German Shepherd dogs are distinctive and well-known dogs which are often used as working or guard dogs. They are courageous, faithful, brave and highly intelligent. The sable German Shepherd is a colour variety of the breed and you can find out more about them in this article.
The German Shepherd is a strong, muscular dog which almost looks like a wolf in appearance. It stands at around 22 to 26 inches (55 to 65 cm) high, and weighs around 77 to 85 pounds (35 to 40 kg). This breed can be divided into three groups according to its coat: long-haired, rough-coated and long rough-coated. The most common colours for this breed are black and tan, solid black or sable. With a sable coat, each hair is at least two different colours. When you brush the fur the wrong way, it often appears as a completely different colour underneath.
A German Shepherd will shed a little amount of hair constantly, which can surprise new owners, and the breed really benefits from daily brushing. The dog also sheds heavily seasonally, so be prepared to vacuum regularly. Infrequent bathing is best as bathing the dog too often can irritate the skin and cause sensitivities related to oil depletion. As this breed has large ears, it is vital that they are checked regularly. Moreover, its claws must not be allowed to become too long.
The German Shepherd loves to do a lot of exercise and also needs mental stimulation such as regular training. It really enjoys a long walk or run, so if you like to cycle or run, take your dog with you. The dog must be taught to walk, to heel or behind its owner to prevent bad manners whilst being outside of the house. Playing fetch along the walk is a great way of tiring your dog, which is vital to prevent the dog from becoming bored, destructive and restless.
Most purebred dogs are susceptible to certain health conditions and the German Shepherd is no exception. These problems are mostly hereditary, so it is a good idea to check with your breeder. Hip and elbow dysplasia are probably the most common issues, whilst others include blood disorders, eczema, digestive problems, inflammation of the cornea and flea allergies. If ever you suspect that there is something wrong with your German Shepherd, you should speak to your vet.