German shepherd - breed history and character
The German Shepherd is the most trusted dog in the world. Its versatility begins with the fact that it is of medium-large size, muscular, strong physique, and also it is distinguished by devotion to its owner. She also has well-developed natural qualities: instinct, smell, vision, memory. Dozens of qualities combined in one dog, and they are indispensable both at home and in the service. German shepherds love their home very much, and also gets used to household members. It is easy for them to change the situation, but it is always faithful to their master. This breed is an excellent bodyguard, watchman, guide, rescuer and shepherd.
A German shepherd is a dog whose jaws are considered the strongest of all dogs. Also, this breed is very brave and loyal to its owner, confident and at the same time fearless. This breed was bred specifically to get the perfect dog for business purposes. It should also be noted that dogs of this breed are very intelligent, therefore it is not difficult for them to learn new teams. Because of this, she is the number one dog for the military and the police.
German shepherd breed history
At a time when industry began to develop rapidly in Germany, and cattle breeding began to decline, the need for shepherd dogs gradually began to be lost. A new breed was needed. It was supposed to be a universal service dog, which would become in demand in modern German society.
It is interesting!Breeders Shparvasser and Vakhsmut undertook the business of breeding a new breed. They wanted to create a dog that would have equally guard and official qualities, but at the same time could be a balanced companion animal.
The ancestors of the modern German shepherd were selected representatives of the shepherd breeds: a large Wytenberg and a more miniature Thuringian shepherd dog. At first, the results of the crossing did not fully satisfy the scientists, but in terms of character, certain successes were achieved. The breeders turned out to be balanced, calm dogs, faithful and affectionate with the owners, but wary of strangers. Moreover, this experience turned out to be quite successful also from a commercial point of view. But before the creation of the breed, the German shepherd in its present modern form was still a lot of work.
Later, Colonel Max Emil Frederic von Stefanitz took up the matter.. He acquired a very beautiful puppy and it was this representative who became the official ancestor of the breed, recorded in the stud book. Further work went on relentlessly and already in 1925 in Germany there were about 25,000 lovers of this breed. To improve the quality of the offspring, the most worthy representatives were selected. They were selected not only by their external qualities, but also by nature.
During the First and Second World Wars, dogs showed themselves as real fighters. They were used in mine clearing, for communication, and as security guards, and showed excellent results when searching for wounded soldiers. However, the war affected the breed in a negative way. Too many good dogs were killed, others simply died of starvation. With great effort, the main skeleton was still able to be preserved.
If we talk about the general impression, the thoroughbred representative has medium height with a slightly stretched body and a dry skeleton. Dogs are powerful and have a developed muscle corset. According to standard data, the weight of males varies between 30-40 kg, height - 60-66 cm. Females are slightly smaller and weigh about 22-32 kg with a height of about 55-60 cm.
Dog breed German shepherd: photos
The standard provides breed characteristics as follows:
- Head wedge-shaped with a slightly convex forehead that does not have furrows, is deprived of coarseness and excessive lightness, with an average width in the region between the ears. When viewed from above, you can see a uniform, smooth narrowing of the skull from the ear to the nose. Black lobe.
- Bothjaws dogs are powerful, well developed. A dog’s bite is of the “scissors” type. Muzzle with dry lips that fit snugly and a straight nose.
- Eyes small, almond-shaped, slightly slanting and devoid of bulge. The darker the iris, the better. Light eye color negatively affects the expression of the animal's face.
- The ears They are medium in size and upright. They have the same direction, sharp ends, but breaks or drooping ears are undesirable.
- Neck Germans are quite strong and strong, with developed muscles and have no suspension in the neck. The animal’s back has similar characteristics. The croup is distinguished by its length, slightly subsides, smoothly passing to the beginning of the tail.
- Thoracic torso the dog is characterized by moderate latitude, with a long and pronounced sternum. The ribs have special requirements, they should not be either barrel-shaped or flattened.
- Tail long and ends at the level of the hocks. Its lower part is covered with a longer coat. The position of the tail in a relaxed state is soft, drooping, curved, with movement it is slightly raised, but slightly.
- Frontlimbs are located directly and in parallel. Thanks to the developed muscles, the scapular and shoulder region are tightly attached to the body.
- Paws rounded in shape, tightly assembled, with hard, but devoid of fragility pillows, with dark claws. If the animal has a proportional body, then its movements, respectively, are light and sweeping.
The variety of German shepherd types was simply predetermined by the long-standing origin and long history of the breed. To date, among the types of experts distinguish the following.
- West Germanic. The main tribal species. Classical German shepherd, the most consistent with international standards of this breed.
- East German. Bred after the Second World War in the GDR. It differs from West German relatives by a more powerful addition.
- Eastern European. The result of the post-war work of Soviet breeders. It differs even more than in East German Shepherds by its bone structure, and at the withers it can reach 70 cm.
- Belorussian. On the account of the USSR there is another type of bred shepherd - the Belarusian or the so-called black German shepherd. True, specialists do not include it among the main types of breeds. Belarusian shepherd dogs were bred from crossing German shepherds with a number of breeds characteristic of Russia to give the animal resistance to cold and large dimensions. Dogs were successfully used in the KGB system. Representatives of the breed can reach 90 cm at the withers. These are often dark or black animals, but are found to be pure white or spotted. In other lines, black or white color is considered a sign of non-compliance with breed standards, but for the Belarusian shepherd - this is the norm.
- Longhair. A long-haired German shepherd is another example where dog breeders are "closely" within the framework of standards. As in the case of the Black Shepherd, the recessive gene, which is present in all lines, but appears only in some representatives, is to blame. In the homeland of shepherd dogs, in Germany, smooth-haired representatives of the breed are considered the standard, and other dogs cannot participate in exhibitions. In response, lovers of long-haired pets develop a species called "Old German Long-haired Shepherd", but without official recognition and certain genetic lines for breeding.
- Dwarf. The dwarf German shepherd is also not considered a formally separate line, since significantly smaller sizes are the result of a genetic malfunction, which can affect the animal’s health. But these dogs fully retain the working qualities of the "Germans", protective instincts, learning ability and the ability to get along with children. And this, together with its compact size, makes dwarfs attractive for those who want to keep a dog in the apartment.
Boy or girl
The German Shepherd, regardless of gender, will be a reliable watchman and friend. But there are gender differences in dogs (they are described in the following table), and they should be considered when choosing.
Table - Comparison of the pros and cons of keeping German shepherds of different sexes
|Male||- Often larger and more massive bitches;|
- no estrus;
- with a good pedigree is interesting to breeders;
- mating can occur much more often than for a bitch (every 2-4) months;
- the owner of the dog is not responsible for raising puppies
|- Requires more attention when training, as it may try to “dominate the pack”;|
- more prone to aggression;
- can mark the territory, including in the house;
- may get out of control when meeting with a flowing bitch
|Bitch||- More friendly;|
- attached to the owner;
- better amenable to training;
- the choice of males for knitting is always more than a female
|- Smaller and lighter males;|
- there is estrus;
- an unwanted pregnancy is possible;
- the responsibility for a safe pregnancy and childbirth, as well as caring for puppies, lies with the owners of the bitch
Perfect puppy: breed standards
When choosing a puppy, try to watch him not only in the aviary, but also on a walk. This will allow you to fully appreciate the composition of the future pet, as well as to notice the features of the future character: determination, or vice versa, passivity, curiosity or phlegmatism. Also note the following:
- puppy - (like the place of keeping) should be clean and smell good;
- skin - without irritation and bite marks;
- eyes - should not be watery;
- the coat is not long, since elongation or curls can subsequently become a deviation from breed standards;
- bones - even at a young age, the puppy must have a strong bones;
- shoulders and hips are wide;
- the back is short;
- croup - ideally beveled;
- paws - straight, with a long bend of the knee joint;
- tail - without kinks and rounding.
The ears of puppies of a German shepherd stand between the ages of a month and four, so it is likely that at the time of acquisition your new friend will still be deaf. But the eyes change color from blue to brown already in a month. Please note that the puppy must have a scissor bite with the upper jaw slightly extended forward.
The optimal age for moving a German shepherd to the new owner’s house is one and a half to two months. By this time, the breeder should have given the first vaccinations to the puppy and provide you with information about the date and vaccine used. In total, German shepherds are vaccinated against seven diseases, including from:
- infectious hepatitis;
- parvovirus infection;
- arbovirus enteritis;
- carnivore plague;
During the first year of life, the puppy is vaccinated three times. Vaccination is best done in specialized clinics under the supervision of specialists.
German Shepherd Care
GERMAN SHEPHERD Dogs are sports dogs and they need significant physical exertion. A large running yard and daily walks keep the German Shepherds in good shape. Their intelligence requires constant mental exertion, so training for such dogs is really necessary. In addition, it provides them with sufficient physical activity.
German shepherd in the apartment
If you want to have such a pet for apartment keeping, you need to be prepared for the appearance of wool on carpets and furniture. And this does not change, even if you comb the dog every day. Assistants in this matter will be a powerful vacuum cleaner with vacuum suction.
When choosing a place for a new family member, one should take into account the dimensions of an adult dog, and they are by no means compact. The area should be enough so that the dog can calmly stretch out. And the mattress or bed should correspond to similar sizes.
Since the watchdog instincts are highly developed in the shepherd, the entire room and doorways should be viewed from its place. A blind corner or drape is not suitable in this case.
Proper feeding All types of shepherds most prefer meat. However, it is important to regularly change the pet’s diet so that his body receives all the necessary trace elements. So, the daily norm for an adult dog must include: 80 g of meat, 120 g of oat or wheat grits, 50 g of potatoes or other vegetables, 20 g of animal fat, 10 g of table salt and 5 g of fish meal. In addition, broths and vitamin supplements are allowed.
Life span On average, German shepherds live 12-14 years. Subject to recommendations regarding a balanced diet, regular walks, timely treatment, the dog's lifespan can be increased to 16-17 years.
Breed standard Weight and height The weight of an adult male must be between 35 and 40 kg, height at the withers 63 - 65 cm. The female weighs less - from 25 to 32 kg and reaches 60 cm at the withers. Color The color of the “Germans” varies greatly : from weakened to darkened zonar, black and black or tan color. The most common are black and fawn. Wool A German shepherd can have three types of hair: short stiff, long stiff, long and soft. It is not strange, but representatives with long hair do not tolerate cold weather, so their maintenance on the street will be problematic.
Training and raising a German shepherd
The German Shepherd has long been among the three most intelligent dog breeds. In the minds of millions of people, this statement is further strengthened by the works of cinema, in which smart, obedient and ideally trained "Germans" are often involved. But still, to get a dog showing the wonders of intelligence, it’s not enough just to buy a thoroughbred puppy, you also need to find time for a systematic education.
If you want a dog “like in a movie”, then simply teaching teams at home will hardly help you. You will need to undergo vocational training in one or even several training courses. It all depends on the purpose of the acquisition of the dog. Recently, such courses as “Guided City Dog” and “Protective City Dog”, “Companion Dog” have been very popular. Of course, you need to start training with a general training course. To perform professional service activities, dogs are additionally trained in various working methods, for example, guard duty or search.
In any case, the German shepherd is distinguished by natural quick wit, ability to work and a desire to learn, so do not miss the opportunity to develop its natural abilities.
Choosing a puppy of a shepherd, for a start it is necessary to determine the sex of the dog. So, if you plan to engage in pedigree breeding, it is better to opt for females with a good pedigree.
Taking a dog, you protect yourself from the problems associated with the birth of puppies. However, males are more difficult to train. For the quality training of the dog you will have to show restraint and firmness of character, and sometimes use physical force, as they are more aggressive and more prone to independence than bitches.
Among the positive qualities of males can be noted courage, endurance, dedication. Bitches, according to dog handlers, have a higher intelligence, more attached to the house and owners.For beginner dog breeders, experts recommend choosing a bitch.
Having decided on the floor, go for a puppy to the nursery or to professional breeders. So you get a guarantee that the dog will be thoroughbred and healthy. Ask the seller when the puppy's mother was last puppy. According to European standards, if less than a year has passed between the previous and last litter, the offspring are rejected, as the bitch does not have time to fully recover, which leads to weakening of the litter.
Next, carefully inspect the puppy. The GERMAN SHEPHERD PUPPY must not have hairs in the ears, light or different-colored eyes, curvature of the extremities, abnormal bite (correct scissor bite), hernia. Until the first month of life, the puppies eyes are a little bluish. This is considered the norm and passes with age. In puppies under the age of 3-3.5 months, the tips of the ears should not be clearly standing. There should be no bumps or kinks on the tail.
For puppies from 6 to 8 weeks oldl William Campbell has developed a test that allows you to accurately determine the nature of the dog. This technique has been successfully used for more than 8 years. This test will help you make the right choice.
Disease and treatment
In general, German shepherds are considered a physically strong, hardy and healthy breed. Among the main health risks of the German Shepherd: infection with an infection or virus, an attack of parasites from the outside or the manifestation of genetic diseases. As for the first risk group, your vaccines will protect your pet from her in a timely manner and your attention to the state of his health.
From parasites, especially various ticks, it is much more difficult to protect itself. In fact, the most effective way of prevention remains a thorough examination of the pet after walking. In the warm season, when the activity of ticks is in full swing, it may be worth shifting the walking route away from forest stands. Symptoms of a parasite attack include itching, problems with the coat, the appearance of small ulcers on the dog’s body, and in some cases, vomiting and diarrhea. In case of infection, the veterinarian should be shown to the pet immediately.
In addition, do not forget about the regular preventive treatment for fleas and worms (carried out twice a year).
Among the inherited genetic diseases, doctors pay special attention to hip dysplasia and elbow dysplasia. Both diseases are pathologies of bone tissue and are accompanied by pain and lameness in animals. At an early age, symptoms may not be noticeable, but with an increase in body weight, the disease will manifest itself. You can diagnose dysplasia after the formation of the skeleton in 10-12 months.
According to the owners of the shepherd dogs, it is worth paying attention to the appearance and behavior of the dog. If she is active, eats well and meets her needs regularly, the animal is most likely healthy. Also on the condition of the dog can tell her coat, eyes and ears. In case of lethargy and apathy, skin rash or purulent discharge from the eyes and ears, diarrhea or vomiting, consult your veterinarian.
The choice of a name for a pet is no less significant than the selection of food and adherence to a walking schedule. To thoroughbred puppies, after inspection and confirmation of compliance with breed standards, the name is assigned by the breeder. But often it is used only for documents, and for direct communication with the animal, the owner chooses something to his taste. Among Internet users, names associated with history, mythology and astrology, aristocratic titles and the color of the dog are popular. Foreign names and surnames of celebrities, movie heroes are also not uncommon.
The most popular nicknames for a German shepherd - "boy"
The most popular nicknames for a German shepherd are “girls”:
When choosing a pet’s name, you should remember that you will have to turn to it in crowded places, so it’s better to avoid the common human names in your area, as well as expressive turns that can be perceived by others. Also, the dog should not be given a name consonant with the commands.