The German Shepherd is a large dog with large, erect ears, intelligent brown eyes, a long, square muzzle with a scissor bite. The most common color is black and tan, but they can be black, red and black, sable, liver, blue, and even white. The liver, blue and white varieties have been disqualified in the show ring, but the white color has been embraced by a few breeders who are calling for their own breed classification as the White Shepherd. German Shepherds are agile, hard-working dogs that are suitable for many situations.
History of the Breed:
The German Shepherd was developed in Germany in the 1890s in an effort to standardize the ideal working dog. Max von Stephanitz, an ex-cavalry captain and former student of the Berlin Veterinary College is credited for creating the German Shepherd breed by selecting dogs of strength, intelligence, loyalty, and beauty. American soldiers coming back from the war in Germany in World War I were impressed with the dogs and imported them. They quickly became popular, even staring in television and movies.
The German Shepherd was bred for intelligence and is very loyal. They may not trust strangers. They crave activity and mental challenges, though when sufficiently exercised, they can tolerate living in an apartment as they are not hyper. They require strong human leadership and good training as they have a powerful bite, which is one of the reasons they make great police/military dogs.
Care and Health:
Breed Club Links: German Shepherd Dog Club of America.
Featured photo of four German Shepherds by Sarah Filipiak.
Do you have any stories about a German Shepherd that has impacted your life?
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