“And this year’s runner up is…the German Shepherd!” Although the Labrador Retriever and Golden Retriever edge him out by a nose, the German Shepherd is another popular dog breed. Like the top winners, this dog has very desirable traits – he’s family-friendly, fearless, alert and intelligent. Many German Shepherd owners know that having pet insurance for theirs, is an important peice of the pet health puzzle.
Description and Size
German Shepherds are well-muscled and strong. The head is chiseled and in proportion to its body. The eyes are almond-shaped and dark. Their ears are pointed and erect. German Shepherds have a medium length double coat and the colors vary from a lighter tan to black. Male Shepherds are between 24 and 26 inches high and weigh between 70 and 85 pounds. Females are 22 to 24 inches high and weigh between 60 to 85 pounds.
Character and Temperament
German Shepherds are very attached to their families, but can tend to be overly protective, especially around strangers. This is a trait that responds well to good training. Active socialization from birth will make him more open to others. They are great with children and usually good around other pets.
When a German Shepherd exhibits aggressive behavior, this is due to poor breeding and lack of training. They are excellent workers and thrive on hard exercise.
Like other large dogs, German Shepherds are prone to hip and elbow dysplasia. If possible, potential owners should check into the hip health of both parents. Another concern is that they are prone to bloat and shouldn’t be allowed to consume large amounts of food and water at once. Bloat can be deadly.