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The German Shepherds originated from Germany (perhaps not surprisingly). The breed has quickly become a popular family pet and is also used in hundreds of different professions and fields. In Germany alone, between 50,000 and 60,000 puppies are born each year. Do you have plans to acquire a German Shepherd? Or do you already own one? Here are at least ten facts you should know about this immensely popular and wonderful breed.

German Shepherds have an exceptional sense of smell…

human has around 400 different types of scent receptors, also called olfactory receptors, located in the nasal cavity that help us recognize different smells. However, a dog has up to 300 million scent receptors. Compared to many other breeds, German Shepherds have a world-class sense of smell, which is why they excel as police and tracking dogs. Among many other jobs, German Shepherds are known for their bomb and drug detection work, tracking, and search and rescue operations. [source]

The perfect protector…

They are known to be fearless and self-assured (although they go through a period of being generally afraid of everything in their puppyhood). A German Shepherd will confidently stand its ground and is suited to be either a guard dog or a protector, depending on the situation. They can be aloof towards strangers but are not hostile. This natural protective instinct is reassuring for the owner of a German Shepherd. But it also comes with a certain responsibility. You should be committed to spending time activating and training your dog to ensure that your companion is comfortable with strangers and other dogs. If you do, you will benefit from everything that the German Shepherd has to offer. [source]

Skydiving is routine for a German Shepherd…

German Shepherds are one of the most common and popular breeds in the military, particularly in the United States, where they are a clear favorite due to their intelligencetrainability, versatility, and strength. The German Shepherd is classified as the thirdsmartest breed, following the Border Collie and Poodle. In the United States, the military has even trained German Shepherds to accompany them on military missions, parachuting from airplanes together with their handlers. [source]

Known for their versatility…

If you need a job done, just ask your dog. German Shepherd owners are aware that their dogs were developed as working dogs. In fact, the ideal German Shepherd has a body and abilities suited for the demanding tasks that are considered its primary purpose. This means that your dog can excel in almost anything. From dog sports like racingagilitytracking, and therapy work to service dog work – German Shepherds can do it all, almost literally. The only thing holding your dog back is the time and energy you can dedicate to training. It’s no wonder people often assume your dog is a service or police dog, especially younger children. [source]

A fast dog in proportion to its weight…

In their prime, German Shepherds can run close to 50 km/h (31 Mph). Although they are not the fastest runners, they are still impressive in relation to their weight. With that in mind, the fastest dog breed is the Greyhound, which can run up to 72 km/h (44.5 Mph). At the same time, Usain Bolt, the fastest human on Earth, can run up to 43 km/h (26 Mph). [source]

Higher standards for German Shepherds in Europe than the USA…

German Shepherds have changed somewhat since Max Von Stephanitz (considered the developer of the modern German Shepherd in 1895) began his breeding program, depending on where you live. American breeders developed breed standards set by the American Kennel Club (AKC). These standards focus on body shape and elegantmovement, making German Shepherds sought after as performance and show dogs. However, European breeders still adhere to Max von Stephanitz’s breed standards, which focus on healthtemperament, and agility. The German Shepherd Club of Germany oversees these standards, which require dogs to pass a series of tests. American breeding standards do not require these tests. [source]

You don’t want to be bitten by a German Shepherd…

A German Shepherd’s bite has a force of over 1,060 newtons, or 238 PSI, which is the correct measurement. The bite of a German Shepherd can be brutal and cause seriousinjuries that require medical care or even surgery. The German Shepherd is classified as the seventh strongest bite force among all dog breeds (!). [source]

Heavily used during the first and second World Wars…

Max von Stephanitz was dedicated to breeding the German Shepherd as a versatile breed. As urbanization reduced the need for herding dogs, he introduced this intelligenttrainable dog to the police and military. German Shepherds have made heroiccontributions and were extensively used in both World Wars. During World War I, German Shepherds showed their bravery alongside their German soldier counterparts on the battlefield and served as Red Crossdogsrescuersguard dogsmessengers, and sentries. They also guided wounded and blind soldiers to safety for medical treatment – in 1917, a dog named FilaxofLewanno was honored as a war hero in Westminster after leading 54 soldiers to safety. [source]

First guide dog in the USA…

In June 1928Morris Frank brought his dog Buddy to the USA from Switzerland, where dogs were trained to assist soldiers blinded during World War I. Morris proved the dog’s ability by letting her navigatehim across a bustling street in New York in front of a crowd of reporters. Buddy’s successin guiding Morris flawlessly across the street sparked widespread interest in using German Shepherds to aid visually impaired individuals. Today, most guide dogs are Labradors and Golden Retrievers. German Shepherds are no longer the most common breed used in this role – nowadays, they are widely regarded as bestsuited for police and military work – or as pure companion dogs. You can see a picture of the dynamic duo below! [source]

They have not always been called German Shepherds…

These days, we call these dogs German Shepherds (“Deutscher Schäferhund” in German), but we haven’t always referred to them that way. After World War I, many countries avoided anything related to Germany, so in 1917, the American Kennel Club started calling them Shepherd Dogs. This also happened in Europe, where they became “Alsatian Wolf Dogs.” Many years later, both Americans and Europeans restored the original name – and now the breed’s official name is German Shepherd, or “Deutscher Schäferhund” in German. [source]

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