German Shepherd Dog

Hardworking, versatile, and highly intelligent, I’m one of America’s favorite breeds. I’m not only a faithful family companion but am trusted in roles such as serving with the police and military, searching and rescuing, guarding property, assisting people with disabilities, and, of course, herding animals.

I can be aloof, yet not aggressive. I can be attentive and even playful with family, though I’m less tolerant of strangers or other dogs. Guests may not feel welcome. My personality can make me a lot to handle for new dog owners. I need rigorous daily exercise and mental stimulation to burn off excess energy; otherwise, I become bored and can dig and chew. I’m easy to train but have a strong tendency to bark.

I’m a large and imposing presence at 22 to 26 inches tall and 75 to 95 pounds. My medium-length double coat resists weather and dirt but sheds continuously. Brushing several times a week helps control the hair; baths should be infrequent. My coloring and patterns are varied and include black, blue, gray, liver, sable, or white, and black with cream, red, silver, or tan.

I can be a devoted member of the family for 10 to 12 years but, partly due to heavy breeding, am prone to various health problems. Major issues are hip and elbow dysplasia, with lower risk for bone inflammation, vWD, posterior paralysis, compressed spinal nerves, dermatitis and skin allergies, skin cancer, corneal inflammation, cataracts, gastric bloat, perianal fissures, and cardiomyopathy. Aspergillus fungal infection is also a significant risk.