The German Shepherd, known officially as Alsatian, is originally from Germany and has been bred to guard and herd sheep. This dog makes a great companion and can be used as a police dog, guide dog, or service dog. They are known for being very intelligent, with a friendly nature, and loyal to their family. This breed is a large breed, standing up to 27 inches tall and weighing around 85 pounds.
Their coats are short, smooth, and sleek, with a dense undercoat. Their eyes are dark and alert, with brown or hazel colors. Their short hair sheds less than other types of dogs. They are known for having excellent noses, with an ability to smell at a distance of up to 40 yards. They can be easily tamed, with the help of an experienced and trained handler.
History: Originally, the German Shepherd was developed for sheep herding. When the Germans invaded France in the first world war, a few dogs were taken with them, and these became the founding stock for the German Shepherd, known in Germany today as Alsatians. These dogs were quickly tamed and became some of the best hunters on the battlefield. In America, they were quickly bred with the local breeds of dogs, with the goal of getting a breed that would be an even better hunter. This is the German Shepherd that is used in the police department today.
Temperament: The German Shepherd is known for being a tender dog, and does not have a mean disposition. They are loyal to their family and are eager to please. They can be playful and like to have fun. They are a good breed to have around children and very protective of them. With training, they can become gentle, and responsive. The German Shepherd is very protective of their children. Because they are protective, they tend to get aggressive, if they are not trained. This is not a dog that should be owned by anyone with a nervous disposition. They tend to get nervous easily, and are prone to barking if they are not worked regularly.
Health issues: The German Shepherd can have hip dysplasia, epilepsy, and liver disease. Hip dysplasia is hereditary and occurs when the bones do not develop normally. This can cause limping, and pain, as the dog moves. This is not a breed that you want to own if you are worried about its size. The German Shepherd can be put into pain, through stress, or too rough handling. The seizures are not common and are sometimes associated with the medication the dog is taking. The liver disease is related to the medication, but is also caused by a viral infection, or poisoning.
The German Shepherd has its own health problems, but these are not as common as some breeds. The breed is also a good choice if you want a dog that likes to play. They have a great sense of humor and are eager to please.