What makes the German Shepherd dog the second most popular breed? Well, they are an all- purpose working dog. They are a large, agile and muscular breed, highly intelligent as well. Apart from this the German Shepherds are loyal, sturdy and courageous.
The German Shepherd dog, also called as the Alsatian or GSD is from Germany. Their primary purpose was to herd flocks of sheep, not by barking and nipping but through their swift movements and strong attitude. Their accurate judgement and even temperament made them the preferred choice of the law enforcers. So, they came to be known as police K-9 dogs, service dogs, security dogs and search and rescue dogs.
People who own this smart breed must be aware of the protectiveness that come naturally to this breed. These dogs must be socialised and trained at an early age so that they know people who are welcome to your home and those that are not. Since they are a working dog, the Alsatians need a lot of activities to keep them busy. They are suited to families that have a lot of time and energy to spend on them. A well raised GSD will be a very devoted, protective and loving friend.
The German Shepherd dogs are strong, agile and muscular with a curved outline. The skull slopes to a long and wedge-shaped muzzle, which ends in a black nose and teeth that are as sharp as scissors. They have almond shaped eyes which are alert, sharp and expressive. They have a bushy tail that hang down to the hock. They come in all canine colours including black and cream, black and red, black and silver, black and tan, sable even white.
The male German Shepherds can stand as high as 24 to 26 inches and the females at 22 to 24 inches. The males can weigh from 75 to 90 pounds and the females weigh between 50 and 70 pounds.
The German Shepherd is best known for their strength, courage and obedience as a guide dog for the disabled and are valued for their intelligence, loyalty and focus as police dog and search and rescue dog.
The GSDs are the most preferred choice as security dogs. As house pets the GSDs making loving companions. They appear indifferent and aloof at first to strangers, but once they decide to befriend you, their companionship and devotion is life-long.
The GSDs do not need to be heavily exercised. Normal daily walks will do. But they are definitely not meant for apartment dwellers and for people who are away from home for long hours. They are very good with children and enjoy activities like hiking, swimming, running and picnicking with the family. They are well suited for obedience training.
Mental exercise is an excellent way to fight boredom in GSDs. Since they are highly intelligent they love working with their masters. They do extremely well in obedience work and agility courses. They can never get bored of playing games of catch and fetch, ball or frisbee.
The German Shepherds can be trained to do any task. They will do it since they are bold, smart and focused especially when they love to please their owners. One thing that dog owners must do is to socialise and train their GSD at an early age. This often requires a firm handler as the GSDs can show their dominance if they feel like they can boss over the person training them. So, gentle but firm handling is required to train this intelligent breed.
A GSD can provide loyalty and companionship till their lifetime. Due to their size, trainability, and self confidence the right training and socialisation is necessary. People who do not have the time nor the level of commitment to work with this breed should keep a less demanding one. Those who have the time, energy and the never-ending interest to train this amazing breed will find their hard efforts handsomely returned in the form of a faithful, loyal and ever-loving family companion.