German Shepherd Dog

Breed stats

Breed group Pastoral Size Large Life span Over 10 Years Exercise More than an hour per day Grooming More than once a week Coat length Short Coat sheds? Yes
Given consistent, firm training, the German Shepherd Dog, or GSD, can turn his paw to pretty much anything.

They are balanced, muscular and very strong with long, pointed ears and a bushy tail. There are three coat types, the most common double coat, the plush coat, and the longhaired coat. All of these coat types appear fairly frequently, they come in degrees of thickness but all are quite soft and come in shades of black and tan, black, white and sable.

The name tells us everything about this dog's history: originally a working farm dog from Germany, but they have proved invaluable in police work, the armed forces and many other fields.

German Shepherds are fearless, loyal, eager to learn, very intelligent and have a steady temperament. They are highly skilled as a working dog and can be trained for a huge range of jobs as well as activities such as obedience and flyball. They bond closely with a family but can be wary of strangers, they can be trained to get on well with other animals. They need lots of opportunities for physical and mental exercise.

They need regular grooming but are likely to shed constantly despite this. There are some known hereditary diseases such as hip and elbow dysplasia, blood disorders, digestive problems, bloat, epilepsy, eczema, keratitis, dwarfism and flea allergies.

Watch our videos about some of the dog breeds in the Pastoral group.