Old German Shepherd Dog Breed – Interesting Facts

Old German Shepherd Dog breed

The Old German Shepherd Dog is a large, powerful breed that was once considered a german herding dogs, and was used for guarding. Today, they are still popular as working or service dogs and family pets.

If you are considering adding an Old German Shepherd to your home, here are some things you should know about one of the most recognizable breeds.

Height:20–25 inches
Weight:48–85 pounds
Lifespan:9–13 years
Colors:Black, brown, tan, or grey
Suitable for:Families, farm work, guard work
Temperament:Intelligent, loyal, alert, independent, protective

What is an old shepherd?

The old German shepherd dog is a loyal and loving companion. They are intelligent and trainable, making them ideal for a variety of roles such as service, police work, and therapy. They are also protective of their family and make excellent guard dogs.

German shepherds are large, so they need plenty of exercise and space to run and play. They are also prone to certain health problems, so regular vet check-ups are a must, even as a German Shepherd puppy.

The old German Shepherd is a mix of various sheepdog breeds that were brought to Germany in the late 1800s. The oldest existing reference to the breed is from 965 AD, and the first written records about it are from the 1600s. These dogs are also known as German Shepherds, Alsatians, and Schutzhund champions.

They were known as german shepherd herding dogs and were used for guarding sheep, and they eventually became known as the German Shepherd Dog.

The old German Shepherd breed is now extinct, but their descendant; the modern GSDs, are still widely used as working, police dogs.

Temperament and character

As we’ve previously mentioned, the old shepherd dog is a loyal and protective breed, for they are intelligent and trainable.

They are good watchdogs, they are playful and affectionate with their family but can be aloof with strangers.

They can be stubborn at times, and they need plenty of exercise and stimulation, or they can become bored and destructive.

Are These Dogs Suitable for Families?

Yes, old German shepherd dogs are suitable for families. As they are gentle, loving, and loyal companions.

They are good with children, and they have a lot of energy so they need plenty of training.

They can be strong-willed, so they don’t do well if they don’t get enough attention and exercise. They are active and need about an hour of exercise every day.

Is this breed friendly with other pets?

There is no definitive answer to this question as every dog is different and will react differently to other pets.

However, in general, Old German Shepherds are considered to be friendly with other dogs, particularly if they are raised together from a young age.

Things to Consider Before Purchasing an Old German Shepherd Dog

German shepherd dogs are a kind, loyal and energetic breed with a rich history. They have been used by the German army and police force for centuries.

The Old German Shepherd dog (O GS) is a great choice to start with. They are one of the oldest types of shepherd dogs in the world.

Here is a list of requirements to consider before adding a german sheepdog to your family.


Old German Shepherds need at least 30 minutes of regular exercise every day, although hours of exercise are even better. This can be divided up into two or three shorter walks, or one longer one, depending on their energy level. 

If you have a large yard, letting your dog run around in it for a while is also a good way to get some exercise.

If you live in an area with safe off-leash zones, you can also let them run and play there.

Playing fetch or catch is another fun way to help old German Shepherds stay in shape and lead healthy lives. 


Old German Shepherds are one of the smartest and most trainable dog breeds.

They excel as obedience dogs for their agility, tracking, and sheep herding skills. They are also very protective of their family and home.

With proper training, an Old German Shepherd can be a well-mannered and loyal companion.

Provide your dog with mental stimulation. They love to learn new things, so consider enrolling them in obedience classes or teaching them tricks at home.

There are a number of high-energy breeds’ training tips that can be useful for owners of an old German Shepherd.

One tip is to start training early since they learn quickly.

It is also important to be consistent with commands and rewards, as they will quickly catch on to any inconsistency.

Training should be enjoyable for both the dog and the owner, so using positive reinforcement techniques is often the most effective.

Finally, it is important to be patient when training an old German shepherd, as they can sometimes be stubborn.


This breed requires regular brushing. Their coats are easy to care for and need only light, quick brushing about once every week or two. If you’re dealing with long-haired German shepherds, brush at least three times per week.

If your dog has a double coat, brush the under and outer coat once a day to ensure that no tangles or mats develop. If their hair gets matted, use a blow dryer on the cool setting to help separate the knots.

These dogs are known for their thick, double coats that can be difficult to groom. The best way to proceed is to start with a good brushing. Be sure to use a brush that is designed for their coat type.

Once you have brushed the dog’s coat, you can use a comb to remove any tangles. Be sure to comb the softer undercoat as well.

When you are finished with the coat grooming, give the dog a good bath. And be sure to use a shampoo that is designed for thick canine coats.

The active breed needs yearly vet check-ups as well as dental cleaning as they age.

Conditions and health

Dysplasia of the hip

Hip Dysplasia is one of the health issues that can affect older German Shepherds. It is a condition where the hip joint does not develop properly, which can lead to pain and lameness.

Treatment options include weight management, exercise, physical therapy, and surgery.

Digestive Disorders

One of the old German Shepherds’ most common health conditions is digestive disorders.

These can include anything from mild stomach upset to more serious conditions like pancreatitis or inflammatory bowel disease. If your dog is having any type of digestive issue, it’s important to take him to the vet right away for treatment.

Furunculosis Anal

Furunculosis is one of the known diseases that affect the anal glands of dogs. The disease is caused by a bacteria called Staphylococcus aureus. The bacteria cause an infection in the anal glands, leading to abscesses, pain, and inflammation.

The disease is most commonly seen in older German Shepherds, but it can affect any breed of dog.

Treatment for furunculosis typically involves antibiotics and surgery to remove the affected anal glands.

Myelopathy with Degeneration

Myelopathy is a disease of the spinal cord that results in loss of function and feeling.

The most common cause of myelopathy is degeneration of the spinal cord. It is a gradual process that occurs over time.

The first signs of myelopathy are usually weakness and clumsiness in the legs. As the disease progresses, the symptoms spread to the arms, and the ability to walk is lost.

This progressive disease can eventually lead to paralysis and death. There is no cure for myelopathy and treatment is focused on managing the symptoms and slowing the progression of the disease.

Dysplasia of the elbow

The elbow joint is a weight-bearing joint and is subject to a great deal of stress.

This can lead to the development of elbow dysplasia, a condition that results in the formation of abnormal bony growths within the joint.

Elbow dysplasia is most commonly seen in large breeds of dogs, such as the old German Shepherd Dog.

It is thought to be caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors.

Treatment of elbow dysplasia typically involves surgical correction of the affected joint.


The breed standards of an Old style German Shepherd Dog are the following:

It has a strong, muscular, robust build, with a square muzzle and a broad head.

old german shepherd with strong muscular body

The neck is thick and firm, and the back is straight. The ears are pricked and the eyes are medium-sized. The tail is set high and is usually docked. The coat is short, dense, and water-resistant.

Old German Shepherd ears, eyes, and neck

There are two types of coats in this breed – one is called a working dog coat, which gives the dog more protection from the cold, and the other is a show coat, which is meant to display the quality of the dog.

Final thoughts

If you’re looking for a large, powerful dog to add to your family, the Old German Shepherd Dog is a great choice. They are incredibly intelligent and trainable, making them perfect as working dogs. However, they also love being around people and make great family pets.

Be sure to do your research before adding an Old German Shepherd to your home, as they require plenty of exercise and attention.

What do you think?

Written by Jack

Jack is the founder of Germanshepherdsfamily, a german shepherds specific website where you'll find everything you need to know if you are a true lover of the German Shepherd breed!

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