German Shepherd History
Historically speaking, the German Shepherd is a relatively new breed of dog, dating its breed origins at the year1899. The German Shepherd was first created when an effort in Germany was made to standardize certain dog breeds. Because of this, dogs were bred in order to preserve traits that made them useful for farmers, especially sheep owners. The most famous German Shepherd was one of the early dogs, named Beowulf. Beowulf fathered a total of eighty-four pups, mostly through inbreeding. This is how the German Shepherd breed was first created, credited to a man named Max Von Stephanitz.
German Shepherd Appearance
German Shepherds are a fairly large breed of dog, weighing from 49 to 88 lbs (depending on gender). Their forehead is slightly domed, with a long, square muzzle. The German Shepherd’s ears are always erect, and it usually is very athletic in build. As far as colors, German Shepherds are known to come in many different color variations. The most common color for a German Shepherd, however, is either the tan/black or red/black color combination. Other colors include pure black, pure white, sable and blue. These rarer colors are sometimes considered to be breed defects, and may result in disqualification in some dog shows.
German Shepherd Temperament
The most common temperament description used for German Shepherds is that they are ‘self-assured’. This is largely present in the breed’s overall confidence, eagerness and willingness to learn. However, German Shepherds are also known for being aggressive, and are commonly cited as being prone to attack smaller dogs. German Shepherds are responsible for the largest per-breed number of random bite incidents in the United States. This is one of the reasons why they are largely viewed to be an excellent guard dog. German Shepherds are very loyal to their owners, and can be very obedient if trained properly.
German Shepherd Grooming
The coat of a German Shepherd is double-layered, with different properties assigned to each layer. The outer layer is shed throughout the year, being very dense and close-knit. The undercoat is thick and insulating, which helps to protect the German Shepherd from temperature variants. Because of the fact that they have a dual-layered coat, German Shepherds need to be groomed on a regular basis. It’s best to purchase a sturdy grooming brush at a pet care store, and groom a German Shepherd at least three times per week.
German Shepherd Training
The best method to use when training a German Shepherd involves positive reinforcement. Though German Shepherds can be aggressive, they are also very eager to please. It’s best to use clicker training when training a German Shepherd, since this has proven to be a fairly effective training method. In the dog care section of most pet supply stores, you can purchase a small device that is used for clicker training. When this clicking device is used in combination with small food-based treats, it has proven to be very effective at shaping the behavior of German Shepherd dogs. German Shepherds are said to be the third most intelligent dog breed, preceded only by Border Collies and Poodles.