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The German shepherd dog

German Shepherd Shotts vet

This week, a short overview of the German shepherd for those who already own or are looking to own them as pets or working dogs.

The German shepherd dog has been widely used for a variety of working roles, however, according to the annual Kennel Club registrations, there is evidence that breed numbers are now in decline in the UK (O’Neill et al., 2017).

According to an article published by O’Neill et al. (2017) the median longevity of the German shepherd dog was 10.3 years. The most common causes of death were musculoskeletal disorder (16.3%) and inability to stand (14.9%) (O’Neill et al., 2017). The most prevalent disorders recorded were otitis externa (7.89%), osteoarthritis (5.54%), diarrhoea (5.24%), obesity (5.18%) and aggression (4.76%) more prevalent in males than females (O’Neill et al., 2017).

These are very intelligent dogs, often used for police, guard, search and rescue roles.


O’Neill et al. (2017). Demography and disorders of German shepherd dogs in the UK. Canine Genetics and Epidemiology, doi: 10.1186/s40575-017-0046-4.

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