Rittmeister Max von Stephanitz is the man responsible for the breeding program that produced the German Shepherd just over 100 years ago. They were working dogs in the first world war and became famous world wide after starring in the movie "Rin Tin Tin" during the 1930's
This is a highly intelligent, extremely loyal, very protective and beautiful animal. These highly respected dogs are natives of Alsace and are medium sized. The males weigh around 34-41kgs and grow to between 61-66 cms, the females slightly smaller. The coat of the German Shepherd is usually black and tan and they have deep brown eyes set in a square head and a graceful tail. They are sometimes known as GSDs which is translated from the German, Deutscher Schäferhund.
This is a powerful dog, so it would be advisable to put him on a dog training course while still a puppy. This will also learn your German Shepherd to socialize with humans and other dogs from an early age.
Pure white dogs, with their beautiful coat and wonderful temperament are very popular. There is also a log haired version of the breed. Still with the black and tan coloring but longer hair around the chest and face gives the dog a more shaggy look than the sleek athletic contours of the original.
Today, the German Shepherd is a regular at international dog shows, often winning top prizes easily after years of training, of course. Their lean, angular bodies and eagerness to perform complements well their innate beauty and good manners but, for reasons best known to 'experts', the white and long-haired are considered 'faults' and both are often disallowed at dog shows.
German Shepherds are well known for their ability to act as guard and rescue dogs. They will form a bond with owner or trainer within a few months. They are strong dogs, capable of performing considerable work, but not overly aggressive by nature. They have extraordinary scent detection abilities and so are widely used by police and security forces all over the world.
GSDs love training and delight in interacting with humans. Yet, unlike some other breeds, they don't need constant activity in order to be happy. They can be equally at ease just watching from the sidelines. They can be content to walk calmly along a border on patrol or just wait patiently for the next period of action.
They're good with children and are not normally aggressive towards people unless they've been trained to react when someone comes onto the property. They may growl or bark, however, since anyone not of 'their pack' is naturally suspect.
This breed is a very robust dog in general but do have health conditions which they are somewhat more prone to than other breeds. Bloat or GDV, Gastric Dilatation Volvulus, occurs when the stomach dilates as a result of an excess of fluid, and sometimes twists.
Otitis Externa is an inflammation of the ear canal that frequently affects dogs with long ears, such as those of the German Shepherd. Joint problems, Hip Dysplasia and epilepsy are other conditions that are associated with this breed. Dog health insurance is a good idea to protct yourself from expensive vet fees in case your dog should be unfortunate enough to fall ill with any of these conditions.
GSDs are quite easy to care for. Coat, nail and other grooming aspects require only a small effort to keep them healthy and looking good.
German Shepherds have a double-layered coat comprised of a short, thick, wiry overcoat and a soft, dense undercoat. The fur, that sheds in spring, is coarse and does not mat easily. Brush your dog once a week to remove any dirt or debris. If you live in the city, your dogs' nails will probably wear down on the concrete. Check them once a month to see if they need clipping. Bathing the water-resistant coat is needed only occasionally.
The German Shepherd breed is among the 10 highest popular dogs in the USA. If you are thinking of buying a German Shepherd, be sure to search it's genetic background. Poor breeding programs can produce problematic dogs, so look for a reputable breeder, and check for any history of Hip Dysplasia.
The German Shepherd Handbook
The German Shepherd Handbook Will Teach You Everything You've Ever Wanted To Know About German Shepherd Dogs!
Here's a taster of what you'll find in this unique book
An Introduction To German Shepherds
The History Of The German Shepherd Dog
Finding and Choosing Your German Shepherd
Feeding Your German Shepherd Dog
Making Your Home Safe
Training Your German Shepherd Dog
Avoiding Health Problems
and much more
I strongly recommend the German Shepherd Handbook to anyone who owns or is thinking about owning, a German Shepherd dog.
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German Shepherd Handbook
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