German Shepherd Day

German Shepherd Day is May 10th! The German Shepherd is one of the most recognized dog breeds, and is also one of the most versatile. An Anderson, IN vet goes over some basic information about these very good boys below.


The German Shepherd breed, as we know it today, is relatively new: it was developed in the late 19th century by breeder Max von Stephanitz. However, Fido’s family tree goes back a long way, as his ancestors were German herding dogs that had long been used to protect and herd sheep.

The Name Game

Fido actually has several names: we mostly know these pooches as German Shepherds, GSDs, or sometimes German Shepherd Dogs, but they’re also referred to as Alsatian or Alsatian Wolf Dog, or, in German, Deutscher Schäferhund or Altdeutsche Schäferhunde. (In case you were wondering where the Alsatian came from, it’s the name of the Alsace-Lorraine region of France, near the German border, where Fido is from.)


The German Shepherd is one of the breeds most often utilized in professional capacity. Fido has had many careers, and he excels at all of them. German Shepherds can work as search-and-rescue dogs, police dogs, service dogs,  or in cadaver location, explosives and narcotics detection, criminal tracking and apprehension, and bomb/mine detection, to name a few. They’re also excellent service dogs. In fact, the German Shepard was once the only breed used as seeing-eye dogs.


Although GSDs are known for being wonderful working dogs, they can also be great pets. Fido’s loyalty, intelligence, and protective instincts make him a wonderful animal companion. Just keep in mind that the traits that make them great at working will still be present in pets. Socialization and training are absolutely crucial for these pups.  


German Shepherds are prone to developing certain health conditions, such as arthritis and hip dysplasia. While these are inherited conditions, proper care can go a long way in delaying and reducing them. Nutrition is crucial here. Calcium will help Fido’s skeletal system develop properly. Omega 3 and 6 oils and glucosamine are also beneficial. It’s also important to make sure your pup is getting the right type and amount of exercise, as encouraging too much jumping or standing can exacerbate bone/joint issues. Ask your vet for specific care tips.

Contact us, your Anderson, IN pet hospital, anytime. We’re always here to help!

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