Suppose you plan to bring a German shepherd puppy home, apart from getting necessary information about its feed and other requirements. Training is what you can focus on. 

Puppy training becomes essential if you want to keep the GSD as a pet. Their sessions are going to come in long term use. 

Stay patient and use different props to train your puppy shepherd. To know more about GSDs’ training, we have come up with a complete training guide for a GSD puppy.

How to German Shepherd Training? 

Shepherd dogs can remain aggressive if not appropriately trained. Thus, to teach them properly, there are a few steps that you might need to follow during German shepherd puppy training.

Collecting Essentials to Train Your GSD

You only can’t start to train your shepherd puppy without any preparations. You might need to collect a few things before starting their training. The teaching of a German Shepherd goes in various phases, to make them obedient, devotional, and calm its temperament. But all these training sessions require proper planning and preparation.

To make the sessions for your puppy much more comfortable, there are a few things you can take care of while you train them.

Pee Pads

You can keep the pee pads for your dogs at the main exit of your house. As dogs have their requirements, and a pee pad is one of them. It will eliminate your effort of taking them out again and again for basic things.


To make them obedient and devotional, you can use a clicker. A clicker will not only help your puppy to become obedient, but it will also increase its accuracy. Apart from this, with a clicker, you can teach it all the dog commands properly.

Trick’ O Treats

Another important thing you can include in the training sessions of your dog breed is treats. Who doesn’t like treats, especially when you get one after a long day of physical and mental struggle? Treats will not only encourage your German shepherd to learn quicker. They will stay satisfied even if you train them hard. After a long day, a treat can help as a booster for your dogs.

You can use all these props to enhance the accuracy and speed with which you train your German Shepherd puppy.

Measures You Can Follow After Bringing a Shepherd Puppy Home

When you are welcoming this new family member, there are a few measures that you can follow to get along with them better to train them well further. German shepherd puppies are very witty, smart, and intelligent. Thus, it is not going to take much effort to train them.

Bonding Is The Key

Right after bringing your Shepherd puppy home, try to make a bond with them. Cuddle with it, spend time with it, show affection towards it. All these things will help you to make them your best friend. Once you start getting along with them, you can begin their necessary sessions as well.

Feed Them Well

As a puppy, the most crucial need of German shepherd dogs is a balanced meal. In the growing days of your puppy, it is advisable to keep a keen eye on their diet. The better the diet, the better will be their growth. Also, the nutritious feed will keep them healthy and fit as well.

Potty Sessions

For its potty training, you can take him out at regular intervals. For German Shepherd puppy training, it is advisable to take him out every half an hour for a pee. It is a great practice to take them for a pee before going to bed and waking up. You can also take them out for pee or potty before and after feeding them.

You can start their sessions by fixing a particular spot in the house for them. Thus, every time the Shepherd puppy sits at their reserved spot, you can reward it will take some treat. Treats are the best way to teach good habits to your German Shepherd puppy, and it is the quickest way too.

Sleeping Crate

Another good practice with the German Shepherd puppy is that you can fix a carte for them to sleep comfortably. Try to find a larger crate than the size of your German Shepherd puppy to make them even more comfortable.

Puppy training at the house can be full of hassle, so it is advisable to either appoint a dog trainer to train them properly. But if you still want to train the German Shepherd puppy as per your requirement, then making a bond with them will be a great start. Another important thing while training a German Shepherd puppy is that rewards and punishments in the right manner are the best way to train them.

Kick Start Your Puppy Training With Training Them Obedience

The Right Age To Train Your GSD

The right time to start to train your German shepherd puppy is at least six months old. Before that, you can teach them basic commands and excellent practices. But the right age to start formal puppy training is around six months: a German Shepherds, no doubt is known for the confidence, fearlessness, and intelligence they have.

To train your puppy in such a way, keep in mind that patience is the key to bring your puppy on the right path. While giving sessions to your Shepherd puppy, patience, sense, and understanding are most crucial.

Praising Is Crucial

Especially when you are teaching obedience in puppy training, showing it will impact more on your Shepherd puppy. While you tend to train your dog, treat your pup with a lot of treats and praise. Praising them will encourage them to do better. And reward on top of that will be enough to thrill them.

While the dog training is going on, don’t scold them or show anger to them, as it will ultimately make them aggressive. Thus being calm is very important when you are trying to control the temperament of your dog. 

You can use a clicker to train dogs. The sound of the clicker will excite them to work quickly. Keep the rewards, clicker, and their crate around while training them to encourage them. When they grow up, you can also reward them with a toy. Your dog will love to play with its toy, but don’t let them play with its toy for a long time. Otherwise, it will lose focus from its training.

Try to teach them commands verbally. That means try to teach it in such a way that they will create an understanding of the verbal commands based on your reflexes.

Ensure proper obedience teaching, as it will further help your dog control its temperament and follow all your commands. Also, make sure to stay warm and friendly with them, instead of showing anger to them, as it will ultimately make them aggressive. Good behavior is very crucial in the pet dog. 

Teach Basic Commands That They Might Need To Follow In Future

The devotion and obedience of your dog solely depend on the number of commands they can follow precisely. They can’t understand everything you speak, but there are a few words, using them continuously will act as typical for your dog.

If you don’t want your dog to misbehave, teaching him common commands like sit, stop, or no is crucial. 

Imagine a situation where a dog is barking at one of your friends. You asked him to stay quiet, but he keeps on barking at your friend because of a lack of understanding of commands. Such a situation directly questions your puppy training.

You can teach good manners and a sense of understanding to them so that they will be able to identify who are friends and who are not. Barking on everyone will appear their image as an aggressive dog.

That is why make sure to teach them good habits and manners. A good understanding of commands will make it stand out from other dogs. As German shepherds training has load full of energy, include basic commands like sit, walk, run, stay or lie while training them. 

You can also give them treat or praise them whenever they follow your command correctly. Clicker excites it, so if you use a clicker, it will be another way of praising them.

If You Fail After All This, Go For a Dog Trainer Instead

You can try training them on your own, but a German shepherd dog is not simple to handle. You might require to put some effort into training them. You will need to give them long exercising sessions, obedience sessions, and exercise sessions to make them suitable pets as per your requirement.

As you know, what you are looking for in a pet, training them on your own, will help you achieve your vision. But dog training requires long hours. And you need to focus only on your dog when you tend to train them. It will not be possible for everyone. Also, a German shepherd dog can be a little stubborn in the starting, so you will also need to handle them appropriately.

Suppose you don’t have enough time and not able to provide proper sessions to your dog. Then at that time, the safer option is to use dog trainers. A well-behaved dog trained by a dog’s trainer is far way better than an untrained dog. Although it will cost you a little extra bucks training for German Shepherd puppy, it will use proper tricks and skills to train them.

 To train your Shepherd puppy, not just time but patience is also crucial. If you are hot-tempered, then while training, your dog will make him aggressive. So better you spend some bucks instead of compromising on the training of your pet.


In the end, there are few essential pointers to take away for a German Shepherd dog training like spending time with them, loving them, but at the time of training, show some strictness as well.

Never use aggression on or in front of your GSD breed teaching and learning sessions, as it will harm them.

Patience is most important while German Shepherd puppy training. 

Teach them basic commands and good habits first. Try to communicate in their language. As time passes, they will be able to understand your language as well.

It is very crucial to build trust between your German shepherd puppy and you. You can treat them or praise them as well while you train them. It will encourage your German Shepherd puppy to do better.

Not just GSD is adorable. It is very obedient and understanding as well. You only need to train them well, love them, and build a relationship with them for long-lasting results.

If you want a way to track the health and height of your German Shepherd, then you can do so with the help of a German Shepherd growth chart. This chart will help you to track the weight, height, and development of a dog.

Apart from all this, make sure to feed them high quality, nutritious food regularly.

With the weight chart, height chart, and development chart of the German Shepherd, you can easily track the health and height of the dog seeing the growth chart. Still, we have come up with a detailed discussion over the growth and development that your German Shepherd and as a puppy should have.

Phases A German Shepherd Passes Through.

When you have a German Shepherd, a few stages a German shepherd can pass through. In each phase, their requirements and growth and development changes. Mentioned below is a complete chart where you can find all the stages that a German Shepherd passes through from its birth to death.

Right from Birth, Until It Grows Three Weeks

This period is more commonly known as the neonatal period. It is the time when your German Shepherd puppy is so small to walk or do other things. He is dependent on its mother milk for its survival. 

In this stage, the German Shepherd puppy stays a little helpless. He has just entered this world, and in this phase, he tries to get along with everything going around him. 

The few things that a German shepherd puppy achieves in the neonatal period can include crawling, his first walk, his first feed, and so on. 

As soon as it grows one week older, the German Shepherd puppy tries to crawl around to reach its mother. He begins to crawl even before it opens its eyes for the first time. As soon as he becomes ten days old, he starts to open his eyes and ears. After becoming two weeks old, it can quickly open eyes and ears and even try to walk slightly.

Then comes the time its baby teeth start showing up. As he reaches two weeks, its baby teeth will also begin to grow, and it is the time when you can start feeding the dog something substantial, apart from just its mother’s milk.

After growing from 2 to 3 weeks, there comes a time when, after practicing to walk the whole day long, it will take his first step ahead. As soon as he starts walking, it enters into the next stage of its life.

Between 3 Weeks to 12 Weeks

The period of 3 weeks to 12 weeks is more commonly known as a German shepherd puppy’s socialization period. When the German Shepherd pup starts to walk, interact with the world, and understand the basic rules of the world.

As German Shepherds are quick learners, it won’t take much time to learn the basic living rules and socialization rules they should follow in the future. As most German Shepherds have a friendly nature, they get along with other litters, animals, and humans well.

In this stage, the mother German shepherd teaches the basic rules and dog skills to the shepherd puppies. As puppies are most close to their mother till this time, there could be no best teacher than their mother itself. Thus the necessary dog skills and manners are what they get from their mother only.

Within these six weeks, it took the whole 3rd week after the German Shepherd’s birth to let them walk. At the end of 3 weeks, your German Shepherd will start to walk completely with proper balance.

As he reaches four weeks, he will start to play and interact with other litters and humans around it. Also, all its teeth will grow just in this period only. 

You can teach them basic manners like how to behave like an adult or how to sit, walk, and sniff tail as soon as it reaches six weeks. From 6 to 8 weeks, you can teach them techniques to overcome their fear, which is more commonly known as fear response training.

Till this time, they have bent ears, but as soon as it touches the 12 weeks, its ear starts to become straight, and it will start to look like an adult German Shepherd with triangular ears.

After they completed 12 weeks or three months, they start to grow and develop more extensively. It is the time when you can take the responsibility to teach the puppy. At this phase, the feed to the German shepherd puppy becomes the most crucial for the German Shepherd’s proper growth and development.

Beginning From 3 Months To 6 Months Old

Another significant period in German Shepherd growth is the juvenile period that lasts from 3 to 6 months of age. Now, they don’t tend to develop but grow. You are going to see significant German shepherd growth during this period. As soon as he reaches the 6th month, the German Shepherd puppy becomes large enough to start its training as a pet and as a great guard.

Under the juvenile phase, as they reach three months, all their teeth will grow. They will also start running a little bit, and they will learn all the essential dog skills from their mother. 

As soon as he enters its 4th month, all the puppy teeth will break, and he will start to have adult teeth, after which he will be able to eat solid dog food and other food items.

In the 5th and 6th months, they will grow large to attain the adult size, and it will become the perfect time to start its basic training as a pet. 

From 6 Months to 18 Months

Also known as the sexual maturity phase, in this phase, a German Shepherd dog tends to gain sexual maturity. With the end of this phase, you will get a complete adult German Shepherd dog. Although they might have some growing left by the end of this phase, yet you will find its features looking similar to that of an adult German Shepherd in this phase.

Right from the 6th month of their birth, the females will start to have their heat cycles. Their adult teeth will grow and come out ultimately. Their ears will start looking precisely similar to an adult German Shepherd dog. From 7rh month to the 18th month, they will become sexually mature. It is like a teenager for dogs. They will grow more studier and larger.

18 Months to 3 Years

This is the transition phase of all the German shepherd dogs. It is the period when your German Shepherd grows into a complete adult. They will become sexually, physically, and mentally adult. They ultimately left the puppy phase and became smart and start to look like an adult German Shepherd.

While on the one hand, a female German Shepherd takes two years or 24 months to grow into a complete adult, males can take up to 3 years to grow into an adult. Females have smaller weight and height compared to that of the male is only that female stops to develop further, as soon as it touches two years, while males keep on growing till the time they become 36 months old.

It is the most crucial period in the life of a German Shepherd dog. You might need to take care of the proper nutrient-rich feed and health of a German Shepherd while going through the transition phase. 

Proper feeding in this period will also prevent hip dysplasia in the future, which is a common health problem almost all German shepherd dogs suffer from. Proper positioning of the hip in a German Shepherd nutrient-rich feed in its transition phase is a must.

What Is The Average Weight Of German Shepherds In Each Of The Above Phrases?

German Shepherd is a large animal, and thus it has a significant amount of weight. Although, as usual, the weight of females comes out to comparatively smaller than the males, still, both the male and female German Shepherds are heavy weight-wise.

The average weight of a male German Shepherd can become as high as 66 to 88 pounds, while that of the female will have a smaller weight ranging from 48 to 70 pounds only. To know the exact age and weight, you may prepare a German Shepherd Growth chart as well.

In different phases of a dog’s life, as mentioned above, they can have different weights. You will find a complete description of the German Shepherd weight that both females and male dogs will have. German Shepherd weight is also helpful in determining the growth of the dog.

· Neonatal Period

Within the neonatal period, that means the time from the birth of the German Shepherd till it reaches three months, the male German Shepherd can weigh around 5 to 9 pounds, while the females can weigh about 4 to 8 pounds.

It is the time right after the birth of a German Shepherd; thus, at this time, the German Shepherd puppy has a weight 10% of the total weight that the German shepherd dog is going to have. It is time from which a German Shepherd weight will have significant growth.

· Socialization Period

In this period, both males and females have rapid growth. At the birth of German Shepherd, while on the one hand while the male German Shepherd weighs around 5.5 to 9 pounds, a female has a German Shepherd weight ranges from approximately 4.5 to 8 pounds. This weight stays 10% of the adult weight of that particular German Shepherd.

But as they grow and become three months old, the weight of a male German Shepherd weight becomes 22 to 30 kgs. In contrast, a female German Shepherd at this age weighs around 17 to 26 pounds, which constitutes 40% of the total weight of that particular adult German Shepherd, which is significant growth.

· Juvenile Period

In this phase, you will see a drastic change in the weight of the Shepherd German puppy. While on the one hand, at the age of 3 months, a German Shepherd will have a weight equivalent to 40% of the total weight it will have as an adult, and it will significantly increase to 70% by the end of this phase.

Male GSD at the start of this period has a weight ranging from 22 to 30 pounds, while females will weigh around 20 to 26 pounds. But at the end of this phase, males will start weight, ranging around 49 to 55 pounds, while females will be having a weight ranging from 44 to 48 pounds.

· Sexual Maturity Phase

In this phase, as the dogs have an age ranging from 6 months to 1 and a half years, the weight of a male German shepherd will become around 71 to 79 pounds, while that of a female German Shepherd will have a weight ranging from 60 to 66 pounds.

Again in this phase, you will see a drastic growth in the health and height of a German Shepherd. Until the end of their sexual maturity phase, their weight will become as high as 98% of their total weight of an adult.

· Transition Phase

In the transition phase, a German Shepherd attains its fully grown adult weight as soon as he reaches three years. An adult male German Shepherd weighs from 79 to 88 pounds, while that of a female lies around 66 to 70 pounds only. Shepherd should have in all the above phases.

What Is The Average Height Of A German Shepherd?

The average height of a German Shepherd lies between 22 to 26 inches. While on the one hand, the males have a size ranging from 24 to 26 inches. Females have smaller height and can grow up to 22 to 24 inches. Height is another factor that helps to determine the growth of the dog.

To precisely know about exact height at their age, you may refer to a German Shepherd growth chart as well. To give you a gist about the German Shepherd’s height in different phases, we have come up with detailed information on German Shepherd size.

· Neonatal Period

It is the period right from its birth till the time it reaches three weeks. You are not going to see much difference in its height within this period. While the average size of a male will be 4 to 6 inches, females will have height varying from 3 to 6 inches.

At the time of their birth, German Shepherds’ height is 23% of their actual size, which they are going to attain.

· Socialization Period

In this phase, German Shepherds grows up to 3 months. Here you will see a significant change in its height. German Shepherds become 40% of their original adult height in this phase.

In this phase, the height of German Shepherds becomes 9 to 11 inches in males, while 8 to 10 inches in females.

· Juvenile Period

The juvenile phase is the time when the German Shepherds becomes six months old. It is the time when German Shepherds starts to attain maturity and adultness. In this phase, you are going to find males as high as 16 to 18 inches. On the other hand, females in the German Shepherds are slightly smaller in height and can vary from 15 to 17 inches tall.

In this phase, German Shepherds becomes 70% high when compared with the original height they are going to attain as an adult.

· Sexual Maturity Phase

As soon as your puppy achieves sexual maturity, that means the time of German Shepherds growth from 6 months to 11/2 years. In this time, German Shepherds attains its almost maximum average height. He will start to appear like adult German Shepherds. You are going to see significant height growth during this period. 

German Shepherds gets a size up to 98% percent of what its actual height is going to be. In this phase, Male Shepherds become up to 23 to 25 inches, while the females become up to 23 inches tall.

· Transition Phase

The transition phase is the one where your German Shepherd will attain its maximum possible height. It is a significant time when the growth of a German Shepherd stops, and he becomes an adult. 

On the one hand, the females’ height stops to grow in 2 years, and it attains its maximum possible height of 22 to 24 inches. On the other hand, male dogs take full 36 months of growth and become 24 to 26 inches tall at that period.

How to Determine Your German Shepherds Are Underweight or Overweight?

The average ratio of length to the height of a German Shepherd remains 10:8.5. if your GSD has a similar rate, then he is growing naturally. But he is suffering from some growth issues if this is not the case.

If you don’t see significant growth in your Shepherd German puppy or dog, as mentioned in the growth chart of German Shepherd, then he is either underweight or overweight.

For an underweight German Shepherd, it is time to feed them more and make sure to improvise the quality of feed you are feeding them with. If you don’t see the significant weight of a German Shepherd as mentioned in the chart, it is time to take them to the veteran.

If you find the weight of German Shepherd dogs higher than that mentioned in the German Shepherd growth chart, then it is to reduce the feed of your German Shepherd dog and take him out for some physical activities to reduce the weight of your dog.


Now that you have studied the German Shepherd growth chart and know what all stages your Shepherd German dog will pass through and what will be its weight and height at different phases seeing the chart. It will become more straightforward for you to track the health of your German Shepherd as well.

Start tracking your dog’s health and height from its puppyhood. If it has some health concerns, it will start flashing out right from when it is a puppy.

In the end, tracking the health of your Shepherd German puppy and dog is pretty crucial. 

Dogs are one of the most attractive pets, especially for dog lovers. A survey by the American kennel club, German Shepherds are the second most common pet animals worldwide.

Their intelligence, smartness, and loyalty are what makes them a perfect pet. Not just a German Shepherd serves as an ideal pet that goes well with kids, but they also serve military and police with bravery.

But, cross-breeding them with other dog breeds not just results in a perfect pet with the intelligence, smartness, and aestheticism of German Shepherds when mixed with different breeds of dogs will result in an ideal dog that you might be looking for. If you want everything about a German Shepherd mix right from scratch, then we have come up with all that you might need to know about German Shepherd mixes.

What is the best German shepherd mix?

Suppose you want to own a dog but not able to decide which one. You like the calmness of one dog and the looks of a German Shepherd. Why don’t you go for a mixed breed?

When cross-bred with any other dog to produce kids that resemble both the German Shepherd and the other dogs and possess both of their parents’ qualities, the German Shepherd is known as a German Shepherd mix.

You might be thinking, what is the reason for experimenting with the dog breeds. Well, as per a survey, it was found out that the mixed breeds are lesser prone to most of the diseases and more agile than pure breeds. Thus, mixed breeds are more reliable than pure breeds.

Apart from this, every dog has its pros and cons, to overcome the same, mix breeds comes up with the best qualities of both their parents. Several German Shepherd mix dog breeds are available, but not all are perfect as a pet. Only a few breeds are there, which comes out to be a great pet with excellent specifications, including German Shepherd corgi mix, Sheprador, Golden Shepherd, etc.

So, Are Shepherd mixes good dogs?

German Shepherd mixes are known for their loyalty, good guarding skills, charm, and behavior. Although all the dogs need proper training for socialization and control their temperament, and so are German Shepherd mixes, yet Shepherd mixes are a bit easy to train and manage as compared to the pure breeds.

German Shepherd is one of the most famous dogs as a family pet, but it requires more space and cares comparatively because of its bulky physique. Shepherd mixes, on the other hand, are not just as adorable as a German Shepherd is, but perfect to raise at home.

What all German Shepherd mixes one can raise?

A Master List of German Shepherd Mix Breeds

  1. Golden Retriever Mix German Shepherd
  2. Siberian Husky and German Shepherd Mix
  3. Alaskan Malamute German Shepherd Mix
  4. Great Dane And a German Shepherd Mix
  5. Bernese Shepherd
  6. Corman Shepherds
  7. German Shepherd and Akita Mix
  8. German Shepherd and Labrador Mix
  9. New Shepherd
  10. German Australian Shepherd Mix
  11. German Sheppit

Golden Retriever Mix German Shepherd

Also known as Golder Shepherd, a German Shepherd mix golden retriever is one of the most cheerful and adorable Shepherd mixes one can raise. As the name suggests, the golden Shepherd is the German Shepherd mixed with Golden retriever. 

Golden retrievers are known for their intelligence, and this is because of their parents. Both the German Shepherd and Golden retrievers stand at 3rd and 4th positions, respectively, in intelligence among all the dogs.

Apart from this, the Golden retriever German Shepherd mix is very loyal and a right guard. It has inherited devotion from the German Shepherd and the playfulness and cheerfulness from Golden retriever.

With all these qualities, a German Shepherd mixed with a golden retriever comes out to be a wonderful pet and a good watcher as well. Also, it serves in the police and Army as well because of its searching and rescuing.

They also love working and are very ethical as well when it comes to their owners. You are going to adore this incredible dog and its high energy. Even if you have kids at your home, this German Shepherd mix dog is going to grab their love and attention as well. With proper training, they will possess all the qualities a person can ask for in its pet.

Siberian Husky and German Shepherd Mix

The next adorable German Shepherd mix in our list is the mix of Siberian husky and a German Shepherd. This mix has inherited the dark color of its coat from the German Shepherd, while their blue eyes resemble that of a Siberian Husky.

Look wise, they have a wolf-like appearance, but their qualities are similar to that of a pet dog. Commonly, people also call them Gerberian Shepsky. Although their wolf-like appearance makes them a little threatening, their behavior is exactly the opposite of their look.

These German Shepherd mix dogs are very calm and sophisticated. Even if you have kids at home, you can bring this mix as a pet. With an average height ranging between 22 to 26 inches, this dog mix has a very fluffy coat with large ears. They require a little bit of grooming and brushing at least once a day because of their hairy coat.

Well, if you need a talkative partner who can keep you busy all day long, then this German Shepherd mix can be the perfect choice for you. They love talking and can be a little noisy sometimes. If you want a companion who can not only keep to entertained all day long but is active enough to pull you out of bed for its regular exercise, then you can’t bring a pet better than the German Shepherd mix with Siberian Husky.

Alaskan Malamute German Shepherd Mix

More commonly known as the Alaskan Shepherd, Alaskan malamute, and German Shepherd mix is another pet dog one can raise. But, to make them a perfect pet, make sure to provide them a good socialization training right from their puppyhood.

Because of their smartness and eagerness to learn, these dogs are pretty easy to train and teach. They become well behaved very soon after starting their training. Apart from this, it is quite a sensitive dog, and thus they get attached to their owners soon and can do anything for them. 

Like German Shepherds, they possess loyalty and friendly nature, because of which, they get along with everyone in the family. 

Although they look similar to an Alaskan malamute dog, yet the color of their coat is the classic black and tan of a German Shepherd. Also, they are short to medium-sized dogs, with their height ranging from 20 to 25 inches. It can weigh around 60 to 80 pounds as well.

Because of its activeness and playfulness, it is an adorable and charming family dog breed. As a puppy, they attract everyone with their friendly nature and smartness.

Shepherd Rottweiler

German Shepherd rottweiler or more commonly known as the Shepweiler, is another very classy and high energy dog breed one can raise. Like German Shepherds, a Shepherd rottweiler has good guarding skills. They are very tough and sturdy dogs and can serve as a good protector, which is why they do for police and Army as well. They are known as one of the most excellent guard dogs ever.

But for being a good protector, proper training of a German Shepherd rottweiler is a must. Ensure appropriate training sessions and socialization skills to teach them when to react and when not to. A Golden shepherd can become quite a ruly if you take them lightly.

But similar to German Shepherds and Rottweiler, Golden Shepherd is pretty loyal towards their owner. Again, it is identical to its parent’s breeds, has excellent health and height, and can weigh in between 50 to 135 pounds. 

It usually has a black or a brown cost similar to its parent breed, which makes its appearance slightly different than other dogs. So, if you are looking for a different looking dog breed, then Shepweiler is the perfect Shepherd mix dog for you.

Great Dane And a German Shepherd Mix

If you are looking for a tall dog, then you must consider Great Dane and German Shepherd mix in your list. As its name suggests, it results from a cross-bred between a Great Dane dog and a German Shepherd dog. 

Because of their great size, they are perfect as a guard dog. It loves looking around their owner’s house. Because of their conservative nature, they make sure that there is no suspicious activity going around them, even when they are sleeping. 

One thing with a Great Dane German Shepherd breeds mixed dog is that they might have a double coat, and thus they shed a lot during the autumn and spring. Also, they require timely grooming and extra care for them as well.

Apart from this, they have great energy, and thus if you want a great companion who will not make you stand up and exercise, you must consider this dog breed. They have high energy, great focus, good running skills, and are very loyal. Their large size is enough to scare any intruder off. 

But because of their calm temperament and friendly nature, they get along with kids and old persons well and thus a perfect family dog.

Bernese Shepherd

As its name suggests, Bernese Shepherd is a mix of a Bernese mountain dog and a German Shepherd. Like any other German Shepherd mix, it also possess some qualities similar to German Shepherds while some like Bernese mountain dog.

It is a medium-sized dog and can have a height ranging from 23 to 28 inches. It can weigh around 75 pounds to 110 pounds, and thus it requires their space of living in the house. If you have a backyard or enough room in your home for the dog to play, then it is the perfect dog one can own.

As its parent includes a mountain dog, it has a very fluffy and hairy overcoat. And as usual, its coat sheds a lot. Thus, you are going to find hairs all around you. Also, they require proper grooming and care as well. Its overall look is similar to that of a Bernese mountain dog.

But like German Shepherds, these dogs are also loyal towards their master. Apart from this, they will entertain you whenever you feel low. They are quite sensitive dogs and love to stand by their owner no matter what. The mixture of boundless energy and fantastic fun makes them a perfect pet material.

Corman Shepherds

Corgi is small yet cute and adorable dogs. On the other hand, German Shepherds are the most active, alert, and loveable dogs. The mix of a Corgi and German Shepherd is more commonly known as a Corman Shepherd. 

Like Corgi, they are quite loud and barks a lot, especially if they don’t like someone. On the other hand, they are a good watcher, small and alert similar to that of German Shepherds. 

Being shorter in size, their height varies just around 12 to 15 inches, while they can weigh approximately 30 to 60 pounds. So, even if you have a smaller house or no backyard to keep a large dog, this fluffy dog can be the perfect pet you can bring. They being agile, can adjust almost everywhere. 

Although they can sometimes be quite shy, once they start knowing the person, they will get along with it very well. You need to make sure to take them to daily walks and give them exercising sessions to keep it healthy and active all the time. They can have the classic German Shepherd black and tan coat and has a physique similar to that of a corgi.

Corman Shepherds
Corman Shepherds

German Shepherd and Akita Mix

Next in the list of our German Shepherd mixes is a very adorable and playful dog, which results from cross-breeding of a German Shepherd and Akita dogs. 

Although the mix of Akita and German Shepherd is not that famous, yet it can become a great family dog if you make sure to provide them proper social training and exercising sessions to them.

They have a squarer face, similar to that of a wolf. Apart from this, they might have a curly tail identical to that of an Akita dog. This German Shepherd mixes are again a large dog and can be up to 28 inches high. It can weigh for around 120 pounds and require plenty of room for them to play and live in.

Also, make sure to provide them regular walks and training sessions to keep them fit and active. Similar to German Shepherds, Shepakita is also good watchdogs and are very attentive even while sleeping. With good training right from their puppyhood, they can become a perfect guard dog as well. It can also have some behavioral issues if no proper training is given to them, ensuring they complete social training. They are friendly as well and get along with kids well.

German Shepherd and Labrador Mix

One of the most famous German Shepherd mixes on our list is German Shepherd and Labrador dogs. Both its parents have grabbed first and second positions in the American kennel club’s contest to find the most popular pet dog breeds. And thus, it possesses the best qualities of both its parents and is again a perfect family dog.

Apart from this, it is a large dog whose height varies from 26 to 28 inches. It can also weigh up to 90 pounds. These dogs love water and prefer to stay in water for long hours. So, if you have a pool in your backyard, then it is the perfect companion you can raise.

Also, being highly energetic and active all day long, they require at least one hour of exercising daily.

They shed a lot because of their double coat, so make sure to groom them regularly. Also, this German shepherd mix is not ideal for the families having dog allergies. These dogs’ color coat depends on the Labrador parents, and its color varies from black to golden, brown, and even golden hue. 

New Shepherd

New Shepherd dogs are the mixed breed dogs result of the cross-breeding of a German Shepherd and a Newfoundland dog. Although this dog doesn’t have a significantly longer height, it is much longer than its size. It can have a height varying around 28 inches, while it weighs about 90 to 100 pounds.

Also, it has a fluffy and hairy coat, which might have charcoal or brown color. These dogs again love water and can prefer to stay in the water all day long, especially at the time of summers. And thus, they also serve as live guard dogs at beaches.

This German shepherd mix dog is known as the best lap dog because of its significantly longer body. Also, because of its calm temperament and friendly nature, they get along with kids well. They can be a perfect baby sitter for your kids when you are not around, and when they grow up, they can find their ideal companion in the form of a New Shepherd.

They are very attentive, like their parent German Shepherds are. Also, they can easily scare any intruder off from their owners’ house because of their large size and loud bark. It is also known for its loyalty and is one of the most charming pets one can have. 

New Shepherd
New Shepherd

German Australian Shepherd Mix

German Shepherds are one of the best herding dog species one can raise. They are also good watchers and protectors, which is why people raise them for search and rescue operations.

Another famous Herding dog include Australian Shepherd as well. German Australian is the Shepherd mix breed of German Shepherd and Australian Shepherd. It loves to brainstorm and is one of the smartest guys you can raise. It is also very playful and cheerful and will keep you entertained all day long. Being very energetic and active, it attracts almost all the dog lovers around him. 

Like the Australian Shepherds, Australian German Shepherd mixes also have a double-thick fluffy coat with lots of hair. Its hair is pretty fine as well. Thus, if you plan to bring a German Australian Shepherd home, then be ready for its regular grooming and care. 

With its height varying from around 21 to 24 inches, this mixed breed is smaller in size than a German Shepherd. It weighs about 50 to 70 pounds only. Its coat’s color is again similar to it the German Shepherd, while its appearance matches as that of an Australian Shepherd.


German Sheppit

If you are looking for a dog that is not just playful and cheerful but is also dedicated towards its family and owner, then German Sheppit is what you need. 

German Shepherd mix with an American pitbull Terrier is what a German Shepherd is. They are lovable pets and require time and care from their master. If you have enough time to spare with them, then you are going to get an utterly loyal companion. But on the other hand, if you don’t have enough time to spare with him, it can be very destructive.

They are one of the most loving soul and a perfect pet. Because of their calm temperament, they get along with everyone well. Whether it is a kid or an older adult, this dog is going to attract them all.

Again, they are medium-sized dogs and can be up to 24 inches tall. They can be up to 40 to 80 pounds on an average. Their appearance is similar to that of the American Pitbull Terrier, while its body frame is as muscular as a German Shepherd. Its color, moreover, is the same as that of a German Shepherd.


No wonder German shepherds are one of the most loyal, friendly, and popular dogs, yet they require a large space to live because of their large size. If you are a dog lover but want a slightly changed dog, you can go for a German Shepherd mix.

Not just German Shepherd mix-breeds are healthier. They are much cuter than pure breed German Shepherd. Thus, opting for them, you will get a hybrid dog with qualities similar to both its parent breeds. That means the skills and qualities of two dog breeds in one.

A perfect dog breed for you depends on what all qualities in a dog you are looking for. No doubt, all the German shepherd mixes will have a muscular body similar to that of a German shepherd. 

But whether you want a small dog or a larger one, whether you want a watcher or a complete family pet or want one with a thicker coat or thinner coat, you can find one with the specifications you are looking for.

So, why are you waiting to choose the mixed breed that suits you the most and bring one home?

Dogs are one of the most raised pet breeds ever. The reason behind this is their friendliness, loyalty, intelligence, and whatnot. If you are a dog lover, then a Shepherd dog can quickly grab your attention with their charm and intelligence while walking on a street.

If you have made your mind to bring a Shepherd dog to your family, then let me tell you, not all the shepherd dogs are suitable as a pet. Some of them are aggressive breeds suitable for professional purpose only and not as a pet.

If you want to know the Shepherd dogs that can not only serve you as a right pet during the day but as a great guard at night, then we have come up with the Shepherd dogs one can raise.

List of 10 most common German Shepherd Breeds

We have come up with the list of 10 most common Shepherd dogs one can raise.

Australian Shepherd

When talking about some of the most famous Shepherd dog breeds, Australian Shepherd comes at the top. Originated from Basque Shepherd Dogs, they were first designed in the 1800s, and till then, people are raising them for different purposes.

With a comparatively shorter height, Australian Shepherd can grow as tall as 23 inches, and male Australian shepherds can weigh even around 70 pounds.

Currently, they are one of the most famous herding dogs breed people love to raise. 

The core reason behind this is energy, skills, and intelligence. They are known as one of the easiest to train dogs because of their smartness. 

Being very agile, they are adjustable around the Earth. Apart from this, this dog breed is a frisbee lover and a good runner as well. They are quite sensitive and get attached to their owner. Their obedience and love for their masters make them a perfect pet.

They have a thick coat to resist extreme cold. Apart from this, earlier, it used to have a dull coat, but its coat darkens with time. It has a pretty overcoat available in the shades of red, black, white, grey, and even blue.

Since they have a long overcoat, they shed a lot and require frequent grooming and brushing to their hairs.

Shepherd Breed: Australian Shepherd
Shepherd Breed: Australian Shepherd

Belgian Sheepdog

Another medium-sized dog on our list is the Belgian Sheepdog. With a height varying from 22 to 26 inches, it can weigh up to 65 pounds. They are known for their adorable black overcoat. 

As their name suggests, this breed was developed in Belgium in the 19th century and was mainly used for herding sheep earlier. But because of their intelligence and smartness, Belgian Sheepdog started serving in the police and Army to search for drugs and other evidence.

Because of their agile nature, people mostly raise them around the world. Being very energetic all the time, they are pretty smart and friendly dogs and become a perfect pet.

With a long coat, they are remarkable canines that can quickly threaten small and medium predators. Apart from this, they have a lovely dense overcoat to protect them against extreme cold. But what makes them the best pet dog is their friendly nature. 

They have a calm temperament, and thus they go with kids well. Although they require plenty of space, it is an adjustable dog that can also serve you as a pet, even if you live in a small apartment.

German Shepherd Dog

Now, who doesn’t know a German Shepherd dog, or we can say German sh. You can find this breed in almost all the localities. Initially, they were raised for the herding purpose solely by shepherds. A German military personal, Max von Stephanitz, adored it, crossbred it, and made one of the most famous shepherds breeds ever.

Recognized as the second most famous dog breed by American Kennel club@all rights reserved, Shepherd German Shepherd dog gets fame only after being featured in Rin Tin Tin. 

Because of its alertness and intelligence, it is perfect for searching purposes, and thus they also serve in police and army, apart from being an ideal pet breed.

Although they are large yet, because of their friendly nature, they get along with kids well. With adequate exercise and proper socialization training, they serve as a perfect and attentive guard. 

Yet, the most beautiful thing about a German Shepherd dog is their loyalty and obedience. It can even give up his life for its master. All it needs from you is a little bit of love, daily exercising sessions, nutritious food, and long walks.

The most challenging thing while raising a German Shepherds is time and space constraint. They require a large space and plenty of their master’s time. The size of their black and tan coat is variable, yet they are striking canines.    

Shepherd Breed: German Shepherd
Shepherd Breed: German Shepherd

Anatolian Shepherd

If you are looking for a large dog breed as a pet, then you must consider Anatolian Shepherd on your list. Although they have a long ancestral history yet, their debut in the United States was no longer than World War II, where they serve the Army for searching purpose mainly.

As their name suggests, they belong to Anatolian and are large. Its height varies from 26 inches to 29 inches, while they can be as massive as 150 pounds. 

They have shorter hairs, with a coat of variable color but majorly appearing as cream. Apart from this, they have a long tail and brown eyes and are enough to threaten medium-sized predators easily.

Although they are a little shy to strangers, they will become your perfect partner in crime once they start knowing you. Their training matters a lot in their aggression. A properly trained Anatolian Shepherd becomes very polite, charming, and adorable.

Yet, because of their aggressive nature and muscular build, people commonly raise them for protection.

Because of their short overcoat, they don’t require much grooming and care, yet bath them at least once a week in the name of grooming. Also, they need a proper exercising session daily to keep them healthy and active all the time.

Shepherd Breed: Anatolian Shepherd Dog
Shepherd Breed: Anatolian Shepherd Dog

Australian Cattle Dog

Similar to the Australian shepherd, another dog native to Australia is the Australian Cattle dog. Commonly known as cattle dogs, Australian cattle dogs are also known as the red or blue heeler and Queensland heeler. This dog breed again came to the United States while World war II because of its strong sense of smell and good searching skills.

Developed in the 19th century, they are known for their blue, black, and tan coat. Being short in size, its height can vary from 17 to 20 inches. They can weigh from around 30 to 50 pounds. 

Being very faithful and alert all the time, they serve as a perfect pet. And because of its shorter height, it requires very little space to live as well. one of the herding breeds got its name because people used to raise it to take care of their cattle.

They are very active and agile, not just physically but mentally. Being very social, it gets along with kids well. 

Also, they have very short overcoat and doesn’t require much grooming and care. Although it requires proper training from its childhood to become social and active yet, it has one of the calmest temperaments and is very friendly.

Shepherd Breed: Australian Cattle Dog
Shepherd Breed: Australian Cattle Dog

Bohemian Shepherd

Native to Bohemia, Bohemian Shepherds are the predecessor breed of German Shepherd dogs. They are the result of crossbreeding of German Shepherd dog and the old German Herding landrace dog. 

They can grow up to 22 inches with a shorter height and can weigh around 35 to 55 pounds. Because of their calm temperament, these dogs are suitable for petting purposes. They are not aggressive at all, which is why they are one of the most famous shepherd breeds.

Being very loyal to its owner, this dog breed serves as a pretty good guard because of its alert and attentive nature. 

These dogs are agile and have a long overcoat to protect it from too harsh weather. However, it requires a little grooming, nutritious food, proper training, and a long walk to keep them active. They are very energetic and adorable dog breed pointed ears, a long neck, and a medium-sized tail.

They also have a pretty good sense of smell and serve perfectly for rescuing and searching purposes. They are also selected for army and police because of their sharp senses.

Shepherd Breed: Bohemian Shepherd
Shepherd Breed: Bohemian Shepherd

Shetland Sheepdog

Commonly known as Sheltie, Shetland sheepdogs are one of the cutest herding dogs ever. This dog is known for its activeness, intelligence, smelling, and vocal senses. 

They are a quite short-sized dog, with their maximum height reaching around 26 inches, while they can weigh around 11 to 24 pounds as max.

They have very silky, shiny, and long hair, with their coat varying from primary dog colors like black, white, tan, and sable to modern colors including blue, white, tan, and matte shades. 

With light brown eyes, almost all the Shetland Sheepdog has a white face. 

With proper socialization training, it is one of the most charming pet breeds one can own. Also, they are very alert and have a loud bark, making them one of the best guard dogs.

This dog breed is very obedient and follows the instructions of its owner pretty well. 

Because they have a long coat, they require plenty of grooming and caring. Brushing their coat regularly is very important. It does shed a lot. Also, they are more prone to skin disease because of their long fur, thus keeping care of that.

 Pembroke Welsh Corgi German Shepherd Dog Mix Breed

Another German Shepherd dog breed on our list is the Pembroke Welsh Corgi German shepherd mix. Being one of the most common cattle herding dogs, and is also known as one of the smallest herding dogs. 

It is a crossbred between Pembroke Welsh corgi and the German Shepherd dog, to result in an even smaller corgi. But it is known, only after it gets recognition from the American kennel club and it nibs in Queen Elizabeth’s feet. It is available in standard size varying from smaller size 11 inches to large size 26 inches. Also, they can weigh around 70 pounds.

As it is a mix of German Shepherd dogs, it serves well not only as a herding dog but also as a good guard dog. They have a smaller coat with variable colors ranging from the basic tan and black to cream color with short hairs.

It is one of the most active dog breeds, which love playing and running all day long. Also, they get bored quickly. Thus, you might need to bring a lot of toys for them for their entertainment. 

Being very intelligent and calm tempered, it is one of the best pet dog breeds ever. They are also very loyal to their owner and require minimal grooming.

Shepherd Breed: Pembroke Welsh corgi
Shepherd Breed: Pembroke Welsh corgi

Belgian Malinois

Next in our list of herding breeds is another famous family dog, commonly known as Belgian Malinois. Recognized by the American kennel club, Belgian Malinois was raised as a shepherd dog until it was selected in the Belgian police and army.

This shepherd dog is a medium-sized, alert, square body animal, known for its service for the Belgian Army in world war 2. As its name suggests, this shepherd dog is native to Belgium and is perfect for search and rescue operations, drugs, and bomb detection.

Apart from this, they have sharp teeth, and they are good runners, thus perfect even for chasing a suspect. They are known for their dedication and loyalty towards their master and their intelligence. So, if you are looking for a good guard dog, then this shepherd dog is perfect for you.

The height of a Belgian Malinois varies from 22 to 26 inches, while it can weight up to 70 to 80 pounds. Its health and height are similar to that of a German Shepherd dog.

These are easy to train dogs, and being agile, they adjust themselves everywhere irrespective of that particular region’s climatic condition. 

Shepherd Breed: Belgian malinois dog
Shepherd Breed: Belgian malinois dog

Border Collie

More commonly known as the border collie, landrace collie are medium-sized dogs with a height ranging from 23 to 26 inches, even growing up to 28 inches. They are furry digs with a very pretty black and white fur. Originated from Scotland, these are Anglo-Scottish Shepherd dogs, like German Shepherd dogs.

They are also recognized by the American kennel club and are quite agile and adjust themselves worldwide. The reason behind calling them border collie is because of their unique eye or unique stare moreover.

They are pretty intelligent and a great guard as a pet. Although they require a little grooming because of their long overcoat, yet it falls under one of the cutest dog breeds ever.

These dogs also have a pretty calm temperament, and thus, even if you have kids around you, they will quickly get along with them. Border collie, moreover, is a complete family pet, yet sometimes they are also used by police and Army for searching and rescuing purposes.

What Is the Largest Breed of a Shepherd?

When it comes to shepherd dogs, there are pretty large dogs like German shepherds you can have. But the most massive Shepherd dog is no doubt, Anatolian shepherd. It can grow up to 32 inches, while other average dog breeds having height around 22 to 26 inches at max.

Which Is the Best Shepherd Dog?

There is nothing like the best Shepherd breeds, but in terms of calmness, intelligence, and cuteness, no doubt German Shepherds tops the list. They are not just perfect family dogs but also suitable for rescue works and drug and bomb detection.

Which Is the Smallest Shepherd Breed?

Many mixed breeds of the shepherd dogs are the miniature version of the original species. Those small, pretty, and cute dogs only don’t attain their full height, but their qualities remain the same as that in the original breed. 

One of the smallest shepherd breeds one can raise is the miniature German Shepherd dog. Not just that little packet of joy adorable, but they possess the smartness, agility, and other qualities similar to their parent breed in them.


German Shepherd is the dog that comes to our mind when we saw Shepherd breeds. Yet, there is a long list of Shepherd breeds that one can raise. Not just shepherd breeds are agile and versatile. It comes out as pretty loyal and adorable pets as well.

If you plan to get a Shepherd breed dog at your home, you can consider a few factors before making your decision.

Shepherd dogs’ agility is because of their dense coat making it suitable for them to live anywhere around the world irrespective of the climatic condition. But, with a thick coat, they require extra protection. Will you be able to give them regular grooming sessions?

Training is another essential part of shepherd breed. They can be the most aggressive dog breeds when not trained well and can be the most sophisticated and calm dog breeds when trained patiently. Will you be able to spare time for their training and exercising sessions?

All-in-all, Shepherd breeds require proper attention and care in their growing days. Thus, if you have enough time for them, it can be the most charming pet you can own.

German Shepherds have long been a popular family dog in the United States.

They are loyal, protective and can be trained to do so many things. This popularity, however, doesn’t change the fact that there are some pretty serious myths and misconceptions about this much-loved breed.

While some of these myths have some reasonable support, some are just based on fear and misunderstanding.

In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the common myths about German Shepherds, and then breakdown those myths with facts about how German Shepherds really are and what makes them such unique and amazing dogs.

Myth #1 – Do German Shepherds Attack their Owners?

myth german shephards attack owners

Many myths about German Shepherds are related to their aggression level.

Historically, in movies and television especially, we see examples of German Shepherds behaving badly.

This myth is likely supported by the common use of German Shepherds as police and military dogs.

These dogs tend to act aggressively, and have been known to unintentionally injure their owners. But is this action an actual attack or is it just a case of “mistaken identity”?

Fact: German Shepherds do not attack their owners any more frequently than many other breeds of dogs. In many cases of injury caused to owners by German Shepherds, the dog is not at fault or the incident was not a case of aggression.

This doesn’t mean however that German Shepherds haven’t been known to attack their owners. Many well documented cases where a GSD has attacked their owner, there is a known history of abuse.

 In these instances, the dog has attacked its owner out of fear or as a way of protecting itself in a scary situation.

German Shepherds, like most other dogs will take any action necessary to protect themselves when they are feeling threatened, even if the threat is their owner.

Myth #2 – Are German Shepherds Friendly With Kids?

german shepherds friendly with kids

This myth, like myth number 1, is likely the result of many years of popular culture portraying the German Shepherd as a scary dog.

Size may also be a factor in this myth as well, being that German Shepherds are large dogs, and can be a bit overwhelming for a tiny child.

The size of a German Shepherd combined with toddlers may be another factor in creating the myth that German Shepherds are not good with kids.

Strong, big dogs can easily knock over a tiny child, causing crying and tears.

Fact: German Shepherds are consistently scored as one of the most popular family breeds by the American Kennel Club. This high ranking has much to do with their temperament as a loyal and kind family dog.

Like any other breed of dog, however, you need to be a responsible dog owner when you mix kids and German Shepherd pups.

German Shepherds benefit from good socialization, and lots of training when you add them to a family with young kids.

Likewise, it’s important to teach your kiddos safe behavior around all dogs, to avoid unintentional negative interactions.

If your kids are older, a great way to mix kids and dogs is to have your children assist with training your German Shepherd.

Because GSDs are highly intelligent, they thrive with training and focus, and including your kids will help your German Shepherd acclimate to your whole family.

A well socialized and trained German Shepherd makes a great companion for kids.

With a hidden silly side, your German Shepherd will love playing with your kids, and will give them a run for their money with their high energy level.

Just remember, if your kiddos are small, you should closely watch over them while they play with your German Shepherd. GSDs sometimes forget their size and can knock over a tiny kiddo who just wants to play.

Myth #3 – Are German Shepherds Good With Other Dogs?

Dogs playing together

A big dog, with an intense loyalty to their owner is likely the source of this myth.

Like with small children, a German Shepherd can be intimidating to other dogs, whether they are the sweetest dog or a bit on the irritable side.

Many dog owners assume that because they are larger in stature, a German Shepherd isn’t going to be a good match with other canine members of the family or with friends pets.

Fact: German Shepherds can be testy with other dogs. And female German Shepherds seem to be more easily irritated by other dogs. That doesn’t mean however that they are inherently bad with other dogs.

 It just means that you will need to work a bit harder at socialization and training if you are selecting a German Shepherd. It is true that female German Shepherds seem to be a bit more feisty towards other dogs.

This may be a result of their intense loyalty and protective nature. That doesn’t mean they aren’t good with other dogs, however.

If you are introducing your German Shepherd to a new dog, use good sense practices, like meeting in a neutral location like a dog park.

Also, make sure you keep your GSD on a leash until you are sure that they are comfortable with new dogs. This will allow you to make quick corrections to their behavior when necessary.

Myth #4 – Will German Shepherd Dogs Become Aggressive?

Like the first few myths, this one has a lot to do with popular culture, poorly trained dogs, and a misunderstanding of German Shepherds.

German Shepherds have been frequently used for jobs that require them to be aggressive, and perhaps this leads to a judgement that they can or will become aggressive.

We see police dogs, military dogs and guard dogs on television and movies, and they are more often than not, German Shepherds.

German Shepherds can be trained to strong, protective dogs, but does that mean they are inherently aggressive?

Fact: This is not necessarily true. Yes, German Shepherds can be aggressive, but they aren’t any more aggressive than some other breeds of dogs. In reality, a GSD can be very relaxed and calm.

As is the case with other aggressive dogs, the dog is not the driving factor for behavior. Training is key with German Shepherds, in managing aggressive behavior.

And like with any other breed of dog, a GSD that feels threatened, no matter how sweet they normally are, can become aggressive.

German Shepherds have a tendency to do well in jobs that require them to become aggressive at a moment’s notice, but that doesn’t mean that your family dog will all of a sudden flip out and be mean.

Training and socialization are key to keeping everyone calm and happy in your home.

Myth #5 – Do German Shepherds Bite?

german shepherds biting

This is kind of an odd myth, but one that is out there regardless.

For some reason, German Shepherds have gotten a bad rap as a breed, known for biting.

Perhaps this myth is again fed by the breed’s use in aggressive jobs or maybe their size and imposing stature cause people to assume that they will be biters.

Fact: This is an unfairly earned myth. German Shepherds are not generally known to be biters. Biting is a bad habit that is encouraged by poor training and poor socialization.

According to the American Kennel Club, German Shepherds account for less than 2 percent of reported dog bites.

In fact, America’s favorite breed, the Labrador Retriever is more likely to bite a person than a German Shepherd. For dogs, biting is a response to fear and a need to defend themselves.

If a German Shepherd bites, it’s likely there is a reason. Few dogs bite without being provoked.

However, a well socialized and trained dog is more likely to be calm in a greater variety of situations, which can also reduce the risk of biting.

Myth #6 – Do German Shepherds Bite Harder than Other Breeds?

strongest bite belongs to the rottweiler

Considering the myth that German Shepherds are aggressive, biting dogs, it makes sense that many people worry that the German Shepherd is going to be a strong and vicious biter.

Big dogs bite harder than tiny dogs, but that doesn’t mean they are more likely to bite.

Fact: German Shepherds do have a strong bite. That kind of comes with the territory with larger dogs. However, they are not the strongest biter. Bite force is difficult to measure, but there has been some research done on this subject.

The average bite force of dogs is 269 pounds of pressure. The dog with the strongest bite force is the Rottweiler, with a bite that measured at 328 pound of pressure.

The German Shepherd came in second with nearly 100 pounds less of bite pressure, measuring 238 pounds of pressure. Even small dogs can exert in excess of 100 pounds of pressure when they bite.

This strong bite pressure was necessary when your domestic dog had a different diet and needed to be able to chew hard foods like bones.

And it is important to remember that bite pressure and the likelihood of biting don’t necessarily go hand in hand.


Many times, the German Shepherd gets a bad rap as an aggressive dog.

In fact, any breed of dog can be aggressive given the right conditions.

Yes, German Shepherds can be aggressive, and in some cases, their defensive and protective nature is used as a benefit for jobs like police and military work.

However, with good socialization and training, your German Shepherd can be a calm, sweet and loyal family dog.

Picky eaters can be a pain.

Whether you’re talking about your child, your spouse or your dog, trying to feed a picky eater can be a task in futility.

Trying to manage a dog who is a picky eater is especially challenging because they can’t communicate to you why they’re being picky, what foods they don’t like or what they would prefer to eat.

Just like with humans, dogs can develop picky eating habits, or become picky eaters due to a variety of issues. Sometimes, due to health issues, you have no choice but to have a picky eater.

The good news is, with every picky eating issue, there are a variety of ways to inspire your German Shepherd to return to regular eating habits, or at least a more manageable eating routine.

German Shepherd Feeding Guidelines

how to feed your german shepherd

Not to make the issue more complicated, but German Shepherds really do need to have a solid diet.

While some breeds can get away with mediocre or lower grade foods, your German Shepherd really needs to have a healthy, well-balanced diet that supports a healthy body and a higher level of energy and activity than many other breeds of dogs.

When it comes to feeding your German Shepherd, there are some basic guidelines that you’ll want to follow to ensure that you’ll have a healthy and happy German Shepherd.

Look for foods filled with high-quality protein. This means real meat, not meat byproducts.

Protein is essential to keeping your German Shepherd healthy and active. Proteins are the building blocks of strong muscles, healthy bones, and an alert and a quick mind.

Selecting good proteins that stimulate muscle and bone growth and keep your German Shepherd from being lazy and lethargic is important.

When you are shopping for dog food for your German Shepherd, look for foods that have real meat as the first ingredient.

Real meat is the best source of high-quality proteins that easy for your dog’s body to digest and utilize for energy.

Look for foods that contain a minimum of 22% protein to ensure that your German Shepherd is getting the necessary amount of protein for a healthy body.

Fats are important, too. Make sure your German Shepherd’s food also contains plenty of healthy, animal-based fats.

Again this means buying food that has real animal meat, no animal byproducts. Fats are essential for healthy joints, a thick and lustrous coat, strong nails and teeth and aid in digestion.

When you are looking at foods for your German Shepherd make sure that they contain between 15% and 30% animal fats.

If you have an older dog who is lower in energy you may want to select a food lower in fat, so that you can avoid having a chunky dog.

Provide plenty of fresh water. Water is incredibly important to healthy digestion and keeping your dog feeling great.

Believe it or not, if your dog does not have access to fresh water, it can cause your pup to become finicky about eating. Make sure that your dog has plenty of fresh water, whenever they want it.

Create a good feeding routine

Dogs need a consistent routine of meal times just like we do.

Feeding your German Shepherd on a regular schedule is a good way to help keep your dog healthy and feeling great. Larger breed dogs like German Shepherds will benefit from two or three meals per day.

Because they are high energy, this will allow them to burn calories between meals, keeping them from being lethargic or lazy.

Make sure that the meal times that you select are practical for your schedule as well. It doesn’t make sense to feed your dog on a routine that interferes with important parts of your day.

Know what isn’t healthy. This means you need to become an expert at reading dog food labels. When you are shopping for dog food, as best as possible, avoid the following:

  • Animal byproducts or animal meal.
  • Bulky fillers like corn or other grains.
  • Excessive preservatives.
  • Artificial colors or flavoring.
  • Not enough essential nutrients.

Knowing what isn’t healthy also means that you need to be aware of your dog.

If your German Shepherd’s coat is dull and flakey, if they are lethargic or seem to have issues like poor digestion or allergies, you may want to consider changing their food.

All of these can be indicators of a diet that isn’t giving your German Shepherd the nutrients it needs.

8 Reasons Your Dog Won’t Eat

German Shepherd Wont Eat

If your German Shepherd occasionally skips a meal, there probably isn’t much to worry about.

Skipping a meal or two, now and then may tell you that your pet isn’t feeling well or may he just isn’t hungry. We all have those days, and it isn’t your dog being picky.

However, if your dog constantly turns its nose up at the food you give them, and you are starting to notice changes in activity level or decrease in weight, you likely have a picky eater.

Here are XX reasons that your dog may be a picky eater.

They just don’t like the food

If you don’t like a food option you avoid it.

Your dog is the same. If you offer them a meal, and they don’t like it, they won’t eat it.

This is problematic because you are generally offering them the same meal, a couple of times per day, every day. If your dog doesn’t like it, won’t eat it, you’re going to have some issues.

The food creates a bad memory

This might sound silly, but dogs can remember foods that didn’t make them feel well.

If you give them a meal that made them sick or that they associate with some other unpleasant memory or incident, there’s a good chance that they won’t want to eat.


Sad German Shepherd

If something is causing your German Shepherd to be nervous, they just may not want to eat.

If the cause of their anxiety or nervousness is constant, such as separation anxiety, it may be the source of their picky eating.

Try doing things to help calm them, or provide them with more exercise and attention. These can help bring back your German Shepherd’s appetite and have everyone feeling happy.


This is seen in humans too.

As people and the dog’s age and their activity level decrease. This decrease in activity combined with a decrease in appetite due to age may cause your dog to eat less or want to eat less frequently.

In general, if your German Shepherd is older, and starts to lose interest in food, you shouldn’t be too worried.

They will eat when they want, and so long as they maintain a healthy weight, a decreased interest in food, for an older dog is normal.

Too many treats

German Shepherd Chewing Bone

For your pup, treats should be used to reward good behavior or as a special snack from time to time.

Feeding your German Shepherd too many treats can curb their appetite, and make them not interested in their food.

And, if you are enticing your German Shepherd to eat their regular food using treats, you may be creating a bad habit and switch in control.

This sends the message to your dog that if they don’t like something, they can always hold out for something tastier.

6. Kibble is boring. We all love a little something extra from time to time, so does your German Shepherd.

If your German Shepherd doesn’t seem as excited about dinner time, try adding a little something extra like a little canned dog food, chicken broth or a few treats.

You changed their schedule

Some dogs are schedule oriented and won’t eat if it isn’t the right time.

If you’ve recently changed your German Shepherd’s routine, it may be causing them to be picky.

There’s an underlying health issue

If your German Shepherd’s food pickiness comes on all of a sudden, and you can’t get them to eat new food, treats or even homemade foods, there could be an underlying health issue.

It is important to be aware of this and make sure your German Shepherd gets attention from the veterinarian, ASAP!

Feeding a German Shepherd Picky Eater

Chewing A Bone

Now that you have some ideas about what might be causing your German Shepherd to be a picky eater, you can make some changes that will, hopefully, inspire them to enjoy meal time again.

The first step is to change up your German Shepherd’s food. This is the easiest solution in many cases. Start small though, you don’t need to buy a 50 pound bag of food just yet.

Many pet stores have samples that you can try or even buy a small 5 or 10-pound bag to start.

If your pup doesn’t like the food, you can try something else, without spending a ton of money. For some great food choices for German Shepherds, check out our buying guide.

Then, make sure you are consistent with feeding time. The choice of food may be great, but if their routine is off, make sure that you make setting the routine a priority.

If your schedule required the change in routine, see if there is a way to make the change more subtle for your dog.

If timing and food aren’t the issues, make sure your home is comfortable and free of loud noises and has plenty of fun, thoughtful toys.

This will keep your dog interested during the day, and help lessen sources of anxiety. And when you get home, take a walk with your pup.

The exercise will be good for the mind and body, for everyone.

And remember, a well-exercised dog is usually a hungry dog, so making sure they work up a hunger is always a good way to inspire eating, even with the pickiest of dogs.

Finally, if all else fails, visit your vet. They often have great suggestions for overcoming picky eating.

And if there is an underlying health condition or concern, your vet will know how to resolve it, and having your pup feeling great again.

A Feeding Timeline

Dog Wathcing Food

It’s really hard to tell a busy family how and when to feed their dog.

And just like people, every dog is different, so creating a feeding time that works for everyone is really the best answer.

We do have a few suggestions to help you set up a routine and to avoid over or under feeding your German Shepherd.

Feed twice or three times per day

This will give your German Shepherd consistent energy throughout the day, and keep them from feeling lethargic.

Pick a time that will work on most days for you. If the schedule isn’t convenient for you, it will be hard to stick with.

Avoid free-feeding

Free-feeding is placing out a bowl of food for your dog to graze on during the day.

While there are always exceptions to the rule, in general, this practice can lead to overweight dogs and can increase your food and vet bills.

However, for some older dogs, the ability to eat when they are ready may be the answer to a picky eater, so know your dog, and work within their timing and needs, as best as possible.

Are Amphibians and Reptiles harmful to dogs?

What happens if my dog eats a frog or reptile?

Well, to be frank Dogs may die from eating frogs, if it’s a poisonous frogs or lizard.

Some amphibians like dart frogs and salamanders such as Red Spotted Newts secrete toxin on their skin.

Even though most are not poisonous, They still pose health risks as they carry parasites such as salmonella, that causes serious infections.

Usually, If your dog eats a frog or lizard they might only feel some irritations in gums and outer mouth area that’s all. And it will go away on its own.

Do give your dog a “special” place to eat

Make sure that your dog has a consistent place, to consistently eat, at the same time every day. This will make them feel special, and inspire them to eat.

A picky eater is never fun to deal with. When the picky eater in your home is your German Shepherd, it makes it even more difficult.

Without being able to ask your dog why they are rejecting their meal, finding an answer becomes a practice in sleuth work.

Hopefully we’ve given you some ideas on why your German shepherd dog might be a picky eater and some ways to get them excited about eating again.

So you’re certain you want a German Shepherd, but now you’re making the last key decision.

Which sex do you choose?

When you’re talking about a female vs male German shepherd, there are advantages and disadvantages for both.

Keep reading to find out exactly what these differences are, and how they can affect your decision.

History and Overview

Atina And Beni German Shepherds

German shepherd dogs are one of the most popular dog breeds in both the United States and the United Kingdom.

They have traditionally been used for herding, guarding, police, military, and guide-dog roles.

Throughout history, this breed has developed several talents and has held several occupations, from chasing down criminals to performing in movies.

The GSD is an intelligent dog, is easy to train and is always up for a challenge.

Originally bred to herd groups of sheep, the high-energy GSD needs to constantly be entertained or else he is likely to exhibit his boredom through excessive barking, digging and chewing.

The breed also tends to appear unfriendly and suspicious to strangers but that is not the case with family members.

The overall temperament of the dog depends on a variety of factors, including genes, gender, and socialization.

While the German Shepherd has many traits you might want in a dog breed, the breed might not be the right choice for everyone.

Female vs. Male Temperament

Generally, female GSD makes for sweeter and friendlier companions.

Male GSDs tend to be territorial and urinate wherever they go to mark their territory. They are also much prouder.

Female German Shepherd dogs tend to be gentler and friendlier towards their owners and people in general.

However, keep in mind that your dog’s temperament depends on his/her socialization skills.

Whether you opt for a male or female GSD, expose them to new persons and surroundings from a young age so that they grow up to become well-mannered and well-socialized dogs.

New GSD owners may consider enrolling their puppy in obedience kindergarten classes.

Taking your dog out for regular strolls in the park and introducing the breed to new people and other pets will also improve their socialization skills.

With their primary family, GSD’s are playful and lively but may exhibit signs of possessiveness. While this makes the dog breed an excellent watchdog, visitors or other dog owners might not appreciate it.

What About Feeding?

Two German Shepherds Eating

As male German Shepherds are reasonably larger than their female counterparts, they need to be fed a larger amount of food.

It is generally recommended that feed your dog 3-4 cups of healthy dog food, divided into two servings.

The amount of food and nutrition your dog needs depends on its age, size, build and metabolism. When it comes to nutrition, dogs are like people and have different dietary needs.

Not all dogs require the same amount of food. A highly active and energetic dog will undoubtedly require more food than an elderly dog.

The quality of food also plays an important role in improving their overall health.

The superior the quality of the dog food, the more nourishing it will be for your pet. If your GSD is gaining weight or losing weight too quickly, take them to the vet.

GSDs grow at a rapid pace between the 4 and 7 months of age so some special care must be taken if you are raising a puppy.

During this time of growth, they can be highly susceptible to bone disorders.

Additionally, over-feeding your new puppy and permitting them to gain weight to quickly can result in joint problems.

Size Comparison

Females tend to be smaller than males and less muscular.

This is of course relative. There will always be small males and large females, and German shepherds are generally large dogs anyway.

Male German Shepherds are generally larger than their female counterparts and have a height ranging from 24 to 26 inches, while females stand about 22 to 24 inches tall. Their weight ranges from 75 to 95 pounds.

Depending on the living situation and the role you are planning to utilize your new GSD for, size can matter a great deal.

Activity Levels

Two German Shepherds Running

Both male and female German Shepherds are highly energetic and require several hours of spirited exercise.

Simply put, a GSD is not the breed for you if you enjoy being lazy and watching TV all day and expect your dog to entertain themselves.

GSDs are packed with energy and will indulge in destructive behavior if they are unexercised.

If you are in need of an energetic companion that will accompany you for your morning runs then undoubtedly, this breed is the perfect choice for you.

Gender Personality Trails

Male German shepherds, like most male dogs, are more dominant than females, with females normally being gentler and much friendlier towards both their families and outsiders.

This isn’t fixed in stone, however. A huge majority of a dog’s temperament revolves around how they are raised.

And any puppy, male or female, that is regularly exposed to other people and animals and socialized regularly will be more relaxed and calm in a variety of situations.

Commonly male GSDs tend to be more aloof and proud than females, but still just as curious and enthusiastic about play and learning.

Whether these differences are present and how apparent they may be will vary depending on the traits of the parent dogs.

This is why it is important to be able to meet and get to know each parent dog as you are selecting between male and female German shepherd puppies.

Are Male or Female GSD’s More Protective?

German Shepherd And Baby

There is no doubt that the male has a fierce exterior.

However, for the most part, German Shepherds are calm, gentle and loving animals.

Unfortunately, though, males can have moments where they live up to the German Shepherd characteristics when they are overprotective.

Males can be more territorial and mark more often than females, especially if they are unneutered.

In the same way, a male can compete for dominance more than females if he sees you lacking in strong leadership. Again though, this will only ever be a problem if you don’t train your dog correctly.

Males can be more protective of their surrounding area, while females are more protective of their family.

Since female German shepherds have the “pack” instinct, they will be more protective of your family than their male counterparts.

A few other distinct traits to mention:

One person connection

Males tend to bond with one person in particular and be more territorial over that person.

Of course, a male will love the rest of the family, but don’t be surprised if everyone comes to understand the special bond that your male German shepherd has with “their” person.

Males are usually better from a personal protection standpoint, because of their larger size and tendency to bond with one person.

Possessiveness Over Items

Females are less possessive over items and personal effects than males, and less likely to bond strongly with one person.

Instead, females tend to love ‘the pack’ and treat your family equally, unless there’s obviously someone who feeds, manages, and trains them.

Training and sensitivity

Females are easier to train and more sensitive than males.

Their smaller size, greater agility, and temperament mean they’re a better choice for obedience training and events. Females also mature faster than males, which can make them easier to train.

Strangers and children tolerance

Females are more tolerant of strangers and children, in general as well.

Female dogs also go into heat, usually twice a year, unless they are spayed, which can cause some personality changes.

Are Male or Female GSD’s Less Aggressive?

German Shepherds Training

Male German shepherd dogs are significantly more likely to show aggression than females.

Training a German Shepherd not to be aggressive can be challenging if that’s your goal.

However, training your Shepherd not to be aggressive will alleviate some opportunities for conflict with other people and animals.

Things to consider: families with children may prefer a female as a playmate, whereas male dogs may be more appropriate for owners with security concerns.

To prevent over-guarding and aggressive behavior, German shepherd dogs should have socialization and obedience training at a young age which will reduce the chances of him causing harm to someone else or getting into fights with other pets.

Training your male GSD to not to be aggressive has some upsides, you can stop fitting him in a muzzle whenever you leave the house, fewer complaints about him barking hostilely, but can be a downside if guarding your home is a priority.

The first thing recommended to do is identify what is causing the aggression in the first place.

You can then go about dealing with the underlying problem. To reduce aggression, training will need to consist of socialization with other pets and people.

You will also need to use obedience commands to increase your control. Some deterrence measures may also be required to prevent his aggression from developing further.

Are Female GSD Used as Police Dogs?

Female German Shepherd Police Dog

Most, but certainly not all K9 police dogs, are male.

As far as why, males are larger and stronger thus more intimidating.

The temperament traits needed for patrol work are more frequently found in males, males don’t go through heat cycles which can interfere with training and work, and there is commonly a certain degree of “manly” factor involved.

In regards to police and military work, this tough exterior equates to a good number of police departments, K9 trainers and handlers being more drawn to males just because they are perceived as being more macho.

The female German shepherd is considered a better pick for family protection as opposed to one-to-one protection, including but not limited to personal security, military, police, or K-9 work.

The German shepherd breed displays the versatility, strength, and courage that makes it exceptionally suitable for police work.

Their heavy coats allow them to work under colder conditions, loyalty to their handlers is absolute and bravery is well documented.

In addition, their presence seems to have an inhibitive psychological effect on potential offenders.

German shepherds trained to apprehend will invariably make a successful arrest despite the fact they are trained only to hold, never to be savage.

Male dogs are favored for police duties but some females are chosen.

In addition to being in perfect physical condition, they must have particular personality traits that make them suitable for police work: even temperament, pursuing instinct and sound character are essential.

Because of their intelligent and curiosity to learn, male German Shepherds are easier to train for K9 duties compared to the female GSD may be easier to train and more sensitive to commands and cues, which may be a better pick for a service dog or therapy dog work.

How often are female GSD “in heat” during the year?

Female German Shepherd

Intact female dogs (dogs that have not been surgically spayed), and that are sexually mature, which can vary in the timeframe, are said to be in estrus, “in heat”, or “in season”, during their occasional “cycle” in preparation to breed and reproduce.

Female German Shepherd dogs generally have their first heat cycle at around 6 to 12 months of age.

Sometimes, a female GSD in heat may not have their first seasonal estrus cycle until they are 12 months of age or older, depending on that particular dog.

Remember, however, that this information is very general and not all female dogs will follow these exact patterns.

Overall, each individual female dog’s heat cycle pattern tends to be relatively close to the basic average, lengthwise, however, lengths of heat cycles may differ from female to female when the female German Shepherd goes into heat.

In most cases, the average female German Shepherd Dogs heat cycle lasts about 3 to 4 weeks. Some female German Shepherds can come into estrus as early as every 4 months, while others may do so only once a year.

Some canine heat cycles are shorter than average while other dogs may have longer ones (longer than 4 weeks).

Remember these three important facts concerning your female German shepherd dogs yearly heat cycles and prepare accordingly.

First, assume your dog to be “in heat” for at least 21 days, possibly longer, which will vary due to your own individual females cycle.

Second, it is very important to keep in mind that conception is most likely to happen during the middle section of your GSD’s heat cycle – typically around 7 to 14 days after the heat cycles start.

Third, you will need to confine your female for the entire heat cycle – at least 21 days or more depending on your particular situation, to make sure that accidental mating does not happen.

Whether you keep her indoors or out you will need to make sure that her environment is “Boy proof”.

Believe me, you will need to think of all precautions because an interested male can be very vigilant in getting into a female’s area if she is in heat.

On average, the complete canine reproductive cycle takes about 6 months, which results in about 2 heat cycles each year for most female German shepherd dogs.

Be aware of all aspects of your pets health and behavioral life, prepare accordingly and you should both have a long and healthy life together.

If you do not use your dog for breeding it should be neutered, for its sake and yours.

Neutered dogs are easier to handle, and have fewer problems connected to their gender. Male dogs are very difficult to handle when on the trail of a dog in heat.

And, a dog in heat comes with its own problems of messiness, moodiness and other dogs hanging around. Neutering is the best solution if your GSD will be a family pet only.

The Final Word

While there is no guarantee on the body size, temperament, or lifespan of any individual dog, females tend to live longer.

In that case, a female German shepherd dog may be a better option for owners for whom a longer-lived pet is important.

Always remember that individual temperament and the way a dog is raised speaks far more than genetic and sexual traits.

As intelligent, devoted dogs, female or male German Shepherd, raised well, will be a fantastic addition to any family.

The one exception to this rule is if you’ve never had a dog before and have no idea how to train one properly and there are no resources in your town or city to help you train your dog.

If this is the case, it’s recommended that you choose a female dog, because of the dominance issues that can arise with a male dog who can recognize a lack of power structure and effective leadership in the household.

Whether you get a female vs male German shepherd, as long as you raise them correctly, you’re going to have a loving friend that will look after you for the rest of their lives.

German Shepherd dogs were originally bred for herding purposes, so they need to be kept occupied both mentally and physically and require at least 1-2 hours of exercise per day to make sure they aren’t bored stiff.

The German Shepherd, by classification, is a working dog that was originally raised for roundups, however, they are a true utility breed and have been used in many jobs that require fitness, including law enforcement, guard dogs and in search and rescue work.

Do German Shepherd Dogs need a lot of exercise?

German Shepherd Jumping

The short answer is “Yes”, German Shepherds are exceedingly active, high energy dogs and require large amounts of movement every day of energy burning activities.

When it comes to exercise and your German Shepherd, the more the better. If they don’t get the exercise they need to release their pent-up energy they can become destructive or develop behavior issues.

It is highly recommended that if you cannot give your GSD the physical and mental exercise on a daily basis, you should choose an alternative breed.

How to exercise a GSD?

Because German Shepherds are so spirited, strong-minded and have bucket loads of energy, you need to find activities that can burn energy in a short period of time and develop skills.

This can include a high-intensity game or doggy strength training to keep their muscles in peak condition. By making the muscles stronger they will support the joints and tendons which helps prevent injury.

There are three key types of exercises and activities you must provide your German Shepherd every day.

  • Daily walk- 45-60 minutes minimum
  • Purposeful High-Intensity- games, tug-o-war and agility training
  • Mental stimulation- puzzles or obedience training

One of the chief responsibilities of being a new dog owner is ensuring that Fido gets plenty of daily exercises to prevent unscrupulous behavior.

Failure to do so will result in you finding your favorite running shoes shredded to bits or your backyard suddenly riddled by custom dug holes.

Running with Your GSD

German Shepherd Running

German shepherds make great running partners when properly physically conditioned over time.

Talk to your dog’s veterinarian and get the OK before embarking on a new exercise plan.

Though exercise needs are based on age, breed, size and overall health, GSD’s are a breed in the hunting, working or herding group, making them ideal for long periods of moving.

If your GSD is younger than 1 year to 18 months of age, use caution against any long distance running while bones are growing, the respiratory system is building and growth plates are closing.

If you’re given the all-clear by the vet, start slow and notice your dog’s response; add mileage as they get stronger and endurance levels build.

Starting with short runs is not only safer for the dog, but makes the new process enjoyable for you both.

Allow for a warm-up and cool-down periods before and after your run. Walking to the park or around the block beforehand should prepare the muscles for a light jog.

Dogs won’t naturally overdo exercise like humans, so it’s important to read your pet’s behavior and watch for signs that he isn’t up to a jog or that he’s reached his limits.

Always keep in mind your own running/conditioning process—and those days you just don’t feel like running, do a walk instead of a run that day, or do shorter, more frequent walks rather than one long one.

A dog with a sore limb or a stomach ache or a dog that is just generally tired won’t make a good running companion for that day. Watch his response to movement and react accordingly.

Over Exercised Dog Symptoms

German Shepherd Laying On Grass

German Shepherds can go hard and keep going, often not knowing when to stop.

With any dog, it is possible to over-exercise them, especially in hot weather. It is important to be aware of the signs and symptoms of a dog that has overdone it.

Overexertion Signals

  • Excessive panting during or after the exertion
  • Extreme thirst
  • Lagging behind
  • Lameness, limping or a reluctance to move in usual ways
  • Appearing overtired post-exercise or sleeping or laying down more than normal
  • Reluctance to go out for a run
  • Missing mastered cues or commands

The most common dangers associated with exercising with your dog are heat stroke, pad abrasions, and muscle soreness. When in doubt, exercise during nonpeak heat hours, early in the morning or late in the evening.

If you notice your dog is showing early signs of heat stroke, stop and take a break. Be sure to always provide your dog with ample water. And when in doubt, walk home, give it a try the next day.

Also, keep in mind that dogs overheat quicker than humans.

Fur, limited heat loss from sweat evaporation, an inability to self-regulate their pace, an eager-to-please character and the extra pounds all contribute to a possible heat stroke victim.

Signs of Heat Stroke

  • Vomiting
  • Malaise/lethargy
  • Excessive panting
  • Dark red or dark pink gums
  • Collapse
  • Elevated heart rate
  • Diarrhea, progressing to bloody diarrhea
  • Bruising
  • Kidney failure
  • Difficulty breathing

Surface Issues

German Shepherd Paws

Anything that’s considered decent for your joints is good for your dogs’ joints, which means running on any soft ground surface (beach, grass, dirt trails) is better than unforgiving asphalt.

You can wear protective shoes to protect your feet and a myriad dog shoes and booties are contrived to protect dogs’ footpads against surface heat, road/trail debris, and ice and snow.

Unfortunately, not all products fit great, and some dogs can’t stand to wear them.

In areas where snow and ice are common, wash your dog’s paws immediately after a run, as salt and other chemicals can be toxic—particularly for if your dog is a licker.

During hotter summer months, if you’re not going to walk on grass, a dirt trail or at the beach, face your palm down flat on the pavement to test the surface temperature—you might be surprised by the amount of heat.

If your hand doesn’t burn after keeping it in place, your dog’s pads are safe.

Always check your GSD’s paws during run breaks and post-exercise sessions. While pads are tougher than human feet and have reduced pain sensation, abrasions and paw pads are painful!

Remember as they age to adjust your expectations as your dog transitions into his senior years. In spirit, they want to join you just as much as ever, but their body isn’t quite up to the task.

However, dogs with osteoarthritis or orthopedic problems still need regular exercise but once a dog has developed osteoarthritis, the constant pounding of running is painful.

Slow your pace so your dog can walk quickly beside you. Take walks in the park or at the beach. Swimming is an excellent alternative once your dog passes the point of “sore” return on bones and joints.

Dogs that remain trim live longer and suffer less from osteoarthritis and other physical issues.

Dog Playgrounds

German Shepherd Puppy In Dog Park

GSD’s require space to exercise, sometimes a ton of it.

Not everyone has a wild. One option, if your yard is smaller is to build an agility course for them to run through.

Taking the dogs out to a park is really a wonderful way to get in good, intense exercise but it depends on the dog, depends on the park and depends on the laws in your area (off leash laws)

As far as dog parks go German shepherds usually are not there to play with other dogs, they’re there to play with you and the other dogs in “your pack”.

Dog parks are a good idea as puppies because they can blow off that adolescent energy and is the only thing that really exhausts them, and puppies tend to do very well socially.

German Shepherd Training

Because male GSDs are, by nature, stubborn and more dominant, they are much more difficult to train compared to female shepherds.

Begin training your dog from a young age. Start by keeping the training session shorts and involve tons of treats.

Female German shepherd dogs are easier to train and make better contenders for sporting competitions, such as for agility and obedience events.

Both male and female dogs cannot stand being left alone or unexercised for long periods of time, therefore only adopt the German shepherd breed if you do not have a busy schedule and can spend the time to train them properly.

How to use Positive Reward Based Training

German Shepherd Waiting For A Treat

Rewards and positive reinforcement are powerful tools in dog training.

Reward-based training is about setting your dog up for success. Treats are usually the foundation of positive dog training or positive reinforcement training.

Reward-based learning is centered on the dog earning rewards for correct behavior. The rewards are known as primary reinforces and these can be food rewards, toy rewards, play sessions, physical or verbal praise.

Reinforced behaviors tend to be repeated and behavior that is not enforced will eventually die out.

This is a very simplified explanation of reward-based training, there are many degrees and a new GSD owner should further research the subject.

The Power of Food

All dogs like food, but not all dogs like toys, play sessions or a lot of coddling.

This makes food the most effective tool in the toolbox for reward based training.

A food treat can be delivered quickly to reward behavior and if it’s the right size and not too hard or crumbly your dog will quickly devour it and be ready to focus on the training session again.

Food is also a great way for beginner owners and dogs to take the first step into reward-based training.

It’s not uncommon for owners to mix up training with food, toy or play rewards as their dog becomes more experienced and skilled in training.

Two key things to keep in mind with food rewards are; they need to be high-value treats, to keep your dog engaged.

And size does matter; too insignificant or too large of a treat will make your dog lose focus and disconnect with the training.

Let’s quickly look at how you can find out which treats your dog considers high value or simply likes best:

  • Hold a treat in your hand, close enough to your dog’s nose for him to smell it but out of his grasp.
  • Then set it down on the floor in front of him, still keeping it out of his reach.
  • Do the same with another treat of a different kind.  For example; a meat dog biscuit for the first treat and a piece of cheese for the second treat.
  • Now allow your dog access to the treats to see which one he eats first.

You should do this a few times and change around the flavor and position of the treats.  Keep tabs on your dog’s choices and you’ll quickly find out which ones they like best.

Later in the training process, you can add two or more different treats into the mix and follow the same steps. This way your dog will help you assign values to the treats.

Training that requires a higher level of motivation will need a higher value treat.  With useful information from your dog about treat values, you can make the best choice for a specific level of training.

Do GSD’s like to play with other dogs?

Labrador And German Shepherd

This is determined on a case by case basis and is highly dependent on the temperament and training of the dog in question.

In general, you want to provide the opportunity for your German Shepherd to play with other dogs as much as possible.

This is not only great to burn energy and stimulate their mind, but teaches them important social skills.

Not all German Shepherds are dog-friendly however, so ensure yours is given ample opportunities to socialize to prevent the possibility of fighting or aggressive outbursts.

What does GSD like to play with?

The German Shepherd is also very intelligent so it is important to challenge their minds.

They learn new skills quickly making them easy to train with the right guidance.

Playing games of any kind with your German Shepherd is really good for them and builds up your relationship.

Remember, first of all, dogs are social creatures by nature and playing is one important element in developing and maintaining their social relationships.

Playing games is a proven fundamental way of “modeling” real-life behaviors and can be beneficial to their overall quality of life.

Learning Activities

Teaching your German shepherd new commands and tricks is also excellent to provide mental enrichment.

A popular game that they will love and involves learning cues is to teach them the names of their toys then hide them and request they only retrieve toys by name.

Dogs can learn hundreds of words and names so this can take up a ton of time.

Types of Toys

German Shepherd Holding Toy In Mouth

Since GSD’s are large-sized dogs and powerful in physique, you’ll need dog toys that won’t be shredded to pieces in 3 minutes.

They are also highly intellectual, so don’t forget to add a variety of interactive toys to the list to stave off boredom.

These are the different types of German Shepherd dog toys we recommend you try out:

  • Tug toys: They are constructed to be strong and long-lasting for hard biting and tugging. This is a great option for pups, as tug toys build up teeth. Our go-to toys: Pet Artist 3 Tug Toy or Puller Training Rings
  • Puzzle/interactive: These toys are made to challenge a dog cerebrally and often incorporate treats as a reward. Our go-to toys: Hide-a-Squirrel or Kong Extreme Goodie Medium
  • Teething/Chew: Durable and made from thick rubber or plastic, this is a great puppy German Shepherd toy and beneficial for dental health. Our go-to toys:  Kong Classic or NylaBone DuraChew
  • Soft/plush: These are comfort toys. Go for a plush toy with no stuffing to prevent a mess. Our go-to toys: Zippy Paws No Stuffing Plush Toy
  • Training toys: These will keep your dog physically and mentally stimulated; great for new dogs learning to obey commands. Our go-to toys:  Chuckit! Ultra Ball. HDP 18 Ft. Dog Training Tunnel


Remember, the German Shepherd dog is high energy, strong and has levels of stamina beyond most of its owners.

They are also very smart and need to have their minds occupied constantly with activities.

Dog owners who regularly exercise with their German shepherd dog develop better communication with, understanding of, and respect for, their loyal companion.

Playing fun games, running or other kinds of training allow you and your German Shepherd a chance to blow off steam and spend a little bit of time together in an otherwise tedious week.

It is vital to provide sufficient physical and mental exercises and activity to release pent-up energy and avert boredom. This can lead to behavior issues such as barking, digging, escaping and destructive behavior.

The cost of not doing so can be an unhappy and frustrated dog as well as the owner.

If you’ve selected a German Shepherd to be a part of your family, congratulations!

Not only are German Shepherds a great family dog, but they are also very low maintenance and easy to care for.

However, just because they are low maintenance dogs, doesn’t mean that you can just skip the grooming.

Dogs of all breeds, no matter how low maintenance, will benefit from even some basic grooming from time to time. Your German Shepherd is no exception.

Their beautiful double coat does need brushing and some occasional extra care, to help keep your German Shepherd healthy and looking amazing.

If you’d like to see a graphical breakdown of the grooming guide, we got you covered:

German Shepherd Grooming Guide

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Hair Care for Your German Shepherd

German Shepherd Laying In Grass

Your German Shepherd was bred with a beautiful double coat.

This coat consists of two layers: a soft downy undercoat and a coarse, longer coat of guard hairs.

Each part of their coat provides protection for your dog against the elements and assists them with properly regulating their body temperature.

So it is important that you know how to properly care for this special coat that works so hard to protect your German Shepherd.


This isn’t part of grooming but it is an important part of keeping your German Shepherd’s hair healthy.

Make sure that your German Shepherd is eating high-quality dog food with plenty of protein, fats, and nutrients. This will ensure that their whole body is healthy.

A healthy body will keep your German Shepherd’s coat and skin healthy too, which is the most basic way to care for their beautiful coat.

Olive oil and molasses are good additions to your dog’s regular food to help with coat and skin health.

For more suggestions of the best foods for your German Shepherd, check out our Best Foods buying guide.


Using Brush On German Shepherd

The double coat of your German Shepherd requires some effort to keep it looking great.

Frequent brushing will keep your German Shepherd’s coat looking great and free from mats, dirt and debris.

In general, a good rule of thumb for brushing your German Shepherd is to make this a weekly process.

Daily would be best, but it is understandable that for most people, brushing your dog every day can be a bit challenging, especially with kids, work and other life commitments.

Brushing can be a great way to introduce your older kids to pet care and give your children a connection to their dog.

Just make sure you keep a close eye on both your kids and your pup to make sure everyone is interacting together, safely.

Brushing your German Shepherd requires some good brushes. You may want to have a variety of brushes and combs for different parts of your German Shepherd’s coat.

Our buying guide for the best brushes for your German Shepherd is a great place to start when it comes to selecting the right brush for your dog, and the type of coat it has.


In general, your German Shepherd shouldn’t need to have its coat trimmed or clipped.

German Shepherds with long coats could benefit from some occasional trimming around their ears and on their paws.

Trimming long hair from the tops and bottom of your dog’s paws can give them some extra traction if your home has hardwood or tile floors, which can be slippery under furry feet.

Trimming or clipping your German Shepherd can also be helpful if you have pots that get matted and you have a hard time removing the mats in other ways.

Trimming and clipping is a grooming task that should be done in moderation. There should never be a time when your German Shepherd should be shaved completely.

Most veterinarians will tell you that even in the summer time, your German Shepherd needs that thick coat.

Shaving your German Shepherd changes its body’s ability to naturally regulate body temperature.

Additionally, shaving off your German Shepherd’s coat eliminates the only protection your dog has from the sun and ultra-violet rays.

In a way, your dog’s coat works as a winter coat, an air conditioner, and a bottle of sunscreen all in one.


Using Dematting Comb On Dog

Dematting can be a real pain, and if you are at this point, it is probably a good idea that you start a regular routine of brushing your German Shepherd.

If your German Shepherd needs to be dematted, you will want to use special dematting combs.

These combs have wavy, widely spaced, metal fingers. Each finger has a sharp blade that cuts through the mat while the wavy part of the finger “wiggles” its way through the mat, separating the hairs.

Check out the buying guide for the best dematting comb for your German Shepherd.

Dematting takes time and patience, and if done in a rush or with the wrong tools, it can cause discomfort for your dog.

Your German Shepherd will likely avoid or become nervous if you do this process incorrectly, so if you are not comfortable with dematting your dog, you may want to consider using a professional groomer to do the work instead.

If mats are close to the skin or are covering a substantial amount of their body, you may want to consider shaving off the matted areas.

This will stop the mats from pulling on your dog’s skin and is a quick way to resolve a serious matting issue.

However, make sure you are only trimming away areas that really need it. You shouldn’t completely shave your dog.


Shedding is a fact with German Shepherds.

They will constantly shed the long, coarse guard hairs. However, twice a year, your German Shepherd will shed the soft undercoat, in preparation for the coming seasons.

Your dog will need some help getting rid of the shedding undercoat. Buying an undercoat rake, a specific type of grooming comb will allow you to easily pull out the shedding undercoat without pulling.

Deshedding your dog serves a couple of purposes: First, it helps your dog get rid of summer or winter hair that it no longer needs.

Removing this hair will allow healthy new undercoat to grow in without being tied up with the old coat.

This is how matting occurs, and as we’ve mentioned previously, matting can be very painful for your dog and can cause a variety of skin issues.

Second, deshedding saves your carpet, furniture, and clothing from the mass of hair that your German Shepherd will be losing.

It’s not going to be a completely perfect fix, but if you make deshedding a normal routine along with frequent brushing, your home, and your clothes won’t give away that you own a German Shepherd.

Bathing Your German Shepherd

German Shepherd Bathing

Giving your German Shepherd a bath is a job that, fortunately, you don’t have to undertake too often.

German Shepherds have a naturally clean coat, with minimal oils, so, two or three baths a year can be all you need to do.

However, bathing your German Shepherd more frequently can help with shedding.

Many German Shepherd owners like to bathe their dogs monthly, just as a way of getting rid of more hair, and to reduce the risks of matting.

Getting a reluctant or large German Shepherd into a bathtub can be challenging.

If you live in a warmer climate, and it is possible, it is usually easier to wash your German Shepherd, outdoors. Some German Shepherd owners prefer to use self-service dog washes.

These facilities provide walk-in wash stations that don’t require you to lift or use mind tricks to get your German Shepherd into a bathtub, which can be worth the small fee you pay to use these facilities.

However, if all else fails, your bathtub will work just fine, just make sure you have a good way to block the drain from any hair that may wash from your German Shepherd, to avoid clogging the drain.

Before you bathe your German Shepherd, make a trip to your local pet supply store and pick up a bottle of dog/pet shampoo.

If you have a long-haired German Shepherd you may also want to pick up a bottle of pet conditioner as well. These products are gentle on your dog’s skin, and will not cause rashes or itchy spots.

If your German Shepherd has been itchy or suffers from dry skin, look for a shampoo with oatmeal, which can soothe itchy spots and moisturize skin.

You should never use human shampoos on your German Shepherd, as they can irritate their skin and eyes, which defeats the purpose of bathing your dog.

A couple of other helpful hints

  • Don’t be afraid to use lots of shampoos. Your German Shepherd’s course, thick hair can be difficult to work up a lather in. Suds grab onto dirt and debris, so it’s important to work up a good lather. This means you are likely to use a lot of shampoos.
  • Rinse really well. It’s helpful if you have a hand-held sprayer to rinse your German Shepherd off with. It will allow you to rinse well in the “hard to reach” spots, like under the legs, under the tail and under the neck. These are also the spots where skin can be extra sensitive, so making sure you rinse well is important.
  • Don’t forget to dry your dog. In the summer, a good towel dry is probably fine. Warm temperatures and sun will help your dog dry quickly without needing a dryer. However, when the weather is colder, it’s a good idea to take the time to dry your dog with a dryer. Yes, this will take some time, but your dog will appreciate being warm after their bath.
  • Then brush. Don’t forget to brush your dog after a bath to get rid of tangles that can quickly turn to mats.

Brushing your German Shepherd’s Teeth

Brushing German Shepherd Teeth

There was a time when brushing your dog’s teeth was unheard of. Today, dental care for your dog is as diverse and as important as dental care for your own teeth.

For a long time, when the family dog was given the scraps and bones from the meats we ate, brushing their teeth was not necessary.

They naturally scraped plaque buildup off of their teeth, just by chewing on a bone. Today our dogs see fewer and fewer bones, so we need to help them clean their teeth.

Dogs are prone to the same dental conditions we are, like cavities, gum disease, and bad breath. Brushing your dog’s teeth will help them avoid these uncomfortable issues.

If you can, and if your German Shepherd is a puppy, you should start now, brushing their teeth.

The younger they are when you start this process, the more comfortable they will become, over time with this task, which can be awkward.

This isn’t to say that your dog will “love” having their teeth brushed, but they will learn to tolerate the activity.

In an ideal world, we would brush our German Shepherd’s teeth daily. However, this is likely a reality for most dog owners. So brushing weekly is usually sufficient for keeping your dog’s teeth clean.

Brushing your German Shepherd’s teeth will require a toothbrush and if you want, toothpaste.

Make sure that you use dog/pet toothpaste, not people toothpaste since human toothpaste has ingredients that can be bad for dogs.

You can use a human toothbrush for your dog, and for larger breed dogs, like German Shepherds, it’s not a bad idea, since the long handle will allow you to easily reach back teeth.

Make sure you use a soft or extra soft-bristled toothbrush, so you don’t hurt your dog’s teeth. You can also buy toothbrushes at the pet supply store.

Since you aren’t likely to want or have time to brush your dog’s teeth every day, you may want to invest in a chew toy for your German Shepherd that also works to clean their teeth.

These toys can be filled with treats or peanut butter, and function to clean your dog’s teeth, while at the same time entertaining them.

This is a good alternative to brushing if you can’t brush your dog’s teeth every day.

Trimming your German Shepherd’s Nails

Trimming German Shepherd Nails

This is a task that many dog owners avoid. It can be a challenging task, and if done incorrectly can cause your German Shepherd pain and discomfort.

However, it is an incredibly important grooming task and one that shouldn’t be avoided.

When your dog runs and plays, especially on hard ground, concrete or asphalt, they will naturally wear down their nails.

However, if your dog is only on soft surfaces like grass or sand, this is harder to do, so trimming your German Shepherd’s nails becomes a necessary grooming task.

Nail trimming also becomes important for older dogs who may not be as active as they once were.

Why is nail trimming so important?

Well, if your German Shepherd’s nails grow too long, it can impact the way the walk. This can cause injury to joints and a gait that is unnatural and unhealthy for your dog.

Long nails are also prone to catching on things, which can injure your dog.

Finally, if you have slick flooring in your home, nails that are too long can cause your dog to be unstable walking through your home and can damage the flooring.

If you are trimming your dog’s nails at home, make sure that you have a high-quality nail trimmer. There are a variety of trimmer styles on the market, select the one that is easiest for you to handle.

Also make sure that the trimmer is made for larger breed dogs, ensuring that their nail will fit properly in the trimmer. Trimmers that are too small can hurt your dog.

A trimmer that has a trimming guide is also a good idea since it will help you avoid cutting your German Shepherd’s nails too short.

With all of that said, if you aren’t comfortable trimming your German Shepherd’s nails, it is a service that most vet offices provide, for a reasonable cost. Nail trimming is also an ala carte item for many groomers.

Paying a professional to do this task will ensure that it is done correctly and won’t cause your pup any discomfort.

Wrapping it Up

Grooming is an important part of having a healthy German Shepherd.

However, it’s a task that many people aren’t willing or have the time to take on.

Professional groomers are a great option if you would rather not take on the big stuff like bathing, dematting or nail trimming for your German Shepherd.

Just make sure you do your research and pick a groomer that is insured, has good references, and has been properly educated on handling dogs, and appropriate grooming techniques.

However, using a groomer doesn’t mean you can skip the basics. Don’t forget to brush your German Shepherd frequently to avoid matting and a constant mess of hair on you and around your home.

A police dog sometimes referred to as a K9, is a dog that is specifically taught to assist police officers and other law-enforcement agents.

Their jobs can include: searching for drugs, detecting explosives, locating missing persons, finding evidence, and chasing down suspects.

Police dogs are trained by verbal commands and hand gestures depending on the job requirements. Generally the top K9 breeds are the German shepherd, Belgian Malinois, Bloodhound and Dutch shepherd.

What makes German Shepherds good police dogs?

German shepards excelent police dogs

German shepherds are valued as police dogs for their trainability, loyalty, and courage.

Described as approachable – quietly standing their ground and showing confidence and readiness to demonstrate their effectiveness and intelligence, the German shepherd is a perfect breed as a guardian and hunter when the occasion demands.

The best asset for police duties is a dog’s sense of smell.

Among all the German Shepherds’ capabilities, their ability to detect very faint odors and to discriminate between very slight differences in chemical composition makes them valued team members.

Dogs, in general, are reported to have ten to twenty times the number of receptors in their nose which far exceeds a human officer’s sense of smell.

This ability makes German shepherds ideal for tasks such as tracking, detecting explosives and locating victims.

Many K9 dogs are used to detect illegal substances such as drugs or paraphernalia which may be carried on a suspect or in their luggage.

Many police dogs are specifically trained to detect marijuana, heroin, crack cocaine, and methamphetamines.

German shepherds are utilized in many other ways such as:

  • Apprehension dogs – This dog is used to locate and subdue suspects or enemies
  • Patrol dog – dogs fully trained and skilled in tracking
  • Handler protection
  • Off-leash obedience
  • Area and building search
  • Criminal deterrence

All of these qualities have been bred into German Shepherd Dogs for over several decades, winning the admiration of police units in practically every country of the globe as K9 dogs, protectors, and loyal companions.

Story behind the K9

bloodhounds where the first k9s

Dogs have been used in law enforcement and military for hundreds of years.

In France, dogs were used as early as the 14th century for tracking. Bloodhounds were used for hunting down fugitives in Scotland and in London in the 19th century.

Night watchmen were provided with firearms and dogs to protect themselves from criminals and help combat crime.

One of the first attempts to use dogs for police work was in 1889 in London, two bloodhounds were trained to aid in apprehending the serial killer Jack the Ripper.

A police department in Ghent, Belgium introduced the first organized police dog service program in 1899.

However, it was in Continental Europe that K9 dogs were first used on a large scale. Police in France began using dogs against roaming criminal gangs at night.

These approaches soon spread to Austria-Hungary and Germany. In Germany, the initial field testing took place with experiments in dog breeding and regimented training.

The German police selected the German Shepherd Dog as the best breed for police work and opened up the first dog training school in 1920.

The school focused on systematically training dogs in obedience to their officers and tracking and confronting criminals.

In Britain in 1908, the North Eastern Railway Police were among the first to use police dogs to put a stop to theft from docks and by 1910, railway police units were experimenting with a variety of dog breeds such as Labrador Retrievers, Belgian Malinois, and German shepherds.

Famous K9 dogs

famous k9 in history

The German shepherd, as well as other breeds, are commonplace as K9 units become more prevalent in society.

Some have risen above and beyond the call of duty both in military services and law enforcement.

Below are a few of the most famous K9 dogs that you should be familiar with.

Rin-Tin-Tin The most legendary police dog of all who was a trained German shepherd K9 who was abandoned by retreating German soldiers in 1918. An American sergeant took him to the United States, where he went on to star in a television series and 122 films.

Chips – Chips a mix of German shepherd, collie and husky, was a trained sentry dog for United States Army, and essentially the most awarded war dog from World War II.

This American service dog singlehandedly attacked a hidden German gun nest during World War II, served as a guard dog during a conference between Winston Churchill and Franklin D. Roosevelt and even bit Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1945.

He was awarded the Silver Star, a Distinguished Service Cross and a Purple Heart during the war and has been awarded Great Britain’s most prestigious medal for animal bravery.

Chips, posthumously also received the Dickin Medal for his canine bravery

Kaiser – A German shepherd who served in Vietnam did more than 30 combat patrols and participated in 12 major operations. Kaiser was the first war dog killed in action during the Vietnam War.

Mattie – A black Labrador retriever with the Connecticut State Police, was trained to sniff out evidence of arson.

Mattie could identify several different chemical accelerants. She was the first operational accelerant detection dog in the country, and possibly in the world when she went on duty in 1986.

Roles and Duties for Military Working Dogs

dogs usage in the military

Throughout history, dogs have been deployed on the battlefields around the globe.

In addition to being valued combat soldiers, adding dogs as team supporters can enhance the capabilities of the entire squad by providing additional assets.

They possess olfactory sensory and visual abilities that are well above that of a human, they can go into spaces soldiers cannot, and can often frighten and subdue an enemy combatant more rapidly without using lethal force.

Because of these traits, they have been successfully deployed for numerous military duties and roles by modern military branches.

Over the years dogs have had many roles with the military, but in more modern times, specific responsibilities have been defined where dogs can provide the best assets to the roles they are assigned.

Here are some examples of assignments for K9’s in the military.

Sentry Dogs – Sentry dogs are trained to warn their handlers of the approach or presence of enemies and are utilized for guarding airports, military bases, and other vital installations.

These dogs are worked on a short leash and are taught to give warning by growling, alerting or barking.

They are especially valuable for working in the dark when an attack from cover or the rear is most likely. Their use has proved them to be valuable in any place where security against enemy soldiers must be maintained.

Scout or Patrol Dogs – In addition to the skills for sentry dogs, scout or patrol dogs are proficient to work in silence to aid in the detection of ambushes and other enemy forces within a particular area.

The presence of the dogs with patrols greatly lessened the danger of ambush and tended to boost morale.

Mine Dogs – These dogs, also called mine detection dogs or “M-Dog”, have been trained to find trip wires, booby traps, metallic and nonmetallic mines.

Casualty Dogs – Casualty Dogs, similar to search and rescue dogs, are trained to search for and report victims in places that are difficult to locate or larger areas.

Explosives Detection – In the modern warfare, a common threat to soldiers and civilians are explosives hidden on a roadside, in a vehicle, or strapped in a vest.

Explosive detection canines are trained to detect the distinct scent of chemicals used in these explosives. With their greater sense of smell it is very difficult to conceal explosives in a way a dog cannot detect.

German Shepherd Dogs as Search and Rescue

German Shepherd Dogs As Search And Rescue

A search and rescue (SAR) dog is a specialized canine used to locate suspects or find missing people or items.

Belgian Malinois, German shepherds, Golden retrievers, Labrador retrievers, and Saint Bernard’s have all seen action in this role.

Search and rescue is yet another duty that German Shepherds shine in performing.

German Shepherds can be trained for several different aspects common to successful search and rescue missions due to their ability to learn quickly, ignore distractions and get to business.

SAR dogs are specifically trained to utilize their superior sense of smell, night vision, profound hearing, and stamina to locate missing persons or victims of accidents.

With that powerful nose and ability to navigate a variety of environments, search and rescue dogs are an integral part of teams extraordinary abilities to reduce the amount of time spent searching for victims.

Their ability to save lives is well acknowledged and it has been estimated that a single SAR dog is as effective in locating a human subject as 20-30 humans trained in searches.


From tactical K9 units to Special Forces teams’ dogs have played an important part in the success these divisions of law enforcement have gained.

While the Belgian Malinois and other breeds make great police and military K9’s, a well-trained German shepherd is just as reliable and more robust, making them a very popular dog of choice for duty.