Thursday, May 21, 2009

Intelligent pups: The German Shepherd

The German Shepherd ranks just behind the Poodle in terms of intelligence. Considered one of the best guard dogs available, German Shepherds have a range of uses for home protection and in the police service. If raised with a loving but firm hand, they are excellent with children. They are moderately friendly with other pets, but can tend to be rather suspicious of strangers. They have quite high exercise requirements - not as high those of the Border Collie, but high enough to warrant it being exercised every day. Perhaps one of the biggest genetic weaknesses in the German Shepherd is hip dysplasia, which occurs when the hip joint is badly formed and which leads to arthritis. In humans, a total hip replacement with an artificial hip is a very successful procedure, and the same procedure can be used on dogs. However, the results are not as successful as in humans, and it tends to be quite expensive.