German Shepherd Dog History
The German Shepherd Dog, or as it is colloquially known, German Shepherd, was indeed bred in Germany to herd sheep. Max von Stephanitz, a German cavalry officer, and dog lover created the German Shepherd Dog in 1899. He emphasized the breed’s value in service and function, shunning any breeding for only aesthetic purposes. For some time after World War I, the breed was known as the Alsatian to reduce the negative association from its German heritage. The German Shepherd has since outgrown the description that is its name, filling a variety of service roles around the world.
The appearance of German Shepherds
As a service dog, the German Shepherd Dog always appears elegantly strong, alert, and active. Its body is defined by curves rather than angles, as seen from its profile silhouette. The average German Shepherd is about two feet tall at the shoulder, and about twenty percent longer from front to back.
A German Shepherd’s head is marked by a distinctly long and strong muzzle, pointed ears (at least in adulthood), and dark, attentive eyes. The dog’s coat can be short, medium, or long-haired, in black, tan, sable, black, or a variety of other colors.
German Shepherd’s Temperament
German Shepherd Dogs are intelligent, active, and alert. They are loyal, protective, and confident, which makes them well-suited for working with police, military, or even as guide dogs for the blind. German Shepherds are loving and protective of their family, making them suitable for the home as well.
The German Shepherd Dog’s Role
German Shepherds are used in many active roles requiring strict training and marked confidence. As its name suggests, the German Shepherd can still be used for herding. It is also used as a personal guide dog thanks to its confidence and intelligence. German Shepherds are used in military and police forces as guard dogs and search and rescue dogs.