Some of the most sought after dogs for service, German Shepherds are some of the most incredible worker dogs you’ll ever find. Impress your friends with these fun and interesting facts about one of the world’s favorite dogs!
#1) German Shepherds First Became Well Known During World War I
During the First World War, Germans began using the breed as message deliverers and guard dogs. In addition, the shepherds became useful as mercy dogs to bring help to wounded soldiers and even keep them company as they died.
#2) German Shepherds Came from Germany (Duh)
In the late 1800s, a German dog breeder became fond of this dog who looked almost like a wolf. Finding the dogs to be considerably obedient and intelligent, breeder Max von Stephanitz created standards for breeding the dog through the German Shepherd Dog Club.
#3) German Shepherds are Some of the Hardest Working Dogs
Maintaining relationships with police and guards, von Stephanitz bred the dogs to be athletic and easily trained in order to provide the best security as service dogs. Although the dogs were less useful as workers as Germany became industrialized, their place as service dogs became secure.
#4) America Brought Them Home After the War
Becoming enamored by the German Shepherds in Europe, American soldiers brought some of them home. The dog breed became extremely popular and still rank as one of the most popular dog breeds in America.
#5) Their Name was Changed…and Then Changed Back
Because all things German were less appealing after the World Wars, Americans simply started calling them “shepherd dogs”, and the English called them Alsatian wolf dogs. Some people in Europe still use this name, but in 1977 the term German Shepherd was reinstated in the US.
#6) German Shepherds are Incredibly Smart
Considered to be the third smartest of all dog breeds, the German Shepherd understands a new command after only five uses, and follow the first command given at least 95 out of 100 times.
#7) Rin Tin Tin is the Most Famous German Shepherd
Rescued from a World War II battlefield, Rin Tin Tin was trained by the soldier who rescued him to act in silent films. Rin Tin Tin was notably a huge star in the late 1920s.
#8) Some German Shepherds are Tiny Dwarfs
Just like humans, a small number of German Shepherds may be affected by pituitary dwarfism which keeps the dogs small and like puppies for all of their lives. Although this may be cute, the dogs affected by it are, sadly, rather unhealthy.
#9) Six German Shepherds Acted in a Play in the 1980s
Directed by a Dutchman, Whim Schipper, six German Shepherds were given acting lessons and motivated by treats. The play, however, was a flop.
#10) Maybe Not Popular in Plays but Definitely Popular on YouTube
Although possibly not a favorite on stage, German Shepherds still hold their own in popularity on YouTube. Over ½ million results can be found when searching for German Shepherds on the video site.