Pop quiz, you’ve got an almost bankrupt movie production company, how do you bring it back from almost certain failure? Bring in a canine star of course! Who would that star be? You guessed it, Rin Tin Tin! The German Shepherd was the dog that literally brought Warner Brothers Studios back to life in the 1920’s. This dog captured the hearts of families across America. The bravery, loyalty, and antics of this lovable movie star allowed this breed to flourish into what is known today as the third most popular breed of dog. This dog has the bravery of a warrior and the cuddliness of a teddy bear that makes it a perfect fit for almost any family. However, before adopting a dog, be sure it will be the right fit for your lifestyle.
Housing Requirements: The German Shepherd dog is one that requires a lot of exercise. It can adapt to almost any living environment as long as he is given an outlet for his energy. Keeping an energetic dog in small space mean that he will need to be walked/run multiple times a day. Dog parks, daycares, and socialization classes are great ways to get your pooch up and moving everyday.
Appearance: German Shepherds come in the standard black and tan, all black, and recently developed all white colorations. These animals and way anywhere from 50-90 lbs. They are born with floppy ears that prick up as the animal matures. A long bushy tail is also standard for this dog. The dog has a distinctive long muzzle and hazel brown eyes which give him the beautiful intelligent look.
Health: The German Shepherd Dog is a generally healthy dog, but he can suffer from the common ailments of aging. Hip and elbow dysplasia are common in large breed dogs. This animal has a lifespan from 7-10 years. Degenerative myelopathy, and Von Willebrands Disease are two diseases that sometimes affect this breed. Be sure to get your pet from a reputable breed who has health screened their animals prior to breeding.
Grooming: This dog has a double layer, water resistant coat which makes for a lot of shedding. The German Shepherd will leave clumps and clumps of hair wherever he goes. In order to minimize shedding, daily brushing is a must.
Temperament: The German Shepherd is a highly intelligent, self-confident dog. His loyalty and williness to please makes for a great working dog that will form amazingly strong bonds with his human family. These strong bonds can lead to extreme protectiveness so be sure to socialize your new dog well. This animal has been labeled the number one biting breed of dog. It is very important to expose your new puppy to as many sights, sounds, smells, and people as possible when he if little in order to prevent extreme protectiveness later in life. Despite a protective streak, the German Shepherd is commonly known as a family dog because patient and great with children. A good upbringing will assure a wonderful family friendly pet.
Trainability: This animal is the third smartest dog breed in the world (AKC). His eagerness to please makes for an easy dog to train. There are over 8,000 known German Shepherd police dogs. This can be attributed to the fact that not only are these dogs fast learners, but they have great self control. Because of their extreme intelligence, these dogs need to be kept busy. These are working dogs bred for almost any job under the sun. German shepherd are athletes that would make great agility dogs, obedience trial dogs, protection, search and rescue and many many more. Simply give the German Shepherd dog something to do and he will be a happy and healthy member of your family.
Dogs 101: DVD
American Kennel Club (http://www.akc.org/breeds/german_shepherd_dog/index.cfm)