German Shepherd dog with a toy on a white background

German Shepherd Dog

Breed Characteristics

Graceful, strong, agile, active. German Shepherds are highly territorial; very protective of their families; makes good watchdog and guard dog. Some poorly bred individuals may be shy or inappropriately aggressive. Best with experienced owners, because they may challenge their owners for leadership.

Is the German Shepherd Dog approved as a pet in a Singapore HDB flat?

No

Origin

Can't go wrong on this one; Karlsruhe, Germany. The German Shepherd Dog is the result of a concerted effort to round up fine herding qualities (e.g. intelligence, athletic, independent, etc) in a single breed. Led by retired Capt. Max von Stephanitz of the German Calvary, the efforts also steered the breed's employability from the fading farm work to police work and military service, where the German Shepherd Dogs excelled. Though its name varied in the U.S.A (Shepherd Dog) and England (Alsatian Wolf Dog) due to its association with Germany (think World War I), the respective kennel clubs adopted the original name in 1931 (AKC) and 1977 (KC).

Original Purpose

The German Shepherd dog was originally bred as a herding dog in Germany in the 19th century. They were known for their intelligence, trainability, and loyalty, and quickly became popular among farmers and shepherds. German Shepherds were also used in military and police work, and their versatility and strength made them valuable assets.

Today, German Shepherds are still used for herding, but they are also popular as family pets, working dogs, and service dogs. They are known for their protective nature and their ability to learn a wide range of tasks. German Shepherds are intelligent, loyal, and hardworking dogs that make excellent companions.

Behaviour and Temperament

Confident, loyal, versatile, hardy, intent, responsive, protective.

What are some Physical Features of the German Shepherd Dog?

German Shepherd Dogs stand between 56 and 66 cm tall, and weighs from 31.5 to 43 kg. Males are usually larger than females. Excessive size is not desirable in this breed. Chiseled head, bushy tail. Colours are black-and-tan, grey sable, red sable, black, black-and-red, black-and-cream, black-and-silver, solid black.

Coat Type and Recommended Grooming

German Shepherds have a double coat, which consists of a dense, harsh outer coat and a soft, woolly undercoat. The dense outer coat is designed to protect the dog from the elements, while the downy undercoat provides insulation. Coats can go from short to long, but long coats are a fault in the show ring. Moderate to high maintenance; needs brushing two or three times a week. Professional grooming is optional. German Shepherds shed heavily constantly.

Life Expectancy of the German Shepherd Dog

The life expectancy of the German Shepherd Dog is between 10 and 13 years.

Have a German Shepherd Dog?

Health Concerns

German Shepherd Dogs are generally healthy, but are predisposed to some health conditions. While not all German Shepherd Dogs will get all or any of these conditions, it is important to be aware, especially if you have or are considering this breed. Orthopedic problems (hip and elbow dysplasia, panosteitis, hypertrophic osteodystrophy, OCD), eye problems (cataracts, Collie eye anomaly), heart problems (SAS, PDA, cardiomyopathy), enteritis, ear infections, skin problems (nodular dermatofibrosis, food allergies, acral lick dermatitis), gastritis, epilepsy, cancer (osteosarcoma), von Willebrand’s, exocrine pancreatic insufficiency, arthritis.

Exercise Needs

German Shepherds are high-energy dogs that need plenty of exercise. If a German Shepherd does not get enough exercise, they can become bored and destructive. They may also develop behavioural problems such as barking, chewing, and digging.

Housing

German Shepherds are large, active dogs that need plenty of space to move around. They are not suited for apartment living unless they are given ample opportunities for exercise and mental stimulation.

Sociability

Very good with children he knows. Wary of strangers. Usually good with other pets once he accepts them as part of the family.

Trainability

High, but needs early training and socialisation. It is extremely important to get a German Shepherd puppy of the right temperament from a reputable breeder. Obedience training is a must to teach him basic canine manners.

Recommended Activities

Obedience, guide dog for the blind, herding, Schutzhund, agility, drug detection, therapy dog, search and rescue, police work.

German Shepherd Dog Dog Club / Communities in Singapore

The most active German Shepherd Dog Club in Singapore is German Shepherd Dog Club of Singapore, a Facebook group with over 2,300 active German Shepherd Dog lovers.

Scheduled Dog

The German Shepherd Dog is classified under the Part II Scheduled Dogs in Singapore. This requires the dog to be leashed and securely muzzled when in a public place. The dog has to be micro chipped. The owner is required to take up an insurance policy for at least SGD100,000 coverage against injury to persons and damage to property. In addition, the owner must take up a banker’s guarantee of SGD2,000. This banker’s guarantee would be forfeited for any non-compliance, after which a new banker’s guarantee of SGD2,000 is required. All newly licensed German Shepherd Dogs must undergo obedience training.