German Shepherd – Strong And Loyal

The German Shepherd is an adaptable, intelligent and versatile dog breed utilized worldwide. It gets recognized as one of the most popular of all breeds. They are treasured for its devotion and allegiance to its owner.

History of The German Shepherd

Just like the name suggests, the German Shepherd originates from Germany. They were created in the 19th Century by Captain Max von Stephanitz. His aim was to produce a dog that the military and police could use.

History of The German Shepherd
History of The German Shepherd

After catching the attention of dog lovers, the German Shepherd came to the US around 1908. Rin Tin Tin is known as the most famous of the early German Shepherds in the US. Their popularity rose intensely after World War I when soldiers talked about the heroic work their dogs did. Further, movies featuring Rin Tin Tin and fellow German Shepherd Strongheart captured the American audiences. For a time, the German Shepherd was the most popular breed in the United States. It is still the second most popular dog breed in America.

Today, the German Shepherd is well-known for its ability to retain training for many special services. They get used by police officers and the military, as guide dogs for the blind, guardians, drug and contraband detection dogs, and Search and Rescue dogs. Most, however, get purchased to serve the important role of devoted family friend and protector.

Temperament Of The German Shepard

The German Shepherd is a rather active and self-assured dog, keen to learn and eager to have a purpose. The dogs’ curiosity makes it an exceptional guard dogs, fit for search tasks. If not socialized properly, it can become over- defensive of its household and territory. Though usually friendly to other pets at home, it can be dominating towards other dogs. German Shepherds are highly intelligent and obedient, as well as being protective of their owners.

German Shepherd Sleeping
German Shepherd Sleeping

Though a mature German Shepherd is sociable and outgoing, they tend not to become immediate friendly to strangers. Strangers may be regarded with some suspicion, but the dog should be neither overly sharp and aggressive nor cringe with fear.

Exercise Needs Of The German Shepard

German Shepherds are very active dogs. They like to run and discover their surroundings with their noses. They require a considerable amount of exercise, especially when they are growing. The exercise may be given by an active owner, a fenced yard or dog run. Tying the dog to a house will cause boredom and a potentially dangerous dog.

Is the German Shepherd a Good Fit For Your Family

Being an active dog, the German Shepherd is strong and need attention, companionship, and firm guidance when growing. It is a very sociable dog and may not do well when left in isolation. It may accidentally knock over a small child or a weak elderly person and its aggression and biting can cause a mess on furniture.

Cute German Shepherd
Cute German Shepherd

Sometimes a Shepherd chooses one person as it’s a special companion, but also relate quite well with the rest of the household. If brought up with a child, it develops a tolerance to the often grabbing and poking of their small fingers.

It is a natural breed, thus does not require clipping or unusual grooming. Only occasional baths are needed. They are heavy shedders, especially in spring, and require regular combing. This is definitely not a dog for those who cannot stand dog hair on the furniture, carpets or clothes.

Known Health Issues

The lifespan of a German Shepherd is on average between 10 to 12 years, which is totally normal for such a dog. However, it is prone common health conditions due to the inbreeding done early in its life. These ailments include elbow dysplasia and canine hip dysplasia (CHD). This causes the dog to experience pains in late age and can eventually cause arthritis. Other minor ailments include the Von Willebrand Disease, a hereditary bleeding disorder. Also, degenerative myelopathy which is a neurological disease. Because of these vulnerabilities German Shepherds, like most other dogs, need to be seen by a veterinarian for routine checkups.

German Shepherd Puppy Playing
German Shepherd Puppy Playing

The German Shepherd Dog has a distinguished legacy. Those who truly need serious protection, this is still the best breed of choice. It can be trained in formal personal protection by a competent instructor. Anyone planning to buy a personal protection dog should choose the dog and the trainer carefully, for a poor dog or a poor trainer can cause disaster.

18 thoughts on “German Shepherd – Strong And Loyal”

  1. My last German Shepherd , Wilmaurs Ragga Muffin crossed the “Rainbow Bridge” on 12 March 2019, after a very short illness and 10 days before her 16th Birthday. When she was 9, she got two titles in sheep herding (H.T & P.T) from the Victorian Herding Association and “Vic Dogs” (Victorian State Dog Association) She was still giving demonstrations at State Dog Shows when she was 11 y/o We were members of the German Shepherd Club of Victoria (Australia)

  2. We had ours four almost 14 years so sad he’s gone now he was a wonderful friend the best ever
    We miss him so much
    Bettis was a great German Shepherd

    • I understand, Jeffrey. I’m sorry for your loss.. It’s too sad, even when we know they lived a good long life with us. They really are our dear friends.
      Remember you’ll see him again.. he probably is watching over you now, but someday when it’s finally your own time- Bettis will be waiting for you, ready to welcome you home.

  3. I have owned German Shepherds for half of my life. It is my breed of choice. Loyal, intelligent, protector. Both past were white shepherds and cross rainbow bridge at 10 years old.
    Now have three black long hair and love them dearly, female was just diagnosed with terminal lymphoma. Breaking my heart just thinking of her final day. While it is heartbreaking loosing them, the joy and companion they give you makes it worth every tear.

    • I’m *so* sorry Doris! 😔
      I’m sad for you.
      I lost my beautiful white shepherd unexpectedly last year, myself. He wasn’t a baby but wasn’t old.He had very very bad arthritis( not hip dysplasia) but arthritis so bad that he couldn’t even get up, with incredibly painful long bone spurs too. So I sympathize with your grief, as it seems so incredibly wrong when they’ve young. I don’t know why these things happen. At least your baby has a Mom and friend in you. And you’re not alone.

  4. I owned a long-haired german shepherd. Her name was Mojo and I got her at 3 weeks! (long story). Anyway she passed 4 yrs ago but she lived to the ripe old age of 15!!!!! How lucky we both were to have had each other so long!

  5. We have our Roxy, got her from an Amish couple breeder. She is sweet but yet demands play time. Has chosen daughter as her person. I love her this past 1 1/2 year she has been very special to me.

  6. Just recently Got a sister pair. One white( Luna) and one black and tan(Rae). They are about 18 weeks old. Very very rambunctious! We hope to have them for a very long time. Please feel free to email me any tips in raising shepherds. We are first time owners.
    friiz@yahoo.com

  7. I have had four Shepherds. Two were my Duty K9 partners and two my “Off Duty” pups. All were/ are special. My female I have now, ” Boo” is a very special one. She is 12 and has ben through a house fire w us. She lived in the hotel w us during that time. Daddy’s little baby.
    As long as my health holds out I will always have a German Shepherd. best dog going.

  8. I too have had several German Shepherds. My first was in highschool. Unfortunately she was stolen when I was in college. My second I had for over 14 years. We’ve had several other dogs over the years, but I wanted a Shepherd again. So I found another. They are wonderful dogs. All of mine have been rescues, purebred, but rescues.

  9. Bolt or Johnny me and my family named our german shepherd after Johnny cash the singer he is only a year old and is taller than when he stands on his hind legs.

  10. Our dog Kane is our second. rescue dog both have been shepherds we thank whatever gd you believe in
    For both of them Juno the first one passed z at11years had a rthritiis in front legs was in so much pain the decision habit be made it took me a longtime to forgive myself. Now 10yrold Kane has been with us for 8 years he was skin and bones when we first got h i m we just hope for Manny more happy years yet Mike

  11. German Shepherds are my favourite breed…..even though I like all big dogs! I’ve had 6 dogs in my lifetime that have had shepherd in them. Of them, only one was pure. I got my pure shepherd from the SPCA in Corner Brook, Newfoundland. His initial owners had gotten a new apartment and weren’t allowed to have pets….I’m thankful they gave him up, because he was my best friend while I was growing up. In 1992, after a long time of trying to convince myself that he was okay, I decided it was time to let him go. You see, he had dysplacia and wasn’t getting any better. On the last of it, we had to be outside to hold his hips so that he could pee. No quality of life. He was euthanized when he was 12! I loved him so much and of all of our family, I was his person! I now have a Shepherd/Lab mix, she is a rescue and will be 6 in December. I got Niah when she was 1 1/2 years old. When we first met her she was traumatized. I understand she was abused and I’m pretty sure it was by a man. Anyway, she’s still skittish around strangers, she warms up to them much quicker than she did. She’s a great dog, and though, I’m not glad that she went through so much, I am glad that we now have her in our lives.

  12. I’ve always loved The GSD but never had the room for them. I did have Shelties a wonderful loving breed. Any of the herding breeds are smart, loving and protective of its family.

  13. My uncle had GSDs growing up and us nieces and nephews loved them! My uncle passed when I was younger so I vowed to always have the GSD breed since it meant so much to our family. I have two now. Jersey who is 9 years old and Ace who is 7 months old: I love the active lifestyle and daily exercise for at least 30 minutes at least twice a day. It keeps my 9 year old active and we all get to enjoy the park, run or a long walk! GSD for life baby!

  14. My rocky boy was a 14 year old German shepherd and I loved him with every beat of my heart. I lost him last May in 2018 and my life has never been the same. My heart is still in shatters. He was the most loyal faithful and friendliest dog one could ever meet. He was protective and of his owner but yet cautious of strangers and loving to all those that he grew to know. They are a breed of intelligence and I would recommend them highly as a family pet., a protector and a dog that will give you ever so much love and joy . Miss you buddy 🐕🐕🐕

  15. I have always had GSDs since a child, so when i had my own children I had to have a Gsd for them too. Lost Roxi at 4 1/2 yrs.it was devastating for us all, Sheba was 9, she had hip dysplasia, and several bouts of cancer,we just had to let her go. Had both of them from 6 wks old.
    Then we had a massive ,beautiful blue boy, again we lost him just before his 6th birthday due to a stroke. He could only go round in circles, and it was cruel and heartbreaking to see such a huge beautiful dog in such a state so he had to be put to sleep, then we had another Roxi, another rescue bt from someone i knew. She reached just before her 7th birthday, but had to e put to sleep due to a lung infection. She refused to eat the food given or the medication to help her, and again more heartache for our family. We still have Max, who is a darling boy indoors. Outside he is an asbo towards other dogs and ppl. He was viciously attacked as a pup,and so doesnt like outsiders. He has got better with time,with ppl coming into the house, but is a real teddy bear to the family and an amazing guard dog. He’s 6 now and i just hope He stays with me a bit longer. The whole family dote on him,even tho the girls are at university and cant visit often, he s still all over them when they come home.
    He’s brilliant dog with so so much love to give. When my Son is in sight he goes mental. He associates My Son with playtime and fun.
    I’m now quite disabled and unfortunately Max may be my last Shepherd. 😭. Bt I do hope my Son will stay long enough to see another baby homed here. They just bring so much joy to our lives. Theyre comical so loving and loyal to a fault. Best breed in the world. Real dogs.

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