The German Shepherd Dog is a large breed dog that originated in Germany around 1899. German Shepherds belong to the herding dogs classification and were originally bred to herd sheep. They are a popular breed.
After World War II they were given the name Alsatian (Wolf Dog), due to negative connotations to the word: German. The breed was called “Alsatian” (named after the German-French border Alsace-Lorraine) until 1977 when the name German shepherd could be used again.
They are highly intelligent and are most commonly used as police dogs. Alsatians are also used as search dogs, guide dogs and service dogs. According to Stanley Coren’s The Intelligence of Dogs; they are the third most intelligent dog breed.
They are fairly large dogs. Males measure 60-65 cm in height and weigh 30-40 kg. Females are about 55-60cm high and weigh 22-32 kg. They have pointed ears, a dome-shaped head and long muzzle. The nose is black. They have long bushy tails, which are not docked (cropped).
Alsatians are most commonly black and tan in colour, but can also have other colours like all-white, all-black and sable. Coats consist of two layers and come in either medium- or longhaired. The outer coat will shed year-round.
German Shepherds have a life span of 7-10 years. Like many other big dogs they can have issues with hypdisplasia. They can also be prone to arthritis, Degenerative Myelopathy (a neurological disorder), Von Willebrand disease (a bleeding disorder) and ear infections.
Alsatians are very active, obedient and highly trainable. They can be prone to aggression, being over-protective and being very territorial. They make good guard dogs.Related Websites