Breed Group: Herding Group
Shoulder Height: 22-26 in.
Weight: 66-88 lb.
Life Span: 9-13 years
Colors: Over twelve different colorations, but usually featuring black, brown, tan, and red
- The German Shepherd is currently the second most popular dog breed in the United States
- Developed for sheep herding in Berlin following large-scale industrialization
- The German Shepherd was a response to what Max von Stephanitz, the original breeder, determined to be an overall decline in the quality of working breeds
- Used by police and drug enforcement departments around the world for detecting illegal goods, as well as attack dogs
German Shepherds are loyal, powerful, and extremely intelligent dogs. Employed across a number of different functions, ranging from household pet to drug enforcement, its distinct wolfish appearance is a perfect reflection of its personality.
German Shepherds require a firm hand in order to be well-behaved dogs in the household. They can have an aggressive streak if not properly socialized, as German Shepherds are extremely territorial and protective of their families. It is also recommended that you do not introduce other dogs to the house, as fights might break out.
German Shepherds require a lot of space to run and play, so exercise is mandatory. Regular grooming with a pin and slicker brush is necessary to keep them looking handsome.
Despite their popularity, German Shepherds are prone to a number of health problems due to early inbreeding.
- Like any large breed, German Shepherds are prone to hip and elbow dysplasia that leads to severe arthritis
- Degenerative myelopathy, which is a disorder of the spinal cord, causes weakness in the rear legs that eventually leads to completely paralysis
- German shepherds are also prone to various illnesses of the pancreas (such as exocrine pancreatic insufficiency)
- Rin Tin Tin is the first German Shepherd featured in popular culture. He was so popular during the silent era of films that he has his own star on the Walk of Fame
- Robert Neville, the protagonist of Richard Matheson’s classic post-apocalyptic vampire novel I am Legend, kept a German Shepherd named Sam
- Ace the Bat-Hound is a German Shepherd occasionally featured in the Batman comics
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