German Shepherd

German Shepherd

Profile Shepherd Dog

size55-65 cm
Weight22-40 kg
colourblack, yellow, gray; multicolored
lifespan10-12 years
Suitable asFamily dog, guide dog and guard dog
characterloyal, versatile, protective, somewhat suspicious
Very / much
Little / Hardly

Breed description

The German Shepherd is extremely versatile , is super sporty and likes challenging tasks . He is very good at training to help people. For example physically disabled people or people in need (e.g. avalanche victims). It is very clear: He definitely needs a task, a mission, a job, no matter what. In the United States, the German Shepherd is the second most popular dog – according to the American Kennel Club (the largest breed of dog breeders in the United States). For more than 5 years now. It is even more popular than the Golden Retriever and the French Bulldog (as of 2019). One thing you should definitely know about the German Shepherd before you buy it: it sheds all year round. And he destroys things when he’s bored.

Education and training

The German Shepherd is exceptionally clever. In the ranking of the most intelligent dog breeds he is in third place, right after the Border Collie and the Poodle. Therefore, it is not difficult to educate him and teach him commands. He understands very quickly what you want from him and implements what he has learned after just a few repetitions. Nevertheless, upbringing and training is not something that only “has to be done” once in the puppy age and then you can lean back and relax. Since the German Shepherd tends to have an excessive protective instinct, the owner must constantly make sure that his dog does not cross borders, but regularly practice with him that he adheres to them.


  • easy to educate
  • loves intellectual challenges
  • likes agility and obedience
  • very intelligent
  • good watchdog


  • not a “beginner” dog
  • needs a lot of exercise
  • needs good socialization in puppy age!
  • needs lots of space
  • hairs strong

• Video: Is a German Shepherd the right dog for me? (opens YouTube / new browser tab)

German Shepherd


Although the German Shepherd is considered very loyal and absolutely reliable, he is very suspicious of strangers and other dogs. So that this does not become a problem, of all the dog breeds presented here, most of all the German Shepherd must be socialized very well.

What does “become socialized” mean? Dogs (in this case German shepherds) absolutely and often have to have contact with other puppies and strangers. In this way they learn not to build fear or aggression towards other living beings. These experiences cannot be made up in adulthood – no matter how much love and good training you give him.

German Shepherd

German Shepherd – Photo: Arts Illustrated Studios / Shutterstock


The German Shepherd is very muscular and athletic. The most common fur colors are black, black and beige, black and red, black and silver, and black and brown.


The German Shepherd sheds a lot of hair, which is why you often have to sweep up your hair, but grooming is still easy. It is best to brush your fur two to three times a week so that at least part of the hair gets caught in the brush and does not spread around the apartment.

German Shepherd

German Shepherd – Photo: Sara Corso / Shutterstock


There has been a breed standard for German Shepherds since 1891. After the First World War the dog was renamed because the word “German” was unpopular. So he was first called Alsatian Wolf Dog (Alsatian Wolfhound) and then Alsatian Dog (because it sounded less wild). It wasn’t until 1977 that the German Shepherd got his name again. And where does the name come from? The German Shepherd used to be a sheep herding dog.

Already knew?

In the animation adventure “Bolt – A dog for all cases”, Penny’s “super dog” Bolt is a German shepherd.

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