Dog Breeds - German Shepherd



Dog Breed


Loyal, protective, intelligent

Dog Breed

Exercise needs


Dog Breed


Active, dog-savvy families seeking a big, strong companion

Dog Breed

Who am I?

Intelligent, brave and loyal: these are just some of the reasons German Shepherds have proven so effective in military, police and search and rescue roles.

German Shepherds emerged as a breed just over a century ago. Using local sheep herding dogs as the foundation, a German army officer decided to breed a specialist dog to assist the police and army. He succeeded. German Shepherds’ strong bodies and trusty, loyal temperaments make them ideal guardians, trackers and guides.

Known as Alsatians in Britain, they are big dogs. Adults are around 60 centimetres high and males can reach 45 kilograms. The most common colour is tan with black saddlery however they can also be sable and solid black. Their typical lifespan is nine to 13 years.

Dog Breed

Who am I likely to live with?

As domestic pets, German Shepherds are outgoing, loving and loyal.

One of the most intelligent dog breeds, German Shepherds respond well to training and authority. They are a lot of dog to handle and need owners who are up to the job.

Capable dogs with huge capacity for work, German Shepherds respond well to challenges and any “jobs” you can give them.

With early socialisation and training, these are great dogs for active families, the perfect companion for adventurous older children and adults.

Dog Breed

What attention do I need from you?

In your home, a German Shepherd will need plenty of exercise and mental stimulation. Two 30-minute walks a day plus a play/training session is recommended.

German Shepherds adore and protect their families, making them naturally excellent guard dogs. However, aggression is not a natural characteristic of the breed. Early training and socialisation are critical to avoiding unsociable behaviour. 

German Shepherds have a thick, double coat that will shed. A daily brush is required to keep their coat in order. Use a rubber brush designed for the job.

Dog Breed

How do you keep me healthy?

This breed has some high profile health issues that stem from inbreeding early in German Shepherds’ development.

High rates of hemophilia and hip and elbow dysplasia have been well-publicised.

The German Dog Council of Australia is actively working to maintain and improve the quality of the breed by ensuring purebred puppies have a stable temperament and sound body. 

Be very careful about the pedigree of your German Shepherd, both the health history and temperament of its parents.

German Shepherds are not particularly big eaters and breeders suggest one meal a day is enough.

Please note: Not all conditions, vet visits and treatments are covered by Woolworths Pet Insurance. Refer to the Product Disclosure Statement for details of coverage.

Price Promise a. only available if a Woolworths Pet Insurance policy is purchased by 30 June 2022 b. only applies to competitor products available as at 1 January 2021 that at least cover up to 80% back on eligible vet bills and have a similar excess c. does not apply to quoted renewals, variations, free insurance offers, or quotes that include discounts for other products purchased d. only available if the quote is genuine – written proof of quote may be required. Please note covers provided by insurers will vary.

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