The German shepherd dog is a very popular breed of dog known for its intelligence, beauty, loyalty, and nobility. You only have to look at the German shepherd with their ears standing erect and to attention to see how alert they are.
The German shepherd dog first came to be in the 1890s, thanks to Captain Max von Stephanitz, who is considered the father of the breed. Max had admired the native sheep dog as well as the many fine qualities they possessed - intelligence, strength, and nobility. He wanted to develop the breed even further to get all the qualities he wanted in a dog. He found a dog that possessed all the qualities, purchased it and began the breeding program that shaped his quest for the perfect dog. This is where the German line of German shepherd dog began.
In later years, American breeders began to interbreed dogs and crossbred specific dogs that would alter the original qualities of the German line German shepherd dog and make them a show dog worthy of championships. To this day, there is still much controversy as to whether this new form of breeding was improving the breed or hindering its capabilities as a working dog.
The German line German shepherd dog has a coarse coat that is of medium length with an undercoat of hair beneath the surface. Occasionally you will see a longhaired German shepherd. This is not the norm; however, many German shepherds in Germany do possess a longer coat. The long hair is a recessive gene that needs to be present in both the mother and the father. The basic colors are black and tan with variations of black and cream and black and red. Sable is also a very common color in the German shepherds, and gives them the salt and pepper appearance. Although rare, there are some all black German shepherds.
The German line German shepherd dog was bred to be a working breed of dog - built for strength, agility, and their excellent temperament. In Germany, before two German shepherd dogs can be bred together they have to be certified in Schutzhund, a course that determines the strength and character of the breed. Unlike the shows that American line German shepherd dogs are entered into, Schutzhund has nothing to do with the physical appearance of a dog - it concentrates only on their working performance. In order for a dog to have a good working performance, they need to have an excellent temperament, be easy to work with, and easy to train.
The German line German shepherd dog does not have the slope in their back that you see in many German shepherd dogs, but rather a straight back symbolic of the original German dogs. The slope that you see in many German shepherd dogs is bred into the dog. Many of the German line German shepherd dogs complete the different levels of Schutzhund training and go on to become police dogs, search and rescue dogs, seeing eye dogs, and therapy dogs. This is the level the breeders have strived to continue to improve. Temperament, strength, and working ability are the main focus of the breeding program with the German line German shepherd dogs.