The German Shepherd dog is well known for its beauty, keen intelligence and loyalty. The breed is one of the most popular and sought after breeds of dog in the world. The German Shepherd, often called the Alsatian, belongs to the herding class. It was during the late 1800s the breed first came into existence and protecting and herding sheep is the role they were originally used for.
A German Shepherd dog is a large sized breed that features a handsome wolf-like appearance. Often abbreviated to the acronym GSD, German Shepherd Dogs are quick when it comes to training. The breed has been shown to obey a given first command around 95% of the time, and simple tasks are often learned after only five repetitions. Studies have concluded the breed as the third smartest breed of dog.
After the First World War, there was a poorer political perception of Germany as a country in Europe and then the breed was mainly referred to as Alsatians. However, the breeds’ origin has a strong connection to the Alsace-Lorraine area which is situated on the border between France and Germany.
GSD’s are known jointly as a herding breed and were originally bred to herd and keep sheep safe from predators. They make excellent working dogs as they have boundless energy and intelligence of the breed allied with strong ability to focus. Today they’re a popular selection as family pet, movie roles, as well as police search dogs and rescue.
German Shepherd dogs portray notable loyalty and have been referred to a ‘one man’ breed as they are known to show extreme loyalty to one person. Adding to their value as a guard dog in situations that need a high level of security and loyalty, the dogs have low sociability to strangers; however they cannot be marked as unfriendly or unsociable. The breed is popular for their fearless and protective manner.
As a family pet, German Shepherds are great towards children and can adapt cordially with other animals in a homestead. When it comes to grooming them it is a consuming task. They need a proper groom every 8 to 10 weeks, and a high amount of brushing of their coat at least once every day. With good training, they can be suitable for living in an apartment, but they’d preferably have a large yard that gives then room to run around.
German Shepherds are largely short-lived, as with most large sized dogs, with life expectancy of 9-12 years. Their most terminal health problem is elbow and hip dysplasia, which can be influenced by digestive problems, eczema or blood disorders. Continuous physical activities with these dogs will provide them with hours of fun and lower stress levels.
The intelligence of a German Shepherd dog is so versatile and it is why it is popularly used for search and rescue, military service, police dogs, guide dogs and family pets as well. They are the third most intelligent dogs, following the Border Collie and the Poodle. It is important to start the dog training at a young with this breed for sure.