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The German Shepherd

German Shepherds were bred to herd and guard livestock originally, but these days are more likely to serve in the police or military, however if looking for a new family member they can give immense pleasure and loyalty.

German Shepherds are a strong, courageous, athletic and extremely intelligent breed. Often thought of being in the top 3 of intelligence, they are also very loyal and have a need to learn, work or please their owner.

The average height for a German Shepherd is males 24-26 inches to the withers and females 22-24 inches to the withers.

The average weight for a German Shepherd is 35-40kg for males and females, but generally males are heavier than females.

The German Shepherd is a medium to large dog, which is strong and well proportioned. The face has a noble look about it with a domed forehead, blending into a long muzzle. German Shepherds have large erect ears facing forward and bright brown eyes. There is elegance about the German Shepherd with the back sloping down from the withers to the rump, then a long flowing bushy tail. The look of a German Shepherd gives the look of elegant, powerful and muscular dog.

The German Shepherd coat can be a short coat, with a dense, double coat, or a semi long, or a long coat. The most recognised colouring of the German Shepherd is black and tan, but they can also be black, white, sable, blue or liver.


German Shepherds were bred in Germany originally to herd and guard stock, this was done by breeding dogs to gain the perfect dog for this purpose, these needs were speed, strength, stamina want to work and intelligence.

Different regions of Germany had different needs in their dogs, so the German Shepherd varied a lot physically. In the late 1800s some people formed the first German Shepherd Dog Club, this was called the Phylax Society, this name translated means guardsman in Greek.

The Phylax Society’s goal was to standardise the breed throughout Germany. This group disappeared after a few years but one member Max Von Stephanitzt carried on trying to breed the perfect dog for herding and guarding.

Max Von Stephanitzt bought a dog called Hektor who was the first dog to be registered as a German Shepherd dog and went on to breed other dogs with the qualities essential for this type of work.

Max Von Stephanitzt founded the Society for the German Shepherd Dog


A German Shepherds average life span is about 10-13 years. One of the most common problems with the German Shepherd is hip and elbow dysplasia. All breeds of dog can get hip dysplasia but some breeds are more susceptible to it than others. Hip dysplasia is caused by the abnormal growth of the hip ball and socket. Usually the ball would form a pivot point in the socket, but some dogs are born with genetic defects. At birth their hips can be normal but as they grow up the hip joint doesn’t grow correctly and the ball doesn’t fit in the socket. Elbow dysplasia is when the elbow doesn’t develop correctly which causes abnormalities of the elbow joint, usually the cartilage growth or tissues around it.

Once a German Shepherd is over a year old he can be hip scored, this is done by a vet assessing several different criteria under a diagnostic examination, if the German Shepherd is diagnosed of a high probability of hip dysplasia then action can be taken. Elbow conditions can be diagnosed in a similar way.

German Shepherds are a herding breed and some herding breeds can carry the MDR1 gene, which means they can be sensitive to some drugs a vet may administer, which are ok to give to another breed of dog.

German Shepherds can also get epilepsy and sometimes they have sensitive skin, which means they can sometimes react to flea bites.

Being a deep chested breed German Shepherds can also get bloat or gastric torsion. This is when the stomach distends with gas, which causes paralysis of the stomach wall. Then the stomach can twist which is usually fatal. This is a serious illness which is second to cancer for causing death in dogs, but there are ways you can prevent it. Keep stress to a minimum, elevate feeding bowls, slow eating and drinking, exercise before eating and an hour after eating. Feed small regular meals, as opposed to one large meal. Symptoms to look out for are trying to vomit, restless, hunched up, bloated abdomen, pale gums, coughing, drooling, whining, licking the air, refuse to sit or lie down, standing with legs apart, excessive drinking, panting, shallow breathing, weakness or raised heart rate.


The German Shepherd is a breed that was bred to work but will thrive in a home with people who can commit the time that he needs for exercise and mental stimulation.

They are an alert and courageous dog, they are also extremely loyal and eager to please. Whether they are a working dog or family pet they are a popular breed. The German Shepherd can be a fun, lively and faithful companion, who thrive as a family pet, generally good with other animals or children as long as they have been socialised and have had good leadership from a young age. The German Shepherd is very intelligent and can understand basic instructions from as little as 5 repetitions.

Correct training the German Shepherd makes it one of the most trainable dogs, with his calm nature makes him perfect for many different jobs.


A German Shepherd sheds a lot of his thick, double coat and will need regular grooming, but being susceptible to skin conditions should not be shampoo too often.

German Shepherds need a lot of regular and varied exercise, not only physically but mental stimulation is also required.

When choosing to offer your home to a German Shepherd food and vet costs must be considered.

Our Dogs

All of our dogs available for adoption are shown on the following page with further information on them.

Each of our dogs will be vet checked, micro chipped and assessed. We are proud of our reputation in the back up we provide to our dogs and their new family.

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A range of our high quality branded clothing alongside other unique pieces of clothing guaranteed to draw attention to yourself.

Providing excellent durability and fashion for all seasons these are must have items.

We intend to extend our range frequently so why not visit our shop regularly to see what we have on offer

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Using the link below it is possible to donate via Paypal or other methods directly to Central German Shepherd Rescue and allow us to claim valuable Gift Aid.

We have carefully chosen our preferred financial partner due to the security, ease and backup it offers our generous supporters.


Interested in adopting or fostering one of our dogs ?

Visit our page which will explain all the details you need.

Each and every one of our dogs is checked by a vet, is assessed and micro chipped.

As a reputable rescue our volunteers strive to ensure that everything is done to the highest standard and in the strictest confidentiality to make sure that every dog in our care gets a loving home.

Without doubt adoption is the best thing that can happen to a dog in kennels, any dog, once your homecheck has successfully passed, you could soon have your new best friend staying with you and your family.

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Working with us at CGSR

Why not join our band of volunteers, we have social events, fun at awareness and fundraising days, and above all, have a common cause which is the wonderful German Shepherd.

It does not matter where you live, if you drive, even if you have a dog - there are many ways you can help so please look at our volunteering page and help save a life.

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Happy Homes

And that is, as they say, exactly what it says on the tin.

Here you can find some of the wonderful dogs that have come into Central German Shepherd Rescue and gone on to live a happy life in a new loving family.

Some of them have come through trauma, some have come through their owners personal circumstances but each and every one has gone to a HAPPY HOME

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