13 Fascinating Facts About German Shepherds

Did you know that German Shepherds rank as the third most intelligent dog breed globally?

Imagine the perfect dog for a moment. What personality traits would it possess? What size would it be? What would its character be like?

It’s highly probable that the mental image you conjured up is similar to that of a German Shepherd.

If you’re curious as to how we arrived at this conclusion, fret not – we’ll divulge all with these remarkable facts about this magnificent dog breed!

German Shepherds are a relatively modern breed.

With their wolf-like appearance, it’s easy to assume that German Shepherds are an ancient breed of dog.

However, it may come as a surprise to some that the German Shepherd breed has only been around since the late 19th century.

The first German Shepherd to be officially registered was a dog named Horand Von Grafrath.

Max Von Stephanitz, who spotted Horand at a dog show, realized the potential of this particular pooch as a working dog immediately.

German Shepherds were initially bred for a specific purpose.

Max Von Stephanitz didn’t happen upon Horand Von Grafrath by chance.

He had been searching for what he believed to be the ideal dog to establish a standardized German dog breed.

He sought a dog that would be highly intelligent and incredibly useful.

When Max acquired Horand, he founded the first German Shepherd Dog Club, with the motto “Utility and Intelligence.”

The German Shepherd’s role was rapidly altered.

As the general public required sheepdogs less and less, Max quickly realized the need to target a new audience.

Through this decision, German Shepherds began to shine in the eyes of the public and uphold the motto of “Utility and Intelligence.”

Max pitched the idea of these dogs being the ultimate service dogs to the German government, army, and anyone who would listen to him.

German Shepherds quickly proved themselves and were adapted to various tasks.

German Shepherds had numerous applications in World War I.

The German army was one of the first organizations to fully exploit the true usefulness of German Shepherds as service dogs.

These remarkable dogs were used in various roles, ranging from guard dogs and messenger dogs to attack dogs and even first aid dogs!

A German Shepherd was hailed as a war hero!

German Shepherds had countless applications in World War I and II, but none as great as Filax of Lewanno.

This amazing German Shepherd saved the lives of 54 injured soldiers on the front lines during World War I.

He was honored in Westminster in 1917 for his service to his country.

German Shepherd dogs were renamed as “Alsatian Wolf Dogs” by the UK kennel club after World War I, due to the negative connotation associated with the word “German.” Meanwhile, the American Kennel Club simply referred to them as “Shepherd Dogs.” It wasn’t until 1977 that the UK officially changed the name back to German Shepherd, although the Alsatian name is still used in some countries. The breed was brought to the US by an American soldier named Corporal Lee Duncan, who found a puppy in France and named him Rin Tin Tin. Rin Tin Tin went on to become a famous movie star, helping to save Warner Bros from bankruptcy. According to Stanley Coren, author of “The Intelligence of Dogs,” German Shepherds are the third most intelligent dog breed, after Border Collies and Poodles. They are also known for having large litters, with an average of nine puppies per litter. The American Kennel Club recognizes 11 different colors for German Shepherds, including blue/gray with blue eyes, but no matter what color they are, they are known for shedding a lot.

German Shepherds are known for being large dogs with a lot of hair, resulting in hair all over the place. They also shed their undercoat twice a year, during fall and spring. Despite being a new breed, German Shepherds gained popularity in the United States after the First World War, and are now the second most popular breed in the country, following Labrador Retrievers. In fact, there are approximately 3.5 million German Shepherds in the US alone. German Shepherds were the world’s first service dogs, with Buddy being the first Seeing Eye dog, who helped Morris Frank in his day-to-day activities after meeting in 1928. Dorothy Harrison Eustis established the world’s first service dog school, with Morris Frank becoming the managing director of the program. German Shepherds are not only highly intelligent and adaptable, but they also have a cool appearance. Have you considered getting one?


1. What is the origin of German Shepherds?

German Shepherds originated in Germany in the late 19th century. They were bred by a man named Max von Stephanitz, who wanted to create a working dog that was highly intelligent, obedient, and versatile. He based the breed on the herding dogs that were common in Germany at the time, and through selective breeding, he created the German Shepherd we know today.

2. What are the main characteristics of German Shepherds?

German Shepherds are known for their intelligence, loyalty, and protective nature. They are also highly versatile, and are often used as police dogs, search and rescue dogs, and service dogs. They are typically medium to large in size, with a muscular build and a thick coat of fur that can be black, tan, or sable.

3. How long do German Shepherds typically live?

German Shepherds have a lifespan of around 9-13 years. However, this can vary depending on factors such as genetics, diet, and exercise. It’s important to provide your German Shepherd with a healthy diet, regular exercise, and regular vet checkups to help ensure a long and healthy life.

4. What kind of temperament do German Shepherds have?

German Shepherds are known for their loyal and protective nature. They are often used as guard dogs, and are highly trainable. However, they can be wary of strangers, and require proper socialization from a young age to prevent aggression or fearfulness. With proper training and socialization, German Shepherds can make great family pets.

5. Are German Shepherds good with children?

German Shepherds can be great with children, but it’s important to supervise interactions between dogs and children and teach children how to properly interact with dogs. German Shepherds can be protective of their family, and may become aggressive if they feel their family is threatened. However, with proper training and socialization, German Shepherds can make great family pets.

6. Do German Shepherds require a lot of exercise?

Yes, German Shepherds require a lot of exercise to stay healthy and happy. They are highly active dogs, and require daily exercise such as walks, runs, or playtime in a fenced yard. They also benefit from mental stimulation, such as training or puzzle toys. Without proper exercise and mental stimulation, German Shepherds may become bored or destructive.

7. What health issues are common in German Shepherds?

German Shepherds are prone to certain health issues, such as hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, and bloat. It’s important to choose a reputable breeder who performs health screenings on their breeding dogs to help reduce the risk of these health issues. It’s also important to provide your German Shepherd with proper nutrition, exercise, and veterinary care to help prevent and manage any health issues that may arise.

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