AKC Meet the Breeds: German Shepherd Dog

American Kennel Club, Inc. (c) 2011

The German Shepherd Dog is hailed as the world's leading police, guard, and military dog. But this dependable breed is more than its 9-to-5 job. Consistently one of the United States's most popular breeds according to AKC Registration Statistics, the German Shepherd Dog is also a loving family companion, herder, and show competitor. The breed is approachable, direct, and fearless, with a strong, muscular body. The GSD may be most colors except white.

A Look Back
The German Shepherd Dog originated in 1899 at Karlsruhe, Germany, due to the efforts of Captain Max von Stephanitz and others. Derived from the old breeds of herding and farm dogs, the first German Shepherd Dog exhibited in America was in 1907. The fame associated with Rin-Tin-Tin and Strongheart, two members of the breed whose movies played on variations of the boy and his dog theme, shot the popularity of the breed sky high.

Right Breed for You?
Energetic and fun-loving, the breed is very fond of children once a relationship is established. He is a loyal family pet and a good guard dog, the ideal choice for many families. He requires regular exercise and grooming.

  • Herding Group; AKC recognized in 1908.
  • Ranging in size from 22 to 26 inches tall at the shoulder.
  • Herding, police work.



AKC Meet the Breeds is a registered trademark of the American Kennel Club, Inc.


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