The German Shepherd is an intelligent, loyal, protective and all around fun-loving dog breed, which is probably why its constantly ranked as one of the most popular breeds according to AKC registrations. Like most dogs, though, theres a long and rich history behind them that tells the story of how they came to be.
Early Days of The German Shepherd
The German Shepherd popped up around the end of the 19th century in Europe as a result of cross breeding. As you may already know, Europeans were quick to mix breeds during the mid to late 1800s in an attempt to create the perfect breed. After several years of crossbreeding, they were able to create a dog that was capable of herding sheep, known as the German Shepherd.
Another trait that was inherently bred into the German Shepherd was the ability to defend against natural predators. Shepherds wanted a dog breed that could fend off wolves, coyotes and other animals that would threaten the livelihood of stock. I think its safe to say that the German Shepherd was able to do just this. It wasnt only a smart herding dog, but it was able very capable to defending itself against predators.
Although the breed had been around for several years before, it wasnt until 1919 when the first major kennel club accepted registrations for the German Shepherd. At this time, 54 dogs were registered and their long-running history had begun with the club.
German Shepherds Today
Today, the German Shepherd is one of the most popular dog breeds in the world with millions registered in dozens of countries. Something thats important to note is the wide range of uses and jobs the German Shepherd serves in todays society. Not only are they used at traditional household pets, but they also serve a multitude of other purposes. For instance, police agencies use them to track down fugitives. Their speed, agility, strength and intelligence makes them the idea candidate for a canine companion. Many people dont realize that police department use German Shepherds to sniff out bombs, drugs and other contraband. With a keen sense of smell that can pick up even traces of substances, German Shepherds are quite capable of finding illegal substances.
German Shepherds are also used as seeing-eye dogs for the blind. Once they develop a natural bond with their owner, they will offer their loyalty and protection towards them for life. These are a just a few of the many tasks and jobs German Shepherds are used for in todays society.