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German Shepherd Dogs are strong handsome animals with well-proportioned bodies. Their coats usually come in sable, all black or black and tan but their noses are always black. Their muscular bodies are slightly elongated with a light but solid bone structure. Their bushy tails reach almost to their hocks and hang down when the dog is relaxed. There are three varieties of German Shepherd Dogs. They are the rough-coated, the long rough-coated and the long-haired.

Male German Shepherds are typically between 24 and 26 inches (61-66 cm) tall and weigh between 75 and 95 pounds (34-43 kg) when fully grown. Female dogs are about 22 to 24 inches (56-61 cm) tall and weigh about 70 to 90 pounds (32-41 kg). Daily brushing should be given to these dogs and extra care should be given to their dense undercoats. Bathe or use dry shampoo only when it is necessary to avoid skin oil depletion.

German Shepherds are also known as Alsatians and were originally bred as herding dogs. Today they have many responsibilities and make great companions or work dogs.

These dogs are very vigilant and hard working. They can be both loved and feared. Their reserved nature forces humans to win their friendship and trust but after that loyalty becomes very strong. They are very intelligent dogs with a tremendous capacity to learn. German Shepherds love to be near their families but are extremely wary of strangers and have very strong protective instincts. They only bark when necessary and do not like being left alone for long periods of time. Aggression and attacks on people can largely be attributed to poor breeding, handling and improper training. A well-bred dog that has been properly trained will typically do well with children and other family pets. It is very important to have these dogs trained at an early age and to purchase your dog from a reputable breeder. Researching the dog’s lineage is very important in obtaining a good dog. These dogs should be trained while they are still young with firm but loving hands. Use of coercive tactics or showing anger is not effective when training these dogs.

German Shepherds are very intelligent and need tasks to make their lives complete. They are often used as sheepdogs, guard dogs, police dogs, Seeing Eye dogs, and search dogs. Their keen sense of smell can find drugs, intruders, gas leaks, and missing persons. These dogs are active and require vigorous exercise. They can adapt well to urban living with plenty of space to move around. Typically, German Shepherds eat two or three small meals each day instead of one bigger meal.

Some health concerns that face German Shepherds include skin ailments, hip or elbow dysplasia, epilepsy, heart diseases, eye diseases, digestive problems, blood disorders, and flea allergies. Again, it is important to check the breeding lines to see if there are any known hereditary diseases the dog may have. They have a life expectancy of around 13 years.