Highly driven, athletic, energetic and always up to a new challenge, the German Shepherd Dog (GSD) makes a great family protector, loyal companion and canine sport star. He may just be the dog for you as long as you are happy to provide him with the correct mental and physical stimulation. A GSD will reward you with good behaviour, dedication and affection.
- Well-bred GSDs have stable temperaments.
- The ideal GSD is an obedient dog with a loyal and courageous nature.
- Without adequate exercise, the GSD may become bored and frustrated.
- The GSD is a guard and protector of people, not property. A well-bred GSD is friendly in a normal situation, but if faced with a hostile situation, will match aggression with aggression.
Exercise and training
- The GSD requires plenty of exercise.
- Approach training in a positive, motivational way.
- It is advisable to join a specialist GSD club from 12 weeks of age to ensure correct socialisation as a basis for training.
- The GSD is a suitable candidate for a myriad of activities.
Daily care and health
- The GSD has a double coat – a woolly undercoat and a dense, straight, flat-lying outer coat.
- He doesn’t require regular baths, but you should regularly clean the visible part of the inside ear to prevent ear infections.
- The GSD is a healthy breed. The perception that the breed is prone to hip dysplasia is unfounded, as less than 0.5% of GSDs show clinical signs of hip problems before old age.
- Prospective puppy owners should check the qualifications of the parents.
German Shepherd Dog fact file
Group: Working, FCI Group 1
Job today: Companion, security
Life expectancy: 12-13 years
Weight: Bitches: 22kg-35kg; Dogs: 32kg-45kg
Height: Bitches: 55-60cm; Dogs: 60cm to 65cm
Is the breed naturally protective? Yes
Attitude to strangers: Will meet aggression with aggression; friendly in normal situations
Coat types: Two types. Short stock hair: a double coat – woolly undercoat and a dense, straight, flat-lying outer coat; Long stock hair: a double coat – woolly undercoat and a finer, straight, flat-lying long outer coat
Colours: Shades of black and tan, sable, black and bi-colour
Adult quantities for dry food: Two meals a day
Ease of training: Very easy
Good family dog? Yes
Town or country: Both
Health concerns: Generally healthy
Character: Versatile, intelligent, desires to please
The full article appears in the April issue of AnimalTalk.