Physical characteristicsThe German Shepherd is a large, well-muscled, athletic dog with a body slightly longer than the height. The head is moderately wide with a long muzzle. The ears are large and erect. The nose is black. The dark eyes are medium size. The teeth meet in a scissor bite. The long tail reminds of a sabre a bit. Overall, the dog looks very robust, vigorous, graceful, powerful and smart.
Females are usually smaller than males and weigh 55 to 70 pounds (males weigh 75 to 90 pounds). The heigh of females is 22 to 24 inches, and for males it is 24 to 26 inches.
TemperamentGerman Shepherds are amazingly smart and serious dogs, some even say that they have human intelligence in a dog's appearance. Perhaps that is why they are widely used for police and military work, and also for search and rescue. Shepherds are very loyal and courageous, fearless and... bold. A well-trained Shepherd is obedient and cheerful, but if it also has a task in life, the dog will be really happy. Puppies need an extensive socialization at an early age to prevent excessive protectiveness, as this instinct is very strong in the breed. If not socialized properly, the dog may grow up too shy or fearful. Training with a loving but firm hand is also a must for the same reasons: German Shepherds are best for owners who are experienced in having confident dogs. This breed is excellent with children and basically good with other pets in the house. Do not leave the dog alone for a long time because it needs people a lot.
Coat and groomingThe double coat of German Shepherds is short and dense. It does not require much grooming, but due to its constant shedding, a quick daily brushing can become necessary. Bathing should not take place more than twice a year, otherwise the dog runs the risk of skin old depletion.
German Shepherds come in all colours except white, liver, and blue.
HealthIn spite of a robust look, there are several health issues specific to these dogs. They are hip and elbow dysplasia, chronic eczema, flea allergies and keratitis (inflammation of the cornea), and gastric disorders.
The lifespan is 10 to 12 years.
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