German Shepherd Dog

History/Evolution:

The product of much development, the German Shepherd Dog is the result of breeder efforts to produce the ideal herder and guarder of flocks. The German Shepherd possesses it all: strength, dependability, intelligence, and courage. Off the farm, the breed was quick to prove itself a capable police and war dog, and later as a guide, search-and-rescue dog, and show dog. Thanks to movie stars such as Strongheart and Rin Tin Tin, the breed’s popularity soared in the 1920s and 1930s.


Size:

Large; females 22 to 24 inches, 60 to 70 pounds; males 24 to 26 inches, 75 to 95 pounds.

Color:

All colors except white; typically black and tan, sable, and black.

Temperament:

Direct, fearless, and protective but not hostile; suspicious of strangers. A poised, intelligent guardian. Devoted to family; dogs from well-bred lines are great with children.

Energy level:

Medium.

Best owner:

Active, confident owner or family.

Needs:

Daily mental and physical challenges (exercise, play sessions, and learning), fenced yard, obedience, close human contact, lots of brushing (heavy shedder).

Life expectancy:

10 to 12 years.