German Shepherd dog helpful information 2024

The German Shepherd is the result of methodical breeding carried out on different varieties of shepherd dogs from central and southern Germany, which aimed at creating a highly qualified utility dog, an animal with high physical capacity and good temperament.

The breeding activity carried out by the first breed association in 1899 outlined the direction of a systematic selection aimed at fixing precise breed parameters in the new generations. The introduction of defined standards became necessary as a result of the growing production of specimens that disregarded society’s directives on breeding.

On a morphological level, there has been a functional development of the breed, a change that has made it more suitable for different fields of use. It is a versatile utility, herding, and service animal (i.e. suitable for herd management, driving for the blind, rescue, and so on), endowed with such a sensitive sense of smell that it can smell odorless substances and bury human bodies.

Today the standard dimensions of the breed have undergone some variations: the average height at withers for males varies from 62 cm to 68 cm and the weight varies from 30 kg to 45 kg; the average height at withers for females varies from 55 cm to 63 cm and the weight varies from 22 kg to 36 kg.

Profile of two separate breeds

At the end of the Second World War, the selection of the German Shepherd reflected the developments of the historical period characterized by the presence of two economic-political blocs.

In the Western bloc, breeders chose animals that were more and more commercially attractive, often lacking the standard requirements, in the face of increasing demand.

In the Eastern bloc, breeding concentrated on a selection aimed solely at work (police, search and rescue dogs): dry and muscular body, heavy bone structure, massive head, and dark pigmentation (this is how the so-called German Shepherd “gray” was born, that is a specimen with strong character, big head and long muzzle).

In the ’70s, this division led to the creation of two types of breeds: beauty dogs and working dogs. The selection led to the creation of specimens with different appearances: Black German Shepherd, Black German Shepherd, and Grey German Shepherd (the latter varieties were chosen based on the character qualities and morphological traits proper to the dog breed).

German Shepherd: Breed Characteristics

The German Shepherd is a dog with a docile, patient, and vigilant character. The family context of belonging must be able to manage the character of the German Shepherd, harmonizing it synergistically to allow the innate qualities of the specimen to develop to the fullest: the German Shepherd must be calm, self-confident, attentive, and docile; it must be brave, strong and instinctively ready to fight.


The German Shepherd puppy is a tender puppy that is already quite tall, strong, and muscular. Adopting a German Shepherd puppy must be a wise choice. From the first months of life, the German Shepherd needs to socialize with other dogs, animals, and people. The family that adopts a puppy must be ready to guarantee its perfect integration and to immediately clarify its role and hierarchical position: otherwise, behavioral anomalies could be determined (prevarication, insistent biting, expansiveness, and the like) which need to be remedied adequately and immediately (relying on training tutors, behaviorists or training camps instead of reiterating small acts of coercion aimed at making it submissive and fearful).


A balanced diet adapted to the needs of the puppy starts a healthy and harmonious growth. Up to four months it is important to distribute a daily ration in 3 meals to pass to 2 up to one year of age and then to one daily meal.

It is advisable to feed it wet or dry meals studied for its needs. Being an essentially carnivorous animal, the German Shepherd needs a specific diet, different nutrition from human nutrition. The German Shepherd’s diet does not need to be varied, except for the appearance of particular problems or intolerances related to nutrition.

Water always available, regular and specially designed nutrition, and food available only for a short time (for regular meals) are necessary guidelines to ensure the physical well-being of a German Shepherd.


Frequent washing is not required, although at the end of the winter season it would be advisable to cleanse and refresh the animal’s skin with specific, clinically tested products.

In any case, the coat of the German Shepherd must be combed and brushed daily, preferably alternating comb and brush.


From a genetic point of view, the most common pathologies in the German Shepherd are: congenital dysplasia of the hip and elbow, degenerative myelopathy, problems of the lumbar spine or the final part of the dorsal spine, disorder of the skin-coat complex and pathogenic events.

The German Shepherd puppy must be vaccinated after 60 days from birth (period in which the antibodies transmitted through the mother’s milk diminish) and must receive a booster vaccination 15/20 days after the first vaccination and subsequently from year to year. Among the indispensable vaccines, there are those against distemper, hepatitis, leptospirosis, and gastroenteritis caused by parvovirus. In this sense also the worming (useful to free the dog’s intestine from parasites present in the stomach) is a necessary practice.


Head The head seen from above must be wedge-shaped, proportionate to the size of the body, and wide between the ears. The width and length of the skull must coincide (in males it is tolerated to slightly exceed the limit). The forehead, slightly convex, must have a median groove just mentioned. The straight nasal cane seems to follow the line of extension of the forehead. The jaw must be firm.

Eyes Almond-shaped, slanted, and non-protruding eyes reveal a vital, intelligent, and proud expression.
Ears Medium-sized, triangular-shaped ears should be straight and pointing forward.

Mouth The dog’s teeth must be scissor-like, that is, the incisors must come together in a scissor pattern. The dental apparatus must be well developed so that the teeth can find a place in the depth of the gums.
Neck The neck, strong and sturdy, rises in a state of excitement while it lowers during the trot.

Trunk The length of the trunk must exceed the measurement of the withers. The dorsal line that descends from the withers to the croup must be solid and regular, without any alterations that could hinder its course.
Tail The tail, thick and hairy, reaches almost to the hock and must not protrude beyond the middle of the rear metatarsus.
Forelimbs The forelimbs are straight and parallel to each other. Their length must exceed the depth of the chest.

Hind limbs The hind limbs are strong, muscular, and able to provide a consistent forward thrust during movement.
Feet The feet should be slightly arched, well-closed, and gathered. The soles of the feet have thickened pads of dark-colored skin.
Coat and Color The most common are short-haired German Shepherds, which are usually black with beige undertones. There are also specimens of long-haired German Shepherds, whose coloring varies from reddish to brownish, to gray, to black, up to the very fine German Shepherds completely white.

2 thoughts on “German Shepherd dog helpful information 2024”

Leave a Comment