This is the intentional mutt. The Germans decided that they wanted the perfect shepherding dog and set out to cross breed one. Aside from basic herding tasks, they wanted a very intelligent and brave dog, to boot. The breed was perfected just into the 20 century and was immediately removed from shepherding work and into sentry work with the onslaught of WWI. While there were concerted efforts to change the dogs name and rid it of any emotional charge German associations may have had at the time, the dog remained with the name we know today. They still serve as setnries, but also in narcotics, search & rescue, explosives detection, and as a guide dog.
If you want a smart dog, you want one of these. If you get one of these, you must be able to offer it tasks to accomplish. They are devoted to people but can be wary of strangers. They aren’t overly social with other dogs but will accept the animals in the household. Not the best for smaller children, these dogs can be a great friend to middle aged or older children. The old joke goes … ‘How many German Shepherds does it take to change a light bulb? Only one, but first he must check the locks on all doors and windows, inspect the smoke alarm…’and so on. The point is, they will find a task to perform for you.