May 27, 2024

He enjoys high ratings as the TV inspector “Rex,” and not only works as a service dog, but also supports people with dedication. But it’s also debatable.

He gathers the herd and searches for survivors under the rubble of collapsed buildings after the earthquake. Even the world’s powers like to think of him as a status symbol, but for many he is simply a cherished family member, and has been for 125 years. Year. The German Shepherd is one of the best known and most popular dog breeds, although it is not always called a “Rex” and is not without controversy.

“Holland von Grafrath” was the first German Shepherd

The worldwide success story began with a dog exhibition held in Karlsruhe on April 22, 1899. At that time, Captain Max von Stephanitz showed a male dog, “Holland von Grafrath”, officially the first German Shepherd dog. To date, ‘Holland’ has over 2 million purebred offspring of his Germans, his Shepherds, and his clubs which keep meticulous records of their offspring. On the day of the first presentation, Stefanitz and several of his colleagues founded the association. The association still monitors the breed and, according to its own statement, is now the largest purebred dog breeding association in the world.

Over the course of 125 years, German Shepherds have become beloved pets by many, but negatively viewed by some. The Nazis exploited German Shepherds during their Reign of Terror. There are countless photos of Adolf Hitler and his dog Blondie. The animals’ use as strict service dogs for the East German border forces also did not always create a positive image.

Recently, US President Joe Biden’s German Shepherd “Commander” has made negative headlines. The White House was banned from government headquarters last fall after the animal frequently bit Secret Service personnel.

Confused the White House: Joe Biden and his German Shepherd commander.

Confused the White House: Joe Biden and his German Shepherd commander.President Joe Biden/APA Images

How aggressive are German Shepherds?

“Commander” is not a special case. According to official research, the breed of dog that causes the most bite injuries is the German Shepherd. Barbara Ulrich-Cornat of the German Shepherd Dog Association in Augsburg points out that German Shepherd Dogs and German Shepherd mixes make up the largest proportion of the large dog group. Other German Shepherd breeds are also included in the biting statistics, she says. A club spokesperson points out that the dogs definitely need training. This will reduce the chance of biting by animals.

Cost of ownership deters potential German Shepherd owners

Anyway, there are still many fans of this breed. “He’s smart, willing to learn, and passionate about his job, whether it’s being a police dog, a herding dog, or a rescue dog,” explains Barbara Ulrich-Cornat. Additionally, this four-legged companion makes an excellent family dog ​​if well trained and exercised.

However, German Shepherds are prone to certain diseases, which makes many people hesitant due to the cost of ownership. Some animals are bred in captivity and have a steeply sloping back line and hips that make it difficult for them to walk normally, causing extreme pain. This worries animal rights activists. In response, the German Shepherd Association pointed out that the association has had a testing procedure for so-called hip dysplasia (HD) since 1966. ■

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