German Shepherd

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German Shepherd

German Shepherd Overview

German Shepherds are one of Canada's most popular breeds for good reason—there isn't much they aren't capable of! Bred as a working dog, German Shepherds are large and strong with noble character. They're intelligent, confident, courageous and their devotion and loyalty is unmatchable. Being super versatile, they excel at whatever purpose they're trained to do. They're simply a jack of all trades: herding, police and military service, drug detection, guide and assistance, search and rescue, and most importantly, a lovable companion. German Shepherds are high energy dogs who need a ton of exercise and activity. Without it, they will become destructive out of frustration and bark and chew. German Shepherds aren't the most welcoming host when guests arrive at the door. Independent by nature, they are often aloof, which can make them a great guard dog. Be aware though, if not properly trained, they can be extremely protective and aggressive. This may scare a lot of people who aren't comfortable around big dogs. While they have many qualities that make them a perfect pet, they definitely aren't for everyone. German Shepherds do best in a big and active family, and love when they have a job to perform. They should stay occupied by learning, playing and working. After all the hard work, they will show you how much they love you for it!

Did you know?

Humans have 86 pounds of pressure when we bite a steak. A German Shepherd has 238 pounds of pressure when they chow down—give the dog a bone!

German Shepherd Stats

  • Kid-Friendly Kid-Friendly

  • Good with other animals Good with other animals

  • Intelligent Intelligent

  • Easy to train Easy to train

  • Working dog Working dog

Popularity ranking**
22-26 in / 50-90 lbs (L)
Average lifespan
7-10 years
Activity level
When necessary
Barking level
When necessary
Coat length

Caring for your breed

Daily serving

Daily kibble serving

3-5 cups

Daily exercise

Daily exercise

2 hours


Grooming frequency

Brushed regularly

Dog Food

Feeding your German Shepherd

German Shepherds do best on a high-quality, low-calorie diet to keep them from getting too big too fast. The better the kibble, the further it goes to nourish your pup and the less of it you'll need to shake into its bowl. Not all German Shepherds will need the same amount of food—a very active worker will need much more than a couch potato. If your dog starts to gain too much weight, cut back. If they’re looking too slim, add a little more. You should moderate the amount of treats and table scraps you give your dog. If your German Shepherd packs on extra pounds, it can result in joint problems.


*Contrary to popular belief, there are no 100% hypoallergenic dogs. There are breeds, however, that have non-shedding coats and are suited well to allergy sufferers.
**The breed popularity ranking is based on the most current ranking of the American Kennel Club (AKC)

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