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The German Shepherd (German: Deutscher Schäferhund), also known as the Alsatian or just the German Shepherd is a breed of medium-large dog. It was first developed in Germany in an area called Alsace. They are often used as police dogs, but they have many other uses. They have been used as herding dogs, guard dogs and as pets.
An important modern use is the dog's ability to perform search and rescue. In former times the American Rescue Dog Association only used air-scenting Alsatians to locate people who are missing or lost. They search in wilderness, disaster, human body remains and water search and rescue and recovery missions. The breed is smart, athletic and can live in a wide variety of climate conditions. Male German Shepherds usually weigh around 30–40 kilograms (66–88 lb). Females usually weigh around 22–32 kilograms (49–71 lb).
The term Alsatian, instead of German Shepherd, was first popularly used by the British in the First World War. This was because the country was at war with Germany. Adolf Hitler, a German dictator, was also known to have German Shepherds as pets.
- "USA German Shepherd Dog Standard". United Schutzhund Clubs of America. http://www.germanshepherddog.com/regulations/breed_standard.htm. Retrieved 20 July 2008.