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Explains the personality, history and characteristics of German Shepherd Dog

When most people think of police dogs, they probably think of this breed. The German Shepherd Dog, as its name suggests, is a large dog that originated in Germany. Created initially as a military dog ​​before World War I, it is now a utility dog that can handle any job, such as police, drug detection, and disaster relief dogs, making full use of its high abilities. I play an active part in various scenes.

Here, we will explain in detail the history, characteristics, personality, precautions for living with German Shepherd Dogs, and the diseases they are prone to. Also, Read the Top 5 Most Popular Dog Breeds in America in Full Detail.

History of the German Shepherd Dog

The German Shepherd Dog is a relatively new breed created in the late 19th century by crossing sheepdogs from central to southern Germany. Shortly before World War I, with the aim of creating highly capable military dogs, excellent working dogs from all over the world were considered as candidates for basic dogs, but among them, It is the beginning of a history that a German ancient sheep dog called “Old German Shepherd Dog” with the ability to be born was selected. Mr. Stephanitz, who was a German soldier, paid attention to the Old German Shepherd Dog, which showed a variety of functions such as managing cattle and sheep and collecting things, and thoroughly worked as a military dog. Breeding was repeated for the purpose of improvement and improvement of training performance. In 1899, the first standard was created for the German Shepherd Dog.

The German Shepherd Dog Association has been able to breed superior individuals in a short period of time by strictly managing standards and establishing strict rules for breeding. There is a record that 200,000 Shepherds were active around the world during World War II, and it is said that they came to Japan as military dogs around this time.

Currently, as a ” utility dog ” with high ability, it is very active in various fields such as police dogs, drug detection dogs, and disaster relief dogs. Also, Read German Shepherd Dog Complete Details with Historical Background

Characteristics of the German Shepherd Dog

The German Shepherd Dog is a large dog that belongs to the group of sheepdogs.

The body length is slightly longer than the height, and when viewed from the side, the waist is slightly lowered. The ears stand up straight and are a muscular breed.


At the Japan Kennel Club ( JKC ),

  • Males are 60-65cm tall and weigh 30-40kg
  • Females should be 55-60 cm tall and weigh 22-32 kg.

Coat/hair color

German Shepherd Dogs are also allowed to be “all black” or black with markings such as reddish brown, brown, yellow, and light gray. There is a regulation that the nose must be a single black color, individuals without a mask (black hair around the nose), individuals with bright eyes, individuals with white markings on the chest or inside, the color of nails Individuals with pale skin and red tail tips are considered depigmented.

The coat is a “double coat” with a double structure of upper and lower coat.

White Shepherd

In recent years, I think there have been more opportunities to see shepherds with a pure white bodies, but this breed was previously subject to culling because it falls outside the strict regulations of German Shepherd Dogs. However, breeders in the United States and Canada objected to this because there was no problem with the personality and ability of the breed, only the difference in coat color, and around 1930 it was fixed as “White Shepherd”. It was once endangered but was later improved in Switzerland. Conservation has taken place, and there are now three strains: American-Canadian, Swiss, and White, which originated from the original German Shepherd Dog. In Japan, it was officially certified by the JKC as the “White Swiss Shepherd Dog” in 2004.


The German Shepherd Dog has an average life expectancy of 10-13 years.

The personality of the German Shepherd Dog

The German Shepherd Dog is a highly capable dog breed, as evidenced by its history. You are very intelligent and active, with great insight and perseverance. They are extremely affectionate towards their families, always observing their owners closely, and willing to follow instructions. However, they are wary of people and animals they meet for the first time and can be a little aggressive.

Notes on living together

Not suitable for outdoor breeding

The German Shepherd Dog has a thick double coat, which makes it resistant to the cold in winter, but it does not like the heat of summer. Let’s spend time in an air-conditioned room. Also, because of their high defensive instincts, if they are chained outdoors, they will not have the time to release their tension, so they will become very wary dogs. Therefore, it is best to stay indoors and spend time with your family.

Adequate exercise and training are essential

Active Shepherds tend to build up stress when they don’t get enough exercise, which can lead to behavioral problems. Therefore, let’s give him enough exercise by taking a walk for about an hour twice a day.

Despite their many abilities, Shepherd is large and muscular, so cool-down and “wait” training is essential to prevent them from getting excited and jumping on other people or dogs. It is a very smart dog breed that takes pleasure in responding to instructions from its owner using its head and body, and when praised, it stimulates its desire to achieve and makes it more motivated. You will be able to work positively on training with the help of a trainer.

Brush frequently

It is a dog breed that sheds a lot because of its double coat. Especially during the shedding season in spring and autumn, a large amount of hair falls out. Brushing should be done frequently as part of daily contact, and shampoo the whole body once or twice a month to keep it clean.

Susceptible disease

Exocrine pancreatic insufficiency

Exocrine pancreatic insufficiency is a disease in which the pancreatic tissue, which secretes digestive juices (digestive enzymes), is damaged for some reason, resulting in indigestion due to the inability to secrete sufficient digestive juices. Indigestion can lead to diarrhea, weight loss, etc., due to the inability to absorb enough nutrients from food to maintain weight and fitness. German Shepherd Dogs are genetically predisposed to the disease, with early onset.

Symptoms of exocrine pancreatic insufficiency are characterized by weight loss in spite of a strong appetite, and profuse, foul-smelling diarrhea, which is whitish due to poor digestion of fats.

Common treatments include supplementing digestive enzymes that are insufficiently secreted by the pancreas with oral medicine and administering antibiotics to prevent the bacteria in the small intestine from increasing too much. In addition, since it is difficult to change the diet to a highly digestible low-fat diet, etc., to restore the function of the pancreas, basically lifelong treatment is required.

Hip Dysplasia

Hip dysplasia is a common hip condition in large breed dogs such as German Shepherd Dogs, Bernese Mountain Dogs, and Retriever Breeds. The hip joint originally has a structure in which the tip of the femur, the head of the femur, engages with a depression in the pelvis called the acetabulum. As the child grows, the hip joint deforms and inflammation around the joint progresses, causing the hip joint to come off or become loose.

Mild cases may cause no symptoms, but as it progresses, lameness (claudication), reluctance to walk, reluctance to dash or jump, stiffness at the beginning of walking, swaying from side to side (Monroe walk) ), and symptoms such as sitting sideways.

Diagnosis is made by palpation, gait test, and imaging tests such as X-rays and CT, and treatment includes medical treatment such as weight loss, exercise restriction, drugs, and surgical treatment by surgery.

It often develops during the growth period, but since German Shepherds are a common breed, it is recommended to have an X-ray examination between 1 and 2 years old when bone formation is complete even if no symptoms are seen. READ Australian Shepherd Dog Breed Full Details

Gastric dilatation-volvulus syndrome

Gastric dilatation-volvulus syndrome is common in large-breed dogs and is a life-threatening emergency if not treated immediately.

It is a disease in which the stomach swells with gas (gastric dilatation) and twists (gastric torsion). If you notice any symptoms within 3 hours after eating, such as sudden swelling of the stomach, soreness, pain in the stomach, frequent belching or drooling, and difficulty in breathing, immediately contact a veterinarian. Although the exact cause has not been elucidated, eating too quickly, drinking water all at once, and exercising immediately after eating are risk factors.

In particular, German Shepherd Dogs tend to eat quickly, so be careful about the amount and timing of feeding.

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