Country of Origin: Germany
Size:
Large
Weight: 35-40 kilograms
Height:

Height at withers: 60-65 cm
Height at withers: 55-60 cm
Grooming Requirements:
Medium
Exercise Requirements: Moderate
Popularity in Australia: – Australia’s fourth most popular dog
Dog Type: Working Dog
Most suited As: Family Pet, Guard / Guide / Rescue dog.
Expected Life Span: 10-12 years

Appearance
German Shepherd Dogs have a most striking appearance, defined by their obviously longer than tall body shape, alert eyes, erect ears and powerful, muscular yet streamlined and flowing body shape and movement. The exhibit a waterproof and often beautiful coat though as a working dog coat beauty is secondary to his physical attributes.

Males tend to be much larger, with more masculine body shape especially the muzzle

Coat
The German Shepherd Dog has a double coat (stock hair) with undercoat. The top coat is dense, straight, harsh and close lying, short on the head, including inside the ears, the front of the legs, and on the feet and toes. Expect the coat to be longer and heavier on the neck. The hair lengthens on the back of the legs to the pasterns or hock joints; and on the back of the thighs it forms moderate breeching.

Brush the coat twice weekly to help remove dead and loose hairs. As with all double coated active dogs, your german shepherd will gather burs, prickles and grass seeds which will matt the fur and be uncomfortable if not removed so don’t wait till your do is dreadlocked to brush.

Character
Typically they are intelligent and eager pupils, is an obedient, sociable, and friendly dog that is temperamental, attentive, alert, protective, brave, self-assured, independent, and unconditionally loyal towards its handler and family. Most often a German Shepherd dog will be neither timid nor overly aggressive as these are faults they are kept from breed stock. A GSD bought from a backyard breeder, may exhibit either of these traits.

Training
Throughout the world german Shepherd Dogs are used as guide dogs, avalanche rescue dogs, tracking dogs, watchdogs, defense dogs, and police dogs. In some of these roles, the German Shepherd is virtually the only breed used. In obedience competitions they stand high above over breeds. They are eager to learn and to serve and easily trained to new tasks. They respond best to vocal training. The great majority of the breed worship their handler as their “alpha dog” and have an enormous need for contact with them. If you do not have the time to devote to them, it is not advisable to purchase a German Shepherd as they will pine . In its Country of origin, Germany, the German Shepherd is still sometimes used for herding livestock.

Social Behaviour
German Shepherds get on well with their own kind, other animals, and children provided they have been correctly socialized, but unwanted visitors are excluded from their home territory. They are territorial by nature which means that they have no tendency whatsoever to run away. They will bark, and do so aggressively if they feel a need to protect their turf, or to warn a stranger to stay away.

Exercise
German Shepherds love to work for their handler. It is not sufficient for them to be companions in the home with nothing else to occupy them. They need activity and stimulation. If considering this breed, look at joining a a breed group or other organisation so that you can participate together in agility, obedience, defense and police trials, tracking, or whatever else is available, in order to keep your dog both physically and mentally fit.

As with all large dogs For all large dogs, lots of energy is needed during the growing stage for healthy bones, joints, and muscles. Damage which cannot be put right can be done by over-exercising or inadequate diet especially during their teenage years. They can happily live in an outdoor kennel provided they get sufficient exercise and regular attention.

Health
As with most large breeds, the are susceptible to hip dysplasia. Registered breeders are required to have breeding stock hips and elbows xrayed which allows the dog to be “scored” with only sound dogs then being allowed into breeding programs. Hemophilia was once an issue with this breed, though its almost been wiped out by a careful genetic testing of male breed stock.

Note! If you purchase a german Shepherd Dog from a source other than a registered breeder, you can be assured testing for Hip Dysplasia and Hemophilia has not been done. Due to its popularity, many animals are bred and sold by non breed association members, and its the resulting poor health offspring that has populated the often held opinion that the German Shepherd breed is not as sound as others. This is both untrue and unfair, but if you are considering this breed, always check your potential breeder is registered, and seek out copies of all genetic history of their breed stock.

German Shepherd Dog Organisations in Australia
GSD Council of Australia

German Shepherd Dog Organisations in the UK
GPCV – German Pinscher Club of Victoria

German Shepherd Dog Organisations in the US
German Shepherd Dog Club of America
The German Pinscher Club of America Official Homepage

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