Breed Type: Working Dog
Country of Origin: Germany
Also Known As: Alsatian, German Shepherd
Size:  Medium/ Large
Males: Height: 60–65cm Weight: 30-40kg
Females:  Height: 55-60, Weight: 25-33kg
Exercise Requirements: High
Care Requirements: Medium
Lifespan: 10years
Best Suited as: Family Pet /Guard Dog / Police Dog / Seeing Eye Dog

Few Australians would fail to be able to name and recognise the German shepherd dog due to do the popularity of the breed with only the Labrador more popular. This is hardly surprising considering Australia’s love affair with intelligent, fun loving and active dogs in which the German shepherd is the living definition of.

Appearance
The German shepherd dog is at the high end is medium in size, is noticeably longer than tall and is athletic and powerful in build without being heavily muscled. They should have a far-reaching gate and move with a definite spring.  They are generally very alert to their surroundings noting all persons and dogs within it.  Their coat is weatherproof and typically is Brown and black, though solid black versions are sometimes seen coat may be long or short haired.

Whilst the show version has a notable angle from shoulder to hips the traditional working variety is much squarer in appearance.  There has been some level of controversy around the reduction in the height of the winners of the German shepherd dog the cosmetic purposes in that it has perhaps resulted in higher levels of hip dysplasia in the German shepherd dog. Certainly the slope of the German shepherd dog’s back from shoulders the Withers has in recent years increased quite dramatically it will be interesting to see how this progresses in coming years.

The males are noticeably larger with their masculinity defined and magnificent author females are more delicately built without sacrificing much in the way of athleticism.

History
They are relatively new breed coming into being in the late 19th century in Germany where they were bred as a utility working dog. At that time they were bred to be both hurting, guard and police dogs. From the start they were developed with intelligence, courage and faithfulness is important characteristics of the breed and they remain evident in the breed today.

They were used by the German army in World War II as guard dogs. After World War II they were renamed by some as an Alsatian to avoid using distasteful word “German” in the dog’s name. The German shepherd dog never officially changed its name in recent times the use of Alsatian to describe them has greatly diminished.

Temperament
They are steady, self assured, intelligent and watchful. Well bred individuals should is that no over nervousness or aggression and both of these traits are serious flaws. They have been used overseas are seeing eye dogs such as their dependability though in Australia this task is more often undertaken by Labradors

They are determined and eager to please with a strong sense of loyalty thus making an excellent working dogs.  They are easy to train to obey commands without hesitation.

They are generally very loving and affectionate dogs and a good with children. Their use as police and guard dogs has given them a reputation as biting dogs that this is an unfair labelling such dogs are trained to bite whereas pet versions are trained and bred not to.

They make wonderful watchdogs and will alert you to anything out of the ordinary with insistent barking.  They can tend to suffer from separation anxiety in their owner is a way so if you are considering a German shepherd dog perhaps consider two so they may keep each other company if you are unable to be with them during the day.

Care and Grooming
Their coat requires regular brushing and combing to avoid becoming tangled and snarled. Ideally you should brush dog at least twice a week.  They are susceptible to skin conditions such as juvenile dog acne and dermatitis both of which will be rotated it dead skin and dirt is left on their skin so vigourous brushing will help loosen this material is much as it will remove dead and tangled fur.

Their fine coat requires fairly regular washing with that approved dog shampoo to prevent stripping of oil from their coat.  Every 2 to 4 weeks is fine – more regularly than this is likely to cause irritation their skin and an overproduction of oil.
In very hot climates longer coated varieties will not thrive as their desire for high levels of activity will be at odds with their thick coat so if you have are long head young adults German shepherd dog you don’t intend to show it may be worth considering shaving them in the hotter months.

Health
The German shepherd dog suffers from a higher rate hip and elbow dysplasia and many other breeds and is also susceptible to haemophilia though it is noted that this condition has been virtually eliminated in Australia through selective breeding. There is also the argument that the show bred version is not be structurally sound as a working version.

If you are looking for a German shepherd dog as a pet pig may thus be worth considering seeking out a working version with a straight back rather than the show version regardless of what type you choose certainly you should only purchase your German shepherd dog, registered breeder who can show you the elbow an hip scores of the breeding dogs as well is your puppy.  Many reputable breeders will give a lifetime guarantee against hip and elbow problems.

Suitability as a pet
German shepherd dogs make excellent pets. They are fun loving, always ready to go, they make excellent companion dogs and exceptionally trainable and intelligent.

They are best suited to people with a large backyard in which the German shepherd dog can romp around in that this will be no replacement for the vigorous off lead exercise activity that they require daily.

They do best in families where there are many people who can provide them with constant activity and an attention or as a companion to a single owner who they will seek to spend all of their day with.