Monday, 23 February 2015

German Shepherds 101 - Dog breed of the month

Hi everyone, I hope you all had a fantastic weekend! It's time for our OMD (Oh My Dog!) Monday post. I have decided to start a new series on OMD, where I will be highlighting a different breed once each month.

This month, I am featuring GSD's.
German Shepherd Dogs.

To help us shine a light on the magnificent German Shepherd, I am pleased to welcome Andrew, from www.shepped.com

He is here to tell us everything we need to know about GSD's.
Take it away Andrew!
German Shepherds 101

German Shepherds are a fairly new dog breed that has become increasingly popular in the recent years. They make good family pets, but are also skilled working dogs. Throughout their history, German Shepherds have been prized for both their mental and physical capabilities.

Born to Protect and Serve

The German Shepherd breed is only just over 100 years old, and owes its existence to the German Captain Max von Stephanitz. He wanted to create a skilled herding dog that was also highly intelligent, and succeeded in breeding a devoted and competent working dog.

German Shepherds were used by the German military during World War I and II as messengers, supply carriers and even sentries. Today, they are still employed by many police and military forces. German Shepherds are also commonly used as therapy and service dogs for the disabled. They are one the ten most popular dog breeds in America, which is no surprise considering their fierce loyalty and keen intelligence.

Work Hard, Play Hard

German Shepherds aren’t exactly the most social breed. They are natural guard dogs, and though extremely loyal, German Shepherds can be overly aggressive towards a perceived threat. They need to be socialized as puppies so that the sight of different people and places is not alarming or threatening.

GSDs require lots of exercise to burn off pent up energy. Any prospective owner needs to have plenty of room in his or her schedule for daily walks and playtimes. A dog without at outlet for her energy can start to release frustration in undesirable ways such as chewing or excessive barking.

For the times when the two of you aren’t out walking, you should provide your German Shepherd with plenty of chew toys to burn off extra energy. These dogs have powerful jaws that can rip up a flimsy toy in a matter of minutes. Chunks of rubber or other materials can pose a choking hazard to your dog, and can also cause sickness or intestinal blockage. Only buy a German Shepherd chew toys that can withstand a significant amount of abuse.

Giving your German Shepherd plenty of exercise will cut back on problem behaviors such as barking, digging or chewing. Walking and playing with your dog gives her the companionship that she craves and teaches her to be more sociable.

Nipping Health Problems in the Bud

Because of inbreeding, German Shepherds are prone to certain genetic health problems. Hip dysplasia is a common issue that affects your dog’s joints and can cause a considerable amount of pain while walking. The only way to fix dysplasia is through surgery or pain medications.

Degenerative myelopathy is another problem that affects some German Shepherds. It is a neurological disease that is characterized by paralysis of a dog’s back legs. This condition is incurable, but if it is caught fast enough, there are treatments that can slow the onset.

There are other health problems that German Shepherds can suffer from such as heart conditions, vision problems and epilepsy. Any responsible breeder will discuss with you the health problems that are common in her lines of German Shepherds so that you can keep an eye out for any symptoms.

So, Why are German Shepherds So Popular?

GSDs are loyal, hardworking and intelligent dogs that can serve as partner to a policeman or best friend to a child. They learn quickly and make natural guard

Thanks Andrew, I loved learning more about the stunning German Shepherd breed.
If you would like to see more on GSD's stop on by www.shepped.com
I hope you all enjoyed, and as always we welcome any comments or questions you may have :)

See you tomorrow!


  1. That is very interesting. Have a marvellous Monday.
    Best wishes Molly

  2. My mom has always loved this breed, but with the way it it bred these days with the slanted back and all the hip trouble, she no longer wants to have one, but she still loves them. There are other varieties like I think the Belgian one which is black with longer fur which is gorgeous.

    1. They are gorgeous, I agree! It is sad some of the things us humans have done to change a dogs appearance over the years isn't it?

  3. My dad owned a German Shepard before. She was such a kind and beautiful dog.

  4. Ma grew up with a German Shepherd, Duster. She was a quasi-military dog since her family lived on a Marine Corps base. She was SUPER smart, an excellent guard dog and guardian of Ma when she was little.

  5. Dad grew up with German Shepherds, they are so smart!

  6. Now you know why mom is lucky she got me LOL.

  7. Thanks for all the great information on German Shepherds.

  8. Great post! I've always loved German Shepherds!

  9. Very interesting, and I'm glad you're starting this new series! Our town police chief used to live next door to us and he had more than one GSD that were also police dogs. I can attest to the fact that they can bark a lot! Our current neighbor across the street also has one, who is much older, and he's a very good watch dog.
    Jan, Wag 'n Woof Pets

    1. That is one of the main things I have heard....great guard dogs. That trait alone makes them the COMPLETE opposite of huskies! haha

  10. Very interesting, but some of the health problems attributed to inbreeding GSD's are actually present in many breeds and mixes not just GSD.

  11. Great new series! I look forward to reading and learning more about different breeds. My first dog was a German Shepherd named Duke and he was a character. Maybe I'll have another one some day.

    1. Thanks! I am excited about this series too!
      Thanks so much for coming by :)

  12. Cool post! I loved GSD's, they are one of my favorite breeds and one that we've thought of getting a few times. Their incredible intelligence, loyalty & instinct to protect just blows me away. I LOVE that last photo of the two gorgeous GSD's ! Thanks for sharing
    Love & Biscuits,
    Cathy, Isis & Phoebe

    1. That was my fav photo as well! Andrew really has some gorgeous ones over on his site!

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