German Shepherd

Read our comprehensive guide to German Shepherds, including information on predisposed health issues, exercise needs, family friendliness, grooming, history, overview & temperament.

Dog
17 Oct 2023

History of German Shepherd Dogs 

As the name suggests, this popular breed originated in Germany and can be traced back to 1899. The German Shepherd is one of the most intelligent dog breeds in the world so it’s no surprise that the history of this breed is long and varied. Their intelligence paired with a caring and calm temperament means that they have played a number of roles including therapy dogs, guide dogs for the visually impaired and police dogs and have excelled at each and every one. Originally herding dogs, today German shepherds are working dogs for the Armed Forces, but they are also popular house pets due to their loyal and protective nature.

 

What to expect when caring for your German Shepherd

Common German Shepherd Health Issues

Are there any health problems to watch out for that are especially common with this breed?

Bloat – This breed is prone to Bloat which is a potentially fatal condition if not treated immediately that occurs when the stomach twists and the blood supply is blocked.

Cancer – German Shepherds are at higher risk of getting cancer, especially cancer of the bone or skin. Keep an eye out for any unusual lumps, bumps or skin anomalies.

Degenerative Disc Disease – This untreatable condition affects the nervous system and can result in mobility issues and often end in partial paralysis of the back legs.

How Much Grooming Do German Shepherds Need?

When it comes to keeping your German Shepherd’s coat, nails and teeth healthy, what requirements need to be met? This is a high-shedding breed and requires regular brushing to keep its medium length double coat tangle free. Nails need to be cut monthly but be wary of over bathing your German Shepherd as this breed needs only an occasional bath. This is great news for any pet owner as due to their size, this breed isn’t the easiest to manoeuvre around a bathtub.

How Much Exercise Do German Shepherds Need?

German Shepherds have boundless energy and are well matched with owners who live and enjoy an active lifestyle. Any breed of dog is a time commitment but this breed requires around 2 hours per day of exercise and they tend to display destructive behaviour if this quota is not fulfilled.

  1. German Shepherd Personality Traits

    What to expect from your German Shepherd

    German Shepherds are one of the most recognisable and popular breeds around with their noble stance and regal features. Their high intelligence levels make them a joy to train and their reputation for being a loyal and loving companion can’t fail to capture your heart. Overall, German Shepherds are gentle and affectionate pets that with sufficient socialisation can become a valued part of any family.

  2. Are German Shepherds Family Friendly?

    How will they behave around my family?

    Yes, German Shepherds are affectionate and loving dogs that if socialised from a young age are great around children and other pets. They love to be outdoors and play so they make a great addition to an active and outdoorsy household. They are adaptable dogs and react well to any change in routine. German Shepherds thrive on affection and love being at the centre of a family but are only a good fit for you if you spend a lot of time at home. This breed doesn’t react well to long periods of time alone and may experience separation anxiety.

Key Facts Summary
Size:
22-26 inches
Weight:
22kg-40kg
Temperament:
Calm and Caring
Lifespan
7-10 Years
Average Cost:
£230-£700

German Shepherd FAQs:

Are German Shepherds Good Pets?

Absolutely, when it comes to loyal dogs that are loving and sweet natured, German Shepherds are fighting for the top spot.

Are German Shepherds Aggressive?

German Shepherds are gentle dogs but can show aggression if they aren’t socialised from a young age or exercised as frequently as they should be. Luckily, this breed is one of the most trainable breeds so you should have no issues when training your pet to be obedient.

What are the Pros and Cons of Owning a German Shepherd?

The pros of owning a German Shepherd are that you have an exceptionally loving and doting companion that is easily trainable and good natured. The cons are that this breed requires a lot of mental stimulation and exercise to keep them happy which can take a big chunk of your time. Another potential downside is that this is a high shedding breed so you will have to be prepared to deal with an excess of dog hair in your home.

German Shepherds can be prone to some common health problems, so having pet insurance can help to protect you against those unexpected vet bills. You can find out more about your cover options benefits with Asda Money Dog Insurance here.

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