The German Shepherd Dog, sometimes abbreviated to GSD, has a large build and intimidating appearance, which make it an excellent guard dog. The dog is loyal and protective of its owner. They can be aggressive towards other dogs, especially if the owner is present. They feel they must defend the owner from other dogs, and other people.
Before buying a puppy, remember that it takes time and commitment to keep the dog in shape. The coat benefits from regular brushing. When choosing a puppy, ask to see the parents' Hip Dysplasia certificates as this condition could be hereditary.
German Shepherds need a big garden for exercise, and enjoy long walks. Train the puppy to walk on a lead. Some dogs have a habit of "shepherding" their owners by circling round them constantly, and you don't want the lead wound round your legs! We can picture the GSD shepherding livestock, and protecting them against predators.
This breed has been favoured by the Police as their alertness and high intelligence makes them suitable for police work like sniffing for drugs, and chasing and attacking criminals. Do train your puppy from an early age.
The back slopes downwards towards the tail.
The male German Shepherd Dog grows to 63 cm, and a female 58 cm at the shoulder. The colour is black and tan.
In South Africa, Afrikaans folk sometimes call the breed, "Duitse Herders Hond."
Other folk call them "Alsatians" but this is not their real name. The breed is German Shepherd Dog, but during the 2nd World War in Britain they changed the name to Alsatian to avoid the problem about a dog being called after the Nazi regime. After the war the name tended to stick hence many to this day still call them Alsatians. (Or Alsations, to mis-spell it!)
White shepherds are called "White Swiss Shepherd Dogs." They are not white alsatians!