Fun Facts About German Shepherds

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There’s so much to be said about the German Shepherd Dog and this post is crammed with fun and interesting facts.

The infographic with fun facts about German Shepherds will give you a glimpse into the history and design of this fascinating breed.  It will also shed some light on what you can expect your German Shepherd puppy to grow into.

The video clip, The Ultimate Tribute compilation which was lovingly put together by David Graham will just blow you away when you see just what the German Shepherd is capable of and the Q & A might just answer a few questions for you!

The German Shepherd breed is relatively young in comparison to other, more ancient breeds like the Border Collie.  But the ‘youth’ of this breed has not held it back from becoming one of the most sought after and popular breed of dog today.

Hopefully, these fun facts about German Shepherds will create awareness for the breed. Especially for new owners or anyone considering a German Shepherd as a pet companion or sports dog.

Fun Facts About German Shepherds

The Ultimate GSD Tribute

Fun Facts about German Shepherds Q & A

Q: What is the training that was developed in Germany specifically for the German Shepherd Dog?

A: Schutzhund.  Schutzhund literally means protection dog.  It was used as a test to reveal the true working nature of the dog.  The difficulty level of the test is intended to weed out dogs that are not physically or temperamentally sound for working.  Still today in Europe, breeding stock must pass a minimum of Schutzhund level 1, before passing on their genes.

Q: Which Line of German Shepherd Experienced 40 Years of Closed Breeding?

A: After WWII and with the establishment of the Deutsche Demokratische Republik the East German DDR working line German Shepherd was maintained through strict government-controlled breeding.  The line experienced 40 years of closed breeding.

The breeding of the Czech working line German Shepherd was also strictly controlled from one kennel.  This kennel was established in 1955 and controlled by the Czechoslovakian Army Border Patrol.

Q: Do German Shepherds Shed?

A: Yes, German Shepherds are the kings of shedding!  They have a double coat which keeps them weatherproof.  A very important trait when herding sheep in Europe!  They shed their topcoat all year round and ‘blow’ their undercoats twice a year –  once in Autumn and again in Spring.

Q: Why are German Shepherds also called Alsatians?

A: After WWI it was believed that ‘German’ could hurt the breed’s popularity and so the UK Kennel Club officially changed the name to Alsatian Wolf Dog.  And in 1917 the AKC dropped the word ‘German’ from the breed’s name.  The name, Alsatian Wolf Dog remained for 50 years until 1977 when the breed was again registered as German Shepherd.

Q: Why is the word ‘Dog’ part of the breed’s name?

A: The word ‘dog’ in GSD is actually part of its registered breed name.  The reason is that it was the only way to distinguish between the shepherd (person) and the shepherd (dog).

Q: Which German Shepherd has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame?

A: Everyone knows Rin-Tin-Tin, but it’s Strongheart who acted in 6 movies that has his own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Q: The GSD has been instrumental in service during wartime.  Which GSD was honored by the Westminster Kennel Club?

A: Filax of Lewanno was honored for safely bringing 54 soldiers home during WWI.

Q: According to the WUSV how many coat types are there?

A: The medium smooth coat – this one is the most preferred.  The long smooth coat – this type of coat is considered a fault in some countries, but is allowed in others.  The long coat – this coat type is generally considered a fault since it does not provide weatherproofing.  Any coat can be considered a fault if it in any way impairs the working competency and endurance of the dog.

Q: Why did Max von Stephanizt breed the German Shepherd Dog?

A: Sheepherding was dying out in Europe and Max von Stephanitz began to breed the dogs for their other abilities.  It was during WWI when the versatility, loyalty, agility, and steadfastness of the German Shepherd Dog became widely known.

Q: What was the name of the first German Shepherd Club?

A: On 22 April 1899 Max von Stephanitz established the Verein für Deutsche Schäferhunde or “Society for the German Shepherd Dog“.  This was the first club for German Shepherd Dogs and their owners.


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About the author: Gabriella is a certified professional dog trainer with the Victoria Stilwell Academy. She has a special passion for teaching GSD guardians to train their dogs with kindness and clarity using positive reinforcement methods without force, pain, or fear. Join “Dog Speak” for free dog training tips and advice from a professional dog trainer.

  • Chelsey

    I love German Shepards impressive and very intelligent.

  • Mark heidelman

    I really enjoyed reading your article. I was out riding my horse with my friends in the desert of California and we came upon a sign that said German Shepherd puppies for sale. I brought this horse back on my lap in my saddle, other than my two children he was the best thing that ever came into my life. I miss and think about him every day!

    • Hi Mark,

      thank you for sharing your experience here!

      Your story is lovely and I can relate to the memories of German Shepherd’s past in my life that still tug at my heartstrings!


    FYI…Your link to the Puppy Section and Training Section, on 2/17/19 says “Page not Found”.

    • Hi Deborah,

      I’ve double checked these links and they seem to be opening on my side. Try again and if you still have issues, drop me an email via the address in the contact section. 🙂

  • David Mann

    Really loved the fun facts. Thanks.

  • Michelle Maxwell

    Hi, I have a wonderful story to share with a happy ending. When I was 5 years old our neighbor had one named Barney. One day I went to pet him and not realizing he had something in his mouth, he bit me on the face. From my little right cheek to my ear. He didn’t bite all the way through. Looking back it would not matter what breed. I had been looking for a bigger dog for protection and for some reason one day I went to our small town humane society. I mainly seen pit bull mix and at the last kennel was Saddie. An 8 month old GSD. So many wanted but I was determined to have her. I would go and volunteer to walk her twice a day. When it was time for adoption it was first come first gets her. On June 2nd of this year I the up and was going to be first, since I stayed the night in my car in front of the gate since midnight. Thank God because people were tapping on my window starting at 4:00 in the morning asking if I was there for Saddie. I said yes. Some people were to me, some were very ugly. One drove 4 hours to come and get her. He was at the point where he wanted to flip a coin. I said nope. She is all mine and since I have terminal brain cancer she can give me a heads up when a seizure in coming.
    We love her so much.
    I question she has some silver hair on her back. What kind of GSD would she fall under?

    • Hi Michelle,

      You’ve made my day with your beautiful story!

      I’m sure you and Saddie are super close by now. It’s hard to tell if I can’t see the hair on her back. You’re welcome to send me a pic to my email address. You can find my email address on my contact page here:

      I look forward to seeing your beautiful girl!

  • Vivian

    Thank you for hasband bought an amazing malinois 3.5 months .i just fall in love
    I am happy

  • Sylvie

    Just beautiful, everything about the site and all of the story.
    I have a 9 year old German Shepherd Dog name Rocky 2 it’s a long story but never the less he is the center of all attention in our house, he our best friend.

    Thank you for your site

    • Hey, Sylvie!

      Thanks for your compliment on my work. It’s comments like these that make it worthwhile!

      My Charley is 9 years old too. She’s just had hip surgery, so I’m sure she feels a little older! But she’s doing great with recovery although it’s going slower than expected.

  • Courtney

    Regarding the guide dog section, the first handler’s name was Morris Frank and the dog was a Seeing Eye dog. Seeing Eye dog is actually a registered trademark for dogs trained at The Seeing Eye Inc in Morristown, New Jersey, of which Buddy was the first.

  • I love the German Shepherd, my all-time favorite dog. I just lost one to bone cancer. Star was the greatest dog. She was 14 when she died. I enjoyed reading this post. For sure, they shed. I called Star my German Shedder. 🙂

    • Hi Jeanne,

      I’m sorry to hear that you lost Star. I saw a photo of her on your blog – she’s a beauty!

      I saw a poster on Facebook a few days back that had a dog sitting on a bridge with the words; “I wish the rainbow bridge had visiting hours.” It would be nice if we could visit, even just for a short while!

      Thanks for stopping by and leaving your comment.

      P.S. I LOVE the German Shredder – it’s such a perfect way to describe them! 🙂

  • Interesting post – learned some things about GSDs today!

    • Cool! I’m pleased it created more awareness around the breed!

      Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

  • Genevieve

    This is my first time on your website. I’ve been looking for information about german shepherds because my boyfriend is bringing a puppy home in 2 weeks! This will be the first time we own a german shepherd. And I don’t know much about the breed.

    I had no idea they had such an interesting history! Thank you for making this information so easy to consume. And for putting together some of the most important info – saved me having to read pages and pages of stuff.

    I love this website!


    • Hi Genevieve,

      That’s awesome! Thanks for leaving a comment, I’m please you found this infographic useful.

      Yes, the GSD has had a very interesting history despite being one of the ‘younger’ breeds. Getting a new puppy is a fun time but you’ll soon notice you need eyes in the back of your head! I’ve got a 12 week old pup and just one slip up cost me a brand new phone! LOL!

      You should check out the Puppy Section and the Training Section for more articles.

      All the best with the new puppy!

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