So Much We Didn't Know About German Shepherds!
Think of any dog breeds with demonym references, English Bulldog, Irish Wolfhound, American Pit Bull, and then comes the German Shepherd. Talk about arguably one of the most handsome dogs on earth, German Shepherds are often known as GSD by acronym, in order to avoid confusion with the human version back in the day. So what else do you know about them? Here are the 10 fun facts about German Shepherd that you might not know of.
Fun Fact #1 : Their Origin
In 1891, Phylax Society was founded to create standardized dog breeds in Germany. The society was however short-lived due to disagreements over dog traits that society should promote. Some believed dogs should be bred for appearance, whereas others believed they should be bred for working. Then came an ex-calvary captain Max Von Stephanitz (also an ex-Phylax Society member) who founded the breed after purchasing the first German Shepherd named Hektor Linksrhein (later renamed as Horand von Grafeth) from a dog show. von Stephanitz compelled the German government to use the breed during World War 1 after the country became more industrialized. Today, the breed is used as Red Cross Dog, messenger, supply carrier, guard and rescuer.
Fun Fact #2 : Police Dogs
German Shepherds are commonly used for police work due to their bold, hardworking, fearless, alert, watchful and intelligent characteristics. They play multiple roles as a police dog including sniffing bombs, offering protection, attack dog, ground and air based tracking, locating crime evidences such as human remains, drug and IED's. They are also popularly used for search and rescue.
Fun Fact #3 : Legends of Silver Screen
This breed had long made its mark in Hollywood ever since the age of silver screen (Yes, long before the Golden Retrievers made theirs). Courtesy of Strongheart (known for films like Brawn of the North and The Return of Boston Blackie ) and Rin Tin Tin ( Where The North Begins and Clash Of The Wolves ), they catapulted their breed into the mainstream world with Strongheart becoming the first major canine film star and Rin Tin Tin responsible for increasing its popularity as household pets. Strongheart featured in six films and has his own Hollywood Walk of Fame star whereas Rin Tin Tin appeared in twenty six movies and succeeded by his son Rin Tin Tin Jr in perpetuating his legacy.
Fun Fact #4 : War Veterans
These doggies are known to have war representatives due to being used for wars such as both World Wars and Vietnam War. They gained popularity in the States during the first World War, coming home with many of the soldiers. Most notable representatives are Chips (mixed-breed GSD) Kaiser and Nemo. Chips was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, Silver Star and Purple Heart for his courage in WWII. Kaiser was known as the first GSD killed in war. He served in Vietnam and died trying to lick his owner's hand. Nemo was known for being the brave dog who lost one eye and suffered a gunshot wound to the nose in process attacking the enemy to save his handler.
Fun Fact #5 : Like the Golden Retrievers, They Too Have Separation Anxiety
As mentioned in the Golden Retrievers article, separation anxiety is applicable to German Shepherds too. Although they are aloof, reserved and take time to make friends, these doggies do not do well if being left alone for long periods. They thrive on companionship and need to exercise and be kept busy. They could potentially become an excessive chewer or barker if being left alone for too long. This issue is usually caused by separation anxiety from its pet parent.
Fun Fact #6 : Social Media Popular
It's unsurprising that being one of the most popular breeds in the world effectively makes it social media popular. You need evidence? Well check this out! On Instagram, both The German Shepherd Fan Page and gsdstagram have whopping 100,000 and 200,000 followers respectively. On Twitter, German Shepherd Lore has 10,000 followers whereas Shepherds Daily has a staggering 202,000 number followers. These accounts are a testament to German Shepherds' popularity on social media and they will only grow bigger with every passing second. After all, who ever gets tired of doggy pictures?
Fun Fact #7 : The Thirteen Club
Kid you not, apparently in America, they have a dog club that is solely dedicated to elder German Shepherds of age 12 and beyond. The purpose of this club is to find older Golden Shepherd Dogs and why they may live longer. Their pet parents are eligible to join and obtain a certificate of recognition. Below are the participation conditions.
- Any German Shepherd Dog is eligible when they turn twelve years old
- Qualifying dogs nominated by their owners with the required information will receive a certificate of recognition
- The dog must be living on January 1 of the year in which the application is made
We suppose, this is a pleasant gesture to honour some of the dogs who served for their country.
Fun Fact #8 : Colourful, Aren't They?
Apparently, this breed comes in a variety of colors and patterns. They have black, white, blue, gray, liver, sable, black and cream, black and silver, black and red, black and tan, you name it. This is due to pet parents' attempts at achieving certain coating which culminated in producing German Shepherds of multiple colors. Have to give it to them, job well done for diversifying the breed.
Fun Fact #9 : The Guide Dog Pioneers
German Shepherds are known to be the guide dog pioneers as a result of their abilities. Back in 1920 in Switzerland, all the formal guide dogs trained were all German Shepherds. In 1929, a program called " The Seeing Eye " was founded by Mrs, Harrison Eustis to train German Shepherd dogs as guide dogs for the blind. This wonderful program was effective and helpful for blind people like Morris Frank. He was a blind man reading about WWI veterans who were blinded and using GSDs as guides. Once he knew about this, he contacted Eustis and the rest is history.
10 . Renowned for Pup Names, With Meanings
Conclusively, it is more than awesome to own a German Shepherd because of how interesting and positively capable this breed is. Furthermore, if you do own one, you are going to have so much fun picking a name of great meaning for him/her. Just check out the list below.
Aldo means “Old and Wise.”
Barette means “Bear-brave.”
Buddy – Served as the very first seeing eye dog in 1928. Frank Morris (owner of Buddy) founded the oldest seeing eye guide dog school in the world called, The Seeing Eye.
London the Littlest Hobo Canadian television star-pup
Ferguson means “Noble and Strong.”
Herz means “Hardy and Brave.”
Rinny after the dog in Rin Tin Tin
Delgado from the hit movie, Beverly Hills Chihuahua (played a former Police dog).
Adolphina means “Noble Hero.”
Bethold means “Bright Ruler.”
Dina means “Warrior of the People.”
Elsa means “Princess.”
Mallory means “Wise in Battle.”