German Shepherd: what you should know

German Shepherd: what you should know
It’s one of the most emblematic breed in the dog world and they have been the humans’ best friends for centuries: the German Shepherd continues to amaze for both their charm and character.
Strength and determination: these are the first characteristics that come into your mind when you think about them. Thanks to different cinema and television roles, you have a perfect image of this fantastic breed: in fact, many of us may call them as “the dog par excellence”. However, what are the German Shepherd’s main characteristics? Besides, what should you consider, if you want to get one for you?


They have a unique look and are loved worldwide: the German Shepherd is a medium-large size dog, which can weigh up to 40/43 kg and be 60 cm tall on average. Moreover, their coat can be all black, or black with different coloured markings (red-brownish, brown, yellow, or light grey).This is particularly the case when they have short or thick coat. They can live about 10-12 years.
Men started to raise the German Shepherd at the end of the 19th century in Germany, after crossbreeding some herding dogs: they wanted a strong, loyal partner with a great instinct for defence. Besides, between the two World Wars, the German Shepherd was chosen as military dog too.

As reported in the ENCI studbook (Ente Nazionale Cinofila Italiana – the Italian organisation for Canophilia):

“The German Shepherd should be reasonable, have steady nerves, be self-confident, with a relaxed attitude and, if not provoked, absolutely calm, as well as careful and docile. They should also be brave, combative and strong, so that they can be the right dogs for accompanying, keeping watch, protecting and controlling the sheep.”

Today, many people choose the German Shepherd as their new family member - a very different reason from the original one. So, you better know their peculiarities and needs, in order to live a good life together through time.
Below are the most important aspects about the German Shepherd explained by Paola Zanetti, owner, together with her husband Ezio, of the German Shepherds’ breeding “Ginevra Dell’Abbazia”, in province of Treviso.

Q – For how many years have you been breeding the German Shepherd? What has amazed you about this breed? What distinguishes your dogs?
A – We have been breeding German Shepherds for about 20 years, but we already had some experience: in fact, we bred the Brie Shepherds before. Our studies about this breed have always been very intense, in order to have, from the very first litters, some examples that could meet the breed’s standard. This is what we believe a serious breeding farm should do, and this is what we do, with daily care and dedication.
We, especially Ezio, deeply love this breed: it’s because of their particular behaviour. In fact, Ezio‘s only interest is our German Shepherds’ well-being and their constant, genetic improvement! People often say “I saw one of your dogs”. That’s because our examples are characterised by different peculiarities: they’re usually very sociable and the their coat is black with red markings.

Q – Can you describe us your breeding philosophy?
A - We said it before: our goal is the research of genealogy’s excellence. For this reason, you should know that all our bitches are checked by our vet when they are thirteen months old: we use harmless X-rays to verify if there is any dysplasia risk. Now, while checking bitches’ characteristics, it’s time to find the right male, so that there are more chances for a high quality litter. Each time, we choose different stud dogs to have even better results: bitches usually have a single litter per year. In this way, they won’t feel stressed; besides bitches won’t have any more litters as soon as they turn 5.
When our puppies join their new families, they already have 4 vaccines, microchips and pedigree and they are at least 85 days old, so they can leave the breeding with full prophylaxis.

Q – Can we still call the German Shepherd “watchdog”? Who needs it most?
A - Of course, even though our examples tend to be naturally more sociable: in this way, our German Shepherds could easily live in familiar environments and/or with kids in residential buildings too. The German Shepherd prefers open spaces, but it isn’t the most important thing: their main need is a strong relationship with their owner.
Considering such strong relationship with their owner, but also the fact that they come from wolves, the German Shepherd looks for a pack leader: therefore, the owner should train them properly and teach them the right house “rules”. So, the best thing to do is start such training when they’re puppies, to provide well-being for you both. The German Shepherd shouldn’t need to be so much active: in fact, during their first year of life, you should walk them for no longer than 30 minutes. In this way, their joints won’t be too much strained and the risk of dysplasia will be reduced. However, for a lovely dog/family relationship, some playful, social dynamic activities together are the right things to do, as well as dedicating your dog some attentions and creating constant habits through time.
Considering the above, there are many other additional needs or particular instructions you should care about, except for a constant toileting and hair care: the German Shepherd, in fact, tends to lose a little bit of hair during the whole year, but especially during season change, when they have their usual shedding. Considering they have a natural inclination to learning, the German Shepherd is a good first choice for those, who never had previous experiences with dogs, but they have to remember the importance of a firm education since they’re puppies.

Q – How important is a correct nutrition for German Shepherds’ health? What benefits did you find by using Oasy? How do you feed your German Shepherds?
A - Nutrition is essential to provide your dog a long life. Considering they come from wolves, the German Shepherd needs a nutrition with a lot of meat: that’s why we have chosen Oasy One Animal Protein, for our breeding’s dogs, which has a high amount of animal ingredients from a single animal protein source. Thanks to Oasy we have solved dandruff-problems and our dogs have a shiny coat. Their faeces are regular and solid. Our dogs appreciate this choice too. We have another tip, which comes from our experience: Oasy Salmon brings out some perfect red markings on the coat!

Would you like to get in touch with the breeding "Ginevra dell'Abbazia"? Here's where to find them:

Via Alessandro Platone, 9
31040 Nervesa della battaglia (TV)

Are you a breeder? Click here to find out all about Oasy opportunities for your breeding


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