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German Shepherd Dog (Alsatian)

German Shepherd Dog (Alsatian)

The German Shepherd originates from...

Otherwise known as the Alsatian, the breed is arguably the most popular worldwide. Founded by Captain Max von Stephanitz in 1899, the German Shepherd was primarily bred as a versatile working dog, developed to be fearless and agile for the purposes of military and police work. Highly trainable, the German Shepherd established a shining reputation for itself and was widely utilised in the forces. With the onset of WWI, the German Shepherd was the obvious breed choice for the German army and 48,000 were enlisted as supply delivery dogs. Despite the negative association of the enemy, the German Shepherd retained its concrete reputation across Europe and the United States, remaining today one of the most highly sought and valued of canine breeds. The Shepherd was officially registered by the American Kennel Club in 1912.

The German Shepherd is characterised by...

Athletically built to change direction at full speed, the appearance of the German Shepherd reflects its versatile working capabilities. Possessing a powerful body and head, with triangular, upright ears, a domed forehead, a square-cut muzzle, and a black nose. The breed boasts a double coat, which is typically medium-length, although long-haired examples are seen. The German Shepherd is commonly observed in black and red or tan, although some rarer varieties include solid black or white, blue, sable and liver. Retaining its original instincts, the modern German Shepherd is widely seen as a guide dog for the blind, in drug and arms detection, search and rescue, canine sport and military service. Like the Dalmatian, owners of the German Shepherd have described the breed's natural affinity with horses.

The average German Shepherd...

Contrary to popular belief, a socialised and consistently trained German Shepherd will not display aggressive or unpredictable behaviours. Instead, one will demonstrate a calm and gentle manner, be devoted to children and engage well in active family life. Inherently loyal, able-minded and adaptable, the German Shepherd makes a great addition to the home setting, providing its needs for regular exercise, mental enrichment and companionship are met. In general, a healthy German Shepherd will weigh 30-40 kg depending on its gender, with a life expectancy of 10-12 years when shown the appropriate love and care.

Because no breed is without its weakness...

The German Shepherd is typically healthy and resilient, although a small percentage of the breed are identified with hip dysplasia, arthritis, optical disorders, skin allergies and epilepsy. More serious conditions include von Willebrand's Disease, a bleeding disorder, as well as Degenerative Myelopathy, a neurological disease that leads to eventual paralysis. As with most large-sized breeds, cases of heart disease and digestive problems are well documented in the German Shepherd, with bloat and gastric tortion being potentially fatal if left untreated for too long.

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Our German Shepherd Dog (Alsatian) owners' thoughts

20130613 02:50 pm
Northumberland, United Kingdom

I have two German Shepherds (Male & Female) named Misty who is 19mths and Zak who is 5.5 years
Wouldn't have any other breed.
Love them to bits
They are my life !!!!!
They are hard work ~ but worth it
They are intelligent / agile / such a wonderful personality / very protective / love kids / love Tennis Balls

20120217 10:26 am
Aberdeenshire, United Kingdom

I have 2 GSD's, both male - Bailey Boy (short hair) age 11.5 yrs and Sasha (long haired) age 9.5 yrs, they are from the same family (cousins)
I would be lost without them - they are extremely loving, faithful, very protective and the most gentle dogs ever!! They love kids. GSD's respond well to routine & order, we are strict with our dogs, they love commands and do everything they are told. They never instigate trouble with other dogs and would let everyone pet them if we allowed it. I can leave them with my son and his friends no problem and my son has fed them by hand from the age of 2yrs old.

20110926 06:50 pm
Hertfordshire, United Kingdom

GSDs are adorable. I love them.

I haven't got one but they are my favourite breed of dog :)

I'm really enjoying looking at all the pictures of all these gorgeous dogs!

20120311 10:35 pm
Essex, United Kingdom

Fantastic loyal, brave, loving breed. Paddy is a terrific nutty, playful family pet that will defend his family from any potential threat but will take great care of puppies and injured/unwell dogs I foster. Despite medical problems we have suffered with Paddy, we would not be without him. Outstanding breed of dog.

20131211 04:59 pm
Hertfordshire, United Kingdom

I show and breed German shepherds they our mine and my partners life
Such a loyal Nd loving breed

20131219 07:06 pm
Gloucestershire, United Kingdom

I am lucky to share in the life of Syndie, 6 yrs old, girl GSD. She is very affectionate, loyal, inquisitive & adores children. She is gentle with other animals, lives happily with another dog, 2 cats & a young rabbit. I have never met another dog with such a colourful & eccentric character as Syndie!

20140528 06:09 pm
Oxfordshire, United Kingdom

I have loved German Shepherds from a very young age, my aunt used to have one when I was 2 years old which was many years ago. I have had 3 Shepherds so far, Ruddock was my first and lived till he was 14, I now have Clyde who I adopted from Dogs trust and Ellie was a cross who sadly passed away 10 months after we adopted her from Dogs trust with a twisted stomach. Clyde is a great character who sings to opera and is so loving. He only has one eye and he now has Degenerative Myelopathy. I will give him all the love and care I can he is my best friend.


German Shepherds are the best friends you could ever wish for!
They are there for you 24 hours a day and will follow you anywhere, as long as they are with you, they don't care if you rich or poor - they just want to be with you!!
I have had GSD's as family pets for 38 years and would never be without one!

20140913 09:47 pm
Buckinghamshire, United Kingdom

Fab dogs, we have 5 at the moment! Great company, for working and as family dogs. Truly wonderful dogs!

20141026 08:09 am
North Lincolnshire, United Kingdom

My 2 furbabies are beautiful GSDs, one black n tan and the other white. Both love cuddles n their walks n we love them to bits xxx

20121117 07:39 pm
Moray, United Kingdom

The German Shepherd is the best friend you could ever want. No matter where I am or what I do.. If I have my boys beside me I'm happy.


I have owned 6 German Shepherds and bred a few, worked them in obdience competition. I know get resue ones as there are far to many that get a bad start in life, either people not knowing how to deal with them or give them enough stimulation to keep their minds active, they are a working dog and need plenty of exercise. But I just love their loyalty and gently nature.


we lost our old GSD Cisco in 2010 , He was an exceptionally amazing dog and left a massive void in our lives and some very big paws to fill, 4 weeks ago we brought home skye , shes completely nuts and so much fun , shes now 12 weeks old and growing rapidly , she mastered potty training in just 4 days we have an intelligent but so laid back girl , we start puppy classes this week and we know shes going to love it , we're all so excited shes made the whole in hearts complete shes beautiful and brought the fun back into all our lives will never be without a GSD ever again . Love this beautiful gorgeous baby girl to bits shes so very similar to Cisco in so many ways its uncanny ;-D

20130823 04:34 am
Northumberland, United Kingdom

We have had GSD's now in our lives since 1995 they are our kids & each & every one has been such a joy to have & they have all been different & unique. Simba, Nala & Ben are now our guardian angels watching over us & not a day go's by we don't miss them & we have our new baby boy Nevis who is now 6mths old & growing up so fast. They are the most loyal, intelligent fun loving & friendly dogs you could ever have. They thrive on routine & initially as pups you do have to put in some hard work with their training but because they learn so fast it becomes a joy to see them grow & learn & you end up with a friend for life who is always there for you & is your doggy shadow. All our dogs have been pups except Ben whom we got as a retired Police dog & have to say he was the most gentlest giant ever, trained to perfection friends with everyone & all he wanted in life was to be with you & play & go for nice walks. GSD's are brilliant..... :0)

20140408 09:04 pm
Warwickshire, United Kingdom

We have kept shepherd's for 20 years, our latest addition is Rudy who is now six years old. She is very quirky, loyal and lovable , we wouldn't be without her.

20160112 09:37 pm
Lincolnshire, United Kingdom

I have owned GSD's for over 35 years .. I couldnt imagine ever not having one .. they are great family dogs .. the breed has stolen my heart ..and my lad Dudley is my doggy soulmate ..he is the love of my life ..just dont tell the hubby lol

20120729 07:56 pm
Kent, United Kingdom

GSDs have been a part of my life since I can remember. They were like fluffy siblings when I was growing up and very much family members. Don't overlook rescue or olders GSDs either - I've experienced both and never had any issues. They have a massive heart, are very loyal and incredibly smart. My experience is that they need a leader who they will trust implicitly and firm boundaries - they also like routine. No breed alas is without their inherent traits - namely hip displaysia / arthritis - but the correct nourishment, exercise and oodles of love and you'll have the best, most loving and loyal friend you'll ever know. I love my GSD, he's my buddy and I'd be lost without him!

20120228 03:06 pm
Essex, United Kingdom

My parents had shepherds, as did my brother and I have had them as soon as I got married, and have never been without all my life. At times we had two generally a dog and a bitch together. I became so involved with them that I became a BAGSD qualified trainer and enjoyed helping others enjoy what this breed gives you. By the way we have also had Yorkshire Terriers as well

20160801 06:41 am
Kent, United Kingdom

We have a 14 year old long-haired (rescue) and a one-year-old GS cross. Both loving, gentle, loyal, obedient, although the young one is yet to get used to being around cats - only had him a few days so early days yet. Also have an Alaskan Shepherd (Alaskan Malamute/GS) with, thankfully, enough GS in her to make it easier to teach her commands. You can always rely on a German Shepherd. Wouldn't be without one.

20140904 10:17 am
Bedfordshire, United Kingdom

I have had the privilege of having gsd,s in my life for some 50 years. Everyone has been a joy and privilege

20160713 08:38 pm
Dorset, United Kingdom

I got my German Shepherd Dog from a rescue centre solely specialising in this breed only from Spain & Romania.The moment I set eyes on Dodger from his Web page I fell in Love wiv him. His sad story of his beginning life made me cry n I knew I had to give him his Forever Loving Home. He was 18 months living in the wild, wen he came to me he was 2 yrs old.
My life changed forever wen I took him on, this boy is so fun loving n makes me laugh so much. Wen I cry he licks my tears away, he's cheeky wen the biscuit box is out he sticks his nose on it then looks at me,looks back at the box then back at me, as if to say Daddy wheres my shortbread bicky .
I'd Never have any other breed , German Shepherd Dogs are Very Special, Loyal, protective,fun n just gorgeous all round. Forget your tiny handbag dogs, they're rats on a lead, wen u have a German Shepherd you know you've got a REAL dog.
Dodger loves cuddly toys, wen I buy him one from a charity shop n come home his nose is straight into the bag n he pulls it out. His ears go back, his tail wags as if to say look wot daddy got me.
Dodger is mad for cuddles, if I say Snoozyville time he jumps on my bed n we cuddle up together. Wot more can u ask for.
Life wud be so Dull n Horrible without Dodger. He is my world, my soul mate n Best Buddy.

20180127 10:30 am
Cornwall, United Kingdom

I have had German Shepherds for 31 years and now have my 6th. I always have a GSD and a Border Collie because I find they have similar intelligence and exercise requirements. At one time I had 2 Shepherds and 2 Collies and never had any problems with them at all.....wonderful breed, loving, loyal, always there when needed (they are nick named the velcro breed)!!! A very kind gentle breed with so much to offer but they must be trained when young and this training continues throughout their lives to a certain degree, because of their intelligence and willingness to constantly learn. Can't see myself being without one of these beautiful dogs in my life!!!

20150809 05:38 pm
Hampshire, United Kingdom

Sasha is eleven this year and very much still a pup at heart. She is as mad as a box of frogs but the most loyal and trustworthy of dogs. She can't abide other dogs which is weird when we got her from a home with 7 other dogs living with her! She's great with people though and loves the children who live nearby and play with her. She is my second GSD my first being Christie who lived 'til she was 16 and a half! She was absolutely my soul mate and I still miss her desperately, but focus is now on Sasha who is a much loved member of the family who happens to wear a fur coat. GSD's are the best of dogs and I would recommend one to anyone wanting a loyal and affectionate dog. They must be educated well though! And lastly, remember they are hairy, only moult once a year but it lasts for 365 days.....

20180407 07:17 pm
United Kingdom

I’ve always had shepherds very loyal dogs especially if u train them correctly..Tia is a big softy and a lot of people frown upon her ignorance against breed I say ....definitely would recommend if u have time and patience to train

20180405 09:52 pm
North Yorkshire, United Kingdom

I've been brought up around dogs, my father always had them - various breeds from Rottweilers to springer spaniels. I love big dogs and I have to say mine is a gentle giant. He's actually a GSD/Japanese Akita crossbreed, but I have to say he's more like Scooby Doo. He's scared of his own shadow!

Best memory of this dufus is he jumped on my bed and my pillow toppled forward and hit him on his front paws. He actually yelped! Yeah, big, strong and brave? You must be joking! Love him to pieces though and wouldn't swap him for a million pounds!

20161004 05:52 pm
Somerset, United Kingdom

Our German Shepherd is Lilah she is our 5th shepherd, over the years we've loved four bitches and one dog, they have all been fabulous pets, absolutely loyal and loving, fine with children and other dogs, all in all brilliant companions.

20170216 03:48 pm
Shropshire, United Kingdom

I love my black Belgium shepherd.. hardest work ever .
my first German shepherd was brilliant..hard work too.. we did agility and she used to help the police with drug searches and finding bodies.. it was a day out jolly for her so easy to train
my black shepherd I swear is dyslexic and I've had to train her differently.. I have to talk to her in sentences.. she doesn't understand quick commands ..
but 11 years of being shop dog.. she is loved by all customers..and me especially.. great with kids and my 2 year old godson
I just love shepherds...