This all-rounder canine is among the best dog breeds that a family can own. The German shepherd is an intelligent and gentle breed. It can live up to 9-14 years on average. This handsome dog has considerably smaller and larger variations. These are also known to be the best guard dogs of all time. Dating back to the time of World War I, these dog breeds were significantly used in the war field.
The German shepherd has tall shoulders and is well-muscled. On average they weigh about 65-90 pounds. The history of this breed is also very rich. There are about 200,000 purebred German shepherds still existing in Native Germany. It is also stated to be one of the popular dog breeds by the American Kennel Club.
Besides such good qualities, there are several interesting and fun facts about a German shepherd that owners do not have an idea about. Let’s take a look at them.
Some Interesting and Fun Facts about German shepherd:
1. Standardized by Germans:
In the 1890s, a German named Von Stephanitz came across a Wolf-like canine in a dog show held in western Germany. This dog named Hektor Linksrhein was a small dog with grey and yellow markings on it. It was a very intelligent dog and was used for shepherding. Impressed by his agility and obedience, Captain Von bought this breed and changed its name to Horand von Grafath.
An interesting and fun fact about German Shepherd is that Horand was known to be the first-ever German shepherd and Captain Von Stephanitz came to be known as the ‘Father of German shepherd‘. The year 1899 can be officially known as the standardization date for German shepherds.
2. German shepherd and the war:
Though they were originally bred for shepherding, they still had other capabilities. Among the interesting and fun facts about German shepherds, one is that these dogs were brought to the front during World War I. While some would bring aid to the wounded soldiers, others would act as messengers.
These dogs were also used by Germans and the allies during the war. Some were even taught to parachute from an aircraft. They turned out to be better than any other dog in the military field. They could rescue soldiers, warm them of traps and even be their guards. After successfully using them on the battlefield, these dogs were again used during World War II.
3. They go by different names:
Just like humans, German shepherds have nicknames too. This is also one of the fun facts about German shepherds. The name ‘German shepherd Dog’ is the official name of this breed. However, in Germany, this dog is also known by the name of its origin country- ‘Deutscher Shaferhund’.
In Ireland and England, this breed is called ‘Alsatian’. Some even called it by another name ‘Berger Allemand’. With time, this dog developed popularity all over the world and was most famous among Americans. The people of the US were bent on removing the term ‘German’ from the dog’s name and call it the ‘Shepherd Dog’ after 1914. It was only in 1930 when the AKC decided to change the breed’s name to its original one.
4. Companions of the blind:
We all know how several dog breeds have supported blind people. An interesting and fun fact about German shepherds is that this occupation of aiding the blind people first began with a German shepherd. In 1929, Mrs Harrison Eustis laid the foundation of ‘The seeing Eye’, an organization to train dogs to support and aid visually impaired people. And the first dog breed that she started training was a German shepherd.
A blind person named Morris Frank lost his sight during the 1st World War. He came to this organization in Switzerland and was the first visually impaired person to be accompanied by a German shepherd named ‘Kiss’. However, these dog breeds have been out of this profession for a very long time now and are replaced by Labradors and Retrievers.
5. Known to be the youngest movie dog-star:
German shepherds are one of the dog breeds that are popular in movies. An interesting and fun fact about German shepherds is that they are one of the oldest dog breeds to take part in movies. A German shepherd stage-named Strongheart appeared on screen in 1921. This dog was registered under the name of Etzel von Oeringen and was owned by the famous screenwriter Jane Murfin.
He made his debut in ‘The Silent call’ in 1921, followed by ‘Brawn in the North’ in the same year.
The potential of this dog breed was what attracted the directors and producers of the film. Later, Strongheart also appeared in two more films- ‘The Love Master’ in 1924 and ‘White Fang’ in 1925.
6. Third most intelligent dog breed:
An interesting and fun fact about German shepherds is that they are the third most intelligent dog breed. After Border collie and Poodle, the German shepherd has made its mark in the book ‘The Intelligence of Dogs’.
The marking of the most intelligent dog breeds was done by Stanley Coren. He explained that German shepherds can learn a task usually after 5 repetitions. Being shepherding dogs, they are very obedient dog breeds. There are about 95% chances that these dogs will obey the command that you give them. These characteristics marked the intelligence of this canine.
7. The most famous of all times:
German shepherds are famous not only for their characteristics but also for the deeds they do. The dog named Rin Tin Tin is known to be the most famous dog breed. This is one of the fun facts about German shepherds. Rin Tin Tin has worked as a rescue dog, rescuing a soldier named Duncan Lee from the war field during World War I.
This dog was bred in France and was named after a French puppet. His popularity made him work in silent films. Surprisingly, Warner Bros. used to release a Rin Tin Tin Film whenever they went through a financial crisis. It also received the Legacy Award in 2011 from the American Humane Association. This also accounts for one of the fun facts about German shepherds.
8. They have Eleven Recognized colours:
People are stereotyped regarding the colour set of German shepherds. Mostly, they are considered black or tan. An interesting and fun fact about German shepherds is that they have eleven colours, one of the highest colour sets among all breeds. These colour sets include- liver, sable, black and cream, black and red, black and silver, bi-colour, tan and black, white, black, grey, and blue.
Another interesting fact about this breed is that they have an unusual coloured fur known as the ‘Panda Shepherds’. This colouring is common only in a particular German shepherd bloodline. It might sound fascinating and unique, but a difference in the colour set of dogs is not always appreciated.
9. Special sports event for a Special dog breed:
Dogs have taken part in various sports activities in the past. But inventing a sport in the honour of a breed is quite an achievement. An interesting and fun fact about German shepherds is that they have a sport invented exclusively for their breed. The name of this sport is Schutzhund. The German shepherds are also a part of a sports club known as the United Schutzhund Club of America.
This game was developed in the early 1900s in Germany. It was invented to test the abilities that a German shepherd dog has. It also helped to understand if the dogs can be trained or not. Scientists can test the intelligence, bond with the handler, sense of smell and protective instinct of the breed.
10. Filax, a War Hero:
We all know that German shepherds have been a constant support of soldiers in the war field. One such dog was Filax. An interesting and fun fact about German shepherds is that Filax rescued 54 soldiers to safety while World War I was still going on.
Filax was from Lewanno. He was a Red Cross War Dog. The contributions he made for the warriors of the field make him a hero in his department. He was also honoured at Westminster in 1917 for his great deed of bravery.
Finding dog slogans on Google is easy. You can easily receive slogans on various dog breeds which may not be genuine. However, in the case of German shepherds, there is a motto said by the ‘Father of German shepherd‘ himself. The motto for the German shepherd is Utility and Intelligence.
After the breed received recognition from the American Kennel Club in 1908, the Americans started loving it. Before this, the breed was shown in Pennsylvania at Newcastle and Philadelphia to gain some recognition. However, with time, the German shepherd dog breed has been one of the favourite breeds for many people. But, they are mostly used in their old profession of Military and guard dogs.
Q. How strong is the bite of a German shepherd?
German shepherds have a bite of 1060 newtons/238 lbs. Their bite can cause serious damage to a person.
Q. Are German shepherds heavy?
German shepherds are heavy when they become adults. As puppies, they are lighter than you can imagine.
Q. What is Shepsky dog breed ?
The cross-breed between a German shepherd and Siberian Husky forms a breed is known as ‘Shepsky’. These are working dogs and are very loyal.