German Shepherd

A beautiful, intelligent breed for the dog lover...

German Shepherds are the ultimate large dog - extremely intelligent, very easy to train, outstanding watch dogs and guard dogs, very agile and excellent with children provided the children are not rough with them. They are prefect for elite obedience training and are, therefore, the first choice of the Police and Army - fearless, tireless and loyal.

However, these dogs need strong owners who will demand obedience and put in the effort to train them thoroughly. Big dogs like German Shepherds are outright dangerous if left untrained or allowed to dominate their owner. They do best attaching themselves to one owner. They will be loyal to the rest of the family, but they need one master to look up to. They need early socialisation with other household pets, and considerable supervised socialisation with new babies or pets brought into the home.

Exercise is paramount. Shepherds need vigorous exercise every day and make great jogging companions. They will also readily learn to play fetch, are adept swimmers, and will join in all outdoor activities with enthusiasm. Their mental stimulation is also paramount so these dogs need to be constantly challenged and taught new things.

As prolific shedders, you will need to brush them daily. Their coat is thick but a brief regular brushing will remove dead hair and reduce some of the shedding.

Before buying a puppy, check that both parents have been cleared of hip dysplasia and have proof of screening. Hip dysplasia is the most common ailment in German Shepherds and the German Shepherd Council of Australia is doing its best to reduce the problem in the breed.

This is the dog for you if you are a high energy family, motivated to do considerable obedience training, and want a very intelligent, fully involved family pet.

<ul ><li>Very large dog.</li><li>Highly intelligent - obedience training a must.</li><li>Needs vigorous exercise.</li><li>Prone to hip dysplasia.</li></ul>