10 German Shepherd Dog Facts



1/11 ● American Kennel Club
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1. German Shepherds will explore everything with their noses

Photo: Santiago Sauceda González.

You’ll find evidence of their very thorough sniffing everywhere – walls, doors, windows, and more.

All dogs have a better sense of smell than humans – 10,000 to 100,000 times better in fact thanks to having millions more scent receptors.

But compared to other breeds, the GSD ranks near the top in scenting ability. It’s no wonder they make such great police and detection dogs.

Among many other jobs, GSDs are known for their bomb and drug sniffing work, tracking, and search and rescue.

2. GSDs are incredibly smart

Photo: Manuella Schorchit.

These dogs are known for their intelligence and many can learn a new behavior in only a few repetitions.

In addition, they have a legendary desire to cooperate and work with us, a trait many see as a wish to please their humans.

No wonder this breed excels at so many activities and is a top Obedience competitor.

3. German Shepherd Dogs are protective of their loved ones

Photo: Anais Ruiz.

They are known for being fearless and self-confident.

GSDs will assertively stand their ground and are suited to be either watchdog or guardian, whichever the situation demands. They can be aloof with strangers yet are not hostile.

This natural protective instinct is reassuring to the German. Shepherd owner.

4. GSDs provide constant companionship

Photo: RODNAE Productions.

In truth, German Shepherd owners are never lonely because their loyal canines are always by their side.

Although GSDs are sometimes slow to warm to strangers, they are gentle and loving with their families.

Their affectionate and dedicated personalities are a bonus of the breed, and they can be particularly fond of children.

5. German Shepherds are known as a mouthy breed

Photo: Jozef Fehér.

They tend to use their mouths as an appendage thanks to their herding heritage.

It’s even right there in their name, ShepHERD.

This mouthing behavior is natural, so expect your GSD to mouth you and chew anything that will fit inside their mouth.

6. German Shepherds shed

All GSD owners know that dog hair is a way of life. You find it on the furniture, the floor, and on every outfit you wear.

According to the German Shepherd Dog breed standard, the ideal GSD has a double coat of medium length with an outer coat that’s as dense as possible. That makes for a lot of fur!

7. German Shepherd Dogs are known for their versatility

If you need any job done, just ask your dog. GSD owners understand their dogs were developed as working dogs.

In fact, the ideal German Shepherd has a body and gait suited to the hard work that is considered its primary purpose.

From dog sports like rally, agility, scent work, therapy work, to service dog work, German Shepherds can do it all.

8. GSDs are super active

Photo: Thirdman.

This breed only thrives with enough regular exercise to burn off all that excess energy. If you don’t give your GSD daily workouts, watch out.

Your dog will get that energy out somehow, and most likely in ways you don’t want.

9. German Shepherds are members of the Herding Group

So, if you own this breed, you’re no stranger to a nose nudging you.

Whether it’s a nose in the back, a nose on your leg, or even a nose in your face, your dog is just doing what comes naturally.

Although this breed isn’t often used to herd anymore, that herding heritage remains.

10. GSDs are loving companions

Photo: ArtHouse Studio.

These are very social dogs who want to spend time with their humans. The more time your dog gets to spend with you, the happier your companion will be.

They may exhibit aloofness with strangers rather than immediately adoring everyone they see, but that only makes their love even more special.

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