Browse our veterinary-reviewed Dog and Cat Illness Guide to learn more about pet health. Always talk to your veterinarian if you have a concern about your pet's symptoms or health.
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German Shepherds are loyal, confident, and hard-working dogs making them great for families. German Shepherds weigh about 60 to 90 pounds, making them a wonderful large breed dog. They can sometimes be stubborn and often try to push boundaries to see what they can get away with. If you start training and socialization at an early age, you can teach your German Shephard how to behave properly.
They will easily get along with other people and kids. With training, they can learn to tolerate cats. They are very energetic dogs and will need about 1 hour of exercise each day.
Common Health Issues in German Shepherds
Most German Shepherds are very healthy. Some of the few genetic and health conditions that could be seen in German Shepherds are:
- Elbow Dysplasia and Hip Dysplasia: Hip and elbow dysplasia are extremely common in this breed. It occurs when the joint sockets do not properly form which can cause their elbow or hip to pop out. If your dog has dysplasia, their limbs may be in pain or cause them to limp. Your vet can discuss what can be done to help manage the signs of pain and help decrease arthritis formation so that your German Shepherd can live a long and happy life.
- Bloat: Bloat is a life-threatening condition that will need to see a veterinarian right away. This occurs when your dog's stomach flips over and becomes enlarged. Many dogs with bloat are gagging and have a very bloated abdomen. This condition usually requires surgery to correct this disease. Without pet insurance, this can be a very costly procedure.
- ACL Injuries: ACL injuries are common in this breed. ACL is the ligament in the knee that helps keep the two bones together. This is usually a sudden injury where your dog is now not walking on that one leg. Once your dog has damaged the ACL in one knee, they are also more predisposed to damaging the one in the other. This injury usually requires surgery to correct and can be a very costly procedure.