I remember my parents owning German Shepherds when I was growing up. Based on their history as a guard dog and working dog in the military and police force, many people see them as aggressive and vicious dogs. But that is often not the case.
The fact is, any dog can be trained in aggression. German Shepherd Dogs (GSDs) are favored for their intelligence, biting power, and strength. Aside from this, the German Shepherd breed is quite lovable, playful and fits extremely well into family environments. They are also amazing with children, old or young!
Five facts about the German Shepherd
- German Shepherds are extremely intelligent dogs – Their intelligence is rated among the highest. This makes them very determined to find solutions to problems and makes for quick training, hence why they make great rescue dogs. In fact, Dr. Stanley Coren from the University of British Columbia ranked the German Shepherd at number 3 of the most intelligent dogs in the world.
- They make great protection dogs – This is one of the main reasons they work in the military and police force. German Shepherds are extremely protective of their owners and families they live with. They love and respect their owners immensely, this can make them standoff against outsiders and also aggressive with other dogs, but the right training will correct this!
- The name “German Shepherd” was changed – Yep, that’s right! By 1914 the breed was so popular in the USA, the AKC removed the word “German” and all voted for the name to be “Shepherd Dog.” It remained that way for another 16 years until members of the club voted to have the name changed back to the original “German Shepherd Dog” in the 1930’s.
- They shed, a lot! – The GSD personally reminds me of the Husky breed when it comes to shedding—if you are very particular about the appearance of your house, beware, GSD’s shed a lot. I can remember my parents constantly cleaning up dog hair from every corner of the room almost on a daily basis!
- They have health issues. – Like many purebred dog breeds, GSD’s suffer from many types of medical conditions, the most common is hip dysplasia. This is a result of poor breeding practices, if you are thinking of buying a puppy, please make sure their parents have good hips, you can also ask to see the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals hip papers.
More Facts About GSD’s
- Dog Breed Group: Herding Group
- Height: 1 foot, 10 inches to 2 feet, 2 inches tall at the shoulder
- Weight 75 to 95 pounds
- Life Span 10 to 14 years
About the Author:This article was written by Sophie Eagan for Vom Issam Haus, A German Shepherd Breeder from Ontario, Canada. Dedicated to the continuation and improvement of carefully selected German Bloodlines for work, show, family companionship and protection. They promote the total German Shepherd (GSD), both in structure, health and temperament.