40 Amazing Facts About The German Shepherd Dog Breed

Here are 40 Amazing Facts About

The German Shepherd Dog Breed


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1. The breed is popular worldwide and is always included in the top ten most popular dogs in the US and UK.



2.  German Shepherds are extremely intelligent and loyal dogs

3. They need to know their place in the pack and respond well to firm but gentle training.

4.  GSD’s have a high prey drive but are easily trained not to chase.

5. Their calm, patient temperaments mean they are good family dogs.

6. They are quick to learn and need lots of mental stimulation.


The German Shepherd Name

7.  They are also known as GSD or Alsations.

8.  In 1914 the name was changed to Alsatian or Shepherd Dog because the German connection was unpopular at that time.

9. The name was changed back to German Shepherd in the 1930s.

Service Dogs

10. They make excellent watchdogs due to their protective nature.

11. German Shepherds are widely used in the army and as police dogs.

12. The first ever guide dogs were German Shepherds.

13. In war times the Germans trained the dogs to sit with severely wounded soldiers.

14. They make excellent sniffer dogs and are used to rescue people and also to find drugs and bombs.

German Shepherd



15. GSDs were introduced to the United States by soldiers returning from World War I.

16. They originate from Germany but were originally bred for herding sheep.

17. Max von Stephanitz is one of the first breeders and set up The German Shepherd Dog Club.

18. The first officially registered German Shepherd was added in 1889.

19. He was originally called Hektor, his name was changed to Horand by owner Max von Stephanitz.

20 Horand was used to produce the breed standard.

21 The breed was introduced to America in 1907


22. There are two variations of coat, short and long which are both weather resilient.

23. They shed their coat, all year round.

24. German Shepherds are quick to learn and need lots of mental stimulation.



25. The average lifespan of a German Shepherd dog is 10 – 12 years.

26. A male German Shepherd is expected to grow to 25 inches.

27. They weigh around 80 pounds.

28. Female GSDs are slightly shorter and weigh less than males.

29. German Shepherds are known for their powerful bite.


Famous German Shepherds

30. Rin Tin Tin was a German Shepherd rescued from the WWI battlefield, he went on to star in his own movies.

31. A GSD called Strongheart was a film star in black and white movies from the 1920s.

32. Strongheart has his own star on Hollywood’s Walk of fame.

33. Apollo was the first German Shepherd police K9 to respond to Ground Zero in 9/11

34. The first ‘seeing eye’ GSD was called Buddy, his owner Morris Frank helped to start a school to train service dogs for the blind.

35. John F. Kennedy had a German Shepherd called Clipper.



36.  The breed is known to suffer from elbow and knee dysplasia.

37. They can have pituitary dwarfism, which means that they remain puppy like for life, however, they suffer from many health problems due to the condition.



38. For GSD Rescue contact All Shepherd Rescue  in the United States

39. German Shepherd Dog Rescue is a rescue based in the UK. This site is packed full of information about the breed, along with lots of pictures and real-life stories.



 Summary of German Shepherd Dogs

40. The German Shepherd is an intelligent, loyal dog and easily trainable. This makes them excellent service dogs. They love children and will do anything to protect their family.

Use a good breeder because this breed is susceptible to genetic health problems. Be prepared for lots of shedding around the home and give lots of firm but fair training to keep your dog’s brain active.

Additional Reading

Labrador Retriever, Most Popular Dog Breed

Shetland Sheepdog Breed Description

Pug Dog Breed Characteristics


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2 thoughts on “40 Amazing Facts About The German Shepherd Dog Breed

Add yours

  1. Lovely post, Louise! I knew a bit about this dog breed, mostly learned from first hand experience, like their high energy levels and year-round fur shedding… 🙂
    This breed is one of the dog varieties used in Afghanistan as MWD (Military Working Dogs). They are trained to smell hidden explosives or the people (insurgents) who handled them, the chemical scent being carried by the human skin.
    They are lovely dogs. Just look at hose chocolate eyes!!

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