GERMAN SHEPHERD DOG

The German Shepherd “mystique” is characterized by its strength, muscular condition and substance. This champion Altana’s Mystique, n° 1 winner of shows of all times, and it is an honor to feature it in our pages. 
The German Shepherd is an agile, balanced dog, longer than tall, with a notably deep body and fluid lines. Its image evokes strength, good muscles and substance, never skinny or clumsy. The male should stand from 60 to 66 cm to the withers; the female, 5 cm less. The head resumes the nobility and quality in the breed, it is cleanly chiseled, not coarse or refined. The ears, moderately pointy and well proportionate with the head, always carried erect (never cropped or dropping). The neck is relatively long, strong and clean, without loose skin. The withers are more elevated than the back and descend towards a relatively short back, which should be straight, not sunken or carped. The chest is deep and well descending between the forelegs; the ribcage is wide and long, not barrel shaped or too flat. The plume tail, slightly curved as a saber, reaches the hocks. The thigh is wide and forms an almost straight angle; the hock let down, well articulated, short metatarsus. The German Shepherd has a semi long double coat, rough, well flat on the body, or slightly wavy; neck and limbs provided with somewhat longer hair. The coat should never be soft, silky, too long, woolly, curled or open. It should have rich colors, generally black and tan, black and grey, unicolor and black; light blue is not desirable or light liver; it can never be completely white. Discrete white spots are admitted at the chest.
 
WHO IS IT RIGHT FOR
No breed has a record in service and devotion to man comparable to the German Shepherd’s. It is daily seen in countless service tasks, and also, not lastly as a house mate and guardian. 
The dog of all dogs, the German Shepherd is an excellent choice as a company and defense dog, for many good reasons. It is attractive, intelligent, obedient, affectionate and with a balanced character. A well bred, duly socialized and trained German Shepherd is without a doubt a delight for its owner. It never shows aggression or fear when approaching a person. It is an ideal, gentle, adaptable and cheerful family dog, which also widely protects the entire family and its territory.
 
DEVELOPMENT    
With the great incidence of hip dysplasia in the breed, make sure that your chosen puppy comes from proven parents free of dysplasia. Don’t allow the rush to interfere in a long and comfortable life for your dog. 
 
The weight of an eight week puppy can vary considerably, from 3 to 9 kg, with an average from 6 to 7 kg. The buyer should choose an extrovert and kind puppy. The skeleton growth is very fast in the German Shepherd, and the muscular growth can be slower. This often provokes that a young dog looks taller at the limbs. Maturity also varies considerably; some specimens reach it after 16 months, others take up to three years. The female usually reaches complete maturity over the second year. Sexual maturity usually is reached between the eighth and tenth month. Ears should be raised after between ten and twelve weeks, although they can take longer. The ears can fold slightly during dentition. The tan colored areas will turn more intense up to the 18th month and two years.
 
HEALTH
In a breed as popular as the German Shepherd, choose an extrovert puppy that is not aggressive or timid. The mother should be kind, and balanced, strong and peaceful looking. 
 
The puppies from 10 to 12 weeks begin to raise the ears and run on their four legs. Don’t allow your puppy to exercise excessively, since the bones are not formed yet, and never overfeed a German Shepherd. These two factors can help prevent the risk of orthopedic problems in the future. 
 
The German Shepherd has become extremely popular in the entire world. Unfortunately this has led to a breeding excess, and the increase in many disease and defects. It is extremely important to choose a puppy very carefully and patiently. Owners mention behavior problems as the largest concern, for which character tests on the parents are essential. In this breed hip and elbow dysplasia have been documented as well as other bone/joint problems, eye problems, urinary and intestinal tract problems, hemophilia A, Von Willenbrand disease, heart problems, stomach torsion and epilepsy. A well bred German Shepherd can live a robust average of 12 years. Although shedding can be abundant, nothing more than a good brushing is needed.