The Character, Appearance and Care of The German Shepherd

The German Shepherd Dog (also called "German Shepherd" or "Alsatian Wolf Dog") is one of the top 10 most popular dog breeds in the Netherlands and Belgium and is probably one of the world's most recognized dog breeds. The German Shepherd is not only extremely popular as a companion pet, this breed is also widely used for other procedures: from "actor" in films to rescue and service dogs to detection dogs and drug dogs, German Shepherds are used for it. In this article everything about this nice dog breed!

Character German Shepherd Dog

The character of the German Shepherd dog can be described as aloof, but usually not aggressive. They are reserved dogs who don't make friends right away, but once they do, are extremely loyal. They are very energetic pets that need a lot of exercise. As an owner, you should therefore take this into account.


They are intelligent and trainable. This is one of the reasons that this dog breed is used for so many different purposes. They can be trained in just about anything, from warning the doorbell to finding avalanche victims.

Deployment as a watchdog

In addition to its energetic qualities, the German Shepherd is sometimes a bit suspicious and the pet can be a bit distant. These characteristics make the German Shepherd dog extremely suitable as a guard dog. When the pet feels threatened, it will be protective and appear powerful. This property does mean that sometimes more time has to be invested in the socialization of the pet.

German Shepherd as a pet

To make it a real family dog ​​that goes well with different people, the dog must learn to get used to as many situations and people as possible. When done properly, they become very easygoing and approachable. They will then fit perfectly in a family.

Real companion pet

But doesn't the German Shepherd Dog have things that it can't do? Unfortunately, this dog also has a number of things he is less good at. This dog cannot be alone for long. Without the company he needs and the necessary training challenges, he becomes bored and frustrated. This can result in unwanted behaviors such as barking or rowdiness. In addition, it is important to pay attention to socialization as a puppy. Let the dog get used to as many situations, people and other pets as possible.

History and origins

The German Shepherd dog breed is relatively dating back to 1899. After his career in the military, Max von Stephanitz focused on experimenting with dog breeding. Stephanitz studied the breeding techniques of the British who were known for creating exceptional sheepdogs and attended various meetings and exhibitions. In 1899 he bought a dog at an exhibition that came closest to his ideal image of a dog. He used this dog, Hektor vom Linksrhein, for further breeding. His goal: to create a superior German Shepherd Dog breed that would go on to work as a herding dog.

The sheepdog as we know it today

As Germany began to industrialize more and more, von Stephanitz saw the need for such dogs fading. However, he was determined that his breed would become working dogs. He therefore decided that the future of the dog was in police work and military service. Using his military connections, von Stephanitz convinced the German government to use the breed. During the First World War, the German Shepherd served as a Red Cross dog, as well as a courier, rescuer, guard, supplies carrier and sentry.

Today, the breed is still used for such tasks, but is also increasingly kept as a pet and companion pet.


In terms of grooming, the German Shepherd Dog is not the most difficult. However, the coat should be brushed regularly because they shed quite a lot. The loose undercoat can be easily removed with a special "shepherd's rake".

Need challenge

Its original purpose as a keeper of herds is still reflected in the energy of this breed. German Shepherds need to be able to release this energy well and therefore need a lot of exercise. In addition, they like to be challenged: they want to work for their owner and like to be challenged spiritually. So challenge your dog by having things retrieved and reward them exuberantly for this. Other possibilities are to participate in agility training or obedience tests. Your dog will appreciate this!

Do not leave your German Shepherd alone for long periods of time. If you do this, behavioral problems can occur. So always pay enough attention to your German Shepherd.

German Shepherds also love to chew. With their powerful jaws, they can do a lot of damage. In addition, chewing on wrong materials can be bad for the dog. Therefore, buy chew toys and bones that are especially intended for large dogs. This way your dog always has something to do, even if you don't have time to entertain him.


Providing good, high-quality nutrition is extra important for German Shepherds. This breed's digestive system is more sensitive than that of other breeds. In addition, make sure your dog rests for at least two hours after eating for optimal digestion. This way you prevent stomach problems such as stomach torsion / twisting from occurring because the dog is too busy or stressed too soon after eating. Also prevent the dog from getting too fat. This can cause joint problems, which German Shepherds are more sensitive to than most other breeds.

Dimensions and life expectancy

The German Shepherd is a medium-sized dog breed that belongs to the sheepdogs. An adult German Shepherd can reach a height of approximately 60 to 65 centimeters (height at the withers). A full grown bitch is slightly smaller with a height at the withers between 55 and 60 cm. The weight of an adult male is approximately between 30 and 40 kilos, an average female is slightly lighter with a weight between 22 and 32 kilos. A German Shepherd lives about 9 to 13 years old.

German Shepherds with children and other pets

German Shepherds get along well with children and are therefore ideal for families with children. In addition, they get along well with other dogs and are therefore easy to combine with another pet.

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