Dog Breed Guide: German Shepherds

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A German Shepherd puppy sitting in the grass.By Dr. Fiona, a veterinarian and writer for Pets Best, a pet insurance agency for dogs and cats 

About the German Shepherd

Height (to base of neck): female 22-24″, male 24-26″

Weight: 75-95 lbs

Color: Most colors permitted, black to tan are most common.

Origin: Germany

Coat: Double coat with soft inner coat and medium length coarse outer coat. Long haired variety exists

Life Expectancy: 12-13 years

Energy level: High

Exercise needs: high

Is a German Shepherd the Right Dog Breed for You?

German Shepherds were originally bred as working dogs, and thus this breed does best with a job.  They are highly suited to rescue and police work and can be very intelligent, but require a diligent and devoted owner who will work on behavioral training in order to create the best companion pet.  They can be prone to separation anxiety and are extremely loyal and protective.  Temperament can verge on aggressive, especially if not trained or socialized well, or are subject to poor breeding.  Coat requires little to maintain, mostly regular brushing.  Best suited to a lifestyle that includes a lot of exercise and activity.

5 Common Illnesses, Medical Conditions and Accidents for German Shepherds

According to the number of dog insurance claims Pets Best receives

Medical Issue  Average Claim Amount Most Expensive Claim
Skin Allergies $788 $6,754
Pyoderma (Bacterial Skin Infection) $320 $3,555
Gastroenteritis (inflammation and/or infection of the stomach, small intestine and colon) $527 $2,990
Hip or Elbow Dysplasia $1,237 $7,618
Lipoma (Benign Fat Tumors) $583 $3,439

Protect Your German Shepherd with Pet Insurance

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