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Featured Breed - German Shepherd Dog

This month’s featured breed is officially a champion. Just last month, the Westminster Kennel Club held its annual Dog Show and announced its 2017 Best In Show award to “GCH CH Lockenhuas’ Rumor Has It V Kenlyn,” a German Shepherd Dog.

While hundreds of dog breeds participated in the show, let’s learn more about the winning German Shepherd, hailed as one of the smartest and best looking dogs in the world. In fact, this breed is ranked as the No. 2 most popular dog breed by the American Kennel Club.

History

According to akc.org, the German Shepherd originated in…you guessed it, Germany. Founded in the 1890s, it was derived from herding and farm dogs. After World War I, the breed became instantly popular, mostly because of the movies “The Adventures of Rin-Tin-Tin” and “Strongheart.”

Looks

The German Shepherd is strong, agile, muscular and alert. Longer than tall, this breed is deep-bodied and features smooth curves throughout its structure.

The beautiful, medium length (sometimes long) coat does require regular grooming, as the German Shepherd is expected to shed. They’ve even earned the nickname “German shedders.” You’ll even see the breed feature different coat colors, such as black and red, black and silver, blue, gray, and also white.

Characteristics

The German Shepherd has a distinct personality marked by devotion, courage, expression and self-confidence. This breed excels at almost anything it tries, including guide and assistance work for those who are disabled, police and military work, herding, search and rescue, drug detection, competitive obedience and more. If you’re looking for an energetic dog that is teachable and reliable, look no further. Do note that the breed needs a lot of activity and exercise.

Fun Facts

  • Here’s a quick list of famous celebrities who have owned German Shepherds: Jake Gyllenhaal, Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Lopez, Jennifer Aniston, Shania Twain, and the list goes on.
  • The first service dog, in the 1920s, was a German Shepherd. Buddy is described as the first Seeing Eye dog.
  • It’s one of the only breeds with the word “dog” in its official breed name: German Shepherd Dog.
  • The AKC ranks German Shepherd Dogs as the third most intelligent on the list of Smartest Dogs.
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