The German Shepherd Dog: A Complete Guide

The German Shepherd Dog is one of the most easily recognized breeds.

From his imposing size, to his erect ears, and to his dark, intelligent eyes, he has achieved legendary status as the ideal canine.

An adaptable, energetic, and courageous working dog, the German Shepherd Dog has done just about every job a dog can do, from guiding the blind, to sniffing out illicit drugs, to taking down escaping criminals, and to working for the armed forces.

An energetic, loyal, and devoted companion, the German Shepherd Dog isn’t just a breed but a lifestyle.

It takes some dedication to live with a German Shepherd Dog.

Be prepared to provide plenty of exercise and mental stimulation. A 30-minute walk twice a day, plus a vigorous play or training session, is a good start.

The German Shepherd Dog is a great choice for families with children. But singles and couples who like spending time outdoors also make a good match for this breed.

With sufficient exercise and opportunities to use their considerable athleticism and brains, they can handle anything from a small city apartment to a vast ranch.

German Shepherd Dog Puppies – Before You Buy…

German Shepherd Dog
The German Shepherd Dog can handle apartment living quite well.

What Price are German Shepherd Dog Puppies?

The price of German Shepherd Dog puppies is anywhere between $500 to $1,500.

How to Find Reputable German Shepherd Dog Breeders?

A responsible breeder of German Shepherds is educated and experienced with the breed.

They can talk about the breed standard lengthily, know the history of the breed, and have complete knowledge of their conformation, purpose, and temperament.

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Be leery of breeders who breed for size, color, or anything superficial and those who claim to have the best of the best with zero evidence of such quality.

Do not look at the impressive website using buzzwords and claiming commercial fame, as many breeders will pretend to be the best and claim such while producing poor quality puppies.

Always look at the dogs and never the website or what they claim in their pages.

There are always exceptions to everything, and there is in the case of reputable breeders as well.

Use your instincts and judge fairly. There are breeders who have the knowledge and experience, and proof of this is the quality is in the quality of dogs which they have produced and continue to produce.

3 Little-Known Facts About German Shepherd Dog Puppies

  1. The German Shepherd Dog originated in Germany where he was created in the 19th century by Captain Max von Stephanitz. He wanted a dog that could be used for military and police work.
  2. The first World War put a dent in the breed’s burgeoning popularity because the dogs were associated with the enemy.
  3. German Shepherds faced artillery fire, walked through land mines and tanks to supply food and necessities to German soldiers in the trenches.

Physical Traits of the German Shepherd Dog

German Shepherd Dog
The German Shepherd Dog does not respond to anger, harshness, or negativity.

The German Shepherd Dog has an elegant, balanced, and arresting look.

He’s slightly longer than tall, and he’s sturdy but lean. He has a slightly bulging forehead, almond-shaped eyes, pointed ears, and a long muzzle.

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The neck slopes down to muscular shoulders and legs. The back legs are solid, and the tail is bushy.

His coat normally comes in black and tan, black, or sable. But it can also come in blue and white.

The German Shepherd Dog comes in three versions: shorthaired or rough-coated, medium-haired, and long-haired.

How Big is a Full-Grown German Shepherd Dog?

Male German Shepherd Dogs stand 24 to 26 inches in height.

Females stand 22 to 24 inches. Their weight ranges from 75 to 95 pounds.

What is the Life Expectancy of the German Shepherd Dog?

The life expectancy of the German Shepherd Dog is 10 to 13 years.

Intelligence, Temperament and Personality Traits of the German Shepherd Dog

German Shepherd Dog
The German Shepherd Dog is an energetic, loyal, and devoted companion.

German Shepherd Dogs are bold but friendly and have a calm confidence that make them appear aloof.

When the need arises, a German Shepherd Dog will be instantly ready to protect, defend, play a game, or do the task that is expected of him.

He has a very strong work ethic and a natural intelligence. This makes him crave challenges. He does not like being left alone in the house too long. He craves interaction and involvement.

He is fiercely protective of his home and family and sometimes known to herd children.

He gets along well with other pets in the household, but he can be reserved or detached with strangers. He is known to over-guard or bark protectively.

The German Shepherd Dog has great instincts and a fertile mind. Lots of activity and exercise will make him happy.

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But tracking, obedience, and agility games, as well as task-oriented activities, will make him even happier.

The German Shepherd Dog’s Diet

The German Shepherd Dog is a carnivore. This means that his diet should contain high protein levels.

Protein is essential for healthy growth, muscular development, and energy.

Fat is also an important element of your German Shepherd Dog’s diet. The fat content in his diet helps keep his skin and coat in good condition.

As your German Shepherd matures, his diet will also change according to his activities, age, and sex.

Protein is essential for tissue and organ growth and to build strong muscles.

Carbohydrates provide energy in the form of glucose and give your German Shepherd dog the energy he needs.

As carbohydrates are digested in his small intestine, they generate heat, helping to maintain his body temperature.

Carbohydrates from grains supply fiber, making sure that he feels full and encouraging the growth of healthy bacteria in his digestive system.

How Much Exercise Does a German Shepherd Dog Need?

If you like spending time outdoors for fun or for relaxation after a long day at work, then you are best suited to have an energetic and active dog.

Larger dogs such as German Shepherd Dogs tend to naturally be more physically active.

Be aware of that before you bring one home. They have an inborn desire to be busy and to work, so they naturally crave daily exercise.

You can play with your German Shepherd Dog by tossing a ball.

Make sure you toss the ball long and not high. You do not want him jumping because he may hurt himself.

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Be careful as to what type of ball you use as well. Make sure the ball is large enough that it cannot be a choking hazard for your German Shepherd Dog. You can also join a doggie playgroup.

Get him involved with other dogs to play together. Dogs are social or pack animals and enjoy this physical and mental stimulation.

Not only is the exercise essential but the socialization skills they practice with each other is priceless.

You and your German Shepherd Dog can join a training class.

Learn the basics for obedience training in a few short classes, and then work with your German Shepherd Dog on the techniques you have learned.

If you find that you both really like this kind of activity, you can continue on to compete in obedience competitions as well.

Many fun walkathons offer the opportunity to bring your German Shepherd Dog along, too.

This is a great way for the both of you to get some exercise and socialize with others. Many ball-driven German Shepherd Dogs simply go crazy for this form of exercise.

While you will need to devote a huge amount of training to correctly do fly ball, many dog clubs offer flyball training for free.

Letting your German Shepherd Dog yank you around the house while you hold his favorite tug of war toy can be an enjoyable exercise as well.

German Shepherd Dog Health and Conditions

Health disorders sometimes encountered in German Shepherd Dogs include bloat, cryptorchidism, cherry eye, bilateral cataracts, and Von Willebrand’s Disease.

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They are also prone to epilepsy, subaortic stenosis, progressive retinal atrophy, diabetes mellitus, pancreatitis, hemophilia A, degenerative myelopathy, intervertebral disc disease, exocrine pancreatic insufficiency, osteochondrosis dissecans, panosteitis, hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, and skin problems.

My Final Thoughts on the German Shepherd Dog

The benefits of a German Shepherd Dog include loyalty, protectiveness, and eagerness, and they come from careful obedience training and authority.

Everyone in the household must be prepared to show authority and earn his respect with a firm but loving touch.

This is a dog that does not respond to anger, harshness, or negativity. Once achieved, you may need to regain this respect again and again.

German Shepherd Dogs don’t need to have baths that often, but they shed in great quantities.

Brush him daily and do it outside if possible. Like any large breed of dog, he can handle apartment living quite well but need daily walks and vigorous exercises to stay sharp.

Image Sources: 1, 2, 3

OVERALL SUMMARY

5
Cost to Buy
9
Cuteness Level
9.5
Family Safety
9.5
Friendliness
5
Health Concerns
6.5
Life Span
5
Exercise Required
4
Food Required
OVERALL RATING 6.7 / 10

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