German Shepherd and her bone

German Shepherd – Breed of the Week

German Shepherd, Breed of the Week

The German Shepherd is a big, beautiful, intelligent dog.

German Shepherd and her bone
Sadie is happily chewing on a Jones bone, to be revealed next week. ๐Ÿ™‚

The AKC Breed Page has this to say about the German Shepherd:

The German Shepherd Dog is hailed as the world’s leading police, guard and military dog, however, this dependable breed is more than its 9-to-5 job. Consistently one of the United States most popular breeds according toย AKCยฎ Registration Statistics, the German Shepherd Dog is also a loving family companion, herder and show competitor. The breed is approachable, direct and fearless, with a strong, muscular body. The GSD may be most colors, but most commonly is black and tan.

This breed originated in Germany in the late 19th century, but was shot into the American awareness with the appearance of Rin-Tin-Tin in early films. Oh my dog, y’all – the Rin-Tin-Tin memoir is excellent. I gave my copy away here awhile back. *sad face* The book chronicles Lee Duncan finding a tiny German Shepherd puppy in France while serving in World War I, raising and training the dog, his dream that Rinty would speak to children all over the world. If you have a German Shepherd, or if you love German Shepherds, I recommend reading Rin Tin Tin, The Life and the Legend.

The Life and the Legend book review
A well told story

All About the German Shepherd

The German Shepherd is a strong, sturdy dog, with alert, pointed ears. Those alert ears say a lot about this dog – always alert, ready to learn, work or protect. This is a dog which needs a family, needs to work, needs someone who understands that it is a dog, not a human companion.

I feel like people already know a lot about this breed, so I’m going to jump into the pros and cons. I’m also going to direct you to the breed info page for German Shepherds if you are interested in knowing more about these amazing dogs.

Pros:

  • The German Shepherd is extremely loyal and brave – this dog is close to its human family and will take a bullet for any of its pack
  • When well trained, they only bark when they think it’s necessary – unlike my Aussies, who bark when the wind blows, or the cat farts
  • Brilliant, the German Shepherd trains well in obedience – the GS is a working dog, excelling at agility, tracking, flyball, drug sniffing, all kinds of way cool things you’d want a dog to do
  • Active and energetic – the dog will get you off your couch and have you running or biking your way to good health

Cons:

  • Shedding – seriously, this has to be my first bullet point – this dog needs brushing daily if you don’t want hair everywhere, and they blow their coat in spring and fall, but a good undercoat rake makes this job simple and quick, so don’t let this deter you if you’re serious about a German Shepherd
  • Brilliant – yes, I can have this in the cons – brilliant dogs are a lot of work, easily bored, needing a lot of time and attention, and constant mental exercise, otherwise, the German Shepherd will become either destructive or aggressive
  • Along those lines, the German Shepherd needs a calm, firm owner to avoid timidity or aggression – the owner needs, needs, needs to be the pack leader, with early obedience training and early, steady socialization, or this breed regresses
  • Not the healthiest breed – Germans are prone to a list of health issues due to indiscriminate breeding

As you can probably tell, a lot of thought needs to go into the decision to own a German Shepherd. They’re not the breed for everyone. But if you have an active lifestyle, are comfortable with dogs, with being the alpha dog, and are committed to obedience training and socializing from the very beginning, this dog is AMAZING. Amazing.

I hope this helps, if you’re looking at introducing a new dog into your family. Like any major decision, the procuring of a dog should not be taken lightly.

In Other News

In other news, did you all know that my Aussie mixes are half German Shepherd? We always look at them and treat them like Aussies, but their daddy was the German next door who dug under the fence and knocked up their Aussie mama. True story. So, I thought you’d like to see a photo of one of my German Shepherd mixes. I took it this morning.

German Shepherd mix with chick
This is Gimli, sitting on my chest, and Flash, in down-stay on the floor. This was just before Gimli pooped on my chest. Bad chick. They’re not house broken yet.

Giveaway

And do you know what any self-respecting German Shepherd would love? The Wuv You Treats from Jones Natural Chews. They’re Valentine’s Day treats, in a cute canister, and we’re giving some lucky dog this treat combo! It’s our Big Paw Jerky and Chicken Taffy. Perfect for any size dog. Just click on this sentence to get to the contest post!

Y’all have a great Wednesday! And if you like my weekly Breed of the Week feature, won’t you subscribe to my blog? This is a gently recycled blog post, but everything in it is true. ๐Ÿ™‚

Spreading the good chews …

Flea

23 thoughts on “German Shepherd – Breed of the Week

    • Germans are beautiful dogs. If I lived in a different part of town, a less safe part of town, I’d have a GS. The ones I’ve known in person have been very sweet. And yes, it’s a great book.
      Flea recently posted..It’s a Family AffairMy Profile

  1. Hehehe – bird poop on your shirt.

    I’d be a terrible German Shepherd owner. I like my dogs a little less intense and a little less smarter than me. But they are beautiful and super smart!
    Blueberry’s human recently posted..MoonlightMy Profile

    • I hear ya about being the owner of a GS. I don’t think I could do it unless I had to. But we never know, do we? We might surprise ourselves.

      I was just glad little Gimli didn’t poop on my keyboard,
      Flea recently posted..It’s a Family AffairMy Profile

    • The country would be a GREAT place to have a German Shepherd! I love answering the front door with my dogs barking and growling (when it’s someone I don’t know). Having a GS greet people in the driveway would be even more satisfying. ๐Ÿ™‚
      Flea recently posted..It’s a Family AffairMy Profile

  2. I have always owned a GSD since I was 18 + allowed to have a dog. Mine now is a beautiful black + tan GSD who is 13 yr old with severe HD. She gets K-Laser hot treatments and this is helping her keep walking. I have a wheelchair for her to use. Before this wonderful baby I had a couple white GSD’s and that was awesome. My personality and this breed seem to be a perfect match as I love them lots. I have had Chow Chows too since I was living on my own. Now have a red one who is 13 + unfortunately has severe HD + gets some laser treatments. I dont know how much longer they will be able to stay here, but I really wish doggies had longer life spans! I value our time together as I am getting older and dont know that it is fair to get another dog when I have no future home for them if I should pass before them. I also keep them when I had my 2 babies and they were wonderful watch dogs + great with children.

    • It’s wonderful when you see a breed and person click like you have with the German Shepherds. It’s like poetry. And yes, it is sad that we outlive our babies over and over again. ๐Ÿ™
      Flea recently posted..It’s a Family AffairMy Profile

  3. By the way (FYI) yes, they do shed. I live in hot, humid Florida and I have always clipped my Chows, GSD and Yorkies I have. I trim them with clippers I buy from Pet Edge, I buy a professional brand clipper-always with 2 speeds. Easy to do if you start them young. I have no shedding + no sweeping up hair! I do miss the long pretty coats but this is sooo easy! Just a thought to anyone in the south as these breeds do well with short hair. Sure makes life a piece of cake. Also bathing + drying is easier with short hair.

  4. LOL! “When well trained, they only bark when they think itโ€™s necessary โ€“ unlike my Aussies, who bark when the wind blows, or the cat farts.” I can’t stop laughing at that! ๐Ÿ˜€ My sister has a GS and he does bark. Probably the indiscriminate breeding you mentioned in the cons. You also mentioned that the GS would take a bullet for his pack. My sister’s dog is named Bullet!
    Dawn recently posted..Wordless Wednesday โ€“ Snowball JoyMy Profile

  5. I can see a lot of Morgan and Kรผster in this. I think one thing that people don’t realize with Shepherds, too, is that they need a lot of socialization as puppies. All dogs do, but we have one here who was and one who wasn’t, and it makes a world of difference. I do think that one of ours would definitely take a bullet for me, though. She lives to protect us!
    houndstooth recently posted..Surprises At The MoviesMy Profile

    • I think that the herding and working dogs tend to need more socialization as puppies, and on an ongoing basis. They focus on their tasks, like introverted people, versus the extroverted lap dogs who are more natural with people. Your GSDs are gorgeous!
      Flea recently posted..Do Dogs Help with Depression?My Profile

  6. the lady i used to ride for has German Shepherds as guard dogs. they are very sweet and intelligent. i hate it when i go to the dog shows, the AKC has ruined the breed. the puppies are walking on their hocks, they are bred in the us to be low in the back. by the time they are 3/4 yrs old they have hip problems. if you want a well bred GSD you need to get one bred in Germany from a reputable breeder. i like the old style GSD’s. i know at the vet school they do hip replacements.
    i was reading an article on dementia in dogs recently because my oldest has dementia. if you catch it immediately and put them on meds this will help immensely. they are also doing brain surgery to reverse dementia in dogs, however, it must be done as soon as it is noticed, which can be done by having an mri of their brain, which will tell you if their brain is shrinking.

  7. Our household is 2 German Shepherds and a Shep Collie mix. Oh, and 2 humans!

    I grew up with and have owned German Shepherds all my life. I’m biased now, but they are a magnificent breed!

    The shedding doesn’t bother me all that much although the undercoat blowing twice a year takes a lot of daily cleaning to keep under control.

    The saddest part for me is the health problems as you mentioned. I’ve already nursed one dog, Sasha, through HD until she crossed the rainbow bridge. Now Charley my 9 year old female is recovering from hip surgery. The recovery is very slow, but hr prospects look good. And with daily physio and massage at home and hydrotherapy twice a week she’s doing well.

    All that being said, I wouldn’t exchange them for the world!

    Thanks for highlighting this amazing breed on your site!
    Rosemary recently posted..What is the Best GPS Dog Tracking SystemMy Profile

    • They all sound like gorgeous dogs! I’m partial to the collies, but I do agree that they’re all great dogs. Paws crossed that your girl continues to improve!

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