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German Shepherd

German Shepherd


Height: 22-26 inches

Weight: 65-95 lbs.

Life Span: 11-13 yrs.

Breed Group: Guardian Dogs

Overview
Well-bred and properly trained German shepherds are friendly, easygoing, playful, and eager to please.

Because of their intelligence, responsiveness, and ability to focus, they are a joy to train. German shepherds are adaptable to city, apartment, suburban, and country living, as long as they are exercised and properly socialized when young.

They are protective and will not retreat if their families or property are threatened. A well-bred and socialized shepherd can easily become a child's best friend, playing for hours and also protecting him.

German shepherds may be wary of strangers. Obedience training must begin early.

Appearance
The German shepherd has a double coat of medium length. The outercoat is dense, harsh, and straight, and lies close to the body; the undercoat is woolly and dense.

Coat color is usually black and tan or solid black. White dogs exist, but some breed registries do not admit them; others allow them as long as the skin pigment on the nose, eye rims, and lip folds is black.

The hair on the tail is profuse. The erect, high-set ears give the impression of alertness. The chest is deep, the thighs are muscular, and the rear legs are usually flexed. The tail is carried low when the dog is relaxed.

Grooming & Exercise Needs
The German shepherd sheds year-round and should be brushed daily. A rake and comb are handy during the heavy shedding season.

The German shepherd needs long walks and playtime every day to avoid boredom and prevent behavioral and medical problems.

Origins
The German shepherd originated in the 19th century as a sheepherding dog. Today this breed is better known for its skills in search-and-rescue, police, military, bomb-detection, tracking, and protection work.

These highly trainable animals are also outstanding family dogs. Because of their popularity, however, they have been indiscriminately bred, and many undesirable traits have entered the shepherd gene pool.

It is a great pleasure to own a good shepherd. The key is finding a reliable breeder who actively breeds for temperament and health.

Special Alerts
It is especially important to obtain a German shepherd from a reputable breeder; aggressive behavior can be a problem with poorly bred animals.

Breed-related health concerns include: hip and elbow dysplasia, intractable diarrhea, bloat, panosteitis, pannus (an inflammation of the cornea that may interfere with vision if untreated), von Willebrand's disease (a common disorder that causes excessive bleeding during or after surgery).

 

Reference: AKC - American Kennel Club

 


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