German Shepherd Dog


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.


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


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


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:


Best owner:

Active, confident owner or family.


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.