All About German Shepherds
Lifespan: 10 to 14 years
Activity Level: High
Coat: Short, smooth, very dense
Temperament: Friendly, outgoing, can be fiercely protective
Information / Facts: The German Shepherd Dog, or GSD, is one of the newer breeds of dogs, and traces its bloodlines back to around the turn of the 20th century. The German Shepherd is a herding dog, as you may have gathered from its name. The German Shepherd Dog is also highly intelligent and picks up new tasks with ease. The high level of intelligence and strong work ethic makes the German Shepherd an obvious choice for police and military work, agility competitions and other physically and mentally demanding jobs. The German Shepherd is highly recognizable thanks to its black saddle on a tan, brown or cream-colored coat. All-black and all-white GSDs are out there, but are very rare. They still have the characteristic saddle, but it is a shade off the rest of the coat and can be nearly impossible to see. The GSD also has tall, pointed ears and a double coat that was bred into the breed to protect the dogs from harsh winters.
Pros: The German Shepherd Dog is a great dog to have around if you feel the need for protection. This dog will defend you to no end. However, the GSD is very high-energy and needs a lot of exercise. One daily walk is necessary; two are better.
Cons: If you don't have a fenced yard, make sure you know where a good, secure dog park is so your GSD can run. GSDs also like to play and chew, so make sure you have plenty of doggie chew toys on hand to keep your dog's jaws busy. GSDs are gentle and loving with children, but their size may be intimidating, so they may not be the best choice for families with tiny ones. Likewise, if you lead a sedentary lifestyle and want a dog that will relax all day, the GSD is probably not a good match for your lifestyle.