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Breed Library
German Shepherd adult in black and white

German Shepherd

The German Shepherd is a loyal, intelligent and adaptable dog that when socialised and trained well can be a rewarding and loving pet.

About the German Shepherd

When well trained German Shepherds can be even tempered, self-assured, vigilant, docile and highly intelligent. This long list of qualities makes them good companions and protectors, and excellent guarding and herding dogs.

German Shepherds are driven by their motivation to work. They can become a dominant figure in their owners’ lives but German Shepherd training is easy, given the time and attention they need. This breed should receive significant daily mental and physical stimulation, with its high exercise requirement and need to learn.

Source: key facts and characteristics sourced from Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI)

Breed specifics

Country
Germany
Group
FCI Group 1, AKC Herding Group
Size category
Large
Avg life expectancy
9–13 years

Even-tempered / Confident / Loving / Resilient / Protective / Lively / Obedient

Key facts

  • Makes a versatile working dog
  • Needs a lot of physical and mental exercise
  • Makes a great family dog
German Shepherd adult in black and white

Origins of the breed

The German Shepherd was originally bred from the herding dogs of central and southern Germany.

Methodical breeding commenced once the first breed association was founded in 1889, with the goal of producing an energetic, versatile, high-achieving working dog.

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A healthy start to life

Puppyhood is a time of massive physical and behavioural change, and a steep learning curve for new owners. Find out how you can provide your puppy with the best start to life so they develop into strong, healthy dogs. 

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Lifetime of health

Get advice and information on how to provide the best care for your dog at every stage of life.

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Preparing for your new German Shepherd puppy

Getting a new puppy? German Shepherds are highly intelligent, docile and loyal when trained well. Make sure you have all the information you need before bringing your new puppy home. Check out our guide on puppy training.

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Discover our puppy range

Looking to buy premium food for your puppy? Royal Canin has developed a range of dog food formulas to support your puppy's growth and development. Learn more about our puppy range and our German Shepherd puppy diet.

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