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The Most Popular Dog Breeds | German Shepherd

Updated on March 5, 2015
Source: FreeDigitalPhotos
Source: FreeDigitalPhotos

German Shepherd - One of the most popular dog breeds.

The German shepherd is one of the most popular dog breeds in the world, rightly attributed , recognized not only by their physical qualities but also because of its multifaceted nature and, above all, courageous and faithfulness to its owner and family. The breed also as been among the top 5 most popular dog breeds in the United States according to American kennel club statistics.

A well-trained and socialized German Shepherd dog is a very safe dog breed for a family with children, and will become their best protector. They are protective by nature, and this is one of main reasons for them being regarded as excellent guard and police dogs. This protective nature makes training and socialization at an early age very important, to avoid future problems. The fact is, that their loyalty makes them an ideal, loving companion dog for families of all sizes and ages.

German shepherds are a large sized dog which are generally between 22 and 26 inches at the withers and weigh between 49 and 88 lb, and come in a variety of colors and patterns. The most common of which are the all black, tan/black and red/black varieties. There are also white dogs, there as been some dispute about this color, and not all organizations allow white German Shepherd dogs. For instance the AKC doesn't allow white GSDs in competitions.

Fortunately the color pattern isn't an obstacle to the German Shepherd being a loving family pet and one of the most popular dog breed in the world.

German Shepherd - History

Also known as the Alsatian wolf, or in the original Shäferhund Deutscher, it's history has been a little lost in the collective memory, its noted that he resembles to the wolf from the Bronze Age, suggesting the presence of an ancestral wolf lineage. It is also speculated to be a descendant of the existing shepherd dogs by the VII century, or maybe be derived from the interbreeding of shepherd dogs with wolves.

Over the centuries, has emerged the necessity to establish a typology to group the distinct patterns of shepherd dogs available in Germany, with the industrialization some activities such as hunting or herding that were once the main reason for breeding of this German dogs pressed for that.

In 1891, appears in Germany, a society called "Phylax" which specifically aims to standardize and classify the German dog breeds. After 4 years the group disbanded, but their work constituted the starting point for raising awareness of the need for standardisation .

The formation of the modern breed is attributed to Von Rittmeister Stephanitz, with his work in the beginning of the XX century for the improvement of the breeds temperament and constitution. The breeding used diferent german shepherd dogs native of many German provinces, and intended primarily to focus on intelligence and working abilities of the dogs.
In 1882, the breed made her debut in an exhibition and in 1899, Rittmeister is involved in the foundation of a club for the breed - Verein fur deutsche Schäferhunde.

With the arrival of World War I, Von Rittmeister Stephanitz could see the success of his dog breed, since during the war these dogs were used as messengers, in rescue operations and as personal guard dogs. Contrary to what occurred with most breeds, this conflict turned out to be favorable for the projection of this breed, since many soldiers eventually took some of these animals home.

In 1913, appears in the United States the German Shepherd Club of America and in 1919 the English Kennel Club granted the breed an individual record. However in UK, the breed is given, for political reasons, another name - Alsatian wolf. It wasn't until 1977 that , the breed was attributed the name by which we known it today: German Shepherd.

With the outbreak of World War II, hundreds of dogs were used not only to detect mines, but also to serve as messengers, guards and sentries.

After the period of war, the American creation of the breed began to diverge from the pattern of typical German Shepherds. In Germany the "stock" of these dogs was greatly reduced due to deaths during the conflict and lack of food. In 1949, begin to reemerge the first German exhibition subjects with the quality that once it was recognized for.

German Shepherd - Training

The training and socialization of the German Shepherd should start at an early age to minimize problems, since GSDs most commonly have a dominant personality, and will show it, if they think that they can get away with it. If the GSD thinks it's the Alpha member of the pack it can become a big problem. This dog breed requires a firm, consistent and kind training. Being an very intelligent dog breed, German Shepherds, enjoy all the training sessions and are eager and willing to learn.

German Shepherd - Shedding and Grooming

They are heavy shedders as the German Shepherd is a "double-coated" dog with an undercoat and guard hairs. The guard hairs will be shed all year, and twice a year for the undercoat. Brushing 3 or 4 times a week will help diminish the "hair-trail" left by the GSD. The GSDs are very clean dogs and bathing should only happen if absolutely necessary.

Its necessary a weekly checking of the ears for signs of irritation, infection, or wax buildup, and respective cleansing with the appropriate veterinarian-approved solution and a cotton ball (don't use cotton swabs inside the ear canal). A monthly nail trim is sufficient.

German Shepherd - Health and Care

  • Prone to hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia
  • PRA and eye disorders.
  • Prone to bloat, as do most large dog breeds.
  • Life Span: 9 to 14 years
  • Litter Size: 8 to 9 puppies is the average litter size.
  • Suitability with children: Yes, good dogs are very safe around children.
  • Suitability with other Pets: No, with exceptions
  • Exercise Required: High, they enjoy running around playing fetch with a stick ball or Frisbee. They love participating in family activities. Also to avoid the dog from being bored, obedience training and mental and challenging exercise is excellent for the GSD.
  • Maintenance: Not to expensive to maintain
  • Living Conditions: A home with a large yard is best suited to the German Shepherd. Since they are very adaptable, they will also do well in small yard or even in an apartment as long as they are exercised on a daily basis.

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German Shepherd
German Shepherd


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