When you work around pets, you often run into dog breeds (and cats, of course) that touch your heart and the German Shepherd is one of those dogs! What’s not to love? They are friendly, intelligent, versatile, protective, loyal and hard-working. If you’re considering welcoming a German Shepherd into your life, here’s what you should know.

Below are 6 common questions and answers from Thomas Labs about German Shepherds:

1: What is a German Shepherd like and what can you expect?

German Shepherd dogs (GSDs) are loving and loyal. They are strong, courageous, hard-working and clever. They have tenacity and are protective. GSDs are often obedient guide dogs for the disabled and service dogs of police K-9 and search-and-rescue units. According to the AKC, German Shepherds are the second most popular dog breed out of 193.

2: How big are GSDs?

According to the American Kennel Club, a male will be between 24 to 26 inches and a female German Shepherd will grow 22 to 24 inches. Male GSDs will weigh 65-90 pounds and females 50-70 pounds. Their life expectancy is 7 to 10 years.

3: What are common requirements for a German Shepherd?  

GSDs need regular exercise for their mind and body because they are built to be active and athletic. German Shepherds thrive on helping their owners, do well with reward-based training and live their best lives being active, helpful and energetic. They are not couch potatoes but do love the security of being indoors with the family they love and protect.

4: Are German Shepherds good family pets?

German Shepherds will be gentle family pets and steadfast guardians. According to the AKC, they have a certain aloofness that does not lend itself to immediate and indiscriminate friendships.1 German Shepherds love children and make great family dogs.

5: What are GSDs grooming requirements?

  • A GSDs’ hair is easy to maintain. Try a quick brushing every few days to help remove loose hair. They do shed more profusely once or twice a year, which requires more brushing and care. German Shepherd dogs have a medium-length, double coat consisting of a dense outer coat with a softer undercoat.
  • Occasional bathing is required.
  • Owners should trim or grind their nails every month if they are not worn down naturally, to avoid pain and other issues.

6: Are German Shepherds healthy?  

Most German Shepherds are healthy dogs, but as with any dog breed, they may face some health issues sometime in their lives. German Shepherds have notably sensitive digestive systems, which may lead to infrequent digestive upset. Working regularly with a veterinarian is the best way to make sure that your dog is comfortable and not experiencing any issues outside of the occasional stomachache.2

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German Shepherds are the second most popular breed in the United States for a reason. They are loving, loyal and wonderful dogs to have in your life! Do you have a German Shepherd dog? Share a picture of him or her with us on our pet-lovin’ Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/thomaslabspets/.

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Sources used for this article:

1 American Kennel Club, https://www.akc.org/dog-breeds/german-shepherd-dog/

2 Chewy.com, https://www.chewy.com/petcentral/dog-breeds-german-shepherd-temperament/