They’re one of the UK’s most popular breeds of dog, but how much do you know about the brave and bold German Shepherd?
But with 221 different breeds of pedigree dog to choose from, there’s plenty of thinking to do before you select your perfect pup.
There’s even academic guidance to seek out, with Psychologist Stanley Coren’s book ‘The Intelligence of Dogs’ ranking breeds by instincts, obedience, and the ability to adapt.
One dog that often appears at the top of people’s canine wishlists is the German Shepherd – they were one of the UK’s 10 most popular dog breeds in 2020 and have a range of positive attributes that make them a great family pet.
Here are 10 fun and interesting facts about the breed.
1. Clever dogs
German Shepherds rank within the three most intelligent dog breeds. To be included in this top tier of canine bright sparks a breed must understand a new command after only five repetitions and follow the first command given to them 95 percent of the time. Photo: Canva/Getty Images
2. Crime buster
A Mexican German Shepherd called Zuyaqui is thought to be the dog that has captured the most drugs in Mexican history. His body is now on display at the Mexican Secretariat of National Defense's Narco Museum in Mexico City. Photo: Canva/Getty Images
3. What's in a name
German Shepherds earned their name due to their talent for herding sheep. You'll be unlikely to see one acting as a sheepdog now though - these days their talents are more commonly utilised as police and military dogs due to their strength and intelligence. Photo: Canva/Getty Images
4. Stars of the stage
In 1980s Holland, theatre director Whim Schipper staged a play starring six German Shepherds, sending the dogs to drama lessons and giving them treats for acting well. The play, a domestic drama about a girl bringing a new boyfriend to meet her family, was unfortunately a flop. Photo: Canva/Getty Images