The German Shepherd is known to be one of the strongest among all the breeds of dog. They are well built and are believed to remain alert 24X7. The head is chisel shaped which is not too broad. They have medium sized almond shaped eyes.This adds to their lively and intelligent look. Generally the size is said to be between 55 and 65 centimeters and is (22 and 26 in) at the withers. The weight is in between 22 and 40 kilograms (49 and 88 lb). The ears are large which are almost always found to be erect. The ears are invariably folded back when they make movement. Their skull is found to be sloppy giving a big wedged shaped muzzle. When they are excited, they let this know to the world world by raising their long neck. This neck is in proportion to the body. They do have a bright black nose. Their doctors-like teeth attached to the rigidly developed jaws, make them too scary for strangers. Its tail is long and has bushy hairs in abundance.
Their coating faces constant shedding. The coating is generally of medium size with a touch of double coating. Just take notice of the shedding which is believed to see an increase with changes in seasons.
The outer coating is firm because of which the inner coating is not visible which is generally silver in color. The hairs which are mostly straight will be long in size at the rear. The hairs remain very close to the skin.
The hairs are more dense and thick around the neck.
During the period of 1800s it was thought to be just the perfect idea to bring a breed of dog into the picture which would fit into the role of herding sheep. And dogs were solely selected for this purpose because they seemed to possess all the exercises which were expected in a watch dog. Thus in Germany the communities started to rely on this bred of dog that were used to herding livestock and protecting them from possible predators. These dogs had those necessary ingredients – sense of smell, strength and intelligence. They also started to be known as military dog ostensibly because of these reasons.
But one thing was a bit of shock of these initial breeders. They realized the appearance and ability were not the same for all. It differs in varying degrees depending upon the location. With a view to eradicate this major difference, Phylax Society was formed in 1891. Max von Stephanitz was an ex-member of this organization. The world also knows him as “Father of the German Shepherd”.
In breeding standards they are regarded as self-assured one. They conducts an active soldier are keen learners and are known to be always eager to have a purpose in their mind. They are good companions to socialize with. They are also known for their cent percent loyalty. But yes, if you do not train them properly and adequately, they’re quite likely to become very over protective of their family and territory.
Health issues and concerns
Because of indiscriminate breeding techniques they are prone to hip dysplasia. This may result in experiencing pain in later part of the dog’s life. This will also invite arthritis related issues. It was found by The Orthopedic Foundation for Animals that 19.1% of the breed was affected by hip dysplasia. Although the study was small in nature, a study undertaken by University of Zurich in those dogs working for the police found that 45% were affected by degenerative spinal stenosis. One of the major declination in police not preferring them anymore as a rightful ‘police dog’ is being attributed to this ailment.
Because they have big ears, they are different to various ear infections. Like other dogs, they are also known to be sentenced to bloat. The breed being predisposed to it, Degenerative myelopathy, a neurological disease, is rampant among them. The incidence of Von Willebrand Disease, a common inherited bleeding disorder, is more than normal in them.
It requires almost daily brushing of the coats. If not done regularly it may lead to the undercoat getting matted especially the stomach and around the neck. And yes, try to choose a brush which is soothing for the dog’s skin and effective in removing the hairs.
To preserve the integrity of the coat you may resort to giving a bath once in a while. Although not mandatory, it’s advisable to give him a proper bath with mild shampoo when you think it’s absolutely necessary to give him such bathing.