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                             About the German Shepherd Dog (GSD)
                          
Description

GSDs are one of the most easily recognized breeds in the world. Their appearance should be of a muscular, alert dog with a noble and aloof attitude. The dogs are agile and well balanced in the fore and hindquarters and carry themselves with pride. Although substantially built, these dogs are not square but made up of smooth curves, the length being greater than the height. Their coats are impressive: the outer coat being hard, coarse and flat hair with a thick undercoat. They have a wonderful long reach with their front legs, covering the ground in a smooth, graceful manner.

 Intelligence

It is a highly intelligent breed and as such, needs a great deal of mental stimulation. Obedience classes will be enjoyed by the GSD and he should prove to be a stellar pupil. This dog is eager to learn and very responsive to training, especially voice commands given with the appropriate intonation. It is best to work with reward-method training, as beating an already timid dog into submission is likely to backfire. From basic obedience, the GSD can go onto learn agility, tracking, rescue work or personal protection work; he excels at all these skills.

As a pet, the GSD will demand a lot of your time. It is a highly intelligent breed and as such, needs a great deal of mental stimulation. The GSD will develop a very close bond with his handler and will want to be with him/her as much as possible. They will accept children if the children give them respect and do not torment them. Although this breed of dog does need a lot of attention, he will give back one hundred fold with loyalty and incorruptible guarding skills. On the other hand, if you do not take the time to socialize and train a GSD, there will be problems with self-confidence and unruliness.
 
Ailments

Irresponsible breeding has led to some health problems. The most prevalent of these is Hip Dysplasia. To overcome this problem, the Kennel Club instituted a hip-scoring scheme in 1983. Another bone disease that can affect fast growing, large dogs, as GSDs are, is panosteitis, males are affected more often than females. Bloat is a disease of deep-chested dogs but can often be prevented with careful husbandry. Cutaneous vasculopathy affects GSD puppies causing crusty ears, tail and swollen, cracked pads. Congenital heart problems have also been found in German Shepherd Dogs.

Overall Exercise Requirement

The young pup should be exercised with some discretion to avoid long-term damage to still soft and forming joints. As the dog ages, it will require longer walks but must first have the solid bone structure established.

Grooming requirements

At least once a week

Grooming should also be done every day, with a vigorous brushing to remove any dead or loose hairs. If it is a long-haired GSD, combing will also be necessary. No trimming is required and bathing should only be done as needed. This is a shedding dog but the more you groom it, the less it will shed.

  • Overly Attached - Since Herding breeds tend to have a high pack drive and desire to please, they can become overly attached to their owners. They are prone to developing separation anxiety if not taught to accept being apart from their owners at an early age. Crate training is highly recommended.
  •  Easily Trained - Herding breeds are typically easier to train since they were bred specifically to work closely with humans. Herding requires an attentive, closely bonded dog who is very sensitive to her master’s every movement and command.
  •  High Need for Mental Activity - Herding dogs may develop undesirable behaviors like barking, tail chasing, animal chasing, child chasing, pacing, fence running, digging or aggression if not given enough acceptable activities such as Fetch, obedience and tricks.
  • High Prey/Chase Drive
  • Herding Behavior - This characteristic can also make it difficult for these dogs to become desensitized to the activities of small children. These dogs are likely to bark and nip when excited.
  • High Need for Daily Exercise - Without sufficient exercise, these dogs may develop excessive barking, tail chasing, animal chasing, child chasing, pacing, fence running, digging or aggression.

Color

The colors the GSD comes in are black, ash and iron gray with brown, yellow or light brown markings. Black is the most common major coat color. Traditional black and tan or red and tan are the colors most known by people. White GSDs do occur but are not accepted in the show ring. The 'tiger" look of some shepherds is called a "Sable" GSD. My male Jasper is considered a "dark sable".

Category Size

Large

Coat Length

Short/Medium

The German Shepherd Dog


According to the AKC Registration Statistics, the German Shepherd Dog (GSD) was the 3rd most popular dog breed in the United States in 2008. The German Shepherd Dog is an energetic and fun loving companion. The GSD is one of the most well- known and beloved breeds. He is the worlds leading guard, police and military canine. The German Shepherd Dog is a consistently popular breed in the U.S.

The German Shepherd Dog originated at Karlsruhe in Germany in 1899. Captain Max von Stephanitz and other dedicated breeders were responsible for producing the first German Shepherd Dog. In April of 1899, Captain von Stephanitz registered a dog named Horan as the first Deutsche Schäferhunde, which means German Shepherd Dog. The first GSD exhibited in America was in 1907.

The German Shepherd Dog belongs to the Herding Group. This means that he will most likely have a high prey or chase drive. Since herding dogs are bred to work closely with humans, they are easier to train. This is due to the fact that a herding dog is highly sensitive to his master’s every move and command. However, this can also cause problems like separation anxiety in certain circumstances. This will happen when the dog becomes overly-attached to his master.

The German Shepherd Dog is a great family pet. Once they have established a bond with children, they are perfect guard dogs and will have a protective relationship with them. Your GSD will also require a high level of physical and mental activity in order to maintain his obedience and not to become overly bored.

Your local dog trainer will tell you that your German Shepherd Dog should be given a job to keep him mentally active. There are many dog rescue organizations that specialize in finding homes for German Shepherds. If you are looking for a loyal companion, the German Shepherd Dog is for you. He is best-suited in a home with a yard; however, if properly maintained with daily physical and mental activity, the GSD is suitable in any home. He requires regular grooming, and once dog training is established, maintaining their dog obedience will be simple. The German Shepherd Dog has been a lovable family pet and working companion for many years and will be for many to come.



References:
http://www.akc.org/reg/dogreg_stats.cfm
http://www.dogbreedinfo.com/
http://www.animalbehaviorcollege.com