1. German Shepherd
German Shepherd is a large sized working dog that has its origins in Germany. Popularly known as Alsatian in some countries, they are developed primarily for the purpose of herding sheep. Their strength, intelligence and trainability has made them very useful for search and rescue, military and police work.
They are highly protective of their owners and if not trained correctly, their aggression may lead them to bite strangers. They have a high willingness to learn, are curious and obedient. German Shepherds used in military have even been trained to parachute from an aircraft. They were used widely in World War II and possess an exceptional smelling ability very useful for tracking criminals. It is the most widely used breed in police work and scent related roles.
A German Shepherd has a lifespan of 9 to 13 years.
Golden Retrievers were bred as large size gun dogs for retrieving shot ducks or birds. They love water and are easy to train. Golden Retriever’s are popular for being a disability assistance dog used for guiding blind or deaf people. They also make a good search and rescue and detection dog.
Golden Retriever’s are kindly, friendly and confident and make good family pets as they are patient with children. They love to work to the point that they can collapse and hence one should be careful not to overwork them. They are extremely easy to train and are quite sociable.
A Golden Retriever has a lifespan of 10 to 12 years.
3. Great Dane
Great Dane is a German breed of dogs known for its massive size. World record for a tallest dog goes to a Great Dane named Zeus at 44 inches. Scooby-Doo and Marmaduke, both American cartoon series characters, are based on Great Dane. Known for its long ancestry to the Greeks in 13th Century BC, they were earlier used for hunting. Great Danes have floppy, triangular ears.
Great Danes are extremely friendly despite being so imposing. They seek warmth and affection from their owners and are great around children. Great Danes need to be appropriately socialised otherwise they can grow up to be aggressive. Due to their fondness to sit in their owners laps, they are often referred as ‘the world’s largest lapdogs’.
Great Danes have a slow metabolism and eat comparatively less as per their massive size. They also do not require a lot of exercise.
A Great Dane has a short lifespan of 6 to 8 years only.
As adorable they may appear, Bulldogs are extremely heavy and powerful dogs. Around 500 years back, Bulldogs were bred for the purpose of bull baiting. In England, during the time of Queen Anne, bull-baiting was practiced in London, where the sport was for the dogs to immobilise the bull. Before the event started, the bull’s nose was blown full of pepper to enrage the animal before the baiting. Specially trained dogs would set upon the bull, with a successful attack resulting in the dog fastening his teeth strongly in the bull’s snout. The bulldog was bred especially for this sport. Hence the resultant extraordinary jaw strength of the bulldog.
An interesting aspect of bulldogs is that they breathe partially through their mouths as excessive tissue inside the nose restricts their breathing through the nose.
Bulldogs are an aggressive breed and need to be suitably bred and trained to contain the aggression. Though they do not bark a lot but they can be a formidable watchdog due to its tenacious nature. Once on to attacking someone, it is difficult to make them let go.
A Bulldog has a comparatively short lifespan of 8-10 years.
5. Labrador Retriever
Labrador’s are prized as sports or hunting dogs and are frequently trained to aid the blind or those who suffer from autism. Apart from being a therapy dog, they are also used by law enforcement agencies for detection work owing to their intelligence. Labrador Retriever’s are named after the ‘Labrador Sea’, on the coast of Canada, where they were ‘retrieved’ from.
Labradors have a really powerful sense of smell and they can stay on a scent until they find it. They are used in tracking down terrorists, smugglers and criminals. When needed, a Labrador can be very gentle and can even hold an egg in its mouth without breaking it. They have a habit of chewing things.
Labradors are great family dogs as they can be very gentle around children. They are quite trusting with strangers and hence not very suitable for being a guard dog.
A Labrador has a lifespan of 10-12 years.
Most famous on account of being Vodafone’s most popular mascot, Pug is known for being sociable and gentle. A Pug has a muscular square body with a short muzzled face and a curved tail.
The origin of Pugs is said to be from the ruling families of China. A lot of Buddhist monks also used to keep Pugs in their monasteries.
Pugs are great for families with children as they are always gentle and rarely aggressive. They are of calm temperament and spend a lot of time napping away. They are famous for shadowing their owners, a behaviour that Vodafone adopted as a key theme in its ads.
A Pug has a lifespan of 12-15 years.
7. Doberman Pinscher
Doberman is another breed developed in Germany. They have an extremely long bite due to their long muzzle. They are quite athletic with a high endurance and quick chasing abilities.
They are extremely loyal and quite intelligent but can show stubborn behaviour if not trained correctly. They are quite ferocious and aggressive and have long been bred as a personal protection dog. Hence they need dedicated training in order to temper their demeanour to a good family dog. They can be quite aggressive to strangers but quite harmless to owners. Dobermans may sometimes interpret punishment as an attack and hence may sometimes attack back. They are widely used as a police or war dog.
A Doberman has a lifespan of 10 to 13 years.
Rottweiler’s were traditionally bred to drive cattle to market and pull carts. They have a history dating back to the Roman Empire and are named after a town in Germany called Rottweil. Rottweiler’s are used for search and rescue and police work.
They can be quite difficult to train and can be very aggressive. Rottweiler’s are also exceptionally strong and are used a lot in the Police. If trained well, they can be a good general purpose dog but are more suitable as a guard dog.
A Rottweiler has a lifespan of 8 to 10 years.
Boxer is a medium sized muscular dog developed in Germany. The name ‘Boxer’ is derived from its behaviour of standing on its hind legs and trying to box with its front paws. They have very powerful long jaws and can hang onto a large prey. They owe their origins to large German Shepherd dog known as Molossus and English Bulldog.
Boxers are intelligent and energetic dogs and are suitable for families with children. They are very active and strong dogs and are sometimes difficult to train. Boxer’s are very affectionate to the family and quite protective of their owners. They are excellent guard dogs due to their formidable strength, high alertness and suspicion of strangers. Boxer’s have been used as war dogs as well as for policing needs.
Boxer dogs have a lifespan of 10 to 12 years.
Pomeranian is a dog with German origins and has long been popular with the royalty including Queen Victoria. They are a sturdy healthy dog despite being small in size. They shed a lot and require constant trimming.
Pomeranians are playful, friendly and can sometimes also be aggressive. They are highly alert and can sometimes bark excessively even due to small triggers. Pomeranians are intelligent, easy to train and have an extrovert and social nature. They are a great family and companion dog.
Pomeranians have a lifespan of 12 to 16 years.