General Information

Dog NameGerman Shepherd Dog
Other NamesDeutshe Schäferhund
Scientific NameCanis lupus familiaris
Breed TypeShepherd
Breed ForHerding Sheep and Cattles
Country of OriginGermany

Physical And Size

Min Life Span7
Max Life Span10
Min Ideal Weight for male29
Max Ideal Weight for male31
Min Ideal Weight for female22
Max Ideal Weight for male31


Intelligent Rank
Affection Level
Social Needs
Watchdog Ability


TemperamentCourageous, Smart, Loyal
Prey DriveYes
Fighting DogNo


Stranger FriendlyLow
Child FriendlyHigh
Cat FriendlyMedium
Dog FriendlyLow
Office FriendlyLow
Apartment FriendlyMedium
Senior Citizens FriendlyMedium
Service DogMedium
Search and Rescue DogMedium
Biting PotentialMedium
Country of OriginGermany
Nicknames and Other NamesGSD, Deutshe Schäferhund, DSH,
Alsatian Wolf Dog, Berger Allemand
Scientific NameCanis lupus familiaris
Breed TypeShepherd
Bred ForHerding Sheep and Cattles
Recognized ByAKC, UKC, KC (UK), FCI, NZKC, ANKC, CKC
Life Span7-10 Years
Ideal Weight65-90 pounds (Male)
50-70 pounds (Female)
Ideal Height24-26 inches (Male)
22-24 inches (Female)
Fur TypeDouble Coated
Common ColorsBlack, Black & Cream, Black & Tan,
Black & Silver, Black & Red, White
MarkingsBlue, Gray, Brown, Liver, Panda
AvailabilityEasily Available
AchievementsRanked in Army
Suitable for ApartmentsYes
Used in World WarUsed as Military Dogs
Most Similar ToBelgian Tervuren

The large guard dog, often known as ‘One man breed’ is none other than a German Shepherd. German Shepherds are famous for having reputations like loyalty, courage, and sweet nature. They are dogs who can work all day long which makes them well-known workaholics.

With their extreme loyalty and sweet nature, they are the second most popular dogs in America after the Labrador Retriever. They are brilliant canines with an aptitude for love, knowledge, and stimulation.

History And Origin Of German Shepherd Dog Breed

German Shepherd originated in Germany back in the early 19th century when a German cavalry captain decided to ‘breed one of the most dexterous herding dogs in the world’. However many would not agree with the description but he succeeded in breeding the most well-rounded dogs.

Traveling through various regions for the perfect dog to combine, Von Stephanitz, started attending different dog shows. Finally, a wolf-like dog caught his eye and adopted it to create a perfect descendant. Which he surely did!

German Shepherd training with police
A German Shepherd Training with Policeman. Image Source: Liverpool Echo

As Germany was moving towards industrialization, Von found it more reasonable that his breed could perform military and police services too. Being part of the military, he succeeded in convincing the German government to use the dog in various tasks. Shortly after, the dogs were used as rescuers, carriers, guards, and messengers during World War I.

The German Shepherds were immediately prized for their astounding intelligence, athleticism, and keenness. If trained properly, they were strong enough to be pack dogs, understand commands, and serve as an aid for soldiers.

Shortly after, the breed became famous in the US. Their intelligence and fearlessness helped a lot of US soldiers to bring back home. They started serving as, military dogs, guard dogs, police dogs, therapy dogs, service dogs, and many more. When it comes to trainability, they have a stance of their own.

Are Your Child Safe With GSDs?

YES! Your child is absolutely safe with the German Shepherds. They are very gentle with the kids which makes them the best-play mate. Your pet will tolerate pokes, grabs, and occasional tail-pulling too.

Your children are full of energy and so do German Shepherds. This endless energy paired with high intelligence will be a plus point for your kids, as they can teach your pet new games and tricks which they learn very quickly.

As German Shepherds are large, they stand up to a height of 26 inches and weigh up to 90 pounds. This might be a threat to a toddler bouncing around. These gentle giants won’t hurt the children intentionally but may harm them accidentally if overly exuberant.

Shepherds could get a little mouthy while teething or playing. So, it is important to avoid it by providing chew toys and putting them into the crate.

Behavior, Temperament, and Personality

The German Shepherd dogs are best known for their strong, obedient, and loyal nature. They are guard dogs and protectors. However, first and foremost they are herding dogs and make a wonderful family companion.

Their personality is marked as fearless, self-confident, and develop indiscriminate friendships. They seem aloof towards strangers however once they get friendly it will remain till life long.

German Shepherd running in the snow
A German Shepherd jumping. Image source- shepherdkennel

GSD’s Temperament and behavior depend on why was the breed bred for. The German Shepherds were bred to herd sheep. So, you can expect the traits of sheepherding such as quick response to shepherds/masters, athleticism, or a compulsion to chase things that move. as well as to serve in the military. German Sheepherding dogs can provide years of loyal companionship to your family.

As they were trained as fighters, they will need proper training and socialization in their youth to be good family pets. They have the ‘alpha’ kind of personality which means, they will rule your or your family if they sense the lack of leadership.


German Shepherds are large, energetic, and require physical as well as mental exercise. They thrive in their training sessions and love playing fetch with a stick, ball, and frisbee. While highly trainable they need to be socialized with different people and animals.

German Shepherd Training Session
German Shepherd During Training Session. Image source- DogAppy

Some say German Shepherds shouldn’t socialize at an early age because they are guard dogs. If socialize they will get familiar with different people and won’t understand the difference between an intruder or the people he’s acquainted with.

Facts You Need To Know About The “One-Man Breed”

  • The German Shepherds are the second most popular dogs in the US after Labrador Retriever.
  • They are naturally curious, which makes them thrive in search missions.
  • German Shepherds are highly intelligent and it takes only 5 repetitions to learn a new thing.
  • They are found in a variety of colors like blue, liver, all black, and all white. In which the most common colors are tan, black, and red.

Common Health Issues Found In German Shepherd

General HealthHealthy
Common Health IssuesBloat, Cherry Eye, Chronic Diarrhea,
Blindness, Allergies, Hip Dysplasia,
Elbow Dysplasia, Epilepsy, Pannus,
Paralysis, Lupus
Vaccination RequiredLeptospirosis, Canine Parainfluenza,
Rabies, Canine Distemper, Canine Parvovirus,
Kennel Cough, Canine Coronavirus
SheddingHeavy Shedder
GroomingAverage Grooming Required
Weight Gain PotentialLow to Average
Separation AnxietyModerate Chance
AllergiesSkin Allergy
Diets and SupplementsCrude Protein: 32%
Crude Fat: 18%
Crude Fiber: 4%
Digestive Enzymes

The German Shepherd is undoubtedly a healthy dog living up to 9-10 years. However, it is important you get all the health information of the breed and their parents. The common health problems found in German Shepherds are given below.

  • Hip Dysplasia: If you’re not acquainted well with the dogs then you might not know that the German Shepherds can have bad hips. That means hip dysplasia is a common problem in Shepherds. Only 20% of the shepherds are affected by this issue. Hip dysplasia means displacement of the joints. Its symptoms are an abnormal gait, pain while walking, and lameness in the legs. You should consult the vet as soon as possible before it gets serious.
  • Keratitis: This condition occurs when the cornea inflames. Cornea means the dome covering the eye’s pupil and iris. This condition can affect your dog’s vision and are also very painful which makes it hard to open their eyes. This eye condition is caused by bacteria, fungi, and sometimes even bad genes.
  • Elbow Dysplasia: This occurs due to the displacement of the elbow. It can cause them difficulty in straightening their joints. It occurs due to the lack of proper exercise.
  • Lupus: Lupus affects the skin of the shepherds making them red, crusty, itchy, and abnormal-looking. The latter spreads throughout the body causing organ failure, muscle atrophy, and decreased appetite. Quick medications and diet can save your dog from Lupus.

These were some common health issues found in German Shepherds. As we all know, prevention is better than cure. As soon as you find something inappropriate in your pet, immediately consult your vet before it’s too late.

Most Common German Shepherd Color Patterns

  • Black
  • Black and Red
  • Black with cream color heels
  • Blue
  • Liver and Tan
  • White
  • Sable or Grey

German Shepherd Puppies

The price of the German Shepherd puppy depends on how they are bred. It costs up to $2,300 to $10,000 for the top breeds.

Which Dogs Are They Similar To?

Visit Doglime for more Dog Breed Information.