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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.


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.

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.

Dog Food for Your German Shepherd

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.