19 Amazing German Shepherd Facts : GSD Breed Info

By Alberto Roy

Updated on:

It’s not surprising that the German Shepherd is second in popularity among AKC dogs. Our German Shepherd Facts cover the breed information like intelligence, bravery and loyalty of this breed have allowed them to excel as service dogs, police dogs and family pets. We love them for many reasons.

These are some incredible facts about the German Shepherd breed that you might not have known.

This man is the reason German Shepherd puppies are available for sale. Max von Stephanitz is the father of the German Shepherd breed. Max von Stephanitz, a breeder, saw a wolf-like dog in West Germany, and noticed it during a West German dog show.

German Shepherd Facts

The dog’s intelligence, discipline and intelligence impressed him so much that he bought one and founded the German Shepherd Dog Club. He established the breed’s standards and guidelines and came up with the motto “utility and intelligence”.

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He began to work with police after the German Shepherd puppies for purchase became industrialized. They made a name for their self in the protective workforce and the rest is history.

What is a GSD Dog? German Shepherd Facts

GSD is German Shepherd Dog. These dogs are rare breeds that have an official name that includes the word “dog”. This was done to distinguish between the dog and the human German Shepherd who tends the animals.

Don’t bite!

The bite of a German Shepherd is 238 pounds stronger than that of an average human at 86.

Large dogs.

German Shepherd puppies for sale develop into large, muscular dogs. They can reach between 22 and 26 inches in height, and they weigh between 50 to 90 pounds. German Shepherd puppies are available for sale with an average life expectancy of around 11 years.

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They are well-known.

GSDs are 2nd in America. GSDs are popular due to their diversity. They are loved by families, military personnel, show ring staff, and even the military. They’re not just popular in the United States. They are found in hundreds of thousands all over the globe.

Many Different Colors

There are 11 colors of German Shepherd puppies available for sale, according to the AKC. These include black and cream, bicolor, black, silver, blue and gray, black, red and white, and silver.

These smart pants are great!

It is a well-known and documented fact that German Shepherds are the smartest breed of dog in the world. They were ranked #3 out of 100 breeds by more than 200 AKC judges.

German Shepherd Facts – Unknown

German Shepherd facts

1. German Shepherds make natural herders

German Shepherds were originally assigned to shepherd sheep from one field to another. This job required quick reflexes and the ability to run at maximum speed. This breed was perfect for the job.

German Shepherds can run at speeds up to 32 miles an hour when they are running at maximum speed. They trot instead of running when shearing, and can reach speeds of up to 32 miles an hour at full sprint.

They were the best-loved dog for sheep herding, but this breed was capable of so much more.

A German Cavalry officer spotted the impressive work dog and its wolflike appearance. The official history of the breed was started when he bought a dog for his own use.

2. The German Shepherd’s father

Max Von Shlephanitz bought the first Shepherd Dog from a dog show in 1895 and named him Horand Von Grafath. Horand was the German Shepherd’s genetic foundation.

Max founded Verein fur Deutsche Schaferhunde, a German Shepherd Dog Club, months later. Horand was the first German Shepherd to be officially registered by this club.

3. American and European Breeders use different approaches

Depending on where you live, the breed has seen some changes since Max started his breeding program.

American breeders created breed standards that were established by the American Kennel Club.

These standards are based on elegant movements and body shape, making German Shepherds attractive as show and performance dogs.

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European breeders however still adhere to Max von Stephanitz’s breed standards which emphasize health, temperament and agility.

These standards are overseen by the German Shepherd Club of Germany. Dogs must pass a series of tests. These tests are not required by American breeding standards.

4. German Shepherds in America

In the early 1900s, German Shepherds were first introduced to the United States. In 1908, the American Kennel Club recognized German Shepherds as a breed.

They were crowned their first champion in 1913 and founded the German Shepherd Dog Club. German Shepherds were known for being wolflike and capable of doing any job asked of them.

Then came World War I, and with it, the displays of bravery and versatility that distinguished the German Shepherd.

5. German Shepherds were able to work alongside soldiers during WW1 and WW11.

Max von Stephanitz was dedicated to the German Shepherd’s versatility.

He introduced the intelligent, easy to train dog to the military and police as urbanization decreased the need for herding dogs.

German Shepherds were brave alongside their German soldier counterparts in WW1. They served as Red Cross dogs and rescue dogs, guard dogs, messengers and sentries.

They even carried ammunition. They led blind and wounded soldiers to safety. In 1917, Filax of Lewanno, a dog named Filax of Lewanno, was awarded the Westminster Medal as a war hero for leading 54 soldiers to safety.

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Both sides of the conflict loved these dogs’ ability under dangerous and stressful conditions. They were particularly adept at guiding soldiers with vision impairment to safety.

In WW2, German Shepherds were employed again by the Germans, but this time the United States used them too.

The US military established German Shepherd dog training centres and deployed them in War Dog Platoons, which were meant to assist soldiers on the battlefield. There were 15 of these platoons in total, 7 in Europe, 8 in the Pacific.

Later, during the Korean War and Vietnam Wars, the US Military used German Shepherds again on the battlefield and at military installations.

6. Guide Dogs first came from German Shepherds

Morris Frank, a Swiss citizen, brought Buddy, his dog, to the United States in June 1928. Buddy was being trained to help blind soldiers during WW1.

Buddy was originally named Kiss. Morris renamed Buddy and she proved her abilities by allowing Morris to navigate her across a busy New York street before a crowd of reporters.

Buddy’s success on the streets led to a lot of interest in German Shepherd dogs for people with vision impairment.

Labs and Retrievers are the most common breeds of dogs that aid people with visual impairment. German Shepherds are not the predominant breed used in this role. They’re more commonly seen as being best-suited to police and military duties.

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7. Schutzhund is the official sport of the German Shepherd.

This breed’s versatility is legendary. German Shepherd lovers developed Schutzhund, a sport that showcases their intelligence and versatility.

Dogs are subject to a variety of rigorous tests.

  • Intelligence
  • Want to work
  • Bond with your handler
  • Courage
  • Protective instincts
  • Training
  • Sensuality of smell
  • Perseverance

There are many Schutzhund trainers and organizations around the globe, where dogs can compete against their trainers.

8. Alternative names for German Shepherds

We call them German Shepherds in the United States today, but they weren’t always called that. Many countries avoided German-sounding names after WW1. The AKC started calling them Shepherd Dogs in 1917.

They were also called Alsatian Wolf Dogs in Europe. Both Americans and Europeans restored their original names many years later. The breed’s official name now is German Shepherd.

9. There are 11 colors recognized for German Shepherds

While most people think of German Shepherds in black and tan colors, the AKC recognizes 11 colors.

White, liver, and blue are considered disqualifying colors. These colors are considered serious defects by the AKC standards. These colors can be registered, but dogs with them cannot compete at dog shows in conformation classes.

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Judges will always disqualify white German Shepherds for conformation classes. Dogs with undesirable colors may still compete in obedience and agility classes since they don’t require conformation evaluations.

These are the colors of the breed.

  • Black and Tan
  • Sable
  • Bi-Colored
  • Black
  • Black and red
  • Black and cream
  • Steele Blue
  • Gray
  • Panda
  • White
  • Liver

10. German Shepherds come double-coated with SHEDs

German Shepherds can have both short- and medium-length hair. All varieties have double-coated coats. The overcoat has longer guard hairs and is their longest coat.

Their undercoat is denser and softer, protecting their skin from extreme heat or cold. The German Shepherd is known by the nickname “German Shedder” because both their coats shed quite a bit.

Dogs with shedding need to be brushed almost every day. Dog hair can become a problem if you don’t brush it regularly.

They shed throughout the year but shed their most during spring and fall.

11. They are the third smartest dogs

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You know the intelligence of a German Shepherd if you own one. Did you know that they are the third most intelligent dog breed? Although Border Collies and Poodle have the brains, they are second in intelligence to them.

Stanley Coren, the author of “The Intelligence of Dogs,” stated that German Shepherds can learn new tasks after just five repetitions. They also respond correctly to commands 95% of all the time.

They’re so popular because they can be used as police dogs. (I wish my dogs could be as responsive!)

12. German Shepherds are large and long-lived.

The German Shepherd is a large breed. The average male German Shepherd can reach heights of 24-26 inches and weigh between 65 and 90 lbs. Females are shorter, at 22-24 inches in height and 50-70 lbs.

Although they are generally healthy, German Shepherds can have some genetic health issues.

They will live between 7 and 13 years. Regular veterinary care, exercise, and healthy food are all part of their daily routine.

13. German Shepherds don’t make good couch potatoes

They are intelligent and active! If your German Shepherd isn’t getting enough exercise and mental stimulation, they won’t be able to join you on the couch.

Dogs that get bored or are left alone for a long time can develop anxiety. They may become anxious and start to act inappropriately, such as chewing on a couch cushion or ruining your shoes.

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They need lots of space to run and play. This breed is well-suited for obedience training and trick training. It is important to socialize.

German Shepherds are protective of their family members and will be cautious around strangers as well as other animals and dogs. As puppies, they are socialized and taught to be open-minded towards new people.

14. Here are some famous German Shepherd firsts

Strongheart is the first film to feature a German Shepherd. His stage name was Etzel Von Oringern – Strongheart.

He made his film debut in 1921 with “The Silent Call” and also directed “Brown of the North” in that year. In 1925, he appeared in “The Love Master”, and “White Fang”.

Rin Tin Tin is a name that everyone has heard of. Rin Tin Tin was rescued by an American soldier on the battlefield of France during WW1. He became the first rescue dog. He didn’t stop there.

He quickly became the most well-known German Shepherd ever. He appeared in 27 films between 1922 and 31. He was the first non-human to receive a star on Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Apollo, a German Shepherd search-and rescue dog, was the first to arrive at ground zero after the attacks. He arrived at ground zero 15 minutes after the attack.

German Shepherd facts

Apollo and other German Shepherds were able to work alongside their handlers on the site, despite the danger, heat and smoke.

He was almost killed by fire and debris, but he survived to receive the Dickin Medal for gallantry in service.

Trakr, another German Shepherd, was at ground zero and found the last survivor. He was trapped under the rubble for 27 hours.

15. The German Shepherd is far removed from herding roots.

Police dogs are fully-fledged officers and partner with their handlers in fighting crime. Police forces love them for their intelligence, agility, strength, intelligence and sense of smell.

They are skilled in cadaver hunting, tracking criminals, carrying out search and rescue missions, and detecting drug and explosives to name just a few.

16. This adorable head tilt serves an important purpose

According to the AKC, there are several reasons why German Shepherds tilt their heads. These dogs tilt their heads so they can see and hear better.

It’s possible they do it because they are trying to understand what we’re asking. But it’s cute to see the floppy-eared German Shepherd puppies tilting their heads.

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17. Coronavirus Detection Too

The coronavirus is just when you think your German Shepherd has done everything. German Shepherds are being trained to detect coronavirus in humans. In Finland, a program was started in September 2020 to train them.

18. German Shepherds’ Health

No breed is immune to genetic diseases, regardless of how strong or healthy the German Shepherd. These are some of the most common genetic and inherited diseases they have:

Degenerative myelopathy is a condition that causes weakness in the hind legs. This condition can be identified by DNA testing in German Shepherd parents. Breeders can then breed it from their parental lines.

Von Willebrand Disease can be described as an inherited bleeding disorder. It is caused by a lack of Von Willebrand Protein Factor.

Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency (EPI) is a degenerative pancreatic disease.

German Shepherds can also be bred out of Hip Dysplasia or Elbow Dysplasia by reputable breeders. Both can cause severe joint problems that can make walking difficult.

Bloat is a condition where a dog’s stomach overflows with food, gas, and fluid. Bloat is a serious condition that requires immediate medical attention. German Shepherds are a breed that is predisposed to this condition.

You should verify that the breeder is certified and has tested for genetic predispositions.

19. Utility and Intelligence

German Shepherds are known for their intelligence and utility. They have served in many capacities, including as guides and service dogs, as well as on the police force and military.

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They have received many awards for their dedication to service.

They are wonderful family members and their noble work shouldn’t be overlooked. The German Shepherd is second among 193 AKC registered breeds and second worldwide.

Every year, 130,000 German Shepherd parents register their dogs to introduce their dog to their family.

These dogs are not recommended for those with limited experience or first-time dog owners. These dogs are large and require structure and exercise every day.

They will protect their family and co-workers, cuddle up on the couch to watch a movie, look after their siblings and show unconditional love. They need to be socialized as puppies.

A German Shepherd is the ideal family dog, best friend, working dog or companion. You now have all the facts. Find out more about this breed to see if it is right for you.

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