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German Shepherd

German Shepherd

German Shepherd (Alsatian) Characteristics: The faithful, super intelligent and dutiful German Shepherd is a breed of large dog classified as a member of the Herding Dog Group (AKC:1908).

The German Shepherd, is characterized by its striking, powerful appearance with a broad, slightly domed head and a sound and steady gait.

Other characteristics include a  straight, strongly developed back, almond shaped, dark eyes and high set, erect ears that taper to a point. The temperament of the German Shepherd can be described as Confident, Curious, Loyal. The coat type of the German Shepherd is described as hard, weather-resistant coat in assorted colors. 

Due to its characteristics and qualities, the German Shepherd demonstrated the desired traits of a Herder, Watch dog, Fighter and Farm Dog and is known by its nick name the "Wolf Dog". The origin of the German Shepherd dog breed was in Germany where it was developed in the late 1800's. The German Shepherd is ranked number 3 in the Smartest dogs list. The most famous German Shepherd dog was Rin Tin Tin.

German Shepherd Breed Group and Dog Type - Herding Dog Group (AKC:1908): The German Shepherd is one of the many breeds of dogs that belong to the Herding Dog Group (AKC:1908).

Other names for the German Shepherd: The German Shepherd is known by the nickname of the "Wolf Dog". Other names for this breed of dog include the Alsatian, Alsatian Wolf Dog, Berger Allemand, Deutscher Schaferhund, Schaferhund, German Shepherd Dog and GSD. The German word "Schaferhund" means 'sheepdog'. N.B. The German word 'Berger' is an occupational name for a shepherd.

Origin of the name: The origin of the name "German Shepherd" derives from its country of origin and the occupation of the shepherds who originally used the dogs to herd their sheep.

German Shepherd History and Origin: The country of origin of the German Shepherd breed was in Germany during the late 1800's.

The German Shepherd breed was developed in the 1890's by a German noble and cavalry captain called Max Emil Friedrich von Stephanitz (December 30, 1864 22 April 1936). Max von Stephanitz, like most nobleman, enjoyed hunting and developed an interest in different dog breeds enjoyed attending dog shows. He noticed that there were many different types of German shepherding dogs but there was no breed standardization. 

He decided to create a new breed that would be suitable as a both a sheepdog with the additional the qualities of a guard dog. Max von Stephanitz admired the spitz-type dogs with their wolf-like appearance and prick ears, such as the German Spitz, and began a program to cross the sheepdogs with the spitz. He achieved his goal and the first examples of the new guarding and herding breed appeared in the 1880s. The breed was registered in Germany as the Deutsche Schaferhund (German Shepherd) in 1899.

The German Shepherd earned the nickname of the "Wolf Dog" because of its powerful physique and wolfish looks. Due to its power and strength the German Shepherd was also used as a fighting dog. The German Shepherd Dog was officially recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) in 1908. During WW1 the British changed the dog's name to Alsatian and in the United States its name was changed to Shepherd Dog, both countries avoiding reference to Germany.

The Alsatian Name: There is no difference between and Alsatian and a German Shepherd. The breed was originally called the German Shepherd Dog (Deutscher Schaferhund).

However, due to the animosity towards Germany following WW1 (1914 - 1918) there was a universal rise in Anti-German sentiment. It was decided that the word 'German' in the dog's name would hinder the growth of the breed's popularity, so the breed was renamed to Alsatian, reflecting the region where the dog was bred. In the 1890's Max von Stephanitz  had purchased property near the town of Furstenfeldbruck in the principality of Grafrath in the Rhine Valley. This region was part of the Imperial Territory of Alsace-Lorraine which was created by the German Empire in 1871.

The Alsatian part of the territory lay in the Rhine Valley on the west bank of the Rhine River - and this is the origin of the dog's name of Alsatian. In 1931 the old name, German Shepherd Dog, was reinstated by the American Kennel Club (AKC). However, the UK Kennel Club retained 'Alsatian' as the primary breed name, with 'German Shepherd' in brackets. This was not reversed until 1977, when the breed was changed to German Shepherd Dog (Alsatian). In 2010, the word 'Alsatian' was completely eliminated from the dog's name.

German Shepherd History - Rin Tin Tin: The rise in the popularity and reputation of the German Shepherd in the UK and the USA was largely due to one dog - "Rin Tin Tin". The true story of Rin Tin Tin (September 10, 1918 - August 10, 1932) began when he was rescued as a small puppy from a World War 1 battlefield following the Battle of Saint-Mihiel (1215 September 1918) by US Marine named Corporal Lee Duncan.

Rin Tin Tin, nicknamed "Rinty" was taken to California where Lee Duncan trained the intelligent German Shepherd for work in the silent movies in the film industry. The dog's first movie was the 'Man From Hell's River' (1922), the movie credits read "Rin Tin Tin Played by himself". In 1922, Lee Duncan became a founding member of the Shepherd Dog Club of California, based in Los Angeles and the popularity of the German Shepherd began to rise. The first starring role was given to Rin Tin Tin in the silent movie called 'Where the North Begins' (1923).

Rin Tin Tin starred in 28 Hollywood movies and became so popular that in 1929 this German Shepherd dog received the most votes for the Best Actor Oscar at the Academy Awards. "Rinty" was never given the award because the Academy feared that giving an Oscar to a dog would undermine their credibility. work. Rin Tin Tin was the most famous German Shepherd dog in the world until his death in 1932.

His name lived on as some of his descendants, trained by Lee Duncan, also appeared in movies. In 2007, a movie called 'Finding Rin Tin Tin' retold the life story of the German Shepherd and how he became one of the most famous movie stars in Hollywood.

German Shepherd History - K-9 (1989 Movie): The 1989 comedy movie 'K-9' starring James Belushi features an unruly German Shepherd called Jerry Lee.

German Shepherd Modern History: The modern history of the German Shepherd moved on and the breed is ranked number 3 in the in the smartest dog list. The German Shepherd is now used as a Watchdog, Guard Dog, Farm worker and family companion. The skills and intelligence of the German Shepherd are also used to  great effect in military and police work in Seizure and Alert tasks and the dogs are also used by Customs & Border Protection agencies.

The reputation of the German Shepherd as a guide dog for the blind is second to none. The German Shepherd has a reputation for being dominant, fierce and aggressive, but dogs produced by reputable breeders usually have a steady temperament. However, this dog can be dangerous and there are therefore Limitations of ownership of the German Shepherd in some USA States.

German Shepherd Height: This breed is classified as a large size dog. The height to the shoulder of a male dog is 60-65 cm (24-26 in). The height to the shoulder of a female dog is 55-60 cm (22-24 in).

German Shepherd Weight: Not surprisingly for a large sized dog, the weight of a male dog is 30-40 kg (66-88 lb). The weight of the smaller female dog is 22-32 kg (49-71 lb).

German Shepherd Coat Type: The coat type of the German Shepherd is described as hard, weather-resistant coat. The German Shepherd has two separate varieties of coat; long coats and shorter coats.

The outer coat (guard coat) consists of straight, hard, close-lying, dense hair as dense as possible and the undercoat is also thick and dense.

German Shepherd Coat Colors: The colors of the German Shepherd dog breed consist of assorted colors. All black, all gray coats, with lighter or brown markings, that are referred to as Sables. Other types have bi-color coats that are predominantly black, with tan or gold markings. Many German Shepherds have a Melanistic Mask (a dark coloration of the skin or hair typically on the muzzle and face of the dog) because of a high concentration of melanin.

German Shepherd Grooming - LOW Grooming Needs: The dog grooming needs of the German Shepherd are categorized as Low in order to maintain a healthy coat and reduce the risk of skin infections. The limited dog grooming needs of the German Shepherd are therefore considered to be low maintenance, requiring limited attention to grooming with casual brushing and combing. Dog Grooming needs should also include bathing the dog on a monthly basis and making regular inspections of the eyes, ears, nails and teeth.

German Shepherd Litter Size: The litter size of the German Shepherd dog breed ranges from 4-9 puppies. German Shepherd puppies for sale can be obtained reputable breeders and from rescue centers. The cost of German Shepherd puppies varies depending on location, pedigree history and the dog breeder.

German Shepherd Temperament and personality: The temperament and personality of this popular dog breed is described as Faithful, Intelligent, Confident, Curious, Loyal and Dutiful.

German Shepherd Exercise Requirements: The exercise requirements of the breed of dog is high. The German Shepherd requires regular daily exercise consisting of approximately one to two hours every day. This medium sized dog has a sound and steady gait with strides of a moderate length requiring a steady walking or jogging speed by the owner to meet the dogs exercise requirements. If the dog has more energy than you do, then teach your dog to play ball in a chase and catch game.

German Shepherd Diet: A fully grown German Shepherd should be fed twice a day. A diet consisting of a premium dog food can be balanced with fresh food eaten by the family. The question is What Can Dogs Eat?. Check out our comprehensive list of what dogs can and what dogs cannot eat.

German Shepherd Health Problems: Potential health problems of the German Shepherd breed include Bloat, Hip dysplasia, Skin disease. Resolving health problems can prove to be expensive and it is always wise to obtain pet insurance or dog health insurance when buying a dog. Is the German Shepherd dog breed said to be Hypoallergenic? Answer: No.

German Shepherd Lifespan: The life expectancy of dogs vary according to the size, breed of dog and any serious health problems. The typical lifespan of the German Shepherd breed is 10-12 years.

German Shepherd Male Dog Names: Male Dog names are most often chosen to reflect favorite names of the owner or the strength, size, coloring and country of origin of the German Shepherd breed. To give you some inspiration regarding good male German Shepherd names our small selection might be of help with naming boy dogs. Out top male dog names for a German Shepherd are: Tempest *** Wolf *** Zephyr *** Heinrich *** Varick *** Oscar *** Jupiter *** Sasquatch *** Saturn *** Jabba *** Rugby.

German Shepherd Female Dog Names: Female Dog names tend to be softer, prettier and reflect the temperament of the girl dog. Our top choice of good female German Shepherd names are Gretchen *** Wanda *** Elsa *** Berta *** Mercy *** Erika *** Misty *** Zelda *** Senta *** Nixie.

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