German Shepherd Dog

The German Shepherd did not exist prior to 1899. The founder of the breed, Captain Max von Stephanitz, bred the dogs to work. This is still a priority with many breeders today, coupled with the need for a sound body, along with the trusted and loyal temperament that makes the German Shepherd such an ideal companion.


Average lifespan
These clever dogs usually live to eight years of age, but with plenty of care and fed the right amount of nutrition, German Shepherds can live up to ten or twelve years.

Average size and weight
This is another large dog where a healthy female should weigh 25kg and stand 55cm tall while the male usually grows to about 40kg and is about 68cm tall.

Care requirements

Breed personality, characteristics & temperament
The German Shepherd is known throughout the world for its loyalty and trustworthiness. As a working dog it is able to act as a guardian, herder, tracker, and guide. The German Shepherd should never be nervous, over aggressive or shy.

Compatibility with other pets
With proper introduction and discipline, German Shepherds do get on with other pets. The secret is early socialisation. It is most important that puppies be exposed to new experiences from as early as eight weeks of age.

Care requirements
The German Shepherd does require attention. The breed is active and needs some mental stimulation, so a daily walk coupled with some thinking exercise, be it obedience training or a simple ‘fetch the ball’ routine will greatly enhance your dog’’s quality of life. Grooming on a weekly basis will suffice.

Please take note
Parents of this dog should be tested for Hip Dysplasia.

Decision time

Ideal owners
The ideal owners of German Shepherds are people who are able to be assertive and command respect from their dog - while respecting the dog back in return. These people are usually very active and enjoy the company of their dog without making a fuss or expecting lap dog behaviour.

Click here for advice on adopting a rescue dog and finding a breeder. All information has been provided by the Kennel Club.
Pedigree® Feeling Happy Pedigree® Feeling Happy