The German Shepherd is one of the world's most popular dog breeds. Why? Well, they are excellents dogs who many believe are the best service dogs, as well as family pets. They are smart, nimble and enthusiastic animals. Beyond that, there are a number of surprise facts you may not know are hidden behind their thick layer of fur.
Although German Shepherds are popular and are known as good family dogs, the chances someone can be bitten are always there. If this happens, be ready with a dog bite lawyer in Toms River, New Jersey or one from the area you live. A lawyer can help navigate any legal issues that may arise from your dog biting another dog or person.
The breed was standardized by Germans.
At a dog exhibition in Germany in late 1880s, breeder Max von Stephanitz observed a wolf-like dog with colored markings on their fur in yellow and black. He bought the dog and was amazed by its intellect and discipline, so he established standards for the breed. Outside of being a beautiful-looking animal, Stephanitz came up with a motto for the German Shepherd: 'Utility and intelligence'.
They are reliable in the workforce.
Von Stephanitz knew that as Germany became increasingly industrialized, the demand for his dogs may diminish. To keep the dogs a viable breed, he collaborated with cops and people in the service industry to find a place for them in the workforce. German Shepherds were simple to teach and were relentless workers since they had been bred to be very clever and athletic. The obedient canines found employment as couriers and guard dogs thanks to von Stephanitz's assistance.
German Shepherds were introduced to the West during World War I.
The Germans utilized German Shepherds for a variety of reasons throughout WWI. After combat, they provided first aid assistance to wounded troops and stayed beside fatally injured men to provide them company while they died. Others served as messengers or as security dogs.
These dogs wowed Americans so much that they took several home with them. The breed's look enthralled the United States, and they quickly became very popular.
The United States grew to love them.
German Shepherds ranked second among the most popular types of dogs in the mid-2000s. They were first in some of the nation's largest cities, such as Miami and Nashville, Tennessee.
German Shepherds are quite intelligent.
The German Shepherd is arguably best known for how smart they are. In fact, they are #3 among dog breeds for their intelligence. Breeds must learn a new instruction after just five times, as well as obey the command the first time given 95% to be put in the top of the smartest dogs.
Their name was temporarily changed.
Following World War II, Germany's opposition were wary of everything German. Because of this, even the name 'German Shepherd' dog didn't appeal to many. To offset this prejudice, they were simply referred to as shepherd dogs, whereas the UK referred to them as Alsatian wolf dogs. Although the term was adopted up until 1977, it was so widely used across Europe that some continue to call them Alsatians.
Dwarfism sometimes affects the breed.
Pituitary dwarfism affects a tiny percentage of German Shepherds. The dogs affected by this remain the size of a puppy their entire lives. While this syndrome makes them seem like they're cuddly teddy bears, it also causes a plethora of health issues.
Rin Tin Tin was the best-known German Shepherd.
Rin Tin Tin was first used in World War I before being saved by Duncan Lee, an American soldier. From there, the dog was taught to act in silent movies. Rin Tin Tin would go on to become a celebrity, resulting in Warner Brothers making a movie with the dog's namesake to get them out of a financial problem.
It's said that he won the best actor award at the inaugural Academy Awards in 1929.