Meet the Breed: German Shepherd Dogs

Bernie introduces us to German Shepherds

German Shepherd Dog Breed

Bernie here! I know you humans need help choosing a family dog. I may not have as many opinions as Royal. That’s because I’m thoughtful and I like to listen. So, my contributions to this blog are going to be giving you the scoop on different types of dogs to help your family find the best dog to match your lifestyle. I’m going to interview my four-legged friends and we’ll learn a lot about dogs together.

My first interview is with my best girl friend Mona. I’ve known Mona since I was a wee pup. She is smart and beautiful and has a lot of say about her breed, the German Shepherd Dog.

Bernie: What is your breed and where did your breed originate?
Mona: I am a German Shepherd Dog (GSD) and my breed originated in Germany.

Bernie: Did your breed have a job? If so, what?
Mona: GSDs are herding dogs. Because of their intelligence and willingness to work, they have performed many duties. For, example a GSD named Lucca recently received the canine equivalent of the Victoria Cross metal for her bravery.

Bernie: What are your breed’s favorite things to do?
Mona: Well, that depends upon the individual GSD but living indoors and engaging with their people, having physical and mental activities, going for hikes, swimming, and retrieving balls are common fun activities. Personally, I like to smell things so do scent detection and tracking along with some hiking. If not provided with adequate mental and physical activities, bored GSDs may come up with activities that are less popular with people such as chasing squirrels, barking, and herding the children.

Bernie: Is your breed low, medium, or high energy?
Mona: As with most breeds, the activity level varies among individuals so some are low energy and others are high energy. In general, a GSD will have more energy until maturing around 3 years of age. For that reason adopting an older dog rather than a young puppy is a good choice for some people.

Bernie: How much exercise does your breed require each day to be happy?
Mona: Providing daily mental and physical activities are needed to keep most dogs, including GSDs, happy.

Bernie: Does your breed enjoy learning new things?
Mona: Yes, the GSD is intelligent and enjoys mental stimulation.

Bernie: If a family was thinking about adopting a dog of your breed, what would you want them to know?
Mona: We are a sensitive breed, shed a lot, and want a loving relationship with our families.

Bernie: Is your breed a good match with children? Why/why not?
Mona: Yes, the GSD can be a good match with children. However, no dog should be left alone with young children who may have inappropriate behavior towards dogs.

Bernie: What are your breed’s grooming requirements?
Mona: The GSD has a double-coat and will shed out a lot of undercoat twice a year and some shedding will occur at any time. If a person does not want to see dog hair accumulating in the house, then the GSD needs to be brushed at least once a week. Some GSDs have a long coat and they may get tangles if not brushed out on a regular basis but for GSDs with a standard coat length, grooming is a quick process. Most dogs, including GSDs, will need to have their toe nails trimmed to keep them from growing too long.

Bernie: Does your breed suffer from any health problems? If yes, what?
Mona: Yes, there are possible health problems. Hip dysplasia is one of the common problems. Careful breeding programs can help reduce the likelihood of health problems.

Thanks Mona!


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