Also known as Alsatians in Britain, the German Shepherd dog breed originated in Germany. Its name is quite literal, as they were a dog used in Germany to act as a shepherd, herding and protecting sheep.
Considered a newer breed of dog, unlike others which have been documented in history for centuries, the German Shepherd's origin dates to 1899.
German Shepherds are known for their intelligence, ranking only behind border collies and poodles. The police and military have used them to find drugs and explosives or to track down assailants. German Shepherd's have also worked in film, with two of the most famous dogs, Strongheart and Rin Tin Tin, receiving stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
They're not as common as labradors or golden retrievers, but a small percentage of guide dogs for the vision-impaired are actually German Shepherds. They possibly have better attention spans than some humans, with the ability to focus on a task without being distracted.
Those of you that have had German Shepherd's as pets may consider getting a tattoo to immortalize your four-legged friend. Get inspired by the varied styles of these German Shepherd tattoos.