Among dog breeds, the German Shepherd stands out for its loyalty, cleverness and working abilities. The breed has been traced back to the 7th Century when German Shepherds were used for herding. Later, owners found the breed useful in many assistance oriented positions such as guide-dog for the blind, police work and the military.
German Shepherd owners will appreciate the animal’s classic coloring of black, tan and white. The breed is well-proportioned and of medium to large size. They have a long muzzle, bushy tail, large ears that stand at attention and intelligent almond shaped eyes.
German Shepherds are a highly desired breed that will protect their family. They become fiercely attached to the children that they grow up with along with other animals that are in the home. This breed does not take to strangers very easily quickly proving their protective nature. German Shepherds are smart and learn quickly. Additionally, they are active and require plenty of exercise. Owners should take the proper precaution to socialize their dogs; otherwise they can become overly territorial.
German Shepherds live from nine to 15 years with their average life expectancy at 12 years. Owners will need to play with their pet for at least 2 hours each day, which should include walks. German Shepherds love to play fetch and this is a great game for pet bonding. Furthermore, this breed is happiest when he or she has a sense of purpose.
A dog this size that has been well trained can reside easily in a small apartment as long as the owner consistently exercises their friend. However, German Shepherds are fairly large dogs and may be more comfortable in a home with a yard.
Owners can expect litter sizes of around 9 puppies, although reports of up to 14 puppies born in one litter have occurred. Common health problems with the breed include elbow and hip dysplasia along with digestive and blood afflictions. Furthermore, owners have reported their pets developing epilepsy and bloating.
German Shepherd owners can expect a large amount of dog hair from this breed. Fortunately, owners can preempt this problem by brushing their friend daily. Also, regular baths will keep their pet’s coat looking healthy and in pristine condition. Owners should trim their German Shepherd’s claws frequently and check their dog’s ears for problems as they are prone to ear infections due to their size and shape.
German Shepherds are one of the top five dogs owned by individuals in the United States. They are considered safe around children and are of good temperament. Moreover, this breed is clever and easy to train. Ultimately, dog owners who choose this breed will have found a loyal friend.