German Shepherds are known for their beautiful thick coats, strength, agility, and protective instincts. They are probably most known for being used in the police and military forces. German shepherds are extraordinary animals with not only many skills, but also many interesting backgrounds that many may not know. They became widely popular after World War II. There are many types of German Shepherds with different features and characteristics that have been bred throughout many decades for different purposes. Here are the different types and backgrounds.

The German Shepherd

American Show Lines

American show lines, also known as AKC Lines, are commonly the show dogs seen in competitions. These dogs are bred for show and conformation. They are judged based on their coat color, agility, structure, and overall look. American show lines come in many different colors, but they’re coats’ pigmentation tends to be lighter than that of the European German Shepherds’. The American show lines tend to be more laid back, and have less drive and energy. This type of German Shepherds a great for families and are active, but they have less strength, and wouldn’t be considered as the top line of German Shepherds in protection traits.

West German Show Lines

Although West German show lines are known for how handsome they look, they are not bred just for their beauty. In this line, each dog must have a working title such as “protection dog”, and must be cleared for any hip or elbow problems, before being allowed to pass on its genes. West German show lines are great for families, and are not lazy. They need exercise, socialization, and training. In addition to all of this, they are even great protectors!

West German Working Lines

The West German working lines are the “ideal” German Shepherd. These dogs are bred for their beauty, but the main focus is for them to be stable in temperament, strong and high in drives, and to be highly skilled in working ability. This line remains active and energetic, but are more likely to have health problems because of the lack of strictness in health evaluations. West German working lines are not only great in protection and search and rescue, but they also are great at knowing when it is time to calm down and have some fun around the kids. This line is great for active families!

East German DDR Working Lines

The East German DDR working lines were originally bred to be useful in the military. They were bred after World War II, and were used as “guard dogs.” This line of German Shepherds was the line helping to guard walls, such as the Berlin Wall. The government owned this line, and did not allow any breeding unless it was cleared of hip dysplasia. The strictness of breeding this line resulted in a broad-shouldered, big boned, and big headed dog. East German DDR working lines go through extensive examinations, and even physically active tests such as walking on a balance beam, scaling walls, searching blinds, and tracking tests. They were bred to be able to endure intense weather conditions and long days, and acted as patrols, trackers, and attackers. With their athleticism, endurance, defensiveness, and less emotion, East German working lines are most definitely the “tanks” of the breed.

Czech Working Lines

The Czech working lines were bred for border patrol in the kennel of the Czechoslovakian army. These lines are known for their dark coat pigment, excellent working drives, agility, and intensity. With their power and agility, protection skills, and obedience abilities, Czech working lines would be great German Shepherds to own and train.

While there are many different types of German Shepherds, all are excellent in protection and beauty. Whether it be in the military, police force, or simply a companion in the family, the German Shepherd is a loyal dog that would make any owner the happiest!

By Staff Writer, Erika Smith