German Shepherd


A medium to large sized German Shepherd
German Shepherd Quick Summary
Also Known AsAlsatian
Height (at withers)22-26in (56-66cm)
Weight77-85lbs (35-39kg)
Hair Colour(s)
Lifespan10-13 years
Energy LevelMedium
Litter size5-10
Barking TendencyHigh
Exercise requirementsMedium
Ease of trainingHigh
Suitability for kidsMedium
Animal compatability
Aggression levelsMedium
Distress if leftHigh

The German Shepherd, also known as the Alsatian, is a well built and athletic looking dog. The body is muscular with thick legs and a long hairy tail. The head is sturdy with a slightly convex forehead, long muzzle, tall and wide erect ears, dark almond-shaped eyes, and strong teeth. The dog actually comes in three varieties: rough-coated, long rough-coated and long-haired, generally with a dense undercoat. The coloring varies and includes black and tan, sable, and black.


German Shepherds are loyal, confident and couragous dogs that are full of energy. Some can appear serious and aloof, while others can be dominant and sharp natured, but they are generally very capable dogs that are eager to please. They require plenty of physical and mental stimulation and do not like to be isolated, neglected or left alone for long periods of time as they love to be around people. Highly intelligent and responsive as a breed, they are obedient and learn very quickly, and are one of the easiest dogs to train. Despite this, their size and personality means they are best suited to those with some experience of dog ownership. German Shepherds will get along fine with children, but as these are large dogs they are not quitable for smaller kids. They require early socialisation around other pets because they may chase smaller animals such as cats, can be aggressive and dominant with dogs of the same sex, and their strong protective instincts mean they can be over protective and can result in fear biting. These dogs make good watch and guard dogs due to their protective streak, and they will not back down if they or their loved ones are being threatened. Whining can often be a problem.

History & Skills

German Shepherds originate from Germany and are a mixture of various dog breeds. Originally bred for herding, their intelligence and ability to learn quickly means they have been utilised for police and military work, as well as search and rescue and guide dogs for the blind. These dogs also possess an excellent sense of smell, and can detect a variety of things including concealed drugs, the presence of underground mines, and even gas leaks in buried pipes.

Breed Specific Ailments

German Shepherds tend to live beteween 10-13 years, and there are a number of health problems associated with this breed. This includes spinal problems, bloat and torsion, hip and elbow dysplasia, OCD, epilepsy, pancreas problems, digestive problems, blood disorders, chronic eczema, epilepsy, flea allergies, dwarfism and keratitis (inflammation of the cornea).


German Shepherds are year round heavy shedders and so are not well suited to those suffering from allergies. However, their grooming requirements are not excessive and the coat will need brushing every couple of days to remove dead hair. Bathing should only be carried out when really necessary to prevent depleting the natural oils in the skin.

Exercise & Environment

German Shepherds are flexible regarding their living conditions. Although quite inactive when indoors, these are active dogs that requires a decent amount of exercise. They will need a daily walk on the leash and access to a yard or garden area, which must be secure.


FCIFCI - Federation Cynologique Internationale
KCThe Kennel Club (UK)
AKCAKC - American Kennel Club

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