German Shepherd Dog Club of Oklahoma
German Shepherd Dog History
Derived from the old breeds of herding and farm dogs, and associated for centuries with man as
servant and companion, the German Shepherd Dog has been subject to intensive development.
Sponsored by the Verein fur Deutsche Schaferhunde, the parent club of the breed founded in 1899
in Germany, the cult of the Shepherd spread rapidly from about 1914 onward in many parts of the
world. Interest in the breed has been fostered by specialty clubs in many lands as it has been in the
United States by the German Shepherd Dog Club of America.
Considering first the more important side of the dog, its character, the Shepherd is distinguished for
loyalty, courage, and the ability to assimilate and retain training for a number of special services.
He should be of equable disposition, poised, unexcitable, and with well-controlled nerves. For his
typical work as a herding sheepdog, he must not be gun shy and must have courage to protect his
flock from attacks, either animal or human. For his work as a police dog, a development which
followed upon his natural aptitude for training, he must have this courage and in addition must be
able to make use of the excellent nose which he usually possesses. In his work as a leader of the
blind, the Shepherd must and does exhibit a high order of intelligence and discrimination involving
the qualities of observation, patience, faithful watchfulness, and even, to a certain degree, the
exercise of judgement.
These qualities, which have endeared the German Shepherd Dog to a wide public in practically
every country of the globe, are those of the companion,, protector, and friend. The German
Shepherd is not a pugnacious brawler, but a bold and punishing fighter if need be. In his relation to
man he does not give affection lightly; he has plenty of dignity and some suspicion of strangers, but
his friendship, once given, is given for life.
On the physical side, the German Shepherd Dog has been developed to a point of almost ideal
fitness for the work he is called upon to do. He is a dog of middle size with enough weight to be
effective as a herder or patrolman, but not enough to be cumbersome or unwieldy.
The impression of the dog as a whole is one of ruggedness combined with nobility, of power
combined with agility. There should be a sense of balance, forequarters and hindquarters
compensating each other in their development. The outline should be smooth and flowing, and the
topline of the dog, from the ear to the tip of the tail, a single sweeping succession of unbroken
curves. The German Shepherd Dog is a natural dog, unchanged for any whim of the show ring.
Did You Know?
1. The German Shepherd Dog is distinguished for loyalty, courage, and the ability to assimilate and
retain training for a number of services; he is not pugnacious, as his reputation posits him to be, but
a bold and punishing fighter is need be.
2. The German Shepherd Dog is one of the most popular and recognized breed of the AKC.
3. German Shepherd Dogs are utilized often as police dogs, service dogs, agility dogs,
conformation dogs, obedience dogs, and sentinels. Their high trainability and extreme loyalty and
commitment make them an excellent choice for any agenda.
4. In terms of show presentation, the German Shepherd Dog has a unique stack or "pose",
featuring one rear leg under the body and one extended, as opposed to "square" stacks (parallel
front and rear) or extended stacks.
5. The German Shepherd Dog has been in the public ere and media many times, recognized as
"Rin Tin Tin" and other canine characters.
6. The German Shepherd Dog does not give affection lightly and is known for his dignity and
stature; it is also known as a "one-man" breed for its tendency to display serious loyalty and fidelity,
especially to its owner or main caretaker.