German Shepherd Dogs – Surprising Facts You Never Knew

So, you’re a fan of German Shepherd Dogs? They are indeed a wonderful, beautiful breed! But how well do you really know this incredible breed?

They Are the Second Most Popular Breed in the US!

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The starring role of ‘Rin Tin Tin’ brought instant fame to this amazing breed, but it didn’t stop there! Not only has the German Shepherd made an appearance on the cover of various magazines since, their vast intelligence and trainability has lead them to be regularly trained as service dogs, well known working dogs, show dogs, competition and tournament dogs, and…most of all, pets!

They are Trained in German

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American police actually, often, train their GSDs’ with German command phrases! They do this intentionally; they don’t want the average person commanding their working dogs. It could become especially problematic if anyone was able to issue commands to a police dog, considering their jobs.

Remember, dogs make associations with the commands we give them and meanings we imply; it makes no difference what the word is (as long as it is trained consistently). Our dogs could be trained in Elvish or Klingon, as long as the associations are made. Humans learn the exact same way!

They Are Very Intelligent!

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Dr. Stanley Coren at the University of British Columbia ranked German Shepherds as the third smartest dog breed. These dogs are highly intelligent, making them easily trainable and absolutely perfect for working tasks!

German Shepherds are known for their intelligence, and for good reason. In fact, you would be very hard pressed to find a ‘herding breed’ (their original purpose) that isn’t considered highly intelligent; many of the dogs considered to be smartest in the world are herding breeds.

But why are herding breeds so smart, you ask? Well, consider the jobs they were tasked to complete. Compared to, say- hunting and tracking, for example (activities that come natural to the species anyway), directing a large herd of animals that tend to separate themselves is a task many humans would have trouble with.

  • FYI- Considered by many to be the most intelligent breed on Earth today, the Border Collie was also bred for herding purposes.

They Came With World War 1

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In 1914, GSDs were recommended for use as working dogs in the German army. German soldiers used the dogs for a number of purposes, some even being to provide aid to the injured or help deliver messages. German Shepherds weren’t limited here; they even helped guide the blind!

When the idea was first proposed, German soldiers laughed. However, once they saw the amazing capabilities of this highly intelligent breed in action, they were hooked.

Their Name Was Temporarily Changed

After the World Wars, enthusiasts sought a new name for the ‘German Shepherd’, being a little leery of the suffix. To combat this bias, the American Kennel Club chose to call them shepherd dogs, and the English called them Alsatian wolf dogs. Some Europeans still call them Alsatians to this day!

Believe it or not, many people argue whether the German Shepherd and Alsatian are the same breed, or different breeds altogether. To put doubt to rest, they are, indeed, one in the same.

Remember, when you are traveling with your German Shepherd Dog, consider using a Tapscott K9 car seat cover. It will protect you upholstery and give your dog a better and more comfortable trip!”

"Horace started training bird dogs when he was eight years old. He once trained a boxer to point quail. It was the talk of the neighborhood. In his teen years he trained pointers and Irish Setters. He took an interest in Greyhounds and became very active in training these special animals and has been active in Greyhound adoption."