Like most German engineering, the German Shepherd is a robust and efficient breed, a manufactured working dog with a strong pedigree and heritage. Powerful and angular the German Shepherd is for many the ultimate dog with a rather fierce reputation. But if you’re an owner, you’ll know that whilst the majority of this is true, they also make loving pets and are entirely capable of being the best friend to every member of the family. Big softies at heart, they’re just as comfortable on your lap as they are herding in fields and mountains. Although most would probably prefer some snuggle time at home!
The heritage of the German Shepherd, previously also called an Alsatian, makes it ideal for many of the tasks working dogs are asked to perform today. From search and rescue in earthquake zones to assisting disabled people in their homes, the German Shepherd is a versatile working dog and remains an extremely popular breed for armed forces and emergency services alike.
Famous German Shepherd owners
The German Shepherd is probably one of the popular breeds chosen by celebs around the world – even more so than some of the toy dog breeds which are now mainstays of the catwalk in handbags and roll– along carriages! The breed has an enviable list of famous supporters and owners including the current ‘Leader of the Free World’, US President Joe Biden.
Old and young, male and female, the GSD enjoys a wide spread of famous owners and fans proving its universal appeal as a friend and companion. As well as the actual POTUS, Designated Survivor President, Kiefer Sutherland is also a GSD owner alongside other actors including Zac Efron, Kirsten Dunst, Tom Hanks, Gregory Peck and Jake Gyllenhaal who have all, at one time or another, chosen German Shepherds as their pets.
George Foreman, Nicole Richie, The Jonas Brothers, Roberto Cavalli and Pink Floyd’s David Gilmour make up some other famous names on the owner’s list but there are many more – far too many to mention them all in one go.
The GSD in popular culture
As well as having a host of famous owners, there have also been just as many famous German Shepherds across TV and film. No article about the lovable GSD is complete without a reference to Wellard, the companion and best friend to Robbie Jackson in Eastenders. Dean Gaffney, the actor playing Robbie was regularly asked about his on –screen bromance with Wellard. And of course, one of the most memorable episodes saw Wellard leave the screen with Ricky and Bianca sharing memories of his canine adventures before he successfully pulled off a more convincing passing than many of his human counterparts could achieve!
Whilst Wellard played a regular part of life ‘on the square’ there have been other more prominent GSDs taking up lead roles or, in many cases, the role of best supporting actor in films. Top of the list is K-9 which saw dog Jerry-Lee playing a key role in this humorous police film as he helps his human partner bring down a notorious drug dealer. Portraying the slightly fiercer side of the breed, the German Shepherd is one of the very few to have ever faced off with Arnie as The Terminator, whilst the relationship between a GSD and Will Smith in I Am Legend is one which demonstrates the softer, more compassionate traits of the German Shepherd’s personality.
Whilst clearly popular amongst the rich, famous and powerful, the German Shepherd also maintains a spot on the most popular breeds list because of its broad appeal; with many claiming that once you have a GSD as a pet you won’t ever want another breed, and some families enjoying them as pets for generations.
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