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The German Shepherd Dog


Country of origin

  • Max Emil Friedrich von Stephanitz (December 30, 1864 – 22 April 1936) was a German dog breeder who is credited with having developed the German Shepherd Dog breed as it is currently known. Captain von Stephanitz defined the guidelines for the breed standard, and he was the first president of the Verein für Deutsche Schäferhunde (S.V.).

  • FCI-Standard-Nr. 166/23.03.2010/D

    • FCI classification

      • Group 1 - Guard dogs and herd dogs

      • Section 1 - Herd dogs with working trial

  • Colour: Black with red-brown, brown, yellow to light yellow marks. Black and grey unicoloured


  • Sport and family dog, service and guard dog, rescue and therapy dog, guide dog, herd dog

  • The German Shepherd dog is a secure and self-confident, robust, natural, attentive, very resistant physically and mentally.

  • Good and secure social behavior, gets along very well with humans and animals in the family environment after corresponding socialization.

  • Active dog that needs regular exercise (walks, swimming, cycling, jogging, dog sports) in order to be balanced.

  • Size and weight:

    • Dogs: 60-65cm, 30-40kg

    • Bitches: 55-60cm, 22-32kg

One of the iconic characteristics of the German shepherd is its versatility: The GSD wants to be challenged and stimulated. The GSDs therefore need regular physical and mental exercise to stay healthy and fit. German Shepherds that are challenged and stimulated enough are more balanced in their nature, more obedient and satisfied. To achieve this is the dog handler's tasks - as the team can only face up to the different disciplines if the necessary trust exists and the communication between the human and dog functions flawlessly.


Training is absolutely necessary but do not expect too much from puppies too quickly. It is not very difficult to educate a German shepherd, as the breed is indeed a very capable of working dog breed.  Consistent, patience and understanding are basic requisites.

People who have never trained a dog before will understandably have many questions. It is not the dog that makes mistakes, does not want to learn or is disobedient - the problem is usually at the other end of the leash.

WGSDCA Member Clubs therefore regularly organise training seminars where participants will learn the basics under the direction of experienced trainers using modern training methods. Check our seminar event calendar for more information.

If a dog and handler are a well-rehearsed sportive team, they can prove themselves and be awarded working titles and participate in WGSDCA sanctioned Club, State and National Championship trials - perhaps even qualify to go to international competitions. Click here to get further information about working titles.

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