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German Shepherd: A Combination Of Action And Elegance

Dec 19, 2007
It was Max von Stephanitz who gripped all the essential credits for the development of the highly talented, faithful and obedient German Shepherd. He solely conceptualized a great variety of sheep herding dogs into one single variety. He visualized a dog of righteous character, great working ability, loyal and comprehensively trainable. Shepherd dogs were known as the best working dogs in 18th and 19th centuries. The shepherds in Germany employed their dogs to direct their group of sheep as well as cattle. The first priority was given on their working ability, not on their appearance. The root of these dogs in historical timeline has not yet been identified.

In the late 19th century, a movement for initiating the herding sheep method was inspired by Captain von Stephanitz. The movement also influenced his decision to establish his organization Verein fur Deutsche Schaferhunde where both talent and beauty were prioritized. Although von Stephanitz also put his primary emphasis on the working ability of the German Shepherd, the attempt of increasing good appearance was also found to be important.

In the historical timeline, the evolvement of German Shepherd was not always that smooth. In fact, there was a time when there was a reduction in the demand of the shepherd dogs. During that phase, the great innovator Captain von Stephanitz shaped his idea of breeding the German Shepherd in absolutely a new direction as police service dogs, where these dog were increasingly trained as police dogs in order to serve the nation. In the late 19th century and early 20th century, an increasing number of dog shows actually started influencing the breeders to take both appearance and efficiency into account.

During 1899, the idea of the contemporary German Shepherd came into existence with the continuous contribution of von Stephanitz and the formation of Verein. England discovered German Shepherds in World War I and took it back to the U.K. under the name of Alsatian. Verein fur Deutsche Schaferhunde regulated all the breeding in Germany during that phase. However, Germany was devastated and ruined following World War II, and the same was true with the breeding organization and policies. During that period, the credit of breeding the best German Shepherds went to North America.

However, in the late 19th century, von Stephanitz tried to find out new arenas of breeding German Shepherd dogs with the help of his extensive experience and application of knowledge. He kept his faith about many ideas used in England by that time. During 1899, von Stephanitz participated in a dog show, where he bought Horand von Grafrath. This is the time when Verein was founded and it was Horand who took his entry in the studbook as the first registered German Shepherd. Captain von Stephanitz was most impressed by the qualities of Horand.

Horand was a medium size dog with a blend of liveliness and activity. An obedient, brave, defensive and energetic type of dog was mostly adored for its mental alertness. Additionally, it had beautiful lines all over the body. These were the qualities that made the German Shepherd acquire such a universal acceptance. In modern days, German imports of German Shepherds are highly desirable to everyone for their incredible sense of smell, extraordinary obedience, sound temperament, and excellent physical structure and working efficiency.
About the Author
A dog lover and professional breeder, Jan Ryan has extensive experience in raising and caring for dogs. The German Shepherd is an active breed with elegant beauty. It has a universal appeal due to its excellent obedience, loyalty and working ability. This article offers all the basic German Shepherd information including its history.
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