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Dog Breed Spotlight: German Shepherd

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German Shepherds originated in 1899 in Karlsruhe, Germany.  Captain Max Von Stephanitz bred together older breeds of herding and farm dogs to create the first German Shepherds. The first German Shepherd was exhibited in the U.S. in 1907.

German Shepherds became extremely popular in the U.S. following World War I when two outstanding representatives of the breed were brought to the country from Germany. First Strongheart and then Rin Tin Tin stole the imaginations of movie goers with their exciting exploits in films. The popularity of the breed skyrocketed.

German Shepherds excel at guard dog and police work. They are always in demand by police departments and are used for any kind of work that requires a good nose — search and rescue, arson detection,  and drug detection. They also make exception dogs for the blind. If service and devotion are required, the German Shepherd is always a good choice.

German Shepherds temperament should be direct and fearless but not hostile. They should be self-confident but also a little aloof with people they don’t know. A German Shepherd doesn’t fawn over strangers. A German Shepherd who is timid or nervous is not a good example of the breed.

Males should be 24-26 inches tall at the top of the shoulder blade. Females should be 22-24 inches tall.

The courage and intelligence of the German Shepherd have made him a natural for many kinds of training. He learns quickly and should be able to do most anything you want to teach him. German Shepherds are devoted to their owners and their families. It is not surprising that these brave, rugged dogs have become one of the most popular breeds in the world.


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