About the German Shepherd Breed
The German Shepherd is a large dog with a soft, curvy silhouette, and is longer than it is tall. It has a very far reaching gait and can cover a lot of ground very quickly. It is also very agile. The muzzle of the dog is long, allowing it to have a good sense of smell and a large mouth which is great for biting. It has an incredibly powerful jaw, and its teeth form a scissor bite. The tail hangs down behind the legs, and will likely have a bit of a curve to it. A German Shepherd may have a back with a steep slope downward towards the rump which is a result of irresponsible breeding for show dogs. This has been addressed, however, and dogs should no longer be bred for this quality.
The double layered coat of the German shepherd can be either long or short. The long haired variety is caused by a recessive gene and so is rarer than the short. The dog has a dense undercoat, and a longer, yet still dense, outer coat. This outer coat constantly sheds, and is likely to fill a home with hair if you don't stay on top of cleaning it up.
The intelligence and obedience of the German Shepherd has been widely used throughout the years, as it makes the dog a very effective and diverse worker, with an impressive résumé which includes work as a watchdog, a guard dog, a messenger dog, a police dog and, of course, a shepherd. It gained huge popularity in the Second World War, running messages and acting as personal guards to commanders.
The German Shepherd has also seen fame on the big screen, when it was found that its intelligence and ability to focus gave it great acting skills. Rin Tin Tin and Strongheart were well known, much loved canine actors who boosted the popularity of the breed in the early half of the 1900s.
As police dogs, the German Shepherd excelled at hunting out contraband, drugs, or hiding targets, and could run and attack suspects, holding them down with the powerful scissor bite, but would also let go and return to their officer immediately at a command.
The German Shepherd was known as the Alsatian during and after the Great World Wars so that the prejudices against Germany at the time would not affect their popularity.