German Shepherd Dog
Photo: Alice Van Kempen
One of the most versatile and talented breeds in the world today, the German Shepherd Dog has been valued in police work, tracking, guiding the blind, drug and bomb detection, search and rescue, herding, avalanche rescue and so much more. In the 1890s, Captain Max von Stephanitz, a German cavalry officer, envisioned a superb and versatile herding dog and began a breeding program made up of the best German farm dogs available. He succeeded beyond all expectations. The German Shepherd Dog first came to North America in the early 1900s and got a huge boost in popularity here after World War I when Rin Tin Tin’s movie exploits captured the attention of the public.
The well-bred German Shepherd Dog is stable, sensible, intelligent, quick to learn, loyal and protective of his home and property. Unfortunately, because of the breed’s popularity, the German Shepherd Dog has been exploited by some unscrupulous and irresponsible breeders. It’s a good idea to be extremely selective when choosing a puppy.
A breed of exceptional stamina, the German Shepherd Dog was initially bred to trot all day long. Though relatively calm and quiet indoors, this breed needs lots of outdoor exercise to maintain condition.
The ideal height for adult males is 25 in (64 cm) at the shoulder and weight ranges from 75-80 lb (34-36 kg). Females will be somewhat smaller.
The breed’s outer coat is dense, straight, short and close. There is a soft undercoat.
German Shepherd Dogs may be black-and-tan, varying shades of sable or all black.
Regular, thorough brushing is necessary.