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German Shepherd

Brave, watchful, and obedient

About the German Shepherd

German Shepherds are excellent all-purpose dogs who have become the favourite of millions of dog lovers. Their powerful bodies belie their gentle, calm nature, which is a testament to their heritage as shepherd dogs.

While German Shepherds have a good presence in police and military forces, beneath their gruff exterior is a loyal and loving dog that enjoys being part of a family. They may be naturally wary of strangers, making them excellent watchdogs and protectors.

For any need, this dog is up to the task, so long as the owner is capable when it comes to training them. A well-socialised German Shepherd puppy can learn to take new people and situations in stride.

german shepherd dog against snowy background

German Shepherd Breed Characteristics

55 to 66 cm at the shoulder

75 to 95 pounds

Life Expectancy
10 to 14 years

Coat Colours
Black, tan, cream, silver, sable

Here are some of the qualities you can expect from the German Shepherd, rated from one to five stars. However, all dogs are individuals, and your dog may not display exactly the same characteristics.

Family Life
Friendly with Kids
Friendly with Dogs
Ease of Grooming
Exercise Needs
Prey Drive
Tendency to Bark or Howl
Good for Novice Owners
Apartment Living

Want to learn all about German Shepherds? Watch this video to find out more:

German Shepherds are loving, protective and one of the most capable dogs out there, and often regarded as one of the smartest dog breeds to ever exist.

German Shepherd Breed History

Captain Max von Stephanitz is the man who can be considered to be solely responsible for the development of the German Shepherd. The goal of the German captain in the late 19th century was to create a highly trainable, extremely intelligent dog with the athletic ability to perform any task.

Captain Stephanitz would later leverage his military connections to place his dogs in military service and police work. The continued popularity of the German Shepherd over 100 years later is a testament to the success of Captain Stephanitz’s breeding program.

Today the image of the German Shepherd is one of strength, intelligence, nobility, bravery and loyalty – traits that make it one of the most beloved dog breeds in the world.

Caring For a German Shepherd

How to Choose a Responsible German Shepherd Breeder

It’s always a good idea to buy from responsible breeders who have a sound breeding plan. Responsible breeders will also have hip and elbow scores done for their breeding animals and will be able to advise you of any genetic issues with their animals. Buying a puppy from an ethical, reputable breeder will mean that your dog has the best chance of living a full, happy life. 

When you are looking for a German Shepherd puppy to buy, ask your breeder whether you can visit and meet the dam and stud. You’ll be able to tell more about how your puppy will turn out from the parents’ personalities and temperament.

German Shepherd FAQ

No. German Shepherds are intelligent and athletic, but they need the company of their handler or owner as they can get very lonely if left by themselves for long periods. 

Yes, German Shepherds make excellent service dogs. They’re smart and capable animals and can be trained to perform any number of tasks for their owner.

Dog Breeds Similar to the German Shepherd

The information is for general use only. For any specific advice or queries, please consult with your veterinarian.

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