German Shepherds are one of the most recognizable dog breeds around. A very common dog in the United States, German Shepherds are widely known to be loyal and smart. In fact, German Shepherds are more likely to be used as a police K9 dog than nearly any other breed in America. A relatively common breed, German Shepherds are also chosen as police dogs for their intelligence and loyalty. The next time you take a flight, keep an eye out. Chances are you’ll see a German Shepherd at work sniffing out any illicit items.
German Shepherds As Guide Dogs
As well, German Shepherds make great guide dogs. Easy to train thanks to their intelligence and obedient nature, this breed is a perfect match for folks needing support. German Shepherds can be protective and extremely focused, so they adjust quickly to the role of a guide dog. They can help their person stay safe by maintaining a thorough awareness of the area, and communicating with them as they were trained to do. German Shepherds respond very well to targeted training.
How Big Are German Shepherds?
German Shepherds are considered medium- to large-size dogs. Females generally reach about 24 inches in height and males grow to be around 26 inches. Their weight, though, is more variable. Females can range between 49 and 73 pounds whereas the male can range between 66 to 88 pounds. As you can see, your German Shepherd may fall into the “medium” category or the “large” category of dogs, depending on their exact weight. The variable weight isn’t unusual among dog breeds, though most breeds are considered solidly medium or large, not either.
German Shepherds tend to be easily identifiable by their coloring. This beautiful breed of dog has a mostly tan coat, with black on the top and face. This black fur is sometimes called “saddlery.” They have large ears that perk up distinctly when the dog identifies an interesting noise. Purebred German Shepherds are short hair dogs, with some longer hair on the tail. While the tan color is most common, the German Shepherd can also be black, gray, liver, sable, silver, and more.
Other Characteristics Of The German Shepherd
As we said, German Shepherds are admired in the dog world for their loyalty. While German Shepherds can be slow to warm up at first, once they develop a connection with a person or family, the bond stays with them throughout their lifetime. They are incredibly devoted and loving once they develop a connection. They can be more protective than other breeds, and often will require clear boundaries and training to determine just how much protection is socially acceptable (they’re a dog, after all, they don’t care about learning our social norms...they have better-uh-other things to do.... Look, a squirrel!)While your German Shepherd is gorgeous, intelligent, and obedient, they will also need a great deal of your time and attention. As relatively large dogs, with a very active mind, German Shepherds do need a lot from their people. They love walks and runs and usually enjoy using their impressive agility skills on hikes. Moreover, they enjoy keeping their minds busy and will require more social interaction (human or otherwise) than less intelligent breeds. You can often find complicated, puzzle-like dog toys at your local pet store, and those toys would be perfect to entertain your German Shepherd. Plus, it’s very amusing to watch them figure the toys out! Keeping your German Shepherd’s mind and body occupied will help keep them in healthy shape, and ensure they have the happy life with you that they deserve.