German Shepherd Dogs...
The German Shepherd dog or Alsatians fill many roles in the world around you, whether being a family pet, or a guide dog, police dog, guard dog, attack dog or bomb dog. German Shepherd dogs make excellent family pets and are very protective of family members and children, how ever German Shepherd dogs are also very intelligent and can be troublesome unless they're kept busy. German Shepherd dogs have inherent traits that have been passed down from generation to generation, a common one is an instinct to herd people, German Shepherd dogs will often lead groups of people and check back often to make sure everyone is going the right way. Although German Shepherd dogs are not often used for herding anymore there are some breeds of German Shepherd dogs that were commonly used in Europe for herding cattle.
There are some inherent problems with German Shepherd dogs however; the most common of which is Hip Dysplasia, which affects the joints of German Shepherd dogs. Many dogs are now certified by the OFA, after two years when x-rays are taken. When picking a puppy from a litter, you can ask to see these certificates, but there are other factors to consider. You shouldn't pick the runt or the bully of the litter; the former has a higher risk of illness, with the latter being likely to have a very aggressive personality, not a good feature for a family pet. The next choice is whether to get a male or female dog, in German Shepherd dogs there are some behavioural differences. Males will tend to be a lot more protective of their territory, such as the family home and garden, whilst females will be a lot more protective of their "pack" and family or children.
The best time to take a German Shepherd puppy home is around 8-10 weeks old, which is about two weeks after the puppies have been weaned. Most German Shepherd dogs grow to be around 55-90 lb's although this can vary it can be dangerous for a dog to be too far outside these limits. A characteristic of German Shepherd dogs are whether their ears stick up, or are soft ears. Traditionally soft ears have been thought of as an undesirable trait, although many people prefer dogs with soft ears now, you should be careful how ever when stroking a German Shepherd puppy on the ears as you may bend and damage the developing cartilage which may stop the ears standing up.
German Shepherd Dogs
by Matthew Seigneur
More dog breeds and dog pictures available to view at www.dog-pictures.co.uk. Dog health care articles with training questions and more available at: www.dog-pictures.co.uk/dog-care-articles/.