Dog Breeds 101: German Shepherd

Also referred to as Alsatian, the German Shepherd is one of the world’s most popular dog breeds. In addition to being family pets, these are working dogs and many are employed as guard dogs, police dogs, guide dogs, search-and-rescue assistants, as well as personal protection dogs. In 2012, this breed was named as the second most popular in the US, while in the UK they ranked fourth. [1]

Originally bred in Germany, the ancestors of German Shepherds were actually farm and herding dogs. The German Shepherd’s job historically was not only to herd sheep but to protect them from danger. [2] From mere herding dogs, the German Shepherd has become a top choice for families. These dogs can get along well with children once they have been socialized to be comfortable with them. [3]

In addition to being good pets, these dogs have appeared in several films. Moreover, they have been used for sniffing out illegal substances, chasing down those trying to escape the police, and participating in military operations. It is important that these dogs are trained in a manner that they are only rewarded for performing a task correctly and not for having tried. [4] Check out this German Shepherd training page.

German Shepherds are large dogs with long necks and long erect ears. They normally come in variety of colors but the most common German Shepherds are red/brown, black, and tan in color. German Shepherds have double coats, the outer coat sheds year round. [5]

Just like other breeds, German Shepherds also have needs that must be met. Grooming and regular exercise is important when thinking about adopting this dog. When left alone or not provided with adequate exercise, this dog may release energy by barking or chewing.

These dogs are known for their impressive intelligence, trainability, courage, and strength. Perhaps one of the most common reasons why some owners are attracted to German Shepherds is the breed’s willingness to learn. In fact, this breed can be trained to do just about anything. It should be noted that they do not make friends with strangers easily, and they can be really protective of their families. They are fearless and have been known to sacrifice their lives for their families.

Dog Breeds 101 - German Shepherd - WP
Dog Breeds 101: German Shepherd – Image To Repin / Share
Photo –
Wikipedia – lic. under CC 3.0



[2] Joan Hustace Walker, The Everything German Shepherd Book: A Complete Guide to Raising, Training, and Caring for Your German Shepherd (Adams Media, 2011). (Amazon affiliate link)


[4] Dan Rice, Training Your German Shepherd Dog (Barron’s Educational Series, 1999), p. 38. (Amazon affiliate link)


Do you want the easiest, fastest way to an obedient dog? Watch this video:

dog training