10 Impressive Facts About German Shepherds - Pet Hub USA

10 Impressive Facts About German Shepherds

Share this Article:

There is no greater all-purpose dog than the German Shepherd. They’re the third-most intelligent dog breed, incredibly loyal, and protective. A perfect family pet. Here are 10 amazing facts about German Shepherds.

10. German Shepherds Are Really From Germany

German Shepherd in Front of a House
Photo by Julissa Helmuth on Pexels

The German Shepherd breed was developed by Max von Stephanitz from a variety of traditional German herding dogs in 1899. The first German Shepherd was a dog Stephanitz purchased that he named Horand von Grafrath. He formed the Verein für Deutsche Schäferhunde (Society for German Shepherd Dogs) in 1889.

9. German Shepherds Were Originally Bred for Herding

German Shepherd - Adobe Stock
Adobe Stock

As their name implies, German shepherds were originally bred to herd sheep. In addition, they were bred to protect flocks from predators. Shepherds from local communities selected and bred certain dogs for their abilities. Over time, the abilities of the dogs varied significantly from one locality to another. The dogs were differentiated by intelligence, speed, strength, and scent detection.

8. The Original Breed Was Altered


The original guidelines for the German Shepherd breed were altered from the standards set by Max von Stephanitz. His criterion was for German shepherds to be bred as working dogs and focused on intelligence and working ability. Later, breeders begin focusing on making the dog’s movements more elegant and their body shape more aesthetically pleasing.

7. German Shepherds Come in Many Colors

black and tan german shepherd on green grass field during daytime
Photo by Anna Dudkova on Unsplash

Officially known by the American Kennel Club (AKC) as the German Shepherd Dog, 11 colors are recognized as the breed standard. They can vary beyond that, but wouldn’t be eligible for dog shows. The standard colors are: Black and tan; sable; black; gray; white; panda; liver; steel blue; black and cream; black and red; and bi-colored.

6. The Breed’s Motto: Utility and Intelligence

brown and black german shepherd running on brown grass field during daytime
Photo by Pedro Sanz on Unsplash

Max von Stephanitz created a motto to guide the direction for breeding future dogs: “Utility and intelligence.” German shepherds certainly adhere to both of those today. German shepherds work with police, military, and search and rescue. In terms of scent detection, they sniff out narcotics, explosives, accelerants, minds, and more. They also serve as guide dogs.

Want more pet content and exclusive offers? Sign up for our newsletter today!

5. German Shepherds Ranked #3 in Smarts

Woman and dog in kitchen

German shepherds are highly intelligent. They rank #3 on the list of the 20 smartest dog breeds behind the border collie and poodle respectively. It is said that German shepherds only need five repetitions to learn something. They respond correctly to a task 95% of the time. German Shepherds likely perform the widest variety of jobs of any breed.

4. German Shepherds Are Heavy Shedders

German shepherd sitting on road near bushes
Photo by Marcus Cramer on Unsplash

Anyone wanting to keep a German Shepherd dog as an indoor companion needs to know one thing: They shed a lot! In terms of shedding, German shepherds rank #6 out of all breeds. They need a quick brushing every few days or so. The heaviest shedding comes twice a year and brushing more frequently helps.

3. German Shepherds Are Affectionate and Loyal

Senior man with German Shepherd

German shepherds are known for their loyalty to their human family and other dogs in their household. They are also good with young children. However, they are wary of strangers. This makes German shepherds excellent guard dogs. They also need to warm up to felines but will get along fine once trained.

Read More: The 10 Best Dog Breeds for Empty Nesters

2. German Shepherds Have Some Genetic Health Issues

German Shepherd puppy being trained

Unfortunately, like many breeds, German shepherds have some hereditary genetic health issues. The most common are: degenerative myelopathy, weakness of hind legs; hip and elbow dysplasia, painful joints; Von Willebrand Disease, a bleeding disorder; bloat, when the stomach fills with food, gas, and fluid; and exocrine pancreatic insufficiency, pancreatic disease. Nonetheless, they typically live 12-14 years.

Read More: The 10 Easiest Dog Breeds to House Train

1. German Shepherds Work Heroic Jobs

brown and black German shepherd
Photo by Altino Dantas on Unsplash

German shepherds are intelligent, loyal, and courageous. They are considered the finest all-purpose working dog. They take on criminals, operate in war zones, search through dangerous rubble after disasters, sniff out dangerous accelerants and explosives, and venture into mines. Many German shepherds lose their lives in the line of duty. These dogs are truly heroes.

Read More: 10 Wild Facts About Australian Shepherds

Share this Article:

Providing expert tips, practical advice, and personalized product recommendations for happy and healthy pets. Part of the Castaway Studios media network.

As an Amazon Associate, PetHub USA earns from qualifying purchases.

Scroll to Top