Very popular in France about thirty years ago, the German Shepherd is now less widespread, despite its many qualities.
A German dog
Created at the end of the XIX century, this breed originating from Germany is the result of crossbreeding between shepherds’ dogs. The objective was to obtain an intelligent and muscular animal, able to guard the herds. With the disappearance of pastures in favor of urbanization, the German Shepherd has become a versatile dog, able to work as a police dog, guard dog or search dog.
A “wolf dog”
The German Shepherd is a medium-sized dog. The male can measure up to 65 cm at the withers and weigh 40 kg, the female can reach 60 cm for 34 kg. Its silhouette is said to be lupoid, hence its nickname of wolf-dog. The line of the back is slightly plunging. The body is longer than high, with a dry bone structure and a very present musculature. The head is thin with a powerful muzzle, the ears are erect and the almond-shaped eyes, dark in color, very bright.
The characteristic black mask on the head is associated with dark markings on the back and tail. The most common coat is black and tan. The hair is short and hard, associated with a very dense undercoat. The tail has long hair and is carried drooping. It can straighten slightly when the dog is attentive. The German Shepherd’s favorite gait is the trot, during which his gait is the most harmonious.
A working dog… and a family dog
The German Shepherd is an intelligent dog that learns quickly and has an efficient nose. He is attached to his master and very loyal. Enduring, sporty and playful, he needs to move regularly. Very protective towards his family, he will be a good watchdog. He appreciates children but remains wary of strangers. The German Shepherd is a versatile dog that can work as well as be a pet.
However, if he is left alone too often, or is not solicited enough, he will tend to get bored and bark excessively. He will be happier in the country than in the city, unless he is given enough time and energy.
A hardy dog
The work of rigorous breeders, as well as the decline in popularity of this breed that had spread too quickly, has reduced the problems of elbow and hip dysplasia. Nevertheless, it is important to choose the right breed. The numerous aptitudes of the German shepherd make him a good working dog, he must above all be balanced. The moult, which takes place twice a year, is very important. Between these periods, a regular brushing remains necessary. A diet adapted to its needs is of course essential.
The German Shepherd is a magnificent dog, with a cheerful character and a great loyalty. It is important to invest in his education from an early age.