GSD stands for German Shepherd Dog, also known as an Alsatian or Deutscher Schaferhund. German Shepherds are large in size and come from Germany. They are a comparatively new breed with origins dating back to 1899. German Shepherds are herding or working dogs and were bred to guard sheep. Their role expanded as owners became aware of their high level of intelligence, loyalty and obedience.
According to the American Kennel Club (AKC), German Shepherds have a definite personality consisting of being direct and fearless, yet not antagonistic. They exhibit expressions, self-confidence and, at times, are aloof. This description of the GSD is the ideal. In today's world the temperament of GSDs often falls short of the ideal. German Shepherds, who are raised to be protectors, often have temperaments that are referred to as "hard" and businesslike. The energy levels of German Shepherds vary from laid-back to dynamic and outgoing. It is recommended that German Shepherds receive socialization at an early age in order to develop a stable, confident temperament.
The German Shepherd breed is recognized for its excellent intelligence. In addition, it is known for adaptability, steadfastness, energy and strength. When these traits are combined with its high capacity to learn, healthy curiosity, classic beauty and undying loyalty; the GSD is one of the most well liked and accepted breeds. German Shepherds assume many different roles such as: family pet, show dog, companion, police dog, guide dog, search and rescue dog, herding dog and movie star.
Aggression is not an inherent trait in the German Shepherd breed. When a German Shepherd is aggressive, this is a sign of inadequate socialization and ineffective training. Since German Shepherds are by nature strong, energetic, intelligent dogs, they can acquire bad habits and become aggressive if not trained from the start about how to use their strengths in positive ways. When owners purchase German Shepherds without careful research into the breed and how to train the dog, then bad outcomes are to be expected. German Shepherds need socialization and training to do all they are capable of doing.
German Shepherds have a normal life span of around 12 to 15 years and are typically a healthy and fit breed. There are some health and hereditary conditions associated with the breed such as: hip dysplasia, epilepsy, Chronic Degenerative Radiculomyelopathy (CDRM), anal furunculosis, haemophilia A, bloat or gastric torsion and pancreatic insufficiency. It is possible to avoid purchasing a German Shepherd with these health and hereditary problems by working with a reputable breeder.