German Shepherd


The German Shepherd is a strong breed with very distinct characteristics. Its frame is longer than it is tall, but in total composition it is well proportionate. The neck is thick and muscular. The back slopes down slightly to the tail, which hangs loosely past the hocks. The head is in balance with the rest of the body. It is well known for is ears that are set high on the head and are pointed, giving it a regal appearance. The breed’s coat is straight, but coarse. There is a variance in the texture of the coat. It can also be long.


The German Shepherd was bred as a working dog and continues to fulfill this role. Its primary traits are related to its breeding purposes and include obedience, devotion, courage, and confident. In addition to these traits, the breed is also affectionate and energetic. It is protective and makes an excellent guard dog. It has the misfortune of being associated with aggressive behavior. As long as the breed is trained by a professional or someone who understands it, aggression should not be a concern. Training the breed early is recommended.

Height and Weight

Male height: 23-26 inchesMale weight: 75-85 poundsFemale height: 22-24 inchesFemale weight: 70-80 pounds

Health Problems

Despite its well-formed body, the German Shepherd is associated with some major health problems. The breed may develop hip or elbow dysplasia, panosteitis, or von Willebrand’s Disease (vWD). In addition, the breed is susceptible to skin allergies.

Ideal Living Conditions

Indoor and outdoor living conditions are acceptable for the German Shepherd. Despite its size, the breed can easily adapt to living indoors. If the environment is a small space, such as an apartment, the breed will require more exercise, since it has a tendency to become inactive indoors.


Very few, if any, forms of exercise are too challenging for the German Shepherd. The breed has a high level of energy and is able to endure strenuous exercise for a long period of time. If the dog spends most of its time outdoors in a wide-open area it should obtain most of the exercise it needs. Otherwise, the breed will require daily opportunities of physical exercise.

Life Expectancy

The average life expectancy of the German Shepherd is 13 years.

Litter Size

The German Shepherd typically has 5-10 puppies.


For most breeds the coat only sheds a couple of times each year. The German Shepherd sheds all year long: heavily twice a year and lightly the remainder of the time. Daily brushing is a must for this breed. More brushing is usually necessary when the coat is shedding. An occasional bath is recommended.






Brownish-black, tan and black, or solid black are the acceptable colors for the German Shepherd.