All About the Breed German Shepherd Dog

Have you recently fallen for the German Shepherd Dog? Learn all about the breed here, including: breed history, personality traits, train-ability, benefits and disadvantages of the breed, and common health concerns.

Also known as the Alsatian, Berger Allemand, Deutscher Schaferhund, Schaferhund, and simply the GSD, the German Shepherd Dog is an intelligent, highly trainable, and loyal breed.

But how do you know whether you are ready to purchase a pet and if this breed is right for you?

This information is absolutely necessary in making the decision to purchase a pet.


The origin of the German Shepherd Dog can be traced back to early 19th century Germany. Enthusiasts believe that the breed existed several hundred years prior to its documentation, though this has never been proven scientifically or otherwise.

Throughout its history, the German Shepherd Dog has been most commonly used for police and military work, search and rescue, narcotics detection, cadaver detection, explosives detection, accelerant detection, mine detection, as a service dog for the physically handicapped, and as a watch and guard dog, proving its superior abilities to perform most any type of work while providing both protection and loyal companionship.

Today, the German Shepherd Dog has attained a world wide popularity as a versatile working dog, family pet, and companion.

Personality Traits

Best known for its love of hard work and outgoing nature, the German Shepherd Dog is a genuinely happy breed that is full of character. These dogs thrive on strong and dependable relationships with humans, and like to receive attention and praise from their owner. This breed is extremely intelligent and generally very easy to train.

As a pet, the German Shepherd Dog is obedient, loyal, loving, and affectionate. The German Shepherd Dog is not suited for full-time indoor or apartment living, as it enjoys spending time outdoors, performing work, taking long and leisurely walks, and playing games such as fetch and tug-of-war.


Due to its need for human attention, love of hard work, and eagerness to please and impress its owner, the German Shepherd Dog generally responds very well to basic training and commands. This bright breed has the ability to learn to perform most any task its trainer is willing to take the time to teach.

Establishing immediate dominance, trust, and respect is key to successfully training the German Shepherd Dog. These dogs require a confident, patient, and caring handler with a stern yet gentle approach to repetitive exercises and tasks.

Benefits and Disadvantages of the Breed

There are many benefits to owning a German Shepherd Dog. This intelligent breed is obedient by nature, easy to train, and capable of learning to perform many impressive tricks and tasks. When properly socialized from a young age, the German Shepherd Dog gets along well with children and other pets, known for its sweet and gentle approach to small children.

These dogs are alert, territorial, protective, and possess a powerful sense of smell, thus making incredible watch and guard dogs by announcing the arrival of guests and unwanted visitors, and serving as a deterrent to would-be intruders. The German Shepherd Dog is obedient, loyal, loving, and affectionate, making an excellent working dog of any sort, family pet, and companion alike.

Unfortunately, there are also disadvantages to owning a German Shepherd Dog. These active and athletic dogs require large amounts of daily exercise and room to run and play outdoors. Anyone wishing to purchase this breed lacking the adequate amount of time and space to dedicate to the dog is strongly advised against doing so.

A German Shepherd Dog not receiving the proper amount of exercise and space will often act out by destroying property, chewing, digging, barking, whining, and ignoring basic training such as housebreaking.

The German Shepherd Dog is known for being somewhat excitable when greetings its owner and while at play. Excessive barking, jumping, and full-body wags may lead to headaches and accidents. Proper training can reduce these behaviors in the German Shepherd Dog.

This breed's thick and full coat requires almost constant attention such as brushing in order to remove dead hair and maintain its attractive appearance.

Common Health Concerns

While the German Shepherd Dog is typically known as a healthy and hearty breed, they may suffer from a few health problems, including: hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, frequent muscle strain, arthritis, chronic ear infection, likeliness to develop cancer, and bloat.

Now that you know all about the breed, do you think you are ready to own a German Shepherd Dog?

Remember, purchasing a pet is a big decision and should be discussed thoroughly and seriously with your entire family.