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German Shepherd Facts

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.

German Shepherd Rescue

German Shepherd rescue organizations are an essential alternative to a dog pound or shelter for owners who for whatever reason, must give up their dogs.  Other people are incapable of living up to the responsibility they agreed to take on after adopting a dog.  That is how the world winds up with abused and abandoned German Shepherds. Fortunately for the dogs, German Shepherd rescue organizations are able to find loving homes or foster homes for these abandoned animals.

There are few factors to consider when selecting a rescue center.  These are:

  1. Find out whether or not the rescue centre has a relationship with a vet. There is always some sort of medical assistance available to the abused/abandoned animal.
  2. Find out if the rescue centre you are considering has a relationship with a breeder. In some situations, breeders can take abandoned/abused animals and find them new homes. Ask about any breeders they may deal with and ask about their success in having breeders place abused pets in new homes.
  3. It is also important to know if the German Shepherd rescue centre you are choosing has a relationship with local law enforcement. GSD’s are the preferred dog of law enforcement officers and can become police dogs that are cared for very well.

A good German Shepherd rescue will work very closely with each dog in their care and take time to get to know the dog’s preferences and quirks.  For personal owners, a good German Shepherd rescue will never let you adopt a dog immediately.  A lot of paperwork is required to be filled, they ask for letters on your character written by your vet which will answer a lot of questions about your dog information.  If there is a German Shepherd rescue that will ship the dog to you without any questions this should raise a lot of questions.

Every German Shepherd rescue dog should take obedience training classes following adoption.  The classes can provide an enjoyable experience for owner and dog and a great way to start off the bonding period.  It is also as good idea as most of these German Shepherds probably do not have much training to date.

Naturally, German Shepherds craves leadership, and your dog will be satisfied when you assume the responsibility for leadership in your relationship.  To keep the dog’s energy in balance, discipline, training and sufficient exercise is extremely important especially for a German Shepherd.

If you want to adopt a German Shepherd rescue dog, get in touch with your local German Shepherd rescue centre to find out what is available and what personality traits might be right for you.  The center will match you with a dog and place the dog temporarily in your foster care to see how you and the dog will get along.  In most cases you will be required to pay a fee fit with the age and health of the dog you adopt.

Charging adoption fees reinforces the commitment inherent in adopting a dog and excludes potential adopters who are not willing to make personal sacrifices.

White German Shepherds

German Shepherds are well known to be one color which is the most familiar, the black and tan.  There are however quite a few other colors such as White German Shepherds and Black German Shepherds too but these are not as common.  White German Shepherds are habitually bred to have an overall softer, calmer, and more sensitive trait than the traditionally color of black and tan.

Male White German Shepherds normally stand 24 to 26 inches tall and weigh approximately 80 to 95 pounds.  Female White German Shepherds stand 22 to 24 inches tall and weigh approximately 70 to 80 pounds. The breed has a medium length and straight outer coat.

White German Shepherds are not typically aggressive, and almost never used for protection.  They have a sweet temperament which makes them a good watchdog and perfect for alerting you when someone is coming.  Just like other German Shepherds, the White German Shepherd does need the same physical and mental exercise.  This smart breed should not be confined to a home that is looking for a low maintenance dog to walk around the block.

White German Shepherds are naturally territorial and protective making them great guard dogs.  This breed is very much suitable for various purposes namely;

  • Herding sheep
  • Guide dogs
  • Search and rescue operations
  • Drug and bomb detection
  • Tracking

White German Shepherds are the kind of breed who does not like to be chained or tied down.  As an alternative you can enclose them in wide caged area where they can move freely to protect them from straying or harming other people. White German Shepherds are likely to be timidity or skittish, meaning they need a great deal of early socialization to build a confident attitude towards strangers and strange situations.

White German Shepherd rarely have dominant personalities, however, they can be a bit hard-headed.  It takes a confident, consistent owner who will establish and enforce rules.

White German Shepherds have become one of the most adaptable working dogs/pets known to man, thanks to its high degree of intelligence and sense of loyalty.

German Shepherds

German shepherd dogs also commonly referred to as Alsatians are a sizable dog breed that traces its origins in Germany.  The German Shepherd dog breed is a new breed that was discovered back in 1899 and it can be ranked as a fairly new breed.

Germans dating back in 1899 have been using German Shepherds for herding and guarding flocks of sheep.  The German Shepherd became a popular herding and guard dog in Germany because of its ability to display intelligence, obedience and loyalty.

These attributes found in the German Shepherd dog have made it become one of the most outsourced breed of dog in police and military institutions all over the world.  In the American Kennel Club Association, Alsatians account for about 5% of all the dogs registered within the association.

The German Shepherd dog is also a popular breed among dog owners due to its loyal and protective nature especially when dealing with members of its own family.  The German Shepherd dog came up as a result of standard dog breeding that was being carried out in Europe way back in the 1800s.

Sheep herders were looking for a good dog breed that would be able to help them by herding and protecting their massive flocks of sheep from predators.  Originally Germans back then would gather up in their communities where the Shepherds were tasked with the duty to try and breed dogs that possessed high intelligence, strength, keen sense of smell as well as speed.

The shepherds were able to come up with successful breeds that possessed all the skills they required.  The only difference being that the new breeds possessed different abilities, appearances in the different areas they were being bred in.

After the Shepherds discovered that the differences would affect the dog’s ability to function properly, they ganged up and formed the Phylax society in 1891 with the whole intent of carrying out a standardized breeding that would help them come up with one breed that serves all their desired purposes.

While the society never came up with any significant results, it laid ground to what would later become the successful breed, German Shepherd which was discovered by one Von Stephanitz in 1899 who would later be branded as the father of the German Shepherd breed.

German Shepherd Breed Features

The most standard sized German Shepherd dogs that have been bred for over two centuries now possess the following features:


  • The head of a standard sized German Shepherd is wedge- shaped, cleanly chiseled.  The skull and the forehead share the same length.  The muzzle is wedge shaped, the forehead is rectangular and it has strong teeth with close fitting lips.


  • The eyes are almond- shaped they are slightly slanted and are of a darker shade.


  • The ears are always pointed, erect and always facing forward, the center line of each ear is always parallel.


  • The body of a standard German Shepherd is medium sized where its length is somehow greater than that its height.  The body is also solid, well-muscled and contains solid bones.  The back is very strong, broad and its hind legs are slightly angled back.


  • A standard German Shepherd dog has a bushy tail that is supported by vertebra reaching at least the hocks and hangs in slight curve.


  • The coat is double where it is lucky to have an under coat which is thick, straight and has harsh hair lying close to its body.


  • Can be both black and grey, black and brown or solid black.

Standard Size

  • Males:                  60 to 65 cm (23.5-25.5 in)
  • Females:              55 to 60 cm (22-23.5 in)

Standard Weight

  • Males:                  30 to 40 kg (66.2-88.3 lb)
  • Females:              22 to 32 kg (48.6-70.6 lb)

Life Expectancy

  • The most standard life expectancy of a German Shepherd is between 8 and 15 years as long as they are disease free, healthy and its body is kept strong through physical activities.

Black German Shepherd

The German Shepherd comes in a variety of colors and two most common colors are brown and black. The black German Shepherd is known as ‘Lacquer Blacks’ in Germany and this is due to how their shinny coats reflect light.

Black German Shepherd dogs are bred by many people because of their lovely color and due to the fact that their healthy nature makes the coats shinny.  The black German Shepherd is also renowned for having good temperament and good hips which make them stronger and lethal if under attack.

Today, the black German Shepherd has been ranked as the 3rd top dog because of their ability to stay alert and play a huge role in being a great gate keeper.  As much as their temperament is wild and are very cautious around strangers, they are quite a friendly bunch among other animals and children.

Black German Shepherd Description

The black German Shepherd grows to be a fully large sized dog which is between 55 and 65 centimeters.  A full grown black German Shepherd should weigh between 22 and 40 kilograms depending on the gender and how well it is fed.

The most common height of a black German Shepherd is 63 centimeters.  Their heads typically have the shape of a dome and they have a long square cut muzzle with a black nose.  The black German Shepherd has physical characters such as a strong jaw and brown medium sized eyes.

Their ears are always erect listening to any movement or change of wind so that it is able to position itself in the event of any danger.  They are an excellent choice for any home, since they can be a great guard or friend or both.  Most importantly is they are great with children which is where most families in today’s society would be concerned with.

Choosing German Shepherd Names

If you are reading this article then you are probably looking for more information with regards to German Shepherd names.  It’s true that German Shepherd dogs are very loyal companions and it is therefore important that they are addressed properly.  It is also important that you choose a German Shepherd name as soon as possible because your dog will then begin to recognize his or her name as you maintain your consistency with your commands.

Choosing good German Shepherd names can be a difficult task.  However if you are aware of the most popular German Shepherd names then this can enable you to finally come to your decision.

The popular names are generally the names that most German Shepherd owners tend to choose.  These names will usually have a good ring to them when you call your dog.  These popular German Shepherd names will usually be short and often only contain four letters which are easy to pronounce.

When people start learning the names of other dogs that they encounter, they often then give their dog the same name.  This is a repetitive process which usually ends up in various websites which helps to create the many lists of popular German Shepherd names.  There are hundreds of very catchy names available out there including on this site if you take the time to sift through them all.

It is important to note that every dog name is catchy; however it is important that you give your dog a name that fits the breed’s personality.

You should always remember that it is best to give your German Shepherd dog a name as soon as he or she becomes a part of your family.  This is important in order for your dog to start responding to your commands.  When you decide on a name then it is important that this decision is final in order to avoid confusion, so make sure that you take your time before making your final decision.

Check out our page titled German Shepherd Names which provides a brief list on many of the German Shepherd names you can find out there today!