How to identify a German shepherd


  • Height at the cross: minimum 60 cm and maximum 65 cm
  • Weight: about 40 kg
  • Cap: All colors, from light brown to black. White is not allowed, nor white spots, which are not desired and will be penalized
  • Average life: thirteen years
  • Character: worthy and brave, which does not exclude a great need for tenderness
  • Relationship with children: good
  • Relationship with other dogs: regular
  • Aptitudes: guard and defense, surveillance, guide dog, avalanche dog, military dog, herd dog, etc.
  • Space needs: a garden is highly recommended
  • German Shepherd Food: from 500 to 650 g. dry full food diaries
  • Arrangement: frequent brushing only during the molting period
  • Maintenance cost: high

Characteristics of the breed

Those who are thinking of sharing an important part of their life with a German shepherd dogThey will do well to forget about the associations, good or bad, that historically have been attributed to the dog, and it will be better for them to concentrate on the qualities and characteristics that initially attracted Von Stephanitz. He German shepherd Original, and in this ideal case, it was agile, powerful, resilient, reliable, alert and intelligent. Above all, the dog indulged in work and dedication. The association of the dog with the man was neither servile nor fun, nor was it intended that the dog be an object of beauty or refinement. The relationship of German shepherd with man he began on an equal footing, as never before with any other dog breed.

  • Physical characteristics

Puppies have hanging ears, which reach up to three to six months of age. However, some dogs' ears never become erect. Although the bandage can frequently correct this defect, these dogs should be considered unfit for breeding.

Conventional descriptions of the breed emphasize black and tan color with markings on the back, but the German shepherd It comes in a wide variety of colors, such as black and red, black and cream, all black, all white, fawn color (with various shades), 14 black and silver, liver and blue. Breeders are not prone to white, liver or blue varieties. The V. German only admits the colors black and fire, brown or yellow, even the light gray and the wild colors. The American United Kennel Club admits all colors.

The layer is double, with the thicker outer that serves to resist water and weather, and the inner sublayer, dense and soft, which retains heat during the cold seasons. The hair can go from short and thick to long and soft. Dogs with long fur, unpopular in Europe and for some time in the US, have now become selected in monographic exhibitions of the breed in the US.

The German Shepherds They move all year, with intense changes during spring and autumn. However, grooming is not difficult. All that is needed is a light periodic brushing. When bathing is necessary, a hypoallergenic shampoo should be used.

Throughout history, in any occupation in which the German shepherdIf there has been something constant it has been the link developed between dogs and their owners. Since dogs have been traditionally used as work and service animals, this link was absolutely necessary. Dogs had to be very obedient and very reliable to perform assigned tasks. Since an important role of German shepherd It has been that of a watchdog, dogs had to be also very protective of their owners. These characteristics translate into a pet dog that is very intelligent, highly trained and extremely faithful. He German shepherd Pet watches the whole family and seems to be able to perceive if someone has problems or needs help. Similarly, the German shepherd It is a wonderful protector of children and their owner's property.

Because of these protective instincts, the German shepherd He is naturally cautious of strangers. This does not mean that it is not a friendly dog, but that it chooses with whom it should be a friend based on the attitude of its owner. "Any friend of yours is my friend!" German shepherd to his owner, but he fiercely trusts his master's judgment. The dog will get excited about the people he gets acquainted with, look at its owner for clues as to who is on receipt and who is not. Correct socialization and introduction to people from an early age are necessary to help the German shepherd To accept them better.

He German shepherd He is noble and proud - he has many qualities and he knows it! Wonderful combination of vigor, athletic strength, intelligence, grace and beauty, embodies the virtues of "man's best friend."

  • Owner Adequacy

Because the German shepherd dog He is so faithful to his owner, it is quite natural that he prosper better with an owner who can show him the same devotion. He German shepherd He is pleased in his master's attention. It is not necessarily true that the only type of person suitable to have a German shepherd be the one that is at home all day, but the owner who works all day away from home should reserve time to be with the dog when he returns home.

With the German shepherd the exercise must also be taken into account. Remember that these dogs have been bred to work and be active. The original approach of the breeders was the functionality. Since the pet dog is not used for its initial purpose, it must be active in other ways. A German shepherd Who lives at home with their owner can not exercise alone, that is something in which both should participate. It is not fair for the dog, who has waited patiently for the return of his work owner, that when he arrives home, he will simply settle comfortably on the sofa for the rest of the day. Exercise is essential for the well-being of the German shepherd, Both physically and mentally. It provides this athletic race with the necessary activity, and also helps you feel that you have a goal.

A house with a garden surrounded by a secure fence can be ideal for the owner of a German shepherd, since the dog will have some freedom to run and play alone. The dog must be under the supervision of the owner when it is not tied with the leash, but at least it will not depend entirely on its owner for the exercise. This should not replace the time spent with its owner, but at least it will provide some physical benefits to the dog. An owner who has a German shepherd In a house without a garden or in an apartment you must commit to devoting time to walking, running and playing with the dog.

He German shepherd It will adapt to almost any family structure ... adults, children, single people, etc. It is only necessary 18 to consider the characteristics of the breed.

Versatility and agility

Although perhaps his German shepherd dog Never ask anything but to provide company and love to you and your family, you can take pride in considering the many functions that the race can play.

The instinct to serve, which is innate in the animal, is the foundation of its functional versatility, along with its physical and mental traits of strength, size, endurance and intelligence. It is fair to say that the majority of service dogs in the world are German Shepherds. The potential of a specific service lies in each German shepherd, but professional training is required to show it in almost every case.

As indicated above, it is an excellent sheepdog. This was its original function and remains a central factor in its modern versatility. The resistance of the breed, its rugged cape impervious to atmospheric phenomena, its speed, its understanding and its deeply rooted instinct for the protection of children or the weak makes it an ideal choice as a pastor.

However, it is only in Germany where farmers and livestock owners choose him as a sheepdog first. In the United States and Britain, other native races, more traditional and therefore more attractive to some, such as the Australian Shepherd and the Border Collie predominate.

The German Shepherds They have been especially impressive as scout dogs, often able to detect the presence of an enemy 250 meters away. These dogs have saved countless human lives, but many of them have been slaughtered in services such as mine detection.

From these military uses the important role of the breed as police dogs was developed. In the persecution and detention of criminals, the dog has been more useful and quite more effective, certainly more human, than firearms. The cold nerves and the intelligence of the dog make it an excellent choice for crowd control. His olfactory ability makes him extremely valuable in search and rescue tasks, as well as in the detection of bombs and drugs.

The capabilities and abilities of these two functions are combined in the Schutzhund, a training and competition program that emphasizes the elements of protection. Schutzhund means "protection dog" in German. Schutzhund tests exist since the beginning of the century. They include temperament tests along with exercises, tracking and protection. Dogs are rated according to their performance in these areas and must exhibit complete obedience (despite distractions), confidence, courage, olfactory ability, determination and concentration in tracking.

The preceding roles have reinforced obedience based on the natural tendencies of the breed. He German shepherd It is not a particularly aggressive dog. However, he is very protective of his family and property. This is the basis of the alert and protective instinct that has made it a principal element for use in institutions and an effective guardian for the home and family.

Health considerations and hereditary diseases

Given the care that love and respect for animals demand, the German shepherd It is a hard and healthy race. It has been insisted here that the German shepherd It was, from its initial history, raised and selected as a working animal and, therefore, a frequent activity and, above all, motivated by an objective is essential for your health. Without regular exercise and activity, the breed is primarily susceptible to rheumatism, whose symptoms are similar to humans: swelling and stiffness of the affected joints and pain in movement. Because some of the symptoms of this disease are shared by the much more severe hip dysplasia, immediate professional attention is necessary when it first manifests.

Skin problems are also frequent in the breed. Slow and steady scratching, as opposed to the brief burst of scratches due to fleas, is a sign of dermal problems. If observed early, most of these problems can be quickly reduced with veterinary care and diet.

Other diseases that may occur in the German Shepherds They are not exclusive to the breed, but are shared with others of various types. For example, because the German shepherd It is a large breed, it is affected by dissecting osteochondritis, panosteitis, hypertrophic osteodystrophy and myasthenia gravis, all of them bone diseases.

Due to its shepherd nature, it is prone to eye diseases typical of this type of dogs, such as Collie eyes, pannus, cataracts and retinal dysplasia.

Epilepsy is another disease that affects shepherd dogs. Blood diseases, such as von Willebrand disease and hemophilia A, and heart problems, such as persistent ductus arteriosus and persistent right aortic arch, are problems that affect most dogs, and German shepherd It is not excluded.

No exam concerning the health of German shepherd It can end, however, without making clear reference to hip dysplasia. It is said that German Shepherds They have the highest percentage of hip dysplasia of any breed, but many specialists are currently inclined to give the first position to the different breeds of moly dogs. The argument that the most popular and excessively bred dog breed should also present more cases of this inherited disease, does not help anything to improve that data.

Dysplastic dogs have improperly developed hip joints, and are prone to arthritis and severe pain. These dogs are unable to work or even move without great difficulty. Breeders and veterinary surgeons continue to study this disease and protect against it, but it is the responsibility of every potential owner of German shepherd Find out if your animal's parents and grandparents had hips rated as good or better.

It is possible that part of the breed's predisposition to this disease was caused by the initial exaggeration of the breeders of the powerful downward curve of the animal's posture. If that is true, it is sad that the irreducible, basically invariable character of this noble race must be linked to this deficiency, inadvertently encouraged by its first and most affectionate smiths.

Recently there have also been cases of elbow dysplasia, and the criteria for identifying it have been established. The best prevention of the genetic physical problems of the breed is achieved with careful planning and with the utmost care in the selection and selection of the breeder and the animal.

Although the list of congenital diseases to which they are prone German Shepherds Scare a little, the truth is that most representatives of the breed are healthy. Many German Shepherds They can live perfectly for more than ten years, and some are known to have significantly exceeded that age. Since it is by nature an active working dog, good health is an absolute necessity for all members of the breed. When you go to select your puppy from German shepherd, do not buy for convenience and do not intend to save. A German shepherd Well bred, with quality genealogy (lines that have been verified free of hereditary problems for generations) is the optimal choice. Even though a German shepherd With only mild dysplasia he can still lead a normal life, nobody wants to see his best friend engaged anyway. The author strongly recommends that owners thoroughly investigate their puppies before purchase, so that they do not destroy their hearts for having adopted a beautiful dog with serious health problems.

If you want to know more about the German shepherd We recommend the publication of the publishing house Hispano Europea German Shepherd Excellence Series:

Examine the fur

German shepherds can have three different varieties of fur: double layer, plush and long hair. The standard of the breed is the double layer, which consists of dense, straight and short hair that is close to the body. Long-haired fur is also quite common among German shepherds, many of these specimens are family pets.

German shepherds constantly shed hair throughout the year and require regular brushing.

Recognize variations in the coloring of the German shepherd.

On rare occasions, German shepherds may have white, blue or reddish brown coats. These colors are not recognized by the breed standard, but they do occur periodically. In fact, the white German shepherd is actually considered a separate breed in some areas and is called the Swiss white shepherd or Swiss shepherd.

It is a strong build dog.

The German Shepherd is classified as a working dog and has a strong and proportionate complexion. Usually, the German shepherd is 50 to 56 cm tall and weighs between 35 and 40 kg. The front legs and shoulders are muscular and the body slightly elongated.

German shepherd puppies normally weigh between 3 and 4 kg after the first month and will continue to grow steadily during their first year. At six months they will weigh approximately between 22 and 26 kg.

Note the dog's loyalty

German shepherds can be quite distant and reserved when meeting new people. However, once the dog has established a connection with its owner, they are extremely loyal. German pastors are usually friendly and loyal to their family, but they can be very protective if they feel threatened or believe their family is.

Evaluate the energy level of the dog.

German shepherds are high-energy dogs and need a lot of daily exercise. If a German shepherd is left alone for long periods of time, he is likely to get bored and destroy what is around him. For example, the dog can start barking, chewing things or digging. Make sure your German shepherd receives at least 1 hour of exercise every day

A German shepherd is a trainable dog.

The German Shepherd is highly intelligent and trainable. They like to have a job or a task to do, and you can train a German shepherd to do a variety of different jobs. For example, German Shepherds are often used as "working" dogs, help with search and rescue, drug sniffing and safety, in addition to providing help and assistance to the visually impaired.

Take your German Shepherd to obedience classes to train the dog to follow orders and complete a variety of tasks. This is fun and stimulating for the dog.
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