Breed of the Week: German Shepherd

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Breed of the Week: German Shepherd

German Shepherd

Appearance:
The German Shepherd is a strong, versatile breed measuring approximately 22 to 26 inches in height and weighing anywhere fro, 45 to 80 pounds. Male German Shepherds are also significantly larger than females. They have a thick, double coat with a more coarse outer layer and a dense undercoat that requires moderate brushing or grooming. German Shepherds are most commonly black and tan, though there can be variations with either black or tan being more dominant, as well as the occasional white Shepherd.

Temperament:
German Shepherds are often described as “being of strong character” and can be somewhat aloof with strangers. They bond strongly to their families and are renowned as guard dogs and police K9 officers. German Shepherds are strong dogs who require purposeful socialization and careful management. They are considered highly trainable and can do well with the right family.

Health Concerns:
German Shepherds are prone to dysplasia, like many large breeds, along with gastric disorders and cancer. Overall, they are considered a hearty breed and have an average lifespan of 9 to 13 years.

Fun Facts:
• Often called a “one-man” dog, German Shepherds are well-known for their loyalty in the field and many K9 officers have received awards based on their work ethic and loyalty.
• German Shepherds were heavily used as service dogs and Seeing Eye dogs when service training initially became popular. They were later replaced by various retriever breed, as they continuously need a job to do and can be very driven to work.
• German Shepherds are the highest ranked breed in personal protection sports, including IPO and Schutzhund.