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German Shepherd Dog Breed

German Shepherd

German Shepherd

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About the German Shepherd Dog Breed

The German Shepherd is as intelligent as it is versatile. It was originally developed to guard and herd a shepherd’s flocks, though today it makes for an ideal companion.

German Shepherd Physical Characteristics

The German Shepherd has a long lean body, which gives the dog its strength, agility and elegant strides.


The German Shepherd is usually seen in tan and black, or red and black in color. Other rarer color variations include all-black, all-white, liver and blue.



German Shepherd Personality and Temperament

Activity Level

Moderate to High


The German Shepherd is an immensely versatile dog, displaying a keen intelligence while dutifully performing its tasks.

Things to Consider

The German Shepherd is very protective and devoted to its family and home, but it can be suspicious of strangers and dominating towards other dogs.

German Shepherd Care

Ideal Living Conditions

The German Shepherd fares well in the city or country.

Special Requirements

The German Shepherd requires frequent training or exercise sessions to keep its mind and body active. Additionally, because the breed sheds throughout the year, its coat should be brushed once or twice a week to encourage turnover as well as to minimize buildup in the home.

German Shepherd Health

The following conditions are commonly seen in German Shepherds:

German Shepherd History and Background

The German Shepherd over the years has served in many different capacities: police dog, guide dog, guard dog, war dog, explosives and narcotics detecting dog, search and rescue dog, show dog and most notably as a shepherd.

Although it slightly resembles a wolf, it is actually a recently developed breed and no more related to the wolf than any other dog breed. Developed primarily for the purpose of guarding and herding a shepherd’s flocks, there have been few other breeds with such a versatile repertoire.

In 1899, the Verein für Deutsche Schäferhunde (or roughly translated into the Society for the German Shepherd Dog) was formed to advance the breed’s standard. They sought a herding dog that could perform a variety of chores which required intelligence, athleticism and courage. Of course, the German Shepherd proved to be just what they needed and with subsequent breeding, its abilities as a fearless and astute companion were perfected.

During World War I, the breed was selected as a war sentry by various countries. At the same time, the American Kennel Club (AKC) chose to alter the name of the breed from German Sheepdog to Shepherd Dog, while Britain renamed it the Alsatian Wolfdog — both in an attempt to separate the breed from its German roots.

In 1931, the AKC reverted the dog back to its original name: the German Shepherd Dog. Since then, popular German Shepherds have been on the silver screen, including movie stars Rin Tin Tin and Strongheart. The Shepherd has become a mainstay in the American home—maintaining a position as one of the ten most popular dogs in the U.S., and even ranking at number one in many American cities.

National Club

German Shepherd Dog Club of America
2448 Johnstown Rd
Chesapeake, VA  23322-2760

German Shepherd Fun Fact

The average size of a German Shepherd litter is 8 puppies.

By: Chewy Editorial