The German Shepherd Dog (GSD, also known as an Alsatian), (German: Deutscher Schäferhund) is a breed of large-sized dog that originated in Germany. German Shepherds are a relatively new breed of dog, whose origins date to 1899. As part of the Herding group, the German Shepherd is a working dog developed originally for herding sheep. Because of their strength, intelligence and abilities in obedience training they are often employed in police and military roles, in forces around the world. Due to their loyal and protective nature, the German Shepherd is one of the most registered of breeds.
German Shepherds are highly active dogs, and described in breed standards as self-assured. The breed is marked by a willingness to learn and an eagerness to have a purpose. Shepherds have a loyal nature and bond well with people they know. However, they can become over-protective of their family and territory, especially if not socialized correctly. An aloof personality makes them approachable, but not inclined to become immediate friends with strangers. German Shepherds are highly intelligent and obedient and some people think they require a "firm hand", but more recent research into training methods has shown they respond as well, if not better, to reward based training methods.
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