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The German Shepherd Dog Breed Profile

Jun 24, 2008
The Alsatian, commonly known as the German Shepherd Dog, is a working dog breed that often acts as military dogs, guard dogs, police dogs, or search and rescue dogs. They are used because they can be trained in protection and obedience easily and they like to please their owners.

German Shepherd Dogs are large, strong dogs that have coats with either long or short hair. Their coats' colors vary, but are mostly seen in tan and brown. However, there are some German Shepherds who are completely black or white. German Shepherds' ears stand up erect and they also have long tails.

There are several lines of German Shepherd, all of which have different looks, behavior and skills. The international working line of German Shepherds are bred as working dogs. They are quite tough but their appearance varies. The North American show line of German Shepherds are bred for their appearance, which is unique to them. Their backs are more angled than a typical German Shepherd's and unfortunately this can be bad for their backs. They are also believed to not have the working dog traits of the other lines. The international show line of German Shepherd Dog also is bred more so on appearance, so they typically look the same.

German Shepherds tend to develop great loyalty and are very obedient towards their owners. Due to their strong teeth and jaws, they can be trained to attack. Unfortunately, they can also become too aggressive or become fearful if not bred properly. Many of these types of dogs, who are either poorly bred or have owners who don't train them properly, end up in puppy mills. Since German Shepherds are frequently used as attack and police dogs, they have received an image of being quite dangerous. However, most German Shepherds make great pets for families and are not aggressive.

German Shepherds are very emotional dogs and are quite loyal. They are sometimes used as guide dogs, but that is on the decline as they can get separation anxiety and trauma. As stated earlier, different lines of German Shepherds vary in temperament. Working dogs have more energy and are more obedient. They are intelligent and become upset if they do not get enough exercise. They like to have a job to do, which is why they are often used as rescue dogs. North American lines of German Shepherd Dogs are more fitted for the role of companions.

Due their large size, German Shepherds can suffer from elbow problems and hip dysplasia. They may have skin allergies or have von Willebrand's disease. The average life span of a German Shepherd is twelve years.

German Shepherd Dogs were discovered in the late 1800s by Captain Max von Stephanitz and were meant to be a diverse working dog. American and British soldiers of World War I then brought German Shepherds to their homes and they became popular dogs. They were used as family pets and as working dogs.

German Shepherds are very versatile in the type of things they can do. They are highly intelligent and like to please and protect their owners. For this reason, they can become great guard dogs, rescue dogs, or police dogs and also make good pets for families.
About the Author
For more information on the german shepherd or a complete list of dog breeds visit this Dog Behaviour website.
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