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The German Shepherd is a breed of medium to large-sized working dogs that originated in Germany. The breed's officially recognized name is German Shepherd Dog in the English language (sometimes abbreviated as GSD). The breed was once known as the Alsatian in Britain and Ireland. As part of the Herding Group, German Shepherds are working dogs developed originally for herding sheep. Since that time however, because of their strength, intelligence, trainability, and obedience, German Shepherds around the world are often the preferred breed for many types of work, including disability assistance, search-and-rescue, police and military roles, and even acting. The German Shepherd Dog is the second-most popular dog breed by registrations (129,186) worldwide.

Other names: Alsatian wolf dog · Berger Allemand · Deutscher Schäferhund · Schäferhund

Common nicknames: Alsatian · Deutscher Schäferhund · DSH · GSD · Shepherd · Schäferhund

Origin: Germany

Male: 30–40 kg (66–88 lb)
Female: 22–32 kg (49–71 lb)

Male: 60–65 cm (24–26 in)
Female: 55–60 cm (22–24 in)

Coat: Double coat
Colour: Most commonly tan with black saddlery
Litter size: 4–9
Life span: 9–13 years


FCI - Fédération Cynologique Internationale Group 1, Section 1 Sheepdogs #166;
Long-haired 166a; Short-haired 166b
AKC - American Kennel Club Herding/guardian
ANKC - Australian National Kennel Council Group 5 – Working Dogs
CKC - Canadian Kennel Club Group 7 – Herding Dogs
KC (UK) - The Kennel Club Pastoral
NZKC - New Zealand Kennel Club Working
UKC - United Kennel Club Herding Dog
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Last Updated: February 09, 2018