Q: Why are German shepherds also called Alsatians?
After the First World War, there was great animosity towards the German, thus the breed was recorded in registries as Alsatian after Alsace-Lorraine, a region in Germany.
Q: Was the German shepherd first developed to become a police dog?
No. The breed was first bred to herd sheep. But during the war, German shepherd dogs were put to use as a messenger, search and rescue, and sentry dogs. Their intelligence made them highly trainable for these jobs.
Q: What coat colours are recognized in German shepherds?
The most common coat colours of GSD are tan and black, cream and black, red and black, or silver and black. These colours are combined to form three distinct coat patters–saddleback pattern, blanketback pattern, and bicolor pattern.
Q: Are German shepherds great shedders?
Yes, they shed a lot. In fact, they are well-known as one of the worst shedders in all dog breeds. They shed constantly that’s why they need regular brushing. For three weeks during spring time, the GSD sheds off its winter coat to give rise to its summer coat while during the fall, the breed sheds off its summer coat for approximately three weeks and switch over to its thicker winter coat.
Q: When will the ears of my German shepherd puppy stand?
For some German shepherd puppies, their ears may already stand when they are about 8-10 weeks of age however there are those whose ears stand at approximately 6-7 months old right after teething. This is mostly true for puppies with large ears.
Q: What is “soft ear”?
“Soft ear” is an inherited trait wherein the puppy’s ears fail to stand up even with taping. German shepherds with “soft ears” should never be bred. Although it does not have a negative impact on the health of the puppy, it can be a point of disqualification for show dogs.
Q: Are there precautions that I should know of when taking care of my German shepherd puppy?
Aside from routine vaccinations, boosters, and worming, you should follow your veterinarian’s instructions regarding its food intake. Various scientific studies have shown that there is a link between fast growth in GSD puppies and the occurrence of hip dysplasia.
By nature, German shepherds are “gulpers” increasing their risk of developing bloat, a serious life-threatening condition characterized by the distension of the dog’s abdomen due to the build up of gases which cannot be eliminated by belching or passing gas. Never allow your pet to indulge in physical activities right before and after eating.
Q: Are German shepherds easy to train?
The success of training your German shepherd will depend on a number of factors. The breed is well-known for its intelligence however they have the tendency to dominate the pack and when you allow them to do so, they will become stubborn and hard to train. You should start training your puppy while still very young and in the process teaching him his order in the pack.
Q: Is there a marked difference between male and female German shepherds?
By nature, a male GSD is more “location protective” and therefore territorial thus you might have problems with marking. On the other hand, a female is more protective of the pack.