The German Shepherd is a medium to large-sized dog and is a relatively new breed compared to the other dogs. It has a courageous and confident look marked with distinct body features that give an overall well-balanced expression. The German Shepherd is slightly longer than it is tall. It has a powerful, well-muscled body topped by a weather-proof coating, standing proudly, firmly and calmly. Its head is proportionate in size to the body, with a slightly domed forehead, softly rounded cheeks, and wedge-shaped muzzle with pronounced stop. It has almond-shaped dark brown eyes, medium-sized highly set ears that are carried erect, broad at the base and tapers to a point and open in front, not hanging or folding back. When viewed from the side, the dog has a slightly sloping topline – higher at the withers and sloping gently into the level back to a bushy tail that reaches to the hock, hanging slightly curve like a saber. The front legs are straight on well-muscled and obliquely angled shoulder blades. It has broad and well-muscled thighs, angulated hind and well-rounded toes with thick, durable pads. There are two types of coat: short coat and long coat. Colours are black or black saddle with tan, black, sables, and bi-colour. Males are between 60-65 cm from withers while females are usually 55-60 cm in height. Males are between 30-40 kg in weight while females are generally lighter at 22-32 kg.
All dog breeds have different levels of intellect. Some dog breeds; working dogs in particular, are very independent thinkers and have been evolved to be very intelligent. Typically, a highly intelligent dog does well in obedience training and other activities. A highly intelligent dog can be very demanding and do require lots of physical and mental stimulation. If you’re looking for a relatively laid-back dog, that doesn’t require lots of mental and physical stimulation, then you must fully understand the level of intelligence of your dog breed of choice.
Before committing to a certain dog breed, you must fully understand their intellect levels and their specific levels of energy. To keep your dog well-balanced and happy, their needs must be met and maintained.
All dog breeds have different needs when it comes to the level of exercise they require. For the high energy dogs; which are your typical working dogs, they have a lot of energy and require lots of daily exercise along with plenty of mental stimulation. A highly energetic dog breed would suit an individual or family that is equally as active and loves the outdoors. There are also breeds that have relatively low exercise needs, such as toy dog breeds. Although they require daily exercise and mental stimulation, they’re just as happy chilling at home with their loved ones. This type of dog breed would suit an individual or family that prefers the peace and quiet and relaxation.
Before deciding on your chosen dog breed, Mypetzilla recommends that you research the exercise needs and whether you’re well equipped before committing to buying or adopting a particular dog breed.
There are several dog breeds that are known and potentially predisposed to developing health related conditions. Sensible breeding can help prevent the onset of health related conditions and this should always be taken into condition when researching your dog breed of choice. Before committing to a dog, you should speak to the breeder about any health related conditions that may affect the dog you’re looking to buy or adopt. You can also request to see any test results from genetic testing.
There are many dog breeds that tolerate children really well and are not affected by the constant noise and need for play-time. However, there are some dog breeds that don’t do very well with children and can become frustrated and snappy. That being said, all children should be shown how to handle and care for a dog in their home and should always be supervised when playing. As much as a dog can become annoyed and snappy with a younger child, the child can also become less tolerant and misbehaved towards the dog.
Mypetzilla recommends that you always supervise play-time between your children and dog. Children need to respect the boundaries and feeding time for the dog and likewise for the child. We also strongly advise that play-time doesn’t get out of control and too rough which can cause injury to both child and dog.
There are lots of dog breeds that are well suited to living in an apartment. It’s worthwhile noting that you need to check that you’re allowed dogs in your building before committing to bringing one home. If you do decide to own a dog and are living in an apartment, then you must make sure that they have plenty of room to roam around and frequent walks outside to prevent them from becoming bored and depressed.
Mypetzilla recommends that you check as to whether you’re allowed dogs in your apartment building and to fully ensure your apartment is dog proof before committing fully to bringing a dog home.
All dog breeds shed to some extent, some more than others. With this, all potential dog owners should be aware of this, as it will be a matter of putting up with some hair or lots of hair being left around the house. Depending on the dog breed, there are certain times during the year where some dog breeds shed the most and this is typically around spring and autumn. However, there are some dog breeds that shed all year round.
If you’re very house-proud, they you may want to choose a dog breed that sheds very little. Mypetzilla strongly recommends that you fully research your dog breed of choice and their shedding levels before committing.
All dog breeds require different levels of grooming. Some dog breeds are easier to maintain than others and only require a weekly brush to help keep their coat in good condition. There are some dog breeds that require regular trips to the grooming parlour and this can come at a huge cost. Either way, all dog breeds require their coat and nails to be maintained and cared for.
Mypetzilla strongly advices that potential owners research the grooming needs and associated costs with their desired dog breed before fully committing.
Barking is a necessity for your dog to communicate. However, it can also be a nuisance to yourself and fellow neighbours if it’s not kept under control. If you live in an apartment, then you’re better off choosing a dog breed that doesn’t bark as much. If you live further out and far from civilisation, then it’s worthwhile looking into a dog breed that does bark and will bark to alert you of any other company on your property.
Mypetzilla advices that you research the behaviours of your dog breed of choice and whether this would work for you and your family. It’s worth noting that dogs can be trained to bark less and this will take a lot of effort and training from the owner.
Majority dog breeds form very close relationships with their owners and as a result can become very stressed when left alone for a period of time. If a dog is suffering with separation anxiety then they’re very likely to become destructive around the home as a way of dealing with their anxieties. Dog breeds that do form strong bonds with their owners are better accustomed to a household where one member of the family remains home, whilst the others are out, this is to help avoid further anxieties and destructive behaviours.
Mypetzilla recommends that all potential owners research their dog breed of choice on their bonding abilities and how well-adjusted they are to being left alone at home. It’s also worth noting that you should never leave your dog for longer than 4 hours alone at home.
There are certain dogs breeds that have very high intellect and therefore easier to train than other dog breeds. There is also a downside to this; as fast as they learn the new trick or command, they can easily pick up bad habits just as quick. Other dog breeds that don’t rank as high on the intellect scale require patience and plenty of reward treats from their owners during training.
Before committing to a certain dog breed, Mypetzilla advices you to fully research your dog breed of choice and their level of training needs.
All dog breeds have different energy levels. The working dog breed has one of the highest energy levels in comparison to the low-energy dog’s breeds such as the Toy dog breed group. To keep a dog truly happy, healthy and well-balanced, their energy levels must be met.
High-energy dog breeds need lots of exercise and mental stimulation. High energy dog breeds would suit an active family or person. Dog breeds that are considered as low-energy, love to spend the majority of their time relaxing and sleeping in their favourite, comfy spot. A low-energy dog breed would suit an individual that equally loves the quiet life and relaxing lifestyle. Of course, low-energy dogs still need their daily walks and mental stimulation, just not as much as a high-energy dog breed.
Mypetzilla recommends that potential owner research fully on the type of dog breed that would suit their existing lifestyle and to also take into consideration the dog breeds energy levels and exercise requirements.
Before you decide on what dog breed would be suitable for you and your family, you must consider whether they’re a friendly dog breed and if you already have other pets within the household. For homes that already have dogs and other domestic pets, then it’s wise to choose a dog breed that has a friendly personality and temperament.
There are some dog breeds that mix well with other dog breeds and there are others that don’t suit one another and this could potentially cause issues later on down the line.
Another important point to consider is whether the dog breed of choice is friendly towards people and children.
Mypetzilla recommends to research fully on the right dog breed for your family and to also consider their temperament and characteristics.
The German Shepherd Dog (or Deutscher Schäferhund in German) was created by Capt. Max Emil Friedrich von Stephanitz (1864 – 1936), a German dog breeder and cavalry officer who served at the Veterinary College in Berlin. From the 1850s to the 1890s, dog breed standardization was being practiced in most of Europe. To preserve the traits of sheep dogs, local breeders in Germany selected dogs with high intelligence, speed, strength and keen sense of smell – all of which are great characteristics of a good working dog. These dogs were great at their job, although they differed dramatically in appearance and abilities across communities. In 1891, the Phylax Society dog club was formed to create a standardized German dog breed. However, misunderstandings and conflicts regarding the desired traits of the would-be standard German dog disestablished the club in 1894. As a result, von Stephanitz (who was an original member of the club) set out to create a breed in his Grafrath property with a focus on his desired working abilities rather than having a good appearance. He acquired a dog named Hektor Linkrshein in 1899 and renamed him Horand von Grafrath and was used as the primary breeding stud and generally regarded as the foundation of the German Shepherd. Von Stephanitz founded the Verein für Deutsche Schäferhunde (SV) in April 1899 along with his fellow breeders, establishing a breed standard and created a breed register (Zuchtbuch) with Horand as the first dog in the registry. The German Shepherd was first registered in the UK in 1919. The original purpose of the breed was for sheep herding but the modern breed is more popular as a police and military dog, as well as a search-and-rescue dog. It is the 4th most popular breed of dog in the United Kingdom.
The German Shepherd is one of the most intelligent dog breeds. Attentive, alert, tough and untiring, it has an impeccable sense of smell – traits of a true working dog breed. It is a very loyal dog, poised and spirited. It is not timid or hostile without any reason. It is naturally curious, highly protective of its owner and is willing to learn which makes it an excellent guard dog. It has a suspicious nature and does not make friends with strangers easily but it is not outright aggressive especially if it is well-trained and socialised. Left alone for long periods, it may become anxious and bored which may result in barking, digging and sinking his teeth and claws into anything it can.
This breed is highly regarded as one of the most intelligent dog breeds. Being highly intelligent, curious and willing to learn, it is easy to train in any types of learning, playing or working activities. It is naturally aloof, so early training and socialisation is required to as many people, places and other pets as possible in order to raise a well-behaved German Shepherd. Obedience training as a puppy is a must.
There are two types of German Shepherd coat: short and long. The short coat consists of straight, hard, close-lying, dense outer coat with an equally dense undercoat. Longer and thicker hairs appear on the neck forming slight ruff, on the back of the legs to the hocks, which requires more attention. The long coat German Shepherd has longer, coarse outer coat with thick undercoat. Hair is longer behind the ears, back of forelegs through the loins and dense and longer at the hind legs which form feathering. It has a bushy tail with light feathering. This breed requires regular brushing and an occasional bath but it does not require clipping or any unusual trimming. Use a wire slicker brush or a grooming rake for general grooming. It sheds continuously all-year-round, shedding heavily during spring and fall when the entire undercoat blows over for 7-14 days so a good, durable vacuum is a must.
Hip dysplasia is one of the common health issues affecting the German Shepherd. Canine degenerative myelopathy, a progressive spinal cord disease which causes weakness and incoordination of the rear limbs resulting to paralysis is also an issue. Additionally, the breed is also affected by Von Willebrand disease which affects the pancreas. According to a UK survey done in 2012, the German Shepherd has an average lifespan of almost 11 years.
This medium to large breed is a natural working dog with a lot of energy that needs an equal amount of high-energy activities and exercises. Without proper exercise, the German Shepherd can have a tendency to bark and chew on objects. Half an hour to an hour of brisk walking, long daily jogs, a game of Frisbee or any high-energy physical activities on a daily basis are ideal exercises for this breed. This breed also excels in Schutzhund, dock diving, agility events and Flyball racing.
The German Shepherd of today is an excellent family dog. Often being attached to one family member, it can relate well to other members of the family. It has an abundance of tolerance with other children especially if it is raised with them as a puppy. A puppy German Shepherd and very young children should be supervised together when they are playing because rough, innocent games may tend to hurt either or both. This breed will go along fine with other pets if introduced when young, but some dogs hate cats and will usually chase them. There are also some German Shepherds who are aggressive with other dogs especially of the same sex.