German Shepherd – K-9 Unit Originals
The German Shepherd, as we know them, appeared at the end of the 1900s when a German cavalry officer named Captain Max von Stephanitz crossed a variety of herding dogs to get the ideal sheep herder. He spent the next 35 years promoting the German Shepherd dog breed, calling it the ideal dog for any type of job, from police work (they made up the original K-9 units in Germany) to farm work. The World Union of German Shepherd Associations still exists in Captain Max’s home town of Augsburg, where they most likely have a German Shepherd Dog Statue welcoming visitors.
In World War I, German Shepherds were the German army’s best friends—they were:
- Guard dogs
- Ammunition carriers
- Guides for wounded soldiers – getting them to safety
German Shepherd’s to The Rescue!
Generally considered dogkind’s finest all-purpose worker, the German Shepherd dog is a large, agile, muscular dog of noble character and high intelligence and truly a dog lover’s delight. There are many reasons why German Shepherds stand in the front rank of canine royalty, but experts say their defining attributes are:
German Shepherds will be gentle family pets and steadfast guardians, with a willingness to put their life on the line in defense of loved ones. Haus, the German Shepherd, saved this little girl’s life. Perhaps they now have a German Shepherd Statue to honor their brave pet.
Two Things Your German Shepherd Needs
The smart and active German Shepherd dog breed requires a lot of daily exercise, both physical and mental. Plan to spend at least 45 minutes of every day with your adult German Shepherd, vigorously walking or running, playing games and/or training. Exercises such as agility, herding or flyball provide both physical and mental exercise for this intelligent and agile dog. Then you can supplement with interactive dog toys, learning tricks and playing games like hide-and-seek.
These dogs are enthusiastic students, but to make the most of their innate skills, it’s best to begin German Shepherd training during puppyhood. Like all dogs, German Shepherds should be trained using gentle, dog-friendly, positive-reinforcement training. German Shepherds are eager learners and pick up new skills quickly.
Thanks to their breeding, German Shepherds are creative thinkers and they require consistent and ongoing education to keep them constructively engaged. The mental exertion that occurs during training helps, as well as training games that utilize their natural abilities. Channeling their energy into tracking games that resemble search-and-rescue efforts or scenting games like “find it” can make the average family German Shepherd feel like they’re on the job.
Orphaned German Shepherd Saves Hollywood Studio!
Rin Tin Tin,often hyphenated as Rin-Tin-Tin, was a male German Shepherd that was an international star in motion pictures. He was rescued from a World War I battlefield by an American soldier, Lee Duncan, who nicknamed him “Rinty.” Duncan trained Rin Tin Tin and obtained silent film work for the German Shepherd. Rinty was an immediate box-office success and went on to appear in 27 Hollywood films, gaining worldwide fame.
Along with the earlier canine film star Strongheart, also a German Shepherd, Rin Tin Tin was responsible for greatly increasing the popularity of German Shepherd dogs as family pets and increased market for German Shepherd Dog Statues. The immense profitability of Rin Tin Tin’s films contributed to the success of Warner Bros. studios and helped advance the career of Darryl F. Zanuck, the iconic Hollywood movie producer. Rin Tin Tin was fired when films went from silent to talkies as everyone know – a dog can’t talk.
German Shepherd Immortalized in Book
In her book Rin Tin Tin, Susan Orlean tells the story of this unusual German Shepherd who once appeared on Wall Street. At its heart, the book Rin Tin Tin is a poignant exploration of the enduring bond between humans and animals. But it is also a richly textured history of twentieth-century entertainment and entrepreneurship, and the changing role of dogs, particularly German Shepherds, in the American family and society.