The everything German shepherd book: a complete guide to raising and training

5 Questions You Must Ask First - German Shepherd Breeder

When searching for a german shepherd breeder, you must keep yourself and your new potential pet safe by asking these 5 questions

Doggone lucky escape from tree

 Vahid Nouri and Bella

GERMAN shepherd Bella begged owner Vahid Nouri to take her for a walk - minutes before a tree fell onto his Gordon house.

” I can say I owe my life to my dog,” Mr Nouri, of Rosedale Rd, said.

“I got home from work and was feeling like a nap, but she was really restless so I took her for a walk.
“When I returned, a tree had fallen on my house.”

Neighbours voting at the school across the road said the noise of the 30m gum crashing down was “unbelieveable”.

Nr Nouri said if he had been home, he could have been crushed or had a heart attack. Fortunately, just the roof of his house caved in.

While thankful to be alive, Mr Nouri is angry that Ku-ring-gai Council rejected his application to remove the tree three years ago. A council spokesman said Mr Nouri was asked to submit an arborist’s report on two trees he wanted removed and failed to provide one for the tree that fell.

“As a result, we couldn’t progress the application for this tree and the property owner made no further contact with us,” he said.

“Council have ascertained the tree fell due to fungal failure of the roots, which couldn’t have been foreseen from an above-ground inspection.”

Tribute Held Tuesday For Bartlesville Police Dog

Black and tan German Shepherd Dog
Police German Shepherd Dog

Cooper, a 3-year-old German Shepherd, worked as a drug and tracking dog. He had to be euthanized after his kidneys failed. It was later discovered that he had ingested anti-freeze.

BARTLESVILLE, OKLAHOMA -- A Bartlesville Police dog, which the department believes was poisoned, was honored Tuesday afternoon.

The tribute was held at the police department's headquarters on Hensley Boulevard.
Cooper, a 3-year-old German Shepherd, worked as a drug and tracking dog.

"It's a way the police department acknowledges the fact that these drug dogs are more than just canine. They are a part of us. Cooper was a fantastic drug dog," said Tom Holland, Bartlesville Police Chief.

A small and somber crowd met at the Bartlesville Police Department to remember Cooper. Cooper worked with Officer Troy Newall as a drug and tracking dog for two years.

"It meant the world to me. I needed the closure," said Bartlesville Police Officer Troy Newell.
Cooper had to be euthanized after his kidneys failed. It was later discovered that he had ingested anti-freeze. Police say Cooper was targeted and the poisoning was intentional.

"We are hoping someone will come forward with this senseless act of killing this marvelous dog. He meant so much to us. He was also important to the citizens of Bartlesville and Washington County because he was good at what he did," said Holland.

Officers said as a puppy, Cooper went to Sedan, Kansas and captured a criminal who was supposedly armed at the time and did it in a record time of 20 minutes.

Officer Newall was presented with an American flag in honor of his fallen partner.

"All the support from my family, friends, fellow law enforcement agencies, community, surrounding community it's been overwhelming. That's how I'm getting through," said Newell. "I'm still pretty emotional. It's hard riding around in an empty car."

The flag was flown at half staff in Cooper's memory. A small monument for Cooper's ashes will be placed below the flag, next to another monument for slain officers. 

A reward is offered for information leading to an arrest in Cooper's poisoning. Tips in the poisoning case can be called in to the Bartlesville Crime Stoppers at 918-336-CLUE.

The Bartlesville Police Department is still searching for Cooper's replacement.

By Tara Vreeland, The News On 6

German Shepherd - The Ultimate Service Dog

"The most striking features of the correctly bred German Shepherd are firmness of nerves, attentiveness, unshockability, tractability, watchfulness, reliability and incorruptibility together with courage, fighting tenacity and hardness." 

Black and tan German Shepherd Dog
9 months
German Shepherd Dog 

- Max von Stephanitz, Father of the German Shepherd Dog The German Shepherd Dog (GSD) is a versatile working-dog, capable of being trained to perform a wide variety of tasks. German Shepherds are family pets, police dogs, guide dogs, search and rescue dogs, bomb and drug detection dogs, sheep and cattle herders, hunting companions, guard dogs, obedience champions, avalanche dogs, assistance dogs, show dogs, and more. Regardless of their particular role, German Shepherds are excellent companions provided they receive the attention, training, and exercise they need and feel useful. 
Black German Shepherd Dog
Black German Shepherd Dog

This dog breed is only about 100 years old. The breed was originated by Captain Max von Stephanitz. Captain von Stephanitz, of the German infantry, bought sheep-herding dogs (many of them field trial winners) from all over Europe in the late 1800's and early 1900's and bred them together to create his 'ultimate service dog'. He started a registry and stud book. His favourite dog, Hektor, was 1/4th wolf. All the dogs originally imported to the UK & America were proudly traced back to him. After WWI, British and American soldiers, impressed by the abilities of the dog, brought home examples to breed. The breed instantly become popular, both as a family pet and as a working dog. Shortly thereafter, the German Shepherd Dog's (GSD) name was changed to Alsatian Wolf Dog. Their popularity soared for a while, then fell tremendously as the media sensationalised every remotely negative event that occurred associated with a canine with the word 'wolf' in it. There were arguments like this - was the Alsatian Wolfdog the best working / most capable / most intelligent dog that ever walked the face of the earth OR was Alsatian Wolfdog the unpredictable / livestock eating / human attacking beast from hell? The name was eventually changed back in 1977 to German Shepherd Dog, and the GSD soon reached its peak at the top of the most popular dog list. 

Red and tan German Shepherd Dog
German Shepherd Dog

Von Stephanitz created the Verein für Deutsche Schäferhunde, or SV, as the official governing body for the breed. The SV then created the Schutzhund trial as a breed test for the German Shepherd Dog, and prohibited the breeding of any dog which could not pass the trial. The purpose of Schutzhund training is to assess and mold the dog's natural abilities to track, protect, and teach the dog control through obedience. It has been considered by some to be a test for breeding in that during the training the degree to which the dog possesses these working abilities becomes apparent. 

Black German Shepherd Dog
Black and tan German Shepherd Dog

The German Shepherd Dog is a large, strong, substantial-looking dog. The fur is a double-coat and can be either short or long haired. It varies in color, coming in many different shades, mostly cream (tan) and brown, but also solid black or white. Dogs with coats that have tri-colored hair (ie. black, brown, red, or white) are called sable or agouti. Different kennel clubs have different standards for the breed according to size, weight, coat color and structure. The GSCs have an average life span of ten to twelve years. 

German Shepherd Dog
Police Dog

The German Shepherd Dog is an intelligent breed of dog. Because they are eager to please, they are easily trained in obedience and protection. German Shepherd Dogs are often used as working dogs in many capacities, including search and rescue (SAR), military, police or guard dogs. They are also used as assistance dogs / service dogs (such as guide dogs). The original purpose for the German Shepherd, was (not surprisingly) to herd sheep, cattle or any other animal that may require the assistance of a shepherd. Even given the name "shepherd" some people are surprised to hear that these dogs were bred for herding, as the GSD is more often found working as a guard dog, police dog or companion pet than in the field working sheep. 
Trained German Shepherd Dog
Trained German Shepherd Dog

The German Shepherd does not have the "eye" as border collies or other similar breeds. They are trained to follow their instinct, which for the GSD is to "work the furrow", meaning that they will patrol a boundary all day and restrict the animals being herded from entering or leaving the designated area. It is this instinct that has made the breed superb guarding dogs, protecting their flock (or family) from harm. Your German Shepherd will try to "herd" you and your family. Often they will "follow ahead", walking in front of you and looking back to make sure you are going where you should. Although the German Shepherd is not used as frequently for herding in present time, there are many breed lines still known for their herding. The breed is naturally loyal, intelligent and protective (which makes it good for police work). German Shepherd has an excellent nose, making it good for tracking and search and rescue work. German Shepherd Dogs are calm and have a steady temperament when well-bred which is why they have been used as "Seeing Eye" dogs. A German Shepherd thrives on regular exercise, mental stimulation and a well-balanced diet.

How to Train an Aggressive Dog

How to Train an Aggressive Dog part 1/6

How to Train an Aggressive Dog part 2/6

How to Train an Aggressive Dog part 3/6

How to Train an Aggressive Dog part 4/6

Watch the half hour transformation of this German
Watch the half hour transformation of this German Sheppard from attacking every dog he sees to under control by his owner. Part 5/6.

How to Train an Aggressive Dog part 6/6
This is the last of the 30 minute training session with this Aggressive German Shepherd, getting the muzzle off and the owner able to work with the dog as well. 

Jump training dog trick

Famous German Shepherds

Here  are  just of few of countless German Shepherd Dogs that  have won their way  into people's hearts  forever. Some are heroes, some are famous, all are great!

Hollywood Stars:
The original Rin Tin Tin served as a Red Cross Dog during WWI with his owner Duncan. Rin Tin Tin made 26 pictures for Warner Brothers before his death on August 10, 1932. At the peak of his career with Warner Brothers he received some 10,000 fan letters a week and was considered to be one of Hollywood’s top stars.

Rin Tin Tin II
would sire Rin Tin Tin IV, and both dogs were used in the filming of The Adventures of Rin Tin Tin, which first aired on ABC 1954-1959. The first episode of this canine crime fighter series commenced when the U.S. Cavalry came upon a wagon train that had been attacked by Apache Indians.
The only survivors were a young boy named Rusty and his German shepherd he called Rin Tin Tin. The Cavalry took the boy and his dog to Fort Apache in Arizona, where Lt. Ripley "Rip" Masters made Rusty a Corporal so he could stay on at the fort.

The Littlest Hobo,
starring a dog called London, was originally created by Dorrell McGowen for a television movie in 1958.
Following the huge success of the movie, a television series was filmed in black and white between 1963 and 1965, with a total of 65 episodes. In every episode the dog arrived in a new place, made new friends, solved their problems, then left. The series was remade in 1979 and became a familly favorite for years to come.

Heroic German Shepherds:

Brooklyn, Newfoundland. Bruno, a nine-month-old German Shepherd saved the life of eleven-year-old Donnie Skiffington when he was thrown from his bicycle into a ditch, where he lay unconscious and bleeding severely. Bruno licked Donnie's face until he regained consciousness, and began to pull him by the shirt collar towards home.

Vienna, Ontario. Nellie, a six-year-old German Shepherd traveled three kilometres back to her home to get help for 78-year-old Ken Emerson, who lay injured after his tractor had overturned and crushed his pelvis. When Nellie returned home, Mrs. Emerson realized that the strip of her husband's shirt wrapped around Nellie's collar was an S.O.S. message, and immediately sent for help.

Brit won many awards such as the Apprehension Citation in 1997 from the Saddle River P.B.A., the Unit Citation in 1995 by the Waldwick Police Chief, the Certificate of Recognition in 1994 by the Allendale and Waldwick P.B.A. for burglar apprehension, the Exceptional Duty Award in 1998 by the Allendale and Waldwick P.B.A., and the Support Services Award by the Ho-Ho-Kus P.B.A. On October 6, 1997, "Brit" died and was given a full police funeral. On October 21, 1998, Sgt. Litchult received a posthumous K-9 Service Award for K-9 "Brit" from the American Police Hall of Fame & Museum in Miami, Florida.

Mississauga, Ontario. Sam, an eight-year-old German Shepherd saved her owner, Phyllis McLeod, from drowning when she fell through a frozen river. As Phyllis fought the swift current, she grabbed Sam's collar and hung on until she was pulled far enough out of the water to scramble to safety.

Mirror, Alberta. Hustler, a three-year-old German Shepherd is credited with saving the life of his owner, Debbie Inions. After a fall from her horse left Debbie seriously injured and unable to move, Hustler repeatedly fought against vicious attacks by two preying coyotes until they were discovered nine hours later.

Sudbury, Ontario. Tracker, a 10-year-old German Shepherd, owned by Sergeant Larry Bigley, was the inspiration behind the Service Dog of the Year Award. Over the seven years that Tracker served in the Sudbury District, he was involved in approximately 500 searches for missing persons, criminals, drugs and security details.

Montréal, Quebec. Dick, a police tracking dog owned by the Sureté du Québec, was honoured for his bravery during a 14-hour manhunt through the woods near St. Eustache, Québec. The four-year-old German Shepherd was wounded by a shot intended for his handler and left permanently deaf in one ear and blind in one eye as a result of the incident.

Ancaster, Ontario. Wolfey, a German Shepherd, awoke his owners, Dr. and Mrs. John Holbrook, and alerted them to a fire that had started in their all-wood home.
Pictou County, Nova Scotia. Maude, a German Shepherd, owned by Deborah Johnston and Bernard Chisholm, saved a three-year-old girl from drowning in the frigid waters of Pictou Harbour. Gripping the child's overalls in her teeth, Maude pulled the child out of the deep water.

Kitchener, Ontario. Lance, a German Shepherd police dog with the Ontario Provincial Police, tracked a missing Kitchener woman in a swampy conservation area for three hours, and led her safely through the dark woods to safety.

New Jersey Task Force One
This team received an award for their search and rescue efforts during the WTC disaster. These animals fearlessly searched through burned debris, ignoring burnt paws, cuts and other obstacles to look for survivors and victims. For their unselfish and courageous efforts, the team earned induction into the Animal Hall of Fame.

The team consists of “Ana” Atlas; “Senta” Bacalaglu; “Claire” & “Blitz” Clemmo; “Chewbacca” Holmes; “Mikey” & “Osa” LoPresti; “Nutmeg” & “Sarge” Pittore; “Argus” Rolando; "Quest” Sullivan; “Piper” Whynman Owners -- Sarah Atlas; Dan Bacalaglu; Lorrie Clemmo; Alice Holmes; Laura LoPResti; Spring & Pat Pittore; Bob Rolando; Penny Sullivan; Sonny Whynman.

Mr. Baggins
Revelstoke, British Columbia. Mr. Baggins, a female German Shepherd with absolutely no tracking experience, tracked and located a six-year-old boy who had been missing for hours after having been buried under a snowbank.

Brantford, Ontario. Timmy, a four-year-old German Shepherd owned by Anne Nemes, protected her from being robbed at gunpoint by two men. When the men confronted her, Timmy leaped at them and gripped one of the men's arms, and a shot was fired. The men fled and Mrs. Nemes and Timmy continued their walk home.

Paris, Ontario. Rex, a German Shepherd repeatedly hurled himself against the door leading to the Misic and Zegarac families' living quarters, arousing the two families during the night as fire engulfed their gas station and the living quarters above.

Ontario Provincial Police Canine Team - Kanaka, a black German Shepherd was responsible for numerous rescues and arrests as well as the recovery of evidence, stolen property and money throughout years of distinguished service. In one incident, Kanaka tracked a lost hunter for 20 hours across freezing swamps and an ice-covered lake, before finding the man. After the ordeal, Kanaka required medical attention and was commended with saving the hunter's life.

Following a robbery suspect across a frozen river, the ice gave way and Deputy Stanley Wontor slipped backwards under the ice. He called out "pull" (a command Thunder, a police dog, had not been trained to use) and Thunder pulled him out of the freezing waters to safety.

After graduating from the Seeing Eye Program, Orient was placed with Bill Irwin. Orient led Irwin on an incredible trek on the complete length of the Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine. Profiled in Irwin's book Blind Courage, Orient faithfully and unconditionally assisted Bill Irwin for over nine years.

Ottawa, Ontario. Daisy, a German Shepherd, saved her owner's three-year-old son, David, who had wandered into a busy intersection. Daisy pulled the child to safety, as two motorists who were watching the dog and the child in the intersection collided.

He was recognized for his work as a rescue dog in the Oklahoma City bombing, 1995 earthquake in Kobe, Japan, the Edison, N.J. explosion, and Hurricane Opal in Panama City,FL.

10 Myths About Adopting A German Shepherd Dog

Myth 1:

I have small children, so I want a puppy.

Without a doubt, this is the most common reason people want a puppy. A sweet, small puppy just seems like the best choice for sweet, small children.

You know that cute Kodak commercial with the puppies climbing all over the giggling little boy? Have you ever noticed how short it is? That’s because they could only film for a few seconds before the welts rose, the blood dripped, and the boy began to scream for his mother. Puppies have needle-teeth that they happily sink into anyone who walks by. They also have sharp nails that scratch when they jump up -- and on the little one, those front feet land right around his face.

Puppies leave "presents" that your toddler always seems to find before you do. Puppies wake your children during the night. And a puppy doesn’t know the difference between his stuffed toy and Emma’s Piglet that she MUST have to fall asleep.

And suppose you get a puppy when little Billy is 2. In six months, Billy will be about 1 inch taller and 3 pounds heavier. However, the 8 month old puppy will now be as tall as Billy and outweigh him by 30 pounds. And those baby teeth will have been replaced by big snappers that need to chew.

Of course, puppies and small children do successfully co-habitate. But, in our experience, your child will go through far less Neosporin and Band-Aids with a calmer 2 + year old dog who is road-tested with children.

Myth 2:

It’s better to get a puppy. With an older dog, you never know what you’re getting

Seems to make sense, except the exact opposite is true. All puppies are cute; all puppies love everyone. It’s not until a dog hits sexual maturity that some innate behavioral problems start to surface. We can’t estimate how many calls we’ve had from people who paid thousands of dollars for a purebred puppy, who is now a year or two old and biting people, attacking other dogs, or engaging in some oddball neurotic behavior. Purebred is not the same as well-bred, and sometimes it feels like the disreputable breeders grossly outnumber the responsible ones.

The truth is this: when we list a 4 month old puppy, we can only guess what kind of adult she’ll make. When we list an 18 month old dog, we can predict pretty accurately what kind of dog you’ll have forever.

Myth 3:

If you train your dog right, he’ll stay in the yard without a fence.

Many people believe this, right up until the moment the dog is hit by a car, eats poison in the neighbor’s garage, or is stolen. Although we do not insist on a fence, we do insist on leash walks. Rescue dogs are typically either strays (which means they have a history of wandering) or owner-surrenders (which means they’re going to go look for their ex-owner first chance they get). We just can’t risk it.

Myth 4:

When I was growing up, we had a PERFECT German Shepherd

No, you didn’t. Trust me, he was only perfect because you were 8 and didn’t have to clean up after him and be responsible for him. I know you believed he was perfect, but you also believed in Santa and honest government then, too.

I had a perfect GSD named Max when I was growing up. He died in my freshman year of college, and has since, in family lore, gone on to be canonized. St. Max. Bow your head when you say it. Everyone in my family seems to forget the time St. Max was hit by a car he was chasing. Or the time he bit the kid biking by. Or how he used to sneak in and sleep on the furniture when no one was home. Or the time he had diarrhea all over the hardwood floors. Or how he used to eat the Christmas ornaments off the bottom half of the tree.

Since I’ve been an adult, I’ve never had a perfect German Shepherd--but every single one of them was perfect for me.

Myth 5:

German Shepherds stop being puppies around a year old.

WRONG! I’m sorry. Try 3 or 4. Many shepherds don’t calm down and hit their stride until they’re 5 or 6. And you know that wonderful mental image you have of the stoic and noble shepherd sitting on the hill surveying his domain? He’s 9.

What Is the Difference Between the Alsatian & German Shepherd Dogs?

Alsatian dog

Fewer dog breeds appear as similar as the Alsatian (officially knows as the Alsatian shepalute or American Alsatian) and the German shepherd, and fewer breeds are so radically different. Matching only in appearance, these two breeds derive from different places and are bred for different purposes. While the Alsatian bloodline does have German shepherd in it, it has since diverged, and the Alsatian has been identified as a separate breed.

There is no comparable history between the Alsatian and the German shepherd. The German shepherd was bred in Germany beginning around 1899 as a high-drive working dog with high intelligence and protective instincts. The Alsatian was bred by California breeder Lois Schwartz in 1987 as a large-breed companion dog with little to no working drive. In order to achieve these traits, the line started with a German shepherd/Alaskan malamute cross. That achieved the size and appearance of the dog Schwartz wanted, but both of those breeds are able working dogs. Her goal was to eliminate the working drive. In order to mellow the breed out, she added English mastiff lines, along with Anatolian shepherd. The breed stabilized and became recognized in 2000.

The German shepherd is a working dog. Suited for anything it can be trained for, it excels at obedience trials, protection work, search and rescue, agility, tracking, freestyle and herding. The Alsatian is a companion dog. Unsuitable for work, the dog makes a wonderful family pet. It possesses a very calm, stable temperament and is quite friendly.

The German shepherd and Alsatian are extremely similar in appearance and color. Both breeds are easily trained and make wonderful family pets.

The size difference between the German shepherd and Alsatian is staggering. The Alsatian is a much larger dog, often outweighing the German shepherd by 20 to 40 pounds. Alsatians tend to live two to four years longer than German shepherds. The German shepherd breeding lines are riddled with health issues, while the Alsatian has been carefully bred to be a solid, healthy dog. Health problems haven't been seen in the Alsatian line since 2003.

Both breeds are easily trainable, although the German shepherd catches on far quicker. The Alsatian is a "thinker," a breed that must process and figure something out before acting on it. German shepherds immediately embody the lesson at hand and possess a need to constantly be learning.

How to Train a German Shepherd to Be a Guard Dog

German Shepherds can make great guard dogs due to their loyalty, intelligence, strength, and sense of protection. A German Shepherd will usually be happy with the job of protecting you and your family as a guard dog.

Stay safe with your German Shepherd guard dog. Call your homeowner's insurance company to make sure you are allowed to have a German Shepherd as a guard dog or even a pet. Check your local laws as well. Some will not allow trained guard dogs. You might need to get your German Shepherd special training to obey the law and/or your insurance company's rules.

Begin training your German Shepherd to be a guard dog very early in her life. Starting at eight weeks old is best. Socialization should be the first part of training. This is where you introduce your German Shepherd to new people, places and things. This socialization training will help your dog learn to see what is a threat and what is not. You can do this by going for walks in different areas, taking her to different parks, bringing her along on car trips when you can, and allowing visitors to interact with her. If German Shepherds do not receive this training they could become dangerous to anyone.

Train your German Shepherd to be a guard dog with obedience training. Your dog should understand that you are the master. Use a clicker to teach her the basic commands necessary: come, sit, stay, and down. See "How to Train Your Dog Yourself" in References to help you with obedience training.

Create rules in your home for your German Shepherd to teach her discipline. She will need this in order to be a good guard dog. German Shepherds respond well to this type of training and enjoy pleasing their owner. It shows that you expect her to behave. Some good house rules include no begging during meal times, staying off furniture (get a dog bed for your German Shepherd), no jumping on people, and sitting before playing with a toy.

Sign your German Shepherd up for guard dog training classes with a qualified instructor who has experience training German Shepherds in this specialized discipline. This type of training will help teach your dog more about guarding and protecting. The training will help fill in any gaps. Professional training is also beneficial because your dog will see another person teaching her some of the same things you do. That will help reinforce the importance.

Phylax Society - first German Shepherd Dog club

Max von Stephanitz and Horand
The Phylax Society was the first German Shepherd Dog club, formed with the intention of creating a standardised German dog breed.

Throughout Europe, unofficial groups had been operating to selectively breed dogs with profound qualities. While distinct breeds were being established they often differed dramatically, both in appearance and utility, across localities. As a result, in 1891 the Phylax Society (Phylax being Greek for "guardsman") was formed with the intention of creating a standardised German dog breed by hand-picking, from sheep dogs belonging to local German shepherds, those which displayed superior qualities than those of other dogs.

The official existence of the Phylax Society was short lived. Early in the group's history there was constant bickering regarding the desired traits of what would become the German Shepherd Dog. Some of the members felt aesthetics were not important in a dog breed, instead desiring that the dog be useful as a working breed, rather than having a pleasing look. Other members preferred that the dog be bred more for beauty with less of a focus on having a working breed. This argument was never settled and after numerous attempts to breed the German Shepherd dog failed by producing dogs with little to no utility, many of the members left; resulting in the Phylax Society disbanding in 1894, only four years after its establishment.

Post-Phylax Society
Although the Phylax Society had disbanded, many former members continued in attempts to breed a dog with superior qualities. It was due to the original formation of the Phylax Society that Max von Stephanitz was inspired to form the Verein für Deutsche Schäferhunde (Society for the German Shepherd Dog) in 1899, which ultimately lead to the creation of the modern German Shepherd Dog breed.
  Horand von Grafrath
Born December 30 1864 in Dresden into German nobility, Max von Stephanitz is credited with having developed the German Shepherd Dog breed as it is currently known, set guidelines for the breed standard and was the first president of the Verein für Deutsche Schäferhunde (S.V.).

Stephanitz was a career cavalry officer and former student of the Berlin Veterinary College.  At the college he gained valuable knowledge about biology, anatomy and the science of movement all of which he later applied to the breeding of dogs.

Stephanitz purchased property near Grafrath in the 1890s where he began experimenting with dog breeding.  He used many of the techniques utilised by English dog breeders of the period.  Stephanitz enjoyed attending dog shows and observed that there were many different types of shepherding dogs in use in Germany but there was no breed standardization.  He greatly admired those dogs with a wolf-ish appearance and prick ears who also were intelligent, had sharp senses and a willingness to work.  In 1899 while attending a show in Karlsruhe he was shown a dog named Hektor Kinksrhein.  Hektor was the product of many generations of selective breeding and completely fulfilled what von Stephanitz believed a working dog should be.  He was pleased with the strength of the dog and was so taken by the animal's intelligence and loyalty that he purchased it immediately.  After purchasing the dog he changed it name to Horand von Grafrath

Horand was used as the primary breeding stud by von Stephanitz and other breeders and is the foundation of the German Shepherd breed as we know it.  Stephanitz used the knowledge he had acquired during his years at the Veterinary College and established a 'grand design' he wanted breeders to aim for with judging based on angle of bones, proportions and overall measurements.

Horand became the centre-point of the breeding program and was bred with dogs that displayed the required desirable traits.  Although fathering many pups, Horand's most successful son was Hektor von Schwaben.  Hektor was inbred with another of Horand's offspring and produced Beowulf, who later fathered a total of eighty-four pups, mostly through being inbred with Hektor's other offspring.  Beowulf's progeny also were inbred and it is from these pups that all German Shepherds draw a genetic link.

Horand was declared to be the first German Shepherd Dog and was the first dog added to the register of the  Verein für Deutsche Schäferhunde.

Sieger 1925 Sieger 1951 Sieger 1972

Klodo vom Boxberg Rolf vom Osnabrücker Land Marko vom Cellerland

                          Sieger 1990 & 1991
                         Fanto vom Hirschel
                                         Sieger 2006
                                          Zamp vom Thermodos

Eye Disorders in a German Shepherd By Wildwater Wolf

German Shepherds are susceptible to eye disorders, as well as diseases of the eyeball and the eyelid, cancers, cataracts and eye-related allergies. While most general practice veterinarians are qualified to treat dogs with eye diseases, veterinary ophthalmology specialists are the best doctors to consult when dealing with serious eye disorders in dogs.

The most common eye disorder in German Shepherds is pannus, sometimes called German Shepherd dog keratitis. Pannus is a chronic inflammation of the corneal surface and, in most cases, of the conjunctiva, a thin membrane that covers the inner surface of the eyelid and the white part of the eyeball. The disease primarily occurs in German Shepherds, beginning when dogs are between 3 and 5 years old. The inflammation appears in the outer edges of the cornea and often affects both eyes simultaneously. Without treatment, the inflammation may progress, cover the entire cornea and lead to blindness.

Causes of Pannus
Pannus is an autoimmune condition, in which the immune system produces antibodies against its own tissues. German Shepherds have a breed-dependent inherited predisposition to this disease, and an increased incidence of pannus during sunny months has been ascribed to their sensitivity to the ultraviolet rays in sunlight that seem to trigger the disease.

Treatment of Pannus
As of 2010, there is no cure for pannus. The treatment goal is to control the active phase of the disorder as quickly as possible, to avoid further outbreaks and to minimize the serious consequences of the disease. Veterinarians use cortisone therapy to treat pannus, first with injections and then with owners at home with frequent applications of cortisone ointment. Owners eventually will apply a daily maintenance dose over the dog's lifetime. An alternative treatment is long-term application of a topical ointment containing cyclosporine.

Pannus can decrease a dog's vision if left untreated and a thick mucous discharge often accompanies the eye redness. Treatment of pannus also includes tear stimulants and, according to the Dog Cataracts website, "Newer technologies that treat eye infections in dogs include a bioadhesive ophthalmic drug insert which can be placed in the eye to avoid the daily treatment and make compliance with treatment easier."

German Shepherd owners should consult with their veterinarians regularly about ongoing treatment and protect their dog's eyes from ultraviolet light, especially direct sun exposure.

Disease of the Eyeball
An epibulbar dermoid is a congenital condition found in German Shepherds. It usually affects one eye and appears as a fleshy, hairy, pigmented area on the eyeball, most often on the cornea.

Diseases of the Eyelid
Eversion of the third eyelid cartilage is a condition in which the cartilage of the third eyelid rolls outwards or inwards like a scroll. The condition may cause one or both eyes to weep, if tears cannot drain properly. If left untreated, discomfort due to the eyelid rubbing on the surface of the cornea can lead to the development of a corneal ulcer. Treatment for this involves surgical removal of the affected piece of cartilage.

Plasma cell infiltration of the third eyelid with loss of the normal black pigmentation along the edge of the eyelid is another eye disorder that occurs in German Shepherds.

The German Shepherd breed is predisposed to eye melanomas, including anterior uveal melanoma of the iris or ciliary body, and limbal melanoma, ocular tumors that occur most frequently in 5 to 6 year old female German Shepherds. According to DogTime, the National Canine Cancer Foundation reports, "These lesions have so far proved to be benign in nature but quick medical intervention is important."

Relative IgA deficiency and small intestinal bacterial overgrowth in German shepherd dogs.

Batt RM, Barnes A, Rutgers HC, Carter SD.

Department of Veterinary Pathology, University of Liverpool.

Serum immunoglobulin concentrations and densities of IgA-producing immunocytes in intestinal mucosa were compared in a group of clinically healthy dogs of various breeds, a group of clinically healthy German shepherd dogs, and a group of German shepherds with bacterial overgrowth in the proximal small intestine. Serum concentrations of IgA, but not IgM or IgG, were significantly lower in the clinically healthy German shepherd dogs than in other purebreed and mixbreed dogs, indicating that production of IgA by gut-associated lymphoid tissue might be relatively low in this breed. However, densities of IgA-producing cells were not significantly different comparing these two groups, suggesting that any impairment of mucosal IgA production is more likely to be related to defective synthesis or secretion of IgA than to reduced numbers of IgA-producing immunocytes. Comparable findings in German shepherd dogs with small intestinal bacterial overgrowth provided further indirect evidence that local immunity might be defective in this breed, since these luminal bacteria would be expected to stimulate mucosal IgA production. However, it is not clear whether such a defect is directly responsible for the overgrowth, or whether there is an indirect relationship between defective local immunity and bacterial overgrowth in German shepherd dogs.

Training Your GSD (German Shepherd Dog)

German Shepherd dogs need lots of training. What do you do when training your GSD? Learn more about training your German Shepherd Dog and why you should do so.

Puppy Owns German Shepherd

Puppy is a mutt: Mix of a Chihuahua, Pomeranian, and Yorkie.
Both dogs are very well behaved and trained very well. This is still one of their games. The GS taunts her to get whatever toy it has.

German Shepherd Coat Colors - GSD Coat Colors and Patterns

Concerning German Shepherd coat colors & patterns, the German Shepherd Dog comes in several colors, patterns & coat lengths.

8 tips to care your German shepherd dog

1> Keep your shepherd's weight down. Overweight dogs will have more health problems, including heart trouble and arthritis.

2> Learn what health problems are associated with this breed: Von Willebrand's disease (a blood disorder), glaucoma, torsion (stomach bloat, a very serious emergency), cataracts, calcium gout, chronic pancreatitis, hip and elbow dysplasia, epilepsy, hemophilia, slipped discs and retinal atrophy.

3> Brush your German shepherd daily if possible. This breed sheds year-round and heavily twice a year when the undercoat comes out.

4>Bathe the dog infrequently; shepherds don't require special grooming and can be washed at home.

5> Make sure to trim this dog's nails regularly - every two weeks - to prevent foot problems.

6> Remember that German shepherds are eager to please and very intelligent. You must be consistent and firm while training them.

7> Keep your shepherd indoors or out. Remember that she'll be much happier indoors with the family, since these dogs prefer to be with their pack.

8> Be prepared to enjoy a good 10 to 13 years with your shepherd, as this is the average life expectancy for a German shepherd.

You'll Need:

  •     Dental Kits (for Dogs)
  •     Dog Bones
  •     Dog Brushes
  •     Dog Dishes
  •     Dog Food
  •     Dog Leashes
  •     Dog Shampoo
  •     Dog Tags
  •     Hand Vacuum Cleaners
  •     Nail Clippers For Dogs
  •     Reduced-calorie Dog Food
  •     Dog Shampoo

Belgian Shepherd (Tervuren)

The Tervuren (pronounced /tərˈvjɜrɛn/,and sometimes spelled Tervueren), is a member of the Belgian Shepherd Dog family of dog breeds. Its classification varies, being classified under some breed standards as a breed in its own right, and in others as one of several acceptable variations of the Belgian. It is usually listed within breed standards under one or other, or a combination, of these names.

In the United States, since 1960, the AKC recognizes it under the name Belgian Tervuren. Prior to that date, all recognized varieties of the Belgians were called Belgian Sheepdog.

In Canada, the Canadian Kennel Club recognizes the Tervuren as a variety of the Belgian Shepherd Dog (prior to 2005, Belgian Shepherd Dogs were called Belgian Sheepdogs).

Like all Belgian Shepherds, the Tervuren is a medium-sized, square-proportioned dog in the sheepdog family. Males stand between 24 and 26 inches, and weigh approximately 65 lb. Females are finer and smaller. It is recognized by its thick double coat, generally mahogany with varying degrees of black overlay (completely missing overlay on males is a serious fault), including a black mask. A small patch of white on the chest is permissible, as well as white tips on toes. The Tervuren may also be sable or grey, but this may be penalized in the show ring in some countries according to the standard of the registering body.

Tervurens are highly energetic, intelligent dogs who require a job to keep them occupied. This can be herding, obedience, agility, flyball, tracking, or protection work. They are also found working as Search and Rescue (SAR) dogs, finding missing persons and avalanche victims. Tervurens that are not kept sufficiently busy can become hyperactive or destructive.

As companion animals, Tervurens are loyal and form strong bonds with their family, leading some to be shy around strangers. They are good watch dogs, being very observant and attentive to the slightest change in their environment. Some can be nervous, depending on breeding and early experiences, so care must be taken to adequately socialize Tervuren puppies to a wide variety of people and situations.

Tervuren at 7 monthsAs with all the Belgian Shepherd Dogs, Tervurens are not generally recommended to first-time dog owners due to their high maintenance level.

Adult males are distinctly masculine and females are likewise feminine. Their appearance projects alertness and elegance. The breed is known for its loyalty and versatility. Those who own them, report being charmed by their intelligence, trainability, and, perhaps most of all, their sense of humor. They excel in many kinds of activities. Today the breed is still relatively rare in the United States, but it is well-established.

Generally healthy, but Tervurens can have a susceptibility to hip dysplasia, epilepsy and some eye and skin problems.

The Tervuren has a thick, double coat similar to the Groenendael. Regular brushing is necessary to remove loose undercoat, but in general, the fur is not prone to matting. A properly textured Tervuren coat is slightly hard, laying flat against the body (unlike, for instance, the Samoyed's off-standing fur). It naturally sheds dirt and debris, but burrs and seeds may stick to the feathering on the legs.

The Tervuren is shown in a natural state, with minimal trimming and cosmetic products. Bathing, brushing, and trimming the fur on the feet with scissors to emphasize their tight, cat-footed shape is the extent of most exhibitors' grooming routines. Products that alter the coloration of the coat and masking are not allowed in the ring.

Belgian Shepherd Dog (Laekenois)

The Belgian Shepherd Dog (Laekenois) is a breed of dog, sometimes classified as a variety of the Belgian Shepherd Dog rather than as a separate breed. The Laekenois is not fully recognized in the United States. However, they can be shown in Britain, Canada, Australia, and throughout Europe, along with all three of the closely related breeds which share a heritage with the Laekenois: the Tervuren, the Malinois, and the Groenendael, the last being shown in the U.S. as the Belgian Sheepdog.

Like all Belgian Shepherds, the Laekenois is a medium-sized, hard-working, square-proportioned dog in the sheepdog family with sharply triangular ears. The Laekenois is recognized by its woolly brown and white coat, intermixed so as to give a tweedy appearance. Most kennel clubs' standards allow for black shading, principally in muzzle and tail, indicating the presence of the melanistic mask gene.

The Belgian Laekenois originated as a sheep herding dog at the Royal Castle of Laeken. It is considered both the oldest and the most rare of the Belgian Shepherd Dogs. Until the advent of dog shows in the early 1900's, the four varieties were freely intermixed, in fact, there are only three genes (short/long coat, smooth/wire coat, fawn/black coat) that separate the varieties genetically. Purebred Laekenois occasionally give birth to smooth-coated puppies, which, depending on the pure-bred registry, can be registered as Malinois.

Belgian Shepherd Dog (Groenendael)

The Belgian Shepherd Dog (Groenendael) The Groenendael is recognized by all major kennel clubs. In the United States it is recognized under the name Belgian Sheepdog.

Like all Belgian Shepherds, the Groenendael is a medium-sized, hard-working, square-proportioned breed of dog in the sheepdog family. The Groenendael is recognized by its distinctive black coat.

The Groenendael should be athletic, strong, imposing, rustic, and balanced in appearance. It should look natural, never as though it has been prepared just for the show ring. Its coat should be profuse, but never look as though it would inhibit the dog's working ability in any way. The colour is always black, with small white markings being allowed on the chest. When being shown, its handler should never have to force it into position; ideally the handler should not have to touch the dog at all.

The Groenendael should be 24-26 in. (60-66 cm) at the withers for males, and 22-24 in (56-62 cm) for females. The weight should be approximately 25 - 30 kg for males, and 20 - 25 kg for females.

The groenendael has a thin, double coat. The texture should be hard and dense, never woolly, silky, frizzy, fine, or wiry. The undercoat should be thick and profuse. In conformation shows, dogs without an undercoat are heavily penalized.

A Groenendael at 4 monthsThe Groenendael is (very) intelligent, active, loyal and quietly affectionate. Groenendaels are not a breed for the faint of heart. However for those who have plenty of time, energy, confidence and love, they are wonderful friends. Training and socializing is essential. They are wary of strangers and protective. They love children as long as they are introduced to them at an early age. The Groenendael bonds deeply to its people and cannot live outdoors or in a kennel. It needs to spend time with its family every day and may experience separation anxiety if left alone for long periods of time.

The Groenendael needs a large amount of exercise as a rule. Expect to spend about two hours a day working with it. Exercise should include not only a walk, but also a training session to keep the dog mentally stimulated. These dogs have great "work ethic" and need a job to do, such as obedience, flyball, schutzhund training, dog agility or livestock work in order to be happy. They are a sensitive breed and cannot be trained using harsh training methods. They need thorough grooming once a week, however when shedding (which happens once or twice a year) they lose massive amounts of coat and need grooming every day.

Belgian Shepherd Dog (Malinois)

The Belgian Shepherd Dog (Malinois) (pronounced /ˈmælɪnwɑː/) is a breed of dog, sometimes classified as a variety of the Belgian Shepherd Dog rather than as a separate breed. The Malinois is recognized in the United States under the name Belgian Malinois. Its name is the French word for Mechlinian, which is in Dutch either Mechelse herdershond (shepherd dog from Mechelen) or Mechelaar (one from Mechelen).

Like all Belgian Shepherds, the Malinois is a medium-sized and square-proportioned dog in the sheepdog family. The Malinois has a short mahogany coat with black overlay. It has black erect ears and a black muzzle. It has a square build in comparison to the German Shepherd.
Coat and color
Due to its history as a working dog (i.e., being bred for function over form), the Malinois can vary greatly in appearance. The acceptable colors of pure-bred Malinois are a base color fawn to mahogany with a black mask and black ears with some degree of black tipping on the hairs, giving an overlay appearance. The color tends to be lighter with less black agouti or overlay on the dog's underside, breeching, and inner leg. There used to be dogs with grey and black shorthairs but they no longer meet the breed standards.

The other varieties of Belgian Shepherd are distinguished by their coats and colors: the Tervuren is the same color as the Malinois but grey is also possible with long hair, the Laekenois is the same color, only it may lack the black mask and ears, and has wirehair, the Groenendael (registered as Belgian Sheepdog by the American Kennel Club) has long hair and is solid black. There are (occasionally and historically) solid black, black-and-tan (as with Dobermans and German Shepherd Dogs), or other colored short-haired Belgian Shepherds, but these are not technically Malinois.

If a dog represented as a Malinois is brindle (clear stripes of different colored hair) it is probably a Dutch Shepherd Dog or a mixed breed, although the possibility exists that it is a throwback to a common continental shepherd ancestor.

Malinois dogs are about 24–26 in (61–66 cm), while bitches are about 22–24 in (56–61 cm) at the withers. Bitches are said to average 25–30 kg (55–65 lb), while sires are heavier at 29–34 kg (65–75 lb). They are squarely built.

Working dog
In Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands and other European countries, as well as in the United States, Canada and Australia, the Malinois is bred primarily as a working dog for personal protection, detection, police work, search and rescue, and sport work (Belgian Ring, Schutzhund, French Ring, Mondio Ring). The United States Secret Service and Royal Australian Air Force use the breed exclusively.

The dog is also used extensively by Unit Oketz of the Israel Defense Forces. Oketz favors the slighter build of the Malinois to the German Shepherd and Rottweiler, which were employed formerly.

Well-raised and trained Malinois are usually active,friendly,protective and hard-working. Many have excessively high prey drive. Some may be excessively exuberant or playful, especially when young. They can be destructive or develop neurotic behaviors if not provided enough stimulation and exercise. These are large, strong dogs that require consistent obedience training, and Malinois enjoy being challenged with new tasks. They are known as being very easy to obedience train, due to their high drive for rewards.

The average lifespan of the Belgian Malinois is 10–12 years,and there are a number of health problems and disorders that are associated with the breed, though the breed's health is generally considered better than that of the German Shepherd Dog. Notable health problems prevalent to the Malinois includes cataracts,epilepsy,thyroid problems, progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), hip dysplasia,and pannus, although these problems have been minimized through selective breeding.

Why Choose a German Shepherd Dog?

 German shepherds are medium to large dogs depending on their point of view. You will generally find that they are 22- 26 inches in height and 75- 95 pounds. German shepherds are also characterized by their hair color and face. A German shepherd is going to tan with black on the back, tail, and around the face. The muzzle is on the longer side for most dogs and proportionate to the head. You will also find that the German shepherd’s ears will stand up, but tend to curl just at the ends on some of them. The hair of a German shepherd is usually coarse and very thick. They are average shedders which means they need to be brushed at least twice a week if not more. During the warmer seasons they will need to be brushed daily. A wire brush will usually do the trick for grooming. Among other grooming needs you will need to clip their toenails usually once a month or maybe every two.

German shepherds need to have a lot of space. They do not do well cooped up in small homes. They need at least an hour of exercise each day if not twice that amount to remain fit and happy. You will find large homes with a moderate backyard and fence will fit them a lot better.

German shepherd’s are one of the most versatile dog breeds that you will ever find. Not only are these dogs used as police dogs, but they are also used in therapy, for seeing- eye dogs, and guard dogs. You will find no better companion when you look for a German shepherd dog. They are an extremely popular dog in several countries, especially America. It is important to understand how to care of this dog breed as well as some of the characteristics you should expect when you have one. We will also delve into their working side a little bit.

German shepherd training can go in several directions. You can train them for households or you can train them to work. When training them for work you may need to seek a professional. As guard dogs or police dogs a German shepherd undergoes hours of training not only in rescue, but in tackling a person with a gun. This means that they will spend puppy- hood with a trainer. They will most likely be attached to one person during training. In some cases with the German shepherd used as a police dog they will have the partner train with the dog. In most cases they will train separately and then go through more training with their actual partner. You will find as police dogs they are used for narcotics, as well as cadaver dogs because they do have a powerful sense of smell.

German shepherds have one of the most lovable temperaments of any dog. They are very affectionate, require a great amount of human interaction, and of course they need a lot of exercise. They are a very well muscled dog, which means that they are agile, quick, and very powerful. They may not be best around small children until after they have gone through training to make them more aware of their size and capabilities. You will find that they are really great at being trained, despite some tendency for stubbornness. It really takes a firm, but gentle hand. Among other characteristics you will find a calm behavior rather than rowdiness, and loyalty. Most often they do latch on to one master, but that doesn’t mean they won’t seek attention from anyone in the room.

About the Author:
Gerry Ronson writes for Dog Treats

East German Shepherd Dog

With the division of Germany into East and West the division was reflected in the breeding of the dog as well. No dog breed is as well known as the German shepherd dog. 

Whilst in the West they continue to breed after the typical ideal of the dog beauty, black-yellow, sloping back, where in the East the dogs were especially dark and the dogs had typical working dog confirmation.

He developed over the course of time on each page its own form. The sloping back, though not as pronounced, but in pictures of DDR dogs from the late eighties to be seen. 

After the fall of East Germany the two lines were reunited, so that today little more pure DDR lines available. The grey Shepherds DDR ancestors are now sought after, especially with dog breeders seeking good performance animals.

Furthermore, the previous genetic disorders of hip dysplasia that was deliberately used in selective breeding to improve the color of the dogs in the West did not occur in east Germany where the breed was kept purer.

Few voices are raised to keep the Ostlinie blood lines going in the shepherd and recognized this blood line as a separate breed, but this is not supported by the SV. There are several associations for the preservation of the East German Shepherd Dog. It is debatable if this desire is implementable to sustain the old breed as the gene pool by now is probably too low

Wolf German shepherd

At the beginning of the pure breeding of this dog, a hairy type of animal began to emerge and some breeders thought that they could achieve a breed type faster if they bred the dogs back with real wolves.

Hans Raber wrote in his Encyclopedia of the Dog. Stephanitz should therefore have indicated that the great grandmother of the breeding males of “Hector of Wohlen,” the bitch “Mores Plieningen,” is descended from a cross between a wolf and sheep dog. He should have corrected this statement later by saying that they had crossing the males Hector being already six generations old. 
Räber reported that A. Heim was firmly convinced that from 1870 to 1900 in Germany wolves were again crossed with sheepdogs. Supposedly this was to protect the breed from distemper. This had led since 1920 that the opinion of the natural deterioration of the shepherds is due to these crossings.
It is now recommended that breeders keep all dogs with wolf characteristics out of the breed. Heim’s statements are not considered as totally reliable.

Raber’s opinion is that the story of the wolf crossings was to make the dogs more desirable because of the wolfs popularity amongst fans rather than the fact that it was actually done.

There were hundreds of these wolf stories races that were talked of. The professional sentiment from people like Schafer and R. Wolf Burger, the president of the SC from 1933 to 1936 and from Stephanitz in 1902, was that these crossings were discouraged because the dogs from such matings in their view were not reliable.
It is considered unlikely then that these experiments may have had an influence on today’s German shepherd. As the offspring were also considered inadequate, so it is most likely that there was no impact on the breed. Even in the event that there was an impact on the breeding it is assumed that they would not have accepted the breed if it looked more like a wolf in appearance than the Alsatian.

The sheep dog as a breeding base for other dog breeds
The shepherd is the breed basis for several other breeds of dogs that are also authorizedby the FCI. The best known example of the Berger Blanc Suisse, the white shepherd, whose close relationship is obvious to the German Shepherd. 

Another breed resulted from matings of the shepherd with the wolves and the Czechoslovakian wolf dog and is called the Saarloos wolf dog. The aim of both breed types was to improve the German Shepherd, which is generally considered a failure, as these dogs are suitable only for very limited use as a working dog. 

There are three other wolf hybrid breeds, the dog Lupo Italiano, the Kunming Wolf-dog and the Timber Wolf-Shepherd. The Shepherd was the breeding base in all cases. However, they are still not recognized by the FCI. The shepherd was also not crossed by the FCI recognized breeds such as the Tamaskan.