If you mention "police dog" to someone, the person will most likely by default imagine a German Shepherd Dog. Known for their loyalty, courageous nature and outstanding work characteristics, this breed of dog is a capable working dog popular all around the world. They are hard-wired to work and used in many different fields, making them require tons of exercise and mental stimuli.
Average lifespann: 9-13 years
Looks and characteristics:
These medium - to - large dogs are described as robust dogs with a functional and powerful gait. Their double coated fur is available in two variants - medium and long. Their large ears stands erect and their powerful jaws makes for a square-cut muzzle, ending in a long, somewhat pointy, snout.
GSD is a breed being divided into 2 different types. The working type and the show type. There are some differences in their temperament but most appearent differences lies in their exteriour. The show dogs are famously known for their sloping backs and they also tend to get bigger in size. The working type is smaller, leaner, with straighter backs and considered a bit more agile.
Black, black & cream, black & red, black & silver, black & tan, blue, gray, liver, sable, bi-color. Pure white is not an accepted color in Europe but is accepted by the AKC. Most color-variation has black masks and/or black body markings.
History and origins
By selective breeding and using only the finest herders, the German Shepherd Dog descends from German medieval herding dogs. The standards and type could vary between different districts, it wasn't until the late 1800s that a German Cavalry Officer by the name of Captain Max von Stephanitz began breeding and creating a unified standard for the German Shepherd breed. Around the year of 1899, the world’s first club devoted to GSDs was founded by Von Stephanitz. The ideal and sought after attributes of loyalty, the intelligene, the speed, the agility and the massive will-to-work made the GSD an excellent working dog, so even after the declining need of shepherd dogs they still became famous and instead of herding they were repuprosed as verstitale working dogs, used a lot in the military and as police dogs.
After the first and second world war, German Dog breeds suffered from anti-German sentiment. The German shepherd then aquired the name Alsatian Wolfdog or just the Alsatian. This name, not as commonly as its original name, is still being used to this day.
The Geman Shepherd dog is one of the most popular Dog breeds today and is one of the mosr reacurring breeds to appear in the military, the police academy, Schutzhund (IPO), among many elite dog sport competitions.
These dogs are known for their loyalty, intelligence, strenght and courage. Their self assured nature and confidence makes them great watch dogs. They are also curious with a willigness to learn which makes them great overral working dogs. Although their overprotectiveness and courage can cross the line, it can be prevented. It is therefore important to socialize them properly at an early age. These dogs are not dogs who will welcome everyone and openly be friendly with strangers, they are however gentle and friendly to their family. Somethimes they are descibed as "a one-man-dog", meaning they often have a "favourite person" they rather listen to and hang around.
Most GSD are pretty healthy. A responsible breeder will screen for health conditions such as degenerative myelopathy and elbow and hip dysplasia. It is pretty common, however, for them to sometimes suffer from skin disorders. Since they're used in many fields where they are susceptible to injury it is not very uncommon for them to injure joints or their backs.
You should always be careful with bloating as it can be fatal.
Recommended Health Tests From the National Breed Club: