German Shepherd

Alsatians are one the world's most well known dogs, if you've ever seen TV's 'Inspector Rex' you'll have seen a German Shepherd! They are a muscular and noble breed, agile, balanced and strong. The German Shepherd has a hard outer coat of coarse and thick hair with a thick undercoat. They carry themselves in a smooth and graceful manner, reaching far with their front legs and with powerful force through their back legs. 

Other Names
Alsation, GSD, Deutsche Schaferhund
Country of Origin
Germany
Colour
Black is the most common major colour. Can have ash, and iron grey as well as yellow or light brown markings, though there are even white German Shepherds.
Size
Large
Height / Weight
Measure between 60-65cms at the withers and weigh around 36 kgs. Bitches measure beween 55-60 cms at the withers and weigh around 30kgs
Health
Hip Dysplasia is the most common of these issues and the Kennel club has instituted a hip-scoring scheme since 1983. You will sos need to look out for the bone disease panostetsis. This issue is common in large, fast-growing dogs and is more frequent in male Alsatians. There is also a risk of Bloat as a result of deep chested dogs, but can be prevented with good breeding practices. There is also a risk of congenital heart problems. Puppies can be prone to crusty ears, tail swelling and cracked pads due to cutaneous vasculopathy. There is also some risk of brain issues, seizure and eye problems including retinal dysplasia.
Life Span
10+ years
Intelligence
A highly intelligent dog, the German Shepherd needs plenty of mental stimulation. Alsatians tend to excel at obedience, they prefer training with strong and firm voice commands. Reward based training techniques will assist in training your already eager to please dog. After completing basic Obedience training your German Shepherd will enjoy tracking, agility, rescue or further guard dog training.
Exercise
High
Suitability (Children)
Low
Feeding

An energetic and large dog, the Alsatian will need nutritious meals.

Feeding Cost
$15-$20 p/w
Other Cost
Excercise
The German Shepherd needs lots of exercise to keep it occupied. As a puppy you will need to be careful when exercising to avoid term joint and bone damage. As the dog gets older and larger their exercise requirements will increase.
Ailments
Hip Dysplasia is the most common of these issues and the Kennel club has instituted a hip-scoring scheme since 1983. You will sos need to look out for the bone disease panostetsis. This issue is common in large, fast-growing dogs and is more frequent in male Alsatians. There is also a risk of Bloat as a result of deep chested dogs, but can be prevented with good breeding practices. There is also a risk of congenital heart problems. Puppies can be prone to crusty ears, tail swelling and cracked pads due to cutaneous vasculopathy. There is also some risk of brain issues, seizure and eye problems including retinal dysplasia.
Hair Shed
Heavy
Grooming

Grooming is a daily routine important for your Alsatian. A good vigorous brushing will help remove any dead hair and skin. A longhaired German Shepherd will also require combing as well as brushing. The German Shepherd is a heavy shedder so no trimming will be required, but the more you maintain your brushing routine the less shedding will be an issue for you and your pup!

Grooming Frequency
Daily
Trimming
None
The German Shepherd dog can trace its origins back to a number of different Shepherd dogs in the 7th Century. Though the German Shepherd has the appearance of a wolf its history goes back to herding, but it was best suited to protection and guard dog work and is most in demand for these skills in modern society. The Alsatian has worked as a Guide Dog in the US and has a long and decorated history in the police force and the armed services. The German Shepherd owes a lot of its success to Rittmesiter Max Emil Friedrick von Stephanitz who, at the end of the 19th Century, worked tirelessly to promote and protect the breed. German Shepherds have been shown since 1882, and the German breed club was formed for them in 1899. Through the club the Alsatian was developed for its use with the Police and Armed Forces which turned out to be what saved the breed in the difficult times at the beginning of the 20th century. In the WWI the breed was sued as messenger dogs and to locate wounded by the Germans, but allied forces saw their skills, intelligence and courage and brought them home with them after the war, extending their reach to the world. The best show dogs are still considered to come from German stock to this day.


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