German Shepherd Dog
(AKC Herding Group)
German Shepherd Dog

The German Shepherd Dog is an athletic, agile, muscular dog, longer than tall, with a smoothly curved outline. The withers are higher than the back, so the topline slopes slightly from front to rear. Ruggedly noble, with a chiseled strong head and longish muzzle. The ears are erect, moderately pointed, and open to the front. The nose is black (or else the dog is disqualified from showing). The dark eyes are medium-sized and almond-shaped. The teeth should meet in a scissors bite. The long saber tail is bushy and hangs down at least to the hock. The front legs are straight. Dewclaws on the front legs are generally left on, though any on the back legs are removed. The dense double coat lies close and straight. Any colors except white, liver, or blue are acceptable. It's best if the colors are strong. The ideal weight is not described in the standard.


One of the most versatile breeds, the German Shepherd Dog probably originated from crosses of several shepherd breeds in Germany. It was created in the late 1800s in a quest for a shepherd that could both guard and herd flocks. As demand for a shepherd decreased, it was modified to serve as a police and war dog. The breed is so intelligent and learns so readily that it has been used as a sheepdog, as a guard, in police work, as a guide for the blind, in search and rescue service, and in the military. The German Shepherd also excels in many other dog activities, including Schutzhund, tracking, obedience, agility, flyball, and ring sport. His fine nose can sniff out drugs and intruders, and alert handlers to the presence of underground mines in time to avoid detonation, or gas leaks in pipes buried 15 feet underground. The German Shepherd is also a popular show dog and family companion.

Key Facts:



Direct and fearless, eager and alert. Bold, cheerful, and obedient. Known for his tremendous loyalty and courage. Calmly confident, but not hostile. Serious. Almost human in his intelligence.