When this dog breed comes into your mind you may start to think about the role they have played in our lives. On TV, Working with police officers, search and rescue, family pets and many more.
The GSD is a symbol of safety, of a guardian. A strong and powerful dog. Kind and loving, trustworthy. These are all thoughts we would share when talking about this breed. But they are much more then this.
Taking a look back into the history of the breed you will see that the German Shepherd Dog was the creation of Captain Max Von Stephanitz in Karlsruhe, Germany. Careful breeding and selecting only the best of the best he was able to set into stride the breed of the GSD we know today. In German the name for the German Shepherd dog is Deutsche Schaferhunde). The beginnings of this breed date back to this instance in 1899.
Not to long after in 1905 the hard work paid off and the breed had made itself known throughout North America and Europe. Finally in 1911 they were able to be registered as a separate breed all their own. By 1918 the breed was accepted by the American Kennel Club.
In England the name for the GSD was Alsatian. A movement by owners and breeders had the name changed to German Shepherd Dog in 1978.
This breed is one of the most versatile dogs. Excelling in all confirmation and performance events. And most of all winning over our hearts and families. They are a very devoted breed and will be a lasting friend in our homes.
Although they are known as a loyal breed there are some things that make this breed not good for some families. They do shed and can have a high prey drive. Buying from a reputable breeder will cut the chances of getting a dog that will be a joy rather then a danger to your small animals.
If left chained or pent up they will begin to have issues due to not being properly exercised. This is not the breeds problem. As an owner its up to you to provide your dog with all its care needs, including exercise. If you feel that you cannot keep up with an active breed then this is not the dog for you.
The GSD often suffers from Hip Displasia. A good reputable breeder will have all their breeding stock tested and pass for this issue. The tests are given through the OFA, Orthopedic Foundation for Animals.
As with all pet animals its in theirs and yours best interest to get them spayed or neutered. This will only effect their personalities by making the dog more tolerant towards situations. The risk of cancer in both male and female dogs goes down greatly. The danger of your pet dog running off in search of mate is less likely to occur. Accidentally pregnancies are very expensive and the fact is if you cannot find homes for all those puppies, usually for a large breed 7-10 of them, where will they go?
The GSD being one of the top most popular breeds in the country is over all a great dog. Given the right amount of grooming and exercise, love and attention and most importantly training, these dogs will make excellent family pets. Not only do they make great pets but they are outstanding and most likely the first choice for many search and rescue, police and other professional organizations.
For more information on this breed and many others, please visit the AKC’s official site!