Dog with lovers
Subscribe to The FREE German Shepherd Training Course to learn how you can easily turn your unruly and disobedient GSD into a loving, friendly companion. Step-by-step tips for puppy housebreaking, dog obedience training and stopping bad behavior.
Sign Up

German Shepherd: History, Temperament, Exercise

Dog with lovers
About German Shepherd

Country of Origin, History of German Shepherds

Shepherd dogs from Bavaria, Thurginia, and Wurtemberg are in the background of the German Shepherd Dog. These dogs included a variety of coat types: long-haired, short-haired, and wire-haired.

In April 1899 the first German Shepherd Dog was registered. Until 1915 both long-haired and wire-haired were exhibited. Most countries only recognize the short-haired for show purposes today.

German Shepherd Tools

Breed Selector Tool - is the German Shepherd the right breed for you?

Is the German Shepherd the right breed for you and your family?

Find out by using our Free Dog Breed Selector Tool

Check Your German Shepherd's Learning Style

Are you aware dogs also have a learning style that can greatly affect their ability to housetrain as well as be trained correctly. Evaluate your German Shepherd's learning style and personality using our free Learning Style tool so that you are better able to provide him with the proper German Shepherd training methods.

Is your German Shepherd dominating over you?

Does your German Shepherd bark unnecessarily? Does your German Shepherd come to you when you call? Download a FREE Report on Dog Dominance for you and your German Shepherd and learn how to control your dog.

Do you make these mistakes with your German Shepherd?

Are you inadvertently snow-balling bad behavior in your German Shepherd? Evaluate your Dog Training Style from our Free Tool and learn how best to deal with your dog.

German Shepherd Calorie Calculator

Do you know how many calories your German Shepherd needs every day and how many cups of food you should be giving it every day? Click here to use our German Shepherd Calorie Calculator.

Dog with lovers

A General Appearance of the Dog

The German Shepherd Dog is one of the most popular and recognizable breeds around the world. German Shepherd Dogs are well-proportioned, muscular yet trim dogs with pricked (stand up) ears. It is agile and quick. The noble-looking German Shepherd (Alsatian) is well-balanced, longer than it is tall. The German Shepherd is a black and tan dog predominantly but can be gray (called blue) or brown (called liver) with varying amounts of those colors. (Blue, liver and white cannot be shown in AKC.) He is usually lighter on the legs and face with dark accents on the ears. He has almond-shaped eyes with a lively, intelligent expression. His bushy tail hangs down.

The German Shepherd is a trotting dog who moves smoothly and rhythmically, covering a lot of ground quickly. Its stride is long, quick, and easy. The hindquarters seem to deliver a power thrust that propels the front end forward. The dog can easily spring from its hindquarters, jumping up or forward to quite a distance.

If you are planning to adopt a German Shepherd, learn how to choose a happy, healthy dog or puppy.


75-90 lbs


Males: 24-26 inches
Females: 22-24 inches

Dog with lovers
Dog with lovers

Free German Shepherd Training Secrets

Free Course on German Shepherd Training & Obedience
Stop All Bad Behavior, Excessive Barking and Biting

Sign Up Here

German Shepherd Personality Traits

Dog with lovers


The Spanish Water Dog is an extremely intelligent, fearless, ever-active, strong, attentive, happy and well balanced versatile working dog with strong herding, hunting and guardian instincts. It is a devoted companion. It is reserved, not shy, with strangers. They can be protective and territorial.

Are they suited to families with kids?

Most of them are good with children and other animals if properly socialized.

German Shepherd Activity Level

How active is the Breed?

The German Shepherd is very active throughout his life; however, he is fairly quiet when indoors. He will need daily exercise and some activity to keep his mind busy.

Exercise Need

German Shepherd puppies will be pretty rambunctious. Outdoor play and some training (like obedience) will help to keep his body and mind busy. He will enjoy a brisk, long walk each day – or, after he is a year old, he can job or go with you when you bike or rollerblade. If he is underexercised, he will become destructive (especially as a youngster).

Is your German Shepherd causing you trouble by eliminating inside your house? Get our Free tips on Housebreaking your German Shepherd and put an end to all the housetraining nightmares - permanently.

Training your German Shepherd can be fun and a rewarding experience for both you and your dog. Get step-by-step tips on German Shepherd Training – now.


All three coat types are shed throughout the year with heavy shedding in spring and fall. Weekly brushing is a must with daily brushing during the spring and fall.

Grooming your dog yourself, at your home and at your convenience will help you build a strong bond with your German Shepherd. You will not only save yourself the hassle of taking him to a groomer regularly, you save some money too.

Coat Color

The German Shepherd is a black and tan dog predominantly but can be gray (called blue) or brown (called liver) with varying amounts of those colors. He is usually lighter on the legs and face with dark accents on the ears.

Note: White German Shepherds are now considered a separate breed called the American White Shepherd.

Coat Type

There are three coat types: rough (relatively short with undercoat), long rough (longer with undercoat), and long-haired (without undercoat).

The correct German Shepherd Dog coat is relatively short with an obvious undercoat. This is quite waterproof. Some dogs are born with long coats which usually, though not always, are devoid of undercoat. Such coats are more difficult to groom, but many pet owners seem to like the long-coated version. The normal coat is dominant to the long version, so there are three kinds of coat: normal, normal but carrying the long coat gene, and long. About 10% of the pups are born long-coated.

Dog with lovers

Free German Shepherd Training Secrets

Free Course on German Shepherd Training & Obedience
Stop All Bad Behavior, Excessive Barking and Biting

Sign Up Here

Health and Care

While the SWD seems to be a very healthy breed there are some issues that the SWD have, just like all other breeds. There are cases of Hip Dysplasia in the breed, so choose your breeder carefully.

All breeding dogs should have their hips tested, either by OFA or PennHIP. There have been a few cases of PRA reported in Europe so it is advised that all breeders should test their breeding stock for PRA and other such genetic eye diseases with a yearly CERF exam. A responsible breeder will be able to produce the results in writing.

Like other Water Dogs and related breeds, they grow hair in their ear canals and can be prone to ear infections. The ears must be kept dry and clean. . Because these dogs are (as a general rule) so active and energetic as puppies, they may seriously injure themselves from too much running and jumping when their skeletal structure is still developing.

National Breed Clubs

National Breed Clubs

British – German Shepherd Dog Club of the United Kingdom

US – German Shepherd Dog Club of America -
United Schutzhund Clubs of America

Other – German Shepherd Dog Club of Canada, Verein fur Deutsche Schaferhunde

Other Recognition

German Shepherd Dog Club of Canada, Verein fur Deutsche Schaferhunde


Rescue Link:

Group: AKC Herding Dog Group, KCGB Pastoral Group

Ranking: 2 in AKC, 4 in KCGB

Also Known As: Alsatians, German Shepherd, Shepherds.

Train Your German Shepherd To Listen To You

Get Instant Access to Your Training Now - For Free

Sign up for our Free German Shepherd Mini Course to have a housebroken, obedient dog that happily comes to you every time you call.

You'll learn new commands to obedience-train your dog as well as how to housebreak your dog in 6 days or less.

You'll also learn how to eliminate bad habits like barking, nipping or biting, jumping, or pulling on the leash.Here's just s small fraction of what else you'll learn in the course:

  • How to lead and think like a pack dog - the new psychology.

  • 3 dangerous mistakes that most GSD owners make when they are trying to potty train their dogs.

  • The 2 main reasons why your dog barks excessively and how to control its excessive barking.

  • How to obedience train your German Shepherd to permanently end behavioral problems like Jumping, Aggression, Pulling on Leash.

  • A surprisingly easy way to teach your dog cool new tricks.

  • How to improve your dog's lifespan and keep it from getting overly heavy with a healthy and nutritious diet.

  • Getting Pro help fast - how to get access to our expert trainers when you need them most.

  • One hidden psychological trigger that all German Shepherds have... that practically allows you to "analyze" and "control" your dog's every action.

  • Priority access to the free online seminars conducted by our training experts.

Whereas other dog training related web sites and books offer generic information for dogs in general, ours is the ONLY web site that offers GSD information specifically, from a renowned panel of experts - because as you probably know, GSDs have their own special training requirements that other dogs don't have.

Dog with lovers

Our Dog Experts

The German Shepherd training information you will read here was developed by a panel of renowned dog training experts whose combined wisdom represents nearly 100 years of specialist experience training dogs.

Here are a few of our experts:

What Other Dog Owners Say…

Did you know we have over 875,000 subscribers of the FREE German Shepherd Training mini course?
You can also subscribe for free, but first...
Read what other dog owners just like you found when they subscribed to this mini course:

Here are a few of our experts: