German shepherds touch our lives in amazing ways. They generously offer their love, companionship, and loyalty to their owners every day of their lives. Working shepherds sacrifice and keep us safe right alongside law enforcement and the military.
The breed is amazing and their strength, courage, and intelligence is superior to many breeds. They are selfless and have been known to sacrifice themselves to save their owners, and even complete strangers from harm.
Throughout history, there have been many dogs that should be recognized for their heroic actions, and many more that will never get the recognition that they deserve. While their stories may not be yet known or found below, here are ten German shepherds deserving of our respect.
1. Brave German Shepherd Leads Alaskan State Trooper to Burning Home
In April 2010, an adopted German shepherd named Buddy repaid his owner, Ben Heinrich, for rescuing him by leading an Alaskan State Trooper to their home that had caught fire one night. Neighbors called to report the fire and Heinrich’s injuries and Trooper Shanigan responded. In route, the trooper’s GPS stopped working leaving him to try to navigate ninety-three miles of back roads with only his office trying to help him navigate. Suddenly, Trooper Shanigan saw Buddy running in the road. He turned to follow Buddy, who led him to his burning house-all the while Shanigan recording on his dash camera. The trooper said, “He wasn’t running from me, but was leading me. I just felt like I was being led. It’s just one of those things that we’re thinking on the same page for that brief moment.” Buddy’s owner declared: “He’s my hero.”
2. Runaway German Shepherd Rescues a Car Crash Victim and Drags Her to Safety
In March of 2010, Shannon Lorio from South Georgia says she owes her life to a German shepherd that wouldn’t stay in his yard. Lorio reported that her car ran off the highway and crashed down an embankment and into deep brush. A German shepherd dog, now named Hero, found her injured on the car’s trunk. Hero dragged her by the shirt collar to the side of the road, about fifty yards away. From there, she was able to flag down a passing motorist. For all his trouble, the two-year-old shepherd was surrendered to animal control for continuously escaping his yard. However, the story did have a happy ending because not only did Hero save Lorio’s life, he had over fifty offers for a new home, including a search and rescue trainer.
3. Rambo Saves His Owner’s Life By Absorbing Part of a Lightening Strike
In June 2015, a German shepherd named Rambo, his owner Jonathan Hardman, and some friends went hiking in Mount Bierstadt in Pike National Forest. When the group set out, the weather was nice but changed when they were atop a hill at 14,000 feet. The wind began to pick up so the group began to their descent when a cloud came out of nowhere. Hardman was then struck on top of the head by lightening. Having no idea what happened, he said, “I just feel this intense, awesome pain and I wake up on the ground with blood filling the back of my sunglasses and I couldn't move my arms or legs." Hardman survived the lightening strike because his faithful dog absorbed the strike and was killed.
4. Police Dog Dies After Being Hit by Gun Fire While Protecting His Partner
In May 2016, Bruno died doing what he was trained to do, which was protect his partner Police Officer R.J. Young of the Anaheim Police Department. Bruno was shot in the line of duty. Bruno touched countless lives and despite heroic efforts to save him, he passed away in the back of Officer Young’s police cruiser. The officer’s final wish – after all the heroics trying to save the brave dog – was for his best friend and partner to pass away peacefully surrounded by those that loved and served with him.
5. Hero Dog Saves 4-Year-Old Child from Drowning in a Pool
In July 2013, Milena, a four-year-old Argentinian girl somehow escaped her house without her parents noticing she left. She then walked down the street and wondered into a neighbor’s backyard. Spying a pool, the little girl got in the water. Fortunately for Milena, the family’s German shepherd, Sasha, followed her. Meanwhile, her frantic parents went looking all over for her. In their front yard, Sasha tried to get the father’s attention by barking and whining at him. Since he ignored the dog, Sasha bolted back to the backyard where Milena was. It was then that Milena’s father realized the dog was trying to tell him something and found her daughter in the pool, her head being held above water by Sasha the canine lifeguard.
6. Alert German Shepherd Finds a Newborn Baby Abandoned in a Park
In November 2013, Roger Wilday and his German shepherd, Jade, were walking in a park in Stechford, Birmingham. The dog suddenly began pulling Roger toward some bushes. Wondering what captured the dog’s attention, Roger took a look. He saw a carrier bag from a toy store. At first, Roger thought they had stumbled upon a bag of abandoned kittens but was shocked to discover a newborn baby girl inside the bag. The baby was about twenty-four hours old and weighed six pounds. Thanks to the alert, they were able to get the baby to safety in time.
7. A Dog Named Bear Saves His Owner’s Life When She Has a Seizure
In May 2011, a German shepherd from Texas was awarded the National Hero Dog Award for saving his owner’s life. Debbie suffered from a serious seizure disorder from a horseback riding accident. Bear often altered his owner to impending seizures so that she could safely lay down. However, one day, Debbie ignored Bear’s warnings. She ended up having a seizure and fell down in front of her house. Bear ran door to door barking for help. An animal control officer noticed Bear’s distress and was able to get Debbie the medical help she needed thus saving her life.
8. Brave German Shepherd Protects Three Children as Gunfire Strikes their Car
In November 2014, a family was sitting in front of a strip mall when a road-rage incident turned into gunfire. Caught in the crossfire, a mother and her three children were innocently sitting in their car along with their German shepherd, Noah. As the family’s car was sprayed by bullets, their German shepherd got between the kids and the flying glass, thus taking a bullet to protect the kids. According to police, Noah then jumped out of the car window and chased the shooter’s car until he collapsed and died.
9. FBI Canine Dies Protecting Agents Taking Down Murderer
In March 2013, The FBI was chasing a gunman who killed four people in two different towns in New York. Police tracked down the suspect and were now engaged in a standoff with the gunman, Kurt Myers, who was hiding in an abandoned bar. Unable to see inside the bar, agents sent in a tactical dog named Ape. Wearing a body camera, Ape went into the building, followed by agents. Ape was shot in the chest by Myers as the agents breached a doorway. Despite heroic attempts to save Ape’s life, he died of his injuries. Ape was only 2 years 4 months old, and had been on active duty for the F.B.I. for a little over two weeks when he gave his life to protect the agents.
10. War Dog Saves His Master, Josip Broz Tito the President of Yugoslavia
In June 1943, the German Battle of Sutjeska, also known as the Fifth Enemy Offensive in the Yugosla, was underway against the partisan’s main operational group in the Second World War. Yugoslavian president Josip Broz-Tito found himself in a deadly situation as bombs fell close by. Just as one bomb detonated near him, his loyal dog, Lux, shielded his head and torso with his own body, sacrificing his own life for his master. This event was published after the war in Tito’s memoirs.
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