This recognisable, noble, energetic, and intelligent breed is built to be athletic and strong which is why they are known as the working dog of the canine kingdom.

Whilst they are great working dogs, they can be a great companion dog in the correct environment.

In This Blog:

Breed Overview

Height

Female 23 inches

Male 25 Inches

Weight

75-95 pound

Colour

Most colours are acceptable. White is not an acceptable colour based on breed standards

Life expectancy

7-10 years

Characteristics

Affection Level

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Energy Levels

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Courageous

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Cope Being Left Alone

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Shedding

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Trainability

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Pet Friendly

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General Health

Like all breeds, German Shepherds can develop health issues on top of being born with them. By getting your dog from a reputable, recognised breeder, you minimise the chances of your dog having health conditions.

However, these are some of the conditions which you need to keep an eye out for:

Hip Dysplasia: This can be hereditary and is more common in certain dog breeds than others. Rapid growth, (often caused by an incorrect diet) can contribute towards hip dysplasia. They can show signs from 1 years old. They will be uncomfortable walking on that leg and have lameness issues. They can live normal lives until they are older and develop arthritis in their hip.

Elbow Dysplasia: This will be commonly seen between the age of 6 and 10 months and will appear as your German Shepherd having difficulties in standing up, tackling the stairs, and being reluctanct to exercise. Whilst this is a general diagnosis for different problems, they relatively all affect the elbow joint.

Elbow Hygroma: Fluid filled swelling around their elbow is commonly seen in short-haired dogs. It starts as a small moveable lump, however, over time this can grow and feel hard under the skin. Luckily, they arenโ€™t painful for your dog but you should still keep an eye out!

Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus: Unlike the health condition mentioned above, this one is extremely painful and can be life-threatening. This is classed as a medical emergency and your German Shepherd should be rushed to the vets straight away to be thoroughly checked over.

This is also known as bloat and is a condition where their stomach fills with gas. It can then expand, rotate, and cut blood supply off to the stomach and the spleen. This can lead to a stomach rupture!

History Of the German Shepherd

As the name suggests, German Shepherds originated from Germany in the late 1800โ€™s. They were originally bred for herding by an ex-cavalry member who wanted a breed that could run for long periods and excel at sheep herding.

In 1882, they were seen at a show for the first time where they were rough coated and short tailed. A breed standard was eventually agreed upon and in 1899, the first breed show for German Shepherds took place.

In 1906, the first German Shepherd entered the USA, and since then the breed has taken off and grown more popular as the years went by.

They are commonly known in todayโ€™s day and age as working police, military, and guard dogs.

This is hardly surprising as their high intelligence, loyalty, and devotion to their handler, makes them incredibly easy to train.

If you see a nervous or aggressive German Shepherd that isnโ€™t a working dog, this is more than likely down to poor breeding or an upbringing where they havenโ€™t been properly socialised.

Diet and Nutrition

As German Shepherds are prone to bloating, it is vital you are careful about what you feed them, when you feed them, and how much you feed them.

It is highly recommended that you offer them two smaller portions of food per day rather than a large meal preventing them gulping it down, taking in too much air as they gulp and causing bloat. Splitting their meals up will slow the intake of food down and reduce the risks.

Whatever diet you choose to feed your German Shepherd, always make sure you are giving them the right amount according to their weight, age, and exercise requirements.

Avoid feeding them too many treats, dog or otherwise, as this can lead to obesity if they are over indulged. Check out our blog on what you can feed your dog as a treat.

Always make sure they have access to fresh, clean water…especially after mealtime.

Training and Care

Starting their training correctly at a very young age will help you further down the line! Poorly trained and unsocialised dogs can show aggression and anxiety, so it is very important to start socialising and training them the minute you get them home.

German Shepherds are very intelligent, energetic animals, so, be sure to let them enjoy a good run every day and stretch their legs. Built up energy can lead to behavioural issues which may be hard to break once they have started. They need more exercise than you may think!

After all, they are used to herding all day long…so if you are looking for a jogging or travel companion then you really should look no further!

Maybe you have been saying for a while that you are going jogging, but you have yet to dig your running trainers out of the cupboard, now you have your German Shepherd as a perfect excuse!

German Shepherd coats are coarse and can be wiry, so at to maintain their coat, you should be looking to brush them every other day. When it gets to shedding season, get used to seeing their hair everywhere!

So regular grooming in this situation is highly recommended and you know that comes with a lot of vacuuming.

Try to avoid bathing them too often as this will strip their coat of its natural oils. Luckily their coat resists any dirt and debris so you will not need to wash them that regularly.

German Shepherds love plenty of toys, lots of attention, and a good-sized, fenced off garden to run around in. They donโ€™t like being left alone or being cooped-up for too long.

German Shepherds can be great companions for any thrill-seeking enthusiast who wants a best friend to enjoy their adventures. Offer them love and care and they will be your new, loyal companion for life!