The German Shepherd (GSD)

The German Shepherd is a breed respected, wondered at and admired by many. One of the most popular dog breeds. Giving honor to some of the more famous: 1908 Buddy, first seeing eye dog; 1917 - Rin-Tin-Tin, a star, was a German Police dog and worked at the German Red Cross; WWII decorated hero “Chips” ; Bullet The Wonder Dog – star performer and owned by Roy Rogers and Dale Evans; Maximillian – star on The Bionic Woman.

Originally developed for herding sheep as part of the Working Dog group. The first German Shepherd dog was Horrand von Grafrath. He was entered into the Society for the German Shepherd Dog in 1899 by Max von Stephanitz an ex-cavalry captain and former student of the Berlin Veterinary College.

Bred primarily for their intelligence they exhibit strong traits of loyalty, self-assuredness, willingness to learn, eagerness to have purpose, curiosity and are protective of their owners. Working-pedigree lines generally retain the traditional straight back of the breed. Whereas the show-strains have been bred with an extremely sloping topline (back) that causes poor gait in the hind legs leading to weak hips.

The working German Shepherd has been used widely for Police dogs and extensively in the U.S. Military primarily due to their keen sense of smell, intelligence and trainability. They are used as service dogs for the physically and mentally handicapped. The German Shepherd is still being employed for herding and tending sheep as well. It has been said that the German Shepherd can be trained to accomplish a wider variety of tasks than any other breed.

They are an active breed that is on their best behavior when kept learning, exercising and given a purpose. A bored German Shepherd can result in unwanted behavior such as chewing and barking. They learn very quickly when given clear direction and respond very well when shown affection and praise when they perform well.

General Characteristics:
  • Extremely affectionate with family.
  • It is commonly believed the have a vocabulary of 300 seperate words.
  • Amazingly good with children.
  • Protective of family.
  • Not readily accepting of other dogs.
  • Generally accepting of strangers if there is no sense of threat.
  • Can be highly sensitive to reprimand, making for a strong willingness to please.
  • They do not tend to drool.
  • They shed – need regular brushing if going to be inside.
  • They tend to be “mouthy” will need “no bite” training and given durable chew toys.
  • Highly intense, not necessarily high energy, but intense about what they find to do like at the end of a leash, eating or pushing their way around. Certainly will need to be taught some manners.
  • Males stand 24 to 26 inches; females stand 22 to 24 inches. Normal weight ranges from 66 to 95 pounds.