Captain Max von Stephanitz Founds a New Breed
In 1889 Captain Max von Stephanitz began the standardization of the German Shepherd breed. It all started at a dog show in Karlsruhe Germany. A medium-sized yellow-and-gray wolflike dog caught his attention. The dog was of the primal canine type, supple and powerful, and possessed endurance, steadiness, and intelligence. He was a working sheepherder, requiring no training other than direction and finish to become proficient at the task. The dog, Hektor Linksrhein was purchased by von Stephanitz and then renamed Horand von Grafrath, which became the first registered German Shepherd Dog.
Different types of German Shepherd Dogs
As a versatile utility dog, the German Shepherd Dog breed has several different "types" that have their own origin, history and unique traits. These different types, although all of them are still German Shepherd dogs, can be better suited for different purposes and roles. Each type is valued and respected for what it brings to the breed.
American show lines
Canadian show lines
West German show lines
West German working lines
DDR / East German working lines
Czech working lines
All types of German Shepherd dogs within the breed are unique for a variety of reasons. Physical appearance, drives, temperament and purpose varies among the lines, but all of them are German Shepherds equally.
WEST GERMAN SHOW LINES - The most popular type of GSD in Germany, the West German show lines are bred to conform to the SV standard which also requires the dog to gain health clearances for hips and elbows and a working title (often herding or IPO) along with their show title prior to being bred. The "look" of this type is very specific and typically very uniform, most commonly presented as a black and red saddle back.
AMERICAN / CANADIAN SHOW LINES - Popular in North America since the 1970's, the American and Canadian show lines dominate the national kennel clubs and are intended to conform strictly to the standards set by each of the governing kennel clubs. Conformation is what this type is passionately bred for.
WEST GERMAN WORKING LINES - The dogs of West German working bloodlines are often said to be the closest of all types to the original dogs produced under Max von Stephanitz. Bred for focus and working structure, solid temperament and especially to correct, strong working drives and ability. West German working line German Shepherds excel in many different sports, real working jobs and positions of service. Like every German Shepherd should, they also make phenomenal active family pets.
DDR / EAST GERMAN WORKING LINES - Developed after World War II from the remaining war dogs, the DDR / East German dogs were maintained strictly by the government of East Germany. Rigid control of the original DDR bloodlines resulted in a very distinct look. Best known for their typically correct working structure, large heads, large bone and dark pigment. The DDR bloodlines are also known for being very sound dogs, though working drives can vary. Older DDR bloodlines are valued for their phenomenal genetics and temperament.
CZECH WORKING LINES - Czech shepherds are typically known for their even temperament, intelligence, high energy and drive. The Czech shepherd breed is from the German working line of German shepherds and was bred to produce working dogs. They have a natural tendency to be protective and obedient, and they are also great trackers. These dogs excel as military or police dogs and serve well as assistance dogs.
The Czech shepherd is often cautious with strangers, exhibiting a defensive posture when approached. These dogs mature slower than those of other shepherd lines, but their working drive is inherent from birth. Czech shepherds, like most German shepherds, have an intelligence that makes training easy. The Czech shepherd's even temperament doesn't mean it is not capable of anger; when threatened or in protection mode, a Czech shepherd can be quite dangerous, with strong, agile attacks that can stun an opponent.
The color of Czech shepherds varies, with common colors being black and tan, black and red, sable, or solid black. They make excellent family dogs and are well behaved with children. Their high energy levels demand a lot of activity. Regular outside activity, such as walking or running, is a great way to release their energy and prevent unwanted or destructive behavior in the home.
As a versatile utility dog, the German Shepherd breed has several different "types" that have their own origin, history and unique traits. These different types, although all of them are still German Shepherd dogs, can be better suited for different purposes and roles.
Verein fur Deutsche (SV) e.v. (The German, German Shepherd Club (English Version) https://www.schaeferhunde.de/en/