German Shepherd Dog Facts and Information

German Shepherds Dog or GSD is a type of dog breed that initially originated from Germany in 1899. These dogs are called Deutscher Schäferhund in German and Ireland and England, and they are generally known as Alsatians.

German Shepherds are also identified in some other names such as:

  • GSD
  • Berger
  • Allemand
  • DSH
  • Shepherd
  • Wolf Dog
  • Schäferhund

The German Shepherds are even-tempered, and their size can be medium to large. Their demeanor characteristics include being alert, valiant, confident, inquisitive, intelligent, steadfast, submissive, and attentive. They’re incredibly protective especially when it comes to the members of their family.

Numerous individuals feel that male German Shepherds are simpler to train and more loving and affectionate. Females are increasingly more defensive of their puppies and their owners. They are likewise viewed as more forceful or aggressive, yet they tolerate children and strangers more effectively than the male GSD.

Is a German Shepherd a good family dog?


  • Active and Curious

German Shepherds are genuinely dynamic dogs and very confident with an overpowering desire to have a purpose and learn. Their common interest and curiosity make this dog breed perfect and most reliable guard dogs.

German Shepherd is a standout amongst the most regularly utilized breeds for a full scope of jobs and roles that require scent works including explosive detection, rescue operations, narcotics detection, cadaver searching, accelerant detection and more.

They are a superb choice for these sorts of work because of their extreme sense of smell and furthermore because they can function well regardless of distractions.

  • Intelligence

German Shepherds were explicitly bred for their impressive intelligence, a characteristic for which they are presently famous. In a book entitled “The Intelligence of Dogs” authored by Stanley Coren ranked this dog breed third for their intelligence behind Poodles and Border Collies.

He found that they could learn basic tasks after just five repetitions and complied with the first command given 95% of the time. This attribute makes the breed desirable just like the police, search and rescue and guard dogs as they can rapidly learn different tasks and translate and interpret directions much better than other dog breeds.

  • Temperament
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German Shepherds are reasonably dynamic canines and are depicted in breed guidelines as self-assured. The breed is set apart by an eagerness to have their purpose and willingness to observe and learn as mentioned above.

German shepherds are curious which makes them phenomenal guard dogs and make this breed appropriate for hunt missions. They can end up over-defensive of their territory and family, particularly if not mingled correctly. They’re not inclined to be quick companions or friends with strangers.

German Shepherds are exceedingly wise and obedient and protective of their masters or owners.

Common Physical Characteristics of German Shepherds


This favorite breed of dog has a long muzzle that is square-cut with robust jaws, black nose, and domed forehead. Their eyes are medium-sized and dark colored with that confident, enthusiastic, and very savvy look that they are widely known for.

These dogs have long necks which they raise when feeling excited and bring down when they move fast. Their ears stand erect and are genuinely expansive. They are parallel and open in front. However, they’re commonly pulled back when the German Shepherd is moving. Also, to wrap things up, German Shepherds have a bushy tail.

German Shepherd Coats and Colors

German Shepherds come in different colors such as:

  • Sable
  • Black and silver
  • Red and Black
  • Black and Gold
  • Black

Majority of color varieties have black markings on the body and masks. These also vary from the classic saddle to overall black blankets. Color variations that are less common are sable, liver, pure white, and pure black varieties.

All German Shepherds have a 2-layered coat that is quite dense and have a thick undercoat. There are two coat variants as well which are long and medium. The long coat seems rare since this includes recessive genes.

The Lifespan of German Shepherds


As a general rule, smaller dogs tend to live longer than the larger dogs. The truth is, a recent veterinary analysis records showed that dogs weighing less than 20 pounds enjoy an 11-year average lifespan while German Shepherds are weighing over 90 pounds have an 8-year lifespan.

Some experts said that the lifespan of German Shepherds is about 19-13 years. Through the years, numerous German Shepherds successfully managed to live their way beyond their 15th birthday.

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Common Health Problems

The length of your dog’s life is reliant on how healthy the dog is. Moreover, they can likewise have a few common medical problems, including:

Healthy German Shepherds typically live well to their teens and this is good news to their owners since just the mere thought of living without your GSD is very difficult. These recent years, particular haphazard GSD breeding practices have been the causes of hereditary diseases such as:

  • Epilepsy
  • Blood Disorders
  • Dwarfism
  • Chronic Eczema
  • Elbow and Hip Dysplasia
  • Cornea Inflammation
  • Flea Allergies
  • Arthritis
  • Hearing Loss
  • Diabetes
  • Weight Gain
  • Vision Loss
  • Degenerative Myelopathy

Unfortunately, these health problems can shorten the lifespan of German Shepherds. Regular checkups and quick responses help in discovering potential issues and treating them before they turn out severe.

Some problems might be unavoidable, but this does not mean that they cannot be managed in a manner that would allow more fulfilling and longer life.

More about the Life Expectancy of German Shepherds


Taking time to understand the lifespan of German Shepherd is imperative when taking care of this dog. However, the tough question is, how long do German Shepherds live? These dogs cannot stay with you forever.

Therefore, it helps to understand the average expectancy of German Shepherd. There are lots of resources available both online and offline so you can gain clearer insights about the life expectancy of this particular dog breed, the different life cycle stages and other factors that might influence a premature death or longer life. However, the average lifespan of GSD is 10-13 years.

Take a Look at the Life Cycle of German Shepherds to Get a Clear Idea of their Old Age
The German Shepherd Puppies reach adolescence at two years old. Their hormones take control as sexual development and maturity happen, and this is actually when the dog owners notice behavioral problems.

Now, they are viewed as equivalent to 15-year-old that gives you a quick thought of what’s in store and what to expect. Fortunately, this lasts about one year before the dog reaches maturity.

The age of German shepherd is very different from that of human maturing and aging, and it isn’t right to work on the old standard of doggy years. It is believed that German Shepherd Dog ages seven years for each human year.

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However, this relies on the dog breed. If this is true for a GSD life expectancy, these dogs will feel like a 70-year-old at the age of 10.

A progressively accurate scale recommends that they reached retirement age at 12 and might likely live longer with the proper care. By 9, they are starting to back off as middle age tends to take over.

Are There Ways to Prolong the Lifespan of German Shepherd?


It has been found out that the lifespan of German Shepherd is dependent on the well-being and health of the dog. If given the proper care and pampering, a German Shepherd can live longer than the average of life expectancy of 13 years old while other dogs suffer from common health problems and may not even reach the age of ten.

Day to day well-being and right care of German Shepherd Dog play a crucial role in determining life expectancy. A healthy and fit dog with the proper exercise routine and a healthy diet are likely to stick around than GSD that does not get the right and enough exercise or chance to remain slim.

These dogs also need lots of room to walk and run around to suit their abilities and diet which adapts to their time. There are many different needs for every German Shepherd lifecycle stages.

You should pay attention to minerals and formulas to help prevent some issues mentioned above. If you take the effort to take care of your GSD, expect your pet dog to live longer.

German Shepherd dog breed characteristics

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