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German Shepherd Facts 
German Shepherd Facts & Stats 


German Shepherds are one of the most popular dog breeds yet one of the fairly newer ones, originating in 1899.

They are often referred to by their acronym, GSD.

They used to be called the Alsatian Wolf Dog.

Their current name is derived due to the fact that its ancestors aided shepherds in the field and protected livestock, mostly sheep.

They are also the most popular canine used for police and military work.

The AKC recognized this breed in 1908 and placed the German Shepherd into the Herding group.

They are the 3rd most intelligent purebred dog breed that exists.

Will Smith’s character, Robert Neville,  in the well known apocalyptic movie I Am Legend had a German Shepherd as a companion.

The average litter size is 5, with the range being anywhere between 4 and 10 pups….Studies have shown that litter size is smaller when the dam is bred at too early of an age.

Height will range from 24 to 26 inches (60-65 cm) from floor to shoulder for males, 22- to 24 inches (55-60 cm) for females.
Weight will range from 77 to 85 pounds (35-40 kg) for full grown adults.

Difference sources will give a wide range of life expectancy from as few as 9.8 years! However, it is a fact that the life span of a Shepherd is 12 on average, with a range of 11-13 being expected…Although some live well into the mid to high teens.

This is the 2nd most registered breed in the U.S. 

Behavior and Temperament Facts

The Shepherd is a wonderful family pet…loyal, loving and wonderful with children.

They are excellent family pets, as they are only aggressive watchdogs when specifically trained to be so.

They are known for a learning at a high rate of speed…obedience and house training can begin as young as 8 weeks old.

It is a German Shepherd fact that adults are very active and they require a well paced walk, preferably at least 1 time per day for optimal health.  They will also love to go for runs and to play cardio games such as Frisbee.    With this being said, young puppies should NOT be exercise a lot, because their bones and body joints are still forming….Once he or she is 1 year old, you can begin longer walks and by 2 years of age, the dog will enjoy going for long walks and running.

While this breed gets along well with children and is a popular family pet, he or she will often choose 1 main caregiver and show more loyalty and closeness to that 1 person.

Due to their very protective instinct toward their human family members, it is highly suggested to socialize a puppy at an early age to allow them to become used to other people and pets.

Color and Appearance Facts

While this dog can be found in a wide range of coat color mixes…most are multi-colored, black and tan are the most prominent.

There are some that are solid colors, black being the most popular.

Nose color is usually black, however some may have a liver or blue nose…Blue means black with a blue tint that often is only apparent in the bright sunlight.

They have almond shaped eyes.

This dog is known for being strong with a well muscles body.

One interesting German Shepherd fact is that they have a long neck that they raise up when they are excited and they lower when they are running.

Their ears stand erect but the dog will use its muscle to pull the large ears back when they are moving quickly.

This breed has a double coat of hair. The inner layer is thick, the outer layer is also thick with medium length straight hairs that lie close against the body.

Those that are all pure white in color and not allowed in AKC conformation events.

Grooming Facts

The outer coat sheds all year round….For this reason owners are encouraged to brush the dog well, all over the body, at least 1 time per week.

Nails should be checked for trimming needs at least every 3 weeks.

Baths should be given only 1 time every 3 to 4 weeks, (unless the dog has gotten very dirty), as too many baths can cause the skin to lose natural oils and then become overly dry and itchy.


There are some health issues that are associated with the breed, the most common being hip dysplasia (when the hip joint and socket slip out of place), Monorchism (having only 1 testicle), and ear infections.

Ear infections, which are common due in part because of the size of the ear, can often be prevented by proper cleaning…. One should be sure that the ears are dried well after baths and when approved by a veterinarian, ears can be flushed with cleanser to remove excess wax and/or bacteria.



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