The German Shepherd is one of the most common dogs in the world. She delights in her courage, intelligence, decisiveness; has the strongest instinct for protection. But it is the strongest instinct of protection that turns against the dog itself – protecting the master’s baby, the German shepherd can rush at any stranger who opens the gate. She can become angry and out of boredom, and if she was taken simply as a pet dog. The German Shepherd deserves to have her own work in life: if there is service, then service, and if there is no service, then at least training and participation in competitions, which she loves very much.
The content of the article:
- 1. History of the origin of the breed
- 2. Description of the breed
- 3. German Shepherd personality
- 4. German Shepherd and other pets
- 5. German Shepherd Care
- 6. German Shepherd Food
- 7. German Shepherd Training
- 8. German Shepherd Health
- 9. Estimated cost of a German Shepherd puppy
- 10. German Shepherd Pictures
- 11. Video
History of the origin of the breed
Routine breeding of dogs in order to identify and develop the best qualities of the breed began in 1899, in Germany. It was then that M.E.F. von Stefanitz found a dog named Horand von Grafrath, whom he considered worthy to become the founder of a new breed. The dog had a proportional build, a gentleman’s character, noble posture and inexhaustible energy.
The renowned breeder Mack von Stefanitz created a breeding program using long-haired, short-haired and coarse-haired shepherd dogs from the vicinity of Württemberg, Thuringia and Bavaria. The result of the efforts of Stefanitz and his colleagues was the emergence of the modern breed of German Shepherd Dogs. Originally used to graze sheep, today these dogs serve as domestic companions and guards, and participate in a disability assistance program.
Von Stefanitz and his followers have been working on the breed for many years, as a result of which the German Shepherd has acquired such a noble appearance and universal ability to master various training programs..
Description of the breed
German Shepherds are gorgeous, handsome dogs with a reliable and obedient disposition. There are two varieties of the breed: long-haired (black, cream, zone colors) and short-haired (black-backed and white colors).
A very proportional, muscular dog, neither massive nor heavy, but without the slightest sign of lightness and weakness of constitution. The body is stretched, with a strong bone, dressed with powerful muscles; at first glance it is clear that the dog is hardy, agile and capable of lightning-fast throws. The stroke should be elastic, smooth, as if creeping, the body moves forward with a minimum of vertical vibrations, the movements are free, without the slightest stiffness.
- The height of the dog at the withers is ideally 62.5 cm, the height of the bitch at the withers is 57.5 cm.
- The head of the German Shepherd is wedge-shaped, dry, not too wide between the ears.
- The ears are of medium size, erect, tapering towards the tips. The ear shells are open forward. The ears should be parallel and upright. If the ears are laid back at rest or when moving, this is not considered a fault. But if the ears are half-standing and always hang, this is a defect..
- The eyes are almond-shaped, not protruding, of medium size, set slightly obliquely. The color is as dark as possible. Light eyes and piercing eyes are undesirable.
- The nose of the German Shepherd is distinguished by a straight back, without humps and deflections. The nose is only black.
- German Shepherd bite – scissor, full (42 teeth). The jaws are strongly developed, the teeth are firmly held in the alveoli.
- The body of these dogs is distinguished by a solid topline from the neck through the withers and back to the sloping (about 23 ° to the horizon) rump. The loin of German Shepherds is muscular and wide, the croup is long and imperceptibly merges with the base of the tail.
- The chest is moderately broad, with a well developed lower part and a long sternum.
- The back of the German Shepherd is muscular, strong, strong.
- The front legs of the German Shepherd are straight and parallel when viewed from the front. The elbows should not be turned inward or outward, neither in motion nor at rest. Paws are rounded, toes are arched (in a ball). The pads are strong, not brittle and free from cracks. Claws are dark, strong.
- The hind legs are slightly set aside, when viewed from behind they are parallel. The length of the femur is approximately equal to the length of the tibia, the angle between them is about 120⁰. Feet are slightly arched, compact, firm pads are colored dark, as are strong nails.
- The tail should reach the hock, but not over the middle of the metatarsus. The tail hangs down in a gentle curve, raised when moving (not higher than the horizontal line). No surgical tail correction allowed.
The coat of the German Shepherd consists of a coarse, dense, straight and close-fitting top coat and undercoat. On the head, the inner surface of the auricle, on the paws and fingers, the front surface of the limbs, the hair is shorter. On the neck, on the other hand, the hair is longer and more abundant. On the back of the thighs, the longer coat forms the pants (moderate).
Color: Black with reddish brown, brown, yellow to light gray markings. Black and gray monochromatic, in gray – with a darker bloom. With a black cloak and mask. Invisible small white markings on the chest as well as very light colored insides are acceptable but not desirable. The nose of all colors must be black. Lack of mask, light to piercing eyes and light to white markings on the chest and inner sides, light nails and red tip of the tail should be judged as weak pigment. The undercoat has a light gray tone. White is not allowed.
German Shepherd personality
German Shepherds are strong, confident and determined dogs. They are fearless protectors and loyal friends. Once the German Shepherd recognizes you as its master, it will always try to please you and fight to the death for you, and for this it has enough strength and determination.
German Shepherds are somewhat wary of strangers and usually take some time to let their guard down. These dogs are always on the alert, they will not miss anything that is happening around them, so they make excellent guards.
Thus, German Shepherds are both reliable guards and loving pets at the same time. They go well with children, as well as with other animals. It is not advisable to leave them alone for a very long time, because they need constant communication with a person. This breed has a very calm personality and stable temperament. A properly trained German Shepherd will always behave appropriately depending on the circumstances.
German Shepherds are well suited for work and have been used as working dogs for many years. They serve in the police force, help rescuers and make life easier for blind, deaf people by working as guide dogs. Their intelligence, sense of smell and craving for work helps them accomplish almost any task..
It will not be an exaggeration to say that German Shepherds are extremely popular all over the world. They have a calm disposition, they easily learn new skills, are ready to protect the owner and other family members.
These dogs are called ideal companions, the personification of nobility and beauty, the embodiment of loyalty. Most often it is a “dog of one owner”, many stories have been told about the loyalty of German shepherds. In addition, the dog has excellent adaptability to a wide variety of conditions.
But with the right approach to education and training, you will get a loyal friend, a strong defender and just a dog to be proud of.!
German Shepherd and other pets
Are not particularly aggressive towards strangers and other dogs
German Shepherd Care
It is enough to brush the German Shepherd about twice a week. If the German Shepherd’s coat is not regularly looked after in the house, we will have a lot of short dark wool, and their undercoat, especially on the belly and on the neck, will get tangled. Find a comb that removes hair well and that your dog likes.
Sometimes it is possible to trim the long hair on the dog’s hind legs to avoid tangling.
It is better to bathe German shepherds not often, once or twice a year. Frequent bathing can lead to the loss of natural oils and dull coat. When bathing, it is very effective to use a brush to help rid the dog of a lot of excess hair after bathing.
At the age of 1.5 months, the puppy tries to gnaw whatever it comes across. Make sure that your baby has no way to reach electrical and telephone wires, as well as slippers. Under no circumstances should the puppy play with shoes, otherwise, when he grows up, she will suffer from his teeth constantly. Do not allow your pet to chew on rubber objects, as they can swallow the nibbled pieces with serious consequences. There are many known cases when such moments led to the death of puppies..
Occasionally, your puppy may start chewing on legs or other wooden pieces of furniture. In this case, he can be given dried pork ears or a piece of a thick linden branch, dipped in natural wood glue and dried. It is also useful to give your baby a carrot or an apple as toys: he will not only satisfy his innate need to gnaw, but will also receive a small portion of vitamins.
During the period of changing teeth, prepare special toys for the baby with which he can play for a long time. For example, cast rubber balls, calcined pure marrow bones, or specially made imitations of them.
German Shepherd Dogs are strong and athletic dogs, and they require significant physical activity. The large jogging yard and daily walks keep the German Shepherds in good shape. Their intelligence requires constant mental stress, so training for such dogs is really necessary. In addition, it provides them with sufficient physical activity.
The German Shepherd is very suitable for people who love sports and lead an active lifestyle. She is quite capable of hiking in the forest or in the mountains, running for many kilometers next to you, and even behind a bike. The latter, by the way, is a very good training method for the German Shepherd. The main thing is not to overload your pet in hot weather and start such training no earlier than the puppy is one year old..
German Shepherd Food
You need to feed a German shepherd puppy from special dishes on a stand, since the correct position of the body during eating is important for the formation of the exterior. The bowl should be positioned so that it is at the level of the baby’s chest or slightly higher. When eating, he should put only the muzzle into the bowl. If the puppy has to bend over to eat, then he can form a high-back, a humpbacked back, and the front paws will have weak pasterns.
A double bowl (for food and drink) attached to a stand with height adjuster is ideal. As the puppy grows, the height of the bowl can be adjusted. Feeding utensils can be metal, enamel or earthenware without chips, so that the baby does not hurt the tongue.
The food should not be hot, the puppy can only be fed with lukewarm food. After the baby has finished eating, wipe his face with a special clean cloth. Your pet’s water should be changed 3-4 times a day to keep it always fresh.
When the puppy is 2 months old, he will need to feed some soft raw bones or calf cartilage. This dish should be offered to the baby after the main meal so as not to interrupt his appetite. Seeds are very useful as they are a good source of minerals. If your pet doesn’t like bones, then either they are of poor quality or your puppy has toothache.
Some puppies are happy to eat raw potatoes and do not digest boiled ones. Potato starch has a beneficial effect on the coat of dogs.
Meat can be given to a puppy from the age of one month, preferably in a scraped form: minced meat sticks together in the dog’s stomach into lumps and is poorly digested, since gastric juice affects only part of the food. The meat is scraped from a thick, lean piece with the edge of a spoon. For up to two months, your pet can be fed raw beef and boiled rabbit and chicken.
The daily amount of meat should be divided into 3-4 meals.
By-products (heart, liver, etc.) can be given to a puppy not earlier than 4 months old. The liver can only be boiled in your pet’s diet, as it may contain germ of worms. The heart, lungs and udder are given from 6 months raw, previously chopped. Brains are useful for a puppy if lipid metabolism is disturbed. By-products cannot replace meat for your pet, so you can give them no more than 2-3 times a week, increasing the norm in relation to meat by 1.5 times.
From 1.5 to 5 months, you need to offer the baby large raw beef bones. The puppy will gnaw them, although it will not be able to chew. Later, when the milk teeth are replaced with permanent ones, these bones will need to be excluded from the diet, since the dog will be able to chew them, and the swallowed fragments can injure its stomach or intestines.
From 4 months old you can introduce sea fish into the puppy’s diet, replacing meat with it 1-2 times a week. The portion of fish should be 1.5 times the portion of meat. It is impossible to give fish more often, since an increase in the concentration of substances contained in fish in the dog’s body leads to the destruction of B vitamins, and this is fraught with growth retardation, dandruff and indigestion. The puppy can be fed raw or boiled fish fillets. You can feed your pet with river fish only by first boiling it, since it often contains larvae of worms.
Raw eggs are poorly absorbed by the dog’s body, and raw protein even causes the destruction of biotin (vitamin H), which can lead to skin problems. Raw yolk can be fed with milk, and egg white must be boiled and chopped. Also, eggs are well absorbed by the puppy in the form of a milk omelet.
An adult German shepherd spends a lot of energy, because most often it lives in the open air and works actively, guarding and protecting its owners or pursuing offenders, and runs a lot. At the same time, dogs have rather low digestive abilities: the ratio of the mass of the gastrointestinal tract to body weight in a German shepherd is almost two times less than in small dogs. The main task of the owner is to provide the dog with the necessary calories without overloading its stomach. Solution: easily digestible (more than 85%) feed and dividing the daily portion of food into two meals
German Shepherd Training
The breed standard provides for testing the working qualities of the dog. Therefore, competent training of the German shepherd is simply necessary. While the puppy is small (up to three months), he learns from you basic commands (place to me). Then you need to connect the dog handler to training, choosing the direction of the puppy’s training with him. Decide what your dog needs: applied training, with training in all the skills necessary in life, or a more difficult option – protective service with training in combat tactics and development of grip.
For German Shepherds, serious physical activity is a must. Long walks and active games are encouraged.
The German Shepherd is one of the most intelligent and trained dog breeds. Learning should start at an early age. During the learning process, be patient and consistent. Teaching must be solid from the start. However, being too harsh can cause the dog to become stubborn and rebellious, so it is best to be patient and praise the dog for its efforts.
Early socialization is essential for this dog breed. It is important for the German Shepherd to intuitively understand your reaction to strangers who come to your home. As soon as the Shepherd understands your attitude, she will adjust her reaction and your friends will become her friends. However, if she feels that something is bothering you, she will play the role of a protector because she deems it necessary.
Over time, German Shepherds learn to understand their owner very well, then they respond appropriately to circumstances and you can always rely on them.
German Shepherds have a great sense of humor, which can be a lot of fun. The German Shepherd is a very good runner and also has great endurance. If you love jogging, then the German Shepherd will be your best companion in this activity..
German Shepherd Health
German Shepherd Dogs have eye diseases, gastrointestinal disorders, arthritis, hip dysplasia. Often in individuals of this breed, destructive shifts in behavior are noted. They become nervous, fearful or, conversely, sharply aggressive towards people and dogs. The acquisition of puppies from official breeders of the breed, careful selection and knowledge of the parents’ medical record helps to avoid the appearance of such signs.
Life expectancy: 12 – 14 years.
Despite being a strong and hardy breed, German Shepherds can be susceptible to the following diseases:
- Bloating or volvulus
- Elbow dysplasia
- Dysplasia of the hip joint
- Intervertebral disc disease
- Hot Spots
- Corneal dystrophy
- Degenerative myelopathy
- Insufficient pancreas
- Malassezia dermatitis
- Food allergy
- Perianal fistulas
- Aortic stenosis
- Pericardial effusion
- Perianal adenocarcinoma
- Testicular tumors
- Small stature, growth hormone deficiency
In addition, German Shepherds are highly prone to allergies, ear infections, and malignant cancers such as angiosarcoma and lymphoma. Like other large breeds, German Shepherds are at risk of developing hip dysplasia. In addition to hereditary factors, overfeeding of the puppy can contribute to this. Keep track of its weight!
Estimated cost of a German Shepherd puppy
The average price of a German shepherd puppy is from 10,000 to 30,000 rubles.
German Shepherd Pictures
Materials for the article were taken from the following sites: