The German Shepherd is second in popularity among AKC members. This breed is known for their intelligence, loyalty, bravery, and strength. They make excellent service dogs and police dogs. They’re loved for many reasons.
Here are some surprising facts about German Shepherds.
1. German Shepherds are natural hunters
German Shepherds were initially assigned the task of shepherding sheep across fields and overseeing flocks. This job required lightning fast reflexes as well as the ability to run at full speed when necessary. This breed proved to be perfect for this job.
German Shepherds can travel up to 32 miles per an hour at full speed. The speed they reach when herding is around 20 mph, and it’s at full sprint. They became the most popular dog for herding sheep. However, there was so much more this breed could do.
German Cavalry officers noticed the dog’s impressive work ability and wolflike appearance. The official history of this dog began with the purchase by the officer.
2. The German Shepherd is the father
Max Von Shlephanitz purchased a Shepherd Dog at a dog fair in 1895. He named him Horand Von Grafath. Horand was the German Shepherd’s genetic base.
Max set up Verein fur Deutsche Schaferhunde after a long time in the hope of creating a different breed of working dog using German breeds. Horand was made the first German Shepherd when he was registered by the club with the number Z1.
3. American and European Breeders are different.
Max’s breeding program changed the breed slightly depending on where one lives.
American breeders have created breed standards for American Kennel Club (AKC) members. These standards have a focus on body structure and elegant movements that make German Shepherds desirable performance and show dogs.
European breeders adhere to Max von Stephanitz’s breed rules, which place emphasis on health and temperament as well as agility. These standards are administered by Germany’s German Shepherd Club. They require that all dogs pass a series of rigorous tests. These tests don’t apply to American breeding standards.
4. German Shepherds in The United States
German Shepherds made their debut in the United States in early 1900s. In 1908, American Kennel Club recognized German Shepherds. Their first champion was crowned in 1913. They also established the German Shepherd Dog Club. German Shepherds were renowned for being wolflike, capable of handling any task that was given to them.
Then came World War I. It brought with it displays of bravery, versatility, and distinction that set the German Shepherd apart.
5. German Shepherds were there to support soldiers in WW1 or WW11
Max von Stephanitz dedicated his life to making the German Shepherd a versatile breed. His urbanization led to a decrease in the need for herding animals. He introduced the intelligent, easily-trained German Shepherd to the police force and military.
German Shepherds were brave alongside their German soldier counterparts. They served as Red Cross rescue dogs, guard dogs and messengers. They also carried ammunition. They also helped blind and wounded soldiers escape to safety. Filaxof Lewanno, an American war dog, was honored at Westminster in 1917 as a war hero having led 54 soldiers away from danger.
Soldiers from both sides of conflict admired the dogs’ ability to survive in dangerous environments and stress. They were especially useful in guiding soldiers with impaired vision to safety.
In Germany used German Shepherds once more. This time however, the United States used them. The US military set up German Shepherd Dog Training Centers and deployed them in War Dog Platoons. There were 15 such units, 7 in Europe as well as 8 in Asia.
Later, during the Korean- and Vietnam Wars, US Military once again used German Shepherds both on the battlefield as well as in military installations.
6. Guide Dogs originated from German Shepherds
Morris Frank, a Swiss citizen, brought Buddy with him from Switzerland. There, Buddy was being trained to work with blind soldiers. Buddy was a male dog originally named Kiss. Morris renamed her and let her navigate Morris through New York City’s busy street in front many reporters.
Buddy’s accomplishment in navigating the streets inspired a widespread interest in German Shepherd dogs as aids for visually impaired people. Labs or Retrievers are now the dominant breeds that aid people with visual impairment. German Shepherds don’t seem to be the most popular breed in this role. These dogs are now best-suited for military and police jobs.