The German Shepherd Dog is a fairly new breed having originated in Germany. The breed was developed by Captain Max von Stephanitz (a German Cavalry officer & dog breeder) from herding dogs in 1889. The first registered GSD was a German herding dog called Hektor Linksrhein, and was the product of few generations of selective breeding and satisfied Captain Stephanitz's ideal of a true working dog. Hektor was renamed as Horand von Grafrath and von Stephanitz founded the Verein für Deutsche Schäferhunde (Society for German Shepherd Dogs).
GSDs are medium to large sized dogs. The breed standard height at the withers is 60–65 cm (24–26 in) for males, and 55–60 cm (22–24 in) for females. The weight for males varies from 65-90 pounds while a female weighs approximately 50-70 pounds. The life expectancy of a healthy & fit dog varies anywhere from 9-13 years. The right temperament as per Captain Stephanitz's ideals are that of a complete working dog - noble demeanour, loyal, agile, strong, highly intelligent, sturdy, courageous, steady and confident canine with the eagerness, curiosity and ability to learn and master any kind of task required of them and willingness to put their life on the line in defense of loved ones, yet aloof with a dignified sense of duty.
Just like the breed's many qualities, they come in various colours, coat patterns, coat lengths and types though not all of them are accepted as standard. Some colours are still disqualified in breed shows. But Captain Stephanitz made no such discrimination when he standardized the breed. According to him,
"No good dog can be a bad color."
"The coloring of the dog has no significance whatever for service; our shepherd dog accordingly is not bred for color."