If there’s a dog that is known for its devotion, courage and expert skills as a police dog, there are no second-guesses that it is the German Shepherd. Incredibly agile, versatile, German Shepherds are easy to train and serve as the best guide and assistance dogs for the handicapped. They have jobs as a working dog in the military and police, and have time and again served an active role besides their humans.
The Breed Purpose
German Shepherds were first registered in Germany in 1899 and were bred to be the ideal working dogs. Originally used for herding and guarding sheep, they were bred to keep cattle from trespassing or damaging the crops. They were later employed in the military and other special task forces because of their exceptional intelligence, strength and obedience skills.
German Shepherds are extremely devoted and have an athletic build. Their eagerness to learn and work requires that they are trained from an early age and are offered loads of mental stimulation. If you are looking for a strong, athletic dog that can be offered loads of challenging activities then a German Shepherd is the right breed for you.
Games that you can play with your German Shepherd
German Shepherds have a powerful nose and what better way to get that nose working than with a game of treasure. Hide your dog’s favourite toys or treats around the house or in a lawn and encourage your dog to find them. Give some clues when needed whenever you feel that your dog is getting bored. You can also play hide and seek games that also helps you train your dog to come to you when called.
German Shepherd Training
German Shepherds need to be trained from an early age. If you leave this breed alone for long periods of time without any exercise, expect loads of trouble, Apart from the basic obedience training, German Shepherds need to be trained proper behavioral training as well. As they are highly intelligent, they are easy to train and since they come from the bloodline of working dogs, they like to active and busy and get enough mental stimulation. It is important that you establish yourself as a leader in front of your German Shepherd as they are strong pack leaders and will take up charge in case you are not stepping up to the game.
As such German Shepherds are healthy but they do have some breed specific health conditions that you must be aware of. Hip Dysplasia, Elbow Dysplasia, Bloating, Degenerative myelopathy, allergies, etc., are some of the known diseases associated with the breed.
German Shepherds are highly energetic dogs and require a power-packed diet. A German Shepherd requires a diet that is rich in protein and healthy fats.
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German Shepherds are large in size and are strong and muscular. A male lab generally weighs between 30-40 kgs, while a female lab weighs between 22-32 kgs.
German Shepherds have an average life span of 10 – 12 years.
German Shepherd’s coat type and color may vary from one dog to another. However, an ideal German Shepherd should have a medium length double coat. Their outer coat is dense with thick hair and is at times wavy and wiry. German Shepherds shed all year round and, at times, are called – The German Shedders. Common German Shepherd colors are – Black & Tan, Black & Cream, Red & Black, Sable, Dark Sable and other rare colors.
- Working Dogs
- Herding Traits
German Shepherd Fun Facts
- Rin-tin-tin is a well-known German Shepherd who worked in several Hollywood motion pictures and saved Warner Brothers from financial ruin. Rin-tin-tin also has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
- German Shepherds are regarded as the world’s leading police, military and guard dogs.
- Max von Stephanitz, a German soldier is regarded as the ‘Father of the German Shepherd breed’.
- After World War I, American soldiers brought back German Shepherds to the U.S. after they saw their immense capability as a war dog.
- 9/11 saw the highest number of search and rescue dogs who worked for over 16 hours a day to find missing survivors that were trapped in the debris.