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How Many Types Of German Shepherd Dogs Are There

Controversy Surrounds The Gsd Show Line Vs Working Types

How Many Types of German Shepherds | GSD | Are There? Which is Good

We would be remiss not to discuss the great divergence of the show and working lines of German Shepherds.

Detrimental characteristics began to enter Shepherds of the Western world as breeders became fixated on appearance at the expense of the German Shepherds athleticism and utilitarianism.

Most everyone is familiar with the American Saddlebred horses with their exaggerated knee action that catches the eye as they stride out and prance.

Breeders discovered that highly angulated limbs and a steep pelvis would create a similarly flashy movement of the front legs in their Shepherds.

The high flying gait became desirable, and little attention was paid to the weakness that developed in the hindquarters or the detrimental effect such a slope in the back might cause.

Jean Mueller Wrote a telling article, published by Leeburg Dog Training, where she discussed how the highly-angled pelvis and resulting steep croup are valuable for dogs that move at great speeds like the Greyhound or Whippet with their double-suspension gallop.

However, she mentioned a steep pelvis is inappropriate for a working dog who is meant to travel mostly at a trot with short bursts of speed, turning on a dime, and accomplishing balanced lateral movements.

Mueller and others have received vehement criticism from the GSD show dog community who insist their dogs can still perform in the field.

The stance maintains the more angulation a dog the better her ability to propel herself.

How Many Different Types Of German Shepherds Are There

Based on their appearance, coat color, and pattern there are five different types of German Shepherds. While the physical appearance varies from one type to the next, all are considered a part of the German Shepherd Dog breed.

While the breed standard recognizes only medium and longhaired German Shepherds the coat colors can be varied. However, certain color variations arent allowed to compete and some are considered faults and can affect the scoring.

Bear in mind that not all types of German Shepherd are accepted and recognized by major canine organizations. For example, the American Kennel Club and the World Canine Organization doesnt recognize White German Shepherds.

What Do They Eat

American German Shepherd dogs require high-quality kibble, which must be full of proteins and other important nutrients so that they can have the required energy throughout the day. The kibble also needs to be age-appropriate for this breed, especially when they are puppies since they need more nutrients and energy for better health and development. The American German Shepherds would consume three to four cups of food a day.

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Caring For Your German Shepherd

German Shepherds are fantastic dogs and its easy to see why they are such a popular breed. However their size and strength means they arent suited to all families and need a lot of space to burn off their energy. Youll need to make sure you have a lot of time to spend with these dogs and you are committed to providing for their exercise needs every day.

How Much Exercise Do German Shepherds Need

The Different Types of German Shepherd Dogs

German Shepherd puppies and adolescents should have moderate exercise only multiple walks, fetch games, or playing with another dog.

But the growing bones and ligaments in a young dog can be irreparably damaged by too much exercise or the wrong kind of exercise. At this age, there should be no forced running . Restrict jumping as much as possible.

Once the dog is mature, the amount of exercise needed will vary according to the dogs energy level. But all German Shepherds, to maintain fitness, need brisk walking every day and all-out running in a safe, enclosed area as often as possible.

Dogs from working lines typically want a lot more exercise.

Mental exercise is even more important for German Shepherds. Mental exercise means the dog gets to participate in interesting activities that keep his intelligent mind stimulated.

This might be a dog sport such as agility, rally obedience, musical freestyle, tracking, flyball, herding, or schutzhund. It might be interactive dog toys, or a homemade obstacle course, or learning tricks, or playing games such as Hide n Seek.

Some of these activities are included in my training book, Teach Your Dog 100 English Words.

Handsome black German Shepherd, attentively awaiting your next words.

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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.

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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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Which German Shepherd Is The Best

German Shepherds can be divided into two groups show line German Shepherds and working line German Shepherds. Ultimately, your lifestyle and expectations will determine which German Shepherd is the best for you.

If you are looking for a canine companion, a show line German Shepherd is the right choice. These dogs are bred to accommodate the needs of pet parents, have lower energy levels, and make great family pets.

But, if you are looking for a capable working dog who will guard your property or herd cattle on a farm, a working line German Shepherd is a better choice. Dogs from West German working lines, Czech working lines, and East German DDR working lines are bred to meet the rigorous rules set by the German Shepherd Club of Germany.

These German Shepherds are bred to work and have little to no resemblance to German Shepherds that are found in most homes.

Who Do American German Shepherds Live With

German Shepherd Everything You Need to Know

The American German Shepherd dogs are generally good with other dogs. Still, given their temperament and the fact that they are a highly intelligent working breed, they can sometimes be aloof around other dogs when meeting them for the first time. But it is just a matter of fact before they would become friends with them. The German Shepherd can go well along with medium-length breeds or even large-sized breeds, such as Siberian Huskies, Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers, and Border Collies.

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These Dogs Arent For Everyone: Be Sure A Shepherd Breed Is Right For Your Home

Although they are extremely smart and obedient if trained well, shepherd breeds can also present a few challenges especially to those who wish to keep them as family pets.

For example, shepherd breeds all have very high energy levels, so they must be provided with the opportunity to exercise every day. If deprived of such opportunities, these dogs can develop a variety of problematic behaviors, including destructive chewing, obsessive licking behaviors, and nuisance barking.

In fact, shepherds are usually pretty vocal dogs, so they arent a great choice for owners who value peace and quiet, or for those who live in apartments. Typically, shepherd breeds are best-suited for families that have large, fenced yards in which the dogs can burn off plenty of energy and bark to their hearts content.

Additionally, it is often helpful to give breeds of shepherds a job to keep them occupied. This may simply be guarding your backyard from squirrels and passing cars, or you may want to participate in agility or tracking competitions with your pet. They rarely care what their job is they just care that they have a job theyre expected to do.

Want to see some more types of shepherd dogs in action? Check out the video from ViralBe below!

Panda German Shepherd Dog

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 German Show Lines Types Of German Shepherds

The West German Show lines are known as the handsome ones.

They have astonishingly stunning looks, but that does not mean that they were bred only for beauty and conformation.

This dog is governed by the club for german shepherd dogs inc that is the original German Shepherd Club and registry of the World.

Just like their American and Canadian counterparts, they are bred to have a specific appearance.

Despite all these, they are required to prove that they can also perform as working dogs.

Although many dogs barely pass the obedience and agility tests, there is usually a good number of dogs that are loyal, obedient, and intelligent with the right looks.

West German Show lines are similar to the American Show lines in many ways, but they are preferably red with a black saddle rather than being tan.

Every dog in this line is required to have a working title and a hip and elbow health clearance before being allowed to pass their genes.

If you are looking for an amazingly adorable dog that can be a protector and a family pet then this is the right type of German Shepherd for you.

These are not lazy dogs and they will need a lot of training, exercise, and socialization.

Characteristics And Health Problems

How many types of German Shepherds are there? +variations ...

The American German Shepherd has a protective, loyal, confident, and intelligent temperament. The German Shepherd with European lines is often required to pass the test of obedience, health, and temperament, while there are no such requirements for breeding an American German Shepherd. However, due to American German Shepherd’s sloppy hind legs, they are more prone to health issues like hip dysplasia – also called degenerative myelopathy, bloating, allergies, Osteochondrosis dissecans , pancreatic acinar atrophy, and panosteitis. Degenerative myelopathy is a health concern for both the American well as European lines.

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German Shepherd Show And Working Lines

While these are all considered the same breed, each is its own line. These lines usually indicate the heritage of the dog, and the differences between the types of German Shepherds usually stems from 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 bred for body type, color, and coloration pattern over healthy and personality, while working lines are more typically bred for personality and health, instead of to achieve a specific look.

Here are the most recognizable types of German Shepherd dogs and their defining features and characteristics:


German Shepherds And Children

Adult German Shepherds can range from being calm and patient to bouncy and boisterous, depending on their personality, training and socialisation. Some can make great family pets in homes with children of all ages, but dogs should always be supervised around young children.

Make sure you can recognise the signs of unhappiness or anxiety in your dog to help avoid any conflicts. German Shepherds can be nervous of strangers so make sure theyre never left unsupervised. Be careful if you are introducing a German Shepherd to younger children or adults unfamiliar with the breed as they often dont know their own strength.

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/west German Shepherd Dog

One of the most revered working lines of the breed is the West German Shepherd dog. It is the most famous Type Of German Shepherd Dogs It is believed to be the line that is closest to the original breed created by Max von Stephanitz this line is bred not just for colour and body shape, but for working drive. The West bloodline focuses strongly on looks and what should be considered the standard of the different types of Shepherds.

As with all working lines, the emphasis is put on the dogs behaviour and personality, rather than on just their body shape and gait, which makes for a much healthier and more active line. While many people choose the West German Shepherdworking line when they are looking for a working dog, these dogs also make great family pets if the family invests enough time in their family member.

West German Shepherd Dog

The West German Shepherd Dogprice

A West German Shepherd starts at $1200 and goes up to the $4000 or $5000 range. If you want the best type of german shepherd dogs for you and for your money you will need to hit the perfect trifecta: choose breeder, bloodline and puppy very wisely.

How These Five Types Came To Be

What are the types of German Shepherds out there? Which one should you buy?

In Germany in 1961, they split the country into East and West by building the Berlin Wall. This is what initially led to the German Shepherd taking on different breeding structures between the two sides. The separation lasted until 1989.

The introduction of the German Shepherd to the United States dates back to 1906. Because of unregulated breeding, the U.S. has a problem with authenticity. Many original bloodlines are now broken, causing undesirable traits in the breed.

Czechoslovakia had their hand in things as well, developing their unique spin on the breed. Throughout 1955, the dogs were workers but didnt thrive as a breed until Germanys official reuniting.

Europe and American lines have differences relating to breed standards. While Europe has a focal point of the breeds temperament and ability, America is more focused on physical traits.

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German Shepherd Dog Coat Types

Different types of German Shepherds are also categorized according to their coat types. These coat types are a result of inbreeding and outbreeding. Although American Kennel Club accepts any coat type except white, it is important to know if coat types affect the GSDs behavior and health.

  • Sable German Shepherd

Did you know that the first registered GSD is a sable? A sable dog has two or three different colored hair strands and also a coat color pattern that resembles a gray wolf. Sable GSDs are normally seen in the working lines. For a GSD to be sable, at least one parent should be a sable. A dominant sable or a homogeneous sable dog has received one sable gene from its parents and will definitely reproduce only sables regardless of its partners coat. Having sable parents is not a guarantee to have sable puppies because they might inherit the recessive gene instead of the sable gene.

  • Panda German Shepherd Dog

The rarest GSD coat type is Panda. Franka, the first Panda GSD, came from pure bred GSD parents. After testing its DNA, it was discovered that Frankas Panda coat was caused by the mutation of the KIT gene. There are no known causes for the mutation as it can also happen to other species. To reproduce such rare coat, one parent should have a clear mutated KIT gene. Since there are no known health issues about Panda coat, there a number of breeders who are keen on reproducing them. But a responsible breeder will always prioritize their pets health over its colors.

History Of Dogs In Germany

Just this year, in March of 2021, Science Alert reported on cave findings in Germany that could be the earliest evidence of domesticated wolves yet. The cave, called Gnirshöhle, is in southwest Germany in the Hegau Jura region near Switzerland. This area is known for its incredibly old fossils and artifacts. These new bones are so significant because theyre older than many previously discovered specimens and they have more genetic varietymeaning this could be the place and time where modern-day wolves, foxes and domesticated dogs really began to take shape.

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East German Ddr Working Line German Shepherds

East German DDR Working lines share many common characteristics with the West German lines. They share much of the same history as well. They were bred and tailored particularly for their extremely heightened desire to work, along with their quick ability to guard.

Because of their prey drive instinct, monitoring them around other animals and small children can help to avoid primal triggers. That doesnt mean that every dog in the line is as prey-driven. Some are incredibly docile and sweet, never hurting a fly. However, because of their working roots, it is something to watch for as a responsible owner.

They have incredible focus and endurance, suiting them perfectly for physically and mentally stimulating roles. Like their West brothers and sisters, East German DDRs have sable coloring, though most are darker and sometimes even black.


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