German Shepherd Dog

The German Shepherd Dog (aka Alsatian) is a large breed of dog that was first recognized in 1899. Men working as shepherds in the hills of Germany wanted dogs that possessed specific traits, such as strength, intellect, and a finely-honed sense of smell. So they bred these dogs together and the result was a breed of dog with not only similar abilities, but also similar appearances.

A German Shepherd Dog is often referred to by the abbreviated GSD. They are loyal and obedient which makes them well-suited as service animals and pets. GSDs are also highly prized for their intelligence and keen sense of smell, which has lead to their wide use as drug-sniffing, bomb-sniffing, and CSI death-sniffing dogs for law enforcement agencies.

German Shepherd Dogs typically stand at 22-26 inches and weigh around 49-88 pounds. Their noses are black and eyes are brown. As puppies the ears are large and floppy but they begin to stand erect as the dog matures to an adult. The GSD usually has tan and black markings. The black markings on the face are often referred to as its mask, and those across the back are called the saddle. Some all-white, all-black or other colors of GSD do exist but they are rarer and not generally recognized as meeting Kennel Club standards.

Without proper training and loving attention, a GSD can be overly aggressive, especially toward people and animals that are unfamiliar. This is why it is important to socialize your puppy by taking him to the dog park and other crowded public places. Have new friends (both of the human and animal variety) visit your home and meet your GSD. Look for any signs of aggression and quell them immediately. Let them know that aggressive behavior will not be accepted.

GSDs require a lot of exercise, too. So be sure to take your dog for long walks daily. The new sights and smells will stimulate their minds, as the walking will work to firm their muscles and burn off extra energy.


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