If you are after a loyal and extremely intelligent dog to be your new companion, you canít go past the German Shepherd. Hereís what you need to know.
Characteristics of the German Shepherd
The German Shepherd is one of the larger breeds of dog, standing up to 65cm high and weighing up to 43kg. It is a muscular dog with a powerful muscle, pointed, upright eyes, and dark almond shaped eyes. The tail is bushy and they have a double coat that can be either short or long. The coat colours can be solid black, black and tan, black and red, black and cream, or sable. Black and tan is the most commonly seen coat colour however.
The German Shepherd Temperament
The German Shepherd is famed for its intelligence and it is also a very loyal dog, forming strong bonds with its family. As these dogs are so intelligent, obedience training is vital in order to curb its strong guarding instincts and to ensure that it knows its place in the pack (a poorly trained German Shepherd may try to become dominant in the household). Training is also necessary to help form the strong bond with the owner that the dog needs. It is not at all uncommon to see German Shepherds being used in police or military work or being a guide dog for the blind. The German Shepherd is an excellent guard dog due to its loyalty and protectiveness of its family. They will also get along well with other pets but they need to be socialised with them as early as possible.
Caring for a German Shepherd
The German Shepherd is a relatively low maintenance dog and it should only require grooming once every few days. However, you may wish to groom more often when they go through periods of shedding to reduce the amount of hair that they leave. Be aware that the German Shepherd will require plenty of exercise so you will need to provide it with plenty of walks, play sessions, and mental stimulation. There are some health problems associated with the breed such as hip dysplasia, heart problems, and bone problems. However, if you buy your puppy from a reputable breeder, they will have done their best to eliminate these problems from their lines and the risk of them occurring should be much lower. The German Shepherd will live for 12 to 15 years on average.
Who is the German Shepherd Suited To?
The German Shepherd is best suited to confident owners that have experience with dogs as they should know at least a little about dog training. Potential owners should also be able to give the dog the attention and exercise that it needs. The German Shepherd is a good family dog but, like most other breeds, you should always supervise the dog when it is around children.