American Show Line German Shepherds
One of the more popular breeds of German Shepherds, the American show line German Shepherd has diverged greatly from its German ancestor. This is probably because it is being bred with a number of American dogs regularly for over fifty years now.
Breeding with American species ensures consistency in the American show line German Shepherd as opposed to importing dogs from other places.
Some of the defining features of the American show line German Shepherd include:
- As the name suggests, this is a beautiful breed of dog and people bring it home for aesthetic purposes
- They are long and tall and come in beautiful shades such as black, saddle and tan
- Agility is one of the strengths of this breed
- The American show line German Shepherd is known to be obedient
- This breed comes with a narrow head and an exaggerated rear angulation
- This dog variety is known to be very relaxed and sharp
- The show line American German Shepherds have relatively lesser energy than their working counterparts
- Their obedience makes them an ideal option for adopting as a pet
German Shepherd Breed History
Historically, German Shepherds originated in Germany and were used for herding purposes. They would lead the flock and protect it from predators.
The development of the German Shepherd Dog breed is credited to Cavalry Captain Max Emil Friedrich von Stephanitz back in the 1890s.
Stephanitz occupied himself by experimenting with dog breeding, intending to standardize the working shepherding dogs in Germany. In 1899, a shepherd dog named Hektor Linksrhein caught his attention at a dog show for it apparently possessed all the qualities he desired.
For that reason, he purchased the dog and changed its name to Horand von Grafath. This name is now known as the first-ever registered German Shepherd Dog in history and the main breeding stud that basically founded the breed as it is known today.
To this day, the standards and requirements that Stephanitz set for the breed are recognized around the world and are still followed strictly in Germany.
Are Sable German Shepherds Rare
Sable-colored German Shepherds are exceptionally rare. They are enormous, powerful dogs with a lot of energy, making them ideal for heavy work. Despite being bred as herders, they are also highly intelligent and eager to please, making them excellent for training to accomplish difficult jobs such as military and police dog roles.
The German Shepherd’s Sable coat is the result of a dominant gene, and it was the first of the German Shepherd species. It’s also the only coat color that hasn’t deviated from the German Shepherd’s founder’s breed ethic.
The American Kennel Club recognizes German Shepherds, and the sable color is recognized under the breed standard .
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Ddr Or East German Working Line Shepherds
These dogs emerged as a result of World War II, which led to the Berlin Wall separating East and West into two separate areas in Germany. Trade ceased, and the DDR/East German Shepherd working lines genes were preserved as a result of not being able to dilute their genes with other kinds of dogs.
The government seized control of this line of dogs, stopping any outside influence from changing the gene pool. For that reason, they have incredibly high standards. They must be entirely free of hip dysplasia to be able to reproduce, and many health conditions or physical imperfections will bar a dog from being able to contribute to the gene pool. Puppies are all inspected and tested to ensure their coats, bones, health, and attitude comply with the standards.
Working Or Show Line: Which One Should You Choose
As the name suggests, working line German Shepherds are bred because of their functionality. Some of the most common places that have a German Shepherd include military and law enforcement agencies, forensics and rescue teams.
These have straight, thick bodies which aid them in their work. They are the more aggressive of the two and are known to use their mouth to attack.
The show line breed is more of a showy variety and is primarily concerned with how the dogs look. They are considered to make better house pets.
The show line German Shepherd has a leaner appearance and comes in richer colors such as tan, gray, black and red.
The show line German Shepherd is calmer and more house friendly.
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Difference Between Working Line And Show Line German Shepherds
Working Line German Shepherds Generally
The working line German Shepherd is the original breed standard. The Working Line German Shepherd was developed and bred for their capacity to work and not specifically for their physical appearance.
They are highly driven, incredibly energetic, and exceptionally confident dogs that have a high tolerance for pain. All of these traits allow them to perform remarkably not just for herding but also in the police, military, and personal protection work.
To be certified working line German Shepherd dogs, the dogshave to meet very specific physical and mental characteristicsset by TheGerman Shepherd Club of German , along with a few morespecifications. The dogs cannot carry the gene for hip dysplasia and have tohave earned the working title in Schutzhund, Herding or Police Serviceactivities.
Working line German Shepherd dogs have exceptional standards that they must meet:
- The dog has to be eager to repeatedly perform tasks with confidence and energy.
- Are required to be loyal and show poise around strangers and children.
- They are required to have nerves of steel they should not falter from tasks around loud noises like traffic and gunshots.
Unlike their show line counterparts, the working line is smaller and more agile, with a shorter coat so it can perform duties with more ease.
Show Lines Generally
West German Working Line German Shepherds
Max von Stephanitz, the founder of the German Shepherd breed, would be proud of this breed because they come the closest to the dogs bred by him.
This breed is known for its incredible ability and agility for work, soft stable temperament and robust working drive.
They love to play the protector and would enjoy activities such as rescue and search and high-intensity sport.
Some of the defining features of the West German working line German Shepherd include:
- The West German working line is blessed with the right temperament and personality which makes it a fantastic house pet.
- They are strong, agile and excellent and listening and understanding.
- They are uniformly black with brown legs, though sometimes you can see a variation, which tends to be very rare.
- They have a sloppy back.
- They are a very convenient breed to keep as pets as they are calm and relaxed.
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East German Working Line German Shepherds
The East German Shepherd traces back its origin to the 1940s and 1950s, during the period following World War II.
It is a result of controlled closed breeding which is why it has a very distinctive appearance. They are commonly used in military and rescue operations.
They are also considered to be the purest of all breeds of German Shepherds.
Some of the defining features of the East German working line German Shepherd include:
- This dog breed is wolfish in nature because of its unparalleled strength.
- They have a very stable temperament even bordering on the obedient if trained well.
- They are dark colored and come in blacks and browns.
- They have long back legs which is typical of working line dogs as opposed to their showing line counterparts.
- They are sturdy, have a great working drive and like to be occupied.
- If they are left for long periods without engaging in any activity, they may betray signs of boredom or even turn destructive in some cases.
- They come with a big head and a very aesthetic-looking body.
- They are definitely not going to complement first-time dog owners.
East German Shepherd / Ddr German Shepherd
East German Shepherds hail from East Germany, which once used to be a separate country called Deutsche Demokratische Republik, shortened as DDR. While you dont have to figure out how to pronounce Demokratische or Deutsche, you need to learn how to handle these high-energy dogs.
With cappuccino and tan swapped with sable or sober grey, East German Shepherds have a darker appearance with prominent black fur across their backs. They are smaller than Show Line GSDs but not by too much. At least height-wise, the bigger DDR Shepherds match smaller show line shepherds.
Their backs alongside their fur color give away the difference, though. There will be no arch or slope in an East German Shepherds back because they were literally bred for patrol, and asymmetry between front and back limbs would be disadvantageous for such work.
Though working line German Shepherds are relatively cheaper than show line shepherds, East German GSDs might be an exception as their prices can come pretty close to the top tier show variety.
Thats because pure DDRs are hard to find and live healthier due to genetic predisposition to the illness being ruthlessly bred out at the stud-selection stage back in the days of Deutsche Demokratische Republik.
Aside from living longer, these dogs work better due to discipline and work readiness being factored in by the DDRs breeding program that led to the breeds creation.
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Difference Between Show Line And Working Line German Shepherds
The working line German shepherd has a thicker and straight body structure relative to the show lines.
The German shepherd working lines have distinct characteristics that differentiate them from their counterparts, the show lines.
First, working line German shepherds are bred and trained specifically for work, which involves having the mindset to perform under pressure and the desire to work at all.
The working line German shepherd also has a thicker and straight body structure relative to the show lines, who have thinner and have slanted backs due to their hind legs being shorter than their front legs.
The hind legs of working line German shepherds are longer than those of show lines, and they also have a medium-length double coat for higher tolerance in adverse climatic conditions.
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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West German Show Line German Shepherds
Probably the most gorgeous looking of all varieties of German Shepherds, this breed will certainly pique your interest.
It is said that this German Shepherd is bred for its beauty but it is not just that. This dog species will offer you much more and make great pets and protectors.
Some of the defining features of the West German show line German Shepherd include:
- The West German show line shepherd is bestowed with a sober temperament which makes them ideal house pets
- They usually come in deeper tones of the saddle and red but not dark such as black and tan
- They dont have perfectly chiseled and angled back as compared to the working line shepherds
- They have a fuller face
- They love socialization and will surely enjoy some training activities
West German Shepherds Need A Lot Of Mental Stimulation
Because theyre bred solely for practical purposes, these canines are extremely smart. While this makes them able to pick up on training very quickly, they also need a lot of mental stimulation.
For this reason, we only recommend them for people who have a lot of extra time on their hands. It will take quite a bit of time each day to keep these dogs entertained. Training is a necessity if only because it challenges your dogs mind.
West German Show Line German Shepherd Dog
The West German Shepherd is the opposite of the East German Shepherd and is said to be the most closely related breed line to Max von Stephanitz’s original dog.
West German Shepherds are available in both show and working lines, but show lines are the most popular because their appearance is regarded the breed standard. Their backs are more slanted than an East German Shepherd’s, and they aren’t as physically robust, yet they can still hold their own in comparison.
Photo source: Vom Ragnar
If you compare a West German Show Line German Shepherd, to the American Show Line, you will notice that West German Line are not lazy as their American peers. They are better house protectors, and they are more excited about training and hard work.
As American Show Line, the West German Show Line is also a great choice for first-time German Shepherd or dog owners. This GSD type is an excellent family dog.
They are loyal, very protective, and love to be always in good company. No matter how big and scary they look, they are friendly, especially with the children, but you should never leave alone your kids with your German Shepherd until they are big enough to understand whats dog really is.
The recommended activity time for West German Shepherd is around 60 minutes per day . If you dont treat them properly, they can become destroying machines and depressed. Make sure that you every day tire your German Shepherd. A tired dog is a healthy and good dog.
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German Show Line Vs American German Shepherd
There are two versions of universally recognized show line GSDs that are considered the standards for the breed American show line German Shepherd and German show line German Shepherd.
Although both are bred for showing and are from the same meta ancestor, they possess certain contrasting traits. The differences in their bloodline characteristics can be easily identified and include predominantly physical characteristics, health concerns, and registration procedures.
Czech Shepherd German Working Lines
These dogs were a result of the communist reign in Czechoslovakia, where they were made to patrol the borders. They are reputed for their unparalleled ability to work. They can handle incredibly long working hours in abject conditions while managing to stay perky and motivated. They can execute tasks well due to their incredible agility and commendable strength, creating an attitude of far more intensity than most other breeds of German Shepherd.
These dogs were a result of the East German Shepherd, who was already subjected to a rigorous breeding regulation. The Czech further tightened the breeding regulations, leading to arguably the most powerful, well-rounded breed of German Shepherd available.
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How Warm Is A German Shepherd Coat
Because of their double coat, most German Shepherds can withstand temperatures as low as 30°F . Even chilly temperatures are not a problem for long-haired GSDs. However, age, health issues, activity level, and weight may all have an impact on their ability to withstand the cold.
The typical normal human body temperature is 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit . According to some research, the “normal” body temperature can range from 97°F to 99°F .
For German Shepherd, things are a little bit different. The usual body temperature of a German Shepherd is 101° to 102.5° Fahrenheit , which is much higher than the 97.6° to 99.6° Fahrenheit of humans.
German Shepherd fever is defined as a temperature of more than 103°F. When the temperature rises above 106 degrees Fahrenheit , significant and even fatal complications might arise.
West German Shepherd Appearance
Western German Shepherds may have a straighter back and be bred for practical purposes. These breeders usually produce their dogs for use as protection and companion animals not for shows. So, they often have a stricter focus on practical traits.
These dogs usually have compact torsos. They are thicker across the chest and look slightly squatted. However, they are not nearly as hunched over like some other variations of German Shepherds.
Sometimes, these dogs are imported from Germany . This will affect their traits and appearance. They are usually further away from what youd expect a modern German Shepherd to look like.
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A Great Nanny For Your Kids
They could become a great nanny for your kids. Heres the story from one dog owner who raised by German Shepherd when he was a kid:
I dont remember this. I only got hearsay, from someone else. When I was a baby my mother used our GSD as my babysitter. My mother would put me in a bassinette, or whatever you call those things you put babies in, on the front porch. Go to the backyard and tell our GSD to go check on the baby. My mother would then run through the house to watch what was happening.
The dog would gently put her paws on the edge of my bed. If I was asleep she would lay down beside my bed. If I was awake she would tear around the house faster than my mother could run through it to tell her I was awake. Later she simply laid down beside my bed or, if she could, beside me.
Again, Ive only been told of this, dont remember it. I was crawling, not walking. If I could get a grip on her fur I could walk. Walk hell! I could run 30 miles an hour until she jumped the fence. I was called by our family and neighbors, The Kid Who Was Raised By a Dog.