History Of The German Shepherd
The first German Shepherd was presented at Hanover, Germany, in 1882 after being bred in Karlsruhe. The objective was to produce a dog that was as handsome as it was responsive and obedient. Many different breeds combined to create the German Shepherd, including various local farm and herding dogs. The sheer variety in coat length and texture resulted in variation along the Shepherd lines. Originally, the Shepherd had longer hair, and in 1889 the first short-haired Shepherd was presented in Berlin.
The first dog recognized as a German Shepherd was registered in April of 1899 by Captain Max von Stephanitz. They continued to be shown as a wire-haired and a long-haired breed up until 1915. These days, only the short-haired German Shepherd is shown. In 1908, the German Shepherd became an American Kennel Club-recognized breed in the herding class.
How Dangerous Are German Shepherds
The American Animal Hospital Association conducted a study and concluded that German Shepherds were one of the most dangerous breeds based on bite severity and frequency of biting. This is not surprising given the fact that German Shepherds have one of the most powerful bites of all breeds.4 Sept 2019
Is A German Shepherd A Good Family Dog
German Shepherd dogs are a good choice for a variety of owners due to their intelligence and well-balanced character, Bill explains.
They can be a good addition to a family but can also be a great four-legged companion for a single owner or a couple. However, they are large and very active dogs that require more than a two hours exercise every day, which means they are better suited for owners with a larger house with a garden, and someone who enjoys exercise and spending time outdoors.
Recommended Reading: What Foods Are German Shepherds Allergic To
Why Breed Big German Shepherds
There are several reasons for breeding larger than normal German Shepherds.
Breeders of GSDs that will be trained for physically demanding tasks like search and rescue or military and police work can cultivate large size, muscular strength, endurance, and athleticism.
Are these big lugs good as family pets?
Many potential owners seek out GSDs for their protective nature.
Breed experts often say that males tend to be more protective of their home territory and females tend to be more protective of their human family.
Owners interested in training their dogs to guard their property and family might also be interested in larger German Shepherds, both male and female.
Besides working ability and protectiveness, many people are simply fans of bigger dogs, and the idea of a giant German Shepherd is very appealing.
How exactly do you get a larger German Shepherd? Lets look at how breeders select for larger than normal size.
Also Check: How Do German Shepherds Ears Stand Up
List Of Types Of Shepherd Dogs
Types of shepherd dogs, which are variations of, similar to and/or often confused with the German Shepherd Dog.
Benny the tricolor Panda Shepherd with Mabry the black and tan German Shepherd.
“This is Shady and Nikki . They are both German Shepherds. Shady is 2 years old in this photo, has an aggression problem toward other dogs, but loves rubbing on me an slepping under the sheets with me. I rescued Nikki. She is 3 years old in this picture and is still skinny. She is very sweet and loves everyone and everything, she barks a lot. They are let out early in the morning and they run around my 4 acres. They are let in at dinner time. I love them and they mean everything to me!”
Don’t Miss: How To Draw A German Shepherd Sitting
What Are German Shepherds Like
The German Shepherd personality is aloof but not usually aggressive. They’re reserved dogs they don’t make friends immediately, but once they do, they’re extremely loyal. With their family, they’re easy-going and approachable, but when threatened, they can be strong and protective, making them excellent watchdogs.
One Dog Different Jobs
Black Shepherds have traits that would make them fit to do work for the police, military, and search & rescue teams. Today, they are ranked the second most popular dog in the US.
In fact, you would often see German Shepherds being used by the army and the police as their K9 unit. These dogs are fearless, intelligent, and obedient, which makes them great candidates for these positions.
Even if this canine fits in the guns and the criminal world, they can also be trained to become a service dog.
The Black German Shepherd has a stable temperament, which means they can stand intense situations without panicking. It allows them to become a guardian, a blind leader, and a companion who assists people who have disabilities.
With their wolf-like appearance and protective nature, this is a breed you can rely on to be amazing guard dogs. Their courage and alertness allow them to look after their loved ones while being an excellent family companion.
You May Like: Ideal Temperature For German Shepherd Puppy
How Long Do German Shepherds Live Are They A Healthy Breed
German Shepherds typically live 10-12 years. Some do live to 13 or 14, but usually with chronic health issues such as arthritis.
And sadly, many don’t even make it to age 10.
As a long-time German Shepherd owner, I know first-hand how many health problems this breed suffers from. Crippling joint diseases, autoimmune diseases, digestive diseases, skin diseases, heart and eye diseases…. truly a breed with serious health problems.
It’s a good idea to have pet insurance when you own a German Shepherd.
Here is a complete list of health problems in German Shepherds.
See my advice on keeping your dog healthy.
The most common color in German Shepherds black and tan, in the saddleback pattern
No Breeding License For Long Haired
After the white and shaggy shepherd dogs, the long haired german shepherd dog was also excluded from further breeding in 1930. Von Stephanitz saw the fitness for use and weather resistance of his breed endangered by the long fur and henceforth went for the short-haired, like wolf shepherd type. Long-haired puppies always appeared in the litter of all known and leading lines if a parent animal had the gene responsible for it, but according to the SV, they should not be used as breeding animals. The decision to classify the long stick hair as a breeding exclusion error met with great criticism from many lovers and breeders. so They organized their own clubs,
Don’t Miss: Who Would Win In A Fight German Shepherd Or Pitbull
Where To Adopt Of Buy A German Shepherd
If you think youd like to adopt a German shepherd, start by contacting one of the following organizations:
These groups will be able to provide guidance and next steps for adoption. If you arent certain the breed is right for you, you may be able to try foster care to test if a GSD is a good fit for your home.
/west German Shepherd Dog
One of the most revered working lines of the breed is the West German Shepherd dog. It is the most famous Type Of German Shepherd Dogs It is believed to be the line that is closest to the original breed created by Max von Stephanitz this line is bred not just for colour and body shape, but for working drive. The West bloodline focuses strongly on looks and what should be considered the standard of the different types of Shepherds.
As with all working lines, the emphasis is put on the dogs behaviour and personality, rather than on just their body shape and gait, which makes for a much healthier and more active line. While many people choose the West German Shepherdworking line when they are looking for a working dog, these dogs also make great family pets if the family invests enough time in their family member.
West German Shepherd Dog
The West German Shepherd Dogprice
A West German Shepherd starts at $1200 and goes up to the $4000 or $5000 range. If you want the best type of german shepherd dogs for you and for your money you will need to hit the perfect trifecta: choose breeder, bloodline and puppy very wisely.
Don’t Miss: How To Draw A German Shepherd Sitting
How Much Exercise Do They Need
The German Shepherd is a working dog and requires a considerable amount of physical and mental exercise to stimulate them and keep them out of mischief. This is not a breed thats happy to be a couch potato. The best toys for German Shepherds are the ones that require physical activity and mental stimulation. We review the best dog toys and brain games to help you give your pup what they need.
Its crucial to provide a long daily walk or, better yet, a run. Obedience training and games can also help stimulate this dogs active brain. These dogs love pack games like fetch or frisbee, which also serve well to tire them out.
If you were wondering how fast can a German Shepherd run, the answer is up to 30 mph.
Maybe you are also asking, do German Shepherds like water? Or can German Shepherds swim? While they are certainly capable of learning to swim, they dont always take to water naturally.
If youre curious about how much exercise your dog gets daily, consider getting a dog activity tracker.
Panda German Shepherd Dog
Another of our types of German Shepherd which is not very common is the Panda German Shepherd. They have a curious and striking appearance which is often confused with other dog breeds. Due to a genetic mutation, but they are a full German Shepherd and are not a mixed breed. The mutation occurred in a litter from the USA. This type of German Shepherd exhibits a white coat on the abdomen and legs, but has black or tan on other parts, giving them a sort of panda like appearance.
Like other German Shepherd Dogs, they are agile, strong and ideal family pets. However, they arouse controversy over some breeders as white markings are considered a fault. The main controversy appears to be the belief that the dog is from inferior stock, but so far their health seems to be average when compared to other types of GSD.
Recommended Reading: How Much Do You Feed German Shepherd Puppy
Are There Different Types Of German Shepherds
Officially there’s only the one breed. But I explained in the Temperament section that there are different lines of German Shepherds with different temperaments. Those lines can also LOOK very different from each other.
Those of us who admired the strong, noble look of German Shepherds from decades ago are saddened at what has been done to the appearance of modern show dogs.
If you go to a German Shepherd specialty show in the United States or Canada, you’ll see tall narrow bodies, long narrow heads, and such excessive curvature of the rear legs that the dog’s back slopes downward from shoulders to tail. You could roll a ball down that back.
In my opinion, these are misshapen caricatures of a German Shepherd. To make matters worse, show lines produce more than their share of spooky and low-intelligence dogs, which is what happens when you over-focus on appearance rather than temperament and trainability.
In contrast, the West German show line has a more normal shape. Best of all, German Shepherds in West Germany cannot win show ring ribbons or be bred without passing a temperament/trainability test.
There are many West German bloodlines in the United States. So if you’re interested, you can look for show breeders who emphasize West German lines instead of American/Canadian.
Just be aware that these dogs aren’t couch potatoes: they do have plenty of energy and some working drives that will need to be exercised.
Is A German Shepherd An Aggressive Breed
The German Shepherd breed is known for their aggressive behaviors and tendencies. In fact, they are often touted for this behavior and it is utilized to make good, strong guard dogs. German Shepherds are considered good guard dogs but if they are not trained guard dogs, then you need to curb any aggressive tendencies.
Read Also: How Do German Shepherds Ears Stand Up
Creating Different Types Of German Shepherds Through Mixed Breeding
Over the past three decades, weve seen an enormous rise in the number and popularity of designer dogs litters created by mating dogs from two different pedigrees.
Since German Shepherds are popular in their own right the 2nd most registered breed with the AKC in fact its hardly surprising that they frequently provide one half of a designer dog mix.
These mixes arent purebred dogs, so once again they cant technically be regarded as categories of German Shepherds.
But they are types of dogs which are likely to share very GSD-like looks and temperaments.
Lets take a look at some examples.
German Shepherd Dogs Mixed With Other Herding Breeds
German Shepherds belong to the herding group of dog breeds. These breeds instinctively try to round up other animals, and they make valuable livestock guardians.
German Shepherds mixed with other herding breeds are likely to act in a predictable way around other animals, but their behavior around people and their looks can be highly variable.
Examples of these mixes include
There are lots of things about these puppies which you wont find out until theyre grown up like what their coat will be like, how big theyll get, and what theyre personality will be like.
To read more about creating different types of dogs by mixed breeding, and its pros and cons, visit us here.
American Show Line German Shepherds
American German Shepherds are the most seen Shepherds in the U.S. and Canada. These lines are the most different of all the Shepherd variations. Since they are a combination of many bloodlines, you may notice that an American Shepherd is more substantial in build and their heads and muzzles are shorter.
American show line German Shepherds are most generally black and tan, though with specific breeding, they can be a variety of colors. They are generally lighter and have more of a sloping gait and longer hocks than their European relatives. Their underbellies are thicker, as are their chest portions.
Because of the backyard breeding problem among Shepherds in America, many of these dogs are passed off as champions but are muddied down. So, if you want a show-quality Shepherd, be sure to do your homework. Proven bloodlines are a must to ensure good temperament and quality.
Backyard breeding has led to these guys getting quite a bad rap. You may see people selling shepherds claiming strong champion bloodlines, but these may not be authentic. While people may not breed these dogs to be irresponsible, it leads to many undesirable traits, such as nervousness, aggression, and various health issues.
- Need a convenient place for your training treats?Best Treat Bags for Dog Training
Also Check: When Do German Shepherds Ears Stand Up
Grooming: Do German Shepherds Shed A Lot Are They Easy To Groom
I have good news and bad news.
The good news is that German Shepherds have only one shedding period a year.
The bad news is…. their shedding period lasts for 365 days. In other words, German Shepherds shed constantly.
How is this different from most breeds?
Most breeds shed a few hairs here and there throughout the year. But the vast bulk of their shedding occurs only twice a year for three weeks in the spring as their thicker winter coat switches over to a cooler summer coat, and for three weeks in the fall as the summer coat switches over to a winter coat.
Not German Shepherds. They shed a TON during those spring and fall coat-switching seasons. Plus they shed moderately the rest of the year.
So year-round, you’ll find hair on your clothing, on your carpets, and under your refrigerator. Frequent vaccuming will become a way of life.
You might be wondering, “How can a shorthaired dog shed so much?” The answer is that German Shepherds have a double coat. They have a short outer coat , plus a woolly undercoat . Breeds with a double coat always shed more than breeds who simply have an outer coat but no undercoat.
German Shepherds come in a long coat, as well as a short coat. Both coats shed heavily.
Now, about grooming….
How much grooming is required depends on whether a German Shepherd is shorthaired or longhaired.
Longhaired dogs need trimming
Along with brushing and combing, longhaired German Shepherds need trimming every few months.
Are German Shepherds Easy To Train
Some are easy to train, while others are more moderate.
As we’ve seen, different lines have different temperaments. German Shepherds from working lines are typically more assertive and stronger-willed. A “tougher” German Shepherd will be more challenging to train unless you pay closer attention to building the right Leader-Follower relationship with the dog.
That doesn’t mean “softer” German Shepherds are automatically easy to train. Some dogs with soft temperaments are skittish or shy, making them just as challenging as a strong-tempered dog.
In general, though, a sound-tempered German Shepherd who is a good fit for family life should be easy to train. Just establish the right Leader-Follower relationship and the dog will be happy to work with you.
This is taught in my puppy training book, Respect Training For Puppies .
Or see my advice on dog training
Recommended Reading: How Much Do You Feed German Shepherd Puppy
The Black German Shepherd: A Guide To This Rare Dog
Have you ever seen a Black German Shepherd?
If not, they do exist! And this canine is brave, loyal, and smart. So what makes them unique?
Thats why we created this breed information for the Black Shepherd. Lets find out if their color is the only factor making them different from the regular one.