German Shepherd

Breeds and features
The German Shepherd is a prevalent and versatile breed known for its intelligence, loyalty, and versatility. Here is some crucial information about German Shepherds:

Origin: The German Shepherd breed originated in Germany in the late 19th century, primarily as a herding and working dog.

Size: German Shepherds are a medium to large-sized breed. Adult males typically stand between 24 and 26 inches (61 and 66 cm) tall at the shoulder and weigh between 65 and 90 pounds (29 and 41 kg). Adult females are slightly smaller, standing 22-24 inches (56-61 cm) tall and weighing 50-70 pounds (23-32 kg).
German Shepherd
Coat: They have a dense double coat with a straight or slightly wavy outer coat and a thick undercoat. Coat colors include black and tan, sable, solid black, and solid white (although white is less common and not accepted in some breed standards).

Temperament: German Shepherds are known for their intelligence, loyalty, and protective nature. They are often used as working dogs in roles such as police work, search and rescue, and assistance dogs due to their trainability and versatility.

Intelligence: German Shepherds are highly intelligent and eager to learn, making them excellent candidates for obedience training and dog sports.

Exercise Needs: They are active and require regular exercise and mental stimulation. Daily walks, playtime, and engaging activities are essential for their well-being.

Training: German Shepherds excel in obedience training and thrive when given tasks to perform. They are often used as working dogs and can be protective and loyal to their owners.

Lifespan: On average, German Shepherds have a lifespan of around 9 to 13 years.

Health: While generally a healthy breed, German Shepherds can be prone to specific health issues such as hip and elbow dysplasia, degenerative myelopathy, and bloat. Regular veterinary check-ups and a balanced diet are essential for their overall health.

Popularity: German Shepherds are consistently ranked among the most popular dog breeds in the United States and many other countries.

Activities: They excel in various dog sports and activities, including agility, tracking, and protection work.

Family Dogs: German Shepherds can make excellent family pets when properly socialized and trained. They are protective of their families and can be gentle with children.

German Shepherds are known for their versatility and dedication, making them valued members of families and important working dogs in various fields.
FCI Standard FCI No. 166 (07.08.1996)

ORIGIN: Germany.
APPLICATION: Universal service dog (shepherd, guard, etc.).
FCI CLASSIFICATION: Group 1. Sheepdogs and Cattledogs (except Swiss Cattledogs).
Section 1. Sheepdogs.

With working trial.

BRIEF HISTORICAL SUMMARY: According to the official decision of the German Shepherd Union (Verein für Deutsche Schäferhunde) based in Augsburg, as a member of the German Kennel Club (Verband für das Deutsche Hundewesen eV, VDH), and recognized as the breed's umbrella organization, it is responsible for the German Shepherd standard. This standard was initially drafted at the first meeting of the union members in Frankfurt am Main on September 20, 1899, proposed by A. Meyer and von Stephanitz. Amendments to the standard were made at the 6th meeting of members on July 28, 1901, at the 23rd meeting in Cologne on September 17, 1909, at the Council of Leaders and the Advisory Committee meeting in Wiesbaden, Germany, on September 5, 1930, and at the Council of Leaders and the Breed Commission meeting on March 25, 1961. The standard was revised and adopted by the World Union of German Shepherds (Weltunion für Deutsche Schäferhunde, WUSV) on August 30, 1976, reviewed and reorganized according to the decision of the Council of Leaders and the Advisory Committee on March 23-24, 1991.
GENERAL APPEARANCE: The German Shepherd is a medium-sized, slightly stretched, strong, and muscular dog with a solid bone structure and robust constitution.

BEHAVIOR AND TEMPERAMENT: The German Shepherd should be well-balanced, self-assured (with strong nerves), confident, generally calm (except when provoked), good-natured, attentive, and easily trainable. They must possess courage, combativeness, and resilience to fulfill their role as working dogs: companion, guard, herder, etc.

HEAD: Wedge-shaped and proportionate to the body, meaning its length should be approximately 40% of the height at the withers, not coarse nor too elongated. Dry overall, moderately broad between the ears. The forehead is slightly rounded when viewed from the front and the side, with a subtle or nonexistent median furrow.

The ratio of the skull to the face is 50% to 50%. The width of the skull should approximately match its length. When viewed from above, the cranial box evenly narrows from the ears to the tip of the nose and gradually transitions into the wedge-shaped snout with a gradual, not-too-sharp transition from the forehead to the muzzle. The nose bridge should be straight; any deviation or bump is undesirable. Lips should be dry, tight-fitting, and of dark color.

NOSE: It should be black.

TEETH: Should be strong and healthy, with a complete set of 42 teeth according to the dental formula. The German Shepherd should have a scissor bite, meaning the incisors of the upper jaw should slightly overlap those of the lower jaw in a scissor-like manner. A straight bite, undershot, or overshot are defects, as are significant gaps between the teeth (diastema). The linear alignment of incisors is also incorrect. The jawbones should be well developed so the teeth are firmly set in the alveoli.

EYES: Medium-sized, almond-shaped, set slightly obliquely, not protruding. Eye color should be as dark as possible. Light-colored eyes with a piercing gaze are undesirable as they affect the dog's expression.

EARS: The German Shepherd has medium-sized erect ears held vertically, parallel to each other (not converging inward). They taper towards the tips, and the ear cartilage opens toward the front. Semi-erect or hanging ears are defects. Ears laid back in motion or at rest are not a fault.

NECK: The neck should be strong, muscular, and without dewlap (no loose skin under the throat). The angle of the neck's inclination to the horizontal should be approximately 45 degrees.

BODY: The top line is continuous, stretching from the base of the neck through well-defined withers and along the back, gradually sloping down to a slightly sloped croup. The back is strong, muscular, and solid. The loin is broad, well-developed, and athletic. The croup should be extended, slightly sloping (approximately 23 degrees to the horizontal), and smoothly transition into the tail's base.

Chest: Moderately broad, with the breastbone as long as possible and the lower chest well developed. The depth of the chest should be 45-48% of the height at the withers. Barrel-shaped or overly flat ribs are defects.

TAIL: Reaches at least to the hock joint but not beyond the middle of the metatarsus. The underside of the tail has slightly longer hair. The tail hangs down in a gentle curve while at rest. When excited or in motion, the tail is raised but should not rise above the horizontal line. Surgical correction is prohibited.


FRONT PART: When viewed from all sides, the front legs are straight, and when viewed from the front, they are parallel. The shoulder blades and upper arms are equal in length, muscular, and firmly attached to the body. The angle between the shoulder blade and the upper arm is ideal at 90 degrees but generally up to 110 degrees.

Elbows should not be turned inward or outward at rest or in motion. The forearms are straight, parallel, dry, and muscular when viewed from all sides. The pastern is approximately 1/3 the forearm's length at an angle of 20-22 degrees. Weak pasterns (angle greater than 22 degrees) or steep pasterns (angle less than 20 degrees) affect the dog's working ability, especially its endurance.

Front Paws: Round, in compact shape, with arched toes; the pads are firm, not cracked, and the nails are strong and dark in color.

REAR PART: The hind legs are set slightly backward; when viewed from behind, they are parallel. The thighs and lower legs are approximately equal in length and form an angle of about 120 degrees, being muscular and sturdy. The hock joints are strong and steady. The metatarsals stand vertically under the hock joints.

Rear Paws: Compact, slightly arched; the pads are hard and dark in color, and the nails are strong, arched, and also dark in color.

MOVEMENT: The German Shepherd is an agile dog. The limbs should be coordinated in length and angles of articulation so that, without any noticeable change in the top line, the hind legs can push the body forward while the front legs are carried on at an equal distance. Any tendency to hackneyed movement reduces stability, endurance, and, as a result, the ability to work. Proper body proportions and articulation angles result in smooth, flowing strides that give the impression of effortless forward propulsion. The extended head and raised tail lead to an even, steady gait, demonstrating a softly curved, unbroken top line from the tips of the ears, through the neck, and back to the advice of the tail.

SKIN: The skin should be tightly fitting without any wrinkles.
German Shepherd say woof

HAIR: The correct coat of the German Shepherd is double-coated (Stockhaar), with a topcoat and undercoat. The topcoat should be as dense as possible, straight, harsh, and close-fitting to the body. The hair is short on the head, inside of the ears, front side of the legs, paws, and toes. It is slightly longer and denser on the neck. The hair is longer on the back of the legs, from the hock to the paws, forming moderate trousers on the hind side of the thighs.

COLOR: Black with tan, brown, yellow to light gray markings. Solid black or solid gray. Bicolors display black saddle and mask. Small white markings on the chest and inner surfaces are permissible but not desired. The nose should be black for all colors. Dogs without a mask, light eyes, white markings on the chest and inner surfaces, pale claws, and a red tail tip are considered to have insufficient pigmentation. The undercoat displays a light gray tone. The white coloring is not allowed.


Males: Height at the withers 24-26 inches,
Weight 66-88 lbs.

Females: Height at the withers 22-24 inches,
Weight 49-71 lbs.

The length of the body is approximately 10-17% longer than the height at the withers.

FAULTS: Any departure from the points mentioned above should be considered a fault, the degree to be in exact proportion to the degree of deviation.


• Any deviation from the abovementioned breed characteristics that affect the dog's working ability.

• Ear faults: Ears are too low, soft tips, and ears point towards each other. Floppy ears.

• Serious pigmentation faults.

• Serious deviations from the robust and sturdy type of build.

• Dental faults: All deviations from the scissor bite and correct dental formula, unless listed as disqualifying faults below.


• Weak temperament and nervous system, a biting dog.
• Dogs with deformed ears or tails.
• Dogs with developmental defects.
• Dogs with missing teeth:

One-third premolar (P3) plus one additional tooth, or one canine, or one-fourth premolar (P4), or one first or second molar (M1 or M2), or a total of three or more missing teeth.

• Dogs with jaw defects, undershot bite greater than 2 mm, overshot bite; level bite formed by all 12 incisors.
• Deviation from a standard height above or below by more than 1 cm.
• Albinism.
• White coat (even with dark eyes and nails).
• Long topcoat (long, soft, non-smooth topcoat with undercoat, frills behind the ears and legs, fluffy trousers, and a fluffy tail with fringes - Langstockhaar).
• Long hair (long, soft topcoat without undercoat, usually splits down the middle of the back, furnishings on the ears, legs, and tail - Langhaar).

NOTE: Males must have two normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.
German Shepherd say woof blog
International Canine Federation - FCI


GERMAN SHEPHERD DOG STANDARD No. 166-b With us in FCI in the latest edition 12/04 / nineteen seventy-seven

The German Shepherd Society WUSV first adopted the standard, which is part of the Union of German Dog Breeders VDH. SV is the organization that developed this breed and is responsible for setting its standards.

General appearance. The German Shepherd is a medium-sized dog. The ideal height at the withers for males is 62.5 cm. For females, it is 57.5 cm. A deviation in height of up to 2.5 cm is allowed. Deviations in height greater than 2.5 cm significantly reduce the working and breeding value of the dog.

The German Shepherd has a slightly elongated, muscular body with well-developed musculature. The bone structure of the German Shepherd is dry, and its constitution is strong. The proportions of the dog's height to its length, shape, placement of its limbs, and angles should provide a graceful stride sustained over a long period. The German Shepherd should have a coat that protects it in all weather conditions. Sexual dimorphism should be pronounced.

Efforts should be made to produce dogs with good conformation while not compromising their working qualities. A German Shepherd that conforms to the standard should give the impression of primal strength, intelligence, agility, complete harmony, and proportion in its stature. When assessing movement and behavior, one should conclude that the saying "a healthy mind in a healthy body" is appropriate, and thus, all physical and mental prerequisites for maintaining working qualities under the most significant and extended loads are present.

Only an experienced expert can accurately assess the degree of a German Shepherd's working qualities. Therefore, judges at trials must specialize in judging German Shepherds. These judges should also consider the dog's temperament, including its reaction to gunfire, and the "excellent" rating for breeding suitability can only be obtained if the dog has the required training.

A temperamentful dog must unquestionably obey the trainer, adapt to any training, and work joyfully. The German Shepherd should demonstrate courage and determination when protecting its owner or his property and actively attack someone on the owner's command. However, in ordinary circumstances, it should be attentive, obedient, and pleasant, showing no aggression towards people living in the same house, especially children, strangers, and animals. Overall, the German Shepherd should give the impression of harmony, natural nobility, and self-confidence.

Limb angles and movements. The German Shepherd's natural way of moving is trotting. The dog's limbs should have such angles of articulation that the dog can extend its hindquarters forward to the middle of the body without significantly altering the position of the back. At the same time, the front legs move forward as much as necessary to ensure active linear movement. With the correct proportion of body length to height and appropriate limb length, the German Shepherd should have a flowing, ground-covering gait that moves parallel to the ground and creates the impression of tireless linear movement. During movement with a calm and steady trot, the dog's head is extended forward, the tail is slightly raised, and the top line, which runs from the tips of the ears through the neck and back to the advice of the tail, is smooth and descending.

Temperament, behavior characteristics, genetic predisposition. A robust nervous system, attentiveness, natural behavior, obedience, protective instinct, loyalty, incorruptibility, courage, combat instinct, and determination of action are the most essential qualities of a purebred German Shepherd. These qualities allow the German Shepherd to be considered a service dog in general and especially as a guard, patrol, protective, or herding dog. The German Shepherd's excellent sense of smell and ability to move at a trot allows it to calmly and confidently track a trail without straining or lowering its head almost to the ground. These qualities enable German Shepherds to be widely used in search and rescue services.
Blog Say Woof German Shepjerd
Head. The head, in proportion to its size, should be proportional to the body. (The length of the head is usually about 40% of the dog's height at the withers.) The head should not be coarse, too light, or overly elongated and should be moderately broad between the ears. The forehead is slightly rounded without or with a pronounced, somewhat transverse furrow when viewed from the front and the side. The cheeks are rounded with a smooth transition. The cranial part of the head (which comprises approximately 50% of the entire head length) gradually and evenly narrows when viewed from above, from the ears to the tip of the nose. The eyebrows are not strongly pronounced and are positioned at a certain angle to each other. The jaws are large, the lips are dry, taut, and completely cover the teeth. The line of the muzzle is almost parallel to the line of the forehead.

Dental system. It should be healthy, strong, and complete (42 teeth: 20 in the upper jaw and 22 in the lower jaw). The German Shepherd should have a scissor bite. Straight bite, undershot bite, or overshot bite are faults. The jaws should be firm and well-developed, and the teeth should sit deep in the gums. Gaps between teeth are a fault.

Ears. Medium-sized, broad at the base, set high, standing (not falling to the side), and pointed upwards. The earlobes are directed forward. Semi-pricked, hanging, and cropped ears are faults. Hanging ears can significantly spoil the dog's appearance, but in puppies and young dogs during teething, the ears may sometimes turn or tip to the side until six months of age or even longer. Many dogs press their ears in motion or lie, which is not a fault.

Eyes. Medium-sized, almond-shaped, slightly slanted but not protruding. The eye color should correspond to the coat color, but darker is preferable. The expression of the eyes should be lively, alert, and confident.

Neck. Strong, sturdy, with well-developed musculature, without a dewlap. The neck is held at an angle of approximately 45 degrees to the horizontal line, becoming slightly higher when excited and lower during running.

Body. The length of the body should be greater than the height at the withers and constitute 110-117% of the height. Dogs with a shortened body, square format, or high-legged dogs are undesirable. The chest should be deep (45-48% of the height at the withers) and moderately broad. The lower part of the chest should be as long and sculpted as possible, extending slightly below the elbows. The ribs should have a good shape and length. They should not be barrel-shaped or flat and should reach the sternum, which ends at the level of the dog's elbow joints. The correct shape of the ribcage ensures free movement of the elbows while trotting. An excessively round ribcage obstructs elbow movement and can cause dislocations. An overly flat chest promotes narrow elbow placement, with the chest being strongly drawn back, and the width of the chest is relatively short. The abdomen should be moderately tucked up. The withers should be high, long, and noticeably prominent compared to the back. The transition from the withers to the back should be smooth. The top line should be smooth and descending. The back and loin should be well-developed. The loin is long and slightly sloping (the angle of inclination of the croup to the back line is approximately 23 degrees). The sacral and coccygeal bones form the base of the croup. Excessive angulation of the croup or the absence of angulation is undesirable.

Tail. Bushy, well-furred, extending below the hock joint but not hanging more than half-plus an inch. In a calm state, the tail should be lowered and have the shape of a smooth curve. During the dog's excitement, the tail bends more and is slightly raised, but not above the back line. The tail should not curl into a ring or lie on the back. Surgical tail corrections are not allowed.

Front Limbs. The shoulder blade should be extended, sloping (at an angle of 45 degrees), and closely attached to the chest. The upper arm is attached to the shoulder blade and forms an angle of approximately 90 degrees. The upper arm should also have robust and well-developed musculature. The forearms are straight, and the bones of the forearms and upper arms have an oval shape rather than a round one from all sides. The pasterns are strong, with a moderate angle (approximately 20 degrees from the vertical line). The elbows should not turn outward. The length of the forearms should exceed the depth of the chest and be approximately 55% of the height at the withers.

Hind Limbs. The thighs are broad, with strong musculature. The femur is long and forms an angle of about 120 degrees with the tibia (which should be slightly longer than the femur), similar to the angle formed at the knee joint. The knee joint is located approximately at the same level as the elbow joint. The hock joint should be dry and sturdy. The hind limbs should be strong and muscular to allow the dog to move quickly and freely.

Paws. Round, with short toes, tightly clenched and arched. Paw pads should be challenging but not brittle. The nails should be quick and intense, of a dark color. Extra toes can occur (they should be removed in puppies at a few days old).

Coat Color. Black with even brown, red, yellow, or gray markings. Sable (with a black back), bi-color gray or bi-color red with various shades, solid black, solid gray, or gray with a light or brown marking. Small white markings on the chest or very light markings on the inner sides of the limbs are permissible but not desirable. The nose must be black regardless of the coat color. Dogs with or without a weak mask, yellow or light eyes, prominent white spots on the chest or limbs, light claws, a light tail tip, or an overall unclear or weak coloration are considered weakly pigmented. The undercoat in all dogs, except black ones, always has a grayish tint. The final color in puppies is determined only after the guard's hair has grown.


Stock-haired German Shepherd. The guard's hair is dense. Individual guard hairs are straight, harsh, and lie close to the body. The hair is short on the head (including the inner part of the earlobes), front sides of the limbs, paws, and toes. On the neck, it is longer and thicker. On the rear sides of the limbs, the hair is longer, extending to the base of the pasterns on the front limbs and the hock joint on the hind limbs. Moderate-sized "pants" are formed on the thighs. The length of the hair varies, resulting in transitional forms. An excessively short, Doberman-like coat is a fault.
German Shepherd view
Long-haired Stock-haired German Shepherd. Some hairs are long but not always straight and do not lie close to the body. Long hair is mainly located on the inner part of the ears behind the ears and the rear sides of the hocks. Often, trimming is formed behind the ears and on the forelimbs. The "pants" are dense and long, and the tail is heavily furred, with noticeable fringe on the lower side. Breeding long-haired, stock-haired German Shepherds is not recommended because they are less tolerant of adverse weather conditions. However, if the breeding rules of national clubs allow it, such dogs can be used for breeding if they have sufficient undercoat.

Long-haired German Shepherd. The coat is significantly longer than the previous type, usually very soft, and often wavy on the back. The undercoat is present only on the thighs or may be absent entirely. Long-haired German Shepherds often have a narrow chest and a narrow, elongated muzzle. Their suitability for work is significantly reduced due to their poor tolerance of adverse weather conditions. Breeding such dogs is not recommended.

Faults. All defects that reduce the dog's ability to perform work decrease endurance and working qualities, especially violations of sexual dimorphism. Traits are not typical for the German Shepherd, such as sluggishness, weak nervous system, excessive excitability, cowardice, lack of liveliness, and unwillingness to work. Cryptorchidism, both unilateral and complete (including underdeveloped testicles), soft or delicate constitution, weakened pigmentation, blue eyes, albinism, white coat (or almost white with a black nose), excessive or insufficient height, proportional deviations (high-leadenness, front-leadenness, short format), light or coarse bone structure, softback, straight angles of the front and rear limbs, as well as all defects that affect endurance and the character of the movement. A too blunt, short, weak, sharp, or elongated muzzle, all deviations from the scissor bite, vulnerable teeth. Too fast, long, or soft hair, absence of undercoat. Hanging or soft ears, closely set ears. Curled or laid-back tail, stub tail, an overall incorrect tail carriage.