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Long-haired German Shepherd puppy image

German Shepherd Dog puppies and dogs

If you're looking for a German Shepherd Dog, Adopt a Pet can help you find one near you. Use the search tool below and browse adoptable German Shepherd Dogs!

  • Ashburn, VA
  • Ashburn, VA

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What is a German Shepherd Dog?

German Shepherd Dog traits

GSD, Alsatian
22-26 inches
65-90 pounds
9-13 years
German Shepherd Dog characteristics
5 yrs 20 yrs
Grooming needs
Occasionally Frequently
Good with kids
Needs lots of supervision Ready to play
Good with cats
Likely to chase Hey, new pal!
Training aptitude
Headstrong Eager to please
Full-grown size
Teeny tiny Super size
German Shepherd Dog adoption

Find a German Shepherd Dog Near You

Photo of KING


German Shepherd Dog

Male, 6 yrs
Beverly Hills, CA
(when grown) Large 61-100 lbs (28-45 kg)
Good with kids, Spayed or Neutered,
King is a very sweet and friendly 6 year-old White German Shepherd. He weighs about 75 pounds and needs to gain a few more pounds to be at his perfect weight. He spent almost two years at a shelter, which is very unusual, since shelters are in crisis after the pandemic. The volunteers and shelter staff really liked King and they did their best to extend his time so he wouldn't get put to sleep. While at the shelter, he was very shy and would hide in the back of his kennel when adopters walked by, and that’s the reason why he couldn't find a home: no one got a chance to see him! He is pretty well-behaved in his foster home, not showing any aggression towards people or around food, and having no problem when toys are taken away from him. He is crate-trained and feels safe there, so much so that if the crate door is open, you will find him resting inside the crate by his choice. In his foster home he sleeps in the crate all night and doesn’t make a sound. King loves toys, enjoys carrying them around, and he will bring his toy to his person to initiate a game. He loves attention, so when he wants some attention he will come nudge his person with his nose. He is very gentle with his toys - he licks them , sleeps with them, but doesn’t destroy them. He is an alert dog and will bark if he hears noises. He is good with visitors, too; As long as the door to the yard is open, he goes outside to do his business. In his foster home he has access to the outdoors all day, so he’s had no accidents indoors. . Before ending up at the shelter, King belonged for four years to a family with kids. He was a yard dog, never taken for a walk during all that time, which is the reason for his being shy and skittish outdoors. He never got a chance to learn. We take him out for walks now, but - he is afraid of cars and trucks, so he pulls on the leash to go back home, but slowly, with time and patience, he will learn and become a more confident dog. King is a dominant male. He did ok with submissive dogs, but since all his life , he lived as only dog, so probably best home forhim to be an only dog. Overall, King is a sweet dog that was not given any chance to enjoy life. His world was his yard, and that’s all he knew. Now his life has changed and he has started to learn new things, like the fact that there’s a big world out there and so many things to learn. Even though he is slightly older, it is never too late to learn.
Photo of Lucy


German Shepherd Dog

Female, 1 yr 7 mos
West Hollywood, CA
(when grown) Large 61-100 lbs (28-45 kg)
Spayed or Neutered,
Lucy is full of fun and engergy.   Sweet and loving she is ready for her forever home! ##1737248##
Special Needs
Photo of Buster


German Shepherd Dog

Male, 2 yrs 5 mos
Los Angeles, CA
(when grown) Med. 26-60 lbs (12-27 kg)
Good with kids, Good with dogs, Needs special attention, Spayed or Neutered,
When we met Buster, our first thought was, “We need to help this dog.” You see, he had been hit by a car and brought to the shelter by a good Samaritan. Our second thought was, “What an amazing dog!” We were right! We rescued Buster and got him our vet. Both of his front legs had been injured, but we got him the necessary surgeries. Buster is now mobile and walking better all the time. He will have a limp, but he always has a smile on his face! Buster is a Zen Buddha. He is quiet, and friendly with big humans, kiddos, and dogs. (He likes to chase cats.) Buster is house trained, crate-trained and would do well in any home, be it a family with kids or a retired couple who’d enjoy a low-energy constant companion. Everyone who meets Buster falls in love with him. Reach out if you want to meet him!
Photo of Sarah


German Shepherd Dog

Female, 3 yrs 11 mos
Los Angeles, CA
(when grown) Large 61-100 lbs (28-45 kg)
Good with dogs, Not good with cats, Spayed or Neutered,
Sarah just loves WATER! She jumps into the large 40 gallon water buckets we have and just lays in them lol She does not like being left outside during the day but enjoys playing with Bear when the temperatures cool down. She loves other dogs and it would be nice for her to have playmates. She learns quickly and kennels herself when it's time for the small dogs to come outside and play. She has not clue how big she is so we can't let her play with small dogs as she tackles even dogs her size. Sarah is an owner surrender :( She is young energetic and shy. She's had a hard week having to leave the only family she's known. She's already been to the vet and is currently recovering from being spayed. I'm sure we will see more of her personality as she starts to decompress. To apply go to and Download the application and return it to
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German Shepherd Dog information
Frequently asked questions

German Shepherd Dog Basics

Learn about about German Shepherd Dog basics like where German Shepherd Dog come from, how many different types of German Shepherd Dog you can find, and what other breeds mix with German Shepherd Dog.

German Shepherds typically live between 10 and 13 years, but factors such as genetics, diet, exercise, and healthcare play a crucial role in determining their lifespan. Regular veterinary check-ups, a balanced diet, and an active lifestyle can contribute to a longer and healthier life for your German Shepherd. Each dog is an individual, however, so there can be some variation in their lifespan.

German Shepherds, as their name suggests, are from Germany. All German Shepherds are descendants of a small group of shepherd dogs from northwest Germany. In 1900, retired cavalry officer Max von Stephanitz established the German Shepherd Club and registered the world’s first “German Shepherd.” 

German Shepherds were originally bred for herding and guarding livestock, as their intelligence, strength, and agility made them excellent working dogs in the fields. Their adaptability and keen sense of loyalty also contributed to the breed being hardworking and devoted partners for people in a variety of tasks.

For example, 48,000 German Shepherds served in the German armed forces as message carriers, telephone line layers, and scouts in World War I. The Allied forces noted what a great aid they were to the Germans and brought back many to America and Great Britain.

German Shepherds’ capabilities extend beyond their historical roles, and they continue to excel in many modern roles and are beloved family companions today.

German Shepherds usually stop growing between 18 to 24 months of age. However, they may continue to fill out and develop muscle tone after this point. During the first year, they experience rapid growth, and then their growth rate begins to slow down.

No, German Shepherds are not considered hypoallergenic. They are known to trigger allergies in some individuals who are sensitive to pet dander. Their double coat, consisting of a dense undercoat and a longer, coarser outer coat, can release allergenic proteins into the environment. 

Individual reactions to allergens can vary, so spending time with a German Shepherd before bringing one home can help assess any potential allergic reactions.

Breeds that are commonly mixed with German Shepherds include American Pit Bull Terriers, Huskies, and Spaniels. Characteristics of a German Shepherd mix can vary widely depending on the specific breeds involved, the individual dog's genetics, and its upbringing. A few common German Shepherd mixes include:

  • German Pit (Pit Bull + German Shepherd)

  • Shepsky (German Shepherd + Husky)

  • Weimshepherd (Weimaraner + GSD)

  • Shug (German Shepherd Dog + Pug)

  • Alaskan Shepherds (Alaskan Malamute + GSD

  • Spanierd (English Springer Spaniel + GSD)

There's one breed of German Shepherd, but two main types (or bloodlines) within the breed: the working line and the show line. There are five types of German Shepherds within these two types: the West German Working Line, East German Working Line, Czech Working Line, American Show Line, and European Show Line.

German Shepherd Dog Appearance

Learn about about the German Shepherd Dog general appearance like their size, colors, and grooming needs.

The most common color German Shepherds come in is the classic black and tan. Other variations include sable (with a mix of black and gray or tan hairs), solid black, black and red (with reddish tan markings), bi-color (mostly black with lighter tan markings), and white (with or without light tan or cream markings). There are also liver-colored German Shepherds, but they are less common. Color variations do not impact German Shepherds’ intelligence, temperament, or working abilities.

The rarest color for German Shepherds is the Isabella-colored German Shepherd, also known as the lilac German Shepherd. Other rare colors include Blue, Gray, Liver, and White. The rarity of these German Shepherds has made them somewhat sought after, but when choosing a German Shepherd, it’s wise to prioritize health, temperament, and suitability for your needs over uncommon coat colors.

German Shepherds are moderate to heavy shedders who shed their topcoats year-round but shed their undercoats twice a year during seasonal changes. During these seasons, which are commonly known as “blowing their coat,” there is a significant increase in the amount of hair they shed. But regular grooming, including brushing, can help manage the shedding to some extent by removing loose hair and preventing mats.

Female German Shepherds stand 22 to 24 inches high and weigh 65 to 70 pounds, while Male German Shepherds are 24 to 26 inches high and weigh 80 to 90 pounds.

German Shepherds’ size vary between types as well. Working-line German Shepherds, for instance, might be slightly smaller and more lean, as they are bred for agility and performance. Show line Shepherds, on the other hand, may be larger and more robust, meeting specific breed standards for appearance.

German Shepherd Dog Temperament

Learn about about the German Shepherd Dog temperament and how well they fit into your lifestyle, home environment, and family.

Yes, German Shepherds can be left alone during the day, but they should not be left alone more than eight hours a day. Because they are a high-energy breed, they also must have sufficient exercise and mental stimulation. A tired dog is less likely to engage in destructive behavior out of boredom.

Yes, German Shepherd Dogs bark a lot; they were bred to bark and alert. The amount they bark can vary from one individual to another and can be influenced by factors such as training, socialization, and the dog’s environment. These highly trainable pups can also be taught to curb their barking as well with positive reinforcement.

No, German Shepherds are not inherently aggressive. Their behavior can be influenced by a variety of factors, including genetics, training, lack of socialization, and the environment in which they are raised. It’s crucial for German Shepherds to receive early and consistent training and socialization to ensure they become well-adjusted and social pups.

The best companion dog for a German Shepherd is highly dependent on the personality and temperament of the individual dog. But generally speaking, larger breeds such as Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers, or Belgian Malinois can make excellent companions for German Shepherds because they share similar energy levels, intelligence, and friendly nature, making for a great dynamic duo.

Yes, German Shepherds can be excellent dogs when they are trained well and when matched with an active family. These pups require consistent training, socialization, and exercise, and, if not properly cared for or if they don't match a pet parent’s lifestyle, they can develop behavioral issues. So, while they can be great dogs, it's important to assess your own circumstances and readiness before getting a German Shepherd.

Yes, German Shepherds are easy to train. These highly trainable dogs are at their best when their energy is directed into useful pursuits. Their alert, receptive temperament and keen intelligence make them very adaptable to learning.

German Shepherds are renowned for their high intelligence. In fact, they consistently rank among the most intelligent dog breeds. Their intelligence is a key factor in their versatility and ability to excel in various roles, including as working dogs, police dogs, search and rescue dogs, and service dogs.

Yes, German Shepherds can be great family dogs. With the right family, proper training, socialization, and exercise, these dogs are very friendly and loving. They can be extremely protective of their family and cautious of strangers, so they make marvelous protectors. However, they are a working dog breed, so they do best when given exercise and something to do on a regular basis.

Yes, German Shepherds can coexist peacefully with cats but requires early socialization, training, and careful monitoring. Because of their herding instincts and prey drive, some might not make the best companions to cats as they may spend most of their time chasing them. However, many German Shepherds are incredibly cat-friendly dogs.

Yes, German Shepherds can be great family dogs when well-trained and properly socialized. These dogs are bred for obedience, so their fidelity to their family members, including babies and children, is paramount for them. They are loving and protective of those they spend a lot of time with but can be wary of strangers, so like with all dogs, their temperament around other children largely depends on whether or not you raise them to be friendly and sociable.

As with any breed, it is recommended that your child is always supervised when interacting with your German Shepherd to keep both the child and dog safe.

German Shepherd Dog Health

Learn about about the German Shepherd Dog health outlook and what diseases they may be prone to at various stages of their life.

Yes, German Shepherd Dogs need regular grooming. Their double coat needs consistent brushing to prevent matting and excessive shedding. While they don’t need frequent baths, maintaining their coat health, nail length, and overall hygiene is essential for their well-being and comfort.

According to a 2017 study, the primary causes of death for German Shepherds are musculoskeletal disorders and inability to stand. Hip dysplasia and degenerative myelopathy are common disorders associated with German Shepherds.

German Shepherds are prone to hip dysplasia (which can lead to arthritis), but major attention to this problem has been given, and thanks to breeding screening, the issue has been massively reduced. German Shepherds are, however, prone to a number of other diseases, including the following.

  1. Megaesophagus: Megasesophagus is a common condition in German Shepherds that occurs when the esophagus becomes enlarged and makes it difficult for your dog to pass food properly. A dog’s inability to pass food properly can cause food and liquid to accumulate in the esophagus. Megaesophagus is not generally life-threatening, but can lead to vomiting, cough, nasal discharge, and malnutrition. There is no cure for megaesophagus, but diet changes can help your pup get the proper nutrients he needs to stay healthy.

  2. Degenerative myelopathy (DM): This is a disease that affects the spinal cord and causes progressive paralysis in the hind legs. There is no available treatment in most cases, but dogs can now be screened for this disease with a simple saliva test.

  3. Bloat: German shepherds are also predisposed to bloat, a sudden and life-threatening swelling of the abdomen. Recognizing the symptoms of bloat is very important. If you see your dog throw up bile, hack without producing any vomit, pace, or see that their stomach is visibly larger, get them to the vet immediately. Their abdomen will likely be tight and painful to the touch.

  4. Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency (EPI): EPI is a genetic disease of the pancreas that destroys the cells that produce digestive enzymes. The disease makes dogs unable to digest and absorb food. The first signs of EPI are gas, loss of appetite, weight loss, and change in stools, which can lead to malnutrition. EPI is diagnosed with a simple blood test and can be treated by adding pancreatic enzymes to your dog's food.

Adopting a German Shepherd Dog

Learn about about acquiring a German Shepherd Dog – the pros and cons of adopting versus going through a breeder, and associated costs.

The cost to adopt a German Shepherd from a shelter is around $300 in order to cover the expenses of caring for the dog before adoption. Buying German Shepherds from breeders can be prohibitively expensive. Depending on whether or not they’re from working dog or show-dog bloodlines, they can cost anywhere from $500 to $7,000.

You can adopt a German Shepherd through a rescue that specializes in German Shepherds. A great place to start would be by starting a breed search on Adopt a Pet. The search will show you all the available German Shepherds in your area.

German Shepherd Dog fun facts

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