The German Shepherd—or The German Shepherd Dog, when called by its full, official title—is a working dog, bred for its intelligence, strength and stamina. Originally they were used for herding and protecting sheep in Germany. Due to their intelligence, curiosity, obedience and good temper, they have become popular for many other kinds of work—including police work, search & rescue, and for use as guard dogs. Sometimes called “Alsatians,” they have been ranked as the third-smartest dog (behind Border Collies and Poodles). According to the American Kennel Club, they are the second most popular family dog in the United States.
The bookends above show a pair of ever-alert German Shepherd bookends.