Being possibly the world’s most popular and recognisable dog breeds the German Shepherd Blood line has split and segregated around the world. Unlike most breeds the German Shepherd has many different purebred strains depending on where in the world they originate. This has led to many different German Shepherd breed types all with their own characteristics, size, shape, coat and temperaments.
In all there is 5 different purebred breed types and it is important to understand the traits of each when making the choice to make a German Shepherd the newest addition to your family. If you are looking at adding a German Shepherd to your family then read on
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American & Canadian Show Line
The most popular breed line in America since the 70s the American Show Line or AKC Line as it is commonly known are a bloodline of German Shepherds in America that has been bred to compete in dog shows. America has one of the largest GSD populations in the world.
The American show line is bred for their physical appearance and is often considered more attractive than other GSD lines. An American Show Line GSD will be evaluated on its size (specifically body angle and gait), the way they move, and their color. An American Show Line German Shepherd will often be taller than many other lines of GSD. A well-bred American Show Line GSD will be too laid back to be a working or protection dog and instead will make a fantastic family pet as they are often less physically demanding than other GSD lines.
West German Show Lines
Possibly the best looking of all the German Shepherd lines the West German Show Line are known for their sculpted, bulked appearance. West German Show lines have a strong build and are known for their rich deep pigment. West German show lines are capable of completing some working tasks and make excellent house protectors. They are more energetic than their American counterparts however and love to get kits if exercise and be trained frequently. The West German Show line will also
West German Working Line
The West German Working Line is the closest of all the blood lines to what the breeds originator Max von Stephanitz envisaged for the breed. Von Stephanitz vision was for a dog that had the right personality and temperament before their looks. This line of GSD are what you will most associate with Police or Forces working dogs.
West German Working Line German Shepherds are amazing workers and are bred to be highly capable, intelligent and dependable workers. Although bred for their drive to work the West German Working line are actually quite a placid temperament dog making them able to respond to their owner or handler in a stressful situation. They are excellent sport and working dogs and have the stamina to last for hours on end in the field. West German Working lines loyalty make them perfect for a family who are keen fitness buffs and constantly out on the go.
DDR / East German Working Line
The DDR / East German working line was developed after Germany split at the end of World War II. The line was initially strictly maintained by the government of East Germany and as a result of trade not being possible between the two sides no dilution of the breed occurred. For a German Shepherd to quality for this line, it must not have Hip Dysplasia and be free from other health complaints. All pure DDR/East German puppies are checked to ensure that bones coats health and attitude comply with the strict standards.
The East German line is distinctively dark looking. DDR/East German GSD’s have strong bones and large heads. They are bred to have a pleasant temperament with a high work drive., due to the stimulation they require an experienced owner is needed
Czech Working Line
The Czech working line was the result of communist reign in Czechoslovakia and the need for a border patrol dog. They have an unbelievable ability to work, being able to work long hours in awful weather conditions while not appearing to loose any motivation or strength. The Czech working line is agile, strong and far more intense than any other German Shepherd Breed type. They are arguably the most powerful of all the breed lines.
The Czech working line will often be dark in color and uniquely to German Shepherd breed types they originate from a single kennel, the Pohranicni Straze kennel. The Czech working line is an intense breed line and need an awful lot of mental and physical stimulation.
Which German Shepherd Breed Type is right for me?
As you can see, although all different types of the same breed each different breed type has their own unique attributes. When looking to purchase a German Shepherd you should consider these questions before deciding which breed type to bring into your home.
- What time can I give to my German Shepherd for both stimulation and training?
- What do I want form my German Shepherd?
- How experienced am I?
- Can I handle the Breed Types requirements?
Only when you answer these four questions and then compare these to the individual line traits can you truly have an understanding of the best line for you and your family.