German shepherd is a popular breed owing to its intelligence, instinct, agility and obedience. They make effective watch-dogs; assist in rescue and search operations in police and military, and as companions for children and blind.
These were initially bred in Germany. They were mainly used for assisting the shepherds in herding the sheep. It was Captain Max Von Stephanitz who first recognized the potential of breeding a dog for many purposes. It was a sheep dog named ‘Horand.V.Grafrath’ which became the first German shepherd dog to be registered. With industrialization and reduction in herding, Capt Max started a governing body which was responsible to develop and control this breed for which a standard was set. This led to the rapid progress of the abilities of this breed.
Post First World War, the soldiers from Britain and America were so impressed by this breed that they took them along. This started a sudden increase in the number of German shepherd all over the world.
Over the years, many varieties of this breed have been introduced. But the basic traits of being large, good in looks and strong are still common. They have two coats and are usually in a tan or cream color. But many varieties in color like black, white and also tri-color of white, brown and red are available.
The 3 breeds of German shepherds are:
- International Working line is based on the dog's ability to work.
- International Show line is based on their looks.
- North American Show line differs from the world standards owing to the slope of the back and angulation in the hock-joint.
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