German Shepherd Dog

Posted by Sarah Clark on

German Shepherd Dog

The German Shepherd Dog is an iconic and famous dog breed worldwide. Currently the second most popular breed in the USA, and in top 10 lists in most countries.

So what makes German Shepherds so unique and popular?

Why do most people opt for this dog breed over so many others?

German Shepherds are distinct and recognizable everywhere. They have a unique look usually a blend of black and tan/golden fur. A strong, large and athletic dog, the German Shepherd is regarded amongst the best police and military dogs in the world.

The breed owes its origins to a German army officer Max von Stephanitz, in 1899. Max von Stephanitz was interested in breeding the ultimate herding dog. He had seen in Europe many great dogs with many different great traits used by farmers and shepherds to help with their herd. However there was no distinct breed that embodied all the traits he found in one dog. It was initially seen as a herding dog, but due to the changing and industrialization of society, traditional jobs of farming where decreasing so he sought to use his connections in the military to seek roles for his dogs in military and police service. 

It was during World War I that the bravery, heroism and intelligence of the German Shepherd came to the fore front. They served as Red Cross dogs, search & rescuers, messengers and many other roles. US soldiers saw these traits and took these dogs back with them after the war. One of these was Rin Tin Tin, a puppy rescued from France that went on to become a Hollywood star. Appearing in 26 movies making him a household name and popularizing the German Shepherd breed.

The breed has a few different names including Alsatian and Alsatian Wolfdog. These were mainly used due to Germany being on the opposite side during the Word Wars. There was some stigma attached and even the German part of the name was dropped for a period. But it has now returned since relation between the countries have returned to normal. 

They are extremely loyal companions, though they to tend have a slightly aloof personality and struggle to create a bond straight away with new people. However once you get to know them there can be no better companion in the world.

They require company and should not be left alone for too long. They get bored easily, which can lead to behavioural problems. They like to be kept active and need a good amount of daily exercise. After all they are large dogs, and need to keep their strength and laziness is not good for them.

They are easy to train and are known to many people to work with law enforcement in search and rescue as well as sniffing out drugs. They are highly intelligent and do not need much time to be trained and can follow basic commands very easily. They do not need a lot of grooming but do shed some of that iconic fur of theirs. So much sometimes that some do call them the German Shedders!

German Shephards are family friendly and great with kids. They like to live indoors with the family and have no issues living in the house. This is why they are the number two breed in the US. 

As you can see they are extremely versatile, heroic, brave, strong, athletic, intelligent and suited to so many tasks. A great family dog, can help the disabled, act as a guide dog, help the police, sniff out drugs, search & rescue, military uses and so much more. It is no big surprise then that this is one of the most popular companions for man.

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