German Shepherd Dog At a Glance
Country of Origin:
Large. Weight: Males 66–88 lbs; Females 48.5–70.5 lbs. Height: Males 23.5–26 inches; Females 21.5–24
German Shepherd coats can be plush and thick. Some German Shepherd lines have long coats.
Most colors are allowed
10 to 13 years
Cold Weather Tolerance
Hot Weather Tolerance
Did You Know?
There 4 different types of German Shepherds: the American Show-line German Shepherd, the West German Show-line German Shepherd, the West German Working-line German Shepherd, the East German/DDR Working-line German Shepherd, and the Czech Working-line German Shepherd. There are also White German Shepherds.
AKC Breed Group: Herding
Other Registries: AKC (Herding); ANKC (Working); CKC (Herding); FCI (Sheepdogs); KC (Pastoral); UKC (Herding)
German Shepherd Dog Overview
The German Shepherd Dog is one of the most popular breeds due to both his wonderful personality and versatility in the jobs he performs. Loved as both a family pet and guardian dog, The German Shepherd excels as a herder, police dog, rescue dog and any other job it may have. The German Shepherd offers a loyal, sweet dog that is willing to protect his family.
German Shepherd Dog Characteristics
German Shepherds have a distinctive look with their plush coats, long tails and pricked ears. Ears can be down in non-show dogs, and non-standard colors such as white and black are also available. The typical coloring of the German Shepherd is the black and tan. Show Shepherds may also have the characteristic bent hind legs, though this is being bred away from due to health concerns.
German Shepherd Dog Temperament
German Shepherds can be both friendly and protective at the same time. Well socialized Shepherds will easily mesh well with family and friends, including other dogs. Dogs trained in protection may be more wary, but are generally loving and loyal to those they consider their family unit. The German Shepherd is also a very intelligent dog, and easily excels at the tasks put to him.
German Shepherd Dog Care
The German Shepherd lives on average 10 to 14 years. They are prone to a myriad of genetic diseases, however, including allergies, hip and elbow dysplasia, aortic stenosis (narrowing of the aorta), cataracts and Cushing’s Syndrome. German Shepherds are also at risk for bloat or Gastric Dilation and Volvulus (GDV) as well as hemangiosarcoma, a spleen-based cancer that is quick to infect other organs of the body.
German Shepherd Dog Coat
This dog breed has a plush coat with a deep undercoat. Regular brushing is recommended to keep the coat shiny and clean and to help with the seasonal shedding that occurs. Seasonal shedding, sometimes known as “blow-out” usually occurs twice a year when the dog changes coat for the upcoming seasons.
German Shepherd Dog Training
Training and intelligence is where the German Shepherd excels. He is easily trainable at almost any task, and willing to perform a variety of jobs. Well-balanced German Shepherds are calm and observant, quickly picking up any tasks required of them, from basic family obedience, to more complicated service and military work.
German Shepherd Dog Activity
Regular exercise is key to keeping the this dog breed happy. Agility trials or other activities that challenge mind and body are ideal, however family pets do well with long walks and play sessions to keep them active. German Shepherds that are under exercised may become anxious and excitable without a proper outlet.