German Shepeherds are some of the most iconic dogs on the planet. You probably already recognize them for their many heroics, their law enforcement work, or their movie roles like Rin Tin Tin, but you might not know everything about this popular breed.

Whether you’re considering adopting a German, or just want to know more about them, here is some background on the fascinating and obedient dogs.

German Shepherd sitting in a field

German Shepherd Size, Weight, and Health

German Shepherds are medium-big dogs, but how big exactly? That answer ranges, and somewhat depends on the dog’s sex. Male German Shepherds grow between 24 and 26 inches tall, while females land between 22 and 24 inches. As for weight, males range from 65 to 88 pounds, and females range between 50 and 70.

Speaking to their health, the breed’s history as work dogs endowed them with strength and longevity. While health is managed and monitored on a pet-by-pet basis, for the most part, GSD’s are a very healthy breed, and will stick around for 10 to 12 years.

Temperament of German Shepherds

In addition to being herders, German Shepherds are known to be excellent family and guard dogs. This is a credit to their temperament and capability. GSD’s were first officially bred in Germany by Max von Stephanitz to fill these three roles. They are easily trained, and make excellent work dogs for that reason.

As herding became less common, German Shepherds began to serve new functions in society. They became police dogs, narcotics sniffers, and search-and-rescue agents. They also continued to be popular family pets, placing among the most popular of all breeds worldwide. Adding to their accolades, a GSD was the first seeing-eye dog, and they typically fare well in dog competitions. If you’re searching for an obedient and loyal dog that’s a great listener, look no further.

Activity Level of German Shepherds

GSD’s have an above-average energy level. This means that they need to move around a lot each day, specifically demanding at least 2 hours of dog walks and safe outdoor play time. If you exercise, they are wonderful companions, and a lot of GSD owners find ways to exercise with their pet. If you live in a small apartment, or find that your schedule disallows a lot of exercise for your dog, a German Shepherd may not be a perfect fit.

Caring for German Shepherds

In addition to providing lots of exercise time, which improves a German Shepherd’s physical and mental health, you’ll want to spend a significant amount of time training your animal. GSD’s are fantastic family and work dogs when well-trained and socialized, but their powerful bites and strong builds can cause problems without adequate training. This should not scare you off. Spending time to train your German Shepherd is often easy and fun, and properly socializing them can be as simple as visiting a dog park regularly to make new friends.

Further, German Shepherds are double-coated dogs, meaning a good brush every couple of days will do wonders for their coat and comfort. Brushing is also a great bonding experience for owners and their dogs!

Given room to play, healthy food, and time with their owner, a German Shepherd is sure to be a wonderful and loving companion.