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Those who own or have owned German Shepherd Dog know this breed to loyal, loving, playful and a wonderful mate. For many in the community, however,  their size and a reputation for being violent and aggressive have given rise to a sense of apprehension and fear when encountering a GSD.

Simply walking through your local shopping centre with a well-behaved, well-controlled dog will slowly increase the public's familiarity with the breed in the wider community.

Participating in public events such as the well-known RSPCA's annual Million Paws Walk, or the more local Torquay Rotary Club's Dogs breakfast  - a morning dedicated to dogs and dog activities first held in Torquay in May 2011 - demonstrates the ability of the GSD to mix happily with other breeds.

Outreach programs such as GSDs visiting nursing homes are also an invaluable means of not simply entertaining and bringing joy to residents, many of whom have themselves owned dogs in the past, but also showing that the GSD has the ability to be patient and attentive to all members of the community.

Following a demonstration in obedience by Maureen Williams with Mac and Ashley Kendall with Asa to an appreciative audience, this delighted resident of the Bannockburn Aged Care Home enjoys some time with Mac (right) and Asa. Mac and Asa are also regular visitors to the Drysdale Grove Aged Care Home. Read their story.