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Are There Different Kinds Of German Shepherds

Creating Different Types Of German Shepherds Through Mixed Breeding

The different types of GERMAN SHEPHERD

Over the past three decades, weve seen an enormous rise in the number and popularity of designer dogs litters created by mating dogs from two different pedigrees.

Since German Shepherds are popular in their own right the 2nd most registered breed with the AKC in fact its hardly surprising that they frequently provide one half of a designer dog mix.

These mixes arent purebred dogs, so once again they cant technically be regarded as categories of German Shepherds.

But they are types of dogs which are likely to share very GSD-like looks and temperaments.

Lets take a look at some examples.

German Shepherd Dogs Mixed With Other Herding Breeds

German Shepherds belong to the herding group of dog breeds. These breeds instinctively try to round up other animals, and they make valuable livestock guardians.

German Shepherds mixed with other herding breeds are likely to act in a predictable way around other animals, but their behavior around people and their looks can be highly variable.

Examples of these mixes include

There are lots of things about these puppies which you wont find out until theyre grown up like what their coat will be like, how big theyll get, and what theyre personality will be like.

To read more about creating different types of dogs by mixed breeding, and its pros and cons, visit us here.

Types Of German Shepherds By Hair Length

In the case of dogs, even the length of the hair is taken into account when talking about one variety or another. There are two types of German Shepherd taking this characteristic into account.

1. Short-haired German Shepherd

As their name suggests, they stand out for having a short coat. Likewise, they are very active dogs, therefore, they need to perform physical exercise daily.

In addition, it is noteworthy that the German Shepherd is among the most intelligent dog breeds, although they need training from puppies.

2. Long-haired German Shepherd

In this case, the opposite of the above happens â the animal boasts of having its long coat. This characteristic gives them great beauty and, for this reason, they attract even more attention.

The fur can measure up to 60 centimeters, making it very soft and shiny if it is cared for well. Thus, it is important to brush their hair twice a week with a metal brush.

Top 5 Types Of German Shepherd Dogs

German Shepherd Show and Working Lines

The following breeds are all considered German shepherds, Each in his own way is his own line.

These lines usually indicate the Heritage of The Dog, How these dogs Were Bred and for what Purpose these dogs were bred.

While there are technically seven different lines, there are only two general lines: show lines and working lines.

Show lines, from America, Canada, and West Germany , were mainly bred for their glorious body type, color, and coloration pattern over health and personality.

While working lines as the name indicates were bred to be workaholics focusing on personality, health, and stamina instead of to achieve a specific look.

Here are the most recognizable types of German shepherd dogs, their defining features, traits, and characteristics:

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/american Show Line German Shepherds

The most interesting types of german shepherds are The American German Shepherds This type is the most seen Shepherds in the U.S. and Canada. These types of shepherd dogs are the most different of all the Shepherd variations. Since they are a combination of many bloodlines, you may notice that an American Shepherd is more substantial in build and their heads and muzzles are shorter.

American show line German Shepherds are most generally black and tan than the other german shepherd breed types, though, with specific breeding, they can be a variety of colours. They are generally lighter and have more of a sloping gait and longer hocks than their European relatives. Their underbellies are thicker, as are their chest portions.

Because of the backyard breeding problem among Shepherds in America, many of these German Shepherd Breed Types are passed off as champions but are muddied down. So, if you want a show-quality Shepherd, be sure to do your homework. Proven bloodlines are a must to ensure good temperament and quality.

Backyard breeding has led to these guys getting quite a bad rap. You may see people selling shepherds claiming strong champion bloodlines, but these may not be authentic. While people may not breed these dogs to be irresponsible, it leads to many undesirable traits, such as nervousness, aggression, and various health issues.

American Show Line German Shepherds

American Show Line German Shepherds Price

Panda German Shepherd Dog

The Different Types of German Shepherds Which One Should ...

Another of our types of German Shepherd which is not very common is the Panda German Shepherd. They have a curious and striking appearance which is often confused with other dog breeds. Due to a genetic mutation, but they are a full German Shepherd and are not a mixed breed. The mutation occurred in a litter from the USA. This type of German Shepherd exhibits a white coat on the abdomen and legs, but has black or tan on other parts, giving them a sort of panda like appearance.

Like other German Shepherd Dogs, they are agile, strong and ideal family pets. However, they arouse controversy over some breeders as white markings are considered a fault. The main controversy appears to be the belief that the dog is from inferior stock, but so far their health seems to be average when compared to other types of GSD.

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West Show Line German Shepherds

  • The West German Show Line German Shepherds are widely considered as the most beautiful GSD breed. They are very gracious in movement. They are very intelligent can be trained very easily.
  • The West Show Line German Shepherds also have a sloped body, but it is not as sloping as American Show Line German Shepherds.
  • The West Show Line German Shepherds tend to have black and red saddles, black and tan, sable, bi-colors and black. Every dog in the West Show Line German Shepherd breed is required to be fully fit with his health before he/she mate or pass their genes.
  • The West Show Line German Shepherds can do great both as protectors and family pets as compared to American Show Line GSDs. The West Show Lines GSDs are not lazy and in fact they need a lot of exercise and training.
  • They have better health and better drive than the American Show Line German Shepherds.

West German Working Line German Shepherds

These are the versatile dogs that Max von Stephanitz had intended the breed to be, which means that personality takes precedence.

These dogs have a very strong work ethic and are temperate. They would make a wonderful pet for active families, on a farm, or similar working environments for them to focus their energy and intelligence on.

They have slightly sloping backs, but it is not as obvious as the show line dogs.

You can usually find them in lighter shades such as Black and Red, Black and Tan, Sable, or Bi-Color and Black. Unfortunately, they have something of a reputation for having bad hips.

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Skeletal Health And Supplementation

Musculoskeletal disorders are debilitating conditions that are often associated with genetic makeup, malnutrition, and stress-related events. Some breeds like the German shepherd, are predisposed to a variety of different skeletal disorders, including but not limited to: canine hip dysplasia, Cauda equina syndrome, and osteoarthritis. These conditions can be a result of poor breeding or induced by intense exercise and poor diet.

Canine hip dysplasia is an orthopedic condition resulting from abnormal development of the hip joint and surrounding tissue causing the instability and partial dislocation of the hip joint, resulting in pain, inflammation, lameness, and potentially osteoarthritis of the joint. German shepherds are genetically predisposed to CHD and the University of Veterinary Medicine in Germany found its prevalence estimated to be approximately 35% of veterinary cases associated with the disorder.

Osteoarthritis is one of the main contributors of musculoskeletal pain and disabilities that commonly affect German shepherds. Mechanical stress, oxidative damage and inflammatory mediators combine to induce the gradual degeneration of the articular cartilage in the joint, resulting in reduced muscle mass, pain, and locomotion.

Vitamins such as A and D also have crucial roles in bone development and maintenance by regulating bone and calcium metabolism. Adequate levels should be incorporated into a German shepherd diet to promote a healthy musculoskeletal system.

Different Types Of Shepherd Dog Breeds And Their Characteristics

Different Kinds of German Shepherds with GSM and Sergeant

You might find the terms shepherd and herding group dogs being used interchangeably in this article. And yes, as you might infer, these words are synonymous.

The breeds discussed in this section are all known for helping shepherds herd animals on their farms.

So without further ado, lets dive into this extensive list of the different types of shepherd dog breeds!

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Steel Blue German Shepherd

The blue German Shepherd is an astonishing color variation that is extremely rare.

However, like the German Shepherds liver color, this color variation is unable to compete in shows as it is declared a serious fault.

Whilst being classified as a serious fault, this color is still recognized by the American Kennel Club.

The blue pigment of this coat variation is purely an aesthetic difference and is attributed to recessive blue genes.

Breeding blue German Shepherd puppies requires both parents carry this recessive gene.

Finding a blue breed is extremely rare, as they are not bred for working or show lines, and are a fashion choice only.

A significant appearance difference of the blue German Shepherd is their gray nose in place of a black one.

East German Ddr Working Lines

This type of German Shepherd has continued to be developed and maintained after the end of WWII.

The establishment of the Deutsche Demokratische Republik meant strict government-controlled pedigree registration.

And 40 years of closed breeding.

From this developed a distinctive looking dog. With dark pigment, a big head, deep chest, athletic body, supreme intellect, and stamina to boot.

This type of German Shepherd has a sound temperament and a high work drive .

They must have plenty of mental and physical stimulation and an experienced handler.

Check out this infographic and learn some fun facts about the German Shepherd Breed!

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Are There Different Types Of German Shepherds

The American Kennel Club and the Kennel Club in the UK each only have one type of German Shepherd Dog on their registries.

This is also true of the Federation Cynologique Internationale a European registry which serves dog owners internationally.

The Australian National Kennel Club takes a slightly different approach however, and well come to that in a moment.

But first lets look at some of the criteria we can use to separate German Shepherds into informal groups:

  • Purpose
  • Size

West German Working Line German Shepherd

Different Types German Shepherd Breeds

West German Working Lines come in various colors, but youll find most of them to have strong, rich colors. Many can appear almost entirely black with hints of cappuccino shade closer to the mid-limb region. Black and tan colors are common.

However, this description is expansive enough to cover many working variety GSDs and shouldnt be taken as the sole identifying indicator of West German Working Lines. In addition to being visibly darker, these dogs are also more compact than their show-line counterparts.

Their smaller bodies make them more athletic, which means they demand more stimulation. But if you actually want a dog that can engage your family with high energy, then a Working Line GSD is perfect. This perfection also comes on a budget.

Show Line dogs are usually more expensive than the working variety, and you can expect to purchase a West German Working Line GSD for $1000 to $1800. Some breeders release working line puppies for as little as $500, while others charge over $2000 for a similar dog. Ultimately many business factors like supply, demand, experience, reputation, and cost of doing business need to be factored in.

One might think that with working line dogs, standard best practices like visiting the stud do not apply. Thats not true. You must always ask the breeder to show you the puppys parents, and you must observe the breeding conditions.

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Training And Exercising Your German Shepherd Dog

You will want to start your puppy training around 8 weeks of age, should you get an older puppy no worries as they will still be eager to train. Start with the basic commands and behavior issues, such as potty training and sit, come and stay and others you may want.

Be sure to socialize your pup with other dogs and people, you may use treats to help with the training process but dont overdo it as this could cause them to rely on a treat always and could be harmful. Dont allow any negative behaviors by calming them down and make them wait for the food theyll love or whatever activity you were going to do.

Mix up your training dont just train them in one place especially when potty training them as they wont know the rules at a friends house. Keep in mind the age of your dog. As a puppy the training will need to be shorter. As they grow, they can train longer however keep the training positive. There are devices you can implement with training called clickers and you can replace treats with the clicker as the German Shepherd Dog is trained.

The German Shepherd Dog is a very athletic dog and full of energy they love to play, take them for daily walks. There are several toys that can be helpful in helping the German Shepherd Dog burn off his energy, he loves to play fetch with balls they can grab and throw in the air, agility courses as well as swimming are great activities for this strong athlete.

Ddr/east German Working Line

After World War II, the remaining war dogs were developed into what is known as the DDR / East German working line. They were maintained strictly by the government of East Germany. These German Shepherds were bred with a higher priority for athleticism and extraordinary work drive.

These dogs have a very distinct look because of their strict breeding. They have larger heads, darker coats, and a perfect working physique. The DDR is said to have better genetics and fewer health problems than its counterparts.

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How Can You Tell If A German Shepherd Is Purebred

German Shepherds are one of the most intelligent, loyal, and friendly working dog breeds which tags them as a dog breed that is second most popular in the world. However, while you get a German Shepherd for yourself, here are some tips that can help you identify a purebred German Shepherd.

DNA testing: Getting a DNA test of your dog is the most straightforward way to check if your dog is purebred. A test can be performed with a testing kit which can be easily available online or in pet shops. This can also be quite an overkill because there are simpler methods to check for the purity of the breed.

The Dogs Fur: Simply taking a look at your dogs fur coat can tell you if your dog is purebred or not. Purebred German Shepherds have thick and dense fur all over its body. Its fur is short with black colored patches on its face and back.

Physical Traits: German Shepherds have various physical features which can be uniquely identified to them. They have a well proportioned body and weigh around 75-85 lb , with a muscular build. They have pointed ears and long furry tails.

Behavioral Traits: Purebred German Shepherds are very energetic and need frequent walks and exercise, they are very loyal and intelligent dogs. They show strong possessive behavior towards their families and can act aggressively towards perceived threats.

German Shepherd Body Types

5 Different Types Of German Shepherd Based On Their Looks

The first known GSD was designed to be a working dog. But since the popularity of GSDs, demands increased and so did different preferences. Thus, the birth of show lines. At present, there are 2 kinds of GSD show lines and 3 kinds of GSD working line. All of which are recognized by their respective GSD regulatory bodies.

  • East German Working Lines

Originally bred for military purposes, this line has been preserved and being bred under very strict standards. Dogs with hip dysplasia are not allowed to be bred , including dogs with health issues and physical defects. In fact, each and every puppy is checked for their temperament, bone structure and coat quality. Standard East German Working GSDs have incredibly strong bodies that can withstand extreme weather conditions. They usually have big heads,broad,solid shoulders and shiny coat. Modern Easter German Working dogs are the top choices in military and police work. As police or military dogs, their tests include walking on a balance beam, searching 10 blinds, undergoing tracking tests in series and scaling a 1.8 and 1.5 meters straight wall. Being energetic, having a calm demeanor and protective instincts make them great family dogs even around kids especially if they will be trained.

  • West German Working Lines
  • American and Canadian Show Lines

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White Swiss Shepherd Dog

The White Swiss Shepherd Dog is a variety of the German Shepherd bred in Switzerland. It descends from the American White Shepherds the first stud dog of what became the breed was an American dog born in 1966 and imported to Switzerland. The variety was recognised by the Fédération Cynologique Internationale as a separate breed in 2003, and it is now recognised by a number of national kennel clubs.


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