German Shepherds

The German Shepherd Dog ( aslo known as the Alsation) originated in 1899... The original intent for this dog was the protection and herding of Sheep. It has since then gone on to bigger and better things like Police and Military work due to it's intelligence and obedience.

Due to it's protective nature over it's owner the German Shepherd is one of the most recognised breeds in the world. The German Shepherd breed became increasingly popular after world war 1 when returning solidiers spoke highly of these beautiful, courageous dogs. Then of course there is the animals who had starring television roles like Rin Tin Tin and Strongheart.

The use of German Shepherds in competition such as obedience and agility became more popular due to it's appearance and physique.

German Shepherds are a large size dog with males ranging between 30 - 40kg and 60 - 65cm in height and females between 22 - 32kgs and 53 and 60cm in height. German Shepherds come in a variety of colours ie: black/tan and black/red aswell as Sable.

The German Shepherd has a double coat which unfortunately does shed all year round so grooming is very important, unless you don't mind cleaning fur from all over your house. The most common coat types are medium and long coats, however the long coat is a recessive gene and therefore they there are not many of them around.

German Shepherds are very active dogs with an eagerness to learn and please their master. They are highly protective of their family and don't readily accept strangers into their circle. German Shepherds make good family pets, and if trained correctly can be a valued and much loved member of your family and community.

German Shepherds are strong hardy dogs but do have a few common ailments. They are prone to bloat which can lead to death if not caught and treated early. Signs of bloat include:

  Attempts to vomit (usually unsuccessful); may occur every 5-30 minutes This seems to be one of the most common symptoms & has been referred to as the "hallmark symptom"
"Unsuccessful vomiting" means either nothing comes up or possibly just foam and/or mucous comes up
Some reports say that it can sound like a repeated cough New

Doesn't act like usual self Perhaps the earliest warning sign and may be the only sign that almost always occurs
We've had several reports that dogs who bloated asked to go outside in the middle of the night. If this is combined with frequent attempts to vomit, and if your dog doesn't typically ask to go outside in the middle of the night, bloat is a very real possibility.

Significant anxiety and restlessness
One of the earliest warning signs and seems fairly typical
"Hunched up" or "roached up" appearance
This seems to occur fairly frequently
Lack of normal gurgling and digestive sounds in the tummy Many dog owners report this after putting their ear to their dog's tummy.
If your dog shows any bloat symptoms, you may want to try this immediately.

Bloated abdomen that may feel tight (like a drum)
Despite the term "bloat," many times this symptom never occurs or is not apparent
Pale or off-color gums
Dark red in early stages, white or blue in later stages
Coughing
Unproductive gagging
Heavy salivating or drooling
Foamy mucous around the lips, or vomiting foamy mucous
Unproductive attempts to defecate
Whining
Pacing
Licking the air
Seeking a hiding place
Looking at their side or other evidence of abdominal pain or discomfort
May refuse to lie down or even sit down
May stand spread-legged
May curl up in a ball or go into a praying or crouched position
May attempt to eat small stones and twigs
Drinking excessively
Heavy or rapid panting
Shallow breathing
Cold mouth membranes
Apparent weakness; unable to stand or has a spread-legged stance
Especially in advanced stage
Accelerated heartbeat
Heart rate increases as bloating progresses
Weak pulse
Collapse

Hip and Elbow displaysia is also a common condition in German Shepherds, which leads to arthritic pain in later life. It is advised not to breed from dogs that have had bad hip and elbow scores. 

 

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