German Shepherds are confident, courageous dogs with a keen sense of smell and notable intelligence. These are active working dogs who excel at many canine sports and tasks — they are true utility dogs! Their versatility combined with their loyal companionship has them consistently listed as one of the most popular breeds in the United States.
The German Shepherd dog is the second most popular dog breed in the United States, and the fourth most popular in the United Kingdom (where it is known as the Alsatian). This breed was standardized in Germany at the end of the 19th century from local dogs used for herding and livestock guarding. Their confidence, courageousness and keen sense of smell coupled with their notable intelligence make them highly suited to police work, military roles, and search and rescue. German Shepherds require regular physical and mental exercise and have a heavy shedding coat that comes in both short and long varieties. They were first recognized by the AKC in 1908 and later became fashionable as soldiers returning from WWI spoke highly of the German dogs and Hollywood popularized the breed with stars like Strongheart and Rin Tin Tin.
Despite being sometimes called the “Alsatian wolf dog”, German Shepherds are not true wolf dogs— they are 100% dog. Nevertheless, German shepherds were crossed with wolves in the past to form the Czechoslovakian and Saarloos wolfdog breeds. German Shepherds, along with other breeds and sled dogs, were also used in the creation of the Chinook breed.
Explore some Embark dogs that share German Shepherd Dog ancestry.