One of the oldest of dog breeds the German Shepherd or Alsatian was created by crossing a “shepherd” dog and a wolf. As smart as it is brave this breed is perfectly suited to training and is used extensively for police work, as a rescue dog, in the military and as a guide dog for the sight impaired. Divided into three categories or varieties, there is the: stiff haired, which is the most common, the long stiff haired, quite uncommon, and the long haired, which although very loved is weaker and has more health problems than the previous two varieties. What makes this the most famous and common of all dog breeds is its intelligence, faithfulness, loyalty to its master and readiness and remarkable ability with which it trains. In order to behave well the German Shepherd needs to recognize one person as its master and be handled with firmness and fairness. Be careful of the fact that this breed has a tendency to be overly protective of the family that it lives with, what it considers its “flock.”
Exercise: This lively energetic dog has an instinctive need to work, walk, run and feel useful. If it doesn’t get the physical and mental stimulation that it needs this breed will quickly become weak and unruly. It does better living outside in the yard than inside on the living room floor.
Specialized care: Its coat needs regular brushing and grooming especially when it is shedding. Close attention must be paid to its tail and neck regions.
- Males: 63 centimeters
- Females: 57 centimeters
Appropriate for: This dog is ideal for those looking for a true “family friend.”
Perfect as a guard dog, attack dog, work dog this breed does best when it feels useful. Loving towards children or other animals that live within its home this stable intelligent animal rarely loses control when it plays with those it considers its “flock.”