dogs-888415_1280With a dedicated, loyal fan base numbering in the millions, the German Shepherd, also knows as an Alsation, is one of, if not the most popular breed of dog in the world; as a matter of fact, in 2013 alone exactly 7954 German shepherds were registered in the UK. This is over 5500 more than the Border Collie, which is the next most popular breed in the 'Pastoral' breed group; to which the Shepherd, Border Collie and 32 other breeds belong to.

Key Facts

Size Large
Exercise Requirements 2 hours (approx.)
Coat Length Short
Lifespan 13 years (approx.)

Personality & Training

As the name would suggest German Shepherd's were originally bred to aid farmers herd their sheep, and were later used as police and military dogs. It is obvious that to perform well in any of these roles, that German Shepherds would not only have to possess high levels of strength and stamina, but would also need to be intelligent and obedient; which is exactly what they are.

Their inherent intelligence make German Shepherds a pleasure to train, as does their thirst for knowledge and willingness to learn. They are also very curious dogs and will approach anyone new with caution and trepidation, though not necessarily with aggression; so long as they have been trained well and are use to being around people.

All of these traits combine to make an incredibly reliable and stoic breed of dog, which can be trusted to throw itself completely into any role that it's cast; which is why German Shepherds are so often used as rescue dogs, guard dogs, police dogs, sniffer dogs and guide dog.

Exercise & Living conditions

As stated, German Shepherds were initially bred purely for their ability to work, so they needed to be physically powerful and imposing. This trait does not only endure, but remains a prominent aspect of their physicality, and as a result they require regular, thorough exercise if their body and mind is to remain healthy.

It is generally recommended that they are given over 2 hours of exercise a day, which should provide it with ample time to expend its energy and wear itself out; however from time to time it would be a good idea to pit them against a more challenging exercise than they are use to. Failure to keep Shepherds stimulated and well exercised will lead to the dog becoming restless, bored and agitated, possibly resulting in dangerous, mischievous or destructive behaviour.

It is also important to note that due to the German Shepherd's curiosity, they are likely to wonder off and inspect anything that piques their interest whilst out for a walk, which is why we suggest that you keep it close by your side, on a tight leash, to avoid any potential accidents.

Grooming

Though their coat is short, German Shepherd's posses a double coat, the inner coat is thick and dense, whilst the outer coat is more loose and fluffy. The coat of the German Shepherd sheds all year round, but does so more heavily depending on the season, which is why it is wise to brush them with extreme regularity, preferably daily.

Bathing on the other hand is not necessary on a regular basis, quite the contrary in fact as bathing too regularly can cause the dog's skin to become easily irritated due to the low levels of essential oils.