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German Shepherd

Life Expectancy:   German Shepherd Breed Guide
10 - 14 years  
Dog Breed Group:  
Herding Dogs  
Weight:  
75 - 95 lbs.  
Height:  
22 - 26 inches  
 

Where Do German Shepherds Rank

See where this beloved breed ranks in comparison to other breeds in 7 key categories.
 
Trainability
Dog Breed Rating - 9
Overall, the German Shepherd is an easy-to-train, eager to please breed.
 
Shedding
Dog Breed Rating - 9
The German Shepherd is a heavy shedder. To reduce the amount of fur which is being shed, be sure to groom your German Shepherd two to three times per week.
 
Grooming Needs
Dog Breed Rating - 8
Your German Shepherd should be brushed two to three times per week to remove any excess fur. Your German Shepherd’s nails will need clipped regularly. Cleaning your German Shepherd’s ears weekly will prevent ear infections in this breed.
 
Health
Dog Breed Rating - 2
German Shepherds are prone to hip dysplasia, as well as blood and digestive disorders, epilepsy, eczema and dwarfism. 
 
Exercise Needs
Dog Breed Rating - 9
Your German Shepherd will need a minimum of 60 minutes of activity per day to remain happy and behavior-free. This could be playing a game of fetch or going for a walk.

Good with Children
Dog Breed Rating - 10
The German Shepherd is very good with children and quickly becomes part of the family. 

Barking
Dog Breed Rating - 2
Barking is not generally a problem with German Shepherds.


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What You Need to Know About German Shepherds

Behavior:
The German Shepherd is one of the most popular dog breeds in America. He is extremely intelligent and capable of partnering with us in even the most difficult positions. He is extremely courageous and devoted to his pet parent as well as his family or ‘pack.’ German Shepherds are seen working along side police officers, military, search and rescue and those with disabilities.

German Shepherds generally are not immediately friendly but once they get to know you, they become extremely loving and dedicated. He is extremely loving to his family and threatening to strangers which make him an excellent guard dog.

German Shepherds require a great deal of attention and are not the dog for you if you will be gone for long periods of time. Without companionship, German Shepherds will develop behavior problems and may become destructive. German Shepherds require activity, both mental and physical, to remain happy and healthy both mentally and physically.

Puppies need early socialization and exposure to many different sounds, experiences and people at a young age. This will assist your German Shepherd in becoming a well-rounded dog.

Training:
German Shepherds are extremely intelligent and eager to please their pet parent; however, they can be difficult to train at times due to their ‘stubborn streak.’  Overall, training is extremely successful with time and bonding opportunities.

Grooming:
German Shepherds were originally bred to endure harsh climates. They have a double coat to protect them from weather conditions. German Shepherds shed continuously; and have a shedding period twice a year, when they shed excessively. Brushing your German Shepherd two to three times per week will assist them in maintaining a healthy coat and reducing the amount of fur found around the house.

Health Problems:
  • Hip Dysplasia (as found in many large dog breeds)
  • Elbow Dysplasia- This is a condition common for large breed dogs. This may be caused by different growth rates found in the three bones of the elbow.  .
  • Bloat- Bloat is most commonly seen in large, deep-chested dogs. Bloat is a life-threatening condition which needs to be examined by a veterinarian immediately. Bloat may occur if your dog eats too quickly or drinks large amounts of water at a time. 
  • Degenerative myelopathy- Degenerative myelopathy is a disease of the spinal cord; the portion of the spinal cord which communicates information to the brain regarding a dog’s hind legs. Dogs with degenerative myopathy are unable to move their hind legs properly and may not be able to walk as the disease progresses.
     

Top 10 Most Common Health Issues for German Shepherds

  1. Otitis - middle ear infection
  2. Dermatitis - inflammation of the skin
  3. Pyoderma - bacterial infection of the skin
  4. Colitis - inflammation of the inner lining of the colon
  5. Gastroenteritis - inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract that involves the stomach and small intestine
  6. Conjunctivitis - pink eye
  7. Panosteitis - bone disease characterized by bone proliferation and remodeling
  8. URI - upper respiratory infection
  9. Allergies
  10. Mass

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