The German Shepherd dog originates from Germany and is one of the most popular dog breeds in the United States.
Estimated reading time: 4 minutes
The following is an overview of the German Shepherd dog breed:
- Group: Herding. They’re also great service and working dogs.
- Life expectancy: 12 to 14 years old.
- Height: 24 to 26 inches for males and 22 to 24 inches for females.
- Weight: 65 to 90 pounds for males and 50 to 70 pounds for females.
- Speed: Up to 30 miles-per-hour when running.
- Colors: Black, sable, grey, red and black, black and tan, black and silver.
Personality and characteristics
German Shepherd dogs are intelligent, confident, loyal, obedient, courageous, and easily trained. Their personality traits make them one of the most popular dog breeds.
Overall, they’re reserved dogs that aren’t quick to make new friends, but they’re relaxed and loyal to their family.
Socialization and companionship are important for German Shepherd dogs. Without it, they can become bored, aggressive, and frustrated.
Since they’re easily trained and intelligent, German Shepherd dogs love having something to do. Find ways to teach new jobs and skills.
Care and grooming
Nutrition is one of the most important factors to keeping your dog healthy and happy. Get your German Shepherd high-quality dog food that’s made for their age.
You may hear that you should give your dog supplements. However, you don’t need to if you’re providing high-quality food. Be sure to bring any concerns or questions to your veterinarian.
Another important aspect is grooming. They have a furry, medium-length, double coat that doesn’t need professional grooming often. Instead, consistent brushing is all they’ll need.
Once or twice a year, your German Shepherd will shed intensely. This will require you to brush more frequently. It’ll last one to two weeks, so be prepared.
Occasional bathing, such as once per month, is perfect for a German Shepherd. Too often, and your dog’s skin will become dry and irritated.
A commonly missed part of the grooming routine is their ears. Use ear drops to clean their ears and protect them from infection.
It’s also important to trim or grind their nails once per month. When their nails get too long, they’ll feel uncomfortable. You may notice that their nails will wear down naturally, too.
German Shepherd dogs are athletic, active, and require regular exercise. Each day, your dog will need at least an hour of exercise. This can include walking, running, and high-energy activities.
With great nutrition and plenty of exercises, your German Shepherd will likely be a healthy dog. However, they’re prone to the following health conditions:
- Hip or elbow dysplasia. When the ball and socket rub and grind against each other, it causes it to deteriorate over time.
- Gastric dilatation-volovulus or bloat. Since German Shepherd dogs are deep-chested, they’re at risk for bloat. Visit your vet if you notice sudden bloating.
- Degenerative myelopathy. A disease affecting the spinal cord. It leads to hind limb weakness and paralysis.
As the name suggests, the German Shepherd dog originates from Germany in the late 1800s. They were responsible for herding sheep and protecting them from predators.
The breed that’s currently known was credited to German dog breeder, Max von Stephanitz. It was recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) in 1908.
Although the German Shepherd was originally meant as a working dog, it’s now a popular dog among families, as a service dog, and for working with the police.
Featured image courtesy of Canva.
About the author: David Em is the founder of Nola & Luna Pets, the leading resource for everything you need to know about pets and adorable pet accessories.