The German Shepherd Dog (GSD)

Our goal is to breed healthy and strong German Shepherds

The German shepherd dog has evolved into many breed types in many countries, and even many offshoot breeds all claiming to be improvements on their progenitor. For someone wanting to buy a German Shepherd Dog the variety of similar dogs must be very confusing.

Below are descriptions of some of the many varieties to help you differentiate between them. There’re as many of these cousins as we could find, that actually have some claim to breed status and aren’t just crossbreeds, with comments on how they compare to the original breed.

If you’re seeking the “best” type please remember that all lines have mental and physical problems. Buyers need to be careful about purchasing a dog from an experienced breeder specializing in whichever type can best fulfill their requirements.

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GERMAN SHEPHERD DOG, WEST GERMAN SHOW (HIGH LINES).

This is the breed type most popular in Germany and in much of the world, and which at its best probably comes closest to the Breed Standard. Representatives of this family can be successful show and breeding dogs, and still perform as herding, service, SAR and guide dogs, as well as reliable companions and sport dogs. They are shown worldwide under the German SV system, which requires working titles of show and breeding dogs. They are predominantly black and red in colour, and exhibit a fluid, ground eating trot. Shortcomings which are most typical of this family are roached backs, cowhocks, fading pigmentation and weak temperament.


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GERMAN SHEPHERD DOG, GERMAN WORKING LINES.

These dogs are bred primarily for sport and as service dogs. They excel as police, military and drug/bomb detection dogs. If you seriously want a working dog, or one that can be competitive in sport, these are the lines you would consider first. They are less likely to show the conformation typical of show lines, but many show excellent structure and are powerful and athletic. Sable, black and bicolour are typical, though black & tan also appears. Some show too much drive and aggression to be family or guide dogs, but many are suitable for any purpose.


GERMAN SHEPHERD DOG, EAST GERMAN LINES (DDR).

This family was developed in East Germany from those dogs remaining in the East after World War 2. Those foundation dogs predated the show/working split of post-war West Germany, and were not extreme in either conformation or drive. The DDR dogs tend to show solid working structure with heavy bone and massive heads, and strong temperament. Some dogs can show a degree of sharpness. Overall, they tend to be very sound. Some breeders are preserving the pure DDR lines but they are more commonly being bred into the German working lines with good success.

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GERMAN SHEPHERD DOG, CZECH/SLOVAK LINES.

These dogs were bred in communist Czechoslovakia as state working dogs. They are essentially the same as the DDR lines, from which they were largely developed. Similarly, some breeders are attempting to preserve the pure Czech dogs, but they are more commonly being integrated into the German working lines with good success.

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GERMAN SHEPHERD DOG, AMERICAN SHOW LINES.

This family has been the dominant type in North America since the 1970′s, and is heavily inbred on one show dog, GV Lance of FranJo. In general, they are bred for an extreme trotting structure showing excessive length of body and rear angulation, which cannot show the speed and jumping ability of a working dog. Temperament is typically soft, drive is variable and weak nerves have been a problem. The better breeders recognize the issues, and their dogs are participating in obedience, herding and agility. Hips and elbows have improved. At their best, these dogs can be fine family companions.

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GERMAN SHEPHERD DOG, BRITISH LINES (ALSATIAN).

These dogs are descended from old lines imported into the British Isles prior to the modern, post-war German lines. They developed into a heavy boned, long bodied type with uniformly beautiful shoulders, showing generally soft temperament and variable drive. They did find usefulness as police service dogs and guide dogs, but with the relaxation of English quarantine laws, they are being supplanted in service by modern German working lines, and in the show ring by modern German show lines.

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GERMAN SHEPHERD DOG, LONG HAIRED (ALT DEUTSCHE SCHAFERHUND, “OLD GERMAN SHEPHERD DOG”).

This is not a separate type or breed. The recessive gene for long hair is present in all families and types, and results in a longer than normal coat. It can vary from slightly longer than normal, to very long hair which is difficult to keep well groomed and free of burrs and ice. Regarded for many years as a fault, the long coat is now accepted and can be shown in Germany, provided it has an undercoat. A coated dog bred to a dog that is free of the recessive will produce normal puppies who carry the recessive.

THE GSDS YOU WILL FIND AT NMF KENNELS

Our breeding program emphasizes breeding and training of working type of German Shepherd Dogs (GSDs). Our goal is to breed healthy and strong German Shepherds that are able to be used in Police, Security, Military and family /property protection dogs. We have German Working and Czechoslovakia DDR lines.