Basics of Dog Breed: German shepherd

Posted on September 21 2018

Basics of Dog Breed: German shepherd

The German Shepherd is a robust, athletic and enduring dog. It has a very harmonious body and built for physical effort. For 10 years, he reigns supreme on the 1st place of the podium of the favorite dogs of the French. In 2015, it is still the first follow-up of the Belgian Shepherd (2nd) and the Golden Retriever (3rd) in the ranking of the Central Canine Society.

Breed Information:

Other names: Alsatian Shepherd Dog, Deutscher Schäferhund, German Shepherd Dog
Popularity: # 1
Origin:  Germany
FCI Group: Sheepdogs and Cattle Dogs (except Swiss Cattle Dogs)
FCI number: 166

Race history

Methodical breeding started in 1889. This breed was created by Captain Max Frederic Emile Von Stephanitz from the crossing of the shepherd dogs of Central and Southern Germany. The goal was to create a utility dog, very smart and physically strong for herd care. As the herds disappeared, the evolution of the breed pushed the man to use the faculties of the German Shepherd to make a police dog, war, guide dog or sanitary.

Physical characteristics

His hair : short and hard is very dense. Lined with an undercoat provided, the hair remains lying down the body. 
Its color : the most widespread is black and fire. It can also be black with shades of brown, reddish brown or yellow to light gray. 
His head : well proportioned to the size of the dog with a reasonable width between the ears. It is not too heavy or too long. Generally speaking, the head has a pronounced and powerful muzzle. 
His ears are medium in size and broad at the base. Symmetrical, they are carried straight and terminate in a point. 
His eyes : stay in almonds and must be as dark as possible. 
His body: rather elongated and fairly rectilinear gives way to a muscular back and slightly dipping. It has a slightly oblique rump. Pure trotter, he has a harmonious look with ample movements. 
His tail : must at least reach the hock. On its inside, the hair is longer. It is worn drooping, but when it is in action or excited it rises considerably without going above the horizontal.

Weight and size

Weight Cut
Female Between 22 kg and 32 kg Between 55 cm and 60 cm
Male Between 30 kg and 40 kg Between 60 cm and 65 cm

A German Shepherd dog is classified as a large dog .

Behavior and character

Very happy and playful, he has great intelligence. He remains faithful and attached to his master . Brave and brave, it is also a protective dog with children . Of a rather flexible temperament, he is none the less lively and rather domineering. Affectionate and naturally peaceful, he needs to be active every day.


The German Shepherd embodies versatility to perfection. Working dog par excellence, it can be educated as a police dog , herd, tracker and guide dog. As a pet dog, his suspicious nature towards foreigners and his past as a sheepdog make him a good guard since he naturally defends his territory.

For education, he is very docile and very intelligent , even if he recognizes only one master. It is important to socialize and get used to foreigners or public places, because his distrust of the unknown is important to take into account. In addition, this breed can sometimes suffer from the anxiety of separation and you will therefore often have to make most of your trips with him.


Of a robust nature , the German Shepherd, like all medium and large dogs, is genetically prone to dysplasia of the hip or elbow, hypothyroidism and von Willebrand disease. Screening and selection of animals during breeding greatly reduced risks. Apart from that, his life expectancy is good (12 years).


Major concerns
Hip dysplasia
Elbow dysplasia
Minor concerns
Pyotraumatic dermatitis
Perianal fistulas
Chronic superficial keratitis (KSC) in dogs
Paralysis in dogs
Syndrome of the ponytail
Gastric torsion
Malignant neoplasms
Occasional concerns
Exocrine pancreatic insufficiency (PEI)
Suggested tests
Hypoallergenic race
Scope size
Between 4 and 9 puppies


Maintenance & Hygiene


The German Shepherd is a dog made to live outside even if he likes to come and go freely in the house or in the garden. Try to carefully cut your nails regularly with a nail clipper, indeed, they grow very fast. The ears should be checked to avoid the risk of wax build-up or debris that can cause an infection. Teeth require regular brushing to prevent tartar formation.


Bath ...
The too frequent washing can be harmful . Indeed, the bath eliminates the layer of sebum on the dog's skin and it is this oily substance that protects it against rain and cold. The frequency of washing can vary between dogs living outside in the countryside ( every 2 months ) and those in apartments. These can be satisfied with a good brushing to have the hair more soft and shiny. 

Brushing ...
He moults twice a year(in spring and autumn) in connection with the change in brightness at these times. Dogs living indoors lose their hair all year round with stronger periods in spring and autumn. Because of its high density of hair, the German Shepherd must be brushed every day during moulting. Outside this period, this dog can be content with a good brushing twice a week to have the hair more soft and shiny.

Physical activity

This breed needs to explore several territories. Whether living in an apartment or in a house, this dog can not be content with a simple 5 minute outing for the needs. Staying locked in a garden is not for him. So he needs a daily walk . Originally, it is a dog raised to manage the herds, so he needs a big activity during the day.

Living conditions

Very active, the German Shepherd can stay outside in any season. It is more suited to country life . However, life in the city and in an apartment is not impossible provided it is taken out frequently and offered physical activities regularly. It is also a dog that does not support loneliness . If he feels lonely, bored, or not exercised enough, he will show frustration by chewing on anything he can or by barking excessively.


Generally, it is recommended to serve the equivalent of 3 to 4 cups of kibble per day and premium quality from industrial merchants. It is advisable to follow the instructions on the packaging of the package. Of course, it is recommended to adjust the rations according to the age, the metabolism and the physical activity of your dog. 

For a German Shepherd puppy , the growth is very strong between age and 4 and 7 months , so it needs a high-calorie low-calorie diet and measured protein and fat levels to prevent growth too fast.

Price and budget

The average price of a German Shepherd is around 800 or 900 euros (registered in the LOF). Of course, you can adopt one in refuge at a lower cost (from 100 euros). 

For the annual budget , plan about 1100 euros per year . For its food (premium level), you will pay about 800 euros  per year, for veterinary fees (vaccination, annual review) count nearly 170 euros per year and finally for the part hygiene and accessories (necklace, leash, toy or sweets) around 150 euros a year . In sum, theMonthly budget for a German Shepherd amounts to about 93 euros a month .

Minimum Maximum
Buying price 600 € 1200 €

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