German ShepherdThe German Shepherd dog is easily one of the most recognizable breeds in the world. Its unique temperament and incredible intelligence mean that this breed now has an international fan club. In one sense this animal has an affable even easygoing nature, however when provoked the animal can quickly become defensive and protective of their owner. This is a breed that is all about instinct and this is why proper training is essential when you own a German Shepherd.

The German Shepherd, also known as the Alsatian is an animal that is highly trainable, loyal with an incredible desire to please. These characteristics mean that you can literally train a German Shepherd to do just about anything you need it to! In order for this breed to be completely happy they need to have some sort of task or purpose which is why they perform so well in official roles such as part of a search and rescue team, police work, as a guide for the blind, as a guard dog and as a sheep dog.

This breed learns so readily that it also excels in many other dog activities such as schutzhund tracking, obedience, agility, flyball and ring sport. The German Shepherd is incredibly versatile and its skills can be used to sniff out drugs and intruders, alert rescue teams to victims tracked beneath rubble and even detect a gas leak in a pipe buried 15 feet underground. As well as being an extremely useful and effective working dog, the German Shepherd is also a great pet.

As working dogs, German Shepherds are direct, fearless, eager to learn, alert and obedient. These traits also translate to a fantastic pet as they will be tremendously loyal and protective towards their family or owner. They are a confident animal but do not appear hostile unless challenged or threatened. German Shepherds love to be close to their families and are often affectionate but are wary of strangers. If you do choose to have a German Shepherd as a pet you need to be sure that you will be able to spend a substantial amount of time with it as they do not like being isolated for long periods of time.

The German Shepherd is perfect if you want a good watch dog or guard dog and will only bark when necessary. It is essential to extensively socialize a German Shepherd dog as they are instinctively protective and may become aggressive with outsiders if not used to it.

As long as a German Shepherd is trained in obedience from an early age there should be no problem with children and this dog. In fact the German Shepherd is a very popular family companion.

German Shepherds need a fair amount of exercise, the more strenuous the better for this breed. They are large dogs and will need a good run around on a regular basis. They also thrive on a challenge so love exercise combined with training to keep their mind and body active. Try some dog toys that are aimed at activating the mind in combination with regular exercise.

You need to be aware that German Shepherd dogs shed hair constantly and it only gets worse in cold seasons. They need daily brushing in order to ease the amount of hair shed but they only need to be bathed once or twice a year.

German Shepherds make a great working dog and a brilliant companion. If you put the time in training this breed, they will reward you with loyalty, obedience and affection on a daily basis.

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