A favorite among many dog lovers across the globe, the German Shepherd Dog (also referred to as an Alsatian at times) is a wonderful family dog and best friend that’s dedicated to its people.
These dogs are often used as working dogs, guide dogs, search and rescue dogs as well as herding dogs and they excel when given responsibilities and tasks to perform. Their smarts matched with their athleticism make them a top choice when it comes to police canines and carrying out police work.
If you’ve just welcomed a German Shepherd Dog into your life, then there are some important factors to consider and items you’ll want to have on hand to ensure that your GSD is as happy as can be.
A Basic Overview of the German Shepherd Dog
It should come as no surprise that the German Shepherd Dog hails from Germany. This dog breed originated in the late 1800s, and they were first used as shepherd dogs to protect flocks of sheep from predators.
Max von Stephanitz (captain Max), an ex-cavalry captain and former student of the Berlin Veterinary College believed that they should be bred for working or as service dogs.
The German Shepherd that we see today differs a great deal from the original German Shepherd Dog of centuries ago.
The German Shepherd is often considered to be the most intelligent of all dog breeds, and this is why they excel when given tasks to do. This is a breed of dog that takes to training naturally, and their desire to appease and please is evident in their even-tempered nature.
These are dogs that love to keep their minds sharp and need a lot of mental stimulation. So, don’t expect your GSD to want to loaf around the couch all day. Keep their minds stimulated by teaching them tricks, playing fetch with them, and spoil them with balls and rope toys.
German Shepherds are one of the most popular breeds for dog training with a high trainability and a love for obedience training. Many have been surprised at their intelligence from a young age and many German Shepherd puppies show huge potential for recruitment as police dogs.
This is a large breed of dog that can be known as a heavy chewer, so if you want to offer them treats, go with long-lasting chews that can offer them more to chew for longer to satisfy their natural gnawing desire.
The German Shepherd was the third-most registered dog breed by the American Kennel Club (AKC) in 2020 and the seventh-most registered dog breed by The Kennel Club in the United Kingdom in 2016.
German Shepherds gained international recognition after the end of World War I and, according to Wikipedia, a couple of popular animal actors called Rin Tin Tin and Strongheart loved the breed and made them even more well known.
In 1913, the German Shepherd Dog Club of America as the AKC Parent Club representing the breed. For more information about german shepherd rescue follow this link.
The German Shepherd Dog is praised by many for being a fast learner. These dogs can be known for having high energy, but if mentally and physically stimulated on a routine basis, their energy levels can be maintained and they can make for a wonderful family pet.
Routine walks and daily exercise are important to keep your GSD happy, and you’ll need a strong nylon leash and harness to do it.
This is a breed of dog that makes for a wonderful watchdog and loyal protector and given their impressive size and naturally intimidating look, you won’t see intruders walking up on your home if you have a courageous German Shepherd hanging out in your yard.
The GSD is as loving as they are loyal, and if properly socialized with kids who have good dog manners, they can make for wonderful family pets. This is a confident breed of dog which is not afraid to show off its bark—especially to strangers. Proper socialization is key so that you do not have an unruly mature GSD on your hands that overreacts when meeting new people.
General Health & Common Health Problems
The German Shepherd is generally healthy with few health conditions, but it’s always best to do your research and go with a reputable breeder who values healthy genes in their dogs. At maturity, these dogs can range anywhere from 24-26” for males; 22-24” for females. A male GSD can be considered at a healthy weight range from 65-90 lbs, with females weighing 50-70 lbs at maturity.
The breed has a dense, thick coat, and is often known for being the heaviest shedding of all dog breeds. Although they do shed heavily, their coats only require weekly brushing which can be done at home with a dog grooming brush.
While the German Shepherd generally has a long lifespan of up to 14 years, the breed is notorious for developing hip dysplasia due to its body shape and wear and tear on the joints. Preventative care is essential to give your German Shepherd a helping hand far before they reach their golden years. Supply your pup with a quality joint supplement that promotes healthy tissues, enhances mobility, and will boost their joint health overall.
Common health issues:
- degenerative myelopathy
- hip dysplasia
- elbow dysplasia
- exocrine pancreatic insufficiency
- Von Willebrand disease (bleeding disorder)
Coat and Grooming Care
The German Shepherd is known to have a lot of hair and to be what is called a 'shedder' meaning they will shed a lot of hair if they are not brushed regularity.
They have an outer coat which is known as a double coat which is medium-length and is rather thick and dense., however, their undercoat is soft. This helped the dogs when heading animals in a similar manner to the sheepdog.
What’s the Best Bed for Your German Shepherd Dog?
When it comes to choosing the best bed for your German Shepherd, the most important factor to first consider is the impressive size of the breed. This is a very large dog that loves to stretch out when sleeping, so you’ll definitely want to accommodate their frame with an XL bed.
Due to their propensity to develop hip dysplasia, it’s best to go with a memory foam style bed that can gently hug their frame while giving them the support their body needs. Order a Calming Cuddle bed for your German Shepherd online now: https://calmingdog.com/products/calming-cuddle-bed