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25 Frequently Asked Questions about German Shepherds

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I like to share information about wildlife, animals, and pets—dogs in particular.


The German Shepherd is a large sized dog from working dog for herding breed of dogs. It was developed in Germany, by Max von Stephanitz, by mixing between many German herding dogs from 1899. The purpose to develop this breed was to get an intelligent, active, energetic, fearless, confident, healthy, obedient and loyal herding dog or herding sheep, and protect livestock.

German Shepherds are multi-talented dogs which are the second most popular in the world and most demanded for police and military work, If you also like to have a German Shepherd and want to know more about them, then In this article you can find answers to the most frequently asked questions about German Shepherd dogs.

German shepherds are one among the most popular dog breeds in the world

  • They are the top most popular dogs in Iran, Ukraine, and Paraguay. [Year, 2021-22]
  • German shepherds are second most popular dogs in Canada, India, China, Nepal. [Year, 2021-22]
  • They are one of the world's most popular dog breed, for police and military work.
  • German Shepherd is second most popular dog breed In The World. [Year, 2022]
  • According to the AKC (American Kennel Club), German Shepherds are America’s fourth most popular dog breeds. [Year, 2021-22]
  • And third-most registered breed in the United States. [Year, 2022]

2. What are other names for German Shepherds?

German Shepherd dogs are also recognised by other names that include:

  • German Shepherd Dog (GSD)
  • Alsatian
  • Alsatian Wolf Dog
  • Deutscher Schäferhund
  • Berger Allemand
  • Schaferhund

3. What is the difference between German Shepherd and Alsatian dogs?

German Shepherd and Alsatian are both dogs of the same breed, there is no difference between them.

During World War I, German Shepherds were deployed in the English army, but Britishers weren’t the biggest fans of German's and to remove "German" from their names, they changed their name "Alsatian Wolf Dog". The German shepherd dogs used by English army dogs were red and black, black and red colored German Shepherds with long coats, and all the dogs in this lineup (Called Alsatian) are the same type.

Alsatian Vs German Shepherd

Alsatian Vs German Shepherd

4. To which dog group does German Shepherds belong?

All the dogs were developed for the purpose of doing a particular job. And they are exhibited in seven different dog breed groups, classified by the original work for which they were bred to perform.

The German Shepherd was developed by Max von Stephanitz in year 1899 as a working dog of Herding Group, developed originally for herding and guarding sheep.

5. What are the breed standards of German Shepherd Dogs?

German Shepherds are medium to large-sized dogs, their body structure is longer than they are tall. The breed standard for their height and coats and color is set by AKC and major kennels, But AKC hasn't set any official standards for their weight range.

Physical Traits



35 to 43 kilograms (77 to 95 lb)


25 to 33 kilograms (55 to 73 lb)



60 to 65 centimetres (24 to 26 in)


55 to 60 centimetres (22 to 24 in)


Short, Medium and Long


Most commonly tan with black saddle Other colors are - black gray sable black and tan blue red and black black and silver liver (brown)

Reference :

Litter size

5 to 10

Life span

9 to13 years

6. What are the different types of German Shepherd Dogs?

Types of German Shepherds according to their breeding type

What is the difference between a show line and a working line German Shepherd?

German Shepherd dogs are categorized into two main types according to their breeding type.

  • Working Line

    Working Line German Shepherds are an alert, energetic, protective dog that have straight body structure and less prone to hip and elbow dysplasia.
  • Show Line

    The show line German shepherd is an affectionate, less aggressive and more easy-going family pet.
Show Line and working line German Shepherds

Show Line and working line German Shepherds

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Types of German Shepherds according to their geographical Show Line

What is the difference between an American show line and an European show line German Shepherd?

German Shepherds are categorized into two main types according to their Show Line.

  • American Show Line
  • European Show Line

Types of German Shepherds according to their coats

German Shepherd dogs are categorized into three different categories according to their coats.

  • Short Coat
  • Medium Coat
  • Long Coat

Types of German Shepherds according to their color

German Shepherd dogs are categorized into five different categories according to their coat and color.

  • Saddle Coat German Shepherd
  • Sable German Shepherd
  • Black German Shepherd
  • White German Shepherd (Not recognized by AKC)
  • Panda German Shepherd (Not recognized by AKC, and by any other major kennel club)

Find more details, German Shepherd Coat and Color Varieties

7. What is the cost of purebred German Shepherd puppy?

The cost of each breed of dog varies from country to country, and depends on other factors such as the puppy's health, availability, coat and color, bloodline, male/female, etc. On average, the cost of a pure breed German Shepherd puppy with paper range from

  • USA : $500 to $1,500
  • UK : $800 to $5,000
  • Canada : $1800 to $3000
  • Australia : $1,500-$3,000
  • China : $600 to $2,000
  • Singapore : $800 to $1,800
  • India : $80 to $400

8. Are German shepherd dogs good for first time owners?

German Shepherds are an aloof, active, energetic, intelligent, devoted and protective dog breed that requires training and socialization at an early age. It is a member of the herding group of dogs, which are dominant in nature, and needs an experienced owner and not recommended for first time owners.

However, a well-trained and early socialized German Shepherd dog make a good companion and family pet.

9. Are German Shepherds easy to train?

The German Shepherd is one of the smartest and most intelligent dogs in the world, which learns commands very quickly, and they are easier to train than other dogs.

German Shepherds are courageous, sturdy, intelligent, quick learner and have lots of energy and desire to excel, these qualities make them one of the most preferred police and military dog.

10. Are German shepherd dogs good with kids?

German Shepherd is child-friendly, caring and protective as long as they have been early socialized and trained. Particularly they are great for older kid.

German Shepherd dog is an active, energetic and strong dog, which can hurt young children in the excitement and play. But should not leave dogs and baby unattended together, the young child may fall or climb on dog, or step on his foot that can be an odd situation.

German Shepherd with baby

German Shepherd with baby

11. Are German shepherd dogs aggressive to other dogs?

Dogs are descendants of Wolf and have dominance and alpha instincts, and show aggression towards other dogs, they need training to get along well with other dogs. German shepherds are courageous, strong and territorial dogs that show aggression directed towards other dogs, especially against other dog of the same sex.

In the USA, in the year 2008, there was a survey on dog and dog aggressions of different dog breeds, and German Shepherd breed scored higher than average for dog-directed aggression and dog rivalry. But a well trained and socialized German Shepherd dog goes well along with other dogs.

12. Are German shepherd dogs aggressive to other pets?

German Shepherds were developed to be a working dog of herding dog breed, developed to herd, and protect livestock such as sheep or cattle. They are not normally aggressive toward other pets, but they were bred to drive to control the movement of other animals and reflect herding instincts, and do not tolerate indecent behavior of other animals, and in such a situation they reflect aggressive behavior.

German Shepherds with other pets

German Shepherds with other pets

13. Are German shepherd dogs aggressive to strangers?

German Shepherd gets along well with strangers, as long as they have been early socialized and trained. But German Shepherds are an aloof, confident and dominant dogs, which are devoted and highly protective to their owner and family, and until they understand the situation well they remain indifferent and reserved against strangers.

14. Are German Shepherds good dogs for a family?

Dogs were domesticated from wolves thousands of years ago, and almost all dogs make good family pets. Each breed of dog was developed for a different purpose, some dogs were developed for personal protection, to participate in big games, or hunting purpose, reflect higher aggression and dominance than other dogs and need early training and socialization.

German Shepherd is an alert, active, intelligent, affectionate and protective dog that make an excellent and loyal family pet, gentle companion and guardian with proper training and socialization.

15. Is German Shepherd suitable for apartment living?

German Shepherds are primarily herding breed dogs, they have a lot of energy and hot stamina and they need a lot of exercise and running to burn energy. If they are getting enough exercise and attention every day, then they are suitable for apartment living, but they do well outdoors.

They are moderate barker, aloof and confident dogs that can be aggressive and dominant. They they must ne well trained and socialized at early age.

German Shepherd in Apartment Living

German Shepherd in Apartment Living

16. What is the bite force of German Shepherd dog?

German Shepherds have a much higher bite force than other dogs, There are many different breed lines and types of German Shepherds that may have slight variations in bite force, and male and female German Shepherds have bites, there is also a difference in the bite force of male and female German Shepherds, the bite force of male is slightly higher.

Their bite force varies in the range of 238 to 291 psi.

Comparison of Bite Forces of German Shepherds and Other Dogs

Dog's Bite Force Comparison

Kurdish Kangal

Appx. 743 PSI


Appx. 600 PSI


Appx. 328 PSI

Pit Bull Terrier

240 to 330 PSI

German Shepherd

238 to 291 PSI

Great Dane

Appx. 238 PSI

Labradore Retriever

Appx. 230 PSI

Comparison of Bite Forces of German Shepherd Dogs and Other Animals

Wild Animals and GSD Bite Force Comparison


Appx. 1050 PSI


Appx. 650 PSI


405 to 600 PSI


405 to 500 PSI


Appx. 403 PSI

African Wild Dog

Appx. 317 PSI

German Shepherd

238 to 291 PSI

17. What is the running speed of German Shepherds?

German Shepherd is an excellent athlete that can run faster than many other dogs, they can reach up to 30 - 32 miles per hour.

Comparison of Running Speed of German Shepherd Dogs and Other dogs

Running Speed


45 MPH


42 MPH

German Shepherd

30 MPH

Border Collie

30 MPH

Great Dane

30 MPH

Labrador Retriever

20 to 30 MPH

Comparison of Running Speed of German Shepherd Dogs and Other Animals

Running Speed

German Shepherd

30 MPH

African Wild Dog

44 MPH


36 to 38 MPH


30 to 40 MPH


50 MPH


70 MPH

18. Are German Shepherds hypoallergenic?

German Shepherds are not hypoallergenic dogs.

German Shepherds have short to long hair, which is double-coated and their inner coat shed heavily. They shed constantly, year around, shed heavily in the winter and summer months and not recommended for allergic people.

19. Do German shepherds drool?

Dogs of all breeds drool more or less, but some dogs drool a lot such as the pug, basset hound and some other breeds of dogs. But German Shepherds don't usually drool, they tend to drool quite a bit in old age or if they have a problem with their teeth or gums.

20. Do German Shepherds bark a lot?

More or less all dogs bark, and they do require bark training, such as if you live in an apartment or they are exposed to the public they must be bark trained. But some dogs that are naturally less barker and can be managed without special bark training, such as French Bulldog, Bulldog, Shiba Inu, Irish Setter. But German Shepherds are average or excess barkers that need bark training.

21. Do German Shepherds howl?

Dogs are descendants of wolves and display their unique character, and more or less almost all dogs howl, some dogs like Wolfdog, Husky, Alaskan Malamute, etc. are are known to howl. German Shepherds usually do not howl, but do occasionally howl when they are older or if they have problems with their teeth and gums.

22. Is King Shepherd and German Shepherd Shame Breed?

King Shepherds are a larger and stronger version of the German Shepherd. Which has been recently developed in America, king shepherds were first bred in 1991, but yet this breed is not yet recognized by the AKC or any major kennel.

The King Shepherd is primarily developed under systematic breeding of German Shepherds and has fewer health issues, but have a shorter life span due to their giant size.

German Shepherd Vs King Shepherd

German Shepherd Vs King Shepherd

23. Can German Shepherd live in hot and cold weather?

German Shepherds can adapt to all kinds of climates, both cold and hot.

German Shepherds are available in three different coats, short, medium and long. Short Coated German Shepherds are better suited to hot climates. But care has to be taken to keep them cool in extreme heat and sunlight.

The German Shepherd breed was developed primarily for outdoor activities in cold environments, and is more suited to cold environments.

24. How much exercise do German Shepherds need daily?

The exercise needs vary from dog to dog, German Shepherds are an energetic and athletic breed that requires a lot of exercise. They need about 2 hours of exercise every day, that Include long walks and off-lead exercise, training and extra playtime.

But it can be a little more or less depending to their age, health, and energy level. A nine plus month old average healthy dog ​​needs at least 75 minutes of exercise per day.

25. Health Issues

Though German Shepherd is considered a healthy and sturdy dog breed, but they are prone to a variety of medical conditions.

  • Allergies
  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Elbow Dysplasia
  • Bloat, due to his size and deep chest
  • Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus (GDV)
  • Epilepsy
  • Hemophilia
  • Diabetes
  • Cataracts
  • Degenerative Disc Disease

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2022 Aaradhya

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