German Shepherd, Breed of the Week
The German Shepherd is a big, beautiful, intelligent dog.
The AKC Breed Page has this to say about the German Shepherd:
The German Shepherd Dog is hailed as the world’s leading police, guard and military dog, however, this dependable breed is more than its 9-to-5 job. Consistently one of the United States most popular breeds according to AKC® Registration Statistics, the German Shepherd Dog is also a loving family companion, herder and show competitor. The breed is approachable, direct and fearless, with a strong, muscular body. The GSD may be most colors, but most commonly is black and tan.
This breed originated in Germany in the late 19th century, but was shot into the American awareness with the appearance of Rin-Tin-Tin in early films. Oh my dog, y’all – the Rin-Tin-Tin memoir is excellent. I gave my copy away here awhile back. *sad face* The book chronicles Lee Duncan finding a tiny German Shepherd puppy in France while serving in World War I, raising and training the dog, his dream that Rinty would speak to children all over the world. If you have a German Shepherd, or if you love German Shepherds, I recommend reading Rin Tin Tin, The Life and the Legend.
All About the German Shepherd
The German Shepherd is a strong, sturdy dog, with alert, pointed ears. Those alert ears say a lot about this dog – always alert, ready to learn, work or protect. This is a dog which needs a family, needs to work, needs someone who understands that it is a dog, not a human companion.
I feel like people already know a lot about this breed, so I’m going to jump into the pros and cons. I’m also going to direct you to the breed info page for German Shepherds if you are interested in knowing more about these amazing dogs.
- The German Shepherd is extremely loyal and brave – this dog is close to its human family and will take a bullet for any of its pack
- When well trained, they only bark when they think it’s necessary – unlike my Aussies, who bark when the wind blows, or the cat farts
- Brilliant, the German Shepherd trains well in obedience – the GS is a working dog, excelling at agility, tracking, flyball, drug sniffing, all kinds of way cool things you’d want a dog to do
- Active and energetic – the dog will get you off your couch and have you running or biking your way to good health
- Shedding – seriously, this has to be my first bullet point – this dog needs brushing daily if you don’t want hair everywhere, and they blow their coat in spring and fall, but a good undercoat rake makes this job simple and quick, so don’t let this deter you if you’re serious about a German Shepherd
- Brilliant – yes, I can have this in the cons – brilliant dogs are a lot of work, easily bored, needing a lot of time and attention, and constant mental exercise, otherwise, the German Shepherd will become either destructive or aggressive
- Along those lines, the German Shepherd needs a calm, firm owner to avoid timidity or aggression – the owner needs, needs, needs to be the pack leader, with early obedience training and early, steady socialization, or this breed regresses
- Not the healthiest breed – Germans are prone to a list of health issues due to indiscriminate breeding
As you can probably tell, a lot of thought needs to go into the decision to own a German Shepherd. They’re not the breed for everyone. But if you have an active lifestyle, are comfortable with dogs, with being the alpha dog, and are committed to obedience training and socializing from the very beginning, this dog is AMAZING. Amazing.
I hope this helps, if you’re looking at introducing a new dog into your family. Like any major decision, the procuring of a dog should not be taken lightly.
In Other News
In other news, did you all know that my Aussie mixes are half German Shepherd? We always look at them and treat them like Aussies, but their daddy was the German next door who dug under the fence and knocked up their Aussie mama. True story. So, I thought you’d like to see a photo of one of my German Shepherd mixes. I took it this morning.
And do you know what any self-respecting German Shepherd would love? The Wuv You Treats from Jones Natural Chews. They’re Valentine’s Day treats, in a cute canister, and we’re giving some lucky dog this treat combo! It’s our Big Paw Jerky and Chicken Taffy. Perfect for any size dog. Just click on this sentence to get to the contest post!
Y’all have a great Wednesday! And if you like my weekly Breed of the Week feature, won’t you subscribe to my blog? This is a gently recycled blog post, but everything in it is true. 🙂
Spreading the good chews …