Origin of the German Shepherd
As the name of the breed already says, the German Shepherd originated in Germany in 1899 from breeds of sheepdogs already existing in the country. The German Shepherd was developed by Max von Stephanitz, a dog breeder who was looking for a working dog that was physically strong, intelligent, confident, attentive, self-confident and versatile enough to also be suitable as a companion and protection dog.
From this objective, von Stephanitz looked for dogs with these characteristics so that they could originate the German Shepherd. Over the years, the race has shown that Max’s goal has been achieved. Being today the third smartest dog breed in the world, according to the AKC (American Kennel Club)
German Shepherd Temperament
As per the wish of its breeder, the German Shepherd should be a self-reliant, faithful and versatile dog. If he is raised from a puppy in a family environment, having contact with different stimuli, sounds and pets, he will definitely be a very intelligent, docile and easily trained dog. Which will hardly exclude the fact that he is, of course, a protection dog. Even though he is a super docile dog, he will certainly let you know if something is wrong in your home.
The German Shepherd was bred to be a working dog, that is, to be an active and energetic dog. Even though he is an extremely intelligent dog, he will certainly develop unwanted behaviors if he is not stimulated physically and mentally with adequate frequency. All that intelligence, if not put to work constructively, will find destructive alternatives. Walks and games will undoubtedly help you to have a healthier and more obedient dog indoors.
Although these are the main behavioral characteristics of a German Shepherd, it is always important to talk to more than one breeder and explain what you are looking for in your furry future, if you intend to have the company of this very intelligent dog.
Characteristics of the German Shepherd
The German Shepherd is considered a medium/large dog, quite strong that can scare some. It can reach 65 cm at the withers and up to 40 kg. Despite all that size, he doesn’t necessarily need a big house or a huge backyard to live well. He will certainly be a happy and healthy dog in a not-so-big environment (like an apartment for example) as long as he has a good routine of walks and games that stimulate him physically and mentally.
German Shepherd Health
The German Shepherd, in general, is a very healthy and willing dog, but any dog can have genetic problems related to its health. And with the German Shepherd, it is no different. Two of the diseases that most affect German Shepherds are: hip dysplasia (disease that occurs from the abnormal development of the hip joint) and degenerative myelopathy (a progressive disease that affects the spinal cord of dogs, causing the dog to be unable to keep standing.
Like any another medium/large breed, German Shepherds can also suffer from heart disease. Annual exams to check the health of your furry will always prevent any scare.
The German Shepherd is a dog full of energy and therefore needs to play, run, walk and especially exercise often. If you are thinking of having a puppy of this breed, remember that you will need to reserve a period of your day for walks and games.
We recommend that you prefer cooler periods, such as early morning and late afternoon, to avoid possible discomfort caused by heat and strong sun. 60 minutes is enough! When not stimulated, German Shepherds can develop problematic behavior, which includes frequent barking, anxiety and destruction of furniture in the house.
Always keep your dog in a spacious place to avoid this type of behavior. In addition, it is important to remember that the breed is not suitable for apartments and small places. Confinement can bring several problems.
Facts about the German Shepherd
German Shepherd colors
Every German Shepherd must have a black coat, with brown and yellow markings, which can also vary to light gray. Single color black or gray dogs are also accepted according to the breed standard.
The popularity of the German Shepherd
- – The breed’s popularity suffered in its first 20 years due to World War I. Because they are known as dogs of the enemy, working together with the German army. However, after the war, with the help of films like Rin Tin Tin, the race won everyone’s hearts.
- – Today it is the second most popular breed in the USA, behind only the Labrador.
German Shepherds in Films
As they are extremely intelligent dogs, German Shepherds have already starred in several films. Among them: “I am Legend” where Will Smith’s character has the unique company of his German shepherd Sam and the classic “K9 – A dog good cop”.