German shepherdThe German Shepherd is considered as one of the most popular and well-loved of dog breeds all over the world. Although initially bred in order to aid in herding sheep in farms, German Shepherds have since gained quite a reputation for being able to do quite a number of tasks. They can be trained as guide dogs for the blind and the disabled. Highly trained German Shepherds are also widely known for assisting law enforcers with a number of police work such as search and rescue, tracking as well as sentry duty.

Breed Origin

The German Shepherd breed was the work of Captain Max von Stephanitz, a well-known dog breeder, in 1899. His first German Shepherd named Horand von Grafrath became the genetic basis for today’s German Shepherd. German Shepherds were first bred as a sheep herding dog. But due to their intelligence and versatility, German Shepherds were later on bred and trained to do a variety of other tasks.

Until the early 1900’s, German Shepherd progressed as a standard breed and enjoyed some popularity among breeders. But by the time that World War I broke out in 1914, all things German suddenly became taboo, including the German Shepherd. Concerns about losing the breed into obscurity led the American Kennel Club, which has registered the breed in 1912 to change its name temporarily to shepherd dog. It reverted back to the original name after the war.

Appearance and Size

For its size, German Shepherds belong to the large category for dog breeds. Usually of sturdy and muscular build, German Shepherds can stand from 22 to 26 inches in height measured from the shoulders. This dog breed can weigh from 60 to 120 pounds. Their fur typically is a double coat with an undercoat and an outer coat. While there are also long-haired German Shepherd breeds, the short-haired varieties of the breed are more common and preferred. German Shepherds can easily be identified by their large head with its typical erect ears which stand straight up. It also has a wedge shaped muzzle and compact legs.

Personality

German Shepherds are considered an intelligent and highly trainable dog breed. Aside from being trained to do various useful tasks, they can also be loving companions as pets. German Shepherds are also known as sociable animals and can be loyal and faithful to their owners but not overly affectionate. How they socialize may have a bearing with how they are brought up. German Shepherd pups that grow up alone tend to become develop aggressive and dangerous behavior later on.