German Shepherd Breed - Dog & Puppy Information & Characteristics

The German Shepherd dog breed is intelligent, loyal, and thrives on mental stimulation and physical activity. German Shepherds are extremely protective and will do anything to keep a loved one from harm’s way. While these furry beasts may come off as authoritative and protective, they are extremely loving and enjoy spending time with their family. Whether you want to go for a swim or push your limits with a challenging hike, your German Shepherd will always be there by your side. Keep reading to learn more about this breed’s personality traits, grooming needs, ancient origins, and more.

Key specifications of a German Shepherd

Here are a few key factors you must keep in mind before bringing a German Shepherd home:

Weight22 to 40 kg
Height22 to 26 inches
Lifespan7 to 10 years
CoatDouble coat

Note: The weight and height mentioned on the table is of a full-grown German Shepherd and not of a German Shepherd puppy.

Physical appearance of the German Shepherd dog breed

German shepherds are muscular and agile furry beasts who love to run around. They have a luscious double coat that can be found in different colors such as:

  • Grey
  • Black
  • Sable
  • Black and cream
  • Black and silver
  • Black and red
  • Liver
  • White
  • Blue
  • Bi-color

If you find a liver-colored (reddish brown) coat on a German Shepherd, count yourself lucky. Only a few genetic combinations can produce liver-colored versions of these dogs.

People often confuse German Shepherds with Belgian Malinois because of their similar features such as height, coat, etc. If you’re looking to bring a purebred German Shepherd home, look out for these physical features:

  • Pointy ears that stand erect when alert
  • Almond-shaped, dark eyes
  • Black, square nose with a straight long muzzle

German Shepherd personality traits

German Shepherds are all about loyalty and will do anything to protect their family. This is why they make for excellent watchdogs and police dogs. This fearless breed is well-known for putting themselves in harm’s way to save their loved ones. If you have a German Shepherd at home, you will know the second someone starts approaching your house. Since they are such a protective breed, early socializing is extremely important for them to know that not everything is a threat.

They are also born talkers; they love to express themselves. If they’re bored, they will bark. If they want to alert you about something, they will bark. However, this isn’t anything that training and socializing cannot solve.

Do German Shepherds need training?

Yes, training is extremely important for the German Shepherd dog breed. Since these dogs grow up to be large in size, an untrained German Shepherd can wreak havoc around strangers and other pets. This breed also needs a lot of mental stimulation in terms of sniffing practice, puzzle-solving, etc. Enrolling German Shepherd puppies in a puppy school is a great idea. This experience will teach them how to be gentle and cordial with strangers, guests, and most importantly, other pets.

This herding breed has unmatched jaw strength and bite force which can be difficult to deal with in their adulthood. If you cannot handle training your German by yourself, feel free to reach out to professional dog trainers.

How to care for German Shepherds?

Here’s how you can care for your German Shepherd dog:

  • Health

    While the average German Shepherd's lifespan is around 7 to 10 years, there are a few health problems that this breed is prone to. Some common health problems like degenerative myelopathy, elbow and hip dysplasia, cancer, bloat, gastric conditions, allergies, and dilated cardiomyopathy can affect your German Shepherd dog. Ensure that you schedule monthly or quarterly vet visits to keep any severe conditions at bay.

  • Grooming

    German Shepherds have intense grooming needs, thanks to their luscious double coat. Pet parents must brush their German’s fur every single day, especially during the spring and fall seasons. Bathing this breed too often is not recommended since it may strip your dog’s coat of natural oils. Bathe your German Shepherd once every 2 to 3 months, when it gets really dirty. Brush its teeth regularly to avoid tartar buildup, trim its nails once you hear them tapping on the floor, and keep an eye out for any ear infections.

  • Physical activity

    German Shepherd dogs have high energy levels which they need to exhaust every day. They will need at least 2 to 3 hours of physical and mental exercise each day. To keep things interesting, you can take your German Shepherd puppy for walks, hikes, jogs, and let it sniff anything and everything that engages it. You can also play a game of fetch or take it for a dip in a pool or a lake. Hiding treats all over your house or backyard, and letting your puppy look for them as a sniffing practice game can also be a fun activity.

  • Nutritional requirements

    A German Shepherd’s food plan should include a high-quality commercial-grade dog food formula. Be sure to factor in your dog’s age before you purchase any type of dog food. This breed has sensitive skin and suffers from tummy issues quite often. That being said, it is always better to consult a veterinarian before you decide on the ideal meal plan for your German Shepherd dog.

A brief history of German Shepherds

The German Shepherd's origin story dates back to the late 1800s, when a Captain named Max Von Stephanitz decided to create the ideal German dog. He started cross breeding several dogs from northern and central Germany to create the iconic German Shepherd dog, a one-of-a-kind herding breed. Today, the German Shepherd dog breed is among the most popular dog breeds in the world. From being family dogs to serving as police dogs, these beasts can do it all.

Frequently Asked Questions

The average German Shepherd’s lifespan is around 7 to 10 years.

German Shepherds are extremely protective and loyal. While they love running around and staying active, they also enjoy spending time with their family indoors.

German Shepherds are excellent family dogs since they are loyal, protective, and would do anything to keep their loved ones safe.

Since German Shepherds love to stay active, training them is easy and fun.

You can consult a vet to find out the ideal meal portion for your German Shepherd depending on its age and other factors.

Buy Online Now