The German Shepherd possesses a fine lineage: every example can be traced back to a single dog, Horand von Grafrath (formerly Hektor Linksrhein). As the ‘shepherd’ part of the name indicates, these dogs were originally used for herding livestock. These days, however, most decide at an early age to abandon the profession in order to pursue careers with the police or the military. Accomplished at soccer when young, with a particular aptitude for penalty taking, the breed has an unfortunate susceptibility to Chronic Degenerative Radiculomyelopathy (CDRM), a progressive disease of the spinal cord which affects the hind legs, meaning they are often forced to retire from the game early.
German Shepherds are always born between December 23rd and January 18th, meaning they are Capricorns. As such they are very ambitious yet also family-oriented and therefore good with children. Fearsomely loyal, German Shepherds are highly territorial and make very efficient guard dogs, often killing intruders on sight and, if necessary, sacrificing their lives to protect their owners. They have excellent organizational abilities and a proven track record in the field of personal security. The breed’s somewhat cold, aloof personality can be deceptive, however: at heart, these dogs are ‘big softies’ who, in the evenings, like nothing more than to curl up in front of the fire with a good book! They have a refined taste in music, responding most favourably to Wagner’s Ring Cycle and the symphonies of Richard Strauss, and also enjoy ballet and contemporary dance.