The GSD as the Ultimate Service Dog

morris_frank_and_buddyEveryone is familiar with the extraordinary versatility of the German Shepherd Dog outside of the Conformation ring: Agility, Rally, Herding, Obedience, Avalanche, Schutzhund, Tracking, SAR, Law Enforcement, Narcotics & Bomb Detection, Personal Protection, and always as a great companion and family dog.

Morris Frank and his Seeing Eye Dog

When blind Morris Frank returned from Switzerland in 1929 with his German Shepherd Buddy leading the way, they opened the door that began a slow but inexorable movement that would be led by GSD lovers and proponents over the next century.

German Shepherds Start to Help People with Disabilities Beyond Blindness

Slowly but surely dogs like those GSD’s used in the Seeing Eye School in New Jersey, were being trained and utilized for other disabilities. The intelligence, trainability, and desire to work put GSD’s at the top of the list as the breed of choice for these tasks. Some breeders began lines for temperament first and health second, as opposed to conformation/physical looks first and temperament second. These were the dogs that were selectively bred and used in various programs to assist people with disabilities. Even today, there are programs and schools that have their own breeding stock that they choose promising puppies from, rather than buying from outside breeders.

Slowly but surely dogs like those GSD’s used in the Seeing Eye School in New Jersey, were being trained and utilized for other disabilities. The intelligence, trainability, and desire to work put GSD’s at the top of the list as the breed of choice for these tasks. Some breeders began lines for temperament first and health second, as opposed to conformation/physical looks first and temperament second. These were the dogs that were selectively bred and used in various programs to assist people with disabilities. Even today, there are programs and schools that have their own breeding stock that they choose promising puppies from, rather than buying from outside breeders.

The Whole Article

Clickk here to read and/or download the print the whole article about GSDs helping veterans and people with disabilities other than blindness, just as GSDCA member Deb wrote it.

It is inspiring and you'll need a tissue handy long before you're through.

The GSD as a Therapy Dog

The German Shepherd Dog Club of America (GSDCA) salutes therapy dogs

The German Shepherd Dog is also a terrific therapy dog in a wide variety of settings including hospitals, nursing homes, and 'reading with rover' childrens' library programs.

Last Updated on Friday, 18 May 2012 14:01