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German Shepherd Dog

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The History

Zandra van Noort born on Apr 09, 1971
Zandra van Noort
Ammi von Hattenhof born on Oct 20, 1913
Ammi von Hattenhof

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Sample German Shepherd Dog pedigrees

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German Shepherd Dog Information

German Shepherd Dog



The German Shepherd Dog is also known as the Alsatian. It is handsome, well proportioned and very strong. The coat most often comes in black with tan, sable or all black, but also can come in blue, liver and white, but those colors are considered a fault according to most standards. White is not an acceptable color for the German Shepherd, however they are now being recognized as a separate breed, called the American White Shepherd. The nose is black most often black but, blue or liver still do sometimes occur, but is considered a fault can not be shown. It has a sturdy, muscular, slightly elongated body with a light but solid bone structure. Its head should be in proportion to its body, and the forehead a little convex. It has a strong scissors bite, ears wide at the base, pointed, upright, and turned forward (the ears of puppies under six months may droop slightly). The eyes are almond-shaped, never protruding, dark, with a lively, intelligent expression. Its bushy tail reaches almost to its hocks and hangs down when the dog is at rest. Its front legs and shoulders are muscular; its thighs thick and sturdy. It has round feet with very hard soles. There are three varieties of the German Shepherd: rough-coated, long rough-coated, and the long-haired.


Often used as working dogs, German Shepherds are direct and fearless, eager and alert. Bold, cheerful, obedient and eager to learn. Known for their tremendous loyalty and courage. Calmly confident, but not hostile. Serious and almost human in his intelligence. They have a high learning ability. German Shepherds love to be close to their families, but they are very wary of strangers. This breed needs his people and should not be left isolated for long periods of time. They only bark when it is necessary. German Shepherds have a very strong protective instinct, so they should be extensively socialized to prevent over-guarding when they are an adult. Aggression and attacks on people are largely due to poor breeding, handling and training. A well bred, well-adjusted, and trained dog is for the most part generally good with other pets and excellent with children in the family. They must be firmly trained in obedience from an early age. It is extremely important to purchase your German Shepherd from a reputable breeder. Some are timid and skittish and may be prone to fear biting. Research a puppy's lineage carefully. To be successful pets, these dogs should be trained and socialized from an early age with a firm and loving hand. Coercive or angry training does not succeed well with these dogs. To be truly happy, the German Shepherd needs a task in life. The breed is so intelligent and learns so readily that it has been used as a sheepdog, guard dog, in police work, as a guide for the blind, in search and rescue service, and in the military. The German Shepherd also excels in many other dog activities including schutzhund, tracking, obedience, agility, flyball, and ring sport. His fine nose can sniff out drugs and intruders, and can alert handlers to the presence of underground mines in time to avoid detonation, or gas leaks in a pipes buried 15 feet underground. The German Shepherd is also a popular show and family companion.

Height, Weight

Height: Dogs 24-26 inches (60-65cm.) Bitches 22-24 inches (55-60cm.)
Weight: 77-85 pounds (35-40kg.)

Health Problems

Indiscriminate breeding has lead to hereditary diseases such as hip and elbow dysplasia, (be sure both parents have had their hips certified at least OFA good) blood disorders, digestive problems (probably due to nerves), epilepsy, chronic eczema, keratitis (inflammation of the cornea), dwarfism and flea allergies.

Living Conditions

The German Shepherd will do okay in an apartment if sufficiently exercised. They are relatively inactive indoors and do best with at least a large yard.


German Shepherd Dogs love strenuous activity, preferably combined with training of some kind, for these dogs are very intelligent and crave a good challenge.

Life Expectancy

Around 13 years.


This breed sheds bits of hair constantly and is a seasonally heavy shedder. A quick daily brushing is best unless hair in the house is not a problem. They should be bathed rarely, only once or twice a year to avoid skin oil depletion.


Using long-haired, short-haired, and wire-haired local shepherd dogs from Wurtemberg, Thurginia, and Bavaria, von Stephanitz and other dedicated breeders produced a responsive, obedient, and handsome German Shepherd. In April 1899, Capt. Max von Stephanitz registered a dog named Horan as the first Deutsche Schäferhunde, which means German Shepherd Dog in English. Until 1915, both long-haired and wire-haired varieties were exhibited. Today, in most countries, only the short coat is recognized for show purposes. It was presented at Hanover in 1882, and the short-haired variety was first presented in Berlin in 1889.


Herding, AKC Herding




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