Staying true to their name, German Shepherds originated in Germany. These dogs were developed in the late 1800s by crossing various herding breeds in hopes of creating the perfect canine with excellent work ethic, courage, and physical aptitude. They were first introduced to the United States when soldiers returned home from World War I. By World War II, German Shepherd Dogs were the breed of choice in the military. German Shepherds rose to fame on the big screen when Strongheart, the retired police dog, starred in the movie Strongheart the Dog in 1929. This is when Americans started to love GSDs (German Shepherd Dogs). Besides the movies they starred in, GSDs also became the first guide dogs and are still one of the most popular dogs today.
Intelligence runs deep in German Shepherds making them very easy to train. Male and females typically weigh from 75-95 pounds and live 10-12 years on average. Most German Shepherds don’t shed a lot due to their double coat of medium length, though they do shed heavily twice yearly. To help with shedding, it is important to brush your dog a few times a week but overall these dogs have a moderate need for grooming. German Shepherds tend to be well-proportioned, and have a broad head and sharp muzzle. They have a thick and rough coat, muscular back and bushy tail. They can range in color from black, tan, black and tan, or gray.
German Shepherds tend to have an average energy level but they do require ample exercise daily. It is recommended that they get 40 minutes or more of exercise per day. Luckily, these dogs have a low tendency to drool, snore, bark, and dig.
Social and obedience training is a must for young German Shepherds. Without this training, these dogs may develop bad behaviors such as over-guarding or aggression and may become leery with strangers. German Shepherds are great with children and other animals, especially when raised with them. It is important to never confine a German Shepherd to a kennel or backyard, especially when they are young. These dogs require extensive exercise daily, they aim to please and need to stay busy unless they get high-strung.
All in all, German Shepherds are great dogs. With ample brushing, >40 minutes of daily exercise, and training from a young age, these dogs make great family dogs. Be sure to give your German Shepherd lots of love and remember that they were bred to be active! Keep this in mind when deciding if this dog is the right breed for you.