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German Shepherd

Recommended for: Active families with older children
Maintenance: Low
Lifespan: 12 years

Appearance
The true colour of a German Shepherd is not known until the puppy coat is shed and the full adult coat has grown. However the German Shepherd Dog’s coat is generally a mixture of black, fawn and gold. Pure black german shepherds are also available, but white is considered undesirable in show ring dogs. Male dogs weigh 34-44kg (75-95lbs) and are 61-66 cm (24-26 in) tall, while bitches weigh 28 – 34kg (62-75 lbs) and are 56 – 61 cm (22 – 24 in) tall.

Temperament
German Shepherds are loyal, loving, intelligent dogs and are willing to do anything for the people they love to the point of giving their own lives. The breed adores and protects its family. Although the dogs are good with children, they should not be left alone with small children because both dogs and puppies can be boisterous.

Health
German Shepherds are known to suffer from hip dysplasia and can also experience some skin problems. Proper care of a German Shepherd includes regular worming, about 3 times a year, and clean, flea free sleeping quarters. German Shepherds have an average lifespan of 12 years.

Grooming
The German Shepherd needs little grooming, however, during the seasonal change from winter to summer it is often necessary to strip out the dead, woolly coat. This should be done as quickly as possible with a rubber brush specifically designed for the job.

Exercise
German Shepherds need regular mental and physical stimulation to stay happy. If left alone for long periods of time in a backyard they will become bored, destructive and noisy.