German Shepherd Information & Dog Breed Facts
Collection of all the general dog breed info about German Shepherd so you can get to know the breed more.
|Group||Pastoral Dogs (Herding Dogs)|
Other Names |
What other names does the German Shepherd have? The dog breed also known as...
|Alsatian, Berger Allemand, Alsatian wolf dog (UK), Deutscher Schäferhund, Schäferhund|
Breed Type |
What type of dog breed is it?
AKC Group |
Is German Shepherd recognized by the American Kennel Club?
|Recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1908 as a Herding breed.|
FCI Group |
Is German Shepherd recognized by the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI)?
|Recognized by FCI in the Sheepdogs and Cattledogs (except Swiss Cattledogs) group, in the Sheepdogs section.|
Breed Recognition |
What kennel clubs and organizations recognize or register the German Shepherd breed?
|American Canine RegistryAmerican Kennel ClubAmerica's Pet RegistryCanadian Kennel ClubDog Registry of America Inc.Federation Cynologique InternationaleKennel Club of Great BritainNorth American Purebred Registry, Inc.American Canine Association, Inc.Australian National Kennel CouncilContinental Kennel ClubNational Kennel ClubNew Zealand Kennel ClubUnited Kennel ClubGerman Shepherd Dog Club Of America|
How much does the German Shepherd puppy cost? What is the price range of this puppy? What is the average price of this dog in the United States? Is this puppy expensive? How much should I pay for it? German Shepherd price:
If you choose to purchase the German Shepherd, you should know that the mentioned amount of money is an average of the collected data from breeders’ sites and puppy finder places. If you have a German Shepherd for sale, please advertise it on a reliable website to make sure the German Shepherd gets to a happy place.
German Shepherd History
Attempts to standardize breeds were made throughout Europe during the 1850s. The dogs were developed to retain characteristics that helped them herd sheep and guard flocks from predators. Shepherds in Germany picked and bred dogs that they believed possessed the skills needed for herding sheep, such as intellect, speed, strength, and excellent senses of scent. The end result was dogs that could do such things, but different significantly, both in appearance and ability, from one locality to another. Moreover, the Phylax Society was founded in 1891 with the goal of producing standardized dog breeds in Germany to overcome these discrepancies. The society disbanded after only three years due to internal disagreements about which features in dogs the society should promote. Some believed dogs should be bred primarily for working, while others believed that they should be bred for both working and appearance objectives. Despite failing to achieve their goal, the Phylax Society had motivated others to standardize dog breeds on their own.
One of these ex-members of the society was Max von Stephanitz, a former cavalry commander and former student of the Berlin Veterinary College. He believed strongly that dogs should be bred for working. Von Stephanitz was at a dog show in 1899 in western Germany when he saw a dog named Hektor Linksrhein. Hektor was the result of a few generations of careful breeding, and he was all Von Stephanitz imagined a working dog should be. He was so impressed by the dog’s power and also charmed with the animal’s intelligence, loyalty, and beauty that he purchased him right away. He changed the breed’s name to Horan von Grafrath and founded the Society for the German Shepherd Dog. Horand was the first German Shepherd Dog to be recognized as such, and he was also the first dog to be added to the society’s breed registry. Von Stephanitz inbred heavily on Horand and also Luchs, his brother, to consolidate the bloodline. Horand’s best son, Hektor von Schwaben, the second German Sieger, was mated with his half-sister as well as through daughters of his own sons, Beowulf, Heinz von Starkenber, and Pilot III.
The breed as a working dog
Working canines such as German Shepherds are extremely popular. They are used for several types of jobs. They are well recognized for their police duties, where they are used to hunt criminals, patrol difficult areas, and detect and detain suspects. The military has also used tens of thousands of German Shepherds. They are usually trained for scout duty and are employed to alert soldiers to the existence of attackers, booby traps, and other dangers. Military forces have also trained German Shepherds to parachute from aircraft.
Moreover, the breed is one of the most extensively employed dogs in a wide variety of scent-work roles. These include search and rescue, cadaver searching, narcotics detection, explosive detection, accelerant detection, and mine detection among others. They are well-suited for these lines of work as they have an excellent sense of smell and the ability to work through distractions.
At one time, the German Shepherd Dog was the breed chosen almost exclusively to be used as a guide dog for the visually impaired. In recent years, the Labradors and Golden Retrievers have been more widely used for this work, although there are still German Shepherds being trained.
Of course, the German Shepherds are still used for herding and tending sheep grazing in meadows next to gardens and crop fields. They are expected to look out for sheep that are trespassing and causing damage to the crops. Utility dog trials, also known as Herdengebrauchshund herding utility dog trials, are held in Germany and other countries to assess these qualities.
In popular culture
German Shepherds have appeared in a variety of media outlets. Strongheart the German Shepherd was one of the first canine movie stars and he was followed by Rin Tin Tin, who is now acclaimed as being the most famous German Shepherd. On the Hollywood Walk of Fame, both have stars. German Shepherds were also used in a popular Canadian series called The Littlest Hobo, a Disney movie called the 101 Dalmatians, and in 2007 in a Hollywood movie called I am Legend.
There were 54 dogs registered when the UK Kennel Club first accepted registrations for the breed in 1919, and by 1926 the number had risen to almost 8000. The breed first gained international recognition at the decline of World War I after returning soldiers spoke highly of the breed, and animal actors such as Rin Tin Tin and Strongheart popularised the breed further. Moreover, in 1913 the German Shepherd Dog Club of America was formed by Benjamin Throop and Anne Tracy, with 26 other members. The first German Shepherd Dog to be registered in the United States was Queen of Switzerland, but her children suffered from deformities as a result of improper breeding, leading to the breed’s decrease in popularity in the late 1920s.
However, popularity increased after the German Shepherd, Sieger Pfeffer von Bern, was named Grand Champion in American Kennel Club dog shows in 1937 and 1938, only to plummet again after World War II ended owing to anti-German prejudice. Their popularity grew steadily until 1993 when they replaced the Golden Retriever as the third most popular breed in the United States. Furthermore, the breed became the second most popular in the U.S. in 2009.
What size is this breed? How big is this dog? German Shepherd size:
How much does the German Shepherd weigh? German Shepherd weight:
|Male: 66-88 pounds (30-40 kg), Female: 49-71 pounds (22-32 kg)|
Avg. Weight |
What is the average weight of the German Shepherd? German Shepherd average weight:
|Male: 77 pounds (35 kg), Female: 60 pounds (27 kg)|
How tall is the German Shepherd? German Shepherd height:
|Male: 24-26 inches (60-65 cm), Female: 22-24 inches (55-60 cm)|
Avg. Height |
What is the average height of this fido? German Shepherd average height:
|Male: 25 inches (62.5 cm), Female: 23 inches (57.5 cm)|
What type of coat does the German Shepherd have? What does this canine coat look like?
What color is the breed's coat? What color is a proper German Shepherd's coat?
How to groom the German Shepherd and how often?
Average: The German Shepherd requires average grooming effort. Cutting the dog's hair by a professional groomer isn't essential. Brushing the dog's coat is useful to reduce shedding. Ears and eyes should be cleaned regularly to avoid infections. Don't skip the seasonal flea treatment too. Dog nail trimming and dog bath can be helpful sometimes. Check the local pet store for dog grooming supplies and find the best dog shampoo to keep its coat healthy and to give your dog a pleasant experience of a dog bath. If you don't have the time, skill or money to take care of your German Shepherd, search for a dog groomer or clipping service in your area and book an appointment. Maybe you're lucky to have a dog boarding service that includes grooming or walk in dog bath places nearby.
Shedding Level |
How much do German Shepherd dogs shed? How to control, reduce and prevent the shedding of the Alsatian? German Shepherd shedding level:
German Shepherds are heavy shedders. It's a natural process of the hair growth cycle. Be prepared for the daily vacuum cleaning. The amount and frequency of hair loss mostly depend on their health status and breed type.
What kind of personality does the German Shepherd have? What characteristics does the breed have?
Intelligent Rank |
How smart is the German Shepherd? Are they intelligent?
Outstanding: German Shepherd is one of the brightest dog breeds. They desire to learn tricks and commands often. The limit is your creativity. They understand and memorize new commands in fewer than 5 repetitions. This breed obeys for the first command 95% of the time or better.
Are German Shepherd dogs easy to train? Do they go well on dog training?
German Shepherds are easy to train. They find out the association between commands and actions quite quickly.
How playful is this breed?
German Shepherds, like any other dog breed, like playing. Sometimes they bark as excitement for playing, but they are not the most playful dog breed.
Sensitivity Level |
How sensitive are they? German Shepherd sensitivity:
German Shepherds don't like an irregular daily routine, noisy household and frequent guest visits. This breed emotional level reflects their owner's feelings and they don't handle punishments well.
Affection Level |
How affectionate are they?
German Shepherds are genuinely loyal, soft and gentle, loving and affectionate dogs toward their handlers. They enjoy quality time with their owners despite the activity and considered as a great therapy dog for those in need. This breed responds strongly to their handler's emotions because they bond closely. Their happiness is your happiness.
Social Needs |
How much social interaction does the Alsatian need? German Shepherd social needs:
German Shepherds need for social interaction is average. This breed likes being around people or other animals, but they don't mind being left alone for a few hours either.
Do German Shepherd dogs bark a lot? Why does my Berger Allemand bark?
Low to Average: The German Shepherd rarely barks. This breed could be a good choice if you're looking for a quiet breed. They don't bark unless there is a good reason. Top reasons for barking: protection, alarm, fear, boredom, attention seeking, greeting, separation anxiety, compulsive barking.
Watchdog Ability |
Is German Shepherd good as a watchdog?
German Shepherds are one of the best watchdogs. Their main job is to observe and they're very consistent in their effort. The best vocal cords and sense of hearing belong to them. Usually, they're very territorial and protective about their property, so the German Shepherd dogs will alert you if they sense something different.
Do German Shepherd dogs have an aggressive behavior to protect their territory?
German Shepherds are extremely protective guard dogs. This breed doesn't hesitate to protect their territory so the German Shepherd can be a good choice if you want an excellent guard dog. Keep calm and the German Shepherd will take care of unwanted people or animals.
Biting Potential |
Do German Shepherd bite humans? How likely are you to get bitten from the Alsatian? What are the odds of getting bitten by a German Shepherd? Why do dog bites happen?
The German Shepherd has a high chance of biting somebody. Top reasons for dog bite: protection, pain, excitement, herding instinct, being provoked. (Data based on the available online bite statistics.)
How much mouthing/nipping/play biting does the German Shepherd do?
German Shepherds have a strong tendency to nip, chew, play-bite, or herd people. It's a common habit during puppyhood, not aggressive behavior. These "bites" don't hurt, but German Shepherds need to be taught for a good attitude.
Impulse to Wander or Roam |
How likely is the German Shepherd to run away? Does this breed explore or wander a lot? Does German Shepherd roam?
German Shepherds are not the biggest explorers. They have low wanderlust potential. Low chance for escaping from home with this breed.
Prey Drive |
Do this canine have a strong prey drive? Does German Shepherd have high prey drive?
German Shepherds have a higher impulse to chase and catch something than other dog breeds. Cats or any other small animals might be in danger. It's a natural instinct, doesn't necessarily mean that German Shepherds are aggressive. Better to keep this breed on a leash.
Apartment Friendly |
Is German Shepherd good as an apartment dog? Can they live in a flat?
German Shepherds are not the best choice for an apartment lifestyle, but they don't mind being inside if you walk them several times every day.
Are they adaptable and easy-going?
German Shepherds adapt very well to lifestyle changes and basically all living environments. They don't mind moving from one place to another with their owner.
Tolerates Being Left Alone |
Can you leave this breed home alone?
Just like every puppy, they are prone to panic, cry, bark, whine when they left alone by their owner. With proper socialization and quality time with the dog can solve this problem.
Fighting Dog |
Where German Shepherd dogs used as a fighting dog in the history?
In history, this breed was unfortunately used for combat dog.
Stranger Friendly |
Are they friendly with strangers?
German Shepherds are stranger friendly dogs.
Child Friendly |
Are German Shepherd dogs kid-friendly? Are they good with young children? German Shepherd and children:
German Shepherds are very kid-friendly dogs. This breed enjoys being surrounded by children.
Cat Friendly |
How well do German Shepherd dogs get along with cats? Are they good with kittens? What is this fido's temperament with cats?
German Shepherds are average friendly towards cats.
Dog Friendly |
Is German Shepherd good with other dogs? Are they dog-friendly dogs? How well do German Shepherd dogs get along with other dogs? What is this canine temperament with other dogs?
German Shepherds are not the most dog-friendly dogs. If you want more dogs in your family or you'd like to join dog meetups, the German Shepherd is not a good choice.
Office Friendly |
Are German Shepherds good office dogs? Do German Shepherds make good office friendly dogs? Can German Shepherds be office dogs?
German Shepherd is not the best dog breed for office environment.
Senior Citizens Friendly |
Are they senior citizens friendly dogs? How well do German Shepherd dogs get along with the elderly people? What is the Alsatian temperament with senior people? Are German Shepherd dogs good for elderly owners?
German Shepherds are one of the best breeds for elderly people.
Pet Friendly |
Are they pet-friendly dogs? How well do German Shepherd dogs get along with other pets? Are German Shepherd dogs good with pets? What is this canine temperament with other pets?
German Shepherds are generally with other pets.
Good For First Time Owners |
Is German Shepherd breed good for first-time owners? Do they make a good dog for novice owners?
German Shepherds are not good for novice owners, due to their stubborn personality.
Service Dog |
Are they good as service dogs? Can German Shepherd be a service dog?
This breed makes good as a service dog. A service dog is a term used in the USA to refer to any type of assistance dog specifically trained to help people who have disabilities, such as visual impairment, hearing impairments, mental disorders, seizures, mobility impairment, and diabetes. Service dogs are protected under the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act). German Shepherd breed is a good choice for service purposes.
Therapy Dog |
Are they good as therapy dogs? Can German Shepherd be a therapy dog?
This breed makes a perfect therapy dog. A therapy dog is a dog that might be trained to provide affection, comfort, and love to people in hospitals, retirement homes, nursing homes, schools, hospices, disaster areas, and to people with anxiety disorders or autism. German Shepherd breed is a good choice for therapeutic purposes.
Detection Dog or Sniffer Dog |
Are they good as detection dogs? Can German Shepherd be a sniffer dog?
A detection dog or sniffer dog is a dog that is trained to use its senses (mostly its smell) to detect substances such as explosives, illegal drugs, wildlife scat, currency, blood, and contraband electronics such as illicit mobile phones. German Shepherd breed is a good choice for detection purposes.
Search and Rescue Dog (SAR) |
Are they good as SAR dogs? Can German Shepherd be a search and rescue dog?
The use of dogs in search and rescue (SAR) is a valuable component in wilderness tracking, natural disasters, mass casualty events, and in locating missing people. The German Shepherd breed is a good choice for SAR purposes.
Boat Dog |
Are they good as boat dogs? Can German Shepherd be a boat dog?
|Not really |
German Shepherd breed usually doesn't like being on a boat.
Cart Pulling or Drafting Dog |
Are they good as cart pulling dogs? Can German Shepherd be a drafting dog?
|Not really |
A drafting dog or draft dog is a dog bred and used for cart pulling. Dogs bred for this work have strong builds and qualities that are needed, strength and determination. German Shepherd is not the best breed for drafting purposes.
Health Issues |
Is it a healthy breed? Do German Shepherd dogs have health problems?
German Shepherds are commonly healthy dogs. Vet costs aren't expensive with this breed.
Health Problems |
What health problems does the German Shepherd breed have? What are the health issues and concerns of the German Shepherd breed? Health risks of German Shepherd:
|AllergiesBlindnessBloatCancerCataractsCherry EyeChronic DiarrheaCruciate Ligament RuptureCushing's SyndromeDegenerative MyelopathyDemodectic MangeDiabetesDigestive ProblemsElbow DysplasiaEpilepsyExocrine Pancreatic InsufficiencyHeart DiseaseHemophilia AHemophilia BHip DysplasiaHypertrophic OsteodystrophyLens LuxationLupusMegaesophagusMyasthenia GravisNail Bed DiseaseOsteochondrosisPannusPanosteitisParalysisPerianal FistulaProgressive retinal atrophy (PRA)Retinal DysplasiaSeborrheaVitiligoVon Willebrand's DiseaseWobbler's Syndrome|
Life Expectancy |
How long do German Shepherd dogs live? What is the average lifespan of this breed? How old can a German Shepherd be?
Is the German Shepherd breed hypoallergenic?
German Shepherds don't do well with allergy sufferers by causing allergic reaction. Some of the dog breeds are even considered to higher the possibility of an allergic response. Coat type isn't necessarily relevant, because most people are allergic to dander (flakes on the dog's skin) or saliva, not actually to dog hair.
Energy Level |
How much energy does the German Shepherd have?
German Shepherds are high energy dogs. Active lifestyle makes them happy.
Exercise Need |
How much exercise does this dog need? How much exercise do German Shepherd dogs require per day?
German Shepherds need quite a lot of exercise. Daily walks should be on schedule. If you live an active life, this breed can be a good choice for you.
Sleeping Need |
How much sleep does this fido need?
German Shepherds don't need too much sleep. They are energetic and desire to live an active life. If you think naps are overrated, this breed can be the best choice for you.
Avg. daily food consumption |
How much food does the German Shepherd need? How often should I feed my canine? What dog products should I buy?
|3 to 4 cups of high-quality dry food a day, divided into two meals.|
Weight Gain Potential |
How easy to gain weight for this dog? German Shepherd risk for obesity:
Low to Average. The German Shepherd has a low to the average risk for obesity. To make your dog happy and fit, feed him with quality dry dog food and live an active life together. Try to find the happy medium between exercise and feeding. If you notice any weight change, consult your veterinarian to make a meal plan, and measure the German Shepherd's weight regularly.
Weather & Climate |
Which weather condition is preferred by this dog? Can they tolerate hot and cold weather & climate?
|Tolerates warm and cold weather.|
How stinky is this dog? Why does it smell bad and how to get rid of the smell?
The German Shepherd has an average chance of bad smell. Top reasons for dog stinkiness: infection of bad tooth/ear/skin folds, gas attacks.
Drooling tendency |
Does the German Shepherd drool?
The German Shepherd is a perfect example for very low drooling tendency. If you're disgusted by slobber spots on your clothes, the German Shepherd could be a perfect choice for you. Drooling is the unintentional saliva flowing outside of the mouth. It can be completely normal or a sign of a health problem. Certain dog breeds drool minimal compared to others, just like the German Shepherd. If you notice any change in your dog's drooling habit, you should contact a vet as soon as possible.
Gestation Length |
How long does this dog's pregnancy last? How long does this dog pregnant? How long does it take to have puppies?
Reproductive cycle of the female German Shepherd: The first period called Proestrus lasts for about 9 days. During this time the females start to attract males. You can notice by swelling vulva and bloody discharge. The second part is the Estrus when the bitch is receptive for the male. It lasts for about 3 to 11 days. The sign of the proestrus part is the soft and enlarged vulva. The discharge decreases and lightens in color. The third part is the Diestrus. Normally, it occurs around day 14. In this period the bitch’s discharge changes for vivid red and coming to its end. The vulva returns to average, and she will no longer permit mating. The fourth part called the Anestrus. The time frame between heat periods normally lasts about six months.
|How often can the German Shepherd have a litter?||Once a year.|
More frequent breeding is not healthy. It is very important not to buy a dog from a puppy mill, where the needs of the pups and their mothers are ignored. It's an inhumane high-volume dog breeding facility, where puppies born several times a year.
Litter Size |
How many puppies can the German Shepherd have? What is the average litter size of this fido?
German Shepherd Pros & Cons
- Intelligent Rank: Outstanding: German Shepherd is one of the brightest dog breeds.
- Trainability: German Shepherds are easy to train.
- Health Issues: German Shepherds are commonly healthy dogs.
- Drooling tendency: The German Shepherd is a perfect example for very low drooling tendency.
- Weight Gain Potential: Low to Average.
- Watchdog Ability: German Shepherds are one of the best watchdogs.
- Impulse to Wander or Roam: German Shepherds are not the biggest explorers.
- Adaptability: German Shepherds adapt very well to lifestyle changes and basically all living environments.
- Child Friendly: German Shepherds are very kid-friendly dogs.
- Senior Citizens Friendly: German Shepherds are one of the best breeds for elderly people.
- Service Dog: This breed makes good as a service dog.
- Therapy Dog: This breed makes a perfect therapy dog.
- Detection Dog or Sniffer Dog: A detection dog or sniffer dog is a dog that is trained to use its senses (mostly its smell) to detect substances such as explosives, illegal drugs, wildlife scat, currency, blood, and contraband electronics such as illicit mobile phones.
- Search and Rescue Dog (SAR): The use of dogs in search and rescue (SAR) is a valuable component in wilderness tracking, natural disasters, mass casualty events, and in locating missing people.
- Hypoallergenic: German Shepherds don't do well with allergy sufferers by causing allergic reaction.
- Shedding Level: German Shepherds are heavy shedders.
- Mouthiness: German Shepherds have a strong tendency to nip, chew, play-bite, or herd people.
- Dog Friendly: German Shepherds are not the most dog-friendly dogs.
- Office Friendly: German Shepherd is not the best dog breed for office environment.
- Good For First Time Owners: German Shepherds are not good for novice owners, due to their stubborn personality.
Latest German Shepherd Compares
Rate The German Shepherd Breed
German Shepherd Comments, Reviews & Questions
Sep 22, 2021, 12:56:17 PM:
I absolutely love German Shepards. They are the best!!!
Jun 1, 2021, 7:21:59 AM:
May 31, 2021, 8:17:49 AM:
L have nothing to say but this is definitely the best
May 31, 2021, 8:16:32 AM:
That’s cool German shepherd
May 31, 2021, 8:15:01 AM:
They are ligit the best they very good guard dog L give you definitely 5 stars
May 30, 2021, 5:53:31 AM:
HI kid l like your German shepherd facts its cool and lm about to get a German shepherd if l get scoloship
Apr 21, 2021, 4:54:33 PM:
These dogs are AMAZING!!!!
Dec 11, 2020, 8:28:02 PM:
let me tell you this "kamikazewarrior" german shepherds are sweet loveable dogs who would die for their loved one so Sara is right and if you have nothing nice to say about them then don't say it and Dogell should get five stars!
Aug 20, 2020, 3:17:00 PM:
good guard dog.But it is overprotective of it's owner.Behaves aggresively with strangers.Not a good buy for first timers.
Feb 12, 2020, 8:34:15 PM:
Good guard dog and human friendly. Easy to train.