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German Shepherd


Usually described as canine’s finest all-purpose worker, the German Shepherd is a large, agile dog of noble character. Confident, courageous and smart, this breed is truly a dog lover’s delight.

More Information

The Ultimate Guide to German Shepherds

Key Characteristics Of German Shepherds
How Can I Take Good Care Of A German Shepherd Puppy?
Most Asked German Shepherd Questions
Similar Dog Breeds

Usually described as canine’s finest all-purpose worker, the German Shepherd is a large, agile dog of noble character. Confident, courageous and smart, this breed is truly a dog lover’s delight.


German Shepherd Origins

The German Shepherd is a somewhat recent breed, dating back to the 1890’s. These dogs owe their existence to one legend – Max Von Stephanitz, a dog breeder and a captain of the German cavalry. Stephanitz wanted to develop a well-rounded working dog.

Long before Stephanitz started breeding dogs, farmers in Germany used dogs for herding. In fact, sheepherders would travel for days so that they could breed their female dogs with fine sire.

But as Stephanitz noted, no one had taken any interest in developing these herding dogs to a distinct breed. So upon retiring from military life, he began experimenting with dog breeding.

For months, Stephanitz studied breeding techniques and traveled throughout Germany attending dog shows. It was during one of these shows that he came across an exceptional, wolfish-looking dog.

He bought the dog and named him Hektor Linksrhein. Later, the dog was renamed Horand v Grafeth. Horand’s powerful physique and high intelligence fascinated Stephanitz so much so that he formed a society in its honour.

The ‘Verein fur deutsche Schaferhunde’ was founded specifically to improve on the traits Horand’s descendants.

Stephanitz would later advocate for the use of this dog in military service and police work. This is how German Shepherds came to be used in World War I and II .

During these wars, these dogs served as messengers, sentries and ammunition carriers. To date, these dogs are used by the military and in guarding homesteads.


Key Characteristics of German Shepherds

Are German Shepherds Family-Friendly?They have a calm, caring nature and a strong instinct to protect their owners.
Daily Exercise Needs?
At least an hour of exercise every day. This can include a walk, jog, swim or even a hike.
Common Health Issues & ConsiderationsGerman shepherds are prone to several conditions including:
● Hip dysplasia.
● Degenerative myelopathy.
● Bloat.
● Allergies.
Lifespan10 to 14 years
Nature & Temperament

These dogs are fearless, direct and confident. They are also smart, easy-to-train and fun-loving.
Male: 30 - 40 kg
Female: 22 - 32 kg

60 cm
Suitable EnvironmentBeing a large breed dog, they need ample space to play and exercise.

They are best suited for an environment that has plenty of room and a garden.
GroomingBrush your German shepherd several times during the week to reduce the amount of hair. These dogs shed a lot so daily brushing is recommended.

Other considerations:

● German shepherds are active dogs. They need to be kept busy through playing, exercising or working.

● They tend to be aloof and suspicious of intruders. Owners can prevent this through early socialisation and experiences.

● They make great watchdogs. They look stern and intimidating so they make effective deterrents.

● They should be provided with ample mental stimulation.


How can I take good care of my German Shepherd or German Shepherd Puppy?


The recommended daily intake for a German shepherd is 3 to 4 cups of high-quality dry food. This can be split into two or three meals.

Since these dogs have high energy levels, they need meals that have vital nutrients to sustain their energy requirements. It’s also recommended that you give your dog fresh water throughout the day.


Originally, German Shepherds were bred to help herd flocks in extreme weather. Their medium-length coat fit the job nicely as it protected them from rain and snow.

On the flip side, this breed sheds constantly, which is why they have earned the title ‘German shedders’. These dogs shed more during spring and fall, so they should be brushed and bathed more often then.

As for the rest year, brushing them two to three times per week is enough.

Recommended grooming tips

● Trim their nails every few weeks.

● Regular teeth brushing is also essential to prevent gum disease.

● Check their ears weekly to prevent infection.

● Provide safe dental chew toys and bones, which help to keep their teeth clean.


German Shepherds love challenges. They prefer strenuous activities so long walks and runs are the best form of exercise. They can also take part in ball chasing or Frisbee catching.


The behaviour and response to training differs from one German Shepherd to another. This makes predicting whether this dog breed is easy to train is, a little difficult. The ease of training depends on the end goal.

For instance, German Shepherds trained to be working dogs have intense temperaments. This makes it challenging to train them. But training them for lighter roles is not difficult.

Looking to register as a German Shepherd breeder? Download the RPBA guide on responsible breeding practices.

Most Asked German Shepherd Questions

How much does a German Shepherd cost?

A German Shepherd for sale costs between $500 and $2000 approximately.

Fully-trained German Shepherds for sale are known to cost upwards of $10,000. This price can vary depending on the dog’s health, bloodlines and form of training given.

Do German Shepherd make good townhouse dogs?

They can, but only if you can give them plenty of exercise every day.

Are they a good fit for first-time dog owners?

German shepherds are people-oriented. But, they are best suited for people who are already familiar with their specific needs.

What about prey drive?

With adequate training, these dogs can learn not to chase after smaller animals like cats.

This is general information and should not be relied on as adoption or purchasing advice.

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