Generally considered dogdom's finest all-purpose workers, German Shepherd Dogs are large, agile, muscular dogs of noble spirit and high intelligence. For such deep-chested, solid dogs, they move quickly with great nimbleness afoot. The German Shepherd's natural gait is a free-and-easy trot, but when duty calls they can turn it up a notch or two and reach great speeds. Standing as high as 26 inches at the shoulder and built like a brick doghouse, the German Shepherd Dog when viewed in outline presents a picture of smooth, graceful curves rather than angles.
Derived from the old breeds of herding and farm dogs, and associated for centuries with man as servant and companion, the German Shepherd Dog has been subject to intensive development. Sponsored by the Verein fur Deutsche Schaferhunde, the parent club of the breed founded in 1899 in Germany, the cult of the Shepherd spread rapidly from about 1914 onward in many parts of the world.
Interest in the breed has been fostered by specialty clubs in many lands as it has been in the United States by the German Shepherd Dog Club of America.
He is a loyal family pet and a good guard dog, the ideal choice for many families. He requires regular exercise. Training is one of the most important responsibilities you have as a dog owner. Basic obedience training will make your dog a better companion and strengthen the bond between the two of you. Classes—ranging from puppy or kindergarten to adult and advanced obedience training—are available in most cities, offered by local German Shepherd Dog clubs or all-breed kennel clubs. For the more serious owners, there are competition classes and dog shows.
THE GERMAN SHEPHERD DOG IS DISTINGUISHED FOR LOYALTY, COURAGE, AND THE ABILITY TO ASSIMILATE AND RETAIN TRAINING FOR A NUMBER OF SPECIAL SERVICES; HE IS NOT PUGNACIOUS, AS HIS REPUTATION POSITS HIM TO BE, BUT A BOLD AND PUNISHING FIGHTER IF NEED BE.
THE GERMAN SHEPHERD DOG IS ONE OF THE MOST POPULAR AND RECOGNIZABLE BREEDS OF THE AKC.
GERMAN SHEPHERD DOGS ARE UTILIZED OFTEN AS POLICE DOGS, SERVICE DOGS, AGILITY DOGS, CONFORMATION ANIMALS, OBEDIENCE DOGS, AND SENTINELS. THEIR HIGH TRAINABILITY AND EXTREME LOYALTY AND COMMITMENT MAKE THEM AN EXCELLENT CHOICE FOR ANY AGENDA.
IN TERMS OF SHOW PRESENTATION, THE GERMAN SHEPHERD DOG HAS A UNIQUE STACK OR "POSE", FEATURING ONE REAR LEG UNDER THE BODY AND ONE EXTENDED, AS OPPOSED TO CONVENTIONAL "SQUARE" STACKS (PARALLEL FRONT AND REAR) OR EXTENDED STACKS.
THE GERMAN SHEPHERD DOG HAS BEEN IN THE PUBLIC EYE AND MEDIA MANY TIMES, RECOGNIZABLE AS "RIN TIN TIN" AND OTHER CANINE CHARACTERS.
THE GERMAN SHEPHERD DOG DOES NOT GIVE AFFECTION LIGHTLY AND IS KNOWN FOR HIS DIGNITY AND STATURE; IT IS ALSO KNOWN AS A "ONE-MAN" BREED FOR ITS TENDENCY TO DISPLAY SERIOUS LOYALTY AND FIDELITY, ESPECIALLY TO ITS OWNER OR MAIN CARETAKER.
The first impression of a good German Shepherd Dog is that of a strong, agile, well muscled animal, alert and full of life. It is well balanced, with harmonious development of the forequarter and hindquarter. The dog is longer than tall, deep-bodied, and presents an outline of smooth curves rather than angles. It looks substantial and not spindly, giving the impression, both at rest and in motion, of muscular fitness and nimbleness without any look of clumsiness or soft living. The ideal dog is stamped with a look of quality and nobility - difficult to define, but unmistakable when present. Secondary sex characteristics are strongly marked, and every animal gives a definite impression of masculinity or femininity, according to its sex.
The head is noble, cleanly chiseled, strong without coarseness, but above all not fine, and in proportion to the body. The head of the male is distinctly masculine, and that of the bitch distinctly feminine. The expression keen, intelligent and composed. Eyes of medium size, almond shaped, set a little obliquely and not protruding. The color is as dark as possible. Ears are moderately pointed, in proportion to the skull, open toward the front, and carried erect when at attention, the ideal carriage being one in which the center lines of the ears, viewed from the front, are parallel to each other and perpendicular to the ground.
The neck is strong and muscular, clean-cut and relatively long, proportionate in size to the head and without loose folds of skin. When the dog is at attention or excited, the head is raised and the neck carried high; otherwise typical carriage of the head is forward rather than up and but little higher than the top of the shoulders, particularly in motion. Topline- The withers are higher than and sloping into the level back. The back is straight, very strongly developed without sag or roach, and relatively short. The whole structure of the body gives an impression of depth and solidity without bulkiness.
The shoulder blades are long and obliquely angled, laid on flat and not placed forward. The upper arm joins the shoulder blade at about a right angle. Both the upper arm and the shoulder blade are well muscled. The forelegs, viewed from all sides, are straight and the bone oval rather than round.
The ideal dog has a double coat of medium length. The outer coat should be as dense as possible, hair straight, harsh and lying close to the body. A slightly wavy outer coat, often of wiry texture, is permissible. The head, including the inner ear and foreface, and the legs and paws are covered with short hair, and the neck with longer and thicker hair. The rear of the forelegs and hind legs has somewhat longer hair extending to the pastern and hock, respectively.
The whole assembly of the thigh, viewed from the side, is broad, with both upper and lower thigh well muscled, forming as nearly as possible a right angle. The upper thigh bone parallels the shoulder blade while the lower thigh bone parallels the upper arm. The metatarsus (the unit between the hock joint and the foot) is short, strong and tightly articulated.
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Breed Requirements By Canine Health Information Center
Results of GSDCA Temperament test submitted to OFA or CGC Testing
Congenital Cardiac Database (Optional)
Autoimmune thyroiditis (Optional)
OFA evaluation from an approved laboratory - recommend yearly testing
Eye Examination by a boarded ACVO Ophthalmologist- recommend annually until age 6, every 2 years thereafter (Optional)
Results registered with OFA - OR
Results registered with CERF