I have owned several German Shepherd dogs over the years and they are by far one of my favorite breeds. The German Shepherd dog originated in Germany and is over 100 years old. He was developed in Germany as a sheepherder, but they are now the worlds leading guard, military, police and Schutzhund dogs. German Shepherds are used for avalanche and earthquake search and rescue, narcotics and bomb detection, tracking missing persons, and guiding the blind. It has been said that there are many breeds who can do specific jobs better, but the GSD can do all jobs. They are one of the most versatile breeds in the world due to their intelligence, mental stability, endurance, ability to scent, willingness to work, courage and train-ability. This breed requires both physical and mental stimulation on a daily basis, and they need a job to do. If left alone too often they can become bored and destructive, and many are prone to separation anxiety. They require close human contact and are not a breed to be isolated.
They are reserved, protective and territorial. They can be aggressive to strange dogs. Most are tolerant of small children and other animals if socialized properly at an early age.
They are steady, discriminating, confident and are very responsive to firm and fair obedience training. This breed is willing and able to anything. A dominant dog may refuse commands from a family member who has not established leadership over them. This breed should be owned and handled by someone who is as smart and capable as they are.
The German Shepherd’s coat is harsh and dense and should be brushed several times per week. I find a grooming rake works best to remove the dead hair and undercoat. They are black and tan, bi color (black with tan points) golden sable, gray sable or solid black. If you are looking for a dog with minimal shedding, this definitely is not the breed for you. Shepherds shed all year long and blow their coat twice per year. Your carpet and floor will always have a nice layer of dog hair covering it.
They are prone to hip dysplasia, bloat, gastric disorders, epilepsy, pancreatitis, panosteitis, (which is a minor bone ailment), spinal paralysis, pannus, (which is a serious eye disease) and skin conditions. Life expectancy is 12 years. My current GSD is 15 years old. She suffers from severe arthritis and has focal seizures.
Cautions when Buying
There are many Shepherds around-so be careful! Show Shepherds can be spindly, long bodied and hyperactive. Working Shepherds can be from aggressive lines, and some are gigantic and over powering. Look for breeders that strive for good temperament and health, working ability in obedience competition and sound conformation. If you buy from a poor breeder you could end up with a sickly, nervous, whiney or aggressive dog. There are many German Sheherd clubs
In my professional opinion, this breed is one of the best choices for your Prepper dog. They are loyal and obedient. They have great energy and stamina and are very protective if the owner or property are threatened. A well bred Shepherd is a combination of power, nobility and agility and would put their life on the line for their owner. You will always feel safe and secure in their presence.
Official Clubs of the Breed
(The WUSV includes all the clubs of the German Shepherd Dog of all the member countries.
She was created in 1974 by the famous Hermann Martin.)
http://www.wusv.org/ Verein für Deutsche Schäferhunde(the mother club of the breed in Germany)
http://www.schaeferhunde.de/La Société du Chien de Berger Allemand
(the official club in France)
http://www.berger-allemand.org/Società Amatori Schäferhunde
(the official club in Italy)
http://www.sas-italia.com/Real Club Español del Perro de Pastor Alemán
(the official club in Spain)
http://www.realceppa.es/German Shepherd Schutzhund Club of Canada
(the official club in Canada)
http://www.gsscc.ca/United Schutzhund Clubs of America
(the official club in the United-States)