Fun German Shepherd Facts For Kids

Martha Martins
Oct 20, 2022 By Martha Martins
Originally Published on Aug 05, 2021
Edited by Luca Demetriou
Fact-checked by Yashvee Patel
German Shepherd facts like they are playful, agile and are mostly tan and black are interesting.

German Shepherds are highly intelligent dogs that were originally bred as herding dogs. The first ever German Shepherd was bred by Captain Max von Stephanitz in 1889.

Before that, German Shepherds were similar-looking dogs involved in herding. Stamina and intelligence are considered the strength of this breed of dogs. German shepherd dog breeds are easy to train.

These large sized dogs are a popular dog breed often kept as working dogs, in the police and military, as a guide dog, herding dogs. Due to their high smelling ability, the German Shepherd dog breed was chosen during World War II for search and rescue, sending messages, and as guard dogs.

A German Shepherd puppy and an adult German Shepherd dog need high quality food and a controlled diet to avoid abnormal growth. A German Shepherd’s health and wellness are a prime concern.

Without proper care, exercise, health checkups, these dogs may often be affected by common health conditions like hip dysplasia, epilepsy, pancreatic insufficiency, elbow dysplasia, degenerative myelopathy. German Shepherds often have a black tan, red black, blue, white, gray coats. Once, Max von Stephanitz said, “No good dog can be a bad color.”

You may also check out the fact files on Kunming wolfdog and Drever on Kidadl.

German Shepherd Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a German Shepherd?

German Shepherds are dog breeds with a thick undercoat. They have a high energy level and are mostly working dogs. Compared to other large dog breeds, German Shepherds are prone to some common health conditions if not cared for properly or left alone.

What class of animal does a German Shepherd belong to?

German Shepherd belong to the Mammalia class.

How many German Shepherds are there in the world?

There are more than ten million German Shepherds in the world. An accurate figure is unknown.

Where does a German Shepherd live?

German Shepherds live in houses, with humans.

What is a German Shepherd's habitat?

A German Shepherd’s ideal living place is in a human residence. Since this breed has a double coat and is heavily built, they are better adapted to cooler places. German Shepherd puppies are less tolerant to extreme heat and cold compared to fully grown dogs.

Who do German Shepherds live with?

German Shepherds live with people.

How long does a German Shepherd live?

The lifespan of a German Shepherd is 10-14 years.

How do they reproduce?

Like most mammals, German Shepherds reproduce sexually. A male German Shepherd dog is sexually mature around the age of two years while the female experiences the first heat cycle when she is around six months.

However, a female German Shepherd should have puppies only after she has experienced her second heat cycle. Though female German Shepherd dogs experience heat cycles every six months, breeding is advised only once a month to have healthy German Shepherd puppies.

What is their conservation status?

In 2008, the old German Shepherd dog was listed as 'extremely vulnerable’ to extinction by GEH. The modern German Shepherd dogs, also known as Alsatian, are not under any considerable threat of extinction. For the good German Shepherd temperament, they are mostly trained as herding dogs, companion dogs, search and rescue dogs, and sniffing dogs.

German Shepherd Fun Facts

What do German Shepherds look like?

German Shepherd dogs are furry dogs with rough outer coats. It is one of those dog breeds that is more suited to colder regions than the hotter ones.

The male of this large sized dog breed can weigh up to 95 pounds or more. The most common color of the long haired German Shepherd is black and tan but there are sable German Shepherd, blue German Shepherd, white German Shepherd, and a solid black German Shepherd.

German Shepherd colors can be solid, bi-color, or saddle markings. There are also different varieties of short hair German Shepherds, like the plush coat, and the very-short coat variety.

Some German Shepherd facts are truly amazing. An ideal show German Shepherd, as the American kennel club prefers, should have rich colors.

Lighter shades, blue, liver colors are considered seen as faulty. German Shepherds that have a white coat are disqualified.

The most preferred dogs are those with a medium length coat with a thick outer coat. For German Shepherd weight management, exercise is essential. According to the German Shepherd size, the diet should be strictly controlled.

Excessive weight gain or malnourished dogs of this breed may face health conditions related to the spine, hips, blood, and digestion. Other than the American show line German Shepherd and working German Shepherds, German Shepherds come in different variations like the smaller version of Mini German Shepherd or the miniature German Shepherd.

They may look cute and like a puppy for most of their lives, but dwarf German Shepherd lifespan is very short, and they live only for 3-4 years. It’s purely a variety of the same dog bred with other smaller dogs.

The king German Shepherd was developed in the USA by combining other big dog breeds like the Akita with the German Shepherd. No matter what size, this breed of dog needs a lot of mental and physical stimulation and a lot of exercise.

German Shepherd facts for kids can be a great way to introduce them to this breed of dogs before bringing one home as a pet.

Rin Tin Tin, the legendary rescued male German Shepherd, made this dog breed more popular compared to other similar big dog breeds. A Hollywood movie has been dedicated to the life of Rin Tin.

Adult German Shepherds have pointy standing ears, dense coat, and are large-sized.

How cute are they?

German Shepherds are adorable, good-looking dogs but at times they may look intimidating. They are loyal, fiercely protective, and have very expressive eyes. They are one of the most popular family dogs chosen for this reason!

They are playful, agile, swift, and fiercely protective. A German Shepherd puppy may look like a cute ball of fur but as an adult dog German Shepherds make hefty lap dogs. With good care, grooming, and a strict exercise regime these dogs remain adorable forever.

How do they communicate?

German Shepherds communicate by barking, howling, and with gestures, like all other dogs. German Shepherd dogs have highly developed visual, olfactory, and auditory senses.

With proper German Shepherd training, these intelligent dogs learn different ways of nonverbal communication through bodily actions like wagging their tails, avoiding eye contact, pawing, movement of ears, and staring. If the owner cares to take timeout to understand a German Shepherd, it would carefully learn to communicate effectively.

How big is a German Shepherd?

Compared to a Chihuahua, a German Shepherd is more than four times in height and about fifteen times in weight. Whereas a Chihuahua is 6-9 in, a German Shepherd can be 22-26 inches in height. The approximate length of a Chihuahua is about 9.5-15 inches, whereas, a German Shepherd can be 36-42 inches in length.

How fast can a German Shepherd run?

The maximum running speed of a German Shepherd dog is 48km/hr (29 miles/hr).

How much does a German Shepherd weigh?

The weight of German Shepherd varies according to their gender and breed. A male German Shepherd weighs between 30-40 kg (66-88 lb), and a female anywhere between 22 to 32 kg (48-70 lb).

What are their male and female names of the species?

A male German Shepherd is called a dog and a female German Shepherd is called a bitch.

What would you call a baby  German Shepherd?

As a baby, a German shepherd is called a puppy.

What do they eat?

Other than the usual dog food, German Shepherds also eat many human foods like yogurt, cooked eggs, cooked chicken, rice, cooked pork and beef, carrot, apple, watermelon. The diet of German Shepherd dogs also depends on their body weight, age, activity level, and health conditions.

Are they dangerous?

German Shepherds are fiercely loyal. If taken care of properly they would never harm their owners knowingly.

They tend to growl or snarl at unknown people but as a protective gesture. German Shepherd dogs are not as scary as often portrayed. They are good family dogs and love playing with children.

Children may get overwhelmed by the size and the energy level of these large dogs, but out of most big dog breeds, German Shepherds are the most reliable dogs around children. If children do not harm or irritate the dog, a German Shepherd would seldom snap back.

Would they make a good pet?

Due to the calm, loyal, and patient nature of German Shepherd dogs, easy adaptability, they are considered good as house dogs. They have a caring temperament, high intelligence level, loyalty for their owners, the perfect qualities one needs in a pet dog.

These dogs respect their owners and would protect them with their lives as seen in many life instances. They make wonderful, energetic companions and can be taught to do almost anything. Female German Shepherds may have less tolerance than male German Shepherds towards other family dogs.

Did you know...

Max von Stephanitz the German man who developed the German Shepherd breed names it Deutscher Schäferhund, which literally means ‘German Shepherd’. Prior to working as messenger dogs, and ammunition carriers in World War I and World War II; German Shepherds were introduced in the German police department, the K9 corps.

This breed of dogs was the first companion dog to assist the blind.

A sport called ‘Schutzhund’ was exclusively designed for German Shepherds to test their abilities and skills. Now other dog breeds can also take part in the competition.

Having your own German Shepherd

All German Shepherds are not purebred. German Shepherd price depends greatly on the breed. To ensure a good breed, it is always best to buy a German Shepherd puppy from a well-known or authentic breeder.

Purebred, show-grade German Shepherds can cost anywhere from $1500-$5000. Local breeders often sell purebred German Shepherd pups for $500-$2000. Rescue German Shepherds or one from an animal shelter may come for free or less than $500.

Knowing basic German Shepherd facts and information helps in taking informed decision before bringing home a German Shepherd puppy. German Shepherds need good care and regular grooming.

Their medium length hair needs to be brushed every day, the dogs also need nail trimming and a bath at least once a month or two. They may cost anywhere from $50-$200.

Training a German shepherd is easy. If they are not intended for shows, farm or family dogs can be trained at home.

But for specific behavior training or show-level skills may need professional help. Training prices differ depending on various factors like group training, individual training, daily obedience classes, advanced classes, and may cost as little as $125 to a whopping $10,000.

When do German Shepherds' ears stand up?

When do German Shepherd ears do stand up? It is one of the most commonly searched German Shepherd puppy facts. As a puppy, every German Shepherd dog has floppy and soft ears.

As the dog matures, the cartilage in the ears becomes hard and strong. Then the German Shepherd ears stand permanently. The ear tapering process happens between three months to eight months.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other mammals including Utonagan, or Brazilian terrier.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one on our German Shepherd coloring pages.

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Written by Martha Martins

Bachelor of Arts specializing in Linguistics

Martha Martins picture

Martha MartinsBachelor of Arts specializing in Linguistics

Martha is a full-time creative writer, content strategist, and aspiring screenwriter who communicates complex thoughts and ideas effectively. She has completed her Bachelor's in Linguistics from Nasarawa State University. As an enthusiast of public relations and communication, Martha is well-prepared to substantially impact your organization as your next content writer and strategist. Her dedication to her craft and commitment to delivering high-quality work enables her to create compelling content that resonates with audiences.

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Fact-checked by Yashvee Patel

Bachelor of Business Management

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Yashvee PatelBachelor of Business Management

Yashvee has won awards for both her writing and badminton skills. She holds a business administration honors degree and has previously interned with social media clients and worked on content for an international student festival. Yashvee has excelled in academic competitions, ranking in the top 100 in the Unified International English Olympiad and placing second in an essay-writing competition. Additionally, she has won the inter-school singles badminton title for two consecutive years.

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