German Shepherd

Dog Breed Profile

Home Dog Breeds Herding German Shepherd

German Shepherd History

The German Shepherd Dog, often abbreviated to GSD, is a breed of medium to large-sized working dog that originated in Germany. The German Shepherd is the most widely used police, guard, and assistance dog in the world. The German Shepherd is a scent (or blood) hounds, and was originally developed to herd and herd cattle, pull carts, and apprehend criminals. The popularity of the German Shepherd as a house pet has grown since the 1990s, particularly in the United States and Canada. The worldwide population of the German Shepherd is estimated at 6–8 million. The history of the German Shepherd begins in 1899, when Germany’s National Socialist Party passed a “Racial Hygiene Law”, which classified certain breeds as “undesirable” and required that they be destroyed. In 1899, the Berlin Zoo director, Captain Max von Stephanitz, imported two black and tan (Schwarz auf Tan) herding dogs from Austria; he named them Horand von Grafrath und Heidekloster (Captain) and Hektor Linksrhein (Hektor). In 1907, a breeder named Louis Dobermann registered the first “Deutsche Schäferhunde”. In 1899, the 3rd Duke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin, Ernst August, owned a black and tan German shepherd called Hero. He wished to create a breeding stock, and enlisted the help of a veterinary student

Time of Origin


Country of Origin




German Shepherd Physical Characteristics

The Rottweiler is a very large, medium-to-large sized breed of domestic dog. It is often referred to as an “old world” breed, as the ancestry of the Rottweiler can be traced back more than 2,000 years to Roman times. The Rottweiler is descended from the working dogs of ancient Rome.

Eye Colors


Nose Colors


Coat Colors

Black, Gray, Red, Silver, Sable, Fawn

Height Range

Male Height Range: 24 – 26 inches

Female Height Range: 22 – 24 inches

Weight Range

Male Weight Range: 65 – 90 lbs

Female Weight Range: 50 – 70 lbs

German Shepherd Health

Description of breed health.


10-12 yrs

German Shepherd Health Concerns

Hip Dysplasia, Degenerative Myelopathy, Congenital Heart Defect, Panosteitis, Pannus, Perianal Fistulas, Hemophilia, Von Willebrand’s Disease, Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency

German Shepherd Temperament and Behaviour

The German Shepherd is courageous, devoted, and highly intelligent. They can be aggressive if not properly trained or socialized, and are usually protective of their family. They are fierce and protective around their home and territory.

German Shepherd Activity Requirements

German Shepherd dogs are an intelligent, loyal, and powerful breed that was originally developed in Germany. They are still used as police and military working dogs and are popular as pets. While German Shepherds are not very active by nature, they do require regular exercise. They are better suited to families who live an active lifestyle and are able to provide them with the exercise and attention they need. Most Shepherds will also enjoy a long, brisk walk or a jog. If you are looking for a dog that will be able to run alongside you, or keep up with you on your morning run, a German Shepherd is probably not the right fit. However, they are a good choice for an active family who is prepared to meet a Shepherd’s exercise and socialization needs.

Miles Per Day


Activity Per Day


Daily Food

3 cups

Kennel Club Recognition

American Kennel Club

Recognized by the American Kennel Club

German Shepherd is part of the Herding group.

Visit the American Kennel Club website.

The Kennel Club

Recognized by The Kennel Club

German Shepherd is part of the Pastoral group.

Visit the Kennel Club website.

Australian National Kennel Council

Recognized by the Australian National Kennel Council

German Shepherd is part of the Working group.

Visit the Australian National Kennel Council website.

Canadian Kennel Club

Recognized by the Canadian Kennel Club

German Shepherd is part of the Herding group.

Visit the Canadian Kennel Club website.