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What Is A German Shepherd?

What Is A German Shepherd?

Today we will be looking at yet another popular breed of dog and also one of my all-time favorites, The German Shepherd.

These beautiful, intelligent, and formidable dogs are instantly recognized by most dog owners and the general public alike but what do we really know about them?

Let’s find out more!

GSDs are, as their name implies, are a breed that originated in Germany. They were developed starting in the late 1800s by crossing many herding breeds. The breed was subjected to stringent selection and it progressed rapidly.

Some History Of The German Shepherd Breed

The dogs are called Alsatians because fanciers of the breed there wanted to protect the dog from anti-German sentiments after World War I, In the United Kingdom. GSDs were introduced in the United States by soldiers who returned home from World War I. By World War II, these dogs were the military choice.

The first guide dogs were German shepherd dogs. Nowadays, they’re one of some famous dogs in America. GSDs were 3rd on the American Kennel Club’s list of the Top 50 Breeds, In 1999.

The general appearance of a GSD

The German Shepherd is a big-sized dog. They are long in comparison to their height. They’re powerful and muscular with strong hindquarters.

There are 2 types of German Shepherds when it comes to their coats. The Normal Coated as well as the Long Coated. The Normal Coated carries a thick undercoat and the outer coat needs to be dense and made up of straight, hard, and close-lying hairs.

The Long Coated have long, silkier hair on their chest, face, back, tail, and the backside of their legs. Some common color of the fur is black and tan, with the black saddle pattern and a black mask on face, but they may come in camouflage, black, red, grey.

They contain a bushy and saber tail. The skull of these dogs slopes into a long, and wedge-shaped muzzle that will end at their black nose as well as teeth that meet in a scissors bite.

Check out those pointed ears too, all the better to hear you with!

What Is A German Shepherd?

Character Of A German Shepherd

Their beautiful appearance, incomparable character, and great intelligence have led the German Shepherd to be one of the most popular dogs of all time.

The courage of these dogs is legendary, as is their defense instinct.

Are German shepherds dangerous?

But courage and defense are not the same as aggressiveness and danger. Although the German Shepherd tends to be somewhat distrustful of strangers, they’re not an aggressive dog breed by nature. On the contrary, they tend to be alert but do not attack without reason.

They are super smart so they can work things out quickly and in terms of threat, they have a unique ability to weigh up threat and danger before acting upon it.

Make no mistake, however, if you are someone that thinks these dogs are easy to repel in an attack situation, then I would seriously urge you to think again.

What are German shepherds known for?

There is a very good reason that Police forces and the Military the world over trust these dogs with their lives in the most demanding and threatening situations.

A German Shepherd is a super soldier and a RoboCop all rolled into one. They fear nothing and are absolutely the one breed of dog that you would want by your side in times of battle or threat.

And that, you can take to the bank.

For any would-be burglar or assailant that thinks they have a decent shot at taking one on, I would say this: Don’t waste your time or ultimately your life.

These dogs are the ultimate in protection and this short video will convince you. It’s got some truly great moments in it, specifically for me the one where the guy is trying to abduct the young girl.

Notice how the GSD is perfectly calm at the first introduction but instantly changes when the man tries to snatch the little girl.

Is a German Shepherd a good pet?

As far as a family dog goes, they are absolutely superb and wonderful with children as long as the usual safety caveats that we always talk about on here are in place.

They are excellent companions for any family that gives them good care and attention. It is not a dog that can spend long hours alone, it needs a life partner to stimulate them and they can often bond very strongly with one owner.

This is fine of course but in a family home, it is important that consistency is applied so that your dog looks upon you and your partner or children as all-important pack members and this helps them realize their position too.

Is a German Shepherd a good family dog?

Weight Of A German Shepherd

The ideal height for males is 61cm to 64 cm and 56cm to 58cm for females. This results in a general weight that can be accepted as healthy as somewhere around 22 to 32 kg for a female and 30 to 40kg for a male.

This is an ideal weight for these dogs as they are prone to getting heavy, so exercise, a balanced diet, and moderate treating are essential.

Trainability Of A German Shepherd

As stated earlier, these dogs are super smart, and therefore with good training, they can achieve amazing results.

The training of the dog is also important to help develop the intellectual capacity of them and because they are so clever, training them is relatively easy as long as you know what you are doing. If you are getting one from a breeder it is vital that you get them into training classes early on to achieve this goal.

9 Great Training Tips


Unlike some intelligent breeds, German shepherds are eager to please their masters, which makes training them a joy.

You can sometimes find that the more intelligent a breed is, stubbornness can result, but not with the GSD. They want to please you!

What Is A German Shepherd?

Exercise Requirements Of A German Shepherd

The German Shepherd is an easy dog to train and reaches its full potential when trained through positive reinforcement.

They need a lot of exercise and long walks. They are agile and active and need to exercise their muscles outdoors.

A small garden can help but it should never replace the walks and play sessions that you should have. Practicing any type of canine sports such as agility can help maintain the dog’s health.

They are a dog that could be suited to an inexperienced owner but they would have to get up to speed quickly on their dog’s needs in terms of training, socializing, and exercise.

If they are prepared to learn about their dog, then a GSD could be for them.

Otherwise, an experienced owner is what benefits this breed best. These dogs are hugely adaptable and could live in a smaller apartment but generally, a decent-sized home with a garden and places to walk, run, and explore will greatly increase your dog’s sense of wellbeing and intellect.

Coat Care Of A German Shepherd

It is not very difficult to keep the coat of the German Shepherd in good condition since it does not require special cuts. However, this breed sheds lots constantly.

So daily brushing is important.

Bathing should not be very frequent because it damages the natural protection of their hair. Every month and a half or every two months will be enough.

Health Of A German Shepherd

Unfortunately, the great popularity of the breed has led to the indiscriminate breeding of German Shepherds for purely commercial purposes.

This procedure has had a negative impact on the breed.

Therefore, the German Shepherd is prone to some hereditary diseases such as hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, digestive problems, epilepsy, chronic eczema, and other intensive breeding side effects.

Visiting the vet every six months and generally keeping a close eye on your dog’s health, and this doesn’t matter what the breed is, is vital in always trying to be one step ahead of any condition that may manifest itself.

A well-balanced diet for your GSD is also essential. This is a breed that can be prone to weight gain so go easy on the treats, always give great food, fresh clean water, and plenty of exercise and this will greatly improve the quality of life for your German Shepherd!

Life Expectancy Of A German Shepherd

These dogs despite all of the health concerns due to intensive breeding do have excellent lifespans. 10-14 years can be expected for this larger breed with 13 years being the average.

Price Of A German Shepherd

If you were getting one as a Puppy then you would be looking at around the $750 to $1200 mark and maybe more.

From a show breeder or indeed from a trainer then you would be paying much more.

Close protection dogs of this breed can cost easily five figures!


What Is A German Shepherd

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