German Shepherds

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german shepherd

History Of The German Shepherd

The German Shepherd dog was created by Max von Stephanitz in 1899.  He had very clear ideas as to what a working dog should do, and proceeded look for a dog that fit his requirements.  By chance, he found the perfect dog and used him for breeding.  Thus began the start of the German Shepherd dog.  This breed is considered a very young breed by the American Kennel Club, as it has been in existence for only 90 years.

These dogs became popular following World War I, when soldiers returned home and extolled the many virtues of this animal.  The German Shepherd’s courage and abilities to perform needed duties during wartime, as well as the morale boost their presence provided, left them popular with many who had served in the war.  After World War II, however, anti-German sentiment caused the breed to be renamed the Alsatian Wolf Hound.  It was not until 1977 that the breed was once again called the German Shepherd.

Description Of Breed

German shepherds can be found in a variety of colors; the most predominant combinations are black and tan or red and black.  Although these colors are the most prevalent, it is not uncommon to find all-black, all-white, sable and panda colored German Shepherds. Physical characteristics of this breed include a long muzzle, medium sized brown eyes, and a bushy tail.  While Max von Stephanitz was breeding these animals, he had certain criteria which had to be followed explicitly.  However, with modern breeders there is a lack of regulations, and they may not be as careful with breeding.  Several serious problems have crept into the breed, such as hip dysplasia, missing teeth and several other ailments predominant to the breed.

Personality

German shepherds are very loyal to their family.  They tend to bark when an unknown person approaches their “herd.”  This breed needs to be active, and if left alone for long periods of time can become destructive due to boredom. German Shepherds want desperately to please their families, and with love, patience and socialization they can be an excellent addition to any family.

Image: iStock

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