The German Shepherd Dog can stand up to 26 high at the shoulder, and when viewed in outline, presents a picture of smooth, graceful curves rather than angles. The natural gait is a free and easy trot, but they can bend it an or two and reach great speeds.
There are many reasons why German Shepherds rank in front of canine royalty, but experts say their defining feature is character: loyalty, courage, confidence, the ability to learn commandments for many tasks, and spend their lives on the line. Willingness to keep. In defense of loved ones. German Shepherds would be gentle family pets and stable patrons, but, the breed standard says, there is a “”certain trait that does not lend itself to instant and indiscriminate friendship.””
The German Shepherd Dog (Duhe Schefferhund) comes from a family of German herring dogs, which varied from district to district, until the late 19th century.
In the years of the 1800s, a German cavalry officer, Captain Max von Steffenitz, made it his mission to develop the ideal German shepherd. Von Steffenitz and like-minded breeders crossed various strains from the northern and central districts of Germany, resulting in the ancestors of today’s German Shepherd Dog (GSD).
Von Steffenitz co-founded the world’s first club dedicated to GSD and spent 35 years promoting and refining the breed. Today, the versatility of GSD is so well positioned in the performance of myriad tasks that it is easy to forget that the breed was originally created for herd sheep. GSD’s now famous qualities — intelligence, agility, speed, stealth, and overall air of firm authority — were forged not in the police academy but in sheep pasture.
GSD became popular in the United States in the early 1900s thanks to the adventures of canine film stars Rin-Tin-Tin and Strongheart. GSD is one of those German breeds, Dachshund is another who suffered from anti-German sentiment during and after the World Wars. In World War I Britain, the breed was referred to as Alsatian, a name that many British dog lovers still prefer.
With the rise of modern livestock management and the decline of herring as a dog possession, von Steffenitz reliably promoted his breed as an ideal K-9 worker. GSD is the preferred dog for police and military units worldwide today.
The first impression of a good German Shepherd Dog is a strong, agile, well-fleshed animal, alert and full of life. It is well balanced, with harmonious development of the façade and hindquarter. The dog is taller than the long, dark body, and presents the outline of smooth curves rather than angles. It does not look adequate and spindly, without giving any appearance of a clumsy or gentle life, giving an impression on both muscle fitness and poise. The ideal dog is seen with a look of quality and nobility – which is difficult to define, but currently infallible. Secondary sex characteristics are strongly marked, and every animal gives a certain impression of masculinity or femininity according to its gender.
The gestation period in lasts for 60-64 days The primary period of the reproductive cycle of the female is called Proestrus and goes on for around 9 days. During this time the females begin to draw in males. The subsequent part is the Estrus when the bitch is receptive to the male. It goes on for around 3 to 11 days. The third part is the Diestrus. Usually, it happens around day 14. In this period the bitch’s discharge changes for distinctive red and reaching its end. The vulva gets back to average, and she will no longer allow mating. The fourth part called the Anestrus. The time span between heat periods ordinarily keeps going around a half year. The litter size ranges between 6 to 8 puppies at a time
The German Shepherd Dog has a medium-length, double coat with a thick, stiff, and outer covering with a soft undercoat. The breed is easy to maintain, usually requiring just a quick brushing every few days and to help remove loose hair, but they shed more deeply once or twice a year. During these periods, brushing more frequently will help control the amount of hair that ends up around the house and on furniture. The German Shepherd requires only an occasional bath. It is important to trim or grind her nails every month if they do not deteriorate naturally, as prolonged nails can cause pain and structural issues.
Early socialization and puppy training classes are important, and continued obedience training will help ensure that the puppy becomes an adaptable and well-run adult. The German Shepherd is a highly intelligent fellow and an exceptional worker. Consistency and positive, reward-based training will produce excellent results. He is extremely bonded with his people, so he is happiest when he lives with his family. He should be reared in the home and exposed to family activities. The German Shepherd Dog Club offers detailed training advice for owners on the Club of America website.
As a very active and athletic breed, the German Shepherd requires a lot of exercise for its physical and mental well-being. A dog who does not exercise enough will become depressed and is likely to develop undesirable behavior. With a puppy, you can start small daily walks as well as play sessions in a safely dense area. Remember not to drive the dog away from the leash, as even the best trained dog can get distracted and not obey every command. Participating in canine activities such as agility, cowboy, trekking and dock diving provides excellent physical and mental exercise and is fun and beneficial for both the dog and the owner.
High-quality dog food suitable for the age of the dog (puppy, adult, or senior) will contain all the nutrients that the breed needs. Table scraps can disturb digestion, so only give them sparingly, if at all, especially from cooked bones and foods that avoid excess fat. Small pieces of biscuits or dog kubbles can be used for training. Vitamin and mineral supplements should not be necessary if you are feeding high quality food, although it may be beneficial to include small amounts of yogurt, cooked vegetables or eggs in the diet. Know which human foods are safe for dogs, and which are not. If you have any concerns about your dog’s weight or diet, check with your vet.
Most German Shepherds are healthy dogs. A responsible breeder will screen the breeding stock for degenerative myelopathy and health conditions such as elbow and hip dysplasia. German Shepherds can experience dog bloat, sudden and fatal bloating in the abdomen, and owners should educate themselves about its symptoms and what to do when there is bloat.
Recommended health tests from the National Breed Club: