The star ot this months profile is Ruby, a German Shepherd (also known as an Alsatian).

COAT: GSD’s are usually tan and black or red and black and may have either a short or long coat. Their hair is coarse, sometimes wiry, with thick undercoats. There are variations on these colours, however, they may not be acceptable to the Kennel Club for show purposes. Shepherds have a fairly high shedding rate and should be groomed routinely every one or two days.

HEIGHT: Males: 24-26 “ ……….. Females: 22-24”.

WEIGHT: Males : approx 66 − 88lbs lbs…………..Females: 49 − 71 lbs.

LIFESPAN: This seems to vary massively…..approx 8 − 13yrs…… average reported is 11 yrs

TEMPERAMENT: Complex. …..They have a basic instinct to “guard” but can have, otherwise, quite diverse personalities. The general traits expected are curiosity, sense of humour, calm, collected and taking commands from their owner/s. Some, however, can alternate between seeming very intelligent or very nervous. A German Shepherd should not be your first choice if you have never owned a dog before. as GSD’s can be challenging.They need to be kept busy and need “ jobs “ to do. ! Good training is essential! They have very good memories and hence very trainable, if treated well , as they are generally highly intelligent indeed. This is a breed which has earned our great respect. They have an uncanny ability to react to whistles and commands, are alert, loyal, and generally good around children. Although family orientated, the German Shepherd still needs needs mental and physical exercise on a daily basis. Be mindful of the time needed to provide the correct care for this breed and that they can each be quite different in temperament.

CLASS: KC…….. Pastoral Standard / working dog

HEALTH: As with most breeds, hereditary health problems can occur . Such as Canine Hip Dysplasia., Osteoarthritis and other not quite as common but never-the-less painful problems.

HISTORY: German Shepherd?……. or Alsatian? ….They are one breed but have been known by two breed names.

The Deutsche Schaferhund originated in Germany around 1890. Between that time and 1935, the breed was consolidated with its primary characteristics. However, during ‘ World War 1’ , the very mention of “ German “ was taboo. To avoid their persecution the name was changed to Alsatian after the area they originated from, Alsace. It was not until 1977 that the original name of German Shepherd was reintroduced and remains the breed name today.

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