German Shepherd Dog Breed Information

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German Shepherds are one of the most popular dog breeds in the world for a reason- they make great pets. They are loyal, intelligent, and have a strong work ethic. 

If you're thinking about adding a German Shepherd to your family, here is some essential information on the breed you need to know.

German Shepherd Dog Breed Information

Vital Stats

Dog Breed Group

Herding Dogs


65-90 pounds (male)
50-70 pounds (female)


24-26 inches (male)
22-24 inches (female)


7-10 years

Breed Characteristics & Traits

Family life and Friendliness

Affectionate With Family

Some dogs are aloof no matter how long they've been around humans; others are close to a single person, and some shower the whole family with affection. The environment also plays a significant role in dogs' level of affection: Dogs who've been raised indoors with people around feel more comfortable with humans.

Good With Young Children

A dog's level of tolerance and patience with children, and his overall family-friendliness, will vary from breed to breed. Ensure that you supervise your dog when around young children, whether friendly or not.

Friendly Toward Strangers

Some dogs are Stranger-friendly, and others are not, but no matter what their breed, a puppy who is socialized and exposed to lots of different ages and shapes of people will respond better to strangers as an adult. Remember that even friendly dogs should stay on a solid leash at all times when in public.

Good With Other Dogs

Some breeds are friendly towards other dogs. Dogs must always be supervised for introductions and interactions with other dogs, but some dogs are more likely to get along with other dogs than others.

Health And Grooming Needs

Shedding Level

The amount of fur and hair a breed leaves behind. Some breeds shed more frequently than others, which means you have to brush them more regularly; they're more likely to trigger certain types of allergies and will require more consistent vacuuming and lint-rolling.

General Health

In some cases, a dog of a particular breed can have genetic health problems, such as hip dysplasia. Although not every dog of that breed will develop those diseases, they are at an increased risk.
If you're adopting a pup, find out which genetic illnesses are common to the breed you're interested in. Ask if your rescue or shelter has information about the physical health of your potential pup's parents and other relatives.

Drooling Level

How drool-prone a breed is. If you're a neat freak, you may not want to choose a dog that leaves ropes of slobber on your arm or big wet spots on your clothes.

Potential For Weight Gain

Some breeds are known for having a hearty appetite and gaining weight quickly. If you pick a breed that is prone to packing on pounds, you need to make sure they get enough exercise, limit treats, and measure out their daily food servings into regular meals rather than leaving food out all the time. 
Talk to your vet about your dog's diet and what they recommend for feeding your dog to keep them at a healthy weight. Excess weight can lead to other health problems or worsen issues like arthritis.

Coat Type










Dogs have different coat types—which are determined by breed. Each type has unique grooming needs, allergen potential, and shedding levels. It can also just be a personal preference for what kind of look or feel you like.

Easy To Groom

Some breeds only need a quick brushing, while others require frequent bathing, clipping, and brushing. Think about whether you have the time or money for a dog that needs expensive grooming.

Coat Length




Coat length depends on the breed. Some long-haired dogs can be trimmed short, but they require extra grooming to keep the look.


Some breeds are small, and some are large. Some dogs take up more space than others—the Great Dane grows to a towering height! Choosing a dog that fits your living space and lifestyle is vital.

Social And Adaptability

Openness To Strangers

Some breeds are more likely than others to welcome strangers into the home or be friendly toward new people they encounter while on walks.

Adapts Well To Apartment Living

Small Breeds are not always the best fit for an apartment. Plenty of small dogs is too active and yappy to live comfortably in an apartment. Quiet, low-energy dogs that do well indoors and are polite with the other residents are what you're looking for in a great apartment dog. And here's an excellent crate for your dog (give them more personal space in your apartment).

Playfulness Level

How much a breed loves to play can depend on their personalities. Some breeds will play well into their adult years, while others happy to relax and nap with you.

Good For Novice Owners

Some breeds are a better fit for first-time dog owners than others. They tend to be easier to train and more adaptable to the lifestyle of their new owners. Independent-thinking or highly sensitive dogs may be more challenging for a first-time dog parent to manage.
When choosing a new dog, be sure to consider your own experience with dogs before you select your next pet. If you're new to dog parenting, spend some time learning how to train your new puppy!

Watchdog/Protective Nature

Some breeds are more likely to alert you that a stranger is near. These dogs might be less trusting of the mailman or squirrel outside the window. They are likely to warm to a stranger who enters the home and is accepted by the family.

Sensitivity Level

Some dogs are more tolerant than others, so if you have young kids or throw lots of dinner parties, get a dog that can handle the noise, go with a low-sensitivity dog.

Adaptability Level

Some breeds can adapt to various living conditions quickly; others may have difficulty adjusting to changes in their day-to-day lives.

Trainability And Physical Needs

Trainability Level

How well your dog will take to training and how fast he'll learn new things. Some breeds are eager to please their owners; others want to do their own thing.


Dogs who were bred to do jobs that require intelligence, such as herding livestock, need mental stimulation to keep them from getting bored. If they don't get the exercise they need, they'll likely misbehave.
Obedience training and interactive dog toys provide good mental stimulation for your canine companion, as are dog sports and careers such as agility and search and rescue.

Energy Level

The amount of mental stimulation and exercise a breed needs. High-energy dogs need lots of exercises and mental stimulation to stay healthy and happy. Low-energy dogs don't need much exercise, but they will enjoy a good walk or two.


A vigorous dog will act with great intensity: he strains at his leash until you train them not to, tries to plow through obstacles, and eats and drinks noisily. These breeds of dogs require lots of training to learn good manners and might not be a good fit for households with young kids or someone who is elderly or frail. On the other hand, a low-vigor dog has a calmer approach to life.

Barking Level

How often a dog barks will depend on what breed of dog he is. Some dogs may bark at strangers or hear strange noises; others are more vocal. Some breeds don't bark, but they may make other sounds to express themselves.

Exercise Needs

Some breeds need moderate daily exercise and can get by with a stroll around the block. Others need more training and will quickly become overweight without enough physical activity. Dogs that require a lot of exercises are best for people who like to be outdoors and active or want their dog to compete in an athletic dog sport.

Mental Stimulation Needs

Some breeds need a lot of mental stimulation to stay healthy and happy. In contrast, others can be reasonably well-adjusted living in homes where they're not provided with much mental activity. Ensure that your dog gets a good amount of brain exercise, including training and cognitive games. If your dog doesn't get enough mental stimulation, he might develop destructive behavior patterns.

About the Breed

The German Shepherd is a large, robust, and athletic dog breed originally bred in Germany in the 1800s. They were initially bred as herding dogs, but today they are popular pets and working dogs in many different roles. German Shepherds are intelligent, loyal, and protective, making them great family dogs. They need plenty of exercise and socialization and are not a good fit for everyone.

German Shepherd Breed Appearance

German Shepherds are large dogs, with males standing 24-26 inches tall at the shoulder and females 22-24 inches tall. 

They have long bodies with solid backs and muscular legs. The head is large and rectangular, with a long muzzle and erect ears. 

The coat is thick and dense, with various colors, including black, tan, and red. German Shepherds shed a lot, so they are not a good fit for people allergic to dogs.

German Shepherd Personality

German Shepherds are intelligent dogs and need plenty of exercise and socialization. They can be aggressive if not properly trained, so it is essential to ensure you are prepared for what owning a German Shepherd entails before bringing one into your home.

One of the most important things to remember when owning a German Shepherd is to ensure they get plenty of exercise. They need at least an hour of exercise each day, preferably more.

In addition to exercise, German Shepherds also need plenty of socialization. They should be exposed to other people, animals, and places as often as possible to prevent them from becoming aggressive or fearful. Without enough socialization, German Shepherds can become shy or anxious.

Proper training is also essential for German Shepherds. They are intelligent and can be easily trained if you use positive reinforcement methods. However, they can become aggressive or destructive if not adequately trained.

German Shepherd History

German Shepherds were initially bred in Germany in the 1800s. They were bred as herding dogs, and their original purpose was to help farmers with their flock of sheep. German Shepherds were brought to the United States in the early 1900s and quickly became popular as working dogs and family pets.

German Shepherds are now considered one of the most popular dog breeds in the United States and worldwide. They are known for their intelligence, strength, and agility.

What To Expect When Caring For a German Shepherd

  • Health

  • Nutrition

  • Exercise

  • Grooming

  • Training

German Shepherds are generally healthy, but like all dogs, they can be prone to specific health conditions. German Shepherds' most common health problems include hip and elbow dysplasia, skin allergies, and digestive issues.

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