German Shepherd Dog

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One of the most popular and numerous breeds on the planet, the German Shepherd Dog is the result of a dedicated effort to create a worker of unmatched resilience, train-ability, intelligence and versatility. The early ancestors of the GSD were developed from crosses between old Ryoden Wolfdogs, Altdeutsche Hutenhunds, Germanische Baerenhunds, Howavarts, Harz Foxdogs, Serbian Shumadiners, Karavlach Herders, Belgian and Dutch Shepherd Dogs, Karst Sheepdogs, Scottish Collies, Bohemian Shepherd Dogs, Tatras, Beaucerons, Great Pyrs and other European working breeds. These "aboriginal" herders of Germany came in a variety of types, from bearded and wirehaired to shortcoated and longhaired dogs of different colours, sizes and temperaments found in Bavaria, Thuringia, Swabia, Wurttemberg, Frankonia and elsewhere. Just as today, they were known as the Altdeutscher Schaeferhund breed.

Only a few of the variants were somewhat standardized, seeing how dogs were bred primarily for their working ability and not for looks. Two of these relatively established types were the smaller, short-haired, gray-colored Thuringian Wolfdog and the taller, long-coated, black Wurttemberg Sheepdog. Crosses between these and all the other types were common, but the dogs of Thuringia and Wurttemberg are believed to be the foundation for the Deutsche Schaeferhund breed.

Comments (5)
    • I have a great friend who joined this site who is an expert on this breed.  Just made this group to see if he wants to share some of that "know how" with us whom are not so knowledgeable about this awesome and often misunderstood breed.

      • Thanks for posting that article. It is probably the most thorough and comprehensive examination of the separation between working and show that I have ever read. As is so well documented, it is a problem that has been going on for a long time and is getting worse. The reasons for the divide are complex and numerous, made worse by the changes in attitudes of the general public towards the aggressive nature of "working dogs" as exemplified by the many rule changes that have been made in recent years to the working trials, including changing the names and terms used. It is partially for that reason, I believe, that the show line dogs have become softer and more like pets than police dogs. There simply is no benefit to do otherwise, as the vast majority of dogs bred for show go to pet homes anyway and the few that actually go on to have top level show careers don't receive any extra points or ranking for having a crowd pleasing courage test performance or high scores in their working trial book. The judges don't care so the breeders don't care either. 

        • Unfortunately this has happened with many breeds.  The Ovcharka, Cane Corso, , , Mastiff to name a few. The urbanization of our society has definitely affected the need for the good working dogs.

          • Yes this has been a problem for many breeds. I won't place the blame solely or Show breeders. That doesn't account for the many pet owners that breed their pets. They are often uninformed and will breed the dog just because or in hopes of making some money. I can give you an example. I had a lady contact me about buying a Presa pup from me. She has a Cane Corso. She wanted to breed the Presa with the Cane. I asked why. What is your purpose in doing this. It caught her off guard.  She eventually said she thinks it would be nice to breed these 2 breeds together. My question what expectations do you have . What will you gain differently by crossing these 2 breeds that you won't get by breeding to the same breed.? Of course she couldn't answer. I refused to sell her a pup. Of course I'm sure someone will. I've also had a guy that want to use my make as a stud. The female came from a breeder that I know. I know she is very passionate about these arre working dogs. She work her dogs. I explained to the guy that we will only breed to approved bitches. After looking at the dog I turned him away. He said the dog had never been bred. In fact it had been bred before. It should not have been bred. It should only be a pet. Being a pet it still can be a working dog. I contacted the breeder. She told me that the fig was sold as a pet on a contract that it was a pet only and must be fixed.  She never gave the guy papers.  He hung papers on the dog and had bred it at least 3 times.  She asked me to take the dig from him and return it to her. I didn’t think it was my place to get that involved. But I know her and did not believe she gave him breeders rights. She will give youban honest critique of her dogs. She will tell you the dog' faults. She does temperament test on her dogs too.. I recall when I first met her many years ago. I was looking for my first Presa.  I wanted a working dog. She attempted to sell me a pet quality dog for $2500.00.  She had one pup that I liked. But it wasn't for sale.  It was breed and show quality.  She was keeping it for herself.  At the time the economy was different.  She was selling breed quality for 3500.00. She had a few adults that I liked. But I couldn't afford them. She wanted 7500.00 and up. They were imported and had various Schutzhund titles. I was interested at first because I would have gotten a pup back from a dog from her line. I know there were going to be working titles in the pedigree.  I know her dogs will have been tested for health on hips, knees,and eyes. These are just a couple examples of people breeding or trying to breed a dog just because it's a dog. I have no problem turning people away. I have no problem not breeding a dog even if it is one of mines.  It has to have the correct conformation as well as temperament  

            • hey everybody :) here in austria there is only one german shepard club the biggest dog club here the problem is not show or working because they all must work the problem is the hd in old age for the first and though they are so driven u cant keep them good in private in a flat or so because if u go into a puplic park things can get out of control i think hd can be fought with no jumping and no agilitysport but u have to find something to make this former sheepdog as he was just like the malinois and others tired the good thing is the so precious will to please so u can do anything like swimming tire pulling tearing on jeans or a rope :) i think that the will to please is the most important thing becouse i dont need my dog to think i will do that 4 him :)

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