The German Shepherd Dog Breed
The German Shepherd is a working dog of medium size that originated in Germany. The German Shepherd dog breed was originally bred to herd sheep but due to their intelligence, strength and trainability have since become the dog of choice for military and police work. A medium-large size dog-males generally weigh up to 90 pounds and females in the 70 pound range. Shepherds have a double coat and are usually tan/black or red/black with several variations such as black and white among others. They are desired for police work because they can learn most tasks in as little as 5 repetitions and obey first commands more than 95% of the time!
In the book The Intelligence of Dogs, author Stanley Coren ranks German Shepherds as third behind Border Collies and Poodles.
Unfortunately, due to years of poor breeding practices by some people, certain hereditary health problems have developed in the German Shepherd dog breed. Hip Dysplasia is a condition where the hip joint is malformed and becomes loose, causing a severe strain on the joint. Eventually, the area breaks down, resulting in sever pain and disability. It is a good idea when buying a puppy to make sure both parents have been certified free of this disease.