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German Shepherd

See Recommended Dog Foods For German Shepherd

Size: Large

Weight: 65 - 95 lbs.

Height: 22" - 26"

Life Span: 11 - 13 years

Health Problems: Be sure to obtain your German Shepherd from a reputable breeder to avoid behavioral and health problems. Common breed-related problems: Hip or elbow dysplasia; instractable diarrhea; bloat; pannus; panosteitis; von Willebrand's disease

Origin: Germany

Also Known As: Alsatian, Deutscher Schaferhund

Group: Herding

Category: Companion Dog

Exercise Needs

The German Shepherd is an active breed that needs long play sessions or walking every day in order to avoid boredom, depression and behavioral problems. If exercised properly, this breed will adapt to living in almost any environment.

Grooming Needs

The German Shepherd sheds continuously and requires daily grooming.


If well-bred and trained, the German Shepherd is a playful, sociable breed that gets along well with children. The breed has a strong ability to focus and responds well to training. However, German Shepherds must be socialized early. It is an extremely loyal, protective breed that will not retreat if its family is threatened. This breed tends to be wary of strangers.

Compatibility with Kids

If socialized early, a German Shepherd will play with and protect your children and make a great family dog.


Where do German Shepherds come from?

The German Shepherd was developed in the early 1900s as a herding dog. However, it was bred to have versatility and quickly became popular as guard dogs, police dogs, etc. Capt. Max von Stephanitz registered his dog, Horan, as the first German Shepherd in 1899.

As the name suggests, the German Shepherd originated in Germany in the late 1800s. The most intelligent, responsive and obedient local shepherd dogs in Germany were bred to create what is now known as the German Shepherd. This breed was responsible for herding sheep and protecting flocks from predators. They were not considered pets or companions, but rather servants for farmers. Their intelligence, speed, strength and keen sense of smell, made them the perfect choice as sheep herders. Although German Shepherds were considered strictly workers, rather then household pets, farmers did provide food, protection and shelter to the breed.

By the beginning of World War I the German Shepherd was popular throughout Germany and quickly spread to other parts of the world. People loved German Shepherds for their loyal and couragous character.

Due to the breed’s reputation for being couragous and easy-to-train, German Shepherds were welcomed as police dogs and sight dogs for the blind. Their superb sense of smell and couragous character made the German Shepherd an ideal police dog. Their faithful observance to what is going on around them, along with their patience, landed them the role as leader to the blind.

These outstanding qualities and characteristics make the German Shepherd a wonderful domestic companion, protector and friend. The breed is reserved with strangers at first, but warms up quickly. This characteristic makes them excellent watch dogs, especially for children. It’s good to socialize them when they are young and to take them on long walks or runs all throughout their life.

Pet Facts

Despite its appearance, the German Shepherd is not a descendant of the wolf. Bred for athleticism, courage and intelligence, the German Shepherd is an extremely popular dog in the U.S. The breed is commonly used as a police dog, search and rescue dog, and guard dog, as well as a pet. Strongheart and Rin Tin Tin, both German Shepherds featured in motion pictures, helped promote the popularity of the breed.

Best Dog Food for Your German Shepherd

Puppy, Diet, Senior & Sensitive Stomach Formulas

Large Breed Puppy 15 lb. Front Counter

Large Breed Puppy

Lower protein and fat levels than our Puppy Select Formula.

Large Breed Adult 15 lb. Front Counter

Large Breed Adult

Carefully formulated for the care and nutrition of large breed dogs.

Reduced Fat 6 lb. Front Counter

Reduced Fat Formula

30% less fat than Bil-Jac Adult Select.

Sensitive Solutions Skin & Stomach Support 6 lb. Front Counter

Sensitive Solutions Skin & Stomach Support

Features the SmartDefense™ System, with vitamins C & E.

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Breeds, Health and Nutrition

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