The German Shepherd
'Deutscher Schaferhund'

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German Shepherd,
(Deutscher Schaferhund)
Weight: 75 — 95 lbs
Height: 22” — 26”
AKC Rank 2008 #3
Lifespan: 12—14 yrs
Group: Herding
Origin: Germany

Dog Breed Info - The German Shephard

This Shepherd is a beautiful dog!
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Breed Overview

This was originally a sheep herding dog. The German Shepherd breed was registered by the AKC in 1912 This is a majestic canine, loyal to his human masters, powerful and versatile. The dog has long been a top pick for a family member, a protector, a police dog and works as companion and therapy dogs in nursing homes and hospitals. These dogs are used as guide dogs for the blind and by police as bomb and drug sniffing dogs. Colors include Tan, black, grey, golden, black/tan/gold.


Highly trainable. Very intelligent breed. The #1 police and rescue dog in the world. The best way to train this dog is the clicker training method and using positive reinforcement. Get a clicker at the pet store and use it! Dogs love the technique.

Crate Training

Want to crate train your German Shepherd puppy? It's easy and if you're interested, take a look and you'll see what to do. Crate training your puppy will save many headaches and problems.

Potty Training

German Shepherd puppies are usually easy to house train, potty train, toilet train, housebreak or whatever you want to call it. If you have a puppy, decide if you want to crate or paper potty train it. For the best results, we have a page at Crate vs Paper Potty Trainingwhich will help you decide and from there you can get all the information you need to get the job done. Always praise the pup profusely when she goes potty in the RIGHT PLACE so she knows she has done a good thing. Either method will work for this breed.

If you have an older dog, take the dog outside every two hours until she gets the idea which door leads to her potty area. Older dogs catch on to the potty or housebreaking pretty fast once they are shown what to do.

NOTE—the German Shepherd needs to be well handled and socialized as a puppy so check for this before adopting or buying. This dog can be difficult to manage and handle if not properly raised as very young puppies. NOT for a first time dog owner.

Kane, a German Shepherd, relaxing in a public park in France.
Sent in by his owner, Ivan. Thanks, Ivan!

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This German Shepherd is
about to catch a ball.

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"How To Train Your German Shepherd" is a 96 page hardcover book that discusses getting a Shepherd, caring for it and teaching it thing it needs to know. A GS is complex, very intelligent and one small book can't cover it all, but it is a worthwhile book just the same.

How to Train Your German Shepherd (Tr-102)


The German Shepherd's have a calm, no nonsense temperament. They are extremely loyal and do well with people they know. They tolerate quite a lot. They're usually good with kids. This breed needs to be heavily socialized at a very young age and continued through life. The dog is best handled with a firm but kind hand by an alpha pack leader who is confident and dominant. Not harsh and rough, just confident. Never let the Shepherd think he has the leadership role or there will be problems.

If you happen to get a Shepherd puppy with a separation anxiety problem, that can be dealt with by investing a few hours of work on your part and some "tough love."

Friendly Toward Other Dogs

No. Domineering and can be aggressive toward strange dogs.

Friendly Toward Other Pets

Yes, gets along with household pets, protective.

Friendly Toward Strangers

Always suspicious around strangers until they get to know them.

A German Shepherd and a Jack Russell
Terrier stop for some idle neighborhood gossip.

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Not playful. Enjoys long walks and “hanging out” in the park. “Rolling over” and “begging” is not their thing.


Not a lap dog. German Shepherd's get 3 bars out of 6 for affection. They are loyal and devoted and will stay at your side, but “tummy rubs” may not be what they want.

Good with children?

Yes, the German Shepherd tolerates (and protects) children very well. However, due to their size and weight, the dog can easily injure a very small child. Close supervision is required. By close supervision, I mean standing OVER the child, not sitting 15 feet away.

Good with seniors over 65?

Yes. Absolutely. However, will the senior be able to provide exercise and “poop-scoop” for this big dog in the years to come? Something to seriously consider.

Living environment

German Shepherd's should have a big back yards to roam in. BUT, they can live in an apartment if obedience trained. There is a very tiny house near here with a Sheppard who gets to go out on long walks every day. His house is less in size than an average apartment!.

A Shepherd Dog would appreciate a medium size to large, fenced yard if possible, but not required as long as he can get his/her exercise taken care of.
Energy level

Moderate. Not excessive like a Labrador Retriever.

Exercise needs, daily

Two or three good walks around the block will do it. Maybe some play in the yard too.


Yes! Excels at this!

Guard dog

Yes! Excellent! Will protect the house, family and children to the end!

Special training should be considered for guard dog duty.


Yes, sheds a lot, most of the year.


Yes, use a firm bristle brush and brush the German Shepherd 2 oe 3 times a week, daily when shedding to remove dead hair. Give infrequent baths so as not to eliminate natural body oil.


Suggested Reading For The German Shepherd
Click on the cover photo for more book information and reviews.


German Shepherd Breeders

In the event you decide to go looking for German Shepherd puppies, be SURE to find reputable breeders that really know what they are doing. Be sure the puppy has been VERY well socialized and started in obedience training. German Shepherd puppies don't often show up in pounds and other kennels so look there too, as they sometimes have puppies rescued from breeders. German Shepherd Breeders with puppies for sale.

German Shepherd Rescue

In the event you are seriously considering the adoption of a German Shepherd and are looking for a rescue group or groups in your state, here are several links that might help:
Petfinder - Dog Rescue - (Nationwide) Of you do adopt a dog, try to locate past dog health records as they could be useful in the future.
Adopt A Pet This is an interesting site that may give you some ideas.

Dog Health Issues For German Shepherd Dogs
Below are the dog illness / illnesses or medical problems listed for the German Shepherd by various vets.

This is basically a healthy breed. Don’t let the list below scare you! Your own dog will probably never have ANY of these problems. These are dog illness and medical issues this breed is prone to that have been listed by various veterinarians at different times over the past decade or so and some pertain to puppies and very young dogs that a breeder would deal with.

The information contained herein has been gathered from numerous books by veterinarians and is intended as general information only. Every dog and situation is different. You must see your vet. Our information is for general interest only and not intended to replace the advice provided by your own veterinarian.

Other problems could occur with your German Shepherd. If you notice any problems with your dog, take it to the vet immediately. This website is for general information only and is not intended to, in any way, be a medical guide.


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