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Friday, 27 March 2015

German Shepherd

The German Shepherd is a relatively new breed of dog, with their origin dating to 1899. While attending a show,  German breeder Captain Max von Stephanitz was shown a dog named Hektor Linksrhein, who impressed him. Von Stephanitz changed Hektor's name to Horand von Grafrath and included him as the center-point of the society's breeding programs. All modern German Shepherds can trace their bloodlines to  Horand van Grafrath.

During the First World War, the Germans used the dogs for a number of purposes, such as delivering messages or working as guard dogs. The Americans were so impressed with these German Shepherds that they brought some home.

The first guide dog trained to help a blind owner was Buddy, a German Shepherd. In 1928 Buddy became the companion of Morris Frank.

The first canine movie star was Rin Tin Tin, a German Shepherd, who signed his own contracts for the films he made with a paw print.

Along with the earlier canine film star Strongheart, Rin Tin Tin was responsible for greatly increasing the popularity of German Shepherd Dogs as family pets.

Adolf Hitler owned a German Shepherd called Blondi, who was trained to climb ladders and other tricks.

When Hitler committed Blondi was used to make sure his cyanide capsules were lethal. Hitler used the cyanide himself after he saw it work on Blondi.

When Countess Karlotta Liebenstein died in 1992, she left £60 million to her eight year-old German Shepherd, Gunther, the largest legacy ever for a pet.  Gunther dined on caviar and steak and had his own butler.

In 2002 German Shepherd Sam became the 59th winner of the Dickin Medal that honors the gallantry of animals in war. Sam and his handler Sgt Ian Carnegie kept a missile-throwing mob at bay in the Bosnian conflict in 1998, protecting civilians under siege in a warehouse safe haven.

Zuyaqui (d2000s) was a German Shepherd who was lauded for finding the most drugs in Mexican military and police history.

A 1-year-old German Shepherd named Luna fell off a boat in the Pacific Ocean in 2014. She swam two miles to the nearby San Clemente Island, and survived for five weeks by eating mice before she was rescued by a team of Navy staffers. Luna was found to be slightly under-nourished, but in perfect condition otherwise.

German Shepherds are considered the third most intelligent breed of dog, behind Border Collies and Poodles. This makes them ideal police and search and rescue dogs.

Well-trained and socialized German Shepherds have a reputation of being very safe. However, in the United States, one 1996 source suggested that German Shepherds are responsible for more reported bitings than any other breed and have a tendency to attack smaller breeds of dogs.

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