German Shepherd

German Shepherd
German Shepherd pictures
German Shepherd suitability

In my own words


Good day to you (or Guten Tag, as we German Shepherds would say). I am so pleased to meet you, because I am just longing to find owners (even one will do!) that I can look after.

I regard my owners and their family as my pack, so I would appreciate being involved with everything you do. The more games and tasks you can give me to do the happier I will be. I enjoy plenty of exercise, and playing “fetch”, chasing games and hide-and-seek are my idea of heaven. No wonder I am used so much by the Police and the Search & Rescue people!

I take pride in my appearance and enjoy being groomed, otherwise I will shed my coat and you will have a very furry house. Sorry!

By the way, I don’t bark much, unless I feel you need to know there’s a stranger at the door, and though I may appear big and fierce, look into my beautiful brown eyes and you’ll see what a softy I am (but don’t tell anyone – it will be our secret).

My ideal owner(s)


Someone with lots of energy, who will teach me stuff and play with me.

An active family with children I can play with and look after.

People who are natural leaders.

Please remember, I need to be treated with authority by everyone in the family, otherwise I tend to forget my manners.

What they say about me


Handsome and sturdy

Intelligent and eager to please

Loyal, obedient and protective


Strong willed and fearless


Please read on, to find out more about me, and whether I will be someone you can be happy with for the next 12 years!

Is this German Shepherd for you?

Test your knowledge about the German Shepherd

Information essential about the German Shepherd


Kennel Club Group:




Large: Male 24” (63cm) to shoulder, Female 22 ½” (58cm), weight 44 – 80 lb (22 – 40kg)



One of  the most popular breeds of dog in the world.

Breed History:

Originating in Germany, German Shepherd dogs were used to herd and guard sheep. Eventually, after much cross breeding of “good” types, the modern German Shepherd Dog (GSD) was standardised in 1899 and registered with the Kennel Club in 1919. Because of their herding and guarding instincts, they have been used extensively and successfully as Police Dogs, and for guard duties. Their intelligence and good looks have led them into the world of film acting, notable characters being Rin Tin Tin and Strongheart. Their powerful scenting ability has also led them to be used in Search and Rescue operations. Because of their strong bonding instincts, they make excellent family dogs



Highly intelligent and alert, your German Shepherd is a loyal and easy going companion provided he is given plenty to occupy that lively mind. Most intelligent of the large breeds, GSD’s can learn a task within 5 repetitions. Maturing at around three years, training and socialisation requires time and patience. Youngsters can be boisterous, so all that energy needs to be channelled to avoid aggression. Your German Shepherd will love to go jogging with you, and will delight in learning tricks, taking part in Dog Agility contests and playing with as well as protecting (and even herding!) your children. In short, your well bred German Shepherd will protect you and yours with all his heart and soul, and be your best friend too.



Highly active, self assured, happy in himself and loves to learn and to have a purpose in life. Your German Shepherd is loyal and bonds well with people he knows, including children. GSDs can be stand-offish with strangers, and can become over-protective of their family and territory, but careful socialisation can avoid this. They hate being on their own for too long, and can become destructive, chewing furniture or digging up your garden, if bored and lonely, or under-occupied.


A good German Shepherd should have great presence, a look of pride and nobility. The body should be slightly longer than tall, sturdy but lean. The neck should slope to muscular shoulders, strong hind legs and a bushy tail. The head should be slightly convex with a long, square muzzle, ears pointed and erect, eyes almond shaped and fairly deep set with a calm, friendly expression. Note: extreme sloping of the back and “legs out behind”, seen in dogs bred for showing should be avoided if this is not your intention. A dog from a working line does not have this feature, and will stay sound for far longer



The most common is black and tan, but they also come in sable, plain black, blue and white. The coat can be short (rough-coated), medium haired or longhaired.



German Shepherds are naturally obedient, and respond best to positive, reward based training rather than a “firm hand” method which can lead to resentment. Ideally, training should start with Puppy School at 12 weeks or as soon as their initial inoculations are complete. Never underestimate their intelligence – they are “thinking” dogs.


The German Shepherd has a double coat - a longer top coat which sheds all the year round, and a soft, dense undercoat. The coat is highly weatherproof, but needs daily grooming to avoid gross shedding, knots in longer coats and skin problems in all types



The lifespan of a healthy individual is around 10 - 12 years, which is normal for a dog of this size. If you buy from a reputable, responsible breeder, health problems are usually rare, but poor breeding can mean character faults, and congenital conditions such as Hip Dysplasia, epilepsy, heart defects and blood disorders, especially in dogs from a showing line, so be vigilant if you want to go down this route. German Shepherds’ open, erect ears can make them prone to ear infections. Just be careful who you buy from, to ensure that you take home a healthy, friendly, happy individual.

You may also like:

German Shepherds looking for a home in UK »

Junior Bay Khan

German Shepherds and their owners »

Zuse XerXes

If you like German Shepherds, you may be interested in breeds of the same size »

Belgian Shepherd Tervueren Large Munsterlander Rough Collie Deerhound Bouvier des Flandres

If you like German Shepherds, you may like other breeds with similar characteristics »

Boxer Cesky Terrier King Charles Spaniel chihuahua long coat Portugese Water Dog

If you like German Shepherds, you may be interested in these other utility dogs »

English Bulldog Tibetan Terrier Standard Schnauzer Japanese Shibu Inu Akita

Advice on choosing your breed »

Find an animal shelter or rescue home where a German Shepherd is waiting for a new home »


The following grid gives a fast track review which covers all breeds. You can apply it to help you decide if a German Shepherd is suitable for you, the environment where you live, your personality and your lifestyle. On the grid, 1= strongly disagree, and 5= strongly agree. For example, if you are looking for a dog that likes to swim, look down the list under Activities, and you will see that GSD’s like water, but are not great swimmers, scoring 3 . If you want a playful companion, look down the same list, and you will see that GSD’s love to fetch and hunt, and score 5. You might like to save or print off this section and keep it for reference while you check some other breeds before making your final choice.

Be the first to rate this breed »

Noahs Breed Rating | Community Breed Rating

Good jogging companion5/5
Good walking companion5/5
Likes water/swimming3/5
Likes learning new tricks5/5
Likes to hunt5/5
Likes to fetch5/5
Good gundog/retriever1/5
Barks a lot4/5
Gets easily jealous2/5
Friendly with strangers2/5
Expensive to insure2/5
Expensive to feed4/5
Happy to sleep outside2/5
Prefers countryside5/5
Suits urban environment4/5
Prefers temperate climate5/5
Prefers hot climate2/5
Prefers cold climate4/5
Moults a lot5/5
Requires lots of grooming5/5
Role and Suitability
Ideal for elderly2/5
Ideal for singles4/5
Ideal for couples with no children5/5
Ideal for family with children5/5
Good watch dog5/5
Good guard dog5/5
Good with other pets5/5
Good with other dogs5/5
Time and Energy
Happy being left alone for 4hrs1/5
Happy being left alone for 2hrs2/5
Requires lots of exercise4/5
Training and Obedience
Good for first time owners1/5
Good for experienced owners5/5
Good recall4/5
Easy to train2/5
Good jogging companion0/5
Good walking companion0/5
Likes water/swimming0/5
Likes learning new tricks0/5
Likes to hunt0/5
Likes to fetch0/5
Good gundog/retriever0/5
Barks a lot0/5
Gets easily jealous0/5
Friendly with strangers0/5
Expensive to insure0/5
Expensive to feed0/5
Happy to sleep outside0/5
Prefers countryside0/5
Suits urban environment0/5
Prefers temperate climate0/5
Prefers hot climate0/5
Prefers cold climate0/5
Moults a lot0/5
Requires lots of grooming0/5
Role and Suitability
Ideal for elderly0/5
Ideal for singles0/5
Ideal for couples with no children0/5
Ideal for family with children0/5
Good watch dog0/5
Good guard dog0/5
Good with other pets0/5
Good with other dogs0/5
Time and Energy
Happy being left alone for 4hrs0/5
Happy being left alone for 2hrs0/5
Requires lots of exercise0/5
Training and Obedience
Good for first time owners0/5
Good for experienced owners0/5
Good recall0/5
Easy to train0/5

*PLEASE NOTE: All our breed profiles are general, and all dogs are individuals. Always talk to the breeders and meet the owners you are buying from. Try to meet the dog and its parents if it is a puppy in their home environment.

Take our breed compatibility test

German Shepherd Pictures & Videos



You may also like:

German Shepherds in dogs & owners

Zuse XerXes

barnaby noahs dogs