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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.

Our German Shepherd Dog (Alsatian) owners have uploaded 403 photos

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Our German Shepherd Dog (Alsatian) owners' thoughts

10th Jul 2013
Tracy Brown
  • VioVet Customer Since: June 2013
  • From: 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

4th Sep 2013
Tara Emslie
  • VioVet Customer Since: February 2012
  • From: 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.

10th Oct 2013
Richard Jordan
  • VioVet Customer Since: September 2011
  • From: 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!

18th Nov 2013
Sarah Moran
  • VioVet Customer Since: March 2012
  • From: 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.

11th Dec 2013
Jodie Green
  • VioVet Customer Since: December 2013
  • From: Hertfordshire, United Kingdom

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

19th Dec 2013
Paul Stephen
  • VioVet Customer Since: December 2013
  • From: 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!

28th May 2014
Pauline Chapman
  • VioVet Customer Since: May 2014
  • From: 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.

14th Jul 2014
Lynn Moore

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!

16th Sep 2014
Laura Bovingdon
  • VioVet Customer Since: September 2014
  • From: Buckinghamshire, United Kingdom

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

26th Oct 2014
Claire Phillips
  • VioVet Customer Since: October 2014
  • From: 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

19th Jan 2015
Liz Mcpherson
  • VioVet Customer Since: November 2012
  • From: 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.

10th Mar 2015
Tracy Douglass

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.

30th Jun 2015
vicky lee jones

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

26th Aug 2015
Fi Mather
  • VioVet Customer Since: August 2013
  • From: 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)

21st Jan 2016
Anita Baynham (amazonmad)
  • VioVet Customer Since: April 2014
  • From: 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.

10th Mar 2016
Sarah Paul
  • VioVet Customer Since: January 2016
  • From: Devon, 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

20th Jun 2016
Rebecca Holloway
  • VioVet Customer Since: July 2012
  • From: 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!

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