What do you picture when you think of a German Shepherd? A vest-wearing police dog taking down a bad guy? Or maybe you envision them patrolling a military base? German Shepherd Dogs have become synonymous with protection and make excellent guard dogs. Did you know, though, that German Shepherds weren't always protection dogs? This versatile canine is a working dog through and through, capable of performing many different jobs. While we highlight this special breed's many accomplishments as a protection dog, we will also identify all the other factors that make the German Shepherd one-of-a-kind.
The American Kennel Club and many others officially identify the German Shepherd as the German Shepherd Dog, or GSD. Alternate names include the Alsatian Wolf Dog and the Schaferhund. As their name implies, the German Shepherd originated in Germany as a working dog. Compared to some other breeds, the German Shepherd is comparably new; the first German Shepherds didn't appear until the late 1800s.
Recent genetic studies show that the German Shepherd breed emerged from a widely-distributed herding dog sometime in the 1890s. Before this, shepherds bred the dogs that had the best qualities for herding their sheep. These dogs were collectively known as the "continental shepherd dog" and exhibited a wide variety of physical characteristics. Once shepherds began intentionally and selectively breeding their herding dogs, 3 distinct breeds emerged: the German Shepherd, Belgian Shepherd, and Dutch Shepherd.
The German Shepherd working dog had the original purpose of herding sheep. Their keen intelligence, robust strength, and incredible trainability have led this breed into many jobs in a diverse array of fields. They have excelled in disability assistance, police, military, search-and-rescue, and, of course, German Shepherds make excellent guard dogs and protection dogs. The American Kennel Club recognizes German Shepherds as the second-most-popular breed behind the Labrador Retriever.
While most people can easily-recognize German Shepherds, more goes into this breed than meets the eye. With proper confirmation, a German Shepherd's body should be gracefully balanced, not angular. Their erect ears, bright eyes, and long, pointed muzzle give the German Shepherd an air of alertness and life. Their overall appearance should be one of power, agility, and intimidation.
Unlike many other breeds, adult German Shepherds exhibit secondary sex characteristics, meaning males and females differ in physical appearance. Males can reach up to 25 inches in height at the shoulder and weigh between 65 and 90 pounds. Females are generally smaller and more feminine looking, growing 22 to 24 inches tall and weighing 50 to 70 pounds. Like most large dogs, adult German Shepherds usually reach their full size between 2 and a half and 3 years of age. The German Shepherd has a life expectancy of 12 to 14 years.
These dogs can exhibit a wide variety of coat colors, though the most common coat pattern is a tan base with a black saddle across the back and black on the face, ears, feet, and tail. You might see German Shepherds with cream, silver, or red bases as well. In addition to the more traditional markings, many shepherds manifest solid coats in black, blue, liver, sable, grey, and white.
Their double coats are medium length and consist of a dense outer coat and soft undercoat. German Shepherds require brushing 1 to 2 times each week to remove loose hairs and minimize shedding. At least once, and sometimes twice, per year, your German Shepherd guard dog will have an intense shed where you will need to thoroughly brush them 3 to 4 times each week. These dogs only need occasional, as-needed bathing, but their nails should be trimmed or ground down regularly.
German shepherds are watchdogs through and through. They are aloof of strangers but not inherently aggressive. Shepherds are reserved, watchful, and do not make friends immediately. They observe, assess, and make an intelligent judgment about whether new people are friend or foe. With their families, German Shepherd protection dogs are easy-going, loyal, and affectionate. If they deem their family is threatened, they are powerful, protective, and intimidating.
These dogs are brilliant and driven animals, so they need a job to do., whether that means you have a highly-trained German Shepherd attack dog or only a protection dog for your family. Despite their potentially fierce demeanor, German Shepherds can get along well with children and other pets as long as they are well-socialized from an early age.
German Shepherds are athletic and active by nature. They require plenty of rigorous physical exercise that engages both their minds and their bodies. Their high intelligence means they need plenty of daily mental stimulation to thrive; otherwise, they will find other, potentially destructive, ways to entertain themselves. This personality trait is why we say Shepherds need a "job." Why not let that job be the protection of your home and family?
One way to get those mental gears turning is with a training regimen. Training and socialization from an early age are essential for any dog, but this is especially true for the strong, smart German Shepherd. These dogs are loyal and eager to please, so if you establish a strong relationship with your dog early on, they will do anything for you. Whether you train your Shepherd yourself or purchase a fully-trained German Shepherd for sale, you will find a steadfast life-long companion.
Training your own canine companion can be a mountain of a task. Between work, family, friends, and the million other tasks we have to do, it can be challenging to find time to train our dogs. That's why many people, instead, search for German Shepherd protection dogs for sale. Some companies will train your dog for protection work. Other companies, like Prestige Protection Dogs, can locate and train the perfect guard dog to suit your needs, taking all the guesswork out of obtaining the ideal protection animal.
Prestige Protection Dogs aims to provide German Shepherd dogs for sale with high-caliber training in personal protection. It isn't enough for a German Shepherd to excel at security; they must, above all, be an excellent fit for a family environment too. Not every German Shepherd is suited for regular home life. Trainers get to know each dog's distinct personality to assess what kind of family, or any family at all, they might be suited to. All German Shepherds for sale are tested in a home environment, ensuring you get the right dog for you, your kids, and any of your other pets. Properly-trained protection dogs take cues from their owners; they will not see visiting friends or family as threats and will behave like any other friendly family dog. The difference is, should the need ever arise, they will be there to protect you and yours.
German Shepherds have excelled in a variety of fields besides personal protection and guarding. Here are a few other work and competition areas where German Shepherds thrive:
Schutzhund is a German word that means "protection dog." It is a sport that focuses on and develops protection and guarding traits in dogs, especially German Shepherds. It encompasses tracking, obedience, and protection behaviors. This rigorous sport measures a dog's mental stability, structural soundness, willingness to work, endurance, trainability, and scent ability. This sport pairs together a handler and dog team, challenging both the handler's ability to train the dog and the dog's ability to perform tasks.
Agility competitions are another area in which German Shepherds have made their mark. This sport entails running your dog through a course of 14 to 20 challenging obstacles. There are jumps to clear, elevated paths to cross, and poles to weave, among others. A dog is judged and scored on their speed and precision while navigating the course.
Tracking is a sport based on how well your dog can follow his or her nose to identify and follow different scents. This sport is the basis for canine search-and-rescue work.
Germans Shepherds have intelligence and work ethic that make them ideally-suited to Obedience and Rally. In these competitions, a dog and handler team must execute a stringent series of exercises such as retrieving, heeling, recognizing scents, and following basic commands.
A German Shepherd is a loyal, protective, and loving dog. They bond quite strongly with their human companions and love nothing more than to be with their people. As long as we properly condition them from a young age, they get along well with other household members. If you are looking for an energetic and intelligent working dog who will be devoted to your family, look no further than the German Shepherd.
We strive to deliver the highest quality personal protection dogs for sale in the industry. With our protection dog trainers' knowledge of breeds, obedience training, and protection training, we can provide you with a dog that will make you feel safe and secure in any circumstance.