5 AMAZING FACTS About The GERMAN SHEPHERD
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Let’s dive right into the 1st amazing fact. The GSD, despite their imposing size and serious facial expression, they are generally very affectionate with their family and even strangers. GSD owners around the globe marvel at their loving nature and high working drive. They typically are wonderful family dogs and are both protective and gentle with small children when they aren’t too wound up. The breed is wary of strangers, but warms up quickly when well socialized and their leader is calm and consistent. Even when playing with their family, they are quite gentle.
This brings us nicely to fact number two. They are very high energy and incredibly smart, which you probably knew already. But did you know they are also very calm and make exceptional service dogs for emotional support along with physical and mental disabilities? It’s not a huge surprise since the GSD is a world-renowned police and military canine that carries out a huge array of scent and protection work. It’s not often that they are recognized for their roles in homes where people with conditions like seizures, autism, depression, and blindness depend on their GSD’s to help them live each day to the fullest. A GSD in this role is highly trained from the time they are born to help people with these conditions but those who’s family experiences a trauma that brings about something similar quickly step up and fill the role as best they can on instinct.
Diving into the 3rd fact you may not know, the amazing GSD found itself a victim of anit-German sentiment during and after WWII. The GSD was the preferred canine for the Nazi police and military and was closely associated with Hitler himself. Hitler was enamoured with the breed when, during his years of poverty, had to board his own GSD at a kennel. She escaped and found him quickly and stole his heart for her intelligence and loyalty. Hitler’s last GSD, Blondi, went with him everywhere, including his bunker and reportedly slept in the bed with him there as well. She was put to sleep at age 4, the day before Hitler’s own death so his enemies wouldn’t be able to get their hands on her. While it’s a sad story of an infamous villain, it testifies the fact that this breed can win anyone’s heart. This was a mild setback to the breed for some years after the war, but they have enjoyed their spot in the top 5 most popular dog breeds for decades now.
Sliding right into fact number four, the German Shepherd is a born people pleaser when they have a calm, consistent canine leader and it makes them a great choice for canine sports. They are extremely intelligent and do best with an experienced leader who can spend a lot of time with them. Through this and their high energy nature, GSD are willing to learn almost anything that gives them a job to do. For their size, they are very athletic and have a laser focus on the job they are doing. Pair that with their intelligence and drive to please and you’ve got one serious competitor on your hands. Always be mindful of their joints since they are still prone to large breed issues like hip and elbow dysplasia.
Bringing it home to fact number five, German Shepherds are exceptional with children. They have deeply rooted guarding instincts that extend to everyone in the home, including new babies. Many GSD homes report similar experiences with the dog being dedicated to keeping an eye on the baby and the rest of the house. This can make them ideal companions as the child grows and friends start to come around since they are easily socialized to everyday situations. Their high energy does mean they’ll want to run and play as the child grows but they settle a bit after about 4 years. It’s always extraordinary, and a true testament to the breed’s temperament, when a canine as fierce as the GSD is so aware of and dedicated to a new little life.
This one-time farm dog has made quite the impact in the US and Europe with their wolf-like appearance and loyal nature. Their high energy level and protective nature makes them a great choice for the experienced canine leader that wants a large canine they can be very active with every day. There’s so much more to this breed than I can go over here so make sure you browse around the channel a bit and see what else you can learn about this truly fantastic breed.