The German Shepherd is one of the most popular breeds of dogs in the United States. It is friendly, strong, protective, and loyal.
How big do German Shepherds get?
German Shepherds are big dogs. They generally grow to around two feet tall at the withers (shoulder blades) and weigh between 50 and 90 pounds. Their ears are large and generally stand up straight. They are longer than tall and are generally well proportioned and muscular looking.
Zak the German Shepherd Author: S Sparham via Wikimedia, PD
The German Shepherd Coat
They can be most any color, but most are tan and black or reddish and black. They can be all black or sable as well. Their coat is a double coat which helps keep them warm. The outer coat sheds year round. Mostly the coat length is medium, but there is a variety of German Shepherd that has long hair.
German Shepherds were first bred as working dogs primarily to herd sheep and protect them from predators. Today they are used widely as police dogs and sometimes military dogs. They are also excellent scent dogs where they are trained to sniff out drugs, bombs, and in search and rescue missions.
German Shepherds as Pets
The German Shepherd is one of the most popular pets in America. This is because they can act as good guard dogs as well as good pets. They are protective and loyal to their owners. They also are intelligent and obedient.
German Shepherds need a lot of activity and exercise. They are highly active dogs and want to please their owners. They are not the most friendly dogs to people they don't know. They can be aloof until they get to know someone. If not properly trained they can be overprotective of their family.
Are they healthy dogs?
German Shepherds tend to live to around 10 years old, which is about right for dogs of their size. The one health issue they tend to have is hip and elbow problems later in life. They also tend to get ear infections.
German Shepherd Author: Hans Kemperman, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons
Fun Facts about German Shepherds
The breed originated in Germany and was bred as a sheep dog, hence its name.
German Shepherds are considered to be the third most intelligent dog breed behind the border collie and the poodle.