Breed Profile

Breed Overview

Nickname(s): Alsatian
Berger Allemand
Deutscher Schäferhund

Dog Group Kennel Club: Herding Group

Breed Classification: German Shepherds were first bred for sheep herding, guarding, and as a police dog. Today, the breed is still used for these purposes however they have also become ideal human companions for active families, and as guide dogs. It is also a popular breed in dog shows.

Physical Description: The German shepherd dog has a well-proportioned body. It has a long muzzle with a convex forehead and pointed ears. Its amiable expression gives the dog certain appeal. The shoulders and legs are muscular and it has a bushy tail. The most common colour of GSD is the black and tan combination however they also come in sable, black, or in blue and white. There are three recognized versions of the breed—long-haired, medium-haired, and rough-coated or shorthaired. They have hard outer coats with a thick undercoat.

Lifespan: 9-13 years
German Shepherd dogs - German Shepherd Profile
Litter size: 5-10

Bitch – Min 55 cm (22″) / Max 60cm (24″)
Dog – Min 60 cm (24 in) /Max 65 cm (26 in)

Bitch – Min 25kg (55 pounds)/ 33Kg (73 pounds)
Dog – Min 35kg (77 pounds) / 43 Kg (95 pounds)

Build: Large

Aliments: Indiscriminate breeding of German Shepherds have lead to the increased occurrence of hereditary diseases such as elbow and hip dysplasia. It is very important that both parents should be OFA certified.

Common Aliments: Hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, gastric torsion, blood disorders, von Willebrand’s disease (vWD) dwarfism, digestive problems, keratitis, cataract, epilepsy, flea allergies, chronic eczema, skin allergies, cardiomyopathy, perianal fistulas, and hemangiosarcoma. The breed is also susceptible to a fatal system infection caused by the fungus Aspergillus.

Susceptibility to Illness: High

Ownership Expenses

Food cost: £4.00 – £7.50 per week

Average puppy price: £500 – £800

Other: German shepherd dogs are fairly inexpensive to keep provided that you follow the feeding program recommended by your veterinarian. Failure to follow the feeding guide can result in high veterinary fees.


Energy Level: High

Daily exercise needed: 2 hours

Distress if left alone: High

Barking Tendency: High

Ease of transportation: Low

Aggression level: High

Compatibility for children: Medium

Suitable for children: Medium


Coat length: Short/Medium

Grooming requirement: Daily brushing

Colour: The most common colour of GSD is the black and tan combination however they also come in sable, black, or in blue and white.

Shedding: Seasonally heavy shedder

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