German Shepherd: The Military Dog

The famous German Shepherd is one of the most popular dog breeds because of how intelligent and capable they are. They are devoted, courageous, and versatile.  They are so easily trained which is why they make great guide and assistance dogs, police and military service dogs, drug detection dogs, and search and rescue dogs. Aside from being great at the many jobs that they do, they are also wonderful companions.


Fast Facts:

German Shepherds are herding dogs who are medium sized, ranging from 75 to 95 pounds and about 1 to 2 feet tall. They have wonderful trainability and are very good with people but not necessarily other dogs. They are a very active breed and need daily exercise but it is also very important to socialize a German Shepherd to other dogs as well as people as early as possible.


The German Shepherd dates back to 1898, making it a relatively new breed. This breed is very unique because it stems from one man: Captain Max von Stephanitz. He was a captain in the German cavalry who wanted to create a German herding dog to attend to the farms. After Stephanitz retired from the military, he devoted his life to creating the perfect herding dog. He studied the breeding techniques of the British and he also traveled around Germany to observe the perfect German-type herding dog.  One day, he finally found the perfect dog: a wolfish-looking dog with a powerful physique and intelligence unmatched by any other dog he ever saw before. With the world industrializing, Stephanitz realized that there was not a need for a herding dog but rather a military dog. Stephanitz then asked the government to use the dog in World War I and the German Shepherd served as a Red Cross dog, messenger, rescuer, and guard. The breed was so popular that it traveled to America and continued to be breeded there.


German Shepherds are extremely loyal once they get to know someone. At first, they are very shy and are not good at making friends, but once they do, they are extremely devoted to them. When they are comfortable with people they know, they are very easy-going and nice but if they are feeling threatened, they become very strong and protective which makes them a powerful watchdog. German Shepherds love having a job to do and they are very good at any task that is presented to them because of their superior intelligence. While they are usually very easy-going, German Shepherds are not good at being alone. They need to let their energy out in some way, whether that be with another companion or with a walk outside. If they do not let out their energy, they can get easily agitated and resort to barking or chewing. One of the most important things to do for a German Shepherd, besides exercising, is to socialize the breed at a very young age so that the dog grows up to be well-rounded and agreeable.


Celebrities with German Shepherds:

Because the breed is so popular, it is no wonder that there are many celebrities that own this powerful breed. For example, Tom Hanks, Jake Gyllenhaal, Ben Affleck, Reese Witherspoon, and Jennifer Aniston are just a few celebrities who all have German Shepherds. These celebrities take good care of these dogs because they are always seen walking them around California.

If you want to be cool like Jake Gyllenhaal in a beanie, then adopt a German Shepherd! Maybe you have younger siblings at home who have been begging your parents for a dog. If so, this is a terrific breed to get because you will get a protector as well as a friend.

6 thoughts on “German Shepherd: The Military Dog

  1. Captain Max’s story is interesting. I always assumed German shepherds were a ‘natural’ breed, if such a thing exists. I also laughed at the Jake Gyllenhaal quote.
    The only thing you could fix is the citations. Make them in-text or make an external link to them.

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  3. Really it’s true that all the military powers choose German Shepherd as the No. 1 service dog for their operations. That’s because they have all the qualities to fulfill their requirements.

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