Looking for a good family dog as well as a working one? A German Shepherd could be just what the doctor ordered.
The breed is considered to be excellent working dogs. As a result of their superior intelligence, they are widely used by police and the military as search and guard dogs. They are also used for at assisting the blind and handicapped in a variety of capacities. Shepherds also live up to their name; they are good herders.
But, when the day’s work is finished, the German shepherd can effortlessly make the transition to family companion. They love to please and are very loyal.
Shepherds make great watchdogs. They can be very intimidating and their sheer size and strength is enough to deter many criminals.
Captain Max von Stephanitz is credited with the development of the German shepherd breed in 1899 in Karlsruhe, Germany. Shepherds were derived from other breeds of farm and herding dogs and soon became very popular as working dogs, and later, pets.
The first German shepherd was exhibited in the United States in 1907. The breed’s popularity increased during World War I when shepherds were used by the allied forces. Television also played a role in making shepherds one of the most popular breeds in the United States. Who could resist the canine hero Rin Tin Tin, whose job it was to protect his young master and family during the era of black and white television?
Unfortunately, the German shepherd’s popularity has led to some unacceptable breeding practices. If you’re planning on getting a shepherd, be aware of its bloodlines and buy only from reputable breeders. Make sure the litter has been tested for hip dysplasia, a common ailment among shepherds.
The breed is prevalent to suffering from gastric torsions, also known as bloat. Consult a veterinarian for feeding advice to avoid the dangers of this problem.
German shepherds, whose bodies are usually very muscular, are most commonly deep red, brown, and tan in color. They usually have a black facial mask and can vary in color from silver to a red mahogany.
Their hair is generally on the longer side and German shepherds do shed. Good grooming practices are important.
German shepherds are athletic, strong and sleek dogs whose intelligence makes them stand out.
Because German shepherds were bred to be working dogs, they thrive on physical and mental activity. If you’re looking to get a shepherd, make sure you have an adequate exercise area and be prepared to “play” with man’s best friend. A busy shepherd is a happy one.
Most shepherds have a good temperament. They are often referred to as “noble.” They are generally fearless and self-confident, but may appear a little skittish upon the first meeting. Be patient. Once a shepherd determines that you pose no threat, you will have made a lifelong friend. Although the breed does not appear to be overly affectionate, a German shepherd will stand by you to the end.
Shepherds are often considered a one-man dog. This doesn’t mean they aren’t good family dogs. It just means that they tend to be fiercely loyal to their main caregiver.
Because German shepherds are an extremely popular breed, you can find many good dogs through shepherd rescue services. Don’t overlook adopting those who need a good home.