Popularly known as (GSD), The German Shepherd Dog which was at one point referred to as the Alsatian is a very popular dog breed around the world.
History of the GSD
This dog breed is derived from a number of European dogs. Originally, it was used for herding and guarding sheep. In the late 1800, the GSD was developed by the German army with the intention of using it as a military dog. They went ahead to use it in the First World War here it was tasked with searching for wounded soldiers as well as in dispatching carriers. The Germans also relied on the German shepherd dogs as silent patrol dogs.
After seeing the success of this dog during the First World War in Germany, British borrowed a leaf and the German Shepherd Dog was introduced to them and to the USA by soldiers who were on their way home. The British gave the dog an alternative name of Alsatian which was originally a name in a small town in France known as Alsace. The British changed to this name because they felt the name German had some sort of negative association which they believed would harm this breed’s popularity.
The UK Kennel Club had no problem registering the breed which had by now acquired the name Alsatian Wolf Dog. Come 1919, two clubs in the UK were formed to support this dog breed: They were known as the Alsatian League and the Alsatian Wolf Dog Club but one year later, the clubs rebranded and dropped the name “wolf”.
In 1977, lover of this dog successfully campaigned for the breed to be renamed the German shepherd. The UK Kennel Club this to happen and from then hence forth, it has been known as such.
Characteristics of the German Shepherd Dog
This dog has a broad head with a sharp muzzle and erect ears. The dog’s body is muscular and it’s characterized by a broad straight back. Its chest is deep and it has a slightly curved tail hanging down. The dog’s coat normally has a thick undercoat with a flat outer coat. It is common to find some that are short coated while others are long coated. Although there are few cases of white GSD, their usual color is black with tan.
German Shepherd Dog Height
The normal height of a GSD is German Shepherd Dog is 22 to 26 inches. This is from the ground going all the way to the top of the shoulder.
German Shepherd Dog Temperament
The GSD is one of the strongest dogs known to man. It is full of life, has great strength, highly intelligent, fearless, agile, full of confident, very loyal, protective and highly reliable. Unfortunately, there has been massive over production of these breed which has resulted to varying characteristics with some of these dogs becoming highly temperament and others very nervous. Ensure you only get a GSD from a reputable breeder.
Most of the well-bred GSD’s are quite friendly, confident and they are good companions to human beings. They are highly intelligent and easily trainable. Although it makes a good family pet, they are commonly used by police or by search and rescue teams. Other people use the as Guide Dogs for the Blind, guard dogs and are preferred due to their territorial nature.
Health of the German Shepherd Dog
Just like other dogs, the German Shepherd Dogs is prone to some diseases like skin disease, the hip dysplasia, congenital heart disease and Panosteitis (a fatal condition that inflames the long bones)
Lifespan of the German Shepherd Dog
The average lifespan of the GSD ranges from 12 to 13 years.