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German Shepherd General Appearance:

German Shepherds are one of the most popular breeds in the nation, according to the American Kennel Club — and with good reason. Also known as the GSD or GSD dog, the German Shepherd has a distinct appearance that evokes strength, agility, and alertness. These dogs are longer than they are tall. They typically stand between 22 to 26 inches tall, and their well-balanced build allows them to move nimbly.

German Shepherds have pointed ears and a distinct double coat. Their medium-length fur is dense and straight, and their coats are either tan and black or red and black. Most color varieties will have black body markings, which can look like a classic black saddle or an overall black blanket. More rarely, a GSD dog’s coat may be sable, pure black, pure white, and other, less common variations.

If you’ve ever seen German Shepherd puppies with long hair, that’s another rarity — the long-haired gene is recessive! Long-haired or not, GSD dogs require regular brushing and occasional grooming for their fast-growing nails and large ears.

German Shepherd Temperament:

A well-trained German Shepherd can be a loyal protector and a wonderful companion. This breed is notably confident, curious and courageous, and they are eager to have a purpose. German Shepherds are ideal guard dogs because of their protectiveness and sense of obedience, although German Shepherd puppies require a firm, loving owner to train them properly.

Few dogs are as intelligent as the German Shepherd. Not only will these highly active dogs need plenty of exercise, but they’ll also need mental stimulation, too — which explains why GSD dogs are such excellent working dogs! They are one of the most widely used breeds for scent-work roles, including search and rescue missions and narcotics detection.

German Shepherds tend to be aloof, and they don’t always make immediate friendships. But once you earn their trust, a German Shepherd can be an incredible protector, a loyal companion, and an important part of your family.

German Shepherd Fun Fact:

The first registered German Shepherd dog was named Horand von Grafrath!