Ah, the noble German Shepherd. From the way he struts to the way he guards his owners, there's something very safe and loving about this breed. We already knew they make great pets ... but we certainly didn't know these five fun facts about this animal, courtesy of the American Kennel Club.
Fact 1: Their Guarding Skills Are No Joke
So you've seen them around the train stations or the police station with the cops before--no big deal, right? Actually, as it turns out, it's a very big deal, because the German Shepherd dog is actually hailed as the world's leading police, military and guard dog.
Thanks for all the hard work you do out there keeping us safe, guys!
Fact 2: They're Quite Popular
It's not surprising that dogs like Labrador and Golden Retreivers are really popular, right? Those of us who have ever had a German Shepherd as a pet won't be surprised by this, but according to the AKC registration statistics, this dashing breed is actually thesecondmost popular dog in the United States. Way to go!
Fact 3: The Breed Has Been Around for Quite a While
We have Captain Max von Stephanitz from Germany to thank for the breeding of the first German Shepherd back in 1899. As a mix of old breeds of herding and farm dogs, the first American German Shepherd was exhibited in 1907, and thanks to the loveable sidekicks known as Rin-Tin-Tin and Strongheart, the breed quickly shot up the ranks of popularity.
Fact 4: For a While There, German Shepherds Were No. 1
German Shepherds were the No. 1 most popular dog in the United States in 1925, and stayed that way for the rest of the 1920s before disappearing from the top 10 until after World War II.
Fact 5: They Make Fine Family Companions
While they may be known for their policing and guarding know-how, the German Shepherd is actually a great breed for families with older children, as they are highly trainable, extremely loyal and very committed to their owners.