The German Shepherd, also called the Alsatian in the UK and other parts of Europe, is a highly intelligent and versatile breed of dog originating from Germany. The breed was established by Max von Stephanits, who started breeding German sheepdogs in 1899. However, after the First and Second World Wars, the breed was re-named Alsatian Wolf Dog due to its popularity with Nazis, including Hitler. The ‘wolf dog’ part of the name was dropped after breeders became worried the association with wolves might harm the popularity of the breed.
The name Alsatian remained for five decades until it was re-registered as the German Shepherd in 1977. It is now one of the most popular breeds of dogs in the world, and they are used in many roles including police work, military, search and rescue, customs detection, personal assistance dogs and as family companions.
The German Shepherd is a strong, powerful dog that is also often used as a guard dog. They have a dense, thick double coat that requires regular grooming. German Shepherds are known for their intelligence, loyalty, courage, and protective instincts. Although once considered a dangerous breed, and briefly banned in Australia, German Shepherds have recently been bred to be family pets and their aggressive nature has largely been bred out of them. They are loyal companions who traditionally come in a combination of colours – either black and tan, or red and black, although other colours such as black roan and white are also more rarely available. As an active working dog, they require a lot of exercise and a large backyard to accommodate their size and energy.
The protective nature of German Shepherds can make them reserved around strangers, so early socialisation is important to get them accustomed to a variety of people. They require very regular exercise and mental stimulation to stop them from becoming bored.
Most Australians can expect to pay between $20 and $60 a month for pet insurance. There are many factors that can influence the cost of pet insurance for your dog, including the following:
This is the most basic type of pet insurance, covering costs for accidental injuries such as car accidents, poisoning, burns, fractures, snake and spider bites, but not illnesses and other conditions.
This type of insurance provides cover for accidental injuries as well as illnesses like cancer, gastrointestinal problems and eye, ear and skin conditions, but not routine care for your pet.