|The German Shepherd Dog|
The German Shepherd Dog is also known as the Alsatian. It is handsome, well proportioned and very strong. The coat most often comes in black with tan, sable or all black, but also can come in blue, liver and white. There are three varieties of the German Shepherd: rough-coated, long rough-coated, and the long-haired. This breed sheds bits of hair constantly and is a seasonally heavy shedder. A quick daily brushing is best unless hair in the house is not a problem.
Often used as working dogs, German Shepherds are direct and fearless, eager and alert. Bold, cheerful, obedient and eager to learn, they are also known for their tremendous loyalty and courage. Calmly confident, but not hostile, he is serious and almost human in his intelligence. They have a high learning ability. German Shepherds love to be close to their families, but they can be very wary of strangers. This breed needs his people and should not be left isolated for long periods of time. They only bark when it is necessary. German Shepherds have a very strong protective instinct, so they should be extensively socialized to prevent over-guarding when they become an adult.
Aggression and attacks on people are largely due to poor breeding, handling and training. A well bred, well-adjusted, and trained dog is for the most part generally good with other pets and excellent with children in the family. To be successful pets, these dogs should be trained and socialized from an early age with a firm and loving hand. Coercive or angry training does not succeed well with these dogs. To be truly happy, the German Shepherd needs a task in life. The breed is so intelligent and learns so readily that it has been used as a sheepdog, guard dog, in police work, as a guide for the blind, in search and rescue service, and in the military.
The German Shepherd also excels in many other dog activities including schutzhund, tracking, obedience, agility, flyball, and ring sport. His fine nose can sniff out drugs and intruders, and can alert handlers to the presence of underground mines in time to avoid detonation, or gas leaks in pipes buried 15 feet underground. The German Shepherd is also a popular show and family companion.
The German Shepherd will do okay in an apartment if sufficiently exercised. They are relatively inactive indoors and do best with at least a large yard. German Shepherd Dogs love strenuous activity, preferably combined with training of some kind, for these dogs are very intelligent and crave a good challenge.
An adult male German Shepherd usually ranges 24-26 inches in height; females 22-24 inches. They normally weight 77-90 pounds. It is important to consider their size when choosing a German Shepherd - an adult German Shepherd can swipe a coffee table clean with its tail, and can accidentally knock over small children or elderly people.
When all is said and done, it's hard to find a more well-rounded, intelligent, all-purpose dog than a German Shepherd.
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