The German Shepherd: More than just a companion

German Shepherd

Highly intelligent and loyal, German Shepherds (also known as Alsatians) are known for their good temperament, trainability and endurance. Did you know, German Shepherds can understand new commands in less than 5 repetitions and obey the first command 95% of the time or more with the right training? This is why they are often associated with law enforcement and high-stress situations. People’s perception can often be of aggressive behaviour if they haven’t met a civilian German Shepherd before. However this only happens due to poor or nasty training on an individuals’ part, or the fact that they are trained for the forces to disarm criminals and detain them so they don’t escape. As the name suggests, the ‘shepherd’ means they were originally herding and farm dogs. However, they are widely used for other respected work such as tactical manoeuvres in the military, finding missing persons, explosives, gas leaks, drugs, and even decomposing bodies due to their heightened sense of smell, physical strength and stamina. They also help with Red Cross deliveries. They can even be taught more than one language for commands so suspects on the run, in airports, hostage situations, or at schools, have no idea what the dog is being told and how it will react. Real life German Shepherd heroes include Trakr who rescued the last survivor of the 9/11 World Trade Center attack, Buddy who was the first trained guide dog in America, and Chips who is most famous World War II war dog whose heroic exploits included his assault on an Italian machine-gun nest and helping to take ten enemy Italian soldiers captive. There have also been many famous German Shepherds in television and film (due to their intelligence and skill set) including ‘Inspector Rex’, ‘The Adventures of Rin Tin Tin’, ‘The Roy Rogers Show’, ‘The Littlest Hobo’, ‘I am Legend’, and ‘K-9’ starring James Belushi.

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