German shephard

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Know about Breed: German Shephard

German Shephard

Basic Information:

  • Life expectancy: 9 – 13 years
  • Speed: 48 km/h (Maximum, Running)
  • Colors: Black, Sable, Black & Tan, Grey, Red & Black, Black & Silver
  • Temperament: Obedient, Intelligent, Curious, Alert, Loyal, Confident, Watchful, Courageous
  • Height: Male: 60–65 cm, Female: 55–60 cm
  • Weight: Male: 30–40 kg, Female: 22–32 kg

Overview:

  • Rin Tin Tin, a pup found in a World War I battle zone, became the world’s first canine movie star, forever marking the German Shepherd Dog as one of the most easily recognized breeds. From his imposing size to his erect ears and dark, intelligent eyes, he has achieved legendary status as the ideal canine. A versatile, athletic and fearless working dog, the Shepherd has done just about every job a dog can do, from leading the blind and detecting illicit drugs to bringing down fleeing criminals and serving in the armed forces. An energetic, loyal and devoted companion, the German Shepherd isn’t a breed but a lifestyle.
  • The abilities of this breed go far beyond its origin as a herding dog. The German Shepherd has made a name for himself as a police and military dog, guide and assistance dog, search and rescue dog, and detector dog. He has excelled in every canine sport, including agility, obedience, rally, tracking and, of course, herding. German Shepherds still work livestock on farms and ranches around the world, including the United States. If you have horses, they will trot alongside you while you ride and help you put the horses back in the barn when you’re done.
  • It takes some dedication to live with a German Shepherd.  Be prepared to provide plenty of exercise and mental stimulation. A half-hour walk twice a day, plus a vigorous play or training session, is a good start.

Personality:

  • The ideal German Shepherd is direct, fearless and confident. When he comes from parents who have good temperaments and has been socialized to become familiar with many different people, sights and sounds, he is an intelligent, easy to train, devoted, protective and fun-loving dog.
  • The German Shepherd is naturally protective of his home and property and will always alert you to strangers or intruders, but if you welcome someone into your home, your German Shepherd will accept them, too. He will also get along with other pets, especially if he is brought up with them from puppyhood. German Shepherds are smart and learn quickly that cats rule!
  • The German Shepherd needs a job. While many German Shepherds are raised successfully in kennel situations, these are working dogs who have demanding and interesting tasks to do that give them the needed exercise and mental stimulation.
  • If your Shepherd is a family companion, he needs to live indoors with your family and receive opportunities to exercise his brain such as learning tricks, helping you around the house by picking things up and bringing them to you or serving the community as a therapy dog. He will enjoy going for walks or hikes, chasing a ball, or getting involved in a dog sport. He doesn’t need to live in a large house with a yard, but if you live in an apartment or condo, you must be able to give him plenty of walks or other daily exercise and opportunities to relieve himself during the day. Otherwise, he'll be lonely, bored and destructive.
  • German Shepherds are smart, active dogs who will do best with smart, active owners able to give them focused attention, exercise, training, and lots of one-on-one time. There are few dog breeds whose fans don't call them “intelligent,” but in the case of the German Shepherd Dog, that's probably an understatement. They are extremely intelligent and famously trainable. Their intelligence means they don’t suffer fools – or wimpy owners – gladly, which means consistent training from an early age is not optional. Those brains, if not put to work in constructive ways, will find plenty of destructive alternatives.

Health:

  • All dogs have the potential to develop genetic health problems, just as all people have the potential to inherit a particular disease. Run, don’t walk, from any breeder who does not offer a health guarantee on puppies, who tells you that the breed is 100 percent healthy and has no known problems, or who tells you that her puppies are isolated from the main part of the household for health reasons. A reputable breeder will be honest and open about health problems in the breed and the incidence with which they occur in her lines. Here’s a brief rundown on what you should know about the German Shepherd’s health.
  • The German Shepherd has a reputation for being prone to hip dysplasia, but breeders are working to decrease the occurrence of this genetic malformation. When a dog has hip dysplasia, the head of the thigh bone doesn’t fit properly into the hip socket. Over time, the bone begins to wear away, eventually resulting in painful arthritis. Depending on the severity of the condition, hip dysplasia can be managed with medication or the hips can be surgically replaced, at a cost of thousands of dollars per hip. It's impossible to know if a dog has hip dysplasia simply from examining him or watching him move.
  • Degenerative myelopathy is one of the most devastating of the conditions that can affect GSDs. This neurological disease is similar to multiple sclerosis in humans and results in a slow, creeping paralysis of the dog's hindquarters. It's untreatable, and eventually the dog won't be able to move on his own. Watch your dog carefully for signs of pain and discomfort that come on gradually rather than suddenly, and check his nails at least once a month to watch for signs of uneven wear.
  • Other health concerns to be aware of are bloat and gastric torsion. German Shepherds are more likely than many breeds to bloat, a condition in which the stomach expands with air. This can become the more serious condition, gastric torsion, if the stomach twists on itself, cutting off blood flow. Bloat and torsion strike very suddenly, and a dog who was fine one minute can be dead a few hours later. Watch for symptoms like restlessness and pacing, drooling, pale gums and lip licking, trying to throw up but without bringing anything up, and signs of pain. Gastric torsion requires immediate veterinary surgery, and most dogs that have bloated once will bloat again. That means it’s wise to opt for the procedure known as "stomach tacking," which will keep the stomach from twisting in the future. This procedure can also be done as a preventive measure.
  • Careful breeders screen their breeding dogs for genetic disease and breed only the healthiest and best-looking specimens, but sometimes Mother Nature has other ideas and a puppy develops one of these diseases despite good breeding practices. Advances in veterinary medicine mean that in most cases the dogs can still live a good life. If you’re getting a puppy, ask the breeder about the ages of the dogs in her lines and what they died of.

Grooming:

  • The German Shepherd Dog has a thick, medium-length double coat that sheds, a lot and constantly, so much that even his fans call him a “German shedder.” The undercoat sheds heavily in spring and fall, and the German Shepherd must be brushed and bathed frequently during that time to get out all the loose hair. The rest of the year, weekly brushing is generally enough to keep him clean. If the German Shepherd is your breed of choice, purchase a heavy-duty vacuum cleaner; don’t get a German Shepherd if you have allergies or are a fussy housekeeper.
  • The rest is basic care. Trim his nails every few weeks, as needed, and brush his teeth frequently for good overall health and fresh breath.