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These are the only animations of German Shepherds or Alsations however, there maybe some used on other pages and more aninations can be accessed from the table at the bottom of the page.


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Max von Stephanitz has been credited as the creator of the German Shepherd Dog. He was trying to breed the best dog for working and many people believe that the product of his breeding created a dog with the best combination of loyalty, strength, intelligence and appearance.

The German Shepherd dog is known for its strength, obedience and intelligence. On account of these inherent attributes, the animal is successful in the police and military, across the globe.

German Shepherd facts highlight that in the 1800s, these canines were scientifically bred by the Phylax Society, in 1891, to preserve herding traits. They protected flock and made optimum use of their keen sense of smell. They were not only able to perform very well in their task but were also easily distinguishable by appearance. They were among the first dogs trained for police work- beginning around 1900 in Ghent, Belgium.

Breeding German Shepherd Dogs for appearance was only introduced in the 19th Century.

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During the First and Second World Wars, the German Shepherd gained international recognition when soldiers spoke highly of the animal. They were also efficiently trained to identify soldiers among debris and within trenches. However, after the First World War the word ‘German’ was believed to affect the canine’s popularity and hence the U.K. Kennel Club renamed the breed ‘Alsatian Wolf’ (after the German-French border area of Alsace-Lorraine).

The proper English name for this breed is German Shepherd Dog but they are usually informally referred to as German Shepherds, Alsatian Wolf Dog or just Alsatian (commonly used in Aust./U.K.) and the Deutscher Schäferhund.

The domed forehead and square muzzle set the animal apart from others. The other physical attributes of the dog include a black nose, sharp bite, lively eye-expression, large ears, long neck and a bushy tail.

These dogs also have a double coat; the undercoat is composed of short hairs that are not shed often, while the outer coat is shed constantly and features short or medium hairs, with long hairs being less common. They come in different colours, with typical mixes being tan/black and red/black. Full white and full black varieties are also found.

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German Shepherds are large-breed dogs that are generally between 55–65cm (22–26ins) long, with an ideal height of 63cm (25ins). They weigh between 22–40kgs (49–88lbs). A Shepherd’s normal life span is anything between 7–10 years.

Shepherds are the third most intelligent canines, after Poodles and Border Collies. They display an amazing ability to memorize simple tasks with least repetition of command. On account of their agility and strength they are the first choice as search and rescue dogs used by the police. The canines are highly self-assured and great around children. They show a high degree of loyalty toward the people they are most familiar with, including young children. In time, they develop an over-protective bond with the family. The breed does not befriend easily and is not easily distracted. If not socialized well, however, they can become too attached and wary or aggressive to outsiders.

In terms of aggression, these dogs are known to be more likely to bite a person than most other breeds. Their aggression, however, does not generally affect their owners.

The common ailments that German Shepherds suffer are: Congenital Heart Disease, Skin Diseases, Hip Dysplasia (abnormal development of hip joints), Panosteitis (an inflammation of long bones in the legs) and bloat if the diet is not monitored and the treats are mostly fatty. It is estimated that 85% of German Shepherds will visit a vet in a year.

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German Shepherds are known to be one of the best breeds of working dogs. On a well planned diet, the animal’s active nature and vigilance is well put to use within the work carried out for tracking criminals, cornering suspects, patrolling distress areas, scout duty, identifying booby traps and search and rescue operations.

Over a 10 year period, the average cost to raise a German Shepherd is approximately $13,000.

Dog breeds are separated into different dog types which are referred to as Dog Groups. The name of the dog group for German Shepherd Dogs is the ‘Herding dog breed’.

After the first year of life, they are considered to be adults and are the equivalent to 16 human years.

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German Shepherds have even made it big in the entertainment industry. Strongheart starred in a number of Hollywood films and paved the way for the popularity of Rin Tin Tin (early TV series). Both of these dogs feature on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Movies like K-9, I am a Legend, The Hills Have Eyes and Downfall has immortalized the German Shepherd breed.

Some famous Alsatians:

  • The German Shepherd who became one of the first canine silent movie film stars in 1921 was Strongheart.


  • Buddy became the first Seeing Eye dog in 1928.


  • Roy Rogers’ German Shepherd was named Rex the Wonder Dog.


  • Rin Tin Tin was the name of the German Shepherd and also the name of the show he starred in. He became the greatest canine star of his time.


  • John Kennedy also had one called Clipper.


  • Adolf Hitler had a one called Blondi.


  • Franklin D. Roosevelt’s owned one called Major.


  • Nemo became the first hero of his kind, to return home from the Vietnam War.


  • Jerry-Lee played the police dog in James Belushi’s films K-9 and K-911.
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