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As humans began the switch from hunter/gatherers to agrarian societies they also included the domestication of wild wolves to assist them in many ways. One reason the German Shepherd is a great herding dog is due to humans gradually turning the wild wolf into a herding animal. They observed how wolves worked together to distract the herds of sheep or goats so they could single out one animal for the kill. Humans used this as the basis for turning this instinct to their advantage, and the results were domesticated dogs bred specifically to not only guard a herd of domesticated animals, but also learn to find the strays and bring them back. The German Shepherd is a great herding dog because they are the result of breeding several different canines from the “herding” category of dogs to achieve a superior herding canine.
The German Shepherd breed can trace their recognition as a distinctive breed back to the early years of the 1800’s. As the breed begin to spread and become popular the true versatility of the German Shepherd revealed itself. They are now used as guard dogs, Police dogs, Seeing Eye dogs for the blind, guide dogs for the deaf, and many other very noble uses. And of course, they are still used for their natural abilities to herd animals and protect them.
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