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|Country of origin||Germany|
The German Shepherd (German: Deutscher Schäferhund), also known as the Alsatian, is a breed of medium-large dog. It was first developed in Germany. They are often used as police dogs, but they have many other uses. They have been used as herding dogs, guard dogs, military dogs, eyes for the blind and as pets between others. Because of their intelligence, speed, drive, eagerness and balance, they are now called 'multi-terrain' dogs as well as 'most complete dog breed' also considered the most versatile breed both in adaptability and suitability.
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 wolf dog, instead of German Shepherd dog, was first popularly used by the British in the First World War. This was because the country was at war with the German Empire. Adolf Hitler, a German dictator, was also known to have German Shepherds as companions.
The German Shepherd Dog breed, as it is currently known, was developed by the founder and the first president of the Association for the German Shepherd Dog breed Max Emil Friedrich von Stephanitz at the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th centuries.
German Shepherd, used as search and rescue dogs in a collapsed building
- "USA German Shepherd Dog Standard". United Schutzhund Clubs of America. http://www.germanshepherddog.com/regulations/breed_standard.htm. Retrieved 20 July 2008.