History and Origin: This breed originated in Germany in the late 1800’s. Max Von Stephanitz is credited with developing the breed and he believed strongly that his dogs have strong working ability as a servant to mankind. In Europe in mid 1800’s, there were many attempts to standardize the breed so that specific traits were preserved such as herding, tracking and guarding flocks from predators. Dogs needed to be intelligent, courageous and have a keen scenting ability. The breed probably descended from the crossing of various European herding types of the region.
General Appearance: The German Shepherd is considered to be one of the finest examples in the canine world of a true working and herding dog. He is tall, statuesque and noble, his body is longer than his height, ears are fairly large and upright, eyes are dark, nose is black and body is strong and supple with graceful curving lines. When trotting, the German Shepherd dog covers the ground in a long, easy, far reaching stride.
Coat and Colour: This breed is double coated, with the outer coat being dense straight hair, lying flat. Face and fronts of legs have short tight hair. Strong rich colours are desired and they can be black and tan, sable, or black. Height and Weight: Ideally, males are 25 inches (64 cms) and about 75-85 pounds: females are 23 inches (58cms) and 60-70 pounds.
Training and Obedience: the German Shepherd is very intelligent and can be trained in most performance areas. Simple obedience commands will come easily and they excel in the competitive obedience ring as well as in agility and herding trials. This breed is one of the most versatile. They are indispensible as police dogs, tracking dogs, guard dogs, search and rescue dogs (SAR), military dogs, guide dogs for the blind, scent detection and support dogs for the disabled. They are truly an all purpose breed.
Activity: Require exercise every day either with a run in a fenced area or brisk long walk. They love to chase a ball or toy. They should be confined in a high fenced yard as they are capable of jumping. They will bark to warn of intruders and can be territorial and will guard their home and property. Not always tolerant of other dogs unless raised properly with them and they might chase a stray cat. They are good with children but like any dog, should always be supervised.
Feeding: Use any premium kibble with canned or raw meat mixed in and such additives as yogurt, cooked eggs and vegetables. A raw diet will also be equally successful. Whichever feeding regimen is followed, the breed must be kept hard and well muscled, and always fit for any work.
Temperament: Usually reserved and often aloof with strangers, but loyal to their family. They are protective of their home. They should be confident and courageous, never timid or shy. A German Shepherd of proper character, is alert, steady, brave and sensible.