are looking for a lazy pound couch potato, this is not that dog breed. This is the dog breed that runs around the yard with your kids, insists on daily games of fetch, and needs to run to be happy and balanced.
An adult German Shepherd should weigh between 55 and 90 pounds and stand between 22 and 26 inches tall at the withers. He was brought back to the states and became one of the most famous dog actors in history. People love certain dogs for a variety of reasons. This is certainly not an exhaustive list, but here are a few of the most popular dog breeds:. There are some dog breeds that are commonly found working in a service capacity.We have almost dogs in our kennel, we require an application first so we can show you dogs who might be right for your home.
We know our dogs and once we get to know you better, we can help you select your next family member! If you have submitted an on-line application but have not been approved by our volunteer, please do NOT come down to meet dogs as we won't be able to show you any. Our main priority right now is to keep our staff, volunteers and you healthy during these difficult times. No on-site screening at this time. Once approved and told to come meet dogs, we will be happy to help you.
Be aware that due to the smaller number of dogs, some of you will have to go on a waiting list until we have a dog that fits your situation.
Thank you for understanding and for opening your homes to one of our deserving dogs! Every year when we get submissions for our calendar, we can only pick 12, but there are so many incredible pictures of lucky Westside dogs making the most of their second chance at a new life. We wanted you all to see!! What an inspiration to us all!
Look at all the incredible Westside dogs, some already adopted, others waiting for their forever homes. We have 80 dogs at our kennel, all with their suitcases packed, waiting eagerly to go home with you.
We have adoption counselors ready to help you to pick the right dog for your situation and family. You, too, can have an amazing new family member! Join the Westside Alumni Association Facebook page. Even if you have not adopted from us yet, you can join to see all of our wonderful pups in their forever homes. Join here: Westside GS Alumni.
Charles Perry is one of the most gifted trainers we have watched work his magic over and over. He knows what the dogs are thinking and guides them and teaches them what is expected.