This post was originally published on August 10th, 2013 and was updated on March 26th, 2017 to provide MKHP readers with new & helpful information regarding the German Shepherd breed.
Today’s Breed Spotlight will go to The German Shepherd in honor of my mom and dad’s new puppy, Sasha.
Sasha is actually a German Shepherd, Labrador Retriever, and Border Collie Mix from Pets n Pals in Lathrop, CA (yes, this is the same lovely shelter where I used to work). So far, she has been a delight for my parents, very well mannered and calm, which is exactly what they were looking for.
According to the American Kennel Club Dog Registration Statistics, the German Shepherd was the second most popular breed in the U.S. in 2012, and have continued to rank as one of the top breeds. Today, we want to discuss what makes them so popular!
German Shepherds can be described as regal, sturdy, smart, athletic, and loyal. According the the book, “The Ultimate Guide to Dog Breeds” by Derek Hall, the German Shepherd that we are most familiar with was bred by Max von Stepanitz, a German Army officer. Many people are actually unaware that these dogs were originally used to herd sheep, and later became associated with the kind of work they do today.
As Derek Hall illustrates, German Shepherds are know for police and military work, leading the blind, drug detection, and many other amazing duties. These dogs are truly wonderful and definitely have a keen sense of the world around them.
- Double-coated = year-round shedding
- Large Breed – According to the AKC
- Very active – requiring daily mental and physical exercise – According to the AKC
- Described by the AKC as “Smart, confident, courageous, and steady; a true dog lover’s dog”
- Average life span is 10-13 years old – According to VetStreet
- Very trainable – as mentioned above, German Shepherd hold a variety of different jobs and skill sets.
- Surprisingly adaptable breed – they can live in different climates and environments as long as they get regular exercise.
Why do I like the German Shepherd breed?
I am partial to this large breed because they are so intelligent. They aren’t really the kind of dog to let their hair down and look ridiculous with their head out the window (ehhemm….Rooney), but there are so many heroic stories involving German Shepherds. When I was in college, I gave a speech about why people should have dogs, and how dogs can fill voids in our life. I did touch on the subject of “dogs as protection” and I talked about a family who lived because their German Shepherd scared their intruder away. They are amazing and loyal, and I don’t know many people who wouldn’t want these traits in their pet.
If you would like to find out more about German Shepherds I definitely recommend watching the Dogs 101 special.
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