The German Shepherd is the 2nd most popular breed and is one of the most recognizable breeds there are.
Captain Max von Stephanitz, in 1889, first began developing the breed for herding. He also created the Society for German Shepherd Dogs (SV) and became its first president. The motto of the German Shepherd was always ‘Utility and Intelligence’, for von Stephanitz believed that beauty was worthless if the dog was not intelligent and sound to work.
After WWI, these dogs began coming back with soliders returning home and with that and the help of Rin-Tin-Tin this breed took off. Unfortunately, as demand took off, anyone with a German Shepherd was breeding them to meet that demand and shortly after that its popularity went into decline due to poor breeding.
The first German Shepherd registered with the AKC was in 1908 and was called the “Queen of Switzerland”.
In the UK these dogs are called Alsatians, as they were first bred in this area of France.
German Shepherds as we know them today are distinguished by their confident and energetic personalities. Highly trainable and intelligent, as von Stephanitz always wanted, these dogs can be fantastic working dogs in many areas from police and military work to service work. The sport of Schutzhund was created to test these attributes to ensure only the dogs exhibiting the characteristics of a German Shepherd were bred.
They can come in 11 different colors from black to white and various coat lengths from short to long.