- German Shepherds – The pride of the Security forces worldwide
When you look at the sharply pointed snout and alert and long ears of a German shepherd puppy for the first time, you don’t even realize how powerful this breed is. It will be a mistake on your part if you think this wolf lookalike breed is going to be a meek and homely cute trophy puppy.
Almost every police and security forces worldwide have a German Shepherd on their Wall of Honor, that is how powerful this dog breed is. Known for their powerful hunting capability and fierce alertness, these dogs are a powerful ally for humans in any situation.
Known for their high intelligence level, German Shepherds were originally bred as working dogs. But they have evolved into something more crucial since then and are considered one of the most sorts after breeds today.
The History Behind German Shepherds Being Called Alsatians
World War 1 gave rise to a new breed of heroes, unlike any other. German Shepherd, with their remarkable agility and extremely well-oriented and fiercely loyal behavior patterns, were making the war one step easier to handle for the soldiers.
However, World War I was also the time when Germans waged their first-ever war against some of the powerful nations like America and the United Kingdom. Even though the German Shepherd was also bred in other countries, the name in itself had become a cause of worry for many nations.
The growing Anti-German sentiments towards the end of WWI and the beginning of WWII were becoming a cause of worry for various Kennel associations who feared that the popularity of the German Shepherd would wane out due to its name.
Thus the new name “Alsatian dog” came into existence because coincidentally, the Brits were locked in battle with the Germans along the French-German border of Alsace-Lorraine.
Post the war, around 1925, the American Kennel Association decided to revert the name to its original one. However, the UK Kennel Club agreed to retain the term Alsatian Dog until, in the year 1977, it was reversed back.
As of 2010, the name “Alsatian” has been eliminated. The breed has been renamed back to its original title of “German Shepherd.”
How Is a German Shepherd Different from an Alsatian?
Even though it has been decades since the names have been reversed, many say that an Alsatian is a different breed than a German Shepherd. However, that is not true.
An Alsatian dog vs. German Shepherd comparison is not correct factually. An Alsatian is the same breed as the German Shepherd, with the exception of the name. On genetic and bloodline analysis, it has been confirmed that both dogs are the same.
Personality and Physical Traits of a German Shepherd
When you bring home an Alsatian Puppy, the first noticeable feature is their wolf-like appearance. The fur coat coloring only intensifies the doubt further. However, unlike wolves, dogs have more affinity or inclination towards human beings than wilderness.
The breed is more inclined towards pleasing the master than running in the wild forest hunting alone. Regarded as among the top 5 most intelligent breeds of dogs, they are incredibly courageous, focused, and loyal breeds.
German Shepherd dogs were bred to be working dogs, as mentioned above. So, it is mandatory to train them well concerning obedience and actions. Insufficient or lack of training will only result in a hazardous and disruptive dog.
Besides being loyal and fiercely protective, they have an inborn alpha-like tendency that needs to be nurtured in the right direction. Since they are built to be healthy and muscular, the Alsatian dogs or commonly known as German Shepherds need a heavy bout of regular exercise and training.
Belgium Shepherd, the Cousin of the German Shepherd
Unless you are well learned about dog breeds, the difference between a German Shepherd and a Belgium Shepherd might not be noticeable to you at all. However, even though they both are working dogs originating from the same country, they are two different breeds, though close cousins.
GSD are mid-size dogs weighing between 30 to 45 kg and with medium-length hair while Belgium Shepherd is slightly smaller, weighing between 25 to 35 kilograms at max and with short-length hair.
While Alsatian Dogs are known for their loyal and brave mannerism, Belgium Shepherd are often very childish and hyperactive. This makes it difficult to tame or even train them and needs a very long time to teach commands.
Bone dysplasia is an ailment that is common in GSD, but Belgium SHepherd as a whole does not suffer from any health issues, so their life span is 4 to 5 yrs more than that of a German Shepherd.
Are German Shepherds Ideal as Family Dogs?
Alsatian dogs are very comfortable in human proximity. Given, that they’re ready to please, and their fierce protective instinct towards the people they care about, the German Shepherd makes an extremely compatible and ideal family dog.
Weighing between 80 to 100 pounds the German Shepherd is a mid-size dog that is perfect for a home with kids and the elderly. Though German Shepherds are not much of a lap dogs, they are known for their patience and easy temperaments with kids and elders.
Research has shown that GSD is particularly cautious while playing with kids and are often seen to be on high alert anytime the kids are out of a protective range. Compassion and protective instinct are among the main reason. Alsatian puppies are among the most sort after breeds in the USA and UK.
What to Know Before Getting a German Shepherd?
German Shepherds have a thick double coat. Even though they do not need grooming every day, however brushing at least 2 to 3 times a week is very important to prevent the knotting of furs and cluster formation. This is especially important during the shedding season.
Though Alsatian Dogs do not shed much on a reasonable level, however during autumn and spring, they tend to shed their entire coat in preparation for the coming season. Healthwise German Shepherds are prone to early onset of Arthritis and joint-related ailments besides other issues like Multiple Sclerosis, Perianal Fistula, etc.
Being a highly active and intelligent breed, they require constant learning and training to keep them motivated and focused. Children tend to be more energetic and playful, so they like to be around them more so.
The Perfect All-Rounder – German Shepherd Dog
A well-trained German Shepherd is a precious gift, unlike any other in the world. They will love you to death, be the perfect partner in crime, and protect you fiercely all their lives. Maybe that is the reason German Shepherds are regarded as one of the top 5 all-rounder dogs breeds ever to exist.
If you want to learn some more Pawsome Facts about German Shepherds or the Alsatian dogs.