Does the name Max von Stephanitz mean anything to you? To us German Shepherd dogs, he’s our Kaiser – the man that bred us to the standard we’re known as today. And quite a following we have too. As the name suggests, we know our way around a field of sheep. However, we were widely used by the German army in World War I. This job didn’t prevent us becoming the most popular dog in Britain from the 1920s, where we were more commonly referred to as the Alsatian Wolf Dog. This change of name was due to the anti-German sentiment prevalent at the time. In 1977, after many years of campaigning and a lot of water under the bridge, the name reverted back to the German Shepherd dog.
What do I look like?
Trust me, like the magician Paul Daniels, you’ll know me when you see me! Unlike Paul Daniels, you might want me to stay. I’m typically black-and-tan, or variants of it. My face is unmistakeable with a long muzzle, orangey-brown eyes, pointed ears and a look of extreme intelligence etched across it. My body and legs are strong and powerful. I have a powerful and fierce bark that would deter all but the bravest intruder!
What do I need from you?
Through a combination of poor breeding and handling, the German Shepherd dog does have a reputation for aggressive and unpredictable behaviour. This is often very unfair since with the right owner we are a superbly trained and trustworthy dog. Therefore it is important that our owners treat us firm but fair and do not provide us with an environment that encourages aggression. Naturally we also need plenty of exercise and lots of space to move about in – we really don’t flourish cramped up day-in day-out.
What I will give in return
If correctly trained, we are a truly wonderful companion and worker. We can be applied for a variety of roles. Naturally we make excellent guard dogs. However, we are much more than that. Our intelligence means we can support people with visual impairment, sniff out drugs and tracking. Naturally, my average owner won’t need me for these types of duties, which is absolutely fine. Just show us love and we will repay it 1,000 times over.
How big will I get?
I tend to reach about 25in (63cm) and around 70lb-80lb (32kg-36kg).
How long should I be around for?
The German Shepherd dog will live for between 9 to 13 years in most cases.
How big is our litter?
Anything from 5 to 10 pups could easily occur.
So many to mention but here’s our favourite five: Ben Affleck, John F Kennedy, Billy Ray Cyrus, Bo Derek and Jake Gyllenhaal.
We’re currently recruiting breeders and adopters to go here. Could that be you?
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The GS Alliance
Disclaimer: the views expressed on this page and any comments below are only a guide to typical traits and views on the breed. Individual circumstance and traits will always vary so we can be in no way responsible for any of the information provided.