The German Shepherd Dog, also known as the Alsatian, Deutscher Schäferhund, or GSD, originated (as the name suggests) from Germany. Their original purpose was to herd large flocks of sheep, not by the traditional method of nipping and barking; but instead kept order through their swift, stealthy movements and strong demeanor. Sound judgment and a stable temperament became a hallmark of the German Shepherd breed, and led them to become known as excellent police K-9 dogs, search and rescue dogs, and guide dogs. Owners should be aware that protectiveness is a natural tendency of the German Shepherd. Dogs must be socialized and trained early to learn the difference between welcome and unwelcome guests. German Shepherds require plenty of activity and room to run, and are best suited for families who have the time and energy to devote to their well-being. Those who do invest in the proper training and socialization of a GSD will find they have raised a devoted and loving family companion.