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A Guide to the Courageous German Shepherd Dog, A War Hero

How This Breed Impacted Both World Wars

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German Shepherd dogs photo

Is This Dog Right for You?

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    German Shepherd dogs are most known for their intelligence and strength.

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    They prefer to be kept busy with activities or tasks and should not be left alone.

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    German Shepherd puppies must be trained properly to avoid any aggressive or dangerous behavior.

HISTORY

The German Shepherd was first presented in 1889 in Berlin. This intelligent, obedient, and hard-working dog was bred from a slew of long, short, and wire-haired German farm dogs, using careful selection to isolate the desired traits while weeding out the rest. Recognized by the AKC in 1908, the German Shepherd didn’t gain popularity in the mainstream until their role in WWI and WWII. After becoming recognized as a highly trainable and highly courageous breed, the German Shepherd became a popular choice in Hollywood, thereby giving them entrance into the homes and hearts of America. Today, German Shepherds are used in search and rescue, police dogs, guide dogs for the blind, and for herding sheep.

quick facts

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    Size

    Large, Extra Large

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    Lifespan

    13-15 years

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    Hair Length

    Medium

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    Male Height

    24-26 inches

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    Male Weight

    77-85 pounds

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    Female Height

    22-24 inches

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    Female Weight

    77-85 pounds

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    Litter Size

    7 - 8 puppies on average

APPEARANCE

The German Shepherd dog has a strong, slightly elongated body with straight forelegs and a bushy tail that hangs in a gentle curve. Generally black, their nose can also be liver or blue colored, but will not make it on the show circuit. Their head is in proportion with their body, with pointed ears and dark, almond eyes.

PERSONALITY

German Shepherds are most known for their exceptional intelligence, along with their obedience and fearlessness. They are incredibly loyal to their owner, provided they have made it apparent that they are the alpha. Socialization is important for all breeds, but especially so for smart, powerful dogs like the German Shepherd. They also prefer company and should not be left on their own for extended periods of time and should be given a job to do so they don’t get restless.

color

German Shepherd dogs come in various colors, with strong dark colors preferred. All colors are permissible in show dogs except white, though a small white patch on the chest is allowed. Black and tan is the most popular and most common color combination.

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health concerns

The breed is an easy pick for hereditary problems like:

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  • Lynda

    8/8/2013 5:12:37 AM

    I was oh so fortunate to be raised by three of them. Better than my own parents and smarter than many people I know. We loved each other and were a pack. After having a Shepard Lab mix for 15+ years who just recently passed, I am thinking about two female GS puppies. They need a pack and must have at least two members present at all times me thinks .. . .

    • LivermoreDad

      1/18/2014 12:43:03 AM

      A bit late, but it's always questionable having 2 bitches in the household. They will appear to get along in infancy but at some point, I've seen many bitches turn on each other and it's not pretty. I generally advise a male and female. Now obviously it does not happen all the time, but it happens enough that you should be warned.