The German Shepherd Dog Breed (40 Amazing Facts)

The German Shepherd Dog Breed

40 Amazing Facts

The German Shepherd is a strong majestic dog with a fascinating history. This amazing breed is known to be highly intelligent and trainable. They make excellent family dogs yet are equally popular as service dogs.

Would you like to know more?

Hopefully, popular questions will be answered like:

What sort of temperament do they have?

Do they shed fur?

How do I rescue a German Shepherd?

All the answers are here, I hope you find something interesting!

The German Shepherd Dog Breed


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


2.  They 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.

German Shepherd Service Dogs

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

11. They 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.

History of the GSD

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. They 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. They 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.

The German Shepherd Dog Breed

GSD Rescue

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. This is an intelligent, loyal dog and easily trainable. They also make excellent service dogs. GSDs 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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doggy fun.

Thank you for reading. 

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20 thoughts on “The German Shepherd Dog Breed (40 Amazing Facts)

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  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!!

    1. I never realised how intelligent they are. Thank you, the military dogs are so brave. x

  2. The first family dog we had was a German Shepherd. Beautiful dog but I was so young I was kinda scared of her! I’d like to get another one day, maybe when our Husky goes. Great article 🙂

    1. Thank you, I tried to do a good representation of the breed. I have only ever had small breeds and none have been particularly clever or easy to train. Thank you for stopping by. x

    2. So very true, I grew up with them always In our home around baby’s, lil kids which were annoying them to play, my mum would always says every kid should have one an nobody would love you as much or protect you, so I got my first one an he’s nearly 1 an he makes us laugh so much an watchez over my son and his friend’s all the time bear is literally so soft, he’s hyper an we walk him so many miles a day, let him run and he thrives on it.. The hair is eveywhere an slot of brushing an cleaning so think that threw first.. Absolutely the best ❤️💯👍

      1. Thank you so much for this insight Megan. It sounds like you love your dog so much and he has a wonderful home.

      2. My first GSD died at age 9 in year 2019.
        Her death was really devastating for the family. She is a complete. Presently we have 4 GSD. I watched them closely and I end up saying every dog is a limited edition.
        They are great dog, and very loyal

  3. I own one and everything you said is so true. She is only 5 months old but super smart. She’s my 3rd. Thanks for the facts.

  4. Truly amazing creatures. I have a five year old from the pound. He’s got selective hearing and I’ve found he knows things that only come out for certain treats, so you need to be firm and show them who the leader is and not let them bully you. He’s a complete carnivore – absolutely no veggies (they have to be hidden). He’s a total goofball, VERY high energy (so much that my SO watched him for a week and was over it). Shedding? Get a really good vacuum or better yet just don’t have carpet because the fur imbeds itself into everything. Get used to fur in your mouth, your car (flying around too), dirty paws from running and playing in mud and water. They are very alert and protective but complete love bugs with their family. They really only bark when necessary. And they figure out those dog puzzles in no time (like 5 minutes without showing them how to work it) so they don’t start with beginner puzzles. I wish I had enough land to have 20 of them!

    1. That’s really useful to know, from someone who understands and really loves the German Shepherd breed. Thank you for rescuing and sharing with us.

  5. I am 63 years old and we have our 6th and 7th German Shepherds since I have been 9 years old. They all have their own personalities just like people. Some can be over protective and some get along with everyone. Our current Breeder has taught us the most and she says that they are not supposed to be nice to strangers, only to their family or pack as I call us. They are very protective of their pack and property. This, in my opinion, does not have to be taught to them as well as other things. Two of our other GSD’s jumped through a friends electric fence, started chasing his goats around and I started to chase them in fear they would hurt his goats. I got the bright idea to try and get in front of the goats until a goat ran by me and brushed me with his horns. I got out of there quick. I watched my GSD’s herd the goats into a corner and walk back and forth to keep them there. I guess they know something about herding too.

    1. That’s very interesting, thank you for the insight. They really are a fascinating breed. I’m glad you weren’t badly hurt by the goats! Thank you for stopping by.

  6. My GSDs have been the great loves of my life. Loyal and kind they NEVER let you down. My life would be diminished greatly without them Jax is my current baby, I have had four — Brigand, Tucker, Trace and Jax. All blacks, all males, all big boys and great loves!

    1. I can tell how much you love your GSDs. Such wonderful names too. Thank you for commenting, sending a hug to you and Jax.

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