Other Names: Alsatian, Deutscher Schaferhund Country of Origin: Germany Lifespan: 12-13 Years Male Height: 23.5-25.5 Inches Male Weight: 80.5 Pounds Female Height: 21.5-23.5 Inches Female Weight: 65 Pounds
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The German Shepherd Dog is nothing short of a highly gifted dog. It's intelligence is the envy of most of the dog world. It is able to perform almost any task that man has asked of it, including guide dog, avalanche rescue, tracking, watchdog, police dog, drug and bomb sniffing, and it is still herding sheep in it's native homeland.
Highly intelligent, obedient, easy to train, protective, brave, and fiercely loyal are just some of the words used to describe this breed. Although high intelligence is often a sought after trait in a dog, it is not always a desirable one. Any prospective owner of a German Shepherd Dog needs to assure that they are willing to put in the extra effort to mentally stimulate their new family member. This breed needs to be involved in "extra-curricular" activities including early obedience. Consider joining a local club with your dog and you can both enjoy the benefits of activities like flyball, agility, advanced obedience, field trials, dog sledding, or Schutzhund. Giving your German Shepherd Dog "responsibilities" around the house will help to make your dog happier, and remember that "this breed only stops learning once we stop teaching".
The German Shepherd Dog's roots go back to the late 1800's in Germany where it was used as a shepherding dog. It was first known as the German Sheepdog, but during World War I the American Kennel Club renamed it the Shepherd Dog to reduce discrimination against the breed. In 1931 they restored the heritage back to the dog by naming it the German Shepherd Dog.
By World War I the breed was already popular throughout Germany. It's enormous popularity never reached the shores of North America until the appearance of two movie stars by the names of Strongheart and Rin Tin Tin. Decades of movies and tv shows with German Shepherd Dogs assured their continued spot as the most popular dog breed in North America. It's popularity still continues to this day with AKC ranking it as the 3rd most popular breed!
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