Black German Shepherd

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Breed: Black German Shepherd
Temperament: loyal, watchful and self assured
Lifespan: 12 – 15 years
Maintenance: low (short coat), medium (long coat)
Recommended for: obedience enthusiasts, big dog lovers

History

The origins of the German Shepherd, be it black, white or black and gold extend back to late nineteenth century Germany. The dog evolved from herding dogs used to tend and protect sheep and over time the breed became extremely popular, especially as guard, police and military dogs.

German Shepherds first arrived in Australia between 1923 and 1929. Despite import bans once imposed because the breed was believed to be too vicious, the German Shepherd remains one of the most popular breeds in Australia today. Breeders say that many Australian black German Shepherds are descendent to a dog called ‘Satan’ which was imported from Germany approximately 20 years ago. It is estimated that there are about 200-300 black German Shepherds in Australia.

Unlike the white German Shepherd, there is nothing to exempt black German Shepherds from being shown next to the regular type. White German Shepherds are not permitted to be fully registered and are considered a ‘fault’.

Appearance

Distinct variations exist between the black and regular German Shepherd.

The black type has retained the more traditional conformation of the breed. Often larger than the regular breed of German Shepherd, the black variety possesses a much straighter back and doesn’t take on the ‘cringing’ appearance common to the regular German Shepherd variety. The coat length may be either short, long or ‘glamour’ – with a flowing mane, skirting and feathering.

Temperament

The dogs featured on this road test appeared to have a stable and pleasant temperament. Responsible breeders say they are mindful of the reputation which shepherds have earned in the past and are confident that the black German Shepherd’s temperament is sound. Regardless, it is always important to try and evaluate a puppie’s temperament before purchase. Only buy from a recommended breeder and always inspect the adults and puppies before purchase. The New South Wales German Shepherd Dog League is one organisation which has made great advances in improving the temperament of this breed.

German Shepherds are known to be loyal, self assured and watchful and will show little tendency to back down. They should not be anxious or wary. German Shepherds are very trainable and should be exposed to other dogs from an early age.

Health and lifespan

Hip and elbow dysplasia is a primary concern of German Shepherd breeders and breeding schemes designed to improve soundness should be common place. Always ask to see the appropriate health certificates when looking for a new dog. German Shepherds can experience skin problems. However the darker pigment of the black dog does reduce its incidence. Proper care of a German Shepherd includes regular worming, dental care and appropriate vaccinations. German Shepherds have an average lifespan of 12 to 15 years.

Cost and breeding

Between $800 and $1000. The darker the colouration and more luxurious the coat, the more expensive the dog. There are no significant issues related with breeding and litter sizes can reach up to 10 pups.

Space and maintenance

German Shepherds require some active exercise each day and should not really be confined to a small yard. Time required to groom the dog depends on the length of the coat. However it is not a high maintenance dog. During the seasonal moult from the cooler months to the warmer, additional brushing is required.

Uses

Due to their stable temperament, high trainability and uniform appearance, black Shepherds have been specifically used as disability aid dogs, police dogs, customs dogs and correctional services dogs as well as companion animals and obedience dogs.

Recommended for

A very versatile breed recommended for a wide rage of uses and environments. A well adjusted dog makes for a very good family pet although it may be a bit strong around smaller children.

National contacts

To find up-to-date contacts for breeders, contact the following organisations.

The Australian National Kennel Council (ANKC)
www.ankc.org.au

Dogs NSW
http://www.dogsnsw.org.au/breeders-directory
Email: info@dogsnsw.org.au
Phone: 1300 728 022 (NSW only) or (02) 9834 3022
Fax: (02) 9834 3872

Dogs Victoria
http://www.vca.org.au
Email: office@dogsvictoria.org.au
Phone: (03) 9788 2500
Fax: (03) 9788 2599

Dogs ACT
http://www.actca.asn.au
Email: info@dogsact.org.au
Phone: (02) 6241 4404 – Fax: (02) 6241 1129.

Dogs West
http://www.cawa.asn.au
Email: k9@dogswest.com
Phone: (08) 9455 1188
Fax: (08) 9455 1190

Dogs SA
http://dogssa.com.au
Phone: (08) 8349 4797

Canine Control Council of Queensland
http://www.cccq.org.au
Email: dogsqld@powerup.com.au
Phone: (07) 3252 2661
Fax: (07) 3252 3864

Tasmanian Canine Association
http://www.tasdogs.com
Email: tca@iprimus.com.au
Phone: (03) 6272 9443
Fax: (03) 6273 0844

Dogs NT
http://www.territorydogworld.com
Email: naca3@bigpond.com
Phone: (08) 8984 3570
Fax: (08) 8984 3409
The Australian National Kennel Council (ANKC)
www.ankc.org.au

Dogs NSW
http://www.dogsnsw.org.au/breeders-directory
Email: info@dogsnsw.org.au
Phone: 1300 728 022 (NSW only) or (02) 9834 3022
Fax: (02) 9834 3872

Dogs Victoria
http://www.vca.org.au
Email: office@dogsvictoria.org.au
Phone: (03) 9788 2500
Fax: (03) 9788 2599

Dogs ACT
http://www.actca.asn.au
Email: info@dogsact.org.au
Phone: (02) 6241 4404 – Fax: (02) 6241 1129.

Dogs West
http://www.cawa.asn.au
Email: k9@dogswest.com
Phone: (08) 9455 1188
Fax: (08) 9455 1190

Dogs SA
http://dogssa.com.au
Phone: (08) 8349 4797

Canine Control Council of Queensland
http://www.cccq.org.au
Email: dogsqld@powerup.com.au
Phone: (07) 3252 2661
Fax: (07) 3252 3864

Tasmanian Canine Association
http://www.tasdogs.com
Email: tca@iprimus.com.au
Phone: (03) 6272 9443
Fax: (03) 6273 0844

Dogs NT
http://www.territorydogworld.com
Email: naca3@bigpond.com
Phone: (08) 8984 3570
Fax: (08) 8984 3409