German Shepherd Dog Breed Guide
Dog Breed Directory

German Shepherd Dog Breed Guide

German Shepherd Dog Breed Guide - Initially formed to herd sheep, German Shepherd dogs have transformed into much more than just working dogs. This famous breed is energetic, intelligent, and strong. In addition to their usual roles in public service, German Shepherds usually make wonderful family dogs because they appear to be polite, sociable, energetic, and protective of loved ones and their homes.

That said, every breed has a few things to consider that potential pet owners should be mindful of. Bunch for Pets has brought this blog to discuss all about German Shepherd traits, breed history, and care requirements to determine whether this breed is perfect for you.

German Shepherd Traits


The size of a fully developed German Shepherd is between 75 and 95 pounds, varying from 22 to 26 inches in height at the shoulders. Their muscular bodies are inclined and graceful. An extended jaw and tall, upright ears are two iconic German Shepherd traits that make these furry companions easily stand out from others.

German Shepherds come in various colours such as brown and black, as well as several colour combinations like black and tan, black and silver, black and cream, red and black, and so on. Most German Shepherds have identifiable black mask markings on their faces, and a lot of them also have black backs. Acclaimed breeders don’t breed German Shepherds with white, liver, and blue-coloured coats.

This breed is usually short-haired, medium-haired, or long-haired. Long-haired GSDs usually need more grooming and care than the short-haired variety.

Personality and Behaviour

The German Shepherd personality can be described as intelligent, vulnerable, and obedient. Their loyalty is vicious and steady with a circumspection of strangers. Because they are also greatly watchful and alert, German Shepherds make amazing guard dogs. These dogs are not innately aggressive, but their temperament may seem unresponsive, reserved, or stubborn.

If well-trained and kept with children from an early age, German Shepherds are normally wonderful with children and can act both as their friends and protectors. They can also live politely and calmly with cats and other pets if they are trained to do so from puppyhood with proper training and being callous. Welcoming a mature German Shepherd to a household with other pets or children can be more difficult and you might need to call for a professional trainer for assistance.


On average, a German Shepherd dog has a lifespan between 9 and 13 years. While this number will vary depending on health and lifestyle variables, it’s the normal expectation when considering breed size and common hereditary conditions GSDs might go through.

German Shepherd Care

Training and exercise

It’s suggested to begin socialising and training early, preferably when your German Shepherd pooch is about ten weeks old. This, along with consistent obedience training, will make sure that your pooch develops into a flexible and well-behaved adult. This breed strives hard, is very intelligent, and they like to acknowledge new things, so constant training and rewards should bring out excellent results.

GSDs are sporty and very active, so they need a lot of exercise. Lack of physical activity can lead to frustration and the growth of negative, probably destructive and damaging behaviours. Taking participation in activities such as tracking, agility, and herding offers excellent physical exercise and mental stimulation. Small pooches should have brisk walks and play sessions every day.


German Shepherds have a double coat with a rough and intense outer coat and a softer undercoat. They’re quite convenient to manage, needing a quick brushing two or three times a week to draw out loose hairs. There are times when they shed more abundantly and need more frequent brushing in order to maintain the amount of shed hair. GSDs require a bath occasionally, but it’s essential to trim or clean their nails every month.


Normally, German Shepherds require up to two cups of dog food two times a day but have a word with your veterinarian for a proper diet plan that offers balanced nutrition for your dog’s extraordinary needs. They are the best source of details on the amount of food provided and you should give your GSD as they develop and mature.

Eliminate feeding table scraps of human food as they can create stomach upset in dogs, particularly when it comes to high-fat foods. If you want to grow your GSD’s diet, little quantities of eggs, yoghourt, or cooked vegetables can be advantageous, but be sure to acknowledge yourself with the list of food dogs can and can’t eat. Keep in mind to offer access to fresh water at all times.

Common German Shepherd Health Issues

  • Elbow dysplasia - A disease most commonly involved in front limb lameness
  • Hip dysplasia - An abnormal formation of the hip socket that creates the thigh bone to pop out
  • Elbow hygroma - A fluid-filled swelling that forms over the elbow joint
  • Degenerative myelopathy - A progressive disease that impacts the spinal cord in older dogs
  • Gastric dilatation-volvulus - Commonly associated with large meals and gas creating the stomach to rotate
  • Von Willebrand disease - Causes blood to clotting insufficiencies leading to inappropriate bleeding
  • Degenerative spinal stenosis - A painful disease impacting the spinal cord

Key Takeaways

  • Initially bred to herd sheep and protect flocks, German Shepherds are renowned for their power, loyalty, and intelligence.
  • German shepherds are quite energetic so they need a lot of daily exercise; otherwise, they can become dangerous or nervous.
  • Like many other dog breeds, GSDs are endangered due to specific health issues such as canine hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, elbow hygroma, etc.
  • Make sure to do lots of studies before you get a German Shepherd to figure out whether it is the perfect dog for you.
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