Breed Spotlight – German Shepherd

German Shepherds, loyal and courageous companions, make wonderful family pets. Their reputation for being willing to sacrifice their lives for their human companions is legendary.

Perhaps the most famous German Shepherd was the legendary Rin Tin Tin, a male German Shepherd who became an international film star. An Amercian soldier, Lee Duncan, rescued the dog from a Word War I battlefield and subsequently trained Rin Tin Tin to perform in silent films. 

The dog was a box office smash and went on to star in 27 Hollywood films. He died in 1932 at the age of 14 years.


Even though the German Shepherd is fiercely loyal, gentle and a wonderful family guardian, the breed retains a bit of a standoffish nature, so don’t expect them to instantly become friends with just anyone.
German Shepherds belong to the Herding Group and are large dogs, standing 26 inches at the shoulder. In spite of their ruggedness and courageous nature, with their flowing body curves, they are the picture of gracefulness.


While courage and loyalty may first come to mind when you think of this breed, German Shepherds are also very smart. They are capable of quickly learning commands for many different tasks.

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By Ellen Britt

Dr. Ellen Britt has loved dogs since she was a child. She is particularly fond of the Northern breeds, especially Alaskan Malamutes. Ellen worked as a PA in Emergency and Occupational Medicine for two decades and holds a doctorate (Ed.D.) in biology.

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