German Shepherd

also known as Schäferhund, Deutscher Schäferhund, Berger Allemand, Alsatian wolf dog (UK), Alsatian

Pros History

The German Shepherd is a breed of medium to large-sized working dog that originated in Germany. The breed's officially recognized name is German Shepherd Dog in the English language (sometimes abbreviated as GSD). The breed is also known as the Alsatian in Britain and Ireland. The German Shepherd is a relatively new breed of dog, with their origin dating to 1899.

The German Shepherd breed was developed by Captain Max von Stephanitz, a career captain in the German cavalry with an interest in dog breeding. He founded the Society for the German Shepherd Dog in 1899, and the breed quickly gained popularity. Von Stephanitz was particular about the breed's working ability, and he worked to develop the breed's intelligence, trainability, and physical capabilities.

The German Shepherd is a highly intelligent and versatile breed. They have been used for a variety of purposes, including herding, guarding, search and rescue, and as police and military dogs. They are known for their strong work ethic and their ability to adapt to a variety of tasks.

The breed's name, "German Shepherd," is somewhat of a misnomer, as the breed was not originally intended to be a shepherd's dog. Rather, the breed was developed as a working dog for a variety of tasks, and the name was chosen simply because the breed was developed in Germany.

Breed Information


Is German Shepherd a purebred?



What were German Shepherds originally used for?

Sheep Herding, Guarding, Police Dog


How Long Do German Shepherds Live? What is average life expectancy for a German Shepherd? How long can German Shepherds live?

10-13 years

The average German Shepherd lifespan is somewhere between 10-13 years, provided they aren't beset by any exceptional health issues or injuries.

German Shepherd Height & Weight

How big is a full grown German Shepherd?

What is the average height of a German Shepherd? How big is a Purebred German Shepherd height? German Shepherd dog height:
Average 6 months 12 months 18 months
Male 24-26 inches (61 - 66 cm) 16.5 inches (41.9 cm) 23.0 inches (58.4 cm) 25.0 inches (63.5 cm)
Female 22-24 inches (55.9 - 61 cm) 16.5 inches (41.9 cm) 21.0 inches (53.3 cm) 23.0 inches (58.4 cm)
What is the average weight of a German Shepherd? How much should German Shepherds weigh?
Average 6 months 12 months 18 months
Male 65-90 pounds (29 - 41 kg) 40.0 pounds (18 kg) 65.0 pounds (29 kg) 77.5 pounds (35 kg)
Female 50-70 pounds (23 - 32 kg) 32.5 pounds (15 kg) 50.0 pounds (23 kg) 60.0 pounds (27 kg)
Weight Gain Potential

Do German Shepherds get fat easily?

The German Shepherd is a dog breed that has a low to average risk for obesity. This means that they are less likely to gain weight than some breeds, but it is still important to monitor their food intake and ensure they get enough exercise to maintain a healthy weight and overall well-being.


Are German Shepherds Hypoallergenic?


Unfortunately, the German Shepherd is not hypoallergenic, making it not a good choice for a dog lover who suffers from pet allergies.


What is a German Shepherd personality? What are German Shepherd dogs best known for?


Shedding Level

Are German Shepherds heavy shedders? How Much Does a German Shepherd Shed?

German Shepherd dogs are extremely heavy shedders, they will lose a large amount of hair each year. To decrease the amount of shedding, you can regularly brush your German Shepherd.

Watchdog Ability

What is the watchdog ability of a German Shepherd dog?

The German Shepherd dog is one of the best choice if you want a good watchdog. This breed will keep watch over you and your family at all times. This breed takes this task seriously and will typically perform its guarding duty with little to no training. This dog will require obedience training, or you can consider guard dog training to sharpen its skills.

Breed History


Where do German Shepherds come from?



What are German Shepherds descended from?

Shepherding Dog, Wolf-type Dog

Breed recognition

What organizations or kennel clubs recognize/register the German Shepherd breed?

American Canine Registry
American Kennel Club
America's Pet Registry
Canadian Kennel Club
Dog Registry of America Inc.
Federation Cynologique Internationale
Kennel Club of Great Britain
North American Purebred Registry, Inc.
American Canine Association, Inc.
Australian National Kennel Council
Continental Kennel Club
National Kennel Club
New Zealand Kennel Club
United Kennel Club
German Shepherd Dog Club Of America

Date of Birth

When were German Shepherds first bred? How old is the German Shepherd breed?


Breed Group

What Breed Group is a German Shepherd?

Herding (AKC:1908, UKC)

German Shepherd Appearance

Eye Color Possibilites

What color are German Shepherd eyes?


Nose Color Possibilites

What color can German Shepherd nose be naturally?


Coat Color Possibilites

What color can German Shepherd coat be naturally?


Coat Length

How long is a German Shepherds coat?

The coat of a German Shepherd dog ranges in length from short to medium.

Coat Density

How Dense Is The German Shepherd Coat?

Coat Texture

What is the texture of the hair of a German Shepherd?


Litter Size

How many puppies can a German Shepherd have in a litter? How many puppies can a German Shepherd have in her first litter?

10-13 puppies per pregnancy

A German Shepherd can have a litter of 10-13 puppies on average. However, it's worth noting that the size of the litters can vary greatly. Factors that can influence litter size include the health of the mother, breeding history, and genetics.


German Shepherds are known for their adaptability and versatility, they are capable of adapting well to a wide range of lifestyle changes and living environments. They are a highly adaptable breed, and make great companions for families and individuals of all lifestyles.

German Shepherd Health Issues

Health Issues

Do German Shepherds have a lot of health problems?

The German Shepherd breed is commonly healthy with low vet costs, regular check-ups may not be as necessary but it's important to keep an eye on their health and have them checked by a veterinarian when needed.

Major Concerns

What are the major health concerns to be aware of when owning a German Shepherd?

Hip Dysplasia
Degenerative Myelopathy
Congenital Heart Defect

Minor Concerns

What are the less significant issues to keep in mind when it comes to German Shepherds?

Perianal Fistulas
Von Willebrand's Disease
Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency

Occasional Tests

What are the occasional tests recommended for German Shepherd breed?

Blood Test
Dna For Vwd
Eye Examination
Physical Examination

German Shepherd Needs and Activities


Do German Shepherds have a lot of energy?

German Shepherds are high-energy dogs, thus an active lifestyle suits them well.

Social Needs

Do German Shepherds need socialization? How social are German Shepherds?

German Shepherds have average social needs compared to other breeds. They are known to be less active and independent than other breeds, and they are content with spending time alone and with their human family.

Exercise Needed

How much exercise should German Shepherds get?

The German Shepherd dog needs significant physical activity to maintain a healthy lifestyle. They are also well-suited for those who lead an active lifestyle and enjoy activities such as running, hiking, or other outdoor pursuits.

Sleeping Need

How much sleep should a German Shepherd have? Do German Shepherds sleep a lot?

German Shepherds are active dogs that don't require as much sleep as other breeds. However, they still need enough sleep to stay healthy.

Drooling Tendency

Does a German Shepherd drool a lot?

The German Shepherd is a breed of dog that is characterized by its minimal drooling, making it an ideal choice for people who dislike drool marks on their clothing.

Tendency to Bark

How much does it bark?

German Shepherd dogs tends to bark less frequently than most other dogs. They tend to be quieter and less vocal than other breeds. They may only bark when necessary, such as to alert their owner of something or to communicate something. They do not bark excessively, and may not bark as much as other dogs in certain situations, such as when they are left alone.


Do German Shepherds exhibit aggressive behavior to safeguard their home and territory? Do they possess a natural tendency to guard?

These dogs are known for being extremely protective and make excellent guard dogs. They possess a strong instinct to defend their territory and owners and have a high level of vigilance and alertness.


Are German Shepherds mouthy?

Roaming urge

What is the likelihood of a German Shepherd running away? Do they have a tendency to explore or wander frequently?

Prey Drive

Do German Shepherd dogs have a high prey drive?

Past times

What do German Shepherds enjoy doing? How do I keep my German Shepherd busy?

Tug-of-war, Walks, Fetch, Hike, Walk, Catch treats, Running, Frisbee, Mind games, Walking, Sniffing, Petting, Run, Nap, Hunt, Tracking, Hide & Seek, Head scratches, Go to Park, Playdate, Dog Parks, Back scratches, Exploring, Playing outside, Cuddles, Nose work, Observing, Barking, Chase, Eating Snacks

Activity Level

What is the energy level of a German Shepherd? How much energy does a German Shepherd have?


German Shepherds are medium-energy dogs and typically enjoy socializing and playing casual or even sustained games of chase with other dogs. They may also have occasional periods of barking or racing around the house.

Tolerance of being left alone

Walks per Week

How far should a German Shepherd walk each week? How many miles should a German Shepherd walk every week?

10 miles / week

There's really no limit to how far you walk your dog as long as they're comfortable. For German Shepherd, it's at least 10 miles / week. Just remember to build distance and stamina gradually over time.

Activity per Day

How much a German Shepherd should exercise a day? How much activity does a German Shepherd need?

60 minutes

In general most German Shepherds usually need at least 60 minutes of exercise daily. This can be spread across the day and include all sorts of high-energy activities, like walking, running and playing.


What level of grooming should be provided for a German Shepherd?

The German Shepherd is a breed of dog that requires an average amount of grooming effort.

Brushing Frequency

How often should you brush a German Shepherd?


German Shepherd should be brushed at least once a week. Of course you can give them more frequent brushes if you find that they are still shedding a lot

Brushing Tools

What are the most commonly used brushing tools for German Shepherds?

Slicker Brush
Nail Clipper



How many cups of food does a German Shepherd eat?

3 cups

For an average 65-90 pound (29 - 41 kg) German Shepherd feed 3 cups daily. But, keep in mind, the amount you feed is going to be dependent on the quality of the food you are feeding.

Daily Cost

How Much Does a German Shepherd Cost Daily?

$2.10 - $2.70 / day

The average cost of a German Shepherd is somewhere $2.10 - $2.70 per day.

Monthly Cost

How Much Does a German Shepherd Cost Per Month?

$55 - $77 / month

The average per month expenses of a German Shepherd is between $55 - $77. This makes an average of $660 - $924 per year. It will be on the higher side when the dog is still small because it will need more frequent visits to the vet, shots.

German Shepherd Characteristic


How intelligent is a German Shepherd?

The German Shepherd breed is considered highly intelligent and very easy to train.

Sensitivity Level

How sensitive is a German Shepherd dog?

This dog breed is particularly attuned to its environment and the emotions of those around it. It can be easily overwhelmed by loud noises, new environments, and unfamiliar people or animals. This dog is best suited for individuals or families who are patient, gentle, and understanding of its sensitive nature. It may also benefit from a calm and stable home environment, with a consistent routine and plenty of positive reinforcement training.

Affection Dependance

Are German Shepherd dogs affectionate?

Apartment Friendly

Do German Shepherd do well in apartments? Are German Shepherds good indoor dogs?

German Shepherds are dogs that do well in apartments with sufficient exercise, but they would really appreciate a small yard.

Child Friendly

Are German Shepherds good with kids? Are German Shepherds good around children?

A German Shepherds typical characteristics indicate that this breed of dog is an ideal companion for kids and makes them family pets. Their gentle and protective nature and calm mentality make them gel along quickly with the younger humans


Are German Shepherds good for elderly?

Cat Friendly

Are German Shepherds good with cats? How friendly German Shepherds are toward cats?

German Shepherds are an average cat friendly dog. They do well with cats, even more if raised together from puppyhood,

Dog Friendly

Do German Shepherd dogs get along with other dogs? Are German Shepherds OK with other dogs?

German Shepherds are below average dog friendly dogs. German Shepherd dogs may not always get along well with other dogs they have not been raised with,

Pet friendly

How do German Shepherd dogs interact with other pets? Are they considered pet-friendly?

Stranger Friendly

Are German Shepherds friendly with strangers?

German Shepherds are friendly dogs and won't commonly bark at strangers. However, if you wish to change this, training them is easy. With their intelligence, teaching this breed to do anything is pretty simple.


Do German Shepherds like to play? Are German Shepherds playful?

German Shepherds have an average level of playfulness. The German Shepherds, like other dogs, like to play. But they are not the most playful dog breed.


Are German Shepherd easily trained?

German Shepherd dogs are known for their ease of training and ability to learn quickly, making them a popular choice for pet owners and trainers alike.

Pros Pros & Cons


  • Maintain a healthy weight
    German Shepherds have a relatively low to moderate risk for obesity.
  • Loyal and protective
    German Shepherds are known for their loyalty and protective nature, which makes them excellent guard dogs.
  • Quiet
    If you're in search of a quiet breed, this one may be a suitable option as they are known for being quiet.
  • Therapy Dog
    This breed possesses the necessary traits to succeed as a therapy dog.
  • Intelligent
    German Shepherds are highly intelligent and are easily trainable, making them a good choice for police and military work, as well as obedience training.
  • Good with children
    When properly trained and socialized, German Shepherds can be good with children.
  • Service Dog
    This breed excels as a service dog.
  • Active breed
    German Shepherds require daily exercise and mental stimulation, making them a good choice for active individuals or families.


  • Need for training and socialization
    German Shepherds, like all dogs, require training and socialization in order to be well-behaved and well-adjusted.
  • Not Hypoallergenic
    If you have allergies, you may want to avoid German Shepherds, as they have been known to cause allergic reactions.
  • Shedding
    German Shepherds shed heavily and require regular grooming to keep their coats in good condition.
  • Potential health issues
    German Shepherds are prone to certain health issues, such as hip dysplasia and elbow dysplasia, which can be costly to treat.
  • High energy
    German Shepherds are a high-energy breed that requires plenty of exercise and mental stimulation. This may not be suitable for those with limited time or energy.
  • Not suitable for office environment
    A German Shepherd may not be the best choice for a dog to have in an office setting.
  • Size
    German Shepherds are a large breed, which may not be suitable for those living in small homes or apartments.
  • Potential for aggression
    Without proper training and socialization, German Shepherds may exhibit aggression towards other dogs or people.
  • Expensive to purchase and maintain
    German Shepherds can be expensive to purchase and maintain, with costs for food, vet care, and grooming adding up over time.
  • Not suitable for first-time owners
    German Shepherds may not be the best choice for first-time dog owners due to their need for training and socialization, as well as their high energy level.