Captain Max von Stephanitz of Karlsruhe Germany is responsible for breeding what is known today as the German Shepherd. He crossbred local herding farm dogs from Bavaria, Thuringia, and Wurtemberg that had a variety of hair textures such as wire-hair, short hair and long hair.
The result is an intelligent, obedient and responsive dog known as the German Shepherd. Their intense enthusiasm for work and keen tracking ability caught the eye of the German military. German Shepherds were trained to execute specific tasks at the side of military soldiers during World War I and World War II. They worked at the Berlin wall until 1989. In addition to German Shepherds being exceptional working dogs, they also show dogs.
Many dog owners are proud to show off the best qualities in their GSD. The special qualities and characteristics of the German Shepherd have caused them to be one of the most popular dog breeds in the world today. The GSD still works hard today side by side with police and military personnel as well as farmers. They are also caring and compassionate therapy dogs used for patients with disabilities and emotional issues. Although they are excellent workers, most GSD are incredible family pets.
When German Shepherds are socialized around children from a young age, it is easy for them to develop a strong bond. Commonly GSDs are happy to play with young children, become their best friend and keep a watchful, protective eye over them. German Shepherds have a natural instinct to protect their pack and loved ones, and they are especially protective of young children.
In England, they are commonly referred to as the babysitter dogs, because parents feel safe having the dog watch over their children for a brief moment while they go the other room for something. German Shepherds are also protective of children when playing outdoors. You can rest assured that if a stranger approaches your child, your GSD will have something to say about it. The bond that develops between a German Shepherd dog and a child is inspiring and beautiful.
If you are thinking of adopting an older German Shepherd they too are capable of adapting and being good with children. Of course, this would depend on the individual dog and what type of life he or she has survived this far.
Adult German Shepherds males grow to be 23 to 25 inches long and weight between 66 to 88 pounds with the average weight being 77 pounds. Female German Shepherds are slightly smaller than the male GSD with their height ranging from 21 to 23 inches and their weight reaching between 48 to 70 pounds.
This weight and height information may make you wonder how quickly does a German Shepherd dog grow? A healthy German Shepherd puppy will double his or her birth weight the first week of their life. Immediately following they will continue with a consistent weight gain of 5% to 10%. German Shepherds reach physical maturity between 18 to 24 months. This height, weight and growth information relates only to full breed German Shepherd dogs.
You may have heard that German Shepherds shed a lot.
This is absolutely true.
They tend to shed all year and even more frequently during about two to three weeks during spring when they shed their winter coat. During this time of shedding the winter coat, you will notice heaps of hair around your house. German Shepherds can have short coarse hair or long hair.
The long haired German Shepherd tends to shed less than the short hair because the long-haired GSD does not have an undercoat, and the short hair does. Daily brushing is required year- round. Although daily brushing and vacuuming may sound overwhelming, it makes up for with bathing. You only have to bathe a GSD once per month to keep their coat clean and healthy. If you or your family has allergies, this may be something you will want to consider during your decision-making process whether to get a GSD or not.
German Shepherd puppies have floppy ears until about 16 to 20 weeks. During this time, the cartilage in the ear becomes strong and hard allowing the ear to stand up permanently. During this process, the German Shepherd puppy will experience his or her ears going up naturally for about one day or so then becoming floppy again for a few days.
This usually takes place during the teething process, at the end of teething the ears stay in the upward position. If the ears never stand up, there is a possibility that the dog is a mix breed, or there are some structural issues. Visiting the veterinarian to have the ears checked is highly recommended to assure they are growing and developing at the proper rate.
Dog owners that choose not to breed their dog will find that spaying or neutering has a positive effect on German Shepherds. Since German Shepherds have a well-balanced temper, the neutering or spaying process does not affect the behavior either way. It does, however, lessen the risk of health issues such as developing cancer of the testicles in male dogs. The choice of neutering a GSD is the choice of the dog owner and possibly at the request of a licensed veterinarian.
The GSD is naturally a hard worker and enjoys a strenuous activity. They have a bundle of energy and need to be exercised on a daily basis. If this exercise requirement is not met the German Shepherd will get bored and release his built-up energy by chewing on furniture and destroying other household items. German Shepherds are great exercise buddies. If you enjoy jogging, running, walking, bicycling, hiking and almost any other outdoor activity you can be assured that your GSD will be right by your side matching your energy level. They also love to play fetch, Frisbee, and other games that they can exert themselves and use their mind. If you are an active person or have an active family that enjoys being active and being outdoors, the GSD is a perfect fit.
German Shepherds excel at obedience and agility training.
They are eager to please their owner and take pride in completing their tasks. Training of house rules and obedience should begin at the moment your GSD arrives at your home for the first time.
Dog owners can choose to train their dogs or have the assistance of a professional dog trainer. While training your dog allows you to bond, it also makes it clear that you are the Alpha. On the other hand, there are a variety of dog training classes available within communities located worldwide that can help the training process go smoothly.