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German Shepherd Dog

German Shepherd dogs are extremely active and attentive. This combined with their size, intelligence and train ability makes them a perfect choice for work as a watch or guard dog.
When provided with regular training and attention, the German Shepherd can also make a great family pet. They are very loyal and protective of their own family, but tend to be a bit suspicious of strangers, especially when not in the company of their master.

In America you will find two distinct types of German Shepherd Dogs: the American line and the German line. While there is notable controversy between breeders of the two types, in general, the American line is considered to have strayed from the original herding function to create a more graceful dog with a flying trot, while the huskier German line is considered to emphasizes the original "working dog" capabilities which include sheep herding and protection.

German Shepherd Dog Breed Outline:

Dog Group Herding
Size Large
Height: 22-26 inches
Weight: 65-95 lbs
Colors: Black, black and tan, golden sable, gray sable, or solid black. The sable in German Shepherd Dogs is also known as wolf gray.
Other Names: GSD, Alsatian
Average Litter Size: 9
Life Span: 12 years
Personality: Highly intelligent, highly adaptable, extremely responsive to training, devoted, protective and fearless. These dogs are known to build a strong bondage with their owners.

Grooming Requirements: Weekly brushing.
Shedding: Heavy all year round.
Grooming Requirements: German Shepherds shed heavily all year round and need weekly brushing. As a matter of fact, the more you brush the less they shed.
Social skills: When not properly socialized at an early age, GSDs can develop unruliness or lack of self-confidence.
Good with Children: Good with children of their family, but because they are naturally wary of strangers, they need close supervision when introduced to visiting children and adults. They are reserved but not aggressive toward strangers.
Exercise Needs: GSDs are high energy dogs and need 2 hours vigorous daily exercise, preferably 3-4 times a day.

Train Ability: Extremely responsive to training, especially to voice commands. If well-trained, they can do almost anything.

Health: Most common diseases are Hip Dysplasia, bloat and heart problems.

Negative Characteristics: Aggression toward other animals, heavy shedding, serious health problems.

What should I look for in a German Shepherd Puppy?
"Pick-Of-The-Litter" Advice:

Assuming you have already determined that a German Shepherd dog suits your lifestyle, personality and budget, here's a few tips on what to look for when deciding which puppy to select from the litter. Generally you want to observe the puppies interacting with their littermates and select one that exhibits a playful and curious personality. Also, watch how the puppy plays with you or your children and how it reacts to being handled.

Try and find puppies where the parents are still on site. Check the parents for hip problems and OFA Certification. OFA stands for Orthopedic Foundation of America. Breeding parents should have an OFA certification number and an OFA rating of "Good" or "Excellent."
Here are a few questions to ask your German Shepherd Breeder:
  1. Do you do tests for temperament? May I see the test results?
  2. Do you offer a Health/Temperament guarantee on your puppies?
  3. What are the most important things you are striving for in your breeding program? (Temperament should be first along with health!)
  4. Why did you breed these particular dogs?
  5. Will you supply at least a 4 generation pedigree, the puppy's health record & instructions on how to properly take care of my new dog?
  6. What clubs are you active in?
  7. What references can you give me of previous purchasers?
  8. What is the incidence of dysplasia, allergies, thyroid problems, epilepsy, etc., in the pedigree?
How to Selection Test and Pick a Working Puppy

Puppy testing is not black and white. It takes skill as a handler to do the tests and to interpret the results. Learn from experts

German Shepherd Dog Owners Talk...
German Shepherd Owner Reviews 1

"...I think some people have the wrong impression about German Shepherds as they think that these dogs are aggressive and not friendly,which shows that they have very little knowledge about them. German shepards are known to be used as guard dogs, so obviously they are going to attack an intruder or someone who they are intimidated by..."  All Reviews [...]
German Shepherd Owner Reviews 2

"...I have owned four GSDs. Highly intelligent, they are not for everyone. Males can be strong-willed and require a firm hand, and always lots of exercise. Females are very affectionate. Good dogs are 110% trustworthy around children. They bond to a family and are very aloof with strangers..."  All Reviews [...]
Are German Shepherds Really Good with Kids?
"...My daughter is seven and Tessa (my dog) was two when my daughter was born, and she has been wonderful since day one. She is extremely tolerant of little-girl type things like playing "dress-up", etc. In fact, I think my daughter thinks of her more as a sister than a pet! ;)..."  All Reviews [...]

German Shepherd Rescue Groups and Organizations
ARIZONA Southwest German Shepherd Rescue and White German Shepherd Rescue - Phoenix

German Shepherds for adoption with pictures and stories about successful placements.

CALIFORNIA German Shepherd Rescue

German Shepherd Rescue of Los Angeles

San Francisco Bay Area German Shepherd Dog Rescue

Rescues dogs in the San Francisco Peninsula, South Bay and Monterey Bay areas, including the counties of San Francisco, San Mateo, Marin, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Monterey, and San Benito.

German Shepherd Rescue of Sacramento Valley

German Shepherd Rescue of Sacramento Valley (GSRSV) is dedicated to finding good homes for "at risk" German Shepherds and German Shepherd mixes--particularly those confined at area animal shelters eventually facing euthanasia.

German Shepherd Rescue of Northern California

Regularly adopts dogs to residents of any of 13 Northern California counties: Alameda, Contra Costa, Fresno, Madera, Marin, Merced, Napa, Sacramento, San Joaquin, Solano, Sonoma, Stanislaus and Tuolumne.
COLORADO Colorado German Shepherd Rescue

German Shepherds for adoption with pictures

GEORGIA Atlanta German Shepherd Rescue

German Shepherds for adoption with pictures and stories about successful placements.

ILLINOIS German Shepherd Rescue, Inc.

German Shepherd Rescue is a growing group of volunteers committed to creating a second chance for German Shepherd Dogs that -for many reasons- are in need of new homes.[Northern Illinois]

Chicagoland Shepherd Rescue

Specializes in the rescue, rehab and rehoming of shelter and stray German Shepherds. Rescues German Shepherds from most of the area shelters.

Central Illinois German Shepherd Dog Rescue

Urbana, Illinois
INDIANA Echo Dogs White Shepherd Rescue

Based in Cedar Lake, Indiana and operating nationally, Echo Dogs White Shepherd Rescue is comprised of a network of rescue volunteers throughout the US and Canada.
KENTUCKY Stepping Stone German Shepherd Rescue

Rescues and re-homes German Shepherd dogs found as strays, from shelters, or from homes that can no longer keep them.
MARYLAND Mid-Atlantic German Shepherd Rescue

Rescues GSD's in Maryland, South and South Central Pennsylvania, Northern Virginia, and D.C. 

MASSACHUSETTS German Shepherd Rescue of New England Inc.

German Shepherd Rescue of New England, Inc. (GSRNE) is a volunteer,  501(c)(3) charitable organization dedicated to providing veterinary care, evaluation, and adoptive homes for the German Shepherd Dogs

North Star German Shepherd Dog Rescue, Inc.

Non Profit Corporation dedicated to rescue of German shepherd dogs.

NEW JERSEY Garden State German Shepherd Rescue, Inc.

A full service rescue and referral organization serving New Jersey.

Oscar the GSD Cross Posting Site

German Shepherds for adoption with pictures and stories about successful placements.


A nonprofit organization that rescues German Shepherd Dogs from shelters, and re-homes GSDs as pets and companion animals through adoption to approved homes.

NEW YORK BrightStar German Shepherd Rescue

Non-profit organization based out of Rochester, NY dedicated to saving the lives of German Shepherd Dogs.

German Shepherd Rescue of Central New York (GSRCNY)

Provides a lifeline for German Shepherd Dogs with stable temperaments facing euthanasia in shelters throughout central NY region.

NORTH CAROLINA German Shepherd Rescue

Alamance County,North Carolina.

Raleigh, N.C. Rescue and adoption

Raleigh, N.C. Rescue and adoption of purebred and mixed-breed German Shepherds. Descriptions and pictures of dogs available for adoption. Rescue news and activities and links to other sites of interest

OHIO DOGS Hope in Lake County, Ohio

Lake county German Shepherd and all breed rescue

OKLAHOMA Oklahoma K-9 Academy, L.L.C.

German Shepherds and Belgian Malinois rescue and adoption

OREGON Vom Ztrand German Shepherd Rescue

A Division of South Coast Animal League dedicated to German Shepherd Rescue

PENNSYLVANIA German Shepherd Rescue of Southeastern Pennsylvania

Serves the counties of Philadelphia, Bucks, Chester, Delaware and Montgomery

TEXAS Austin German Shepherd Dog Rescue

German Shepherd Dogs (purebred/mixed) are ensured quality "forever" adoption placements in Austin & CENTEX by a dedicated all-volunteer not-for-profit GSD dog rescue group.

Department of Defense Military Working Dog Center

Military Working Dogs that are no longer capable of performing their military duties available for adoption.

SOS-GSD of Texas

The Rescue primarily concentrates on rescuing  German Shepherd Dogs although it does occasionally take mixed breed GSDs. 

All Good Shepherds

A non-profit, volunteer and membership-supported purebred German Shepherd Rescue organization the German Shepherd Rescue Houston, Inc. serving the greater Austin/San Antonio, central Texas region.

German Shepherd Rescue of Central Texas

Rescues German Shepherds and German Shepherd mixes. Provides rescue, adoption, referrals, and behavior counseling services.

North Texas German Shepherd Rescue

Rescues German Shepherds in Poolville area.

Camp Wolfgang

German Shepherd  Rescue and Adoption, North Texas.

UTAH Northern Utah German Shepherd Rescue

NUGSD Rescue serves the intermountain west, accepting and placing dogs in Utah, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, Arizona and Nevada.

VIRGINIA Virginia German Shepherd Rescue

Serves Virginia and the Metropolitan Washington, D.C., areas


German Shepherds for adoption with pictures and stories about successful placements.

WISCONSIN Badgerland German Shepherd Rescue

Serves southern Wisconsin.

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GSD Training
United Schutzhund Clubs of America

An extensive resource about Schutzhund, a sport that focuses on developing and evaluating intelligence and utility of German Shepherd Dogs. It also measures the dog's mental stability, endurance, structural efficiencies, ability to scent, willingness to work, courage, and trainability.
Kennels & Trainers

Canine Concepts

Certification in Patrol Dogs, Narcotics Detection Dogs, Dual Purpose Dogs and Explosives Detection Dogs. Springville, AL.


A Tucson-based nonprofit organization which teaches people who have a physical disability to train their own dogs to help them. Tucson, AZ.

Arizona Canine Academy (ACA)

Professional dog trainers programs. Sierra Vista, AZ.

Adler Stein Kennels

All breeds. Agility & obedience training. Saugus, Ca.
German Shepherd Training Roseville

All breeds. Agility & obedience training. Sacramento, Roseville, CA.
Zwinger Vom Heidelberger Schloss

German Trainer with 18 years experience offering Schutzhund and Personal Protection training, and Breeder. Marysville, CA.

Camelot K9 German Shepherd Dogs

Obedience, Personal Protection, Pet Dog and K-9 Training Programs. Loma, CO.
Close Quarter Battle K-9™

CQB K-9 handler teams patrol and explosive detection dogs. Black Forest, CO.

Fidelco Guide Dog Foundation, Inc.

Guide dog training. East Hartford, CT.

New England K-9 Academy

Police K-9, Police K-9 Training/Importing Services, KNPV, Belgian Malinois, German Shepherds, Public Boarding Kennels. Bloomfield, CT.

Dogs Unlimited L.L.C.

Professional Canine Training Center. In-Home, In-Kennel and Protection training. Stamford, CT.

Southern Hills Kennels, Inc.

A dog training facility which specializes in narcotic and bomb detector dog training. Daytona, FL.

Florida K9 Services

Professional All Breed Obedience dog training school. Trained Personal Protection guard dogs for sale. Sanford, FL.

Jo-Thor's Dog Trainers' Academy

Dog Trainers' Academy offers fully certified vocational schooling and professional consultation. Marietta, GA.

TOPS Canine Complex

Canine Office Training Programs. GRayslake, IL.

vom Dreieck German Shepherds

Schutzhund, Personal Protection, All Breed Obedience, Tracking, Conditioning for the Ring and AD, Show Handling, Group or Private.

Southwind Kennels

Police Dog Training. Lenexa, KS.

Dog training and working dogs from Tom Brenneman

Mold detection services and fully finished mold dogs for industry.

Jordan's School of Dog Training

Narcotics, patrol or personal protection, tracking, obedience and explosive trained dogs. Gramercy, LA.

Leader Dogs for the Blind

Leader dogs training. Rochester, MI.

Omega Shepherds

Obedience, tracking, and personal protection programs. Clancy, MT .

New York
Baden K-9

Working dogs for Personal/Home Protection. Niagara Falls, NY.

K-9 Search and Detection, Inc.

Explosive, Weapon, and Narcotic Detection K-9 Services. Manorville, NY .

North Carolina
Walltop Kennels Inc.

All breeds. Agility & obedience training. Four Oaks, NC.
Southern Police Canine, Inc

SPCI is one of the largest private Law Enforcement dog training facilities in the world. Over 600 dogs worldwide placed in the attempt to assist in the war on crime and terrorism. Spring Hope, NC.

Tarheel Canine Training, Inc.

Training in advanced obedience training, coaching in competitive (AKC, UKC) obedience and tracking; training for schutzhund enthusiasts, Police K-9 importing and training for law enforcement agencies.

Rolling Meadow Kennels & Canine Training

Pe-trined Dual Purpose K-9's, Narcotics K-9's(drug dogs),tracking K-9's. Denton, NC.

Von der haus Gill German Shepherds

Police dog training. Wapakoneta, OH.

National K-9 School for Dog Trainers

Dog trainer programs. Columbus, OH.

South Carolina
Cross Creek Training Academy, Inc.

Police dog training. Edgefield, SC.

Canine Academy

Professional dog trainer's programs. Leander, TX.

Triple Crown

Pet obedience, agility, personal protection, police, schutzhund and tracking. Austin, TX.

Hampton Roads Schutzhund Club

Promotes the sport of Schutzhund

GSD Show/Events
May-June 2004
On-line information about show/events held by GSD Clubs
German Shepherd Dog Club of San Gabriel Valley

West Covina, CA
Working German Shepherd Dog Club of East Conn.

Mansfield, CT
The German Shepherd Dog Club of Atlanta

Atlanta, GA
Bur Oak Hundesport

Mundelein, IL
German Shepherd Dog Club of St.Louis

Collinsville, IL
German Shepherd Dog Club of Greater Kansas City

Overland Park, KS
Northern New Jersey German Shepherd Dog Club

Rockleigh, NJ
Iroquois German Shepherd Dog Club of Syracuse

Seneca Falls, NY
The German Shepherd Dog Club of Central Ohio, Inc

Columbus, OH
German Shepherd Dog Club of Oklahoma, Inc.

Oklahoma City, OK
The German Shepherd Dog Club of Oregon

Albany, OR
The German Shepherd Dog Club of Oregon

West Linn, OR
Willamette Valley Schutzhund Club (WVSC)

Hubbard, OR
Keystone-Buckeye Hundesport Klub

North Park, PA
The German Shepherd Dog Club of Houston, Inc.

Houston, TX
The German Shepherd Dog Club of Austin

Austin, TX

Dogs and Cats

Last Updated 5/11/2004

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