The German Shepherd or the Alsatian, as some call it, is one of the most handsome dogs around. Their agility and good looks made them the first canine stars. This may come as a surprise to some but in the 1920s Warner Bros was on the verge of financial ruin and it was the majestic German Shepherd Rin Tin Tin that saved them.
He received more than 10,000 fan mails in a week. Needless to say the show was a whopping success. GSDs are one of the most intelligent dogs and it is a common sight to see them being used a lot in the armed and police forces. There are more than 8000 Shepherds employed in the US police force.History
Their intelligence and training ability made them an integral part of both World Wars. It was Max von Stephanitz, an ex-cavalry officer, who created this majestic dog in 1889 in Germany.
The idea was to create a versatile working dog which was intelligent and strong enough to protect its herds. Their strong, protective instincts made them a superstar with security and armed forces; and ever since then there has been no looking back. Their loyalty and amazing intelligence have made them the perfect service dog. Impressed by their loyalty and bravery, this breed was taken to USA in 1906.
There are a lot of people who believe that this breed was bred from the wolf but it is not true. The Dutch breeders tried interbreeding wolfs in the 1920s but the dog could not be domesticated.Unique Aspects
The majestic breed is a softie at heart. These deputy sergeants are ready to take a bullet for their partners or family. They are one of the most loyal pets around and are highly protective of their family members.
GSDs are very athletic dogs and their intelligence makes them unique. You can train them to do anything and their ability to stop at command makes them one of the easiest breeds to train. Their wolf like muzzle helps to track offenders in the police force or sniff out drugs or any contraband products. Even as a pet you can train them to be the perfect guard dog.
You will be surprised to know that their fatal scissor grip is only second to the Rottweiler. So, if there's a trespasser this handsome breed will bite and exert a pressure of over 238 pounds per square inch, which if not fatal can leave the intruder gravely injured.
German Shepherds are one of the first canine movie stars in Hollywood. The breed gained fame with Rin Tin Tin. Their training ability has made them superstars ever since then. Here is a brief mention of some of the famous movie stars and celebrity pets you share your pet with.
After its debut in the silent movie, Rin Tin Tin has been a regular feature in various Hollywood movies. A few of them are Reservoir Dogs, I Am Legend, The Happening and Bruno just to name a few. There are numerous movies starring this handsome dog.
Celebrity German Shepherd owners
This intelligent breed has caught the fancy of many Hollywood and Bollywood celebrities alike. The list includes some former White House members such as Franklin D. Roosevelt and Jacqueline Kennedy. Also, they were favorites with Adolf Hitler. Currently, Ben Affleck, Roy Rogers and Rudolph Valentino have them at pets. Closer home, Tara Sharma owns this majestic breed.
Your German Shepherd has a double layer coat i.e an undercoat and a topcoat. This breed sheds heavily for those who have them at home would know that hair can be seen everywhere. They are heavy shedders. The easiest way to avoid this is to brush them everyday this will restrict the hair flying all over your place.
The best accessory for your pet will be a short tooth grooming rake that helps to remove the dead undercoat of your Shepherd while maintaining a smooth and lustrous topcoat at all times. If not brushed regularly then your pet can develop mats and clumps of dirty hair, which will not only make the coat look dull but can be a breeding ground for infections. In addition to this follow the regular grooming regime of checking the dog for presence of any ticks and fleas. This is integral for working dogs such as police forces.
German Shepherds in general are very healthy breeds but with age this majestic breed can wear down. One of the most common diseases are hip dysplasia, a common problem with all large breed working dogs. This is an abnormal growth in the hip bone and can be treated with surgery.
If you are planning to buy a puppy then ensure that you get a good breeder as indiscriminate breeding can give rise to various hereditary issues in your puppy. The most common issues are blood disorders, epilepsy or seizures and chronic eczema. These problems are mostly not there if you get a good lineage puppy. These diseases if diagnosed in time can be easily be treated by a good vet.
Your pet might be free from all these diseases throughout his or her life but these are few of the most common diseases that can occur in your pet. Your German Shepherd can at times develop multiple sclerosis. This mostly paralysis the hind legs and generally strikes in the middle age. One of the most common diseases is of the eyes such as ocular diseases and progressive retinal atrophy, which if not treated on time can lead to loss of vision.
We have mentioned it many times that German Shepherd is a versatile dog and why should we not. They are not only intelligent but can be easily adapt to different lifestyles. A very athletic dog this does best with a yard but they can adapt to apartment living as well. The only thing you have to keep in mind is that they have to be exercised regularly.
The German Shepherd needs regular and heavy exercise. This is a working dog so the exercise requirement is high. They love to play and it is one of best breeds for interactive games and exercises whether in the park or within your apartment. They can adapt to all kind of weather but severe heat can be a dampening. Though it can survive cold temperature and snow with ease because of its double layered coat.Training & Intelligence
The German Shepherd are one of the most intelligent dogs around. Their intelligence has made them one of the most admirable companions for police and working dogs. They can be disciplined the way you want them to and the best thing about the breed is that it can be trained for recall that is to come back at a command. Their intelligence makes training them a breeze. Though it is best to train them as a puppy but it is never too late to start training your German Shepherd.
If you are bringing a German Shepherd puppy home then it is advisable to socialize them with the other pets early. They are excellent guard dogs for the family as they are fiercely loyal and protective about their own family. Their sharpness has made them excellent rescue, guard and search dogs. It is essential to crate train your German Shepherd puppy as there are times when you will feel that your puppy is chewing through everything. Bring home some bones and toys especially for this purpose and save your precious furniture.Temperament
German Shepherds are fantastic working dogs and can be adorable pets. They are courageous and alert when it comes to guarding their masters and family members. This breed in general has amazing intelligence, which makes them perfect for all security personnel work.
If you want a happy go lucky dog then this may not be the right breed for you. German Shepherds are wary of strangers. So it might, at times, see a guest in your house as a threat to the family members. They are average barkers so it would not be that difficult to keep them in an apartment, provided they get a lot of exercise. The best thing to ensure an even-temperament German Shepherd is to socialize him or her early with other pets. They are good with children and are loyal companions. Their athletic build and physical agility make them the perfect partners for a jog or a run.
German Shepherds are generally a healthy breed and even their breeding does not have many complications attached. The only thing you have to think about is giving the adorable puppies up for sale or adoption. An average male and female German Shepherd attains sexual maturity anywhere between six to nine months of age. Though your pet is still very young to breed.
A dog takes around 18 months to reach his or her full height and structure. It is advisable to breed your dogs after at least two years of age. If you are a first timer at breeding then taking a vets help is advisable. You just sit back and enjoy the company of five to ten adorable little puppies. An average litter size of the breed. You can get more than one color in the same litter; the most common though is a combination of black and tan. You can also get an all black German Shepherd and in recent times there is a white also available though it is generally believed that it is the result of gene mutation.Puppies
A German Shepherd puppy looks completely different from its adult counterparts. The one thing that needs to be kept in mind is that when choosing a puppy look for a good breeder so that you have the least chances of having any hereditary issues. The coat will change color as he or she grows up and the ears will not be erect as in the adult dogs.
Your German Shepherd puppy will have floppy ears just like the wolf. The baby hair will shed so you have to brace for hair everyone in the house and this will not end soon. An average German Shepherd will shed all though his life. Just keep one thing in mind that German Shepherd puppies are active and fun loving, they would need a lot of space to run around so ensure that there is free space for all of them. If you do not have a yard then keep the apartment clutter free. You can even take him to a park if you want.
The first thing you will notice about this working dog is its uncanny resemblance to the wolf. The muzzle not only looks like a wolf but helps him or her to make the best sniffer dogs around. This adaptable breed is one of the most loyal companions. We help you to know the basic anatomy better.
German Shepherd has a broad skull and a wedge shaped muzzle that are of an equal length. This is integral when it comes to being a guide or police dog. They have medium sized almond shaped eyes that are usually dark brown in color. Their eyes reflect their intelligence. It has medium shaped ears that are broad based, which are erect and set straight. The length of the body is greater than height. It has deep chest with well spring ribs with a straight back. German Shepherds of sloping hindquarters with broad and strong lions.
In addition to this the outer coat has hard, coarse and flat hair accompanied with a thick undercoat, which sheds heavily. The hair is longer on the back of the forelegs and hind legs. The tail is medium length and busy. It is set low and hangs down with a saber like curve, when your dog is resting and is slightly raised when he or she is moving. German Shepherd has a compact and rounded well arched toes. The pads are well developed and the nails short and dark. They have straight forelegs and broad and powerful thighs on the hind legs. A German shepherd is your faithful companion for seven to ten years.